Ownership Verified: You May Not Like It, But This Is What Peak Performance Looks Like - 2012 Kia Forte EX

rickhamilton620

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Update!

As intended with this car, there’s nothing major to update. It passed this year’s PA safety and emissions inspection needing absolutely nothing.

However, I hope to be in a different car this time next year: the temps have dropped and that tap has returned and is quite noticeable at cold startups. It does go away after a while but it’s disconcerting.


I also want to possibly look into manual options - although it’s nowhere as convenient from a everyday planning perspective, it’s something I miss even though I’m shit at it.

Of course, if the Theta II recall population expands to include non GDI engines like mine, then of course I’ll take my free engine replacement and keep on trucking with it - beyond my concern about engine longevity....there’s nothing wrong with the car at all with 140k+ on the clock. I apparently rack up miles fairly quickly.

Anyway, I’ll update this thread if any major milestones happen before I get rid of it but I doubt that’ll happen, fingers crossed.
 

EyeMWing

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So yeah, I suck at driving and should probably honestly take the bus. I tried looking up defensive driving courses but the majority I’ve come across are online ones designed to get people their licenses back from the DMV quickly.
https://www.accidentavoidance.com/
BSR at Summit Point Raceway over in the West Virginia panhandle. They teach cops, feds and the military how to drive, so I'm pretty sure they can handle civilian shit just fine. From what I understand, they teach this with Crown Vics and usually throw in a skidpad session because hey, if you're going to learn how to recover from a skid, that's the same skill as holding a skid forever, right?
 

EyeMWing

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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.
My tire shop thinks I'm insane buying winter tires. Nobody here does.

This year I decided that, yeah, I am. I don't really need to go to work the 2 days a year its nasty enough that all seasons are in trouble on my (all highway) route. Rick is off in the back woods all the time, so the value proposition is probably quite different.
 

rickhamilton620

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2nd Gen Xterra!

Hah we’ll see. I want a regular car and a XJ if possible.

https://www.accidentavoidance.com/
BSR at Summit Point Raceway over in the West Virginia panhandle. They teach cops, feds and the military how to drive, so I'm pretty sure they can handle civilian shit just fine. From what I understand, they teach this with Crown Vics and usually throw in a skidpad session because hey, if you're going to learn how to recover from a skid, that's the same skill as holding a skid forever, right?

Ooh. I didn’t know about this. I’ll file it under “things I should do eventually”

My tire shop thinks I'm insane buying winter tires. Nobody here does.

This year I decided that, yeah, I am. I don't really need to go to work the 2 days a year its nasty enough that all seasons are in trouble on my (all highway) route. Rick is off in the back woods all the time, so the value proposition is probably quite different.

Honestly if I take my time and won’t be afraid to use vacation days or personal days, I should be ok. We shall see.
 

rickhamilton620

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Bump: with my return to be more active on the forum figure this was worth a update.

I just crossed the 150k mark and well, the thing continues to be a boringly reliable (for now) appliance with the only outright failures being the CD player not working - it just refuses to accept any CD's, and the key fob buttons failing to be responsive unless I mash them hard - i suspect the battery is leaking inside it or something is failing, but the battery itself looks fine every time I check so I'm not sure why it's wet.

I honestly can't be assed to get a replacement CD player or a replacement fob because I don't play CD's much and I've basically said I'm not putting a cent beyond maintenance into it since my accident (and subsequent broken AC), and then the engine making noises. I continue to take it exclusively to Lancaster Hyundai/Kia for oil changes and the pricing has thankfully remained reasonable.

I was initially thinking that I'd use the stimulus money combined with some savings for a newer car just to avoid any potential engine issues but now I've decided I'm going to keep the money saved in a separate account so that I can use it toward a new place to live once the economy turns and I'm able to get a new job - I'm working from home now so my car's been sitting usually 6 days a week. If I get a place in the Philly or Jersey suburbs, I could just take the train in if i get a job in the city and if I live in the city and work there I have even less reason to replace it...if not sell it outright.
 

rickhamilton620

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Fall Kia update - This thing just continues to keep on keepin on. It'll need brake work soon and I'm sure the clunking from the steering or suspension will come up during the inspection this November.

I'm thinking about "next ride" though - I'm 436 dollars away from being able to just pay off the car outright and essentially start over.

The car itself is fine, but fuck if it's not deadass boring to drive haha. I want something different with a bit more verve, more driver involvement, a stick, a nicer interior, and a hatch. More speed would be nice to have but not absolutely required. Also, with the recent change to music apps on iOS (they now must respect the screen timeout even when charging making changing tracks a pain in the ass) CarPlay upgradability is a must.

