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Hi, Bought my Spectra brand new in May 04 from a dealer in Ft. Worth, Texas. Since the day I bought it I have had numerous problems. This car has been in the shop 8 times in the last 13 months for repairs. But my one major concern is there is a knock or pinging sound coming from the engine sounds like metal tinking against each other. The service dept. manager road with me and heard the sound. He said it was a spark knock caused by pre ignition. By the way the sound is getting louder in this Texas heat. They replaced the spark plugs with NGK saying that it came with wrong plugs from the factory and the wrong gap was installed. The noise continued so they said to try a higher octane fuel. I did this very expensively for 3000 miles and the knock went away. The knock returned went I went back to regular octane. Took it back to the dealer they heard the knock again and said they contacted Kia and I was told that I would just have to live with it. I am extremely concerned about the engine and since I can get them to do nothing on this issue I was hoping for some help here. I have 18,000 miles on the car also wind noise from the windows is a huge problem and the alternator was replaced at 15.000 miles. Fog lights have gone out and been replaced. Sorry for ranting just concerned about the future of the engine. Thanks

IF ANYONE ELSE HAS THIS PROBLEM CAN YOU PLEASE POST ALSO. SINCE THE DEALER HAS SAID THEY HAVE NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM KIA WIDE IN THE 2004.5 SPECTRA
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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Do you use cheap gas? As in not name brand, not high octane.

The cheap gas tends to contain more alcohol, which is like watering it down, and has the tendency to make engines knock.

Did the dealer do any tests like checking for any trouble codes (engine light does not need to be on) or a fuel pressure test? The knock sensor could also be checked. It retards the timing to keep the fuel from detonating (causing the knock sound).
 

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Hi there Kia Mech, I have tried name brand gas. It doesn't do any better with the good gas versus cheap gas. I have also tried an octane booster which was suggested by a service writer whcih didn't help either. The only thing that helps is to put the highest octane gas in it. I will try the name brand again for 2 tanks then I am going to try 2 tanks of high octane in it with name brand. Then I will be taking it back in. It is clattering even more. The dealer did not check for codes because they said no engine light was on. I am frustrated with service. If you have any more info. I would greatly appreciate it.
 

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The octane booster should have the same results as buying higher octane gas. It's possible that the octane booster was "cheap" or there wasn't enough of it. I don't know if the service writer told you, but the octane booster wouldn't actually fix anything, it would just work for the one tank.

The check engine light doesn't have to be on for there to be engine codes. The dealer should know this, or maybe he was counting on you not to.

There's not much I can tell you to do because most of the things I would check would require special tools (scanner, fuel pressure gauge), which you aren't going to have. The dealer should check the fuel pressure, check the knock sensor, check the knock sensor mounting bolt torque, and the current data on the scanner.

If the car was older and DIDN'T do this from day one, I would suggest a carbon treatment to clean the valves. This won't help if the problem is somewhere else though.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.
 

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One thing KiaMech left out on the octane booster. You have to put it in your tank BEFORE you fill up, not after. Putting it in first ensures it passes all the baffles and mixes with the full tank of fuel.

What grade octane does it take to make it stop? I'm assuming you're using 87 as a regular, 89 as midgrade, and 91 as premium.

Can you visit another dealer for service? If you're not getting the response you want, try another dealer. They all get paid the same to fix your problem under warranty. :)

Devin
 

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Is this the dealer on the west side of Fort Worth? (I think that's the only one.) If so, that's a red flag because if I buy a Kia this year, that is the closest dealer.
 

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Pinchy

Didn't realise that the RON's are different, over here in Australia regular unleaded is 92/93Ron, Midgrade 95 Ron and Premium 98RON.

Seems that in Canada your highest is our lowest. Would that have a big impact on the Cerato?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, I have tried Chevron and Exxon gas low grade. It did not change the knock, but when I put in the 93 octane from both Chevron and Exxon. The ping went away within about 30 miles. I am taking the car in tomorrow, July 12, to see what they will say. The octanes that I have used in this car are 87, 89 and 93. Also when I use the 93 octane from an independent gas distributor the car does not ping or knock either. Thanks KiaMech for your help.
I was wondering what you might know about the long term applications on this engine if the problem is not fixed.

Okay and here is the next problem with this car. After the car sits for a few hours and you start driving and for about the 1st 15 minutes. There is a clunking sound that seems to be coming from the axle or driveshaft. It is audible on turning right and left. Any ideas. Or maybe an idea what area I need to post this. Thanks again!
 

