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2003 Kia Sorento AWD V6 (wife's) 2007 Lexus IS350 (MINE!)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

So my wife has had her 2003 Sorento EX for over 2 years now and the car has been great to us. But, the car is becoming undependable and we fear that if we were to drive it from MD to KS, the car would make it but it would be a rough drive. So I have a couple things I need to address before I sell it.

ISSUE:

1. I have an assumption that bearings in one of the wheels are going out but I don’t know which one (I also haven't checked which is the problem child yet). When I find which one it is, how difficult is it to replace the bearings on this car?

2. The check engine light is on and from what I was told by the fella' at Advanced when they scanned it, it was an O2 sensor that needs replacement and also a kitty converter is bad (one of many from what I understand). Would this explain the sluggish acceleration?

3. The exterior of the car has its fair share of dents and scratches for a '03 (see #5 for a cosmetic related question). But the interior is in incredible shape. That's the only reason why we bought the car in the first place. We were able to look past the scratches and couple dents because it is so clean inside. HOWEVER, only down fall is the fan control for the heating and air. It's either ALL or nothing. All the settings work as for as windshield/feet, windshield, feet, main vents but it always blows 100%. You can adjust the fan speed from the consol and it will show on the display what power setting its set to, but regardless it's still all or nothing. Any suggestions?

4. Regarding the heating and air, the A/C compressor is brand new and that sucker blows some cold air. However during the winter, the heater only works when the car is driving. I figured the coolant was low but actually it's topped off. I haven't check to see if the coolant is still good yet and I will do that soon, but if the coolant is fine, that leaves the heater core. How can I check to see if it is in fact the heater core or something else?

** Bare with me folks... Last one. ** <_<

5. Lastly, this is strictly cosmetic. The clear coat on the backseat/passenger side door is pealing real badly. It’s pretty ugly of course. There are other places on the car where it’s starting to peal like the side mirrors and the back spoiler above the rear hatch/door. Is there anything I can do to maybe make that a little less of an eye sore when I show the car? I'm not going to sink the money into it to have it repainted. I just want to make it not as shocking to look at.

Thanks for hanging in there with me folks. I didn't want to post multiple posts about multiple things. Figured I'd throw them all out there at once. Thanks.
 

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05 Kia Sorento LX 4x4
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279 Posts
1: bearings are now sold as a wheel hub. Not too difficult to do, but may require a bit of pounding to "break" the old hub free.

2: The o2 sensor can cause a lot of problems, as well as a bad converter. Both may manifest themselves as sluggish performance and increased fuel usage.

3: Blower motor resistor. Easy, and usually inexpensive fix. Full fan speed actually bypasses the resistor, so it's easy to diagnose this problem ;)

4: If you've got an air bubble in there somewhere, it could cause that. From a cold engine, remove the radiator cap, start the engine, and see if it purges any air. If it does, you may find you need to add more coolant after all.

5: With a bit of elbow grease, a polishing block (whet stone I think is what it's called) should make the paint under the clear coat shiny, as well as polish down the edges of the clear coat to blend it back to the paint. Maybe the next seller will be more interested in the insides of the truck than the outsides. I know I make more offroad use after the first few shopping cart dents are on the doors ;)
 

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2011 Sorento EX
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33 Posts
2. Can cause the SUV to be sluggish and you probably getting Crappy MPG as well since the readings for the Sensors are off

4. Sounds like an air bubble in the heater core. Most likely they didn't "burp" the system when it was serviced

5. If you don't wanna detail it yourself just take it to a good detail shop and they can help you out. Most good places can wet sand the car & put a nice new polish on it. It won't all come out but majority of it should
 

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2003 Kia Sorento AWD V6 (wife's) 2007 Lexus IS350 (MINE!)
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ratsttam, GREAT information! All of that seems real easy. Just took it up to Autozone and come to find out the code is P0431. Says it is defined as "catalyst efficiency below threshold- Bank 2." I assume bank 2 is the down stream converters. I spoke with Kia today and they said that the down stream converters are the same part number. Rockauto has got converters for pretty good deals. I'll have to look but doesn't the converter bolt?
 

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2003 Kia Sorento AWD V6 (wife's) 2007 Lexus IS350 (MINE!)
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry about that last post. I was thinking about it when I was driving home last night and thought to myself that I got the O2 sensor and converters mixed up (how I said down stream). My corrected question is which is the bank 2 converter? Is it the drivers side or passenger side cat?

I did some research on the parts I need. Rockauto is a steel on a lot of these! I had a couple questions about each part because they offer multiple parts for the same thing.