A 5 speed non ST or RS Focus would check off many of those boxes while looking a bit better exterior wise than a Mazda3. The Mazda can easily get a CarPlay upgrade even in 2014. Doing the MyFord or MFT to Sync 3 conversion in the Ford is a spendy process - aftermarket head units look terrible in the last gen Focus - most dash kits are hilariously bad looking and in a lot of cases you're forced to keep the tiny MyFord radio display so you end up with a bit of a dual screen kludge affair.

It sounds fucking dumb and backwards but I'd love to get a 8th gen Civic Si sedan in Redline Orange Pearl but I know those in decent shape with non astronomical mileage at a decent price will likely be hard to find.

Still.....will probably hold out unless the car like implodes or something - I really need to get a new job and get the fuck out of where I live haha.
 

Tram

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Rick, I'm glad the Forte is serving you well!

I'd also agree that it's better to just drive this until it makes no financial sense to keep it. A Focus or a Civic Si would surely be nice, but if you were already planning to move out of where you currently live, it might be a better idea to save money for that purpose.
 

rickhamilton620

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How about not plunging yourself into the next debt hole and actually save up some money?

To be fair I’ve been saving up money in a separate bank account specifically for this for a while. This would have no impact on my primary savings.
 

gaasc

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To be fair I’ve been saving up money in a separate bank account specifically for this for a while. This would have no impact on my primary savings.

ooooor, you can use some of it to fix the maladies of the forte and bump the rest into savings. Alternatively, keep saving on it for a down payment into something new, sensible, and reliable. Camry XRS for instance. Or one of the last Accords with a manual. Buying things you will get bored with long before they die is a very good way of going about things.
 

rickhamilton620

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Update time, this'll be a long one...

Good news:
The car successfully passed state inspection - only thing it needed was windshield wipers! It will need tires by next year.

Bad news:
I took it in for state inspection early because of this event in October:
beJdsFJ.jpg

jlP7mwp.jpg

UBk28Ix.jpg


It was dark and rainy and I was trying to navigate a poorly laid out set of parking lots. The McDonalds I was trying to get into was blocked off unexpected by police who had pulled someone over into the lot and were forcing people to turn around. So I ended up going through a Wendys lot next door to it to leave. But I thought for a second that I was still in the original lot that turns right onto the main road, cue me driving forward off a cliff onto a manhole.

Reference pics:
A0nNfDm.png

UlZbghH.png


Cue a call to my insurance to get roadside assistance - the tow guy was great and was able to get the lil Kia free.

Unfortunately my exhaust didn't survive completely unscathed - the inspection at the shop revealed that I'd need the flexpipe replaced. There were a few scrapes under the car that I liberally sprayed with undercoating to seal up.

Neutral news: After years of wondering "what if..." my car model has finally been recalled for the Theta II engine issue. The TL;DR is the engine has a flaw where the connecting rod bearings can wear out causing the engine to tap and knock..drive too long like this and the con rod can snap, the engine could seize and in the right circumstances, oil could leak out of the broken engine and cause a fire. In previous posts I've mentioned that I've had a tap for a while now that gets a lot worse in the winter, the shop i take it to recommended only taking it to H/K from now on for oil changes so I've been going there for the work ever since I got it checked out.

The frustrating part is that the recall only is for the 2.4 Liter model while the 2.0 Liter model is not recalled, despite the engines sharing the same key components that are affected, right down to the part numbers. As it's gotten colder more of us have posted on various groups about our 2 Liters tapping then subsequently failing and one even caught fire. Needless to say, I'm very disappointed and I've filed a report with NHTSA, as have many others.

I can't help but wonder if this is a cost saving play - the cost to recall the 2.4 Liter model is infinitely smaller because it was only available as a top end SX trim level that no one really bought - this was the early days of Hyundai/Kia's ascension to mainstream acceptance and most looking at these cars wouldn't likely want or have the means to buy the fully loaded sport trim.

Honestly, if the engine is recalled, I'll likely get the AC fixed, put a carplay capable head unit in and drive it until the body falls apart - if this has the same coverage like the other Theta II vehicles, the engine will be warrantied for life for this issue so I have no reason *not* to keep the car for as long as humanly possible.

Alarmingly, the new Forte is also having similar issues. Someone in the group has one with a knock in it with less than 1000 miles on the clock. :|

My fingers are crossed for yet another recall expansion.
 

rickhamilton620

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I am still alive, and good news, the Kia is still alive as well!

This thing is the Korean equivalent of a cockroach - it just won't give up.

I got a flat (or at the very least, a partially deflated tire) yesterday - emptied out the trunk and threw the compact spare on. I've priced out new tires (it really needs a new set of four) and found some very reasonably priced Douglas (BF Goodrich's value brand) tires that I'll have installed shortly at Wal-Mart.

