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Saga of Horribly, Horrendous, Vacation Ruining KIA Service

I drove to my mother’s in Broward County Florida for Thanksgiving, planning to stay 10 days. This was my first drive to Florida in 25 years or more and I was looking forward to the trip.

11/20/15 I had an oil change at Valvoline, Manchester, NH
Note: The tech seemed to have problems with the oil filter but eventually got it on tight. I confirmed with the service writer as I know the filter cap can be hard to tighten.

CoralDrove to Coconut Creek, Florida 11/22 – Arriving on 11/23. Stayed at Jameson Inn, Wilson, NC
Trip was smooth and uneventful. My Thanksgiving visit with my 95 year old mother was planned to be from 11/23 – Dec 5. I was due home and then taking my wife to NYC for a planned and paid for visit with our children from 12/16 – 12/18. We had a non-refundable AirBnB reservation in NY. (The AirBnB place was awesome)

Friday Dec 4, 2015 FT Lauderdale, FL. – Oil light came on and when stopped to look, I noticed oil leaking under vehicle. Found the nearest Valvoline and they looked. Said filter was tight. Looked under car and found oil leaking from vicinity of the rear main seal. He showed me a photo of the area but I did not ask him for the pic.

I took the car to the nearest Kia dealer to my Florida stay. Coral Springs Kia
They had their tech verify that I needed a rear main seal. Said I could drive home with the slow leak but advised against it. I asked them to order the parts, including valve cover gasket. Was told by service advisor Adrien Hemans that the parts could not be ordered until the following Monday and would not arrive until Wed the 9th. I asked if they looked at other dealers for parts etc and he said they had. I decided for safety to extend my stay until the 12th.

I called Kia customer care and opened a case #xxxxx

Returned the car to Coral Springs on the 9th when Adrien informed me that the parts were in. He said it would be ready Thursday or Friday. Called Thursday many times and finally got through to Adrien who told me it was taking longer than usual and would not be ready until Saturday.
He also mentioned that the techs had never dealt with an AWD before.

I researched and found that the job is estimated at 4 to 6 hours.

Called Saturday after not hearing from Adrien. He said it would be done.

Adrien called to say the car was ready and I went there at 4PM. After waiting almost an hour, he told me they were just finishing and would drive it around shortly. 15 minutes later he came and said he had something to show me. We went into the service bays to the car with the hood up. The service manager and tech were both there. Tech showed me that a leak had developed in the nipple that connects the coolant system to the block. The leak appeared slow and this is when I truly got upset. They blamed rust and I blamed them for breaking it on putting it together.
This is day 3 since I dropped the car off for a 6 hour job.
They told me they had to once again order parts for the broken coolant line. Parts would once again take until the following Wednesday the 16th. I asked if I could drive home to NH with it leaking. The tech advised against it of course but said it was a slow leak and I should be ok carrying coolant in my car. I took the car with Adrien’s apology and drove to my mother’s condo, 8 miles away. As I pulled into the condo, the car overheated and began making banging noises.. I parked it in the nearest spot and left it overnight. Dealer was closed at this point and would not open until Monday. First thing Monday I called Adrien, order the parts and paid AAA $64 to tow the vehicle back to Coral Springs Kia. Adrien had the parts overnighted for Tuesday.

I picked it up Tuesday afternoon with more apologies from Adrien and a full clearance to drive it home.


Headed to New York City to meet the family. Left Coconut Creek at 6PM Tuesday Dec 15 for the 1490 mile trip home with a 2 night stop in Brooklyn, NY.

Stopped for gas in northern Florida. When I started the car, I noticed that my trip meter had reset itself since I set it on leaving. I looked again after a rest area stop and the meter did not reset.

Drove until 3 am at which point I decided to sleep a few hours in a SC rest area. Got up at 7am and hit the road with all seemingly ok. Drove until a rest area on I95 in Selma, NC.

Car would not start. All electronics worked fine. Myself and a couple of nice guys looked for loose ends in the engine compartment but found none. I called KIA customer care K3088245 and was told I needed to get it towed to the nearest KIA dealer myself. Luckily I have AAA and they had a tow out to me within 45 minutes or so.

Towed to Deacon Jones KIA in Goldsboro, NC. I called ahead and the nice service writer told me they’d open a bay and get me right in. I was not looking forward to staying in a hotel.

Deacon Jones KiaThe mechanics at DJ Kia were experienced and skilled. Once the car was lifted they showed me two things. The forward exhaust hangers were not connected and the left front strut was blowing green goop all over the wheel.

They ran all sorts of analyzers then determined that the battery was no good. It showed 12 volts but 0 Amps. I paid for a new battery.

Battery was installed and the mechanic asked his assistant to start the car. There was a loud screech and it started. He looked around and restarted a few times then told me the starter was going bad as well.

This mechanic told me that in 10 years of KIA service he had never seen a blown rear main seal. It is always leaking from elsewhere like the filter. He also said that he has replaced transmissions and done major engine work requiring dropping the engine or transmission and it never takes longer than a day.

He also said that in his opinion, all the problems are related to the original job and the tech putting something together wrong. Battery, alternator or something was miswired. The coolant leak and strut were easily damaged during the repair and he was sure they knew.

The printed ticket from Coral Springs states the leak was there when I first arrived but it was not mentioned until I came to pick up the car.

Deacon Jones got me back on the road in less than 2 hours. With the long wait at the rest area, towing and the time in Goldsboro, I decided that I could not make it to NY and decided to stay in a hotel north of Richmond. Finally got to NY Thursday at 1 PM.

My wife had to take a bus to Boston then NY for the Wed. family party. I brought her home with me on Friday with a stop in Vermont for my sons 30th birthday party.

Scheduled appointment with the new Quirk KIA NH for Wed. to have the strut replaced and starter looked at and replaced if needed. I am also asking them to look at all connections related to the main seal job and verify the care is safe to drive.

I finally got home on Friday December 18. 2 weeks after my planned return. I missed an office holiday party and networking event plus 3 other networking events I had planned to attend. My work suffered as I had to work out of my mother’s house rather than my office space in Manchester. Travel time severely limited my ability to monitor and support my client’s development efforts. etc. etc.

I feel that the car is permanently damaged due to unreported negligence by Coral Springs Kia. I wonder what they are hiding from me. How badly did the kid mechanic actually muck up the job? Did he drop it on the floor? Did he miss wire everything? Is the life of my car shortened?

Truly sad thing is that I love my Sorento. It has been the best car I’ve ever owned. Zero service needs until this fiasco.

I want to be sure people know. KIA, KIA Customer Care, my KIA dealer in NH and Deacon Jones Kia have always been responsive and professional in all my dealings. This post is not intended to hurt them or their reputations. It is intended to wake up KIA to the crap that is Coral Springs Kia Service Department and hopefully get a resolution to my worries.

#KIA #Service #Lousy #Sorento #Electrical

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Londonderry, NH