Edmunds Answers



  • MrShift@Edmunds 06/07/10 1:24 pm PST

    The only real hint I get from your description is that it only overheats at idle----this suggests that the electricl cooling fan isn't working.

  • zaken1 06/07/10 1:35 pm PST

    It sounds like you just added antifreeze to the plastic reservoir tank, but did not check the level in the radiator itself. When the engine overheats, the coolant level in the radiator will usually become low; which interrupts the siphon action between the radiator and the reservoir. After that; the antifreeze in the reservoir will no longer flow into the radiator when the level in the radiator drops. So the radiator coolant level can become very, very low; or even empty; while the level in the reservoir looks just fine. This is a dangerous situation; because it is the coolant in the radiator which keeps the engine from overheating. Because of this potential issue; whenever there is a loss of coolant or increase in engine temperature, it is essential to remove the radiator cap and check and refill the coolant at the radiator (after the engine has been allowed to cool down to a safe level), in addition to filling the reservoir.

    If the radiator level gets too low; the temperature gauge may not read hot; which can lead to the engine becoming so hot as to be seriously damaged, without it being apparent. It is likely that this is what made the car stop. You can get an idea of whether this is what happened; by removing the radiator cap and looking inside. If there is no coolant visible in the radiator, try sniffing the air in the radiator cap opening. If it smells burnt or like exhaust gas; that is a sure sign of engine damage. If it just smells like antifreeze; the engine may still be OK.

    If the engine has been damaged from overheating, it often results in warped or cracked cylinder heads, and blown head gaskets. This can be VERY expensive to repair (as much as thousands of dollars). Sometimes it is more economical to replace the engine with a used engine, instead of taking the damaged one all apart and trying to fix all the broken pieces.

    In any case, the car will have to be taken to a repair shop and inspected to find out why the motor stopped, and whether the motor has been damaged from overheating.

  • kparkw 06/11/10 1:44 pm PST

    Got the same problem.
    Dealer found that the head gasket was out.
    They explained that the coolant line was rotten - This is notorious problem on early Sedona - which caused the hot temperature on the engine, by which the head gasket is gone.
    District Manger rejected the Power Train Warranty to fix this engine because it was caused by broken coolant line.
    How many customers in the United States expect and/or can find the broken coolant line under the hood? My minivan was directly shipped to the dealer, paying $350 towing to 120 miles away Kia dealer.
    The car is still under warranty, but dealer refused to fix it under the warranty as the District Manger refused it. The cost of fix could have been bigger than the actual value of car now.
    I found in this forum that many customers already complaint about this common coolant leak or AC/Coolant hose rotten issues a lot, but KIA seems to have no interest either in recalling it or in discussing it with the customers.
    What would be my best try? Giving up the car and ask dealer to demolish it? Or find another victim to drive it before the engine loses all fucntions and cyllindas? How can KIA use such a cheap rotten lines to Sedona, claiming 5star safety? This car was my wife's commute car, and she could have died on the highway once we kept driving it as the local mechanic in my town said that he couldn't find any problem.
    I hate the company when it try to defend itself from its own mistake without concerning about the possible death of its customers to save the money.
    Please give me the link or information if you have the same issues?

  • MrShift@Edmunds 06/11/10 3:06 pm PST

    There is a Technical Service Bulletin on your particular issue, but keep in mind that this is not a recall---this is a dealer advisory:

    Model: Sedona[GQ]
    Group: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (71)
    Number: KT2008020401
    Date: Thursday, May 15, 2008
    Area: N. America
    Sedona (GQ) Corroded Heater Coolant Pipes (CLI - 013 - REVISED)

    On some Sedona (GQ) vehicles built from May 1, 2001 to August 30, 2005, the heater coolant pipes may corrode and leak without warning. During scheduled maintenance, oil changes and/or other vehicle service, inspect the heater coolant pipes for severe corrosion. Corrosion is more likely in areas of the country that commonly spread corrosive compounds such as sodium chloride (salt) or calcium chloride on pavement to control freezing or melt ice and snow. Note too that during warm weather (or in warm climates) that calcium chloride may be used on some unpaved road surfaces to control dust. If any pipe or pipes are found to be severely corroded, replace the affected pipes with new ones, which are improved in corrosion resistance.
    Effective Vehicle Information:
    All Sedona (GQ) built between May 1, 2001 and August 30, 2005

  • kparkw 06/11/10 5:46 pm PST

    Thanks for the information.
    I talked with the dealer again, asking the phone# of District Manager.
    The answer was no. They asked me to call Kia USA service #.
    The dealer told me that he may try to clamp all the rotten lines and see if the coolant is circulating that way in which I am losing the real heating but not the engine running.
    That is to say, my best hope is the pistons are still there, so that after remedy of this, the car wouldn't be overheated in driving mode. Can any one have the idea if this idea would work or not?
    If KIA knows this issues, how can KIA avoid recalling that parts? It does not make sense. The parts were now much better in corrosion resistance, and the customer should replace them at their costs? I am a foreigner, please let me know if it is right in American logic.
    My Korean Logic is, because KIA knew this problem even before this happens, but because not every customer, including me was never informed by them officially, it is factory default problem that they installed the poor, corrosible parts, which could damage entire engine part. Therefore, KIA must be responsible for all cars that they used this wearable parts in them.
    Where can I claim any consumer's report or legal suit against KIA for this issue?
    Toyota was recalling every car for the unproven issues, and KIA does not recall any cars even if they knew that this problem will blow the engines away while people are drving there cars? Non-Sense. This is death - Crime.


