Common problems with kia sedona

Common problems with kia sedona DEFAULT

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The Kia Sedona is one of the most popular models on the market today. With its spacious interior and electronic enhancements, it is highly sought after. Underneath all the glamour and glitz, is there an issue?

Kia Sedona: What Are the Common Problems?Here are the most common issues with the Kia Sedona:

  • Brakes 
  • Ignition and Starting
  • Throttle Position Sensor
  • Doors
  • Turn Signals
  • Transmission
  • Cooling system
  • Overheating

While the problems are mostly attributed to the earlier models, buyers should still be aware. The Sedona has been the subject of multiple recalls.  To find out what recalls apply to a specific vehicle, you can look it up online. Go to your local mechanic or take the VIN to a dealership. 

You may be asking yourself how there can be this many issues, and the vehicle is still so popular? Read through the article and see what we were able to find out about the Kia Sedona.

Common Issues With The Kia Sedona

Several areas have been problems for the Sedona. We have broken them down for you and provided details on each one. This is not a complete list, just the most common issues.

So let’s dive into the list and show you what you should be aware of if you are going to purchase a Kia Sedona.


The brake system on the Sedona has been a thorn in the side of engineers and customers for years. Early models used a front disc and rear drum system. A design flaw in the brake calipers contributed to uneven pad wear and noise while braking. The system has been redesigned, and as of 2009, the Sedan has been available with four-wheel disc brakes. The problem seems to have gone away after the redesign.

Ignition and starting


There have been many issues with the steering column of the Sedona. Some of these include not being able to insert the key, not being able to turn the key when it has been inserted into the ignition, and not being able to remove the key when the vehicle has been turned off.

Electrical problems in the steering column have been known to make it impossible to start the car no matter what position the ignition is located. Luckily these problems are usually easily fixed.

Throttle Position Sensor

Another well-known problem with the Sedona is the TPS or Throttle Position Sensor. This sensor controls fuel and air to the engine. The Sedona has been known to stall while driving or become jerky while driving.

This is a well known and easily fixed issue with the Sedona if you are experiencing any of these symptoms check and see if your Sedona is covered under any of the recalls.

If you are familiar with the inner workings of vehicles you may be able to locate the sensor. If you are able to do this you can tap it gently or clean it with a solution. They are known to physically stick.


Silver 2020 Kia Sedona

The automatic sliding doors have been an ongoing issue for the Sedona. Sometimes they don’t respond to the “close door button.” Other times, they close and immediately reopen. These issues are not limited to problems with the door buttons; they can also happen when the door is manually shut.

Turn Signals

The Sedona has had several issues with the turn signals. The switch in the selector lever has been known to fail or only work sometimes. There are reports of drivers that have not been able to get their turn signals to function at all.

Despite these noted issues, the Kia Sedona continues to be a bestseller. They are known for their performance and reliability. While we may sound as though we’re focusing on the negative things, there are some great things. Kia has been great at working with customers and honoring their recalls.


5 Speed Transmission Gear

The Kia Sedona has been known to have some transmission issues. These range from not being able to shift through the gears at all to the vehicle suddenly dropping into 3rd gear at highway speeds. There is an output sensor that sits at the top of the transmission on the Kia Sedona that tends to go bad. If this is starting to fail, you may be able to get away with turning the vehicle off and letting it sit for a while. It is not recommended that you drive the car for any length of time until this is fixed. Luckily this is a cheap fix and costs approximately $50 to purchase the sensor. If you are handy with tools, it’s relatively easy to replace on your own, but a shop can do it for a minimal charge.

Cooling System

The cooling system on several Kia Sedona Generations has been known to have problems. A new design in the radiator has fixed the issues; however, that is only going to affect  Vehicles after 2015. There were issues with several of the hoses as well as the radiators themselves. If you suspect that there is an issue with your radiator that might be covered under warranty, then we suggest taking it to your local kid dealership and having them inspect the radiator and the cooling system.


Inside look of a Kia Sedona Engine

This defect ties into the issues with the cooling system. The channels in the motor that carry the coolant through the system I’ve had problems. They are often clogged or melted by intense heat.  The engine heads also tend to overheat because of their Construction. This applies mostly to earlier models. Kia has done a great job on the redesign. if you have issues with overheating regularly, you should have your auto mechanic or the dealership check on the recall status of your engine

Kia Sedona Not Starting

Is your Kia Sedona is not starting the first thing that you should check is your battery. Make sure that it is reading at a minimum of 12.4 volts. Also, check your battery terminals for corrosion. If everything appears to be in order, the next step would be to locate the throttle body and spray a chemical into it to help it start. An easy way to find this is to locate a tube running from the air filter to the engine. Before you start the vehicle, make sure that you reconnect the tubing.

Kia Sedona Not Displaying Time

In some models, this is directly related to the satellite uplink that is built into the electronic system of the car. There have been noted issues with software updates and other types of media are inserted into the entertainment system. The best solution to this issue is to disconnect the battery and leave it as such for 15 minutes. Make sure that there is not a Micro SD card inserted into the deck. Reconnect battery cable, and your display should return to standard functionality.

Kia Sedona Transmission Not Shifting

If your transmission is not shifting, there are few things that you can do. If you are driving safely, pull over to the side of the road out of traffic, pull your hood release, and lift the hood of the van. Locate the transmission dipstick and check your transmission fluid. If you find that you need transmission fluid, you will need to add some. If there is not an issue with your transmission fluid, then you should shut the van off,  wait approximately 15 minutes for the electrical system to clear out, then attempt to start the van again and shift through the gears. If none of these things work, you may need to call a tow truck to take your vehicle to a service station or your home.

