Kia Carnival Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Kia Carnival reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

What should I do to fix problems on a Kia Carnival 2009 that isn't covered by the warranty?

Answered by CarsGuide 17 Jan 2022

This is precisely why I loathe the typical aftermarket warranties dished up by used-car yards. They are written very carefully to cover the stuff that won’t go wrong, and not cover the things that typically do fail or break. It’s often been said that these warranties are not worth the paper they’re written on, and here’s proof yet again.

What does it matter if the engine failure was caused by a radiator that is blocked, broken, cracked or leaking? The bottom line is that a dud radiator (sold with the rest of the car) appears to have caused the car to overheat and destroy its engine. And yet the fine print of this warranty will allow the warranty company to wriggle out its responsibility to repair an engine it accepted money to cover. The ACCC should get involved in this grubby end of the car trade and sort it out. Now.

As for your friend, I’m not sure what can be done. Allowing somebody with the right legal background to read the warranty might be a good idea. But the used-car dealers who profit from these warranties know the fine print backwards. And I suspect that even if the blocked radiator exclusion hadn’t scuppered her warranty cover, the fact that a previous owner did his own servicing (and therefore, no stamped service book) would have been an alternative get-out for the warranty company. Actually, that’s a thought: If the service book wasn’t fully stamped, should the warranty have even been offered when the car was sold? I’d be asking that of the car-yard.

I’d also be asking who diagnosed the radiator as the problem. If your friend noticed coolant disappearing but not leaking on to the ground, I’d say that was more consistent with a blown head gasket – for which these early Carnivals were infamous. Find out if a blown head gasket is covered in the warranty. If it is, I’d be very suspicious about blaming the radiator. And yes, I’m absolutely suggesting that you’re potentially being lied to about the cause of the engine failure to move the official reason into an area not covered by the warranty. I reckon I’d be having the RACQ (which has a fair bit of clout in these matters) inspect the engine and rule on what caused the meltdown.

Meantime, forget about a $7000 engine. Find a parts recycler (we used to call them wrecking yards) that specialises in second-hand engines and get a good, tested, used engine fitted. Just make sure it doesn’t have the same head gasket problem.

Show More

What Does GUV Stand for?

Answered by CarsGuide 19 Oct 2021

What does GUV stand for? Glad you asked. GUV is a relatively new term on the motoring landscape and, in bald terms, stands for Grand Utility Vehicle. The broad view is that it was an acronym first coined by Kia to describe its current-model Carnival on the basis that it was a step up in luxury from the average SUV and, therefore, needed a grander name; literally, Grand Utility Vehicle.

Like a lot of marketing, of course, the name is more or less meaningless when it comes to being an actual descriptor for the vehicle in question. Yes, the Carnival is well equipped and luxurious for a family vehicle, but 'Grand'? Grammatically, there’s also scope to interpret the vehicle as having a grand level of utility which, given its eight-seat capacity and family friendliness it arguably achieves. Beyond that, however, the definition is rooted purely in the imaginations of the marketing department. Searching for more GUV meaning than that is unlikely to expand the sum of human knowledge.

But now that Kia has slipped the genie from the bottle, you can expect to see the GUV tag applied to all sorts of vehicles formerly known as SUVs, both large and small, and both in Australia and globally. It’s also likely that the vehicles to adopt the GUV tag will be high-end versions of more prosaic SUVs, and there’s a good chance that the prestige brands might introduce the term to their brochures as well.

That said, GUV could also disappear without a trace. The same thing happened to Toyota’s AUV (Action Utility Vehicle) tag a few years ago which was applied to variants of the HiLux range. But the AUV moniker has since been reclaimed by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle industry which builds unmanned submarines to explore the undersea environment.

There’s another reason GUV could disappear from car advertising and marketing: In the US, rising fuel prices have forced older, gas-guzzling SUVs into the driveways of a poorer demographic who can’t afford anything more efficient. At which point, as Urban Dictionary points out, the term GUV was coined to describe the 'Ghetto Utility Vehicle'.

Show More
Kia Carnival 2020 recall: More than 2000 people movers might catch on fire due to alternator

Kia Carnival 2020 recall: More than 2000 people movers might catch on fire due to alternator

31 Aug 2020 · by Justin Hilliard

Kia Australia has recalled 2241 examples of the Carnival people over an alternator fire risk

Read More
RECALL: More than 30,000 Kia Sorento SUVs and Carnival people movers pose fire risk

RECALL: More than 30,000 Kia Sorento SUVs and Carnival people movers pose fire risk

18 Mar 2020 · by Justin Hilliard

Kia Australia has recalled 26,926 Carnival people movers and 3288 Sorento SUVs that could cause fires

Read More

Kia Carnival 2018: Can the software be updated to support Android Auto?

Answered by CarsGuide 4 Oct 2019

In short, no, there is no software upgrade available. The head unit was changed for the 2019 model, and it is the new unit that has the capability of Apple and Android compatibility.

Show More

Kia Carnival 2005: Where can I find an electrical wiring manual?

Answered by CarsGuide 30 Aug 2019

You can buy a workshop manual for the car on the Internet, and it contains a wiring diagram.

Show More

What are the best 7-seat SUV's?

Answered by CarsGuide 30 Aug 2019

A better option for someone with a tribe to transport would be a peoplemover, such as the Kia Carnival, Hyundai iMax, or VW Transporter. They’re made for that purpose and much more practical than an SUV.

Show More

Kia Carnival 2017: Error message on nav

Answered by CarsGuide 17 Aug 2019

Take the car to your Kia dealer and have it fixed. Your car is still under warranty so you shouldn't have to pay for any fixes that might be required.

Show More

What is the most expensive Kia?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Jun 2019

The most expensive new Kia is the Carnival Platinum listed at $62,790. For more info on the latest models check out our pricing and specs page, and you'll find all Kia reviews and news here

Show More

Is it worth getting a secondhand replacement engine for my 2004 Kia Carnival?

Answered by CarsGuide 13 Jul 2018

It is likely that there is a head gasket problem; it was a common issue with the early Carnival. Buying a secondhand engine is inviting trouble. It could also be struck down with the same problem and you could find yourself back in the same situation. I would be doing the head gasket rather than buying a secondhand engine, that way you know it is fixed.

Show More

Over 8,000 questions answered by CarsGuide

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Complete Guide to Kia

Reviews, price, specs and more