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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never seen anything like this... Opened my car door, looked down at the mat and saw a wet spot. Got up under the dash and could see what looks like oil, dripping from part of the steering column. I had my steering coupler replaced last July at the dealer (Recall) and couldn't help to think that they F-ed something up...

2012 SX, about 28,000 miles on it... Has anyone experienced this?:confused:
 

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2012 Kia Optima SX
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Most recalls have a 12 month P&L warranty, I'd get back to the dealer ASAP to show them. It may be a bad unit that got installed (rare but it does happen).

Side note: How the **** do you have a 2012 with only 28,000 miles?! Haha
 

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Is that dripping from a particular part of the steering column? Is that the mechanical key lock?

I personally replaced my own steering coupler, and the process did NOT involve any liquid oil.

Can you feel and smell the fluid, what is it like? Can you confirm if it has a color too?
 

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That is very odd and I agree with KingFatty that there should not be a "fluid" in that area. My understanding is the KIA Optima steering, since 2011, is electronic and only communicates to the Rack and Pinion system, which would contain steering fluid. I suspect a seal ruptured in that box/unit and that's the oil that was inside to keep it lubed. Either way it's a trip back to that dealer to get it fixed soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most recalls have a 12 month P&L warranty, I'd get back to the dealer ASAP to show them. It may be a bad unit that got installed (rare but it does happen).

Side note: How the **** do you have a 2012 with only 28,000 miles?! Haha
I have 2 cars, the other takes me to work & errands... lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is that dripping from a particular part of the steering column? Is that the mechanical key lock?

I personally replaced my own steering coupler, and the process did NOT involve any liquid oil.

Can you feel and smell the fluid, what is it like? Can you confirm if it has a color too?
Not sure what a mechanical key lock is but this is under my dash and you can see it's dripping from the big silver thing right next to the air/heat vent. Looks like oil probably to lube in that area, gonna call up Kia in a minute...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update... Just talked to Kia, they said they've not heard of a leaking steering column and for me to bring it in. They charge a minimum $175 to start to order and if it has something to do with the coupler replacement there will be no charge. However suspicious that I am, if they didn't put the steering column back together correctly and damaged something else, will they fess up to it??? I'm willing to bet that it's too easy to say, "you got a bad blah, blah, blah, and it has to be replaced" that will be $300 please...😒
 

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Hmm well the steering coupler is much much lower down, like above your toes. So even if it was spewing oil like a geyser that would still be too far underneath.

I'm just being cautious because in my mind, seeing oil means that the shop would not refund you the $175 diagnosis because oil is not involved in the steering coupler replacement?

Maybe just wipe it off over time it will stop?

Perhaps the shop decided to lube the column adjuster knob, and used liquid oil instead of grease?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmm well the steering coupler is much much lower down, like above your toes. So even if it was spewing oil like a geyser that would still be too far underneath.

I'm just being cautious because in my mind, seeing oil means that the shop would not refund you the $175 diagnosis because oil is not involved in the steering coupler replacement?

Maybe just wipe it off over time it will stop?

Perhaps the shop decided to lube the column adjuster knob, and used liquid oil instead of grease?
Yes I believe the coupler is lower however, there should be no "oil" in the column. If you search "leaking steering column" YouTube or anywhere on ANY car, there is no such thing! I confirmed with a buddy who is a tech at BMW, that there shouldn't be any oil but only grease in the column.
So I'm going with my first thoughts that some idiot tech used oil and not grease when reassembling the column during the fixing of the coupler and during these hot days the oil collected and ran out. I don't think very highly of my dealership as when taking my car in last year to get ALL the recalls done at once, thinking 1 trip = less chance for them to F-up my car... Wrong! Picked up car, someone hit a curb... lower bumper damage, inner wheel liner hanging out, scuffed up rim. Said they'ed fix it... next pick up wheel liner still hanging out, 2 light scratches across my hood, knuckle dent in the rear qtr panel. Service guy actually told me that the liner is hanging out because my car is lowered, Wait What?:unsure: Next pick up... The matte black license plate mount is now grey because the white polish they used on the hood got on it:rolleyes: still can see the dent on the qtr panel and they scratched/cracked the rear lens. New dent/scratch on the trunk lip🤦‍♂️ Eventually after over a month I pick up my car, looking decent but not great... I pop the trunk to see how they replaced my rear lens and the inner panel was noticeable not on right. Service guy saw my face and said we can fix that! I said F_CK that, I'll do it myself, where are my keys...

Okay... so as of now, I've wiped down the column of any oil and I'll keep an eye on it. Basically just have to watch for another spot on my floor mat. I won't spend $175 on the mere chance that they would admit to one of their idiots using oil instead of grease...😒
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe just wipe it off over time it will stop?

Perhaps the shop decided to lube the column adjuster knob, and used liquid oil instead of grease?
For some reason, I just saw ur last 2 sentences lol So yeah, if I don't see any more dripping I won't worry about it. But if I see much more...:oops:
 

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Ugh that shop sounds like a nightmare. Sometimes it's worthwhile to just do the work yourself, even if the shop is free (like for a recall). Sometimes free work comes at a greater cost than using your own time/effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hear ya King, but those recalls had to be done... Coupler, larger oil line to the turbo, knock sensor, oil check to see if I had the excessive metal shavings that lead to engine failure, etc...
 
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