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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am new to the KIA world as I know nothing about the brand. I have an appointment today to go see a 2002 KIA Spectra. Was wondering if you guys could please give me some pointers on what to look for on a 2002 Spectra (aside from the typical kick around the tires and stuff when buying a used car).

What I mean is, what are these cars known for in terms of common problems?

-How long do tranny's usually last? Are they reliable?
-How long do engines usually lat? Are they reliable?
-What would you consider "too much mileage"?
-Would you reccomend a 2002 Spectra?

If some of you can give me your advise on your personal experiences I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

-Sully Wully
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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6,922 Posts
Hi..
I would recommend a newer version (2004.5 on) for sure... The 2002 was built when KIA was having financial problems...The basic engine design is similar to the newer models but the ability to go higher mileage didn't seem to be there (2002)... The later 2004.5~ Spectras have been known to go over 300k miles...
The (automatic) transmissions were weak and 100k was about their limit..

The newer Spectras are a great car "if" they have been maintained and the timing belts are replaced every 5yrs/60k miles and the tranny fluids are drained and refilled every 30k miles.... They don't have rust problems the earlier models had also... So a well taken care of Spectra with 100k+ miles on it is a car I would not be afraid of...I wouldn't say that for a 2002...
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi..
I would recommend a newer version (2004.5 on) for sure... The 2002 was built when KIA was having financial problems...The basic engine design is similar to the newer models but the ability to go higher mileage didn't seem to be there (2002)... The later 2004.5~ Spectras have been known to go over 300k miles...
The (automatic) transmissions were weak and 100k was about their limit..

The newer Spectras are a great car "if" they have been maintained and the timing belts are replaced every 5yrs/60k miles and the tranny fluids are drained and refilled every 30k miles.... They don't have rust problems the earlier models had also... So a well taken care of Spectra with 100k+ miles on it is a car I would not be afraid of...I wouldn't say that for a 2002...
Dave
Thanks for your 2 cents Dave. Well, I took the plunge and bought the Spectra. It has 186,000 miles on it but I drove it home from 100 miles away and made it without any issues. A/C is cold, automatic tranny is smooth and responsive with no signs of slippage. Engine seems fine as well.

I am actually surprised to see a KIA with 186,000 miles running as well as it is. The problem I have though is, I am not sure if the tranny or engine are the original ones. No records or service history. I hope to get at least 30,000 miles of this car for what I paid for and I will be happy. I paid $2,000.

Below are actual pictures of the car. By the way, I am overseas and not in the states in case you guys are wondering. I am located in sunny El Salvador, Central America :)





 

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'02 Spectra 295,000 miles, auto 1.8 - '04 Rio 133,000 miles, auto, 1.6
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Hi, I am new to the KIA world as I know nothing about the brand. I have an appointment today to go see a 2002 KIA Spectra. Was wondering if you guys could please give me some pointers on what to look for on a 2002 Spectra (aside from the typical kick around the tires and stuff when buying a used car).

What I mean is, what are these cars known for in terms of common problems?

-How long do tranny's usually last? Are they reliable?
-How long do engines usually lat? Are they reliable?
-What would you consider "too much mileage"?
-Would you reccomend a 2002 Spectra?

If some of you can give me your advise on your personal experiences I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

-Sully Wully
My '02 has 2750,000 miles and has given few problems.
-The tranny is reliable and has never been serviced.
-The engine is reliable also and has lasted this long with minimal maintenence; oil changes every 10-15,000 miles.
-To much mileage...thats relative based on care and driver behavior
-I would recommend one if that's what your budget will allow
 

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SPECTRA (TRADED),CADILLAC (TRADED), ACURA MDX, SUZUKI KIZASHI, FORD FOCUS
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Please do yourself a favor and pass on the Kia brand. I once had an 04 Spectra and the tranny went south at 99,000 miles with loads of problems along the way, ie: replace starter, replace alternator ,ac going bad and knobs falling off to name a few, but it was the automatic tranny that took the cake so if you know like I know you will leave the Kia brand alone. Personally I will never buy another Kia again....not even a new one. Including Hyundai
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Ah..Sour Grapes...
You are the exception and not the rule...
The KIA brand has done nothing but improve since Hyundai gave KIA a transfusion of money in the early 2000's...
You need to read up on these Korean cars... They are VERY reliable "if" you take care of them and do the required upkeep in the owners manuals...
They have been MUCH better than the GM and FORD products I have owned..
My daugher-in-law owned a "Focus" (more like a F#$K-us)...What a piece of junk...
Dave
 
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