Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Sooner Rather Than Later"

I'm not much of a car person.  Other than putting gas in it (when I can afford to!!), I'm pretty much clueless.  I just want a car that runs, gets me where I want to go and back again, is relatively safe and big enough to accommodate my shopping trips!  That said, over the years I have, however, had several pretty nifty little cars....a Corvair convertible, a Mustang, and a little red Fiero that I just loved!

Currently, I drive a 2006 Kia Sportage.  It's not a cute little sporty car, but it suits me now.  It's a comfortable car for me....not too big, not too small....I sit up a bit above regular cars which is helpful for a short.....uh.....little.....diminutive person such as I. It gets ok (not great, but ok) gas mileage. and all the seats fold over or back so that you can transport large objects. Very convenient. It's not as cute as my little red Fiero (or the Mustang or the Corvair), but I like it.

One of the selling features of the Kia (which originated in south Korea) is that it comes with a 10-Year/100,000 Mile warranty which covers all the major parts (the technical term is the "drive train", whatever that is). Now 100,000 miles is a lot of miles. It used to be that in any given year most people typically drove about 10,000 miles, so that 100,000 mile warranty would last a really long time. I don't know about most people, but I don't put 10,000 miles on my car in a year....it's more like 15,000 miles! (I drive around a lot...from pillar to post, you might say, as everywhere I go in Austin seems to be at the farthest away opposite corner of the city.)

Anyway, in the 5 1/2 years I've had the car, I've managed to log almost 75,000 miles! At the rate I'm racking up the miles, that warranty, which should last about 10 years, is going to run out in about 7 years! Hmpff!

None of this would matter too much at the moment if it weren't for one very pesky little "Check Engine" light that has come on several times in the last couple of years. When it comes on, I dutifully take the car to the Kia dealer, they run their little scanner to decipher the code, and it turns out to be the same thing. A heat sensor in the transmission is giving off a warning. So the mechanics tear it all apart, check everything out, and can't find anything wrong, so they put it all back together, reset the connection to the "Check Engine" light thingy, wash my car (because they feel bad for wasting my time) and off I go. Nothing wrong, no charge, clean car, see ya!

Well, last week the silly light went off, they decided to replace the sensor and hopefully that would fix the problem. It didn't! The morning after the replacement was made, I went into my garage, walked to my car, and nearly stepped into a BIG puddle of pink, oily liquid....transmission fluid....all over my garage floor! Hmmmm, that can't be good! I don't know much about cars, but even I could figure out I shouldn't drive it when the transmission fluid was all over my floor!

So it was towed to the dealer and the upshot was that the guy that had worked on the car, hadn't waiting long enough for the sealant to cure before he finished off the replacement. Consequently, I had a pink, oily garage floor! Okay, they re-did everything, washed my car again (!) and away I went. All fixed, no charge, clean car, see ya!

Two days passed, driving home from somewhere in the late afternoon, minding my own business, when BOIIIINNNG! "Check Engine" pops up. Once I finished swearing, yelling, and pounding my fist against the steering wheel, I called the Kia Service Guy.

"Hi, Gene! How are you? You having a nice day? Before you ask, my day could be a lot better."

"Hi, Mrs. D, what's up?" he said warily.

So I told him. Took it back to them, they took it all apart and re-did, re-set and re-checked the whole thing. This shouldn't happen again, but if it does, they will replace the whole transmission. No charge, no change, no wash, no joy in Mudville! Bye.

So now I've got a warranty that will most likely run out within the next 18 months....and I'm trying hard not to kind of hope that if it's going to happen again, that it happen soon!! Do you have any idea what a new transmission costs???? I think you could buy a small country with that kind of dough!!
And once that odometer hits 100,000, it's all over...that's all she wrote....the fat lady has sung....and it's a diet of bread and water for us!

I feel funny about hoping that if it's going to happen, it happen "Sooner Rather Than Later"....but if it does  and Kia has to cover the cost to replace the transmission.....well, I won't even complain if they don't wash the car! 


  1. Hey Mel, I had a Corvair back in the day, too. Are you surprised? NOT! Mine was a classy Monza Spider, black with all red interior, "4 on the floor." I loved that car, even if Ralph Nader said it was a death trap. I was a young, carefree youth of 18 and thought the world was my oyster.
    I hope the KIA holds together, but secretly I will be hoping that it goes "sooner than later."

  2. I agree that it would be better to have it fixed sooner than later....transmissions are very expensive. I am sorry you are having these annoying problems with your car. I hope you do not get stranded anywhere. My frank just called me and he is locked in the car...and is on his way to the dealership. LOL

  3. Oh, I definitely agree.... I think I'd be rooting for that Check Engine light to come on tomorrow! :) It would be nice to have a new transmission for no cost!

  4. car troubles are the pits!! so expensive. hope you can get yours taken car of without paying for it!!


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