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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,381 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Kia Spectra transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Kia Spectra Owner Comments

problem #12

Sep 252006

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought my 2003 Kia Spectra brand new, kept up with oil changes and maintenance, my transmission went out at 71, ooo miles. I had the so called 100,000 mile warranty on it. They did not cover any of it they said because I live in ga it gets hot, so the warranty wont cover it. Also, I was recently in a fender bender and my air bags did not deploy, and we have also had several trips to the Kia place because of minor stuff such as the air not working and the check engine light continually staying on. The 2003 Kia Spectra's are a joke and if you live were it gets hot or too cold your warranty is of non effect.

- Blackshear, GA, USA

problem #11

Jun 302003

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Purchased the car in may of 2003, June 30th of 2003 check engine light came on and had to have the tps replaced and 3 more times to present. Have had multiple headlights replaced, heating problem, exhaust replaced. Car is now on 46,000 had transmission replaced (through an att. From lemon law) at 16,000 miles had to have tires replaced. And, now to date tires were replaced for the 5th time, brakes were done 4 times, now to find out the reason tires and brakes were needed to be replaced so many times is because the suspension is way out of alignment which seeing I have had the problem all along I now believe it was a defect all along.

- North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #10

Jan 022006

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Took the car to walmart for fluid checks. About a week after leaving there, I hit an icy puddle and lost the ability to put the car in gear. After a few minutes the car recovered, but after that when the car was cold it would not go into gear. I returned to walmart who advised me they could not get the problem to occur, probably because the car was warm. Also, they advised me the transmission fluid was fine. Since the problem persisted, I took the car to the dealership, who said there was internal problems with the transmission. However experience tells me it's probably the flywheel. Now they don't want to honor the warranty claiming fluids were not changed. However the problem has nothing to do with the fluids. Also there is a similar problem, ODI 10112469, which would imply this could be a defect. My car had 54,000 miles.

- Dorothy, NJ, USA

problem #9

Apr 152004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact stated when stopping at a stop sign or while braking or pulling into a parking lot vehicle revved and lurched forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealership numerous times. They were unable to duplicate the problem. Updated 1/11/2006 - the transmission line had come off and cause coolant to leak. The line was repair and transmission was flushed but transmission slipped. The transmission was replaced. The check engine light illuminated three times and the dealer replaced the throttle position sensor three times. The engine light illuminated again and this time the dealer replaced the gene pulse assembly. The engine control module was reprogrammed. The engine ran rough intermittently. The dealer replaced the idle speed actuator.

- Gridley , KS, USA

problem #8

Jul 272005

Spectra 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Every time I take off from a stop sign ect. My transmission kicks when shifting first to second gear. In an automatic, it is rare. It is only a 2003 too. I have had people tell me that transmissions are designed like that. Bull!!!

- Johnston City, IL, USA

problem #7

Nov 252003

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,130 miles
The front panel in the consumer's 2003 Kia Spectra made noise. The consumer had several problems concerning the vehicle. The drivers seat belt was broken, driver and passenger doors were inoperative, faulty speaker, the vehicle would not move forward or in reverse, there would be a clicking sound if it was forced, the vehicle would not accelerate over 30 mph for 10 minutes.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #6

Dec 232004

Spectra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,940 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We have a 2003 Kia Spectra. This car came with a 100K mile warranty. When we bought the car in December of 2003 it had only 79 miles on it. In December of 2004 with only 23,000 miles on it, it got stuck in the snow in the road blocking traffic. We had to push the car out of the street. After pushing for a short time transmission burned up and is now destroyed. I live in northern Kentucky so I get snow occasionally. Does this mean that anyone living where it snows should not by a Kia" I am aware of the stipulation in the warranty that the warranty does not cover damage done by snow, ice, road debris etc. My argument is that I have had other cars, a Saturn for instance with close to 100K miles on it. It had gotten stuck in the snow several times when I lived in Ohio. I had to push it out of a snow drift, spun the tires. Never did I have a trouble with the transmission. Never would I think that a new car would be destroyed that easily, nor do I think that it is right for the dealer to say it is all my fault. Are Kia owners not supposed to try to get to work if it snows. This is Kentucky, not Michigan. I think purchasers should be aware of this. I consider this to be a defect in the car. For instance, a cooler part that ?may" have metal particles in it, has to be replaced and was priced at $400. When I contacted Kia's corporate head quarters directly I was told that they could not do anything because the district manager had inspected the car and made the final decision.

- Dry Ridge , KY, USA

problem #5

Apr 162004

Spectra

  • 13,500 miles
At 13,500 miles transmission failed.

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #4

Mar 202003

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicles windshield wipers failed intermittently. The dealer replaced the windshield motor yet the problem persisted. The door was misaligned, rear lights were inoperative, snow had gotten into the rear seat(s), the vehicle leaked, seat belts were inoperative, click noise in the wipers when on a low speed, pulling noise in the engine per mechanic, and pulling when shifted. Scc

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #3

Mar 202003

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The back passenger seat belts were not long enough to hold a 135 pound passenger. The door was misaligned, rear lights were inoperative, snow had gotten into the rear seat(s), the vehicle leaked, seat belts were inoperative, click noise in the wipers when on a low speed, pulling noise in the engine per mechanic, and pulling when shifted. Scc

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #2

Mar 202003

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Snow entered the vehicle, which caused the door not to open. The door was misaligned, rear lights were inoperative, snow had gotten into the rear seat(s), the vehicle leaked, seat belts were inoperative, click noise in the wipers when on a low speed, pulling noise in the engine per mechanic, and pulling when shifted. Scc

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #1

Mar 202003

Spectra

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The engine made a horrible noise. The dealer inspected the vehicle but could not duplicate the problem. The door was misaligned, rear lights were inoperative, snow had gotten into the rear seat(s), the vehicle leaked, seat belts were inoperative, click noise in the wipers when on a low speed, pulling noise in the engine per mechanic, and pulling when shifted. Scc

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

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