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2005 Kia Spectra
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Have the dealer check the front end. I had a clunking sound develop after 300 miles and they had to tighten some front end parts that were not properly torqued at the fatcory.
 

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I just bought a '05 Spec5. I have 700kms on it *approx 450miles* I too have a knocking/crunching coming from the front end. I think it is the CV joints. I get the noise when rolling slowly wether i have the clutch in or out and while traveling in a straight line. When i turn the wheel i get a single louder knock. Also when i hit the brakes hard, i get a horrible groan out of the front end. A friend told me to get the dealer to lubricate the slides in the calipers.

I will be going back to the dealer this week with the car to deal with this.

On the note of the octane issue. My understanding is that a higher octane burns more slowly. If your motor is pinging and knocking with a lower octane then you might be suffering from preignition or a timing that is too advanced. I am not 100% on this but i believe it to be the case as I have a performance ignition module on my v-twin motorcycle and when i advance the ignition too far i can get my motor to ping/knock, even with high octane gas. All i run in the bike is 94 octane. With the advanced curve that works best for me and a lower octane the motor starts to make some strange noises. You should be able to find out the information about engine pinging, preigntion at your local performance shop. If this is the case, perhaps an adjustable cam gear is in order so as to retard the timing.

You can read about detonation and pre-ignition here:
http://www.misterfixit.com/deton.htm
http://www.hastingsmfg.com/Service%20Tips/...preignition.htm
 

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If it is the CV joints making the clunking noise, take heart. I have a 95 Ford Aspire, made by Kia. Its CV joints have been clunking for 75,000 miles (yes, you read that right) and haven't failed yet!

I'm looking to replace this tired creature with a 4-door hatchback, and the Spectra is on my list (along with Elantra, Suzuki Reno, Suzuki Aerio and maybe Focus). Which brings me back to my original question, nmcrazy: Is the dealer you're working with the one on the west side of Fort Worth on I-30?
 

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I was upgrading my sound system and as i was crawling in and out of the trunk i heard the clunking.. I figured that it was the strut tower mounts. Turned out it was and the rear struts too.. They have ordered parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Doohickie

Yes this dealer is on the Westside of FW on 30. Would I go back there to buy another car? No, I will never again buy a KIA. Just today the alternator went out again for the second time and the AC is making a weird sound. My son was stranded today because again the car would not start. We will see tomorrow what they say again about the knock sound. I was unable to take it in on July 12th, I had to go out of town, but it is being towed in in the morning. The car has been a huge pain since the day, the day we bought it. On the way home from the dealer the car had a very bad wind noise coming from both front windows. I have spoke to a few other KIA Spectra owners and they have said this is an issue as well. The dealer has tried to fix it, but when there is a crosswind and you are traveling at 60 mph or more the noise comes back. Oh well enough ranting. I can not speak for other buyers, but my experience with this dealer after the purchase has not been a good experience; but to this day almost a year later they have as yet to fix the problem. You judge. I have had the car in numerous times for the knock and I have been told that I will just have to live with it or put premium gas in. Neither is sufficient. Hope this helps. nmcrazy
 

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Thanks for the response, nmcrazy. Kind of a bummer. I had looked at the Spetra5, drove it, didn't like it, but was thinking about another look. I would most likely be buying from that dealer, though, because they are closest. I may drive it again anyway just to make sure the first drive wasn't a fluke. (I tested an Elantra, didn't like it, then tried it again and loved it, so who knows?) Also, I parked near a guy with a silver Spectra5 at Home Depot on Hulen and he said the car has been great over the first 10,000 miles. The whole car-buying thing is a crap shoot, isn't it?

Unfortunately, none of the cars I'm looking at is bullet proof. I may still buy the Spectra5; I love the looks (similar to Mazda3 wagon, but for less money). Others I am considering include Elantra GT 5 door, Suzuki Reno and Aerio, and I'll probably look at the Focus even though I'm not crazy about it. I read somewhere you can get a car for $200 less than invoice through Costco; considering current incentives, etc., those cars, similarly equipped, are all the same price within about $500.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The 2005 Spectr5 will probably be great for you. It seems like from other places on the net and from talking to other 2004.5 Spectra owners, that this car seems to have some problems. It seems that the 2005 version is immune to the problems of the 04.5. Well good luck in your purchase. Aside from the mechanical problems of my car, I like the styling, ride and the size of the car. It seems quite roomy in the front seats, the back is a little tight though, but most small cars are. My car is still in the shop, will probably be there till Monday. The service advisor said it would be a while because they had a lot of cars come in this week. He said it was a heck of a week.

