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Kia Optima trans fails after engine replaced

BSimmons9876BSimmons9876 New JerseyPosts: 1
edited August 2018 in Kia
Hello, I purchased a 2012 Kia Optima LX with 116k miles on it in May 2018. I was aware of the recall SC147 where metal shavings were left in the engine causing engine failure, but the Carfax indicated that this VIN was not one of the vehicles affected. The service dept rep also confirmed that. However, 3 months (and 2k miles) after purchasing it the engine did fail. Kia replaced the engine at no cost. Now, 3 weeks after I received the car back, the transmission failed. Could this be caused by a procedural error in replacing the engine, or perhaps coupling a new engine with a trans with 118k miles? It seems too coincidental, that right after the engine failed, I mentioned it to a friend and he knew someone who also had a Kia with an engine failure where shortly after the engine was replaced, his transmission also went. Thank you.

Answers

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,248
    Unless there was no fluid in the transmission, I don't see any relationship that comes immediately to mind. If they didn't join the engine/trans properly, that would have become painfully apparent right away. It's possible I guess that some transmission line might have come loose after not being tightened properly, but there's really no way to prove that.

    Besides, at 116K miles, it is possible for a transmission to fail---some cars have rather notoriously short-lived trnasmissions.

    Sometimes we get situations in cars where it's about correlation, not causation. One thing happens, then another, but they aren't connected.

    So what are you going to do about this? Was the cause of the failure determined exactly?

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  • tonyg2016tonyg2016 midwest, usaPosts: 677
    edited August 2018

    Hello, I purchased a 2012 Kia Optima LX with 116k miles on it in May 2018. I was aware of the recall SC147 where metal shavings were left in the engine causing engine failure, but the Carfax indicated that this VIN was not one of the vehicles affected. The service dept rep also confirmed that. However, 3 months (and 2k miles) after purchasing it the engine did fail. Kia replaced the engine at no cost. Now, 3 weeks after I received the car back, the transmission failed. Could this be caused by a procedural error in replacing the engine, or perhaps coupling a new engine with a trans with 118k miles? It seems too coincidental, that right after the engine failed, I mentioned it to a friend and he knew someone who also had a Kia with an engine failure where shortly after the engine was replaced, his transmission also went. Thank you.

    3 weeks? Contact Kia customer service and open a case immediately. The engine warranty is 15 years and unlimited miles; tranny covered under powertrain (10yr/100k miles)

    You gotta make a huge deal about this. Cannot be a coincidence!

    BTW, the root cause of the engine failures was not metal shavings. That was a BS cover story started by hyundai and continued by kia. The Theta II engine has serious problems.

    I am original owner of a 2011 Sonata with only 45k miles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,248
    Powertrain warranty for 2012 is 120 months in service and 100,000 miles to the original owner only. The 150K warranty applies to certain emissions equipment on SULEV vehicles.

    But sure, no harm in opening a case, especially if you lost all your trans fluid in the engine swap process.

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  • tonyg2016tonyg2016 midwest, usaPosts: 677
    edited August 2018
    https://www.optimaforums.com/forum/6-optima-engine-technical-discussion/166619-important-engine.html

    engine warranty on 2011-14 kia optima was extended to 15 years and unlimited miles; hyundai only extended mine to 120k miles (still 10 years). lost me for good
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,248
    I was reading 120,000 miles on the extended warranty--but no matter, that doesn't help the transmission situation.

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  • tonyg2016tonyg2016 midwest, usaPosts: 677
    Agreed, i still think there is a link between the engine change and the tranny failure. Happened too soon to think otherwise. The tranny in the YF Sonata and early optimas has not been a trouble spot...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,248
    I dunno...I hope he can get something out of it, but it was 3 weeks after the engine install. Best thing one could do is have the factory rep look it over and try to determine cause of the failure. If it was internal part just breaking, probably they wouldn't help. If it was fluid loss and a burn-up, then maybe one could argue loose cooler lines, things like that.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,926

    If it was fluid loss and a burn-up, then maybe one could argue loose cooler lines, things like that.

    What other symptoms should the owner have noticed if a cooler line issue was in fact in play?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,248
    Well the transmission would be misbehaving prior to failure. He might also experience smoke, or oil drips in his garage or driveway.

    One reason I'm not connecting the transmission failure to the engine install is that there were no complaints of abnormality for 3 weeks.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,926
    In three weeks there would have been puddles of fluid under the car and probably smoke coming off the exhaust when the fluid came in contact with it. Without those symptoms being reported a cooler line issue isn't plausible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,248
    That's probably true because those lines are under some pressure.

    Do you think they would drain the transmission during an engine R&R?

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,926

    That's probably true because those lines are under some pressure.

    Do you think they would drain the transmission during an engine R&R?

    No. A little fluid could be lost but nothing significant.
  • tonyg2016tonyg2016 midwest, usaPosts: 677
    edited August 2018
    looks like we have 3 guys interested in this and not the OP. try this on for a conspiracy theory - both hyundai and kia dealers are replacing a lot of engines - in the thousands. they are getting paid a fixed number of labor hours for the r&r no matter how much time it actually takes (it takes more time than hat they are paid). they are losing money because only their top guys can do an engine change. is it so crazy to think that an unscrupulous dealer might sabotage their own work knowing that the poor slob was probably coming back to have another repair on his own dime? He did say he was in NJ. hmmm......
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,926
    edited August 2018
    tonyg2016 said:

    try this on for a conspiracy theory

    If you insist.....
    tonyg2016 said:


    - both hyundai and kia dealers are replacing a lot of engines - in the thousands. they are getting paid a fixed number of labor hours for the r&r no matter how much time it actually takes (it takes more time than hat they are paid).

    That's a much bigger issue for the technicians than the dealer.
    tonyg2016 said:


    they are losing money because only their top guys can do an engine change. is it so crazy to think that an unscrupulous dealer might sabotage their own work knowing that the poor slob was probably coming back to have another repair on his own dime?

    Since that's the first thing that everyone would try to claim the moment anything goes wrong, yes it is. For one thing it's not like the only place that can repair/replace a transmission is the dealer. The O.P. is under no obligation to take this to the dealer since there is no warranty. If it turns into a warranty for what ever reason, the dealer would then be in worse shape than what the engine replacement would have done.

    So the "reward" for actually sabotaging a repair are;
    A lost customer to the competition.
    A customer that doesn't trust them, even if they do help him out.
    A need to possibly absorb another poorly compensated warranty repair.
    Maybe have to repair the transmission for free with no help from the manufacturer.
    tonyg2016 said:

    He did say he was in NJ. hmmm......

    That can be taken more than juyst one way.

    Sometimes things just happen, cars break when ever they darn well want to. It's not like KIA doesn't see a fair percentage of transmission failures especially when owners fail to service them correