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2003 Kia Sorento
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608 Posts
Sounds like the actuator is sticking for some reason. Probably something stupid like one of the rods fell off and is getting hung up. You'd have to remove the door panel to gain access to it, but it's not hard to do.

Remove the tweeter or window sail
Remove the rubber at the bottom of the grab handle and the screw beneath it
Remove the door handle trim
Remove 4 plastic screws/clips, two towards the front and two towards the rear
Grab the bottom of the door panel and give it a good jerk
The bottom of the door panel should pop right off and the top slides up
Remove the connectors to the window/door lock switches and light

To operate the door locks, the passenger switch may need to be connected, even it you use the driver's door switch, but I can't remember for sure.

Good luck
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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608 Posts
It's not common, but **** happens. The rods are thin steel with a 90-degree hook on the ends (usually). It may have been able to move one way, but could have got hooked going in the other direction.

Actuators aren't normally fixable. There really isn't much in them that can go wrong, so when something does, it's not worth the time to fix them since there's a good chance it will break again. If you bring your car in once and pay $100 to fix it, you will be happier than if you bring it in twice and have to pay $50 the first time and $100 the second time.

Since your actuator was so new, there was probably just some rare problem with it. Actuators usually last a very long time, so I'm sure your other four are just fine.
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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608 Posts
First of all, dealers NEVER recommend anything that isn't "official" manufacturer merchandise. So, because Kia doesn't offer an add-on alarm system, they will tell you anything to keep you from putting one in.

Every dealer also says that they've had "all kinds of problems" with people having aftermarket alarms installed. This could be true, but 99% of the time it's because the installer made an error in the wiring, not because the alarm doesn't work with the vehicle.

The "factory" Kia alarm is an add-on alarm. In reality, it's even an aftermarket alarm. It is made by CODE alarm, and the only difference between buying a "Kia" alarm and buying one from Best Buy is an emblem on the remote and a simpler wiring harness.

I have installed 3 aftermarket remote starts on Sorento's, mine included. None of them have had any problems with their electrical systems and all have working rear lift gates. The one in my Sorento has been installed for about 2 years now.

Unfortunately, it's very possible that the person that installed your alarm didn't do it correctly. If the dealer is telling the truth about the problem, that is. You would normally tap into the door locking system after the ETACS, or at least I do anyway, but both methods are possible when done correctly.

I actually use Autopage in most of my installs. The amount of time that the door locks operate is adjustable so whoever installed it should be able to adjust it so that you don't burn up any more actuators.
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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608 Posts
Door locks can get complicated, but not in this vehicle. There's not much to study really, the alarm just sends a negative signal to one wire for lock, and the other wire for unlock.

There's no way for me to know which wires he tapped into and chances are, he doesn't remember off the top of his head. You could ask him where his diagram said they were and what color the wires are. Installers have programs or websites that tell them what wires to look for, though frequently they are wrong. He should be able to get this information for you. There are several different places to do the tap ins, and the wire colors in the vehicle change color at different points which doesn't help.

I know it pissing you off, but Kia isn't going to willingly repair damage that someone else caused. The only person liable for this damage is the installer, though he didn't mean to do it. What's kind of strange is that the Autopage alarms come set up for the locks to operate for the shortest time possible. It sounds like it was set up for the maximum. On some vehicles, like Mercedes, the door locks operate off of a vaccuum pump which require more "on" time than regular locks.

The doors lock and unlock right? They are just activated for too long. If the installer just adjusts the lock time to the minimum setting you should be alright, aside from who's paying for it.

The diagrams are copywrited so I can't really post them without the possibility of getting in trouble for it. And there's not really anything official I can send him because another dealer is already involved and I have never seen the vehicle.

If it comes down to it, I think I can tell you how to adjust the alarm, I'd just have to find my instructions for it. The installer should have his shot of making it right though. Plus, if it's noticed that it's been adjusted, you wouldn't want to void that warranty also!
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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608 Posts
OK, I'm looking at the INSTALLATION GUIDE for the RF-310 as I type this. The locks are adjustable, .9sec, 3.0sec, and double pulse. As long as it is set for .9sec, and the alarm does pulse for .9sec, then it's set correctly. The factory setting is .9sec.

I'm assuming that nothing has been done yet, except for replacing the lock actuators. So what you can try, is locking and unlocking the door locks with the Autopage alarm. You should be able to hear how long the actuators are activated. After that, use the factory alarm remotes and do the same thing. Which ever one pulses for too long would be the problem. When you use one remote, the other system will have nothing to do with the results. Example, if you lock/unlock with the factory remotes and the actuator operates for 3 seconds, the RF-310 would have nothing to do with it, and the problem would be a Kia problem.

One thing to keep in mind is that all dealers, from any car company, will do what they can to convince you that your non-authorized add-ons are the problem. I have a Mitsubishi that had a bad battery. The dealer popped the hood, saw I had and alarm and instantly said, "well there's the problem". My exact words were "are you f***ing kidding me! Do you know what I do for a living?" From that point on he kept his BS to himself.
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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608 Posts
I checked, and the factory setting is set for .5 sec through the ETACS, so no matter how long you hold the button down it will only activate for .5 sec. This tells me that if the alarm was in fact set for 3 seconds, and wired before the ETACS, the ETACS would only activate the lock actuators for .5 sec. The problem would probably be an ETACS problem. So if the alarm was wired before the ETACS like the dealer said, then it couldn't possibly be the problem.

If the alarm was set for 3 seconds, and wired after the ETACS, then the locks would operate for 3 seconds and the problem would be an alarm problem.

The guide you have is probably the owners manual, because the installation manual isn't normally given to the customer. You won't find anything about the door lock settings in the owners manual.
 
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