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I think I will save the Zoom-Zoom! (and associated payment) for the next car, which puts me back to considering the Spec5, Elantra, Reno, etc.

nmcrazy: Are you aware that the West FW dealer is a member of the Fort Worth Better Business Bureau? To find them, all you have to do is click on "Company and Charity Reports" and enter their name (address and the rest is not required). Maybe this will help you resolve your issues.

Good luck.
 

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You sure are having a abnormal amount of problems.

My girlfriend has a 2004.5 Spectra that I drive frequently. Only problem it has had was a weird buzzing from the engine bay at certain RPM's that turned out to be something left in there from where it was built. Something to do with how the car is setup to be transported to a dealership..apparently the people that prep the newly sold cars didnt know about it at the time.

Besides that, not a darn thing has gone wrong. She uses nothing but 87octane. Name brand and cheap-arse Randalls/HEB/noname crapola. It has NEVER pinged.

Car has 10k miles on it if that matters/helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Okay, it has been a while since I updated my post. But I have been a little angry with this car and the dealer.

Since my last post the alternator has gone out three more times each time has been repaired only for it to go out again in 2 weeks. Dealer said possibly they had been putting on the wrong alternator, maybe the alternator for the 04 not the 04.5 SPECTRA. So this last time 3 days ago, they also changed the harness for the alternator. Said that there may be a short in the harness. So it was changed out this time as well. Why didn't they think of that before. Ugggh, I am so frustrated. My car spends more time in the shop or sitting in my garage because it won't start than on the road. So that makes 5 times for the alternator to go out and the car is 19 months old and has 22.000 miles on it. OH YEAH, and there explanation for the alternator to go out this much is the TEXAS HEAT. If that is the case, then why aren't KIA SPECTRA'S sitting allover the highway in the southern states. My other 2 cars are 8 and 10 years old and have 80,000 and 120,000 miles on them and the alternator has never gone out.


OKAY BACK TO THE PINGING. Car went in for pinging again. The dealer put something into the engine to clean carbon buildup, did nothing the car still pings and knocks as loud as ever. Dealer said I will have to live with the pinging or put High Octane gas in the car. I refuse to put high octane fuel in that car. The car was designed for low grade fuel. I didn't buy a dang sportscar I bought a cheap economy car. Putting expensive gas in the car defeats the purpose of buying a cheaper car.

If anyone out there is having any of these issues could you please post a message and let me know. Your message or ideas will be very appreciated.

Thanks
 

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My 05 spectra is getting worse as far a pinging is concerned. I am planing on haveing them read the codes and see if there is a possibility of a bad O2 sensor.

D
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Good luck, please let me know what they say. Because the dealer here says no one in the U.S. has complained about this or KIA would have sent out a memo to the dealers. I am wondering if I take it to an independent mechanic for evaluation if that will void my warranty.
 

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just bought an '06 spectra sx, so new to this forum. emu's been spoiled with hi test. reset the emu for pings. disconnect battery cable. let car sit about an hour, & reconnect. bet it solves the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Hi allore, Did you mean by disconnecting the battery cable for an hour that will reset the emu. If that is case than I will sure give it a try. I am wondering if the dealer has disconnected the battery cable when they replaced the alternator. Each time I have to reset the clock and radio presets after the alternator is replaced.
 

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NM:

Sorry to hear about your troubles with your Spectra. I've got a 2004.5 EX, and it has been absolutely great over it's first 14k miles.

Lack of wind noise was one of the selling points of this car for me. Car and Driver even mentioned it. Check your door openings and make sure that you have both a seal on the door AND one on the body. All of the Spectra's doors are doubled sealed, so you should not have any wind noise. I wonder if KIA was experiencing some door alignment issues with the early 2004.5 units. Mine was built in March 2004. When was yours built? Check the door jamb.

