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2010 Kia Sedona Trans Died at 71K

Hi folks!
Would appreciate feedback & opinions. I have a 2010 Kia Sedona that I bought used from Carmax in 2011. I’m still paying on it. I have always done all required maintenance according to the owner’s manual - never so much as skipped an oil change. I gave this van all the TLC it required.

This summer, after a few instances of the wires to the D solenoid in the trans breaking off of the harness and sending the trans into fail safe when braking under load, (all timely repaired) the trans finally died and needed a replacement - to the tune of $2,000. I happen to have the one year and model of Kia that DIDNT have a 100K/10 yr warranty. My warranty was 5/60K, so I’m screwed if it continues the trail of tears at this point. My instincts say ditch the van and get something more reliable - like a Toyota or a Honda. Whaddya think? A 2010 Kia losing the trans at 71K - fluke? Or the beginning of a trend? All advice, opinions and feedback appreciated. Thanks!

The problem with buying a used car is that you have no proof of maintenance before you purchased it.
The previous owners may have done some heavy towing in the short time they owned it.

I had someone bring in a car to me that they had just bought and they bragged that it was maintained so well. Their reasoning was that the seller gave them a notebook that had dates and service notes listed on about 10 pages. They got the notebook out as I crawled under to drain the oil. When I came back out from under the care they had the notebook in hand. I took one look at it, glance at the first and last pages and threw it in the garbage can. They were in shock that I had thrown it away, but when I pointed out that the cover of the book was pristine, and all the notes in the same ink and handwriting were questionable, and I then opened my hand and showed them the crud and grit on the drain plug.


All used vehicles are a gamble no matter the brand. I would not shoot myself in the foot over a transmission repair. It must be fixed before anyone will want it and you might not get what you owe. There is a good chance that after this repair you may not have anymore serious problems for some time. Besides in my area 2000 dollars will just cover the tags and excise tax on a medium priced new car.

Used Kias do not get the 100k/10 year warranty, it is only for the original purchaser. If you read your warranty handbook you will see that it is reduced, probably to 5 years/60k.

My uncle had a new Ford Taurus that had it’s transmission give up the ghost at around 10K. My Chevy Astro had a transmission that died at around 30K. Sometimes it’s just a badly designed and built transmission (like the Astro 700-R4) and sometimes it’s driver abuse or just plain bad luck. The 700-R4 was redesigned and was a fairly good transmission in it’s later life. I got one of the early ones and maybe that’s the case with yours.

While later model Kias–in general–have decent reliability ratings, the Kia Sedona is the exception to the rule, and that model tends to be very trouble-prone.

Then, there is the factor of the mfr’s maintenance schedule, vs reality.
Even though most mfrs have taken trans fluid changes off their maintenance schedules in order to appear virtually maintenance-free, the fact remains that trans fluid (and filter) should be changed every 30k miles or 3 years, whichever comes first.

I will grant you that 71k miles is extremely early for a trans to fail, even w/o maintenance, but given the impossibility of knowing what type of use/abuse the vehicle was subjected to by the first owners, coupled with the lousy reliability rating of this model, and then factoring in–apparently–no trans maintenance, this trans failure was jsomething that was…somehow… destined to happen.

The one person I knew with a Hyundai and the 100K warranty had the tranny go south at 101K. $2000 and you should be good for at least another 70K…I’d do it.

I’ve already fixed the trans! Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I was wondering whether I should keep the car and take a chance on nothing else major breaking, or if I should dump it and get something new with a better history of reliability?

keep the car. you maintained it well. this is likely the only costly repair for another 60K miles. keep it. if you are proved wrong and have another 2k repair soon, then dump it then.

There’s a web site dedicated solely to Honda Odyssey transmission problems:

I’d check to see if this has a timing chain or belt. If it’s a belt…that will be another $1000 at about 100’000 miles.
You might want to check the owners manual and see what interval they suggest.

But I too would say to keep the car. Reading the “Service Schedule” in the manual will at least let you plan ahead a little with this because of the expense.