1999 Kia Sephia LS from North America - Comments

21st Sep 2004, 14:24

Hi. I read your problems that you've had with your car. Most of them, such as your brakes and spark plugs, are listed in the owners manual as requiring maintenance at certain intervals. For instance, the spark plugs and wires are scheduled to be replaced every 30,000 mi. From the mileage you had posted down, I'd guess many problems you had, could have been avoided by following the maintenance schedule.

My '99 Sephia, currently has 76,000+ miles on it. Replaced front and back breaks twice so far. Spark plugs and wires are due for their third change when I reach 90,000mi. Otherwise, aside from the fuel system recalls, the car has not had to go in for any other "unscheduled" maintenance issues.

I haven't had any problem with the discoloration of the interior panels. Also, nothing has warped out of place either. Could it be something with the climate you live in? I live in the Northeast. Cold winters, but nothing extremely hot in the summer. Plastic will warp, crack, discolor if put under extreme temperature conditions.

31st Jan 2005, 09:23

My Sephia has 117,000 miles on it, and it's on its last leg. I have had similar problems to yours. I have put at least six sets of front brake pads on this car. At about 90k, the brake system just "fell apart," according to the mechanic. I had to have the distribution valve replaced, several brake lines were leaking and I was just lucky I wasn't on the highway when it happened or I might not be here.

The transmission is about to completely fall apart. I was told the only thing to do is have it rebuilt at a cost of about $2,400 for a car worth about $800. The heater fan only works when it's warm, which doesn't help much. When it's cold, the locks and door mechanisms don't work, so I get frozen out of my car when the temperature gets low. The only thing remotely worthwhile seems to be the engine, although I did have to replace a spark plug wire.

I had planned to trade it in a while ago, but couldn't because I owed more on the car than what it was worth. It depreciated faster than I could make payments on it. Get rid of it ASAP.

12th Oct 2005, 17:51

Hi I own a 2000 KIA Sephia and have some of the same problems. I also have the rattling when the gas petal is applied. I found out that the rattling is the heat shield against the muffler. One of the bolts that holds my heat sheild onto the bottom of my car somehow broke or came out causing part of the heat sheild to lay on the muffler. When you apply the gas and the muffler gently shakes you hear the rattling because of the metal on metal. Also, my blower for my heater and a/c has a mind of its own and only works when it wants too, not sure if it's a short in the wiring or the blower itself. I'm also having to replace my right CV joint because the CV boot somehow came off which caused my cv joint to go bad prematurely.

8th Feb 2007, 21:29

The rattling noise you're hearing is probably a loose heat shield that apparently doesn't actually shield anything. The same thing is happening on my Sephia, and we looked under the car and found that a random piece of metal that is held on with mismatched brackets to be the culprit.

You can't remove it unless you feel like hacksawing around your exhaust system, which I can't say is a good idea, or you can just secure it to the bottom of the car with some bracing like we did. Other than that, I can honestly say, this is my least favorite car I've owned and its really been nothing, but trouble...

28th Aug 2007, 01:35

Frequent service intervals is how Kia makes money. Also the infamous Kia brakes that never last more than a year that are not covered by the warranty. Out of warranty work and tune ups are easily $800 to $1,000 a year. Many people are thinking Kias are inexpensive, they aren't.

To the original reviewer: It's typical Kia to have to change a lot of service parts. On other makes (like my GM) few things need to be replaced until 100,000 miles, besides filters and regular oil changes.

Why spark wires need replacing every 30,000? That's because they used sub-standard material on whole this car. And this seem to be the case on all Kia models. I just hate those cars after owning one for 3 years. You swap from a 11 year old Chevy because you think a new Kia will be more reliable and give better economy. Think again. You end up with a car payment and 2-3 payments a year for tune ups and out of warranty work on an almost new car.

11th Oct 2007, 13:27

I also have a 2000 Sephia, 59000 miles, Don't want to recap the same problems that are already listed, I've had them all my question is, can anyone tell me how to get the top dash over off? Help I need to repair it!

7th Mar 2008, 07:19

I also live in the northeast. Within days of purchasing my 99 Sephia, we hit a cold snap and the battery froze. Massive problems with ALL Kias in the area. That should have been the warning sign we needed to get some other car. My brakes have needed repair every 2-3 years. They have 'fallen off' twice now. The automotive repair shop I took it to asked my if I parked my car underwater as the brakes rusted off. I don't know if it has something to do with the way things drain or what, but that's not good in any way. Rattling heat shield, also an issue, frozen doors (WD40 helps!), bad battery, bad windshield, bad door seals. Bad EVERYTHING.

9th Mar 2008, 13:19

I have a 2000 Kia Sephia and the drivers door has locked, and I can't even open it with the key, can anyone tell me how to get it open; the lock is jammed someway.

Thanks, Joe from Phoenix.

23rd Jun 2008, 12:35

I have a 2000 Kia Sephia and I have only one problem. The dashboard curling up under the heating vents, which stinks because my particular car has been really dependable. But now that I am trying to sell it no one wants it, because it looks so bad. I tried gluing it down, but that just made it worse. Any suggestions?

12th Jan 2009, 11:31

I have a 1999 Kia Sephia that I have owned for a little over a year. I have put nothing but reg. maintenance into it until recently. My battery died, the transmission is "on it's way out" according to my mechanic, it rattles underneath, shakes at over 60 mph, etc... other problems including an engine light that never goes out. Also I live in the northeast and every time it's cold out, the doors to the car freeze open and will not shut until the car has warmed for a LONG time. I would not recommend this car to people since it cannot be reliable after 70000-90000 miles and shouldn't be considered as a cheap used car.

6th May 2009, 08:26

I have a 1999 KIA Sephia that I bought in 1999, and it's at 127,410 miles and still runs smoothly. Of course it has had its share of repairs, but they have been minor.

I live in the Carolinas, and I have no problems other than the internal lights are shot and I had to fix the radiator exhaust (least that's what I think it's called).

I just changed the battery for the first time last year. Anyway with real love and care, I have brought it farther than I expected it to go. For a cheap car, it isn't bad. You get what you pay for.

7th Jul 2009, 06:46

My 1999 Kia hit 130,000 and I knew that sooner or later there was going to be something major happening... and it did. On the Fourth of July, my car just shut off. I pushed it to the side of the road (fortunately right next to a gas station/garage) and had it looked at. When I turned the key, it would sound like it wanted to start and make a grinding noise but not turn over. Mechanic said it was the timing belt, which could be fixed at around $200, but could only tell once the inside was looked at. The next day, the mechanic says its "worse than I thought" and that everything around the timing belt needs to be replaced also. Something was bent he said, and he estimated $600 to $800 to be the cost of repairs. The blue book says it's valued at $500. Not worth fixing in my opinion, but I need a second opinion. Please Help!!!

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