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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Because you admit you are not mechanically inclined I would suggest you ASK your friends WHO/WHAT independent Asian car mechanic they take their cars to....
There are a lot of BAD mechanics out there.... Dealerships want to make money so they give high estimates and also push to sell you a NEW car... The service departments are usually staffed by inexperienced younger people... I have had to teach my local KIA/Hyundai service guys some tricks....
With a chain drive for cam timing and with a poor oil change history the chain will wear and stretch and give the problems you posted...
A good mechanic could probably doe the timing chains for much less but the engine should be checked to see if it is worth while to do...
It is probably a 3.8L V6 but give us the mileage on the car also...
Dave
 

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99 Kia Elan, 17 Ford Edge Sport, 15 Mustang, 08 Harley Nightrain
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Sorry, Just one more thing. Why would the top of that Variable Timing Solenoid have dried up oil caked on top. From the looks of it there are 2 on the engine. There is a big difference in the way they look.
Not really much to deduce from that - one cam cover shows signs of minor oil leakage which would have coated the CVVT solenoid, and the other side not - the exterior appearance doesn't mean much.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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Sorry, it has 111000 roughly miles. EXTREMELY Poorly maintained. Honestly, other than past due oil changes she probably did NOTHING.
In trying to figure out exactly how serious the problems with your vehicle might be, it's REALLY important to know what the oil maintenance has been. And it's also a key factor in what repairs to consider doing (i.e. how much $$ to throw at this one). If the oil maintenance has in fact been really poor, then there's a good chance the entire engine (top and bottom) is compromised, and the best choice would be to bail on it.

But we're operating completely in the dark on this. 'Past due oil changes' is not very promising, but perhaps it's not quite as bad as that sounds. So can you post what oil change intervals she used? Did she save oil change receipts, or at least basically follow the mileage that the shops write on the oil change window sticker? Shops still often use 3K mile oil change intervals, so if she was within 2-3K of that, the oil maintenance history might not be so bad.
 

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Caribou, Otter, Buffalo
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To properly diagnose the VVT solenoids, you need a top line scanner that has the capability of 2 way communication..

With poor maintenance the solenoids can and will plug up with varnish causing them to drag/stick..

You might start with a high detergent flush, and then an oil pressure test with a calibrated gauge..

... Philip
 

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2009 Kia Borrego
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
In trying to figure out exactly how serious the problems with your vehicle might be, it's REALLY important to know what the oil maintenance has been. And it's also a key factor in what repairs to consider doing (i.e. how much $$ to throw at this one). If the oil maintenance has in fact been really poor, then there's a good chance the entire engine (top and bottom) is compromised, and the best choice would be to bail on it.

But we're operating completely in the dark on this. 'Past due oil changes' is not very promising, but perhaps it's not quite as bad as that sounds. So can you post what oil change intervals she used? Did she save oil change receipts, or at least basically follow the mileage that the shops write on the oil change window sticker? Shops still often use 3K mile oil change intervals, so if she was within 2-3K of that, the oil maintenance history might not be so bad.
My wife says her goal was every 3K miles. She insists she never went more than 1k to 2k past that goal.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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My wife says her goal was every 3K miles. She insists she never went more than 1k to 2k past that goal.
If what she said is accurate, then her Borrego has not had poor oil maintenance. Although I'm not familiar with your vehicle, I don't think there's much left on the road these days that's under a 5K OCI, and many are in the 7.5K range. That doesn't mean it can't have a timing chain problem, just that it didn't occur as a result of oil issues, unless there's an external leak.

I'd second what's already been recommended, and suggest that you find a good indy shop in order to get another diagnosis. Don't mention having been to KIA, their diagnosis, or what you think the problem might be. Just hand over the keys and let them do their thing.
 

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2009 Kia Borrego
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
This morning I went out to look for the oil screen filter and I decided to unplug that solenoid I was referring to and inspect the electrical to it. Is the oil inside the connector a bad thing?
 

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Super Moderator
99 Kia Elan, 17 Ford Edge Sport, 15 Mustang, 08 Harley Nightrain
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This morning I went out to look for the oil screen filter and I decided to unplug that solenoid I was referring to and inspect the electrical to it. Is the oil inside the connector a bad thing?
No, it could even help prevent oxidation of the electrical contacts.

Diagnostics is what you need.
 

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2009 Kia Borrego EX 4.6 V8
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You are saying that the problem started right after you changed the oil, so it is very likely that the shop used oil with a different viscosity (too thick). That could create many issues.
Flushing and putting new oil in may solve the problem, and that will cost you $50. It is always good to get the proper diagnostic though, as other have recommended.
 
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