2002 Kia Rio from North America - Comments

28th Jul 2008, 21:10

It would bend the valves if the timing belt breaks on your 02 (at least it will if it's a Rio, that's what I own). But I would replace it if I were you. I love my 02 Rio and will upgrade it soon, since it has 163,000 miles now and is on its way to its third timing belt change. I also finally have my first major problem with the car, an electronic gear shift issue on 3rd & 4th gear that keeps activating the check engine light. I will buy a newer Rio if I can find one locally.

6th Sep 2008, 00:25

I have had my 2002 KIA RIO for a little over a year now.. I have replaced my brakes and rotors 3 times now... I have had my father do it all 3 times and he's been a mechanic for 30 years. He even came with me when I purchased my vehicle and he said the brakes were new. So 4 sets of brakes in around 14 months.. my car only had 37k miles on it. What the crap.

Beware of the 2002 KIA Rio. They are dirt and a piece. Never NEVER buying a KIA again. I'm trading it in this week for a 2009 Dodge Charger. Finally something that isn't a piece of crap.

22nd Sep 2008, 21:03

I have the 2002 Kia Rio also. I have had similar problems with the stalling when I come to a stop. I have had the fan replaced... still dies, I had plugs, wires, air filter and gas filter changed... still dies, I had the mass air regulator replaced... still dies and finally today they took the (I believe it was called) intake air regulator off and cleaned it all out... I drove it home and it drove like a dream. Crossing my fingers that my car dying problem is finally fixed...$1200 dollars later!!! Hopefully this helps anyone who is in that 'fed up' state of mind I have been in.

29th Oct 2008, 10:09

I bought a used 2002 Kia Rio about 6 months ago with 160,000 K on it. Since I bought the car, I have replaced the rear bearings (both sides), one rear hub, fuel pump, fuel filter, 2 tires, exhaust pipe piece that attaches to the catalytic converter, throttle control value, plugs, wires, coil, air filter, O2 sensor, front wheel bearings on one side – I think that’s it.

I did do all the work myself and managed to get some used parts and found some new cheap parts online. So far I have spent around $700 on it.

In spite of this, I do like the car and right now it is running great.

The one problem that replacing all these parts has not fixed is the rough idle. This only occurs when the car is warmed up. I even purchased a cheap used idle control value and took the pin out of it so that I could adjust the idle manually. I managed to find a spot where it idled fine when it was cold and warmed up, but the check engine light came on. After a couple of weeks passed, the check engine light went off and the same rough idle when it was warmed up started again.

I am running out of ideas to fix this problem – I suppose the ECM and alternator are next. I know there was an ECM recall and that one of the symptoms was rough idling, and the comments made above about a weak alternator causing idling problems does make some sense – but why only when the car is warmed up do I have the problem.

I know rough idling is a recurring theme with this vintage Kia Rio, but I still have not found a solution. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, an older Kia is definitely not for you.

23rd Nov 2008, 08:26

My 2003 Kia Rio was 3 days away from a scheduled 60000 mile service (timing belt replacement) when my belt went and ruined the engine. It had 61000 miles on it. It took 2 weeks to find a used engine. GUESS WHY?? This issue is so common that used engines are hard to find!! This really should be a recall issue.

29th Nov 2008, 16:11

We have a 2002 Kia Rio and have 8 fan belts replaced. There are 67,000 miles on this vehicle. When we took it to Kia for a warranty check-up in Erie, PA we were charged over $500 for an oil change and diagnostic check-up.

Last year we started having problems. An alternator has been replaced, water pump has been replaced, and timing belt replaced. The heater when used causes the fan belts to break. We have had several mechanics look at it and none of them can figure it out. This problem has cost over $1000 and is not yet fixed. Anyone else having this problem? Can anyone else help with a diagnostic?

This car is still under warranty. We will never buy another Kia again!

18th Dec 2008, 09:59

I bought a 2004 Kia Rio for my daughter, (12/20/03) - tomorrow will be exactly 5 years. The car broke down, went to dealership to arrange for car to be towed and diagnosed; repair representative asked a few questions about the car and concluded that it's the "timing belt" - he said that's not covered under Extended Warranty. Called Extended Warranty company, they too said that if it's the timing belt and it caused breakdown of engine, then warranty is not honored - UNLESS, the engine broke down on its own, the warranty will not cover the engine or anything else because it's probable that the timing belt caused the damage. Now, I'll have to try and get some of my money back on this "Extended Warranty". They said it would probably be pro-rated if I do get any money back. LIVE AND LEARN.

22nd Dec 2008, 14:19

I'm a senior citizen living on social security. I sure wish I had researched this site before purchasing a 2002 Kia Rio. The car was clean, ran well and there was nothing notable about the car which would make me reject the offer. Although, in retrospect, I've paid way too much, but that's my problem. Is there anybody out there in cyperspace who can tell me how much the average price is to have time belts replace??? I was advised by a mechanic that I will need Timing belts replaced at least by 60,000 miles or sooner. He quoted $600.00 to fix that.

Initially, I took the car to CarMax (where I bought it) for an oil change and a diagnosis of the engine light which was on to the tune of $90.00. Of course I regret not researching this car more than I have.

7th Feb 2009, 13:01

Yes to all of the above - I knew I was overdue on the timing belt replacement. At 120,000 miles (mostly highway) the timing belt went and bent all of the valves. Only junkies had engines for replacement except for a place in Ontario California... and since the timing belt on the replacement engine was too tight, I only got 3000 miles out of it, but it was covered under the repair warranty.

Also - when the engine was replaced I upgraded the radiator to handle the Mojave Desert and the mountains in my area. The car was having a hard time with the high desert and the AC.

For 8000 bucks I ain't complaining.