1998 Kia Sephia from North America - Comments

19th Mar 2004, 18:57

I have had a 99 Kia Sephia for 5 years now and had very little problems. Normal recalls and regular maintanence have been the only cost I have put into the car. The tune (spark plug change) was not difficult at all. I will admit that the KIA company does not put the highest quality parts in their cars. I cannot complain since this is definitely not a car priced to break your bank account. If you are looking for luxury car standards. You should probably purchase a luxury car. For the money, a very good purchase. I will mention that I was a little annoyed at the rotors and brakes needing replacement often. Most of the time the dealer covered the cost of the rotor and pads (due to a TSB out) replacement under warranty. I didn't pay over $80 for the brake replacement. Anyway, it's true you get what you pay for. I certainly am pleased with my purchase.

3rd Nov 2004, 13:46

I am the owner of a 98 Kia Sephia. It has been a great little car. I bought it new and now have 98,000 miles on it. I've only had two problems with the car and those did not occur until after I crossed 90,000. I am very hard on my car and am amazed at how well it has held up. The first big problem was last year when the timing chain had to be replaced. $400, parts and labor, same day service. Then today, my starter went out. With 98,000 miles on the car its only natural that issues like the starter occur. But I still swear by this car. It has taken all of my abuse quite well and still has just as much pep as the day I bought it.

And I had no problem changing the spark plugs. Took very little time and effort. I'm curios to see how easy it is going to be replacing my starter tonight.

I might also ad, my wife drives a 2001 Kia Sportage. Another great car.

Kia makes a great car for the money and we have had nothing, but good experiances with the serive. We are now Kia customers for life. I just wish they would start making a pick-up.

26th Nov 2004, 13:51

I have had my 1996 Kia Sephia for 8 years now, and it hasn't given me one bit of trouble, other than the O2 sensor. The car is in exceptionally good condition inside and out. The paint is flawless, and virtually indestructable. The interior is like brand new. I have never and will never drive another car that is better than my Kia Sephia LS.

10th Mar 2005, 05:57

I have a 2000 Kia Sophia and I too have had the O2 and the check engine light. I was told to always check the gas cap to make sure it is on tight which seems to solve the problem. Worth the $40 to hook up to the computer.

I am also hard on my car with 400 miles of driving each week. Problems have been replacement of the front wheel bearings twice, back brake cylinder three times and the timing belt is now being replaced with 78000 miles. I also have a feeling the clutch is going, but not too bad for three years.

When I bought the car new I didn't have expectations of it becoming a classic, but a throw-away vehicle because of my driving habits. My goal is five years which means it has to hold together for another two years.

My advice to someone looking into buying a Kia is that you get what you pay for and vehicles are poor investments.

20th Oct 2005, 14:54

I've had my '98 Kia Sephia for three years now. I bought it with 32k miles on it from the previous owner. To date I have had: 5 batteries, 4 starters, an ignition wire replaced, an ignition fuse, and the front brake pads. There is something that is blowing all of this out.

I've had the alternator checked out by three separate mechanics on separate occasions. All of them say the alternator is fine. Today I had to get my boss to jump it and now it is at his mechanic. It's going to be hooked up to a diagnostic and yet another new battery put in. I'm hoping this guy can figure out the underlying problem behind this.

In addition to all of this, I also have a problem with the O/D and engine lights being on. I've disconnected the battery cables to reset it and that works for a time, but doesn't solve whatever makes it happen in the first place. I've been told to ignore it... I don't know how sound that advice really is.

My car is an automatic, and another problem I had was the shift sticking. No matter how much I've wiggled, turned the steering wheel, or just plain forced it, it would not budge. I even tried turning the car off and starting it again. Finally I called a tow truck, and the guy opened the panel and broke off the safety lock on the shifting gears. I haven't had a problem with it since, but it's still a little sticky.

I've also noticed that the car has trouble after fueling up. It doesn't want to start after getting gas, and on several occasions I've had to jump myself. I do regular maintenance and recalls. It just had an oil change, new fuel filter, oil filters, tune up, and more.

I don't drive like a maniac, or push the car too hard. I seldom drive and in two years have only put less than 20k miles on it. It has been frustrating and worrisome owning a Kia, which unlucky enough has been my first car. I fell in love with the way they look. They really are cute cars. Sadly, I've found mine to be very mechanically unsound and I would not recommend them.

It's is true that you get what you pay for. However, hindsight is 20/20 while foresight is blind. With the amount of money I have shelled out in repairs, I could have purchased a luxury car. So many are swayed into purchasing Kias because their price tag is very attractive. However, you will more than likely make the difference up later down the road...literally.

Because my car was preowned, I also ran a background check. It has not been in any accident, but I did find out that the A/C had to be fixed by the previous owner. No matter how many times I get my car fixed, I always have a jumper battery -charged and in the back seat.

I have to say that the only silver lining in this was that I've learned much more about cars since owning a Kia. I was young and inexperienced when I first bought it. I had no idea what I was looking at when I opened the hood. I do now! They are great cars if you want to learn to fix them, but don't expect much security or reliability from them.

19th Mar 2006, 22:24

Just to touch on Kia a Lil bit, my brother owned a 1998 Sephia. It had the battery and the timing chain problems,but the one he didn't see coming was the air bag- it never deployed and it killed him. He did not have a seat belt, but if the air bag had been working he would be alive today, and his chest would not have hit the steering wheel so hard that it shattered the wheel. The accident wasn't his fault nor the air bags' fault. It was a bad fuse or a missing fuse, but Kia was the only one to work on the car mechanically, and no one knows why the fuse was not there. There should be some safety check for air bag fuses, because I don't know anyone who checks their own, and it could save lives. I would like to know how many airbags don't deploy on impact with these cars.