RIO rear wheel bearings - a problem?

11-04-2008, 04:17 PM
My newly purchased 2003 used RIO (90,000 miles) has had the left side rear
wheel bearing(s) start howling.

Went to Spokane ALTON Tire (KIA was busy for two days!) and they replaced the left side's
bearings (Timkin) and lubed the right side's bearings.

Two days later the left side was howling again....burned!

They replaced both sides (no charge).

Two days later - left side howling again.

They put KIA Bearings in both sides - no charge - but they are pissed at me!
I asked if the wheel spindle or rotor had anything wrong with it - nope!

So - has anyone had problems with KIA RIO rear wheel bearings?

Or is ALTON Tire incompetent ?


11-06-2008, 08:58 AM
yep, on my 02 rio i've replaced mine on both sides 3 times in the last 5 months - they just keep going bad. I took them off, replaced the bearings and races, everything was clean but still no go.

Doesn't matter anymore, I just bought an 04 rio.

11-07-2008, 09:22 AM
I called the Local KIA dealership and talked to a service rep whom I had dealt with
before (good - honest fellow) and told him about the fiasco with the rear wheel
bearings at ALTON Tire.

The first thing he said - KIA bearings are different than normal.

Right off the bat we have a problem........

Then he asked - "did they replace the races also" ?

I have no way of knowing if ALTON replaced just the bearings -which probably
would not match the race.....or everything......Uncommunicative. Pissed off.

He said the RACE must be pressed in and out.

So anyway - three days now with ALTON's third replacement (now using KIA) bearings.
Did they use bearings and race and seals - or just the bearings?

They won't say - they hate me.....simple shit heads!

Not MY FAULT that they screwed up - they were going to use American bearings
from whoever is their contracted parts supplier.

I just suggested TIMPKEN - now it is my fault.

Rhynes - did you do the exchange yourself or did you have it done?

You know the old saying...."If you want something done right - do it yourself!"

I am curious - could I easily do it myself ? The catch word is EASILY...I don't have a hydraulic press.


04-25-2009, 10:09 PM
Here is an update on this ALTON Tire fiasco in Spokane, WA....

Tuesday (21st April) I get a call at 10 PM from my daughter coming home from College class in Spokane.

Her 2003 KIA RIO is howling and acting funny. Knew it had to be wheel bearings again.

It has been only 5 months since ALTON replaced both back wheel bearings three times...

AAA towed it to the KIA Dealer in Liberty Lake, WA and left it.

KIA told me the left rear wheel bearing had exploded !

Ruined the spindle. $358 total....

They checked the right side also - the one ALTON Tire had replaced in addition to the left side.

KIA said that the right side wheel bearings had been tightened too much and backed the nut off
like you are supposed to do...I even know about that when you replace wheel bearings !
The bearings were OK, so they only loosened the nut - probably will survive.

KIA takes all their repair jobs to Les Schwab for alignments...says a lot.

So - I have talked to three people about what happened.

Before I get past "I took the car to Alton Tire", they exclaim, "You took it to ALTON !?"

One guy said he "...wouldn't take a lawn mower to ALTON."

So...I have the receipts to prove this and KIA's receipt and KIA's comments.

Beware folks.

Ask around before you take your car to any shop for any reason !

If the shop has a bad rep - it is for a reason....

If you do this yourself, use KIA Bearings (Special) and back off the Spindle Nut like
you are supposed to do.

If these bearings go bad now, they are warranted by KIA.


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