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No confidence in Kia Telluride for Towing

Messages
2
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3
Location
California
#1
My husband just contacted Kia. Not very helpful. We spoke to three different people in three different departments. We had several questions about their 'tow package'. Their answers were: Yes, there is a misprint in the manual and the tongue weight of the hitch is 500lbs. They also said yes, you can attach the wiring for a 7 pin harness, an after-market brake controller and an external transmission cooler (they did manage to tell us that the Telluride has one of those integrated ones that goes into the radiator) but no, the dealer won't do that. You're on your own. They didn't know whether or not that would have a negative effect on the warranty. When asked about the 'can tow 5000lbs when properly equipped' statement, they didn't know what 'properly equipped' meant. The very fact that the car hits the sales floor without the proper equipment (even AFTER opting for the tow package) in comparison to it's competitors makes me very nervous to purchase one. Now the Subaru Ascent is looking much more attractive. Pre-wired for a brake controller, 7 pin harness, and 277lbs of Torque @ 2,000 rpm. Telly's torque is 262 @ 5,200rpm. I'm starting to think that the Telluride really isn't set up as a tow vehicle which is a shame as I really wanted to like it ... I'm happy for someone to correct me though?!
 
OP
Scratchy907
Messages
2
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3
Location
California
Thread Starter #3
If that's the case, then they really shouldn't advertise the car with the ability to tow 5,000lbs.

It makes me very hesitant to buy a car from a company who appear to be manipulating numbers in order to match their competitors.
 
Messages
76
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37
#4
Kudos for asking this Pre Purchase, instead of buying it then complaining about what it can't do.
 

Odkf

New Member
Messages
2
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0
Location
Utah
#5
This is really unfortunate. The self-leveling at first made me think they were serious but then only inclining a 4 pin really bummed me out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Messages
8
Likes
3
Location
Ohio
#6
My husband just contacted Kia. Not very helpful. We spoke to three different people in three different departments. We had several questions about their 'tow package'. Their answers were: Yes, there is a misprint in the manual and the tongue weight of the hitch is 500lbs. They also said yes, you can attach the wiring for a 7 pin harness, an after-market brake controller and an external transmission cooler (they did manage to tell us that the Telluride has one of those integrated ones that goes into the radiator) but no, the dealer won't do that. You're on your own. They didn't know whether or not that would have a negative effect on the warranty. When asked about the 'can tow 5000lbs when properly equipped' statement, they didn't know what 'properly equipped' meant. The very fact that the car hits the sales floor without the proper equipment (even AFTER opting for the tow package) in comparison to it's competitors makes me very nervous to purchase one. Now the Subaru Ascent is looking much more attractive. Pre-wired for a brake controller, 7 pin harness, and 277lbs of Torque @ 2,000 rpm. Telly's torque is 262 @ 5,200rpm. I'm starting to think that the Telluride really isn't set up as a tow vehicle which is a shame as I really wanted to like it ... I'm happy for someone to correct me though?!

Wow. I agree that doing your research before purchase is smart and something many don't do.

It's unfortunate that the KT cant meet your needs or the needs or anyone who needs tow upwards of 5,000 pounds. Anything can tow a mini U Haul pod.

I opted for the tow package mainly for the hitch and the self leveling. I will never tow anything but I use the hitch for a bike rack and 20 cu ft cargo carrier.

I usually travel fully loaded and the minivan squats at the rear. Self leveling will aid in ride and control as the rear suspension isn't compressed full time.
As the kids have gotten older, this is the first year at Thanksgiving that we didn't need the luggage carrier.

I really don't like the transmission cooler in the radiator. Honda did that for years and used a 10 cent washer that corroded causing catastrophic failure of the transmission as it sucked coolant when the washer corroded and the pipe leaked. Many automakers do this. I bypassed my '04 MDX cooler with an aux cooler from AZO as it approached 90K miles to avoid that problem.

Seriously Kia, an $800 tow package should include an aux transmission cooler and a 7 pin harness and customer service shouldn't be clueless.

Fortunately for my needs, their inadequate tow set up will suffice.

I could have installed a hitch myself as I have done 5 laying on my back (as Roberto Duran said to Sugar Ray Leonard "No mas").

Aftermarket hitches aren't as well integrated (they do work, my van hitch occasionally scrapes on certain driveways because it hangs lower than a factory hitch) and I wanted the self level Nivomat shocks (which I could install myself as well).