No engine pinging, strut/CV clunking, or brake problems or noise have occurred in my first 14k miles (knock on wood). My experience(s) with this car and dealer have been absolutely great so far.

Your alternator problem definitely sounds like an issue specific to your car. Texas heat is sure to be tough on an alternator, but there's no way you should have ate through the 4-5 you've experienced. Good luck on this one... electrical problems are always a b--ch for mechanics to figure out.

What kind of problems specific to the 2004.5 models have you heard about? You mention that you've discovered some based on conversations with other Spectra owners. The only one I've found is that the 2005 automatics are having some programming issues, with one person on this forum having the problem solved by having a new and improved tranny computer installed. Once again, my 2004.5's tranny hasn't acted up at all for me. Would you post a detailed list on here of the issues you've come across? That may help other Spectra owners.

Good luck in your "quest", and keep us posted on here!

-SM

http://spectraman.freeservers.com
 

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Stick with it, nmcrazy; make them fix it. Have you gone to the Better Business Bureau? (See my link earlier in the thread.) It's worth a try.

Your alternator problem definitely sounds like an issue specific to your car. Texas heat is sure to be tough on an alternator, but there's no way you should have ate through the 4-5 you've experienced. Good luck on this one... electrical problems are always a b--ch for mechanics to figure out.
On the other hand, I've been back in Texas for 8 years and the alternator on the 95 Ford Aspire (built by Kia) I just sold and the 95 Escort my kids drive are both original. Even in Death Valley, an alternator should last longer than a few months. There has to be something else wrong with the car's charging system (bad battery making the alternator diodes burn out maybe? a short?) Make them fix it.
 

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i wonder if dealer tried that trick for your knock? anyway, with regular gas in car, disconnect battery for a whiile, then reconnect & try it out. won't hurt, might help. i know that's the way to reset the computer in my '01 sentra.
 

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So I may buy this week or next. It's down to three cars (in order of preference):

1. Hyundai Elantra hatch. I think I can get one for less than $15k; maybe even less than $14k. But it will take some dealing because Hyundai has decreased their incentives. Also, 06 models are not out yet and 05s are in short supply. I may not even be able to find a model I want (hatchbacks are extremely rare).

2. Kia Spectra5. These are more plentiful, and also more expensive. Kia has also decreased their incentives. The model I want retails for about $17k. I spoke with a salesman tonight and I can probably get one for about $15k, maybe a little less. With my credit rating, it's not a shoo-in, but I may qualify for Kia's special 2.9% interest rate for 60 months. If this comes through and there are no Elantras to be had, this will probably be the car I buy. Also, the salesman has been the best out of all the dealers I've spoken to; he's called me a few times, but always on the intervals I've suggested; he keeps good notes.

3. Suzuki Reno. This car was a tremendous surprise when I first drove it; in my opinion it has the best ride quality and is the quietest of any car it its class. It is built in Korea by Daewoo, however, and they've only recently been bought out of bankruptcy by GM (with help from Suzuki and Shanghai Automotive Group). The advantage here is price, plain & simple. I can get a Reno for $13,500, maybe less. And that's on a 2006 model with more features than either the Hyundai or Kia. An inspection of the car shows why it costs less; I see sheetmetal suspension components that are heavy forgings or weldments on other cars. But still.... on an emotional level, I like this car better than either the Kia or Hyundai. It's a question of whether left brain or right brain wins I guess.

At this point, I'm actively pursuing only the Kia. Tomorrow I will probably call some Hyundai dealers to see if the can sell me an Elantra hatch with AT and no sunroof (a nice but unnecessary feature) to see if they are even a consideration. And I may try to test drive a 2006 Reno on Friday before I buy the Kia.

nmcrazy: I'm looking at the same dealer you bought from, and the Suzuki dealer across the freeway. The Hyundai I'll have to just go wherever they have a model that fits my needs, although I've had favorable contacts with the one by Northeast Mall.

We'll see. Maybe within a week I'll be posting pics of my new Spec5.
 

