question about "slipping" manual transmission

Hi there:
I have a 2004 Rio RX-V. I've noticed over the last week or so that, under heavy acceleration, the engine starts racing beyond what can be explained by
the speed of the car. It's as though the clutch weren't engaged fully. When I let off the gas a little, it engages properly again (with a lurch). Is this happening because I've driven the car too hard, or...? It's only got 27KKm on the dial, and I figure with only 104Hp I can't have worn the clutch out so fast unless they're using play-doh for gears.
Suggestions?
Thanks; Duncan
PS: Please respond to group only.
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Hi Duncan,
I own the 2002 Kia Rio (4 door) with 1.5 liter engine and 5 speed manual transmission.
Starting at about 5,000 miles I had my first instance of clutch slip. I let it go as it was just a single occurance.
Then at 8,000 miles the same thing started to happen; noticably when in fifth gear at the top of a freeway entrance ramp, merging and goosing the gas for the last 15 mph of acceleration (again, in 5th gear).
New Orleans Kia Dealer's service advisor first remarked "Oh, I didn't think they MADE them with manual transmissions!". Then the service mechanic test-drove it and REALLY smoked the clutch (thanks, buddy!) and they basically said "yep, it's slipping all right; replace the clutch, it's not a warranty item being a "wear item". I've owned many autos with manual transmissions and when buying a new car, I don't have to replace the clutch usually until 165,000 miles. I operate my vehicles conservatively (though I drive rather fast on open expressways) when going through the gears.
My beef is that my local St. Augustine, FL dealer says there's nothing to adjust! I adjusted my own linkage and managed to get the problem under control. Now I am up to 97,000 miles on that very same clutch.
Duncan, I'd strongly suggest that you carefully inspect under your car's engine from below and look between the engine and transmission cases. On my car there is oil, a very minute amount, coming from between the engine and transmission pans, where they join together. I get a small "ink blot" little drop of oil about once every two days on my (new) concrete driveway.
What they did not recognize in the two times I've brought the car in to assess the problem was that PROBABLY I was getting oil from the engine onto the clutch.
I am going to bring it back in before it hits 100,000 miles. And I am going to press them into replacing the clutch under warranty work for the main engine oil seal. Or at least skip out on the labor. I have in thier records that I did bring it into thier shop at 19,000 miles for this problem and New Orleans at 8,000 miles. If even I buy the clutch lining (about $120 US retail, I believe) with free labor that should set me up. Why should you nurse-maid a clutch for so many miles? Using my method of adjustment I have been able to successfully negotiate mountains on the freeway on trips I take out of state/cross country.
Also, look out for your back wheel bearings. Both the left and the right inner and outer rear wheel bearings have failed prematurely.
The rest of the car, save for electrical engine noise on the AM radio (I love chasing down distant and fringe AM stations and listening to talk radio or news) is fine. With those oil droppings, my engine literally NEVER consumes any motor oil. Oh, and always make sure your gasoline filler cap is on very snugly. Or else you'll get you check engine light to come on. I have had no other problems with it at all. I have done no maintenance except for oil changes, replacing the air filter and I just regapped my platinum factory spark plugs that were burning out a bit from excessive use/ exceeding thier lifespan. I am going to look into replacing the timing belt once it shows signs of wear. Should really replace it every 60,000 miles, I wait till I see it 'aging' or wearing.
Ah, also I replaced the front brake pads and lubed the sliding pin for both the front brake calipers. The brake wore out on the front left pad when the caliper didn't retract fully to it's normal resting position. This isn't a major problem, rather common. Brakes make for a lot of dust and then there's the normal dirt and grime you normally encounter, along with the heat generated by brakes, the grease inside the pin area under the weather boot tends to dry up a bit.
Best of luck and please post what happens to you in getting this settled. I love manual transmissions and this is causing me to re-think what I'll have the next time I buy.
Ron in Florida I owned the car from new since August 2002 and am closing in on 100,000 miles soon.

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Duncan and Ron;
I had the same issue here in Canada with my 2000 kia Sephia. At 20,000km the clutch began to slip... the car was 9 months old at the time. I returned it to the dealer who, claimed the exact same thing as Duncan's dealer claimed... the clutch is a wear item and it is not covered. They actually had the nerve to blame my "driving habits" and asked me if it was my first standard car!!
Need less to say I was pissed. I had driven a standard car for over 13 years at that point and for them to make that claim... well... it sent me over the edge... I took back the car and drove it another 2,000km (2weeks) until the clutch was slipping in every gear! I returned to my dealer after speaking to kia Canada customer service. They kept the car for a week and replaced the clutch under warranty.
The car worked great until 27,000km... then the whole thing started over again! The dealer claimed there was nothing they could adjust and it was simply my fault!... I was "to hard on the little car" They refused to do anything more for me. I flipped out on Kia Canada's customer service and they agreed to sell me through another dealer a new clutch at "whole sale" and I could have it replaced where ever I wanted providing I would not continue to make it an issue.
I reluctantly agreed and I took the clutch and car to a friends car repair centre to have them install it. They had the car for one day... I picked it up and guess what? It was still slipping!!! The mechanic confirmed that there was no adjustment on the clutch assembly but it was possible that there was an adjustment inside the car on the actual clutch pedal... though that was not common anymore and he had not seen it in years...
He raised the car in the air and looked at the clutch pedal and voiced his disbelief that there actually were 2 adjustable bolts on the pedal! he adjusted the pedal and solved the mystery. 5 years and 167,000km's later... I am happy to say that there has never been another problem with the car! Not one issue, clutch or otherwise... it honestly has been a fantastic little car.
I posted this story before on the group a couple of times, I have no doubt that your problem is the same.
Good luck and happy driving.
Cheers Mike

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That's good to know -- I'll make sure I mention the pedal issue when I take the car in. Thanks!

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Murban, looks indeed like the three of us were 'in the same boat', and my own adjustments seem to take care 90 % of the problem. As long as I don't drag race, so to speak, which isn't ever advisable. I basically nurse the thing, to maximize my investment. The only thing harsh I do do is on the open, flat expressways I do 90 mph when the weather and road surface conditions are good. I think it's taching out at about 4,200 at that speed. I try to avoid holding engine speed when 'cruising' at 3,000 rpm. That seems to be an uncomfortable harmonic to listen to. The 2002 Kia Rio has served me well and has never left me stranded. It's not anything fancy but fills the bill when I need "basic, dependable transportation".
I've had several vehicles (each with over 150k miles I've put on them) with manual transmissions. I didn't want a small car with a three speed automatic and a 1.5 liter engine, and having to PAY for an automatic transmission too... what a gimmick.I've been able to sometimes talk a dealer out of charging for an automatic when looking for a new car with manual, which is not in stock...
Many, many thanks for sharing your stories!
Ron in FL

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Thanks for sharing -- I'll print and take with me to the dealership. :)
D

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I took the car in and mentioned what I'd learned here. As soon as I said I'd learned there was a simple adjustment to be made to the pedal, the service manager perked up and asked if I had a thick snow-mat in my car. As it happens, I did -- a very thick one. He said he'd seen the problem before, he'd adjust the pedal (he did it for free) but that I mustn't interfere with the pedal again. It needs the full range of motion, else it's never completely disengaged and thus I'm chewing gears with every change.
The vehicle functions as expected now, so I'm a happy camper. Thanks for the help, folks!
Cheers; Duncan

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