2003 Kia Sorento LX from North America - Comments

2nd Jan 2008, 14:25

I have a 2003 Kia Sorento. I just hit 69,000 today... and the check engine light came on... exactly at 69,000! Is this a pre-programmed thing to get it up on the dealer hoist for a diagnostic, followed by a hefty bill?!? I have an extended warranty, but still take it to my mechanic because my dealership is so ineffective it's not even funny.

The vibrating brakes have been an issue since about a year into owning it. The dealer says there's nothing that can be done to fix it. All of the hinge covers in the cargo bay have broken off (and there hasn't been hardly a thing put in the cargo bay that could have caused this). I'm on my third set of low beams and on my second set of tail lights. The wiper motor burned out within the first year. The dealer did get me a rental, but it was part of my extended warranty.

Finally, the clock constantly lost or gained time within a week of driving it off the lot. After three replacements, I'm happy to report that my clock is running like a champ.

7th Jan 2008, 13:59

I have an '05 Sorento. Purchased new. It now has 44,000 (96,000kms). I will agree with the headlight issues. Fortunately, there was a recall and the wiring harness has been replaced and touch wood - no more headlight burnouts. The brakes have never been done. Pads & rotors are like new. It has had a door handle replaced and the wiper linkage fixed. It is now in the shop for cold start value rattle. It will be interesting to see what they find.

All in all, I can't complain about the SUV, but would I buy another? Not likely. The maintenance costs are too rich for my blood. I mean $280 for spark plugs and $700 for a timing change!!!

24th Jan 2008, 16:06

I own a 2003 Kia Sorento and have owned it from day one. I have experienced most of the nightmares others have spoken of on here plus a few. I estimate that in the last 1 year I have one very close to $5000 in repairs on this heap of junk. I have replaced the heater core (over $1000 and 2 weeks in the shop) to have it come out with the air bag light on. Of course they didn't mess up the airbag when they took out the dash to fix the heater core so I had to pay another grand for that. Then some sensor on the engine went and the plastic radiator had a hole too. Another grand down the drain. Nothing is ever covered under warranty and now my engine light and 4 wheel drive lights are on. With this vehicle the problems just never end and are never covered. I would never recommend this car or brand. Customer service is a joke too.

8th Feb 2008, 14:18

Re 2005 wiring harness replacement - I can't find any recall notice for this... I have a 2004 Sorento and have replaced low beams 4 times each, brake lights twice, fog lights once and left them off. It just can't be an "engineering problem" if all of these are going out. I am wondering if anyone else got a recall notice? Also curious if anyone deal with their voltage regulators?

19th Feb 2008, 12:59

I own 2004 Sorento 2.5 CRD and changed manuel gearbox and also front brake rotors on 95000km at my own cost.

2nd Mar 2008, 07:06

I told the service rep at Kia that I've replaced headlights, fog lights and tail lamps too many times... That something must be wrong... His reply was that it's my fault for having a Sirius radio and an after market alarm.. he stated that the car's electrical system is not designed for these items.. I would like to get a class action law suit going against Kia for this lamp problem.. My father in law and some friends have the same problem with their Sorrentos.. Any thoughts?

3rd Mar 2008, 16:26

I believe I have replaced around 12 -15 front headlight Bulbs on my 2004 KIA Sorrento. It has 109,000 miles on it. I keep 2 spares in my car at all times. All brands fail Though I think I get better Life out of the Sylvania bulbs. Always shut the headlights off they last longer if they do not get a surge when the car starts up. I think there is a problem in the voltage regulators. My car has no extra electrical devices.

I have also replaced brake lights a couple of times.

I have replaced the front rotors and will be doing it again shortly. I have never had rotors warp on any vehicle I have ever owned before. I am thinking the problem may be in the backing plate if this is warped or not flat the rotors may try to fit to the backing plate.

Check engine light comes and goes This happens when the 4 Wheel drive lights both come on and the 4 wheel drive doesn't work. When this happens it also locks out the overdrive. My mechanic told me when this happens to disconnect the battery and wait for about 10 minutes and then reconnect it. Sure enough the 4 wheel drive lights go out and then the 4 wheel drive works again, the overdrive works and the Check engine light goes off.

The Windshield wipers do not return to the park Position on either of my Kias.

The weather stripping around both front doors just keeps breaking up and needs to be replaced.

Though these are annoying problems the car keeps running and I will drive it until it stops.

I will not replace it with a KIA product.

Dealer tried to take me to the cleaners early on and the car has never been back.

12th Mar 2008, 00:22

I have had similar complaints about the front brake discs; Kia replaced them once under warranty, but would not change the pads as they said they were only 20% worn.

I have had a new radio CD, replacing the front panel off with a solid one, which was supposed to solve the problem of a drivers side speaker, which will work when the volume is turned up, but then if the volume is turned down below 10, the speaker cuts off. Kia mechanics said it was the head unit and thus changed it, but the problem still exists; this was again done under warranty. I will change the speakers once I locate the correct ones, and I think that this would fix the problem.

Three weeks ago I had to replace the battery, which I suppose it did well on my 2003 Sorento with 70000 km.

This week I could smell coolant, which I thought was coming from a car in front of me. When I reached my destination, a gush of steam came from the front off my car. When I investigated, at the rear of the engine bay are 3 coolant pipes connected to a Y piece of pipe. This Y piece had split and the coolant was escaping from it. When a replacement was purchased, all three pipes were connected to this Y piece, which was not sold separately. Why do Kia produce this part in plastic and not a metal; $108 it cost for the part. Not only that; after replacing the part the mechanic discovered the header tank which holds the excess coolant had a crack in it. A replacement has been sorted, but I may have to wait three weeks for delivery as there are no parts available in Australia; they have to come in from Korea.

This is not good enough; my car is now laid up waiting for an important part. This part seams to be a recall, or it should be. My friend who also has a Sorento with 187000 kms said that the Y piece has broken twice, and he also has had 2 water bottles. Why do Kia not make this a recall and redesign these part?

Gordon Cook, Perth WA