Someone Else's Problem: You May Not Like It, But This Is What Peak Performance Looks Like - 2012 Kia Forte EX

CraigB;n3545270 said:
We all have those days in the snow. I was just lucky enough that the ditch I went into this year was shallow and I could drive out.

I totally fucked up some guy’s yard last winter. Was intentionally goofing off and slid across someone’s driveway and into their front yard. I didn’t stop, just continued on and didn’t look back.

rick, if you find an actual track to learn at, let me know. I’d love to learn this.
CraigB;n3545306 said:
I know I should, but no. We rarely get snow, maybe 2-3 days a year. I know they help under 45f, just never bother buying another set off tires and wheels.

Lucille's all-seasons flat-out stop working below -5°C/23F. There is just no grip at all, no matter the surface. It reminded me why winters are a good thing even without studs.
Studs don't help unless you're on actual ice. On snow and slush they do nothing that proper studless winters cannot do. If you drove with "all seasons" (or summer tires as we call them) on that weather, no wonder you ditched it.:|

Good thing that isn't total loss, but sucks nonetheless!
Thanks guys.

I’ve gotten three estimates so far. The first one i’d barely consider a estimate because the guy clearly didn’t want a cash buyer so he eyeballed it from a distance, quoted a inflated price for the bumper alone compared to the other estimates then suggested that I just drive it like this.

The fourth one has been harder to come by because our schedules haven’t synced up. I’m hoping Monday he’ll have time to look at it.
I guess snow wasn't quite the Kia's Forte... I'll leave now. :p
luokyio;n3545316 said:
Studs don't help unless you're on actual ice.

That's exactly the point. In the U.S., road treatment can change at a county or even township line. If, like Rick, you live in a state like PA, studded tires are an excellent investment.
We always buy them for my wife's cars and I usually buy them for mine as well, even AWD cars. Why? Because AWD doesn't do a damn thing for you when you're braking on ice! (Outside of make the vehicle heavier, giving it even more momentum when you hit something...)
One other point - if you're fitting studded tires, don't try to skimp by with just 2 - buy 4. Slamming on the brakes or overcooking a turn with studded tires only on one end of the car can get REALLY interesting!

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It's pretty rare to use any kind of winter tire unless you go even further north than MA. I pretty much have no choice if I want my car to move in cold weather, but anybody I know with a "normal" car doesn't bother.
Winter/studded tires; another one of those crazy europe/us differences it seems.

Here by law you must have winter tires or snow chains with you everywhere there is a chance of snow, in northen europe hey take you license if you don't use winter tires, but regardless of the law, driving without is insane.

Must be hundreds of thousands of accidents in the us because people don use winter tires.
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While we do get a lot of snow here, it comes only occasionally, so it snows for a while, the plows clean it up, and the streets are clear until the next time. You pretty much have to be driving during the snowstorm to see snow on the surface of any major road.
It feels weird taking so long to update this thread but the Kia's been so reliable that I realized I only ever posted often to report things going to shit on my other cars....

No issues at's been rock solid beyond normal maintenance items like oil changes, the rare light bulb change, etc. I plan to replace the cabin air filter come pay day, it's a dead easy task. Debating whether to go with a HEPA filter or not - i've heard mixed things about that route in terms of air flow, excess blower motor strain, etc. It would definitely be great for my allergies though.

I also plan to replace both rear tail lamp assemblies as they were cracked by whoever owned the thing before it was sent to auction.

At least one recall may be imminent for it - NHTSA and H/K are studying a airbag computer issue that causes non-deployment of the airbags and there's rumors that it'll be included in the 4 cylinder engine recall affecting other H/K products. So far, car isn't knocking but I'll keep an eye out for loud knocks/ticks at startup and during acceleration...

I've started using a aux cable instead of bluetooth audio streaming and I'm pleased with the radio's sound quality now. Plenty of punchy bass - my parents stock Sportage and my brother's Sonata was similarly well done in this dept so I guess it's just a H/K thing. Not that I'm complaining, saves me money.

Still getting 30+ AVG MPG on the highway according to the trip computer. :D

Beyond that, I'll continue to keep driving it. This summer I'll be driving it to Pittsburgh again but considering how well it performed before, along with the trips into MD/DC that I make regularly, it should continue to provide uneventful relaxing driving.