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Well, I did it. I called around and found a Hyundai Elantra GLS hatchback with AT. The only thing it doesn't have that I want is the CD player. I already bought an aftermarket unit to go in, but wouldn't ya know, I noticed when I got home that both the head unit and CD changer boxes (which I bought at two different stores) were opened and stuff was missing and/or damaged! Maybe that's a topic for another post.

Anyway, keep working on that clatter, nmcrazy. No matter what the dealer says, it is NOT normal, and going to a higher grade of gasoline is NOT the answer. If I were you, I'd look into the BBB and then lemon law stuff.
 

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I got an 05 spectra and i get pinging when i use 87oct also. Im going to replace the plugs and see if that helps at all. Btw i got 15k on it.
 

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Sigh...........I've heard most every "horror-story" out there over the years with almost every brand of car on the road. Spark knock is detonation,period, there is only one cause .................excessive "Effective"cylinder compression.
summertime heat makes it worse, A/C on makes it worse, heavy loads make it worse, hard acceleration....................
Most of these engines no longer use EGR, if you insist on using a low octane fuel, (R+M)/2 method here in the US., you will need to adjust the ignition timing to eliminate the pinging.
Either use 91 octane fuel, or retard the ignition timing a small amount. Those are the only 2 solutions for a new engine without EGR.
A cooler heat range spark plug will simply take longer to heat up but after the engine is hot the pinging will return.
Besides that the plug needs to shed heat to keep from overheating, so stay within the facotry spark plug spec's.

At the dealership use the Hi-Scan pro connected to the new vehicle and "RETARD" the initial base setting 2' at a time until the ping is eliminated. I have yet to have a car that required more than 6' to eliminate the pinging noise on a test drive.

disconnecting the battery cable changes NOTHING in the ECM/PCM timing settings on ANY OBD-II vehicle.................period, you can leave it unplugged for a year. The last retained values will still be in the RAM.
Fuel trim(Alpha) on your B14 Sentra may be reset to 100% but only for 2 drive cycles.........
Timing settings have to be changed manually with the factory scan tool, Hi-Scan pro.
I have done this a hundred times, it takes 15 minutes and your 12/12 factory warranty usually covers it!
12months 12Kmiles......................... "all adjustments" covered.
GO TO THE DEALER AND RETARD THE IGNITION TIMING BASE SETTING.......DONE. :57:
 

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I was reminded by a fellow tech to also mention that the ignition timing is NOT adjustable on some models, in those cases you should check the "Knock-sensor" circuit operation. Most folks dont know that the KNock sensor DTC P0325 will NOT turn on the vehicle's MIL light. OBD-II strategy only stores the P0325 DTC.
If the knock sensor circuit voltage is fixed also, it may not operate properly or at all and NEVER store a P0325 DTC. If the sensor voltage never exceeds the the logic threshold of 0.08V................a DTC will not be set yet the system will not retard the ignition timing when a knock is detected.
CHECK FOR A P0325 DTC.........Check sensor voltage with Hi-scan pro and verify it is at 0.00V key on/engine off. then verify it changes on a test drive. It should NOT stay at a fixed voltage while accelerating.
Wanted to mention it before I forgot.
Hope info helps, dont get discouraged with your car.......it can be fixed :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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We have had the same problems with our Kia and the Kia dealer told us they have had many spectras having the same problems. They said it is a problem with the computer and the company has not yet been able to come up with a solution to fix it. They figured it would be another couple of months. We have had problems since 1500 miles and have it constantly in the shop. At first they didn't hear anything. My daughter finally drove with them and they finally heard the noise and have been very diligent since then to help, but at this point they have admitted there isn't much they can do except when we come in they have to reset the computer but it will only last for a couple hundred miles and it will happen again. They said the part is suppose to automatically adjust to the drivers way of driving and it is not doing that. They thought at first it was spark plug problems too but discovered it is actually is this part for the transmission. I just received this information Thursday evening and plan to check some options, but I don't plan on "living" with it.
 

