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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all.

The locking mechanism on my passenger's side just started making a funny noise. Parked the car, went off to do some errands, went back to it to load some things in the back, and it was still working fine.

Then when I got back to leave the parking lot, as I clicked on the alarm remote to disarm the alarm and unlock the car, I heard a loud buzzing noise. A quick check and a few more clicks revealed the source of the noise to be the passenger's side lock.

When it locks, no problem. When it unlocks, it makes a buzzing sound like a rotor not engaging fully (slipping and grating against something) or like a rotor being rotated too far in one direction. This buzzing doesn't happen when I manually unlock the door by flipping the lock, so it must be the rotor.

My first thought was that someone had tried to jimmy the lock, but my alarm chirping sequence did not indicate that the alarm had been tripped. Also, I checked the keyhole on the passenger's side and it didn't seem scratched or forced.

Will probably take it to the dealer first thing in the morning, but I'm concerned about why the lock is acting up this early on (barely 2500 km on the car). Have any of you experienced this? Or any thoughts on what might have caused this? Is there any way I might be able to fix this myself, if it happens again? Isn't exactly easy to always squeeze in a trip to the dealer, got work to do and all.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. KiaMech... I've seen you post a lot of helpful stuff, and you seem to know the ins and outs... help, please? Thanks a bunch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shops says actuator can't be fixed, needs to be replaced

Thanks, KiaMech; much appreciated.

Took it to the shop yesterday and they said that there was something wrong with the actuator, but their solution was not to fix it, just to replace it. They didn't have the part on hand, so I'm bringing it back tomorrow.

Also asked them to replace all four actuators, since they said that this one just failed, unexpectedly, so I told them I don't want another one to just fail at random and then I'll have to go through the hassle of taking it in again.

I didn't get to take a look at the innards, but I really didn't believe them when they said the actuator couldn't be fixed, so they were just going to replace it. Maybe it was, as you said, just one of the rods falling off. Maybe I'll understand that more when I see it, but if it isn't too much trouble, can you explain that to me -- how does a rod fall off? Is this a common problem?

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sound Advice

Oh okay, I was under the impression that if the rod fell out, it was just not put in properly or something, so that's why I figured they could fix it. Or at least have fixed it yesterday while I'm waiting for the brand new one to come in.

Talked to the shop and they won't replace the others, although when I pressed them, it turns out they didn't really check them either -- their "check" was just a simple lock-unlock-lock-sounds-fine-to-me. But yesterday they told me they'd visually inspected all actuators. BSing like that really doesn't inspire confidence; thanks for setting my mind at ease about the other actuators.

Much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Spoke Too Soon

Well, guess what. Driver's side actuator failed too, started making the loud buzzing noise the passenger's side was making, before they replaced it.

I told them to check the other actuators when they were putting the new one in, and they said they did, which turns out meant that they had locked and unlocked and listened to the others locks and they "sounded okay".

Heck, I myself could hear that the driver's side lock was making a louder clack then normal, something vaguely metallic, not the solid plasticky thud (if there's such a thing) it normally makes. I said so, but of course I was also worried I was being paranoid.

Guess I wasn't. It failed again today, I gave them the what-for, for wasting my time by not listening to me in the first place. Also, the first time they "serviced" my door and disconnected the actuator just so it wouldn't make noise, they scratched up the plastic, and at the moment they don't have a replacement for the grip and fabric panel that they messed up! Annoying!

So now I'm going to try to get them to replace ALL actuators. And I've written Kia HQ via their website, to tell them about this, and ask them what they plan to do about it, if another piece fails at random. I don't think we have a lemon law here in the Philippines, unfortunately, it's more like "buyer beware".

Wish me luck; will keep you guys posted on what happens. If anyone knows of anything else I might be able to try, I'm open to ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Problem With Electronics?

Now the plant wants me to bring it in, so they can run diagnostics on it. They're saying it might be a problem with one of the controllers, and not the actuator itself. I don't know much about car electronics, but that buzzing sounds like a mechanical problem to me.

Any ideas? Any chance it might be a problem with the electronics?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
KiaMech, I sure hope you can weigh in on this one, man...

Or anybody else out there who can help...

Before that, thanks a heap for all the help so far. And thank God for this forum, and its members -- at least I can get objective second opinions or at least feedback on similar experiences.

So here's the latest: took the unit to the plant, and they said that what caused the failures was that the alarm I had installed. The detailed explanations I got, however, were conflicting.

First of all, my unit is a Sorento CRDi LX, manual transmission. In the Philippines, that trim level means that you don't get power side mirrors, and you don't get keyless entry, but you do get central locking. I bought the LX because I like to drive stick, but of course I wanted an alarm, so I asked Kia here. No alarms available, but they said they were sure I could get an aftermarket alarm. Fine, I thought, since that's what I've done with all my cars so far anyway.

The alarm system I bought was an AutoPage RF310, a pretty popular brand and model here. Recommended by the guy who sold it to me, and a bunch of my friends use it, with no issues.

Back to the story...

The first explanation I got from the service manager of the shop (not the plant) was that the alarm had been incorrectly connected to the ETACS (?) which already has its own timer for the central locking system, set at 1.5 seconds (turn the actuators for 1.5 seconds, that was my understanding). But the alarm, he said, ends up making the actuators crank for 3 seconds, hence the burnout.

This sounded like what you said before, KiaMech, so it sounded believable to me. The way I understood it then was that the alarm itself just had to be adjusted or whatever so that it doesn't have the actuators stay on for too long.