This'll be a litmus test I think - a lot of people couch H/K reliability especially at higher mileages. If you throw out a high mileage example, they'll go "well it was a one owner or exceptionally well taken care of." This thing has a largely unknown maintenance history and wasn't treated the best while in the care of it's prior owner.

It'll be a interesting ride.
Since the last update:

Car continues to go and go. I've taken it to pittsburgh twice since the end of May and in both cases it's taken the drive in stride. It'll be going to Philly and back with 2 buddies along for the ride for concert carpool duties later this year. I want to get the interior detailed this upcoming spring and the seats steam cleaned. I would have no hesitation getting in it and driving across the country. That's something I couldn't say about the XJ sadly.

Inspection is due this month - I don't foresee any surprises save for usual wear items like perhaps brake pads.

My keyfob ring broke so I am considering swapping the guts into a flip key shell - i just need to pull the trigger on the purchase - what's stopping me is listings being unclear about the kind of keyblade the key ships with - it looks like I need a "style 33" blade and while i could order a blade separately idk seems like work lol.

I have a loose wire in a taillight bulb holder that I need to have fixed when I take it in for inspection this month. I still need to get the actual housings replaced too...I just gotta devote a few hours to doing it once I figure out the procedure. KGIS access used to be free back in the day but like other brands that's no longer the case. I'll have to ask around on the Forte facebook groups, while most of those owners have coupes with the LED tails, surely someone has the hookup to either get the procedure or has removed the tails from a sedan.

The car is affected by the airbag ECU issue - for now I'm ok to drive it but if the airbag light does come on while driving, I'm (per the letter sent to me) to immediately drive to a Kia dealer if they're available and get a loaner vehicle.

I'll post back in a few more months I guess.
Update time: The Forte continues do well - I've been on several long trips in it since the last update (DuBois PA and Philly twice) and it continues to shine. So nice knowing I have the freedom to travel without fear of a breakdown.

Inspection went well - needed front brake pads/rotors. I added a oil change and a parking brake adjustment to that. Aside from Inspection, I got new tires for it separately through a decent Amazon deal, changed out the cracked tail lamp housings for new ones - the new one included the pigtail that was water damaged so it was as easy as plugging and playing, and moved my key fob's guts to a new, non broken, shell.

The remedy has been found for the airbag ECU recall - I need to go to a dealer to get the pigtail installed - the only dealer with decent hours (read: saturday) is Lancaster there it'll go one of these days.

That's it, it continues to just work like a modern car is expected to.

As new stuff comes out, I think about what I'll eventually replace it with. I hope to be in a better spot job and home wise in the next year....the new Mazda3's looking really good along with the Accord Sport 2.0T.

Not to say I wouldn't want a XJ as a number 2 to go along with that replacement.
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Update time again:

It's been a while for reasons I'll get to now.

Basically I started hearing a ticking noise from the engine. In doing my research I found out that this 2.0L is a variant of the 2.4 they were/are putting in higher power Fortes, Sonatas/Optimas, Sorento's/Santa Fe know..the one that likes to randomly fail. Yeah, they've been failing in these too and, in Canada, people are getting their engines replaced in Fortes with little to no fuss. Here it's been quite a different story.

So naturally I was worried. It sounded tappy before the engine was warmed up and at certain RPM's that I'd hit with my semi aggressive driving style. So I brought it in to my mechanic. They do a bunch of diagnostics and at first couldn't replicate the issue - turns out they weren't driving it like I was. So the next day I demonstrated the noise to them and they noted the RPM's at which it occurs.

They look some more - they noticed when the Intake VVT Solenoid/Oil Control Valve was unplugged, the noise went away. They also noted that TSB that reminds of H/K's mandate to only use their filter as others can result in inadequate oil flow and noises. They changed the oil using the Kia filter and said it quieted it down considerably but that a noise was still present.

Their estimate to fix was around $2,900 because they'd replace both solenoids, actuators,, the timing chain, tensioners and guides due to the shared labor.


They didn't recommend going forward because they couldn't definitively say if the noise would go away or if we'd just hear different noises - according to their databases, this engine can just be noisy - something that's been proved out in various owner forums and groups I've been in. "You might as well just drive it and then if it gets worse maybe we can re assess but for now...keep driving it" - or something to that effect.

In a panic I wondered what I can get if I were to trade in the car for some shitbox from Carvana or something. It wasn't much and It would basically require me to get a 2nd job but it would have been doable. But it just seemed to be a bad idea - the cars would be even worse in terms of interest factor (think stripper Spark and other piles of mediocre shit...) and i'd be paying far more and longer for a car I'd hate rather than just be moderately disinterested by.