Disconnecting Your Battery

Kia Sedona Engine

This is a relatively simple process. You will need some essential tools to get the job done. You will need a wrench that fits your battery, a pair of gloves, some safety glasses, and a clean, dry rag.

  1. Open your hood
  2. Locate the battery
  3. Find the black cable connected to the battery
  4. Use the appropriate wrench to loosen the bolt
  5. Remove the cable being careful not to touch anything with it
  6. Wrap the end of the wire in a clean, dry rag and set it aside

Reconnecting is simple, replace the negative battery cable.

Despite its issues, the Kia Sedona remains a top seller on the market. The current model shares more storage space then it’s utility vehicle partners on the market. Everything has been reworked there’s room for seven or eight, and there’s even a driver assist feature.

Most of the issues with a Kia Sedona are easily fixed. The majority of the problems focused on earlier generations. If you are looking for a van or sport utility vehicle for your family, this is a great option. Replacement parts don’t cost too much, and then repairs are generally straightforward.

As with any new vehicle, we recommend that you do your research first.  These issues have not affected all Kia Sedonas. They are just the most common. Some of them have been amazing vehicles. The only real way to survive on the market today is to make a great vehicle, and Kia has proven that they are quite capable of that.

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Kia Sedona Common Problems and Solutions

Trouble Starting The Engine


You are struggling to get the engine to turn over.

Models affected:


This could be a few issues, but on the Sedona, it's very likely to be a defective vehicle immobiliser control module. Replacing with a new one is a challenging job, but you can find a new control module on our parts page, and there are a lot of tutorial videos available online.

Noisy AC


Your AC is excessively noisy when it's turned on.

Models affected:


The idler and tensioner pulleys on the Sedona's AC alternator belt are renowned for rapid wear and may break entirely. Although some drivers are content to live with the noise, you can find replacement idlers and a tensioner pulley in our online store and easily install them.

Engine Misfire


The engine is misfiring regularly.

Models affected:


This will often be caused by cracked ignition coils, and if you don't resolve the problem, then it will lead to your catalytic converter melting. If only one of your coils has cracked, it's a sign that the others are also on the way out. You'll need to have a new ignition coil pack delivered by BreakerYard, but installation is very doable.

Non-Functioning Gears


You are struggling to make smooth gear changes. Sometimes, the gears drop into 3rd when you're driving on the motorway.

Models affected:


The output sensor that sits at the top of the transmission is prone to premature wear and is likely to be one of the first parts of your car to fail. If you're in an emergency situation, then you can temporarily resolve the issue by turning the car off and letting it cool down. However, you will need to order a new sensor from our parts page, but it's an easy and low-cost fix.

Malfunctioning Turn Signals


Your turn signals only work occasionally or may not work at all.

Models affected:


This is a common issue with the Sedona and is being caused by a faulty switch in the selector lever. You can try to replace the switch itself, but this is a very delicate and fiddly job. It's a lot easier to find a new selector lever on our parts list and replace the entire thing.

Noisy Braking


The brakes make a squealing noise when applied.

Models affected:


Early models of the Sedona were fitted with a front disc and rear drum braking system that has caused a lot of brake issues. Uneven brake callipers are the cause of the squealing noise, while also causing uneven brake pad wear. A new brake system was designed and released by Kia, which you can order directly from BreakerYard.

Leaking power steering pipes


If you have noticed drops of red oil on the ground underneath the vehicle, it is most likely caused by leaking power steering pipes.

Models affected:


You will need to replace the power steering pipes to fix this problem.

Air conditioning problems


Are you having problems with your air conditioning system? The condenser is known for failing which can result in the air conditioning not working. A common symptom of a faulty condenser is for the air conditioning only to work on one or a few settings, but not them all.

Models affected:


You will need to replace the condenser to sort the issue.

Poor engine idling


Is your engine idling very badly? Has the engine management warning light appeared on the dashboard? If yes to one or both of these questions, there is a good chance that the throttle position sensor is faulty. You will most likely be noticing that there is a hesitation when you are trying to accelerate.

Models affected:


You will need to replace the throttle position sensor to fix the problem. Watch the video below to see how this is done:

Fuel pump failure


The fuel pump is prone to failure on the Sedona. If this part fails you will notice a lack of power when you press your foot on the accelerator. You will get surges of power and then lose power again, which will result in the fuel pump breaking up and the metal pieces entering into the fuel system potentially causing severe damage.

Models affected:


As soon as you notice this problem on your vehicle you should get it seen to asap to avoid any further damage to your Sedona. Fitting a replacement fuel pump will solve the problem. We can help you find a replacement fuel pump at a very low price.

How Reliable Are Kia Vehicles?

Engine (30%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (5%)

Brakes and Traction Control (6%)

Suspension and Steering (14%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (33%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (5%)

Other (7%)

Chart based on 494 repairs.

See TSBs and recalls for the Kia Sedona.

$2500+ (2%)

$1000 - $2499 (7%)

$500 - $999 (15%)

$100 - $499 (32%)

< $100 (44%)

Chart based on 324 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

2002 - 2003 (6%)

2004 - 2005 (4%)

2006 - 2012 (88%)

2014 - 2014 (0%)

2015 - 2018 (1%)

2019 - present (0%)

Chart based on 498 repair trips.

See TrueDelta's information for all Minivans

See TrueDelta's information for all Kia models.

What Our Members Are Saying about the Personal Experiences of the Kia Sedona

20064dr Minivan, ext. 182 kilowatts 3.8L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
The previous Sedona design had below average reliability in many areas of the vehicle full 2006 Kia Sedona review

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