Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,656 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (4 reports)
2004 Kia Rio engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Kia Rio:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Kia Rio Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 082010


  • Manual transmission
  • 64,623 miles


click to see larger images

engine seizure

Picked up the car for $3200, ran perfect, had 98000 km or so. Felt and looked new (practically was). Drove it for less than 6 months and the timing chain snapped, seizing the engine completely. Slammed the pistons into the valves, breaking them off and obliterating the pistons, walls, and everything around. Took a picture after I got inside the head. Yes, that is my pistons and valves sitting in a mess of shrapnel. Engine was hooched, we found another one at the auto wrecker for $2000. They're in high demand. Jeez I wonder why? :p. Few hours labor, and a brand new timing chain, and once again ran smooth. Now the mass airflow sensor is screwed up, so I'm submitting that too.

Long story short: Great car, but the timing chain from factory is only rated for 50,000 km, which is FAR less than it should be. They build em cheap. Spend the money and replace the timing chain often (not really a cheap fix), or better yet just don't buy this korean crap. Spend extra, buy a toyota.

- , Qualicum Beach, BC, canada

problem #3

Sep 152010

Rio 1.8L V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I bought the car at 60,000 miles that didn't sound to high right at the recommended time to change the timing belt. Little did I know it never was changed I had the car for less than a year and it went out. I pulled the head to see what it did to the valves half of them were bent the rest were broken. With broken valves in the cylinders the pistons smashed against them until car came to a complete stop and cause holes and dents in the pistons. With the pistons smashing into these broken valves its possible my rod was bent as well. So thinking ok I can change these Items and have a brand new engine. After purchasing everything and getting ready to start I noticed it cracked the engine block as well. Now I am at a stalemate because to have the block repaired is costly. I have looked for a used one that does not have a crack in it I think one is non existent because this is such a common problem. My recommendation is to not even fix the car you will spend more than the car is worth just to turn around and possibly experience the same or similar problems.

- , La Verkin, UT, USA

problem #2

Apr 112011

Rio 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The vehicle was well taken care of no major problems and no indication of engine failure, only had 85,000, until one day. I was driving home from work crusing down the highway about 65 and with out any warning the engine just quit. I pulled over to the side of road and tried to start it and it would not. It made a sound like battery needed a jump, tried jumping it, but to no avail nothing happended. So I had took the car to our mechanic and he had a look at it and said the engine was toast, and was a very common occurance with this year and modle. Too bad I really liked this car, not worth the money to have the entire engine replaced. Very expensive for this year engine.

- , Paige, TX, USA

problem #1

May 152008

Rio LX 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 89,000 miles

You get what you pay for...remember a car that cheap...there is a reason. Buyer be very aware. Never ever buy a Kia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Should have kept the Honda.

- , Spartanburg, SC, USA

Not what you are looking for?