2007 Kia Sorento • 45,000 miles

My Sorento has made a knocking noise since I bought it (new) in January 2008. It knocks when it is wet, the recirc button is on, and driving speed is at least 40 mph. If I turn off the recirc button, the noise stops. It mostly does it in the rain, but it does it also after a rain, until the car dries. Any ideas? Thanks.
Leslie B.
November 13, 2012.

Sounds like it is related to the A/C system. There might be a air circulation door that is not closing all the way or is loose and making the noise. You would have to remove the air box, under dash center, to check the air doors to make sure they are not broken and are operating correctly.

I recommended that to the Kia dealership's service manager, and he said that he did not think that was the problem. He said that removing the dashboard might give me bigger problems. I do not want to force him to do something that might not solve the problem, but I only have until January until my warranty expires. Would your solution require removing the dashboard? Thanks.

Nov 13, 2012.
You should not have to remove the dashboard to at least try and inspect the vent doors. They are all generally low in the air box and it can be split to the inner doors and the heater core. I looked up the hours of labor it takes to replace a heater core in your car. It is 3.5 hours of labor. It should take less to inspect the vent doors. To get to the heater core most of the air box must be removed plus the heater core itself.
I would do the following; Ask to see how many labor hours it takes to replace the hardest to get to air circulation door, he may not show the the correct one but even the worst case is going to be okay for your situation. For instance just ask him to show you the defrost air door remove and replace hours of labor or ask him if it is the hardest to replace and to show you the hardest one to get to. This will put him in a corner and probably get the trutch out of him. The factory sets the time to repair everything in the car and that is how a dealership charges service labor. Make sure you look at the description, note the hours of labor and ask for a printout and make sure it matches. Then ask him to give you a repair order at least stating that you made the complaint.
Removing most dash boards is not as hard as it sounds. You can often lossend 5-8 bolts and the dash will at least come partially out, you just have to dis-sonnect everything attached to it.
The big thing is to complain about it as much as possible and document it all. Next, call the customer service line at Kia and tell them about your issue and ask to have it noted and some type of letter sent you stating that it is documented.
While you are at the dealership, ask the service manager to show you the "Service Bulletins". They are like Recals but they don't have to be released as they are not safety related. You can look for one pertaining to your issue and that may get your car fixed right there. If it does not, note it and ask for a copy. You can check, "The National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration", NHSTA I may have the acronym wrong but a goggle or Boing search will correct you and get you to there web site. You can look at "Service Bulletins" there and they may not have it as it is not kept updated as the recalls are. However it may be there and at least it will further explain what they are.
Then go to another dealership and do the same thing and get it all documented.
As you get closer to warranty expiration, start calling Kia more and getting pushier and have them explain what will be done. Have a dealership show you another new Kia and see if it makes the same sound. If it does not then you can ask Kia to explain why your car makes a noise that others don't but does not require repair no matter if the dash neeeds to be removed or not. Don't use the labor hours I gave you in the argument. Get it from the dealership(s) and Kia as I cannot confirm it 100%. It comes from an online estimator and I think it uses Kias numbers, but I cannot say that for sure. You don't want to say anything you don't know for sure. You want to make them tell you what is correct. Between different dealerships and Kia the truth will come out.
Simply demand that your car be fixed before your warranty expires and tell Kia you have had it looked at several times, checked a new car, try to find a used Kia the same year as yours at a dealership if possible, and you will go to the Better Business Bureaue and everywhere you can on the Internet such as Edmund's, Kelley's Blue Book, etc. To let as many people know as possible that there warranties only cover what is convienient.
I hope you get my general message.
Complain a lot to Kia, document everything that is said and always ask for copies and repair oreders stating that the noise is "normal" or, what is this guy telling you. That it is too much labor to fix it? That is irrelevant as your warranty has no labor limit it simply fixes the issue. Go to as many dealerships as you can and repeat this. Check service bulletins as time goes by as a new one pertaining to your problem may come out. Something like this happened to me with a pickup and I got my tranmsission replaced after the warranty expired becasue I had documentation and eventaully found a good dealership. The bigger the dealership the better.
Good luck and just be a thorn in there side. Always get a real answer and always go to the highest authority you can as you can state you have already talked to the custmoer service manager or whatever title of the person you complained to was called. Be nice and say, "I am not so much complaining as trying to understand how to get my car fixed under warranty".
Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

Hi and thank you so much for all of this good information! I did not have good luck with the dealership where I bought the car (4 years ago), so I am going to try another dealership in the area. Unfortunately, I did not keep all the paperwork from 4 years ago, but it is probably documented at the dealership

I will make an appointment at the other dealership, soon, and let you know the results. Too bad this only happens when it rains.

Thank you for taking the time to address this. No one else has tried to help me.

Nov 15, 2012.
Your very welcome. You might ask the dealership to give you your service history as if you brought it in with that complaint it will help.
They may say they can't do it, but be a little pushy because they probably keep it on record for the warranty period.
I hope it works out well.

Dr. C