CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Question about my recent Engine Replacement

Hello, I will make this quick, just curious about a few things. I had my engine seized up, I am the second owner, got it at 32,000 miles, it died at 86,000 miles, second owner warranty was up to 60,000 miles, turned out it had a factory recall on the Engine block for the Kia Sorento 2014, Kia is refusing to honor it, and the repairs at kia would of been almost 9,000$, so I went to a total repair shop, one that replaces engines/body work etc, and they quoted me 6,000$, for a rebuilt 0 mile engine that removes the defect, so I took it and got it repaired, they told me that the car has 4 sensors in it, so if the check engine light turns on, immediately take it to the side of the road and don’t drive it, as if any of the 4 sensors goes out the warranty is voided. next day I was driving home from work and the engine light came on, they looked at it and cleared the light said it shouldn’t happen again, got pissed that I had it towed to them as they had to pay the tow bill per the warranty if it was undriveable. the next day it came on again and I took it back, they said they will look into it, the car has been in their shop for 5 weeks, and it is my only transportation for my wife and I, they refuse to offer a rental car, and Kia refuses to even acknowledge the recall, anything that I can do regarding this? I changed the oil as needed in case anyone was wondering…

you are not a mechanic. you paid thousands of dollars for repair.
IF they tell you some sensors might come on and not drive car i would spit.
have them tell you what sensors might come on and WHY?
no sensors should come on after you get a new motor.

2 Likes

As to what you can do, I’m assuming you’ve already exhausted being nice about it. 5 weeks is an absurd amount of time for any shop to keep any car for any reason other than “we’re making your Kia into a Ferrari.” Between that and the sensor BS, these guys are either crooks or dangerously incompetent. You’ve given them 5 weeks to correct their error and they haven’t done it.

You need to bite the bullet and get the car to a shop with competent employees. That’s going to cost money, but you might be able to recover it if you get a good enough lawyer by making the first shop issue a partial (or complete) refund to compensate for the money you shouldn’t have had to pay the first shop.

3 Likes

Your State probably has some sort of DMV, and that DMV or the Department of Consumer Protection has a branch that supervises dealers and repairers. Do some homework about it and then write them a letter and lay out what you did, why, and the history. Do it like a diary if that’s not too hard. Ask them to investigate. Send a copy to the shop so they know what you wrote. Keep a complete copy yourself. If you get no answer within a week or so, contact your local State Representative’s office and ask them to give the agency a kick in the behind.

No complaints by phone, always do it in writing. If you want to be super careful you can have the post office get a return receipt for you, signed by whoever got the letter at the State agency.

Thanks for the advice, I will give them this 6th week before doing anything, I am a pacifist and I hate getting in peoples faces over stuff, so I been trying to let it slide over, and over… but it is financially hurting us. I will go ahead and use that time to prepare a letter.

Which will get you pretty much nowhere. They are taking advantage of your good nature and will continue to do so as long as you let them.

Show up with a tow truck, take your car and contact a lawyer.

1 Like

I understand that, however I literally have no more money left, I blew everything I had on fixing this because I still have 9,000$ I owe on it for payments, so if I were to take it somewhere else, there would be no way to pay them, this company tried to charge me for keeping it so long, however I pointed out the warranty and they aren’t charging me… if I wanted to show up with a tow truck, I would not be able to pay the next person who takes it sadly. this is where I am having the issue, I am damned if i do and damned if i don’t…

Remember what Leo Durocher said “nice guys finish last”.

2 Likes

When the State licensing agency asks questions to a repairer, they get answered. It’s easy to blow off a customer, tougher to ignore an agency that can fine you, suspend your repair license or just find ways to make you miserable. What I told the OP to do is what a lawyer would do, in addition to a letter threatening suit for damages.

I dunno, I guess when you are stuck you are stuck. They don’t know what the problem is but there is no other shop that will work for free so there goes a lot of your options. The other option would be to just rent a car or buy a beater but again if you have no money, those options won’t work. My experience with the Attorney General interceding on my behalf wasn’t all that positive. Just got both sides and left us to work it out, but hey, it’s your dime. But someone that knows something about this brand needs to look at it. Too bad you can’t have a Kia mechanic pay them a visit to chat for a gift card or something.

1 Like

Ask your shop to provide you a detailed explanation in writing for having to keep the car in the shop, rather than effecting a repair with due speed and returning it to you. If they refuse to provide this to you, I’m afraid you have no choice than to either leave it there and wait for as long as it takes, or tow the car to another shop. If they do in fact provide the written explanation and there’s something you don’t understand you can ask here what it means.

I do not think I would ever again pay to replace the engine in a car, unless I really liked the car, and I was doing the work myself. If I had to pay a shop to do the work, it’s not a good investment, because that much money (or less) could buy a different used car that is in good condition, and runs fine.

I remember back in 2002, I had a 1991 Toyota Tercel, and I really liked the car, so much that when the engine died at 78,000 miles, I paid to have it replaced at a Toyota dealer. At least they did a good job, and the car ran like new after that. Unfortunately, the car was destroyed in an accident approximately a year and a half later, and I lost a lot of money due to the poor insurance payout.

Knowing that the engine in your car is a defective design, and knowing that there is a class-action lawsuit working its way through the court system right now, the smart thing to do would have been to park the 2014 Sorento and buy a cheap ($3000 or less) used car to drive in the meantime. Then, you could have attempted to fight with Hyundai/Kia, or waited to see how the class-action plays out.

Since you are apparently out of money, I assume you have other debts as well, which you are struggling to pay. It may be time to cut your losses on this SUV as well as your other debts, and declare bankruptcy. It sounds like this SUV is never going to run right, and continuing to make the monthly payments, pay for full-coverage insurance, etc is a burden that you cannot afford–especially while not having a functioning vehicle to drive!

Getting pretty far down the road without even knowing what codes are being set. If the light isn’t flashing, it’s not all that urgent. I would demand to know what codes are being stored so I could make my own judgement about the dire nature of the situation. If you get the codes, post them here and I’m sure many will jump at the chance to help you.

I agree with TwinTurbo. You got a new engine but that does not mean all new sensors A to Z,