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Just got a letter today from KIA about how they are extending warranty to cover the steering coupler replacement. Anyone else get one yet? Sorry if this is old news, but my letter just arrived today.
Hi king, you seem to know a lot about Kia Optima what year’s are they extending the warranty?
 

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My wife's 2016 Optima steering wheel locked up while she driving out of our neighborhood on Tuesday this week. She was driving at approximately 5 MPH down our street upon leaving our driveway and she attempted to make a turn onto the main highway, the wheel locked and she could not steer the wheel. She was able to brake until the car came to a stop. She did not get hurt, but it was a scary situation for her to say the least. We called the local Kia dealership and informed them what to place and they made arrangements for a tow to their lot. Upon diagnostic testing, the service manager informed me that the coupler had failed. I asked him if there was a recall for the coupler and he said no. We never received a letter from Kia informing us that there was an issue with the coupler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
My wife's 2016 Optima steering wheel locked up while she driving out of our neighborhood on Tuesday this week. She was driving at approximately 5 MPH down our street upon leaving our driveway and she attempted to make a turn onto the main highway, the wheel locked and she could not steer the wheel. She was able to brake until the car came to a stop. She did not get hurt, but it was a scary situation for her to say the least. We called the local Kia dealership and informed them what to place and they made arrangements for a tow to their lot. Upon diagnostic testing, the service manager informed me that the coupler had failed. I asked him if there was a recall for the coupler and he said no. We never received a letter from Kia informing us that there was an issue with the coupler.
This manager might be confused, or referring to a different part. From what I understand how things work, I don't think the flexible coupler can cause the steering wheel to lock, because it's too rubbery and flexible and will just be pulverized easily if you need to turn the wheel.

Maybe you had some kind of metal linkage coupling in the steering column give out. Or maybe the power steering unit itself froze in place, like the electric motor itself froze up.
 

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This manager might be confused, or referring to a different part. From what I understand how things work, I don't think the flexible coupler can cause the steering wheel to lock, because it's too rubbery and flexible and will just be pulverized easily if you need to turn the wheel.
The PDF from Turbonut states exactly this (due to the wear of the flexible coupling in the MDPS) but needs high humidity from near water areas....
I'm (a '16) 250 mi from the Gulf but will print & keep in glove box. Can't imagine interstate driving & this happens - will carry a 2nd pair of shorts in the car now.
 

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@mgarza2261..... are you near large bodies of water to net High Humidity (or is your area considered High Humidity) as cited in PDF letter as a contributing cause to the Flexible Steering Coupler degradation?
A 2016 with the failure that's Not in high humidity would be a wake-up call to me to get a check-up for mine.....
 

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Sorry to keep this going but my local Svc Rep made it sound like this Piece (that Use to Be Rubber / Mine replaced I think on an SA to Hard Poly-something) IS the Flexible Steering Coupler AND IT CANNOT Cause Steering Lock. I SHOW it as a Grommet-like piece in the Brake Light Switch that caused Lights On all the time when it failed.

Does anyone recognize this piece AND KNOW Where the Steering Coupler is if this isn't it?

MY BRAKE PEDAL GROMMET NEW TYPE.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
No, that's unrelated to steering. As you know it is for proper operation of the brake pedal. When that part fails, the brake lights remain on, and it drains your battery.

As for the flexible steering coupler, here is the picture I took of mine. There are also videos showing how it's fairly easy to change this part, and for me it was pretty easy to change it out.

Here is how you just remove some bolts to lower the steering column down, let it rest on the seat and expose the large power steering electric motor shown here toward the base of the steering column:
249538


And here is how you remove the power steering motor, and inside is the rubber coupler that softens the connection between the power steering motor and the input steering column. I'm holding the new part in my hand, and the old part is still installed:

249539


Please note: the dealership lied to me and claimed to have replaced this part just a few weeks before I decided to check myself and prove that they are big fat liars who charged Kia corporate for this TSB work they never actually performed.
 

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KingFatty, Really appreciate the education and great pics.
I saw that a '16 had a locked wheel from this failure and asked the cost to inspect.
The Svc writer confirmed its real location & maintains that the Coupler is Not Likely the Cause of a Steering Lock and talks more of a "play in the wheel" OR a Click when moving the wheel.
I'm at no position to argue and have left the issue to simmer since they haven't had this issue here.
Thanks again!!
 

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My car is under this extended warranty. My EPS light came on and the steering was really hard. After turning car off and letting it sit for a bit, it went off and steering was back to normal. I do have the noise everyone talks about in here but was told by Kia that it was my brakes. Anywho, I took it to the dealership today to get it looked at and they are saying it is not the flexible coupling but the steering column that needs replaced. Question... do you all think its possible that the coupling is indeed bad and caused the MDPS steering column to need replacing? Please respond asap!!!
 

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Just got a letter today from KIA about how they are extending warranty to cover the steering coupler replacement. Anyone else get one yet? Sorry if this is old news, but my letter just arrived today.
I have the same problem but a 2014 Kia Sorento & all I can find is the limited warranty extension (unlimited miles) program for other models but NOT the Sorento. For the 2014 Sorento its only a NTSB. And help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. I have an apt tomorrow with my dealership for the new recall. Thank you so much! Tracey
 
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