Considering a KIA? Bring it in for a full Buyer’s survey. We have come to like this family of cars! Let us tell you what you’re getting into! [email protected]
The Kia Motor Company seems to have driven its way into the hearts and wallets of America. It is also a vehicle that has quietly made its debut in Alaska with more and more of the SUV models (Sorento and Soul) replacing what typically have been owned by Toyota RAV-4 or Honda CRV drivers, and the KIA Optima has replaced the Subaru Legacy Coupe.
Why? PRICE TAG and FEEL.
KIA reminds us of the 90’s Subarus to a degree. Reliable and affordable. Not as many bells and whistles, but who needs ‘em for an extra12-15K?
The KIA Optima is a great-looking vehicle! It handles well enough (in our opinion it handles a rung or two below the Subaru AWD). The Optima handles well enough when coupled with a dedicated winter tire such as the Nokian Hakkapellitta 9.
There IS something to know about the KIA, as about all other vehicle manufacturers: Recalls. A recall is a known problem, a “pattern-failure” due to a process manufacture flaw that automotive engineers did not catch before vehicle production.
The Subaru, a vehicle we Alaskans seem to trust with our lives, has a major engine recall with an overheating problem caused by premature head gasket wear. We love the Subarus and tend to regard the head gasket problem as a “maintenance” issue when it occurs outside the warranty period. Within the warranty period, Subaru of America has been responsive to resealing these motors on their own dime.
KIA Motor Company has it’s own engine problem which has resulted in a recall on the following models:
- 2011-2014 Optima
- 2012-2014 Sorento
- 2011-2013 Sportage
Machining errors during the manufacturing process have caused premature bearing wear within some engines. Depending on the amount of extreme-condition wear these engines get (meaning how diligent owners are at keeping fluids clean and using winter heaters to ensure proper lubrication) the results can be full-stop engine seizure.
If a vehicle experiences this wear, it is imperative that the engine be replaced. KIA has extended their warranty to include lifetime coverage of the bearing wear issue.
If you own a 2011-2014 Optima, don’t despair! KIA has you covered.
Fires? Yes, they are a different issue altogether! KIA has another recall on these models. It is a simple problem with a fairly simple fix. However, the technician has to be properly educated about how to route and tighten fuel lines (yikes!). Failure to do so can result in standing on the Mitchell, watching your Optima burn to the ground.
KIA owners who have questions can call KIA Motor Company at 800-333-4542.
Considering a KIA? Again, bring it in for a Buyer’s survey, and let us send you a full-color inspection. [email protected]
If you recently bought a KIA, have been through a winter or two, bring it in for an Annual Inspection so you KNOW, know what shape it is in after a busy summer.