So I sit down, hit up YouTube, and apparently the intake solenoid/Oil Control Valve doesn't require engine disassembly - it's right on front of the engine:


I have had a lot happen between that initial google search and today in my personal life including a death in the family that caused me to put off ordering the replacement part until this past week or so.

Well, as it turns out with things I own/'s never that easy.

Turns out, between the first generation of these engines and the generation in the car in the photo...the bolt holding the solenoid changed.

In my car it's a torx bolt with a round head that no socket can grip.


In the 2nd gen of the Theta II/World Engine, the bolt is a traditional bolt that one could easily use a socket wrench on and get good leverage, etc. Furthermore, one is able to get straight onto the bolt in the 2nd gen - there's the power steering pump in the first gen that can prevent one from getting a bit solidly centered into the hex head bolt.


So naturally I struggled to get the T30 bit centered and ended up stripping it due to it being pretty much seized to the block plus the weird angle. I even tried swivel extensions to get it centered to no avail. I also lost said bit twice. The first time I was able to retrieve the bolt with a mechanics magnet I bought at the auto parts store. The 2nd time though the bolt fell deep into a crevasse around the engine, never to be seen again.

I researched some more and tried to press on. I attempted the following popular ways to unscrew a stripped screw/bolt:
  • Rubber glove folded around tip of screwdriver
  • Hammering a flathead into the screw and attempting to turn it - it created a slot, yes, but I'm not strong enough to turn it and most of my wrenches fit around the ergo rubber handles on any of my screwdrivers. The one that does just slips around because of the rubber grip.

I haven't tried the rubber band method yet nor have I tried the spring punch method. At this point I'm probably gonna cut my losses, return the part to amazon and move on with my life. I've got 2 years and 8 months to milk this along and that's if I don't get a new job where I can dump extra money in to pay it off sooner - one of the benefits of a super low car payment.

I scheduled a oil change with Kia for a week from now. We shall see how that goes. Inquired about a transmission fluid change, got a quote for $258 bucks. Car shifts fine so I'll likely save this for the oil change after this upcoming one.

A few weeks ago I noticed that my AC was not working - I suspect that this is the reason why:


My winter accident continues to plague me and now I realize I should have took the L and filed another claim so everything could be fixed. Unless I can change the VVT part (or if not changing it isn't a problem), I won't invest in replacing the AC Condenser. A bit inconvenient due to the work conference I have to drive to in July 3 hours away and my trip to Atlantic City in 2 weeks but I'll deal. I've certainly done so before with the Taurus, the Jeep, etc.

Did I mention that I accidentally drove over a curb in mid May? Cause yeah, that happened too:





A shit ton of undercoating and crimping took place.

So yeah, the Kia has achieved peak beater status. Aside from most mechanical needs, I'm not putting a dime into it other than the car payment, insurance, and gas. It's not worth investing in it at this point. So no aftermarket carplay, no nothin. Not a cent beyond AC if it's worth fixing. Not proud of myself, because despite being dent covered and being as boring and unsatisfying as a piece of generic brand white bread, I wanted to take care of it but hey:


Here we are. 2 years and 8 months can't come fast enough.
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You can often use a hex/Allen key or socket bit of the appropriate size (sometimes hammered in) to get a stripped Torx bolt out.

Who was suggesting the screwdriver as the first resort? That's pretty lame.
You can often use a hex/Allen key or socket bit of the appropriate size (sometimes hammered in) to get a stripped Torx bolt out.

Who was suggesting the screwdriver as the first resort? That's pretty lame.

YouTube and Google. It actually worked there (of course it did) but of course those were probably freshly driven screws/bolts, not one that's been heatsoaked repeatedly for 8 years

I tried the hex key but it seems almost too far gone for that, not really seating at all.
YouTube and Google. It actually worked there (of course it did) but of course those were probably freshly driven screws/bolts, not one that's been heatsoaked repeatedly for 8 years

I tried the hex key but it seems almost too far gone for that, not really seating at all.

Get one that's slightly larger, then. You can try SAE on metric and vice versa.
Get one that's slightly larger, then. You can try SAE on metric and vice versa.

I tried with a few sizes but I'll try again tomorrow. Thanks for the advice!