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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last week, my 2006 Optima stalled while I was driving it on the highway. I had it towed to the local Kia dealership where they told me the engine was repairable and quoted me around $1,000 for a new timing belt, camshaft and crankshaft position sensors - which had supposedly been damaged in the stall, balance belt and a couple other engine belts. I agreed and was able to drive it home later that day.

Earlier this week, after about 100 miles of driving, I noticed the engine was idling a little rough and vibrating more than usual. The dealership told me to bring it back in and they would recheck it for free. What they ended up "finding" this time was a leaking valve casing and oil-contaminated ignition coils: $475.

Feeling like they had misled me for not revealing these problems the week before, I contacted the dealership's general manager. My position is that had I known the actual repair cost would be nearly $1500 rather than nearly $1000, I would have declined the repairs, paid the $100 diagnostic fee, had the vehicle towed out and counted my losses. As a result, they have offered to do this repair for half price, about $237.

Would you have this repair done? Having already invested $1000 into this I'd like the engine to be in good running condition so I can sell the vehicle and recover my losses, but not if I'm going to drive it home only to find it needs even more repairs. I stuck between having already spent more than I wanted to spend and not wanting the investment I've already made to be a waste.

Shouldn't they have known about these other issues last week? I am obviously not an engine expert but wouldn't it have been reasonable for them to inspect the valves for damage, since it jumped time, and wouldn't these other issues have been discovered during that process? They sure had no problems finding several other smaller, unrelated problems to add to my original quote.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Dave and yes, I fully realize I should have come here sooner. Unfortunately when you're on the highway 20 miles from home, it's 20 degrees outside and you're not even sure where you're going to have the car towed because you don't have a "regular" mechanic, your options seem a little more limited. My wife advised against accepting the original estimate (basically, assuming that other stuff would start coming out of the woodwork very quickly and we should have it checked elsewhere) and sure enough, she was right. Anyway, water over the dam.

The Optima has 96K miles. The timing belt did not break but apparently slipped some teeth. Perhaps, as you said, the crank sensor failed and that caused this. At any rate, they claimed the engine was undamaged.

So even if the dealership only charges me $237, you still think I'd do better off buying the coil packs, plugs and valve cover gasket myself and taking it to another mechanic? I don't really know any around here that do particularly inexpensive work.

One other question. If I am not using this as my primary vehicle anymore (I'd basically be driving it just enough to keep the battery from dying) and plan to sell it fairly short-term, how critical is this work? Would this be reasonable to pass on to a new owner (with a discount, of course), or is it critical enough to be done right away?
 
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