Tranny death by accident?

engines
oil
kia
transmissions
sportage

#1

I’m don’t have extensive knowledge of cars, but I do understand the fundementals. I have a friend who I think is getting shafted by his local mechanic, and I thought I should ask the more experienced forum. Okay so my friend has a 2000 Kia Sportage. This car was bought from the local mechanic’s shop because it had a bent valve and the previous owner didn’t want to pay to get out of the shop. So my friend bought it for a cheap $2000. Since then this car has had been leaking oil like a sieve, and not on the ground. So I’m assuming it’s just burning it. We’re talking a quart or two about every week to week and a half. So the mechanic says something about the valves/gaskets (I’m not sure which) are worn out, and here’s some gasket sealer (some engine treatment like “no smoke”). Friend takes the car on a long trip (3 hour drive each way), car runs out of oil and seizes the engine. My friend takes this car back the local mechanic and the mechanic says you need a new engine for another $2000. They drop the engine in, calls my friend and says, “it’s ready come get it.” My friend drive it around the corner, it won’t go out of first gear (it’s an automatic). He takes it straight back, the local mechanic says I’ll have my transmission guy look at it. Mechanic calls today and says, “You need a new tranny.” So this steal of a car is now costing my friend about $6000. Is this mechanic making his boat payment? Or is it possible for a tranny get messed up from a seized engine. I just have this gut feeling that this car was a lemon from the beginning. Thanks!


#2

Regardless of the problem, for a lot of people any issue with a transmission leads to the “you need a new tranny” diagnosis. Many shops either just don’t know enough or don’t want to deal with trying to do somewhat minor repairs on an old transmission. Its just that there are many problems that can be solved with more minor kinds of work.

You (or he or she) are not going to get anywhere with something like 4th hand information. Your friend needs to find the best local and independent transmission shop - not a general mechanic & not a national chain transmission place, but a local place with a good reputation.

The car should be taken there for evaluation rather than having this mechanic have some other mechanic look at it. The transmission is probably in “limp mode” and there are a lot of reasons this could happen. Some of them could be really simple ones like an electrical connector was damaged or left unplugged when the engine went in. Some could mean the need for a new transmission.


#3

Next time your friend needs to:

  1. Buy a car that’s been checked from bumper to bumper by a competent mechanic, declared OK and back that up with some kind of warranty.

or

  1. If a person is knowledgable about fixing cars they can buy a “fixer-upper” knowing what the problems are and what they might cost to fix, then figure that into the purchase price and maybe save $$ buy DIY some of the repairs.

If I went with option 2 in this case I would have paid no more than a couple hundred bucks for this car with a history of serious engine problems.


#4

This is a pretty convoluted story and I won’t even try to dissect it but your friend made a huge mistake by buying a car like this given its history.

What does a bent valve(s) tell you? It tells you the car was neglected as far as the timing belt goes and if that was neglected it’s likely everything else was too.

The car is not a Lemon; it’s an abused vehicle. Big difference.
At this point I agree that your friend should get the transmission looked at by a reputable independent transmssion shop and go from there.

And I don’t consider 2 grand for a 10 year Kia with a shaky history a steal.


#5

Sorry, but your friend backed himself into a corner by buying a car with known serious engine damage. You get what you pay for.