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Originally posted by pjensen@Jan 8 2006, 07:28 AM
We have had the same problems with our Kia and the Kia dealer told us they have had many spectras having the same problems.  They said it is a problem with the computer and the company has not yet been able to come up with a solution to fix it.  They figured it would be another couple of months.  We have had problems since 1500 miles and have it constantly in the shop.  At first they didn't hear anything.  My daughter finally drove with them and they finally heard the noise and have been very diligent since then to help, but at this point they have admitted there isn't much they can do except when we come in they have to reset the computer but it will only last for a couple hundred miles and it will happen again.  They said the part is suppose to automatically adjust to the drivers way of driving and it is not doing that.  They thought at first it was spark plug problems too but discovered it is actually is this part for the transmission.  I just received this information Thursday evening and plan to check some options, but I don't plan on "living" with it.


when the PCM is "reset" as you call it. the dealer is simply resetting the "adaptive-values" for the PCM, thats why its only efective for a little while.
I also had a post for addressing other issues associated with spark knock and the most likely causes to look for.
If the PCM " Adaptive values" are reset to 100% or "Zero" fuel adaptation for fuel trim.........the pinging is eliminated?
Sounds like your "Fuel trim" in the PCM is too lean...................

The PCM will "Adapt" or learn the engines fuel trim requirements under driving loads, and sensor information, it is constantly changing. I would suggest you ask the Tech to inspect the fuel trim "Alpha" or adaptive value learned by the PCM, before it is reset.
Find out what the fuel trim number in the PCM really is, before it's cleared to 100%(reset).
this is critical data for diagnosis.
If the fuel trim number is substantially higher than 100%..........find out why.
Anything above 109% is a problem and needs to be addressed.

NO PCM reprogramming is going to compensate for a vacuum leak, low fuel pressure or a faulty front O2 sensor circuit.
I am constantly in touch with "Tech-Line" staff and I can assure you I have heard of NO PCM reprogram in the works yet. sorry.
They may have mentioned the transmission if yours is an A/T model as mine is, the control units are combined in one unit a PCM. rather than an ECM & a TCM.
I am driving a spectra and have not experienced any pinging...................sounds like yours may be running too lean on the fuel trim, find out why. You shouldnt have to live with it.
Hope this helps.
 

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Sorry, I don't know anything about what they have tried or not tried. I am confident they are certified Kia service mechanics they should know about what you are talking about. I know on the last maintenance sheet it said the tech reset values and adaptive learning on transmission. When I picked the car up they stated they knew it would not fix the problem because there was a certain series of Spectras that had faulty computers in them and they had been in touch with Korea and when they came up with the answer they would download the software, until then all they could do is reset it. They said they have had 9 other Spectras in this area with this same trouble and they were all waiting for the same thing. I just think maybe some of these other people's problems may possibly be the same thing and their service dealers are not so forthcoming on what the real issue is. My daughter's car is once again back in the shop and we are probably going to have to get a lawyer and try to retain a different vehicle for her through the lemon law. Way more hassle than I can handle. We purchased her a new car in hopes she would not have troubles and this has been a very disappointing experience. I guess I should state that the problem starts out as a ping but eventually sounds like we are going to be picking the transmission up off the highway. Thank you for the information I will print your advice and give it to the service manager but I am pretty confident they have tried everything. They have gotten lots of people involved in this.
 

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Hard to believe they have not come out with a software fix for the transmission yet.... they finally replaced the computer in my car and it is much better. Still not perfect as I find you can easily confuse the system and have the tranny hunting for 3rd gear.

As far as the ping, they've not looked at mine yet. I've been running 89 octane in the mean time.

I just had the airbag recall done...... what a screw up that is. They air bag light was always on and off, on and off....... now it just stays on most of the time.

d
 
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