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2021 K5 GT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me just first say that buying a car over the phone and through e-mail is something I've never done before but dealing with a dealership around 600 KM (375 miles) away added another layer to everything.
It was unavoidable as there are few dealerships in my area and none of them had the car I wanted.

I requested my vehicle come with a block heater installed as I had one in my previous car.
The sales rep added it to the bill of sale and it was mostly forgotten about until the day I took delivery.
Due to the distance and my lack of time available to pick up the car, we planned to have the car delivered to a Walmart parking lot halfway between my home and the dealership.
We arrived first and staked out the main entrance.
The K5 arrived a few minutes later and we waived the driver down to meet us in the big open area we had parked in. Everything looked great! I did a quick (OMG I can't believe it) walk around and then got to a little more serious checking things over. Upon the second slower walk around I observed the block heater plug protruding from the lower front grill in a very disappointing way. Take a look. (Don't mind the bugs)
Tire Land vehicle Car Wheel Automotive parking light
Automotive parking light Car Grille Automotive lighting Hood
Motor vehicle Grille Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting
Automotive lighting Grille Hood Automotive design Motor vehicle
Hood Grille Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting


I took possession of the vehicle despite the issue, as I was not going to refuse to sign the paperwork and chance losing out on the car I had been searching for.

This type of block heater plug is designed to be installed flush with the surface they are mounted on. After reading the instructions and looking at what had been done and what parts were leftover, it was obvious that several things were done incorrectly. The dealership acknowledged an inexperienced tech completed the install (their first ever) and no supervisor or superior looked over their work.
They have since sent me a new lower grille to replace this one pictured and a new block heater kit as drain holes were unplugged in the installed cord that should have been left in place.
They say they are going to pay to have a local body shop remove the front bumper, replace the lower grille and the block heater cord then re-install the bumper.
I now have all the parts and the hole saw to drill the new grille so maybe before winter, it will be looking how it should have all along.
Stay tuned.
 

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2021 Kia K5 GT-Line AWD
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833 Posts
Apparently, it wasn't being done by a professional, let alone being supervised by a more experienced technician to make sure the first time installer was doing things correctly.

Seeing how that hole was drilled out is just... Oof... Looked like the hole itself was improperly drilled, causing the plastic to melt and twist. And then that one tapped screw just being screwed in improperly and can be seen peeking through the plastic grille above the plug. I have to wonder if anyone even inspected the work before sending it off.
 

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2021 K5 GT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It gives me great pleasure to have someone else notice the absurdity of this install as well.
That one screw that is peeking through is what made the whole grille replace required. Without that damage, the ugly drill hole could be covered up with one of the included backing washers and the holes from the removed screws would be only visible from inches off the ground. The thought of having a new car pulled apart to fix such a mistake made me sick to my stomach at first but I have come to accept this.
 

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Wow unbelievable. Hope everything turns out properly.

Selfish question. Did the block heater come with detailed instructions to allow for an at home install? I think there is a pre existing hole in the block that the heater simply snaps in to but I'm not sure. Thx John
 

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'22 GT-Line AWD
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71 Posts
That is completely unacceptable. In my line of work if I don't know something and am not comfortable with the request, I talk to someone with the experience or at least reach out online to find support. There is no way it should have been delivered like this. At least the dealership is acknowledging the issue though.
 

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2021 Kia, K5, GT Line
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11 Posts
That's the WORST install of a block heater I think I've ever seen, and I've lived/worked in garden spots like the UP of Michigan & Fairbanks, Alaska. I really think you need to check the routing of the power cord, and the install, (most likely replacing a freeze plug), to make sure that part was done properly.

At least the dealership responded positively.
 
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