GLuck. The Ascent is a fine choice. What did you think of the Explorer or Pilot if you looked
 

gwyn

Member
Messages
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26
#7
'm happy for someone to correct me though?!
If you are towing anything about 4,000lbs or up, you really need to get a full truck or larger SUV. The Ascent is a great vehicle, but will not safely tow 4,000+ load, no real SUV in this class can.

You will need to get an Explorer or larger vehicle.

Adding a 7 pin harness is only a few hundred dollars more. The transmission cooler will hold up to a sub 5,000lb load. As for warranty, make sure you get a warranty from the shop that installs the trailer. As long as the install does not cause the problem, you are 100% covered by KIA warranty.

I have tow a lot of stuff, and I will say that if you are with in the to 80% of the towing limit, you are really pushing the limits of the vehicle. I know that will cause a lot of people to get upset.
So....

I would google the 80% rule and argue with the experts.
 
Messages
8
Likes
3
Location
Ohio
#8
If you are towing anything about 4,000lbs or up, you really need to get a full truck or larger SUV. The Ascent is a great vehicle, but will not safely tow 4,000+ load, no real SUV in this class can.

You will need to get an Explorer or larger vehicle.

Adding a 7 pin harness is only a few hundred dollars more. The transmission cooler will hold up to a sub 5,000lb load. As for warranty, make sure you get a warranty from the shop that installs the trailer. As long as the install does not cause the problem, you are 100% covered by KIA warranty.

I have tow a lot of stuff, and I will say that if you are with in the to 80% of the towing limit, you are really pushing the limits of the vehicle. I know that will cause a lot of people to get upset.
So....

I would google the 80% rule and argue with the experts.
Sounds like they should have rated at 3500 rather than 5. The tow package for $795 really should include everything to tow 5000 pounds including the trans cooler and 7 pin even if they can be added relatively inexpensively later.
I agree, for serious towing, a Ram or Suburban would be far better.
If the transmission fails with an aftermarket device attached, it will be difficult to prove it didn’t cause the failure and the manufacturer holds all the cards in these situations.
 

gwyn

Member
Messages
66
Likes
26
#9
Sounds like they should have rated at 3500 rather than 5. The tow package for $795 really should include everything to tow 5000 pounds including the trans cooler and 7 pin even if they can be added relatively inexpensively later.
I agree, for serious towing, a Ram or Suburban would be far better.
If the transmission fails with an aftermarket device attached, it will be difficult to prove it didn’t cause the failure and the manufacturer holds all the cards in these situations.

The transmission has a cooler and can tow up to 5000 lbs with out over heating. I wonder who came up with the idea that it did not have a cooler. There is zero reasons to add an overmarket cooler. The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act manufacture would have to prove that the part causes the damage. If they can not prove the part caused the damage, then they must cover the damage. A part you don't need.

90% of under 4000 trailers will have a 4 pin plug, but yes, they should have included a 7 pin plug. Completely agree with you on that.

Ok, we will say 3,500. Now we apply the 80% rule, so we are at 2,800lbs. And according to our logic, we need to use that as the stated tow limit. So we are at 2,800. And now we apply 80% to that...2240...logic...1792...logic...1434...logic...1147...logic...917...logic...734...logic...587...logic...469...logic...376...logic...300...logic...240...logic...192...logic...153...logic...123...logic... 98...logic...78...logic...62...logic...50...logic...40...logic...32...logic...27...logic...20...logic...16...logic...13...logic...10...logic...8...logic...6...logic...5...logic...4...logic...3...logic...2...logic...1....logic 0.


OH MY GOD!!!! They should have listed it as zero towing ability. By our logic, they should have listed it at 0. You don't need a 7 pin plug, because you can not tow anything and your warranty is perfectly safe.
 
Messages
8
Likes
3
Location
Ohio
#10
The transmission has a cooler and can tow up to 5000 lbs with out over heating. I wonder who came up with the idea that it did not have a cooler. There is zero reasons to add an overmarket cooler. The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act manufacture would have to prove that the part causes the damage. If they can not prove the part caused the damage, then they must cover the damage. A part you don't need.

90% of under 4000 trailers will have a 4 pin plug, but yes, they should have included a 7 pin plug. Completely agree with you on that.

Ok, we will say 3,500. Now we apply the 80% rule, so we are at 2,800lbs. And according to our logic, we need to use that as the stated tow limit. So we are at 2,800. And now we apply 80% to that...2240...logic...1792...logic...1434...logic...1147...logic...917...logic...734...logic...587...logic...469...logic...376...logic...300...logic...240...logic...192...logic...153...logic...123...logic... 98...logic...78...logic...62...logic...50...logic...40...logic...32...logic...27...logic...20...logic...16...logic...13...logic...10...logic...8...logic...6...logic...5...logic...4...logic...3...logic...2...logic...1....logic 0.


