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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, just found this forum, hope y'all can give some advice. Found a '07 Spectra 5 w/113k miles, AT, for $6000.

Drove it today and it was really smooth, I was impressed with the acceleration (I'm accustomed to a Civic so I guess the 2.0 makes a difference). It seems to be mechanically sound -- however I'm not a mechanic and I'll get it checked before I buy. The carfax is totally clean and the one previous owner did all scheduled maintenance.

Cosmetically it has one issue, a large scrape/dent to the rear drivers side panel - I've attached pics.

Given the scrape/dent you see in the pics (and assuming a clean bill of health from the mechanic) what are thoughts on this asking price? and, more importantly, what can I expect from a Spectra with 113K miles on it? For instance, I've noticed on my 2 Honda Civics that things start to go around 130-140K miles (radiator / exhaust etc). curious what the expectations are for Kia's in general as they get up there in mileage.

thanks in advance for any thoughts.
J
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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I would be careful with this car... The rear "scrape" looks more like a failed body repair.
A scrape would not cause cracks in paint on the body panel (as shown). The cracks come from body filler (bondo) that has been hit again. Also the second picture shows a poorly painted over section of surface rust.
We like KIAs here and would support your purchase "if" you bought it...knowing... that some problems have been hidden. I wonder how hard this car has been driven and how much preventive maintenance has been done in the past.
The transmission fluid should have been changed 3 times (every 30k, drain and refill) and the oil and filter every 3000 to 5000 miles. You are also due for a second timing belt (every 60k miles) and it may not have been replaced at all (running on original belt???). That is a ticking time bomb ready to destroy the engine. (just like Honda and Toyota interference engines).
If the price was lower ($4000~5000) and you have it inspected by your "trusted mechanic" You might want to chance it... Then definitely change the belt and tranny fluids NOW! These cars can do 300k if taken care of.

I would keep looking...And 2004.5 (and up) KIA Spectras (like other good cars) are fine. They "had" a bad name on earlier models from rust and quality problems and the "image" has kept the resale prices low... If you check the "Forte'" the resale is up with the Japanese models..
I have two of them.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply, very helpful. I had the same thought about the dent, looks like bondo and then a shoddy paint job.

As for the maintenance, the carfax shows regular oil changes at the Kia dealer, as well as transmission fluid change at 32K mi. then it says "timing belt checked" at 58K mi. That's the only mention of a timing belt. No other mention of trans fluid. Hard to believe the dealer would "check" the timing belt at 60K and not replace if that's Kia's own maintenance schedule, so I have to assume it was indeed done at 60K. Doesn't look like they ever did the trans fluid again though. The maintenance records fall off between 90 and 113K miles, so either they completely stopped upkeep on the car or they simply stopped bringing to the dealer for maintenance.

My other concern is that I called my mechanic today and he said he doesn't work on Korean cars at all, just Japanese, and that many independent shops are the same way. He said some may have made the switch recently b/c Kia/Hyundai are making better cars now. But he scared me into thinking that I'd have to go back to a Kia dealer for any repair (??). That's not appealing.

What's the cost of a new timing belt on a Kia?
 

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The Book says REPLACE the TB every 60k so thats a red flag! If you buy it REPLACE the TB right away...
Ask your Mechanic if he works on Mazda (he does). The engine and the tranny are of their earlier designs...
I said that in 2004.5 the Spectra was changed (the better cars he mentions).
The biggest problems are the two items I mentioned (TB and transmission fluid changes). We have Spectra owners that frequent these forums with 300k miles + on them.

The Engine... (Built from a Mazda BP design)
The "Alpha" 1.8L model (pre-2004.5) was almost identical to the ones dropped into Mazdas. The "Beta" 2.0L model is the one that is in the car you are looking at and was an improvement on the design. The "Theta" Model 2.0L Is what is currently under the hood of the Forte' and the Soul models...again with MORE improvements (timing chain, GDI).

The Transmission... (Ford/Mazda Model FEAT)
The tranny was designed by a Ford/Mazda team and has been so good that Mazda put it back in production and is being used in their new 2011 Mazda2 cars once again.

Here's a good article on the transmission that explains about the need for fluid changes...
Ford F4AEL, F4A-III transmission problems and fixes - Mechanical Database

You might want to copy this post and the info on the Ford/Mazda transmissions to give to your mechanic...It may change his mind..
There are a lot of good Mechanics out there that will work on KIAs if he won't.
Dave
 

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The timing belt usually goes for $400-500 at an independent mechanic. With the miles on the car...usually the water pump gets replaced at the second TB (120k) so I'd suggest that it and the Water Pump/Timing Belt/TB idler pulley/and TB tensioner be replaced all at the same time to GREATLY increase the reliability of the engine over the next 100k miles. The going word here for the TB supplier is GATES.

The car is also due for a drop of the tranny pan cleaning out of the metal partials, gunk/goo, and a new transmission filter and fluid.

Check about the "last" oil change (date/mileage) and replace oil and oil filter.

There is an air filter just behind the battery that a 3~4" black rubber hose is connected to the box it is in... Open the box (2 snap latches) and check the filter also...

If you don't mind the "botched up" body repair and can get a "discount" for what it would cost to do it correctly ($1000 Up) you may have a good car.

Check the glove box for the owner's manuals and if not there visit a local bone yard to get a "set". This will give you all kinds of needed info for future maint and repairs.
Every thing beyond the "body work" is just normal upkeep.
Dave
 

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i just bought a 2005 spectra5 with 180,000 miles and runs good. However i getting timing belt water pump and other goodies replaced just as preventative maint. Noticed a rattling sound from the top of the motor and the cam chain seemed loose after taking off valve cover so for another 100 bucks im replacing these items. Under valve cover everything looked in very good cond. No gumming up. all looked light golden brown.
 

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steger424...
This engine can do 300k...seen it posted here. Also check out the going prices on used engines for these cars... Nothing like the rest $300~400 for one with 30~40k miles on it.
If you have an automatic drain and refill it also (Type III fluid). They are known to have problems with the fluid turning to goo/gunk from the reaction of the fluid with the tranny's insides.

The engine (2.0L) and tranny are of earlier Mazda designs. The tranny has been resurrected for the Mazda2 in their current line! Your engine is a second generation upgrade (by KIA) called the "beta". The theta is now in the Forte and Soul...
My 06 Spec SX is still a "baby" with under 38k miles...and I look forward to many miles with her...
Welcome to kia-forums!
Dave
 

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DavesSpectra

Thanks for the info. I have always had a certain fondness for small/sporty wagons/hatchbacks and recently was able to get my hands on an 05 Spectra5. It was a bit neglected but seems to be in pretty good shape so I'm hoping to breathe some new life into it and have some fun.
 
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