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2004 Kia Optima LX
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 2004 White Kia Optima LX with 82K miles. Four speed automatic.

I had the oil changed yesterday and the dealer said that I needed to replace the steering rack and valve cover gaskets. It'll cost about $1400 to fix. NADA value of the car is only $3400.

I also spent about that much within the last couple of years. Replace CV Boot, Timing Belt, power steering line (twice). New brakes AND rotors.

I'm really tired of having to visit the mechanic every six months. Could this be a sign of additional big repairs down the line?

If I get a new (used) car, I can put the trade in value toward the cost of the car.

Should I repair or replace?
 

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What are the issues with the steering rack that made the dealer recommend it be replaced?

Some of the items you listed would have to be done no matter what car it is since they were regular service items - timing belt, brakes.
The CV boot could have torn running over road debris, so I wouldn't hold that against the car.

How does the car run now?
How much does the valve cover gasket leak?

While I agree that the car isn't worth much but if it's been reliable then it might be worth it.
 

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I would take it to an independent shop. You can buy a refurbished rack on eBay for a little over 100$ and a valve cover gasket is cheap and easy to do.
 
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