2002 Kia Rio from North America - Comments

12th Feb 2010, 13:56

Hi, I have a 2002 Kia Rio that I bought 3 years ago. Currently has 100,000 km.

I've replaced front rotors/brakes, control arms, front and rear bearings twice, rear drums, master cylinder, shoes, multi fuel sensor $400 because of a check engine light, light still comes on.

Now I smell a strong gas smell when filling my tank, it lasts for a few days and then disappears. I must say I'm a bit disappointed at the number of repairs I've had to make.

I have a Toyota van, and in 10 years I might have spent $2500 on a piece of exhaust, rotors, a few front end parts & brakes.

Kia has a way to go.

16th Apr 2010, 10:44

I agree that with proper maintenance these cars are well worth the money we spent on them. You want luxury, buy a Lexus, you want a cheap reliable car then go with Kia.

Yep there are problems, but they can be fixed. I bought my 01 Rio new, and yep, I have had problems, but you get what you pay for.

We are approaching 200,000 miles, and the sensors seem to be the biggest problem. Use the time you spend griping about the car, to investigate how to fix it. I would suggest a manual transmission over an auto. They are cheaper, and "knock on wood" more reliable.

23rd May 2010, 17:23

I have a 2002 Kia Rio, we bought it used at a dealer. We no more than drove the car one week, and then the problems began. Yes, you do get what you pay for, but you should be able to drive and not wonder when your car will have more problems, etc.

27th Aug 2010, 13:07

Well I will tell you, the next time I buy a new car, I am steering clear of any model with a so called interference engine. Kia Rios come from Kia's infancy in the U.S. car market, to assure their dealers that revenue from servicing these pieces of garbage would keep the revenue for the dealers rolling in. I have an 04 Rio Cinco, and cross my fingers that IML does not come on every day, it has run like junk since 32.000 miles, and by the way never buy it with an automatic transaxle, because Korean manufacturers do not know how to make good transmissions.

5th May 2011, 16:45

I am trying to decide if I should replace my gear box, or just trade my Kia Rio in? I bought it for £1500 little over a year ago, and it's been fine up until recently, when my reverse gear kept sticking, and now 1st gear is almost impossible too. Should I invest in this car, or get rid?

5th Jun 2011, 17:48

If you were actually a mechanic, you would not make such a bad comment about American made cars, which have surpassed even Toyota's in the last few years, and have never had any competition from Kia.

25th Jun 2011, 05:14

Hi there, I own a Kia Rio 2001. I bought it brand new 10 yrs ago, and it's now done 80,000kms, and I am now experiencing it stalling whenever it feels like it, especially when coming to a stop or under 10km p/hour. I have taken it to the dealer where it gets serviced, and they cannot find an underlining problem on the diagnosis machine; no fault codes were found, so they cleaned the throttle body and idle valve, and it's still stalling. I have been told the ground wire may be undersized, so we are going to replace that before I take it back to the dealer for further investigation. It's had a major service done two weeks ago, and now this problem had arisen! Do you have any other suggestions I can try before I waste more money on it! It's been a great car until now!!!

15th Aug 2011, 17:01

I brought this 2002 Kia Rio two years ago. Did not have it 3 days before it kept pulling to right, so my husband jacked it up; was looking at the front end to see if anything was bent or broken. He found a big crack in the sub frame, so he welded angle iron across to support the frame.

Well it is still working good and holding, but now the timing belt broke. The shop where I took are telling me that I might have a bent valve, so what does anyone think? Please let me know.

12th Nov 2011, 18:50

Your pulling problem could be warped rotors or a sticking caliper; have those things looked at, and just to let you know, most auto shops won't take the time to check for warpage in the rotors, so be very picky.

18th Jan 2012, 13:02

I don't understand why everyone has had so many problems. I have a 2002 Kia Rio Cinco 5 speed. It has had no problems. I keep up on the oil and maintenance. My only concern is it has 86k, and I bought it when it had 75k miles, and now am hearing all these horrible stories about the timing belt. The lady I bought it from took good care of it, but don't know if they did the timing belt. Is there a way I can look and inspect the belt myself, or suggestions on what to do??

18th Apr 2012, 18:15

2003 to 2005 Rio. The speedometer that jumps all over the place and/or stops and starts has a dirty sensor. To clean it, jack the car up on the right front. Remove tire. Follow the flexible cable from fender to axle. That is the sensor. Remove the bolt, metric, and pull the sensor out. You see a small brass sliver, probably faded. Clean with a rough brush, very fine sandpaper, or scrape it clean with a razor blade and put it all back together. Worked on both our Rios, and haven't had a problem since. Give that a whirl.

19th Apr 2012, 18:52

Do not even waste your time trying to fix this car, and by all means avoid purchasing one. My friend had a 2004 Rio, bought brand new and well maintained, the car did not even last 4 years before the engine seized. I have never heard of this happening with any other brand or model, ever.

This is the definition of a cheaply made, disposable car.

Buy anything else, Japanese, German, even American; god forbid anyone would actually consider buying something to support our dying economy and manufacturing sector.

2nd Apr 2013, 15:20

I am the first and only owner of a 2002 Kia Rio with a standard transmission. I have replaced only rear wheel bearings and light bulbs. Still have the original battery. Out of these 10 and half years, only 3 years the car has been kept in the garage, the rest outside, in the cold Canadian winter. I have never been stuck in the snow, or unable to start the engine. Even after a month long trips to Europe. Just turn the ignition key and drive.

Now there's a rust problem. But I'm moving out of the continent soon, so I'm not going to worry about it. After this car, my first choice when buying a new one will be a Kia.

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