I gave him KiaMech's list of things for him to check for the spark knock and of course I got a run around. He again said the knock may not be fixable. I told him that I did not want the car back until the knock was repaired.

I will post again with the results of this last service visit.
 

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Any chance of trading the 2004.5 in and getting a 2005 model? They just got a sweet 2005 Spectra5 in blue just this week! I test drove it.

I still think the Spectra5 lags a bit off the line, even compared to the Hyundai Elantra to which it is supposed to be closely related (and supposedly the Spectra has more power than). The second time I tried the Elantra I liked it fine performance-wise, but I think the styling is dated. The styling on the Spectra5 rocks, but along with the sport styling comes the sport suspension, which is harsher than the sport suspension on the Elantra, I think because of the wheels (15 inch rims on the Elantra with I'm guessing a taller profile wheel versus 16s on the Kia).

Their ad this morning showed a Spectra sedan for $8995, which had incentives plus an additional $2500 in dealer cash off. I wonder if I could do that with a Spectra5? It would put a car equipped the way I want at about $13k +TTL. I'd be happy with that.
 

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Originally posted by Doohickie@Aug 5 2005, 07:17 AM
Any chance of trading the 2004.5 in and getting a 2005 model? They just got a sweet 2005 Spectra5 in blue just this week! I test drove it.

I still think the Spectra5 lags a bit off the line, even compared to the Hyundai Elantra to which it is supposed to be closely related (and supposedly the Spectra has more power than). The second time I tried the Elantra I liked it fine performance-wise, but I think the styling is dated. The styling on the Spectra5 rocks, but along with the sport styling comes the sport suspension, which is harsher than the sport suspension on the Elantra, I think because of the wheels (15 inch rims on the Elantra with I'm guessing a taller profile wheel versus 16s on the Kia).

Their ad this morning showed a Spectra sedan for $8995, which had incentives plus an additional $2500 in dealer cash off. I wonder if I could do that with a Spectra5? It would put a car equipped the way I want at about $13k +TTL. I'd be happy with that.
Keep dreamin! :lol:
The ad is almost ALWAYS the base model. The Spec5 is the top of the line Spectra (with standard power features, suspension tweaks, etc) and invoice pricing is @ $15k, with a manual, not the auto that you are looking at.

Pertaining to the lagging off the line, must be the auto, because I dont have a problem... yeah from 1k-~3kRPM is isnt in its power band, but 3k-6750RPM is pulls strong. You can get decent launches though...

Yes the spec5 has a 50 series tire profile as apposed to the 60-70 series on the Elantra. Incidentally, I thought the Elantra GT was pathetic in comparison. It was loose and sloppy in the suspension, shifter, and the doors shutting sounded like a tin can rather than solid in the Spec. The one thing that the Elantra has over the Spec was leather seats, but since they arent available, I can live with the cloth, at least they dont suck.

Good luck!
 

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I wonder if I could score some leather Elantra seats and drop them into a Spectra?

The "pathetic" you describe in the Elantra is smooth to me, while the harshness I don't like in the Spectra you would no doubt affectionately call "road feel". To be honest, most of my driving is on suburban streets and freeway. I would rather have the smoothness of the Elatnra to the road feel of the Spectra. (Maybe that Elantra sitting in the junk yard with the leather seats will have a nice set of 15 inch alloy rims, too! :p )

It *was* an AT I was testing, as opposed to the 5-speed on my current car. My wife requested this next car have an AT so she could drive it if necessary (current situation resulted in logistical problems when her car was in the shop).

It seemed the best cars "off the line" that I've driven were the Suzukis: The Aerio has 155 horses for what is a pretty small car, and the Reno, although it only has 126 hp, seems to have a lower torque band or lower gearing or something... it just pulled right off the line (which may be why it only gets 22/30 mpg).

The Focus was okay acceleration-wise, but I hate its interior. The Scion was not only gutless, but it had so little power that the a/c doesn't work too well.
 

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Let me amend that: I drove the Mazda3 yesterday, and BOY does that have some giddyup! I loved the car; now I have to decide if it is worth the extra $3-5k over the cost of one of these other cars.
 
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