  • zaken1 06/11/10 7:10 pm PST

    The dealership has told you that the head gasket is out, because of the failure of a coolant line. This SHOULD be covered under warranty. If the dealership and the District Manager refused to cover the repair because it was caused by a failed coolant line, which in their view is not part of the power train (even though it directly caused the power train to fail); they are playing games with you.

    DON'T PAY THEM ANOTHER PENNY FOR ANY ADDITIONAL WORK; INSTEAD, HIRE A LAWYER WHO HAS AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION FOR SUCCESS IN AUTOMOTIVE "LEMON LAW" CASES. Look in the yellow pages of the AT&T telephone directory for your area (or whatever directory is published by the largest residential telephone company in your community. Do NOT use the privately published phone directories which are distributed by companies that are not telephone service providers. These imitation directories are incomplete.) There should be a section in the directory under "Attorneys Guide" which is headed; "Attorneys-Lemon Law." Find an attorney who advertises that they will get you a refund or repair at no cost to you. If they offer a free consultation; that would be even better. Bring your proof of purchase and original warranty with you, along with any paperwork you have been given by the dealer about this problem, and show them to the lawyer. Explain the situation as you have written it here. That should take care of your problem.

  • Stever@Edmunds 06/11/10 11:45 pm PST

    You can reply in this thread by clicking the Answer this Question button and that will help keep all the information in one spot. Thanks!

  • zaken1 06/12/10 12:14 am PST

    Sounds like either the thermostat is stuck shut, or the electric radiator fan is not working, or the head gasket is damaged. Here's a way to sort that out: Before beginning this test, when the van hasn't been run for at least 6 hours; remove the radiator cap, and fill the radiator to overflowing with a mixture of equal amounts of coolant and distilled water and replace the radiator cap. Then start the engine, let it idle for three minutes, and watch the temperature gauge. The gauge should not move much or at all in the first 3 minutes. After 3 minutes running, take off the radiator cap, and see whether there is pressure in the system (there normally should not be pressure built up in that short a time). If there is much pressure in the system; the head gasket is probably bad, and that is what is causing the overheating. This can happen easily if the engine is allowed to get too hot on even one occasion. In that case, you're in for an expensive repair.

    But if there is little or no pressure in the radiator after the first 3 minutes of running; reinstall the radiator cap and drive the van and see what happens with the temperature gauge. The needle should go up to somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of the way up the gauge, and then stay there. If the needle reaches 1/2 within the first 3 miles and keeps climbing; shut the motor off well before it reaches the hot zone. This would suggest the thermostat is stuck shut. Buy and install a new thermostat, gasket, and o-ring. Refill the cooling system to overflowing, and repeat the test. Be sure to purge any trapped air from the system (by opening the air bleed valve near the thermostat housing and adding more coolant until it flows out of the bleed valve in a steady stream without bubbles) before driving the car. Then test it again.

    If it stays at normal temperature for 5 minutes or more, and then gradually heats up beyond that point; the radiator may need flushing. The electric radiator fan should come on when the temperature reaches 2/3 or 3/4 of the gauge travel. You can open the hood to see if the fan runs, and it should also make noise when it runs. If the fan does not come on; try replacing the fan relay or thermal fan switch. You'll need to speak to a dealer to find out which of those parts are used on your car.

    The cooling system should also be pressure tested to see if there are any remaining leaks; and whether the water pump is leaking.


  • babydoo2001 06/12/10 12:46 am PST



  • babydoo2001 06/20/10 8:09 pm PST

    ok we have checked the thermostat it is fine but it is still over heating help and all fans are working !!!!!!!!!!!

  • zaken1 06/20/10 10:16 pm PST

    You reported that the thermostat tested OK and all the fans work; but I didn't hear anything about whether pressure built up rapidly or not in the radiator after a cold start. Please post 1> whether there was no pressure built up, or a little pressure, or lots of pressure; when you took the radiator cap off after the motor ran for the first 3 minutes following a cold start (as I advised you to do in my last post). 2> I also would like to know whether the radiator needed to have no coolant added, or a little coolant (a pint or less) added, or lots of coolant (like a quart or more) added when you first removed the radiator cap and checked the coolant level at that point. 3> Also, please tell me approximately the total amount of coolant you have added to the car since this problem began. It looks like we are now close to a diagnosis. Thank you for your ongoing feedback.

  • honza78 06/28/10 12:08 am PST

    Did the check engine light come on? If not I would start with starting the van with full load on it (a/c in recycle mode), let it run for 7 minutes while watching coolant temperature gauge - if the cooling fan kicks on within the first 7 minutes - I would look at the water pump which unfortunatelly sits internaly right in the bottom valley of the timming belt between cam shafts ( to do this repair you have to strip the right side of the motor almost bare) - if fan does not kick on check fuses, wirring to fan itself (connection to fans and its wires ) - and if all that is good - disconect the fans and run jump wires to it to test it - if the fans come on you should have it diagnosed by a shop - Please stay clear of the fan ( cloeths, jewelry, tools - anything could fall in making it a dangerous situation. Good luck

  • jkarov1 07/13/10 11:18 pm PST

    A word of caution on working near the radiator opening on any car: NEVER put your face

    near a warm or hot radiator neck!. A sudden surge, air bubble, could send hot coolant
    right in your face and eyes. An experienced mechanic might know when they could "sniff"
    the coolant" but at very least, wear some eye protection.

    If the engine is really hot, don't try to to remove the cap at all, you could end up scalding yourself. I've seen someone do it, and they burned their arm badly.

  • scanman1 08/04/10 12:21 pm PST

    Sounds like you might have had a cooling fan problem but now you probally blew the headgasket. This little cvars do not like to be overheated.


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