Hi everyone! I have a 1999 Kia Sephia that has about 103,300 miles on it. I’m planning on keeping it for as long as possible and I know that means being on top of its maintenance. I was wondering if I’m missing anything that I should be doing. This is what I’ve had done:

Transmission was rebuilt so i’ve got about a year and half before i need to change the fluid.

Oil will be changed in about 700 miles.

Belts and hoses have been inspected.

Tuneup done at 96,000 miles.

All fluids are about where they should be at.

I’ve also change the left and right CV shafts since they were spewing out grease.

Anyone have any ideas what else to do. It seems that an oil change is the top thing that must be done to keep a car in tip top shape, but there has to be more than that.


The engine in your car has a timing belt, which, as far as I can tell, has not yet been replaced. I suggest you call your mechanic and schedule it ASAP. If the belt breaks the engine will suffer significant internal damage, and the repair bill will be enormous.

If you have the owner’s manual and maintenance schedule that came with the car, read it. It will list ALL necessary maintenance and the frequency that each thing should be done.

If you don’t have the documentation, you might be able to get it from

Another good idea is to purchase a service manual, such as Haynes, for your car. These books are not expensive and are very helpful when it comes to keeping your car running as long as possible.


I had my mechanic check up on the timing belt a few days ago, that was part of the belts and hoses inspection I was referring to. I was planning on changing it then but he told me that I should change it next summer. Also you’re right that I really don’t know when it was last changed, it could have been changed at 60k, and I wouldn’t really have to change it until 120k which I am assuming is the case here. Since he gave me the all clear and I trust the quality of work they do I’m going have it changed next summer.



A timing belt can LOOK perfect and break the next day. That’s why ALL manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt at a specified miles/months interval, whichever comes first. I’ll bet money the interval recommended by Kia is less then 100K miles/8 years. Many cars require replacement at 60K miles or 75K miles with 5 or 6 years being the maximum recommended belt life.

Your car has an “interference” engine, which means that if the belt breaks the pistons and valves will collide at high speed. Disaster ensues.

It’s your car and your money. Maybe you’ll be lucky and the belt won’t break. But if it does it’s too late. $500 now for timing belt replacement or several thousand later for a new engine. Take your pick.

If the water pump on your car is driven by the timing belt, it should be replaced at the same time the belt is replaced.


Unless you have some sort of proof that the belt was replaced at 60K, you should assume it was not. Many people ignore this maintenance because they don’t now about it or aren’t willing to spend the money.

If the belt WAS replaced, you are correct, it won’t be necessary again until 120K miles.


I know the dangers of having a timing belt fail on an interference engine, which is why I brought it in the shop in the first place to have it changed. Would he have to bear the cost if the timing belt were to fail because he did not change it and advised me to change it in a year?

Its really a pain that I don’t have the maintenance records. Could someone be that lucky having a car with 103,000 miles on the original belt and the belt only showing about 40,000 miles of visible wear?


Yeah I was in the shower and thought about it, even if they do assume liability if my engine goes into self-destruct mode I wouldn’t want to be hassled until the engine is rebuilt/replaced or whatever. I’ll just have it changed with my next paycheck.

Other than that though, any other maintenance issues I should have taken care of?


The only thing I can add to the timing belt (a must) would be brake fluid. Generally it should be replaced every two or three years. It will work fine, but after time water gets mixed in. Under normal conditions it all works fine, but if you have been using the brakes hard, like coming down a long hill, and/or you have an emergency stop, you could find you don’t have brakes.


belts and hoses inspected, well timing belt, it if has one should have been changed by now, 100,000 is pushing it and an inteference engine (do not know if it is one) will ruin the engine if he belt breaks. TrANSMISSION fluid changes should go by miles not time!

Coolant if not already done should be flushed!