My first question is about that cat. RockAuto has a couple options ranging from $99.79 to $205.79. Because I am selling the car AND I dont need a Magnaflow cat, I would like to go with the $99.79 part. All of them say "Direct Fit" on them. I assume thats because they are all bolt on. But there are other cats that say stuff like, ULTRA Direct Fit, Front Manifold Unit and Direct Fit OBDII. What the hell does all that mean? Can I not just buy the $100 one and be done? WHICH ONE IS BANK 2?!?! Shoot these cars are confusing... lol.

Lastely I found 4 different types of blower resistors. I just want to verify which one I need before I purchase. They have a couple 3 prong and 4 prong relays. I'm going to ask a stupid question only because I want to be 100% sure I'm buying the right part but if my wife has a auto temp control HVAC, I have to purchase the 3 prong w/auto temp control. I'm sure her car has it (its always been blowing hard since we bought it) because it says AUTO. I dont WANT to buy that resistor because its about $40 more. But I want the car working like it should before I sell it.

How hard is it to replace that resistor? Is it pretty easy to get to?
 

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2007 Rio5, 2012 Sorento EX-V6
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112 Posts
Most of this diagnosis is done here thanks to ratsttam, however I have a minor modification to the diagnosis. Point 4 I suspect is the thermostat. Cheap part, and if it is stuck open, it will take a very long time for the car to heat up and you will notice the cars temp gauge will probably be below what it normally is. Not exactly what you described, but a likely culprit. The only other time I have seen a wierd situation like this (coolant only flowing when moving) was when the water pumps prop was almost entirely erroded away.
Also, as a side note when attempting repairs yourself, do yourself a favor and go to kiatechinfo.com. Register and you will have access to all online manuals, diagrams, etc which will help determine what blower resistor you have there. Helps a great deal to save from having to go to a shop.
Good luck!:)


1: bearings are now sold as a wheel hub. Not too difficult to do, but may require a bit of pounding to "break" the old hub free.

2: The o2 sensor can cause a lot of problems, as well as a bad converter. Both may manifest themselves as sluggish performance and increased fuel usage.

3: Blower motor resistor. Easy, and usually inexpensive fix. Full fan speed actually bypasses the resistor, so it's easy to diagnose this problem

4: If you've got an air bubble in there somewhere, it could cause that. From a cold engine, remove the radiator cap, start the engine, and see if it purges any air. If it does, you may find you need to add more coolant after all.

5: With a bit of elbow grease, a polishing block (whet stone I think is what it's called) should make the paint under the clear coat shiny, as well as polish down the edges of the clear coat to blend it back to the paint. Maybe the next seller will be more interested in the insides of the truck than the outsides. I know I make more offroad use after the first few shopping cart dents are on the doors
 

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2003 Kia Sorento AWD V6 (wife's) 2007 Lexus IS350 (MINE!)
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey thanks man! Great info. I hope its not the water pump. I dont want to have to deal with that thing. I thought about the thermostat too but I dont notice anything different with the engine temp gauge. Just for $hits and giggles, I'll check that out on thursday. I am registering for that website now! If only Lexus had such a thing for my car...:rolleyes:
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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267 Posts
Point 5. Clear coat failure.
From my knowledge of detailing you cant really do that much on once you have clear coat failure and it starts to peel.(unless you want the respray, but not worth it.)
what i have seen with cc(clear coat) failure is that once it starts peeling, it slowly progresses. so do something now, in a couple months, you will be able to spot the new peeled area, compared with the older polished no cc area.

spending money on any cc failure car (paint wise) is just a waste in my opinion.
But then again i have seen the prices of the detailers in the US and they dont charge much, so might be worth talking to them...

Also once you polish a non clear coat area, you are cutting into paint. The more often you polish the more paint you are taking off.

All above is opinion based, not experiences...
But the best advise regarding the paint i can give is jump onto this forum:
http://www.autopia.org/

There is a lot of OCD going on there.
Take some pics, and see if there are any people local to you that will take the job...
Some very experienced people there.
 

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2003 Kia Sorento AWD V6 (wife's) 2007 Lexus IS350 (MINE!)
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright, spoke with Kia about the blower motor resistor and the part I need is 9723526000. Kia is asking for about $120 and I found it on RockAuto.com for $38.79. A LOT better deal. I've tried searching the forums on how to replace this but have turned up nothing. It might be out there but I haven't found it. Where is the resistor located?

As for the cat converter, if it says, in the code above (P0431), bank 2, Is that the driver’s side or passenger side of the car and is it the pre-cat? There is a HUGE difference in price and I don’t want to spend money that is not only unnecessary but isn't even the right part. Can someone please help?! I need to buy these parts today so I can replace them on the car before my surgery next week. There’s no way I'll be able to get under neither the car to do anything...
 
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