OH MY GOD!!!! They should have listed it as zero towing ability. By our logic, they should have listed it at 0. You don't need a 7 pin plug, because you can not tow anything and your warranty is perfectly safe.
I'm not disagreeing with you. I am familiar with other tow options elsewhere and several include more for $800, that's all. Certainly Kia is smart enough to rate the vehicle as it sees fit and include what they will and all of us could just be quiet. That wouldn't be any fun though.
 
Messages
69
Likes
40
Location
Woodstock, IL, USA
#11
If the transmission fails with an aftermarket device attached, it will be difficult to prove it didn’t cause the failure and the manufacturer holds all the cards in these situations.
I'm with @Gywn on this part... the onus is on the car mfg to prove an aftermarket part is the cause of a failure, not on the car owner to prove the aftermarket part didn't cause the failure. The aftermarket part is innocent until proven guilty...;)

As far as the towing - haven't hooked up my trailer yet, but it's a light one, even with both motorcycles aboard, and pretty sure if my '01 Tribute and '12 Escape could tow it, it'll be a walk in the park for the T-ride and 4-pin is all that's needed (although 7-pin would be nice to provide direct battery power for the onboard air compressor for the air ride suspension of the trailer).

Other threads here and in other forums, people hauling 4,500 lb camping trailers are saying they are having no issues (after adding the 7-pin and brake controller of course).

FWIW
 

kao

New Member
Messages
5
Likes
0
Location
NC
#12
Check the other forum. Plenty of people are towing close to limit with no complaints. Some states don't require a brake for trailer, so 4 pin can be sufficient for many.
 

dalex7777

New Member
Messages
7
Likes
1
Location
Tulsa, OK, USA
#13
Hi @Scratchy907

I understand your concerns. Kia really needs to get coordinate their communication to their customers and dealer networks to clearly convey the actual capabilities of their vehicles. Your findings remind me a bit of the interior lighting issue with the differences between buyers and Kia's marketing materials.

Having said that, a YouTuber I follow Jason Darrah from Primal Outdoors is a real overland guy had no problem doing some towing with his Telluride. He did have the issue of installing the 7-pin harness and had some other modifications done, but I think he went with the OEM towing setup. You can see his video here:

Here's how his Telluride was modified for long overland runs in the Pacific Northwest:

And here's another YouTuber @timlaw71 who installed his 7-pin harness:

Also another thing on information clarity. From what I understand the 5,000lbs is the total CARGO capacity, not just towing. So if you have a heavy cargo carrier on top of the roof, or a lot of luggage, that needs to be deducted from the number that Kia marketing is so happy to print everywhere.

All the best with your decision, I hope you find these links helfpul.
 
Messages
8
Likes
3
Location
Ohio
#14
Hi @Scratchy907

I understand your concerns. Kia really needs to get coordinate their communication to their customers and dealer networks to clearly convey the actual capabilities of their vehicles. Your findings remind me a bit of the interior lighting issue with the differences between buyers and Kia's marketing materials.

Having said that, a YouTuber I follow Jason Darrah from Primal Outdoors is a real overland guy had no problem doing some towing with his Telluride. He did have the issue of installing the 7-pin harness and had some other modifications done, but I think he went with the OEM towing setup. You can see his video here:

Here's how his Telluride was modified for long overland runs in the Pacific Northwest:

And here's another YouTuber @timlaw71 who installed his 7-pin harness:

Also another thing on information clarity. From what I understand the 5,000lbs is the total CARGO capacity, not just towing. So if you have a heavy cargo carrier on top of the roof, or a lot of luggage, that needs to be deducted from the number that Kia marketing is so happy to print everywhere.

All the best with your decision, I hope you find these links helfpul.
Good point that I hope most tow people would know. Good info, knowledge is power. As I read this, then four 200 pound guys without luggage would result in a reduced 4200 tow capacity. Of the few I know who tow, I know of no one who calculates people and luggage as part of the tow capacity but they're not towing anywhere close to max so it matters not if they have 1500lbs of cargo I guess.

I won't be towing anything but I need to consider tongue weight for my hitch mounted cargo carrier.

I gave up the roof top foolishness years ago. It's sitting under my deck.
No more roof cross bars to buy (I have Yakima clamps and get cheap natural gas line pipe from Lowe's cut to the appropriate width), no climbing, no lifting luggage, no slipping on a wet bumper, and no terrible aerodynamics cutting MPG.
 


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