I was semi-seriously considering getting a set of "Waterfall Eco Dynamics" tires ("Proudly made in the EU!" says the description...) but the reviews are laughably bad (we're talking tires going bald after 4k miles, one inch slits forming resulting in sudden air loss and bands showing through at delivery) so no. Seriously read for yourself and sort by 1 star: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Waterfall-Eco-Dynamic-195-65R15-95-V-Tire/194683224

I am in the middle of a job hunt and if it goes well, I will probably swap the thing out sooner rather than later, chip shortage notwithstanding - the lack of AC makes summer driving pretty miserable when you're not on the freeway.

But for now, the Kia remains my trusty...if a bit clattery, steed.
 

rickhamilton620

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Car update time!

I ordered tires from Wal-Mart, not once, not twice but thrice....only for the order to get cancelled each time: the supply chain issues were especially bad for tires at Wal-Mart then.

I couldn't wait so I ended up stopping by a local place who put on a set of 4 used tires - i got to inspect the tires and was pleased by the tread depth - they should pass inspection with no issue this fall.

I also replaced the brake pads and rotors DIY! I took it to a shop that specializes in providing space, equipment (including Wi-Fi for your laptop) and assistance for DIY repairs - it was really cool, the owner Rick was very helpful, and even with paying a little more to a bay with a lift, I still saved a ton of money. I highly recommend a place like this

The only downside - I fucked up putting the lugnuts on with a air gun so I need to replace wheel studs on at least two wheels. Each wheel is secured by 4 lugnuts right now. I attended some YouTube university to see if I'd want to try fixing on my own at the DIY place and realized that it was going to be a complete pain in the ass to fix - not only would i need to take the brake shit off but i'd have to cut brake shields, hammering it out could fuck up other shit like my wheel bearings, and to get the new stud back in i'd have to cut some of it off.

I considered just changing the hubs: The rear hubs are a plug and play affair which is great but the fronts are a press in thing that sounds semi painful.

My inspection's due so I may have my usual shop fix it. I'm not as concerned about the cost like I normally would because I make considerably more now with my new job. Still annoying though. I'm somewhat certain it'll need some suspension work anyway as I'm getting a vibration when I am actively accelerating at a certain speed - if i coast through that speed range either going up or down in speed things are smooth. I can't really feel it much through my body but I can see the phone mount vibrate noticeably when it happens.

Pic from October 17th from when I washed it before taking it to my brother's wedding. I finally managed to get the awful screws the seller used on the licence plate undone so I could put my alma mater's plate frame on it!

bauqpSH.jpg
 

EyeMWing

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Unless Kia's done somethin' REAL stupid, the studs shouldn't be a big deal for an actual shop to do. Couple seconds with an air hammer and maybe drilling out the brake shield rivets if they're ACTUALLY in the way as opposed to just 'in the way of hammering a new one in'. Pull the new one on with a lugnut turned backwards.
 

public

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Oh yeah, this is the sort of advice that won't help you anymore but you only open the lug nuts with an air gun, and you tighten them manually (preferably with a torque wrench but a tire iron is just fine). Air gun will only either fuck them up or get them so tight you can be out of luck with a tire iron in a shituation. But it's great that you got the brakes done yourself, I've never even attempted that.
 

rickhamilton620

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Unless Kia's done somethin' REAL stupid, the studs shouldn't be a big deal for an actual shop to do. Couple seconds with an air hammer and maybe drilling out the brake shield rivets if they're ACTUALLY in the way as opposed to just 'in the way of hammering a new one in'. Pull the new one on with a lugnut turned backwards.
Yeah I figure that the shop should be able to handle it ez peasy.

Oh yeah, this is the sort of advice that won't help you anymore but you only open the lug nuts with an air gun, and you tighten them manually (preferably with a torque wrench but a tire iron is just fine). Air gun will only either fuck them up or get them so tight you can be out of luck with a tire iron in a shituation. But it's great that you got the brakes done yourself, I've never even attempted that.
Yeah he had me start them with the torque stick but I clearly didn't get them started far enough.

Next time - manually the whole way going forward. :)
 

rickhamilton620

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Oh i forgot to mention - the radio stopped working sometime in August or September. I got by with a Bluetooth speaker I had from 2006 but that got stolen from my car one night. Ended up going to the local pick n pull and took a radio out of a 2010 model. Couldn't have done it without a cheap trim removal kit and screwdriver from Hazard Fraught!

NbML7tH.jpg


The new radio has Bluetooth for phone calls but doesn't support Bluetooth audio streaming, as that was a feature added to late 2010+ 1st generation Fortes. This actually works to my advantage since I've been using the Aux cable for years now due to better audio quality - I no longer have to switch the radio to Aux from Bluetooth Audio every time I start the car.
 
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