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2016 Sorento SX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello -- on our 2016 Sorrento SX, I recently had the CEL (check engine light) come on, so I got out my ODB2 reader and scanned the codes.

I replaced the O2 sensor which was indicated as bad, cleared the codes, but it threw the same code immediately.

About the same time, the hatch actuator failed, so I took it to my local KIA dealer service department.

They, too replaced the sensor with the same results. Upon further inspection, they discovered rodent damage to the wiring harness, and they sent me a photo of literally 2 damaged and one interrupted wire.

Of course, it's damage, not a MFG defect, so not covered under warranty, which I understand. I haven't gotten the quote for repair yet, but expect it to be $$$$$ as he suggested we try to get our auto insurance to pay for it.

I mentioned that I could easily repair that damage, and the service tech claimed that a DIY repair on the wiring harness would void the vehicle warranty as being "modified."

Is this true?
 

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2016 Sorento EX V6
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781 Posts
My opinion is it depends. It could potentially void parts of it and certain repairs under warranty could be an uphill battle if, they want to be jerks about it. But they can't void the entire vehicle warranty. It would have to be somehow possibly linked to the wiring issue.

I don't see how the could say if your rear diff broke or your car rusted out for example it wouldn't be covered but it could be dicey for anything related to electrical issues (say your engine blows and they may claim it was something weird wih the ECU). Maybe talk with corporate KIA?

Hopefully it work out with insurance but how high would your deductible be?
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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When squirrels ate my charcoal canister, auto insurance paid the $1246 the Toyota dealer charged to replace it, no questions asked and no increase in rates. I wouldn't attempt a wiring harness repair on today's vehicles - they are so sensitive to voltage and resistance (just look at the range in which the delta between the forward and rear oxygen sensors operates in <1V and then in almost unlimited increments of that 1V). I don't know about warranty, but know that you open up the possibility of corrosion over time at the repair points, almost guaranteed a change in the resistance value through each wire repaired and potentially a small change in the voltage and/or amps delivered. If your insurance will pay to do it the right way, then that's the route to follow.
 

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2016 Sorento SX
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand EFI and wiring -- I've built and programmed an EFI system for a motorcycle from the ground up using a stand-alone system, so I trust my ability to both grasp the importance of correct resistance and correctly install and weatherproof the repairs to the wiring. But that's not really the issue, and I doubt that KIA will make exceptions to policy based on my experience.

I just want to know what the actual policy is. Does KIA prohibit wire-level repairs, or is my dealership trying to increase their bottom line during these lean times?

Another good question is if California has an automotive right-to-repair law that applies to DIY. The ones I've found reference making schematics and factory tools available.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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If you use the same gauge wire with similar insulating properties, solder the splices and insulate the repair to keep water out then I can't see how they could void your warranty... They would do the same repairs as you would ...Now if your repairs cause the dealer time and parts in the future then sure they could dishonor the warranty in JUST that area... You probably paid a diagnostic fee so they shouldn't act like asses ...They sould not turn in a warranty claim as they did nothing in warranty... Repair the wiring and re-tape it like OEM ...The next dealer will never know it was damaged and would probably care less... You need to find another dealer...
Dave
 

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the service tech claimed that a DIY repair on the wiring harness would void the vehicle warranty as being "modified."
Having been an auto electrician with Hyundai/Mitsubishi/Mazda & VW dealerships I can tell you that what @DavesSpectra says is 100% correct.
Your not modifying anything. Your carrying out a repair, just like (probably better than) the dealership mechanics would do.

And you shouldn't pay too much (any) attention to what a service tech says about voiding the warranty anyway. He's talking about something that's way above his pay grade.
 

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2016 Sorento SX
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Outstanding responses, thanks to all who participated.

I wrote my original question over a holiday weekend, and on Monday, I called KIA customer support. They verified that a DIY repair would not void the vehicle warranty, as had been implied by the service writer at the dealership. It would however, void the warranty for that particular part, and any damage caused as a result of the repair.

Also, the quote for the repair -- hold on to your hats... was $1065 for labor, and $2722 for parts... plus tax... for a total of $4087!
 

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Hello -- on our 2016 Sorrento SX, I recently had the CEL (check engine light) come on, so I got out my ODB2 reader and scanned the codes.

I replaced the O2 sensor which was indicated as bad, cleared the codes, but it threw the same code immediately.

About the same time, the hatch actuator failed, so I took it to my local KIA dealer service department.

They, too replaced the sensor with the same results. Upon further inspection, they discovered rodent damage to the wiring harness, and they sent me a photo of literally 2 damaged and one interrupted wire.

Of course, it's damage, not a MFG defect, so not covered under warranty, which I understand. I haven't gotten the quote for repair yet, but expect it to be $$$$$ as he suggested we try to get our auto insurance to pay for it.

I mentioned that I could easily repair that damage, and the service tech claimed that a DIY repair on the wiring harness would void the vehicle warranty as being "modified."

Is this true?
Like a couple others have stated, Check with your Auto or even Home Owners insurance, I had both my wife's Honda Accord and my GMC Pickup trucks wiring completely destroyed by rodents in a matter of days, The Bill I got from the GM Dealer was well over $7000 to replace my trucks wiring harness and all the wiring leading to both sides of my front lights, I called State Farm and the repairs for both vehicles was covered under our Auto Insurance.
Just so you know, I was told by the mechanic at the Honda Dealer that they have been swamped with work replacing and repairing chewed wires, he then told me one of the main reasons Rodents and Squirrels love the wiring on newer vehicles, is because some wire manufactures are now using a wire whose coating (Insulation) is made from the By Product of "Soybeans", apparently the Rodents and Squirrels find the outer Wiring insulation irresistible, and will destroy any wire that is made using it.
 
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