The next explanation I got though, from the guy who runs the service shop (the first guy's boss) was that Kia themselves (the plant said so) do not authorize the installation of aftermarket alarm systems on the Sorento at all, at least not through the central locking system.

He said they were still studying how to wire an alarm to the Sorento -- presumably not through the central locking system -- so that you still get remote central lock/unlock as well as the alarm. I said I'd never heard of this; all my other cars, you just run the alarm to the central locking system and you're good to go.

So the unfortunate conclusions of this second explanation, assuming it's correct, are [1] I can't put an alarm in my Sorento because it's not "Kia authorized", and [2] Kia won't let me claim it under warranty.

(I think that's total BS, by the way, because their dealers themselves had never heard of this "don't install alarms in the Sorento" thing, and so how was I to know I shouldn't? And they themselves don't sell their own "Kia authorized" alarms, if there's such a thing, so am I just supposed to go without an alarm?)

Anyway, what I want to ask is, which of the two explanations is it?

And also, has anybody else out there wired an aftermarket alarm through the central locking system without any issues?

Would really love to hear from people who have. I have a sinking feeling that this could just all be finger-pointing so I can't claim against warranty. In the meantime, I don't have my car, I'm at my rope's end dealing with all this back-and-forthing, and I have a splitting headache from all this inconvenience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, KiaMech, hciaffa. (hciaffa -- glad you joined in, saw your post on the Edmunds forum and meant to contact you.)

I was inclined to believe the Kia service people anyway, but what bugs me is that they themselves said they still don't really know how to wire the alarm properly -- they're "still sudying it". From your post, it seems like it's not that complicated.

Of course, when I took it back to the guy who put the alarm in, he refused to believe he'd made a mistake, I guess not wanting to have to pay for the damage. I could also see his point of view, though, because the Kia guy was telling him two things, first that the timing on the AutoPage was wrong, but also second, that there was no correct way to install it just yet.

What really gets me though is that Kia won't let me claim this against warranty, because it's an aftermarket install. And yes, I know it says so in the warranty card that any damage caused by aftermarket accessories are not covered, but the thing is that they don't offer their own alarm just yet, and the dealers in fact told me to go get an aftermarket alarm (it's practically a necessity here), but they didn't give any warnings as to possible incompatibilities.

End of the day, Kia and the alarm guy are both arguing they're right, neither wanted to move a muscle until I said I'd cough up the payment IN THE MEANTIME (I'm still hoping to argue this case, since I really didn't have any choice but to install an aftermarket alarm), and I had to shuttle back and forth, lose a couple of days worth of work, and I still have my headache.

Kia loses major points for this.

PS. Would you happen to be able to post a proper wiring diagram or alarm settings or whatever, so I can take it to the guys who installed the alarm? So is it, tap into the door-locking system after ETACS and adjust the timers, or doing either will fix the problem? Does it matter that the alarm guys wired the trunk button (on the AutoPage RF310) to pop the rear hatch?

You're a certified Kia mechanic, right? Any way you can send an official-type document over? The alarm guy refuses to believe he's wrong, and I don't see any other way to convince him. The Kia service center here wasn't much help in convincing him he was wrong, because they were unable to show him what's right.

Thanks again, a whole lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, any instructions you can send on how to properly install the alarm would be great.

I'm thinking of taking it back to the alarm guy to have the timing adjusted, although I am apprehensive that it might cause the same problems in the future -- the Kia plant guys said it wasn't just about how long the locks were on for, but that the power inputs or something or other were overloading the circuitry and messing with timing so that one door was activated for longer than the other, and in that scenario, they said, it was just a matter of "one breaking before the other".

Somehow the latter part of their explanation didn't inspire a lot of confidence in me. Like they're not really sure what's going on.

Thanks again, guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi, again.

Talked to the alarm shop guy and he said that the particular AutoPage model I got (RF-310) has no adjustable timer, and that it's only set for a 1-second pulse. Anybody know if this is true? I wrote AutoPage and they haven't replied.

So here are a couple of theories, wondering how likely they are or if they make sense:

- the combination of the AutoPage 1-second pulse and the ETACS set pulse makes for a longer pulse, and so the locks crank for longer than they should

- the alarm had nothing at all to do with it: the central-locking system itself was already faulty and was what was cranking the locks for 3 seconds, i.e., even if I'd never installed the alarm, it would've burned out anyway by now

Any input would be great. I'm still trying to get to the bottom of all this.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good Answer! :clap:

Hahaha, I wish I were more car-savvy, that would be a nice little retort to throw in the faces of some of the guys I've had to deal with.

Anyway, thanks for the tip, I'll see what I can do to test it. Will definitely talk to the alarm guys about the AutoPage timer (I assume it's the same installation manual I have, in which case I'll have to take a closer look at it, as I didn't notice the bit about the timer adjustment).

In the meantime, the guys at Kia disconnected it completely; they didn't want to work on my car until I had the alarm fixed, and until I sort out the problem, I opted for just removing the AutoPage.

My car didn't come with factory remote for keyless entry though; it's not available on the CRDi LX trim, and they don't provide it as an option (that's why I went for the aftermarket alarm). If I just use the central-locking switch on the driver's side panel, can I still listen for the actuators and see how long they're on for? Will that work similar to the test you described below?

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
They actually left both the owner's manual and the installation manual with me.

This latest post of yours looks like it might be the ticket. I can have them check the current ETACS setting and see if it's really at 0.5 sec. Can also check the alarm timer and see what the setting is. Then I find out where it was wired to (I have a feeling the Kia guys and the alarm guys will have different answers to this), and that should help me isolate the problem.

Thanks, chief. Really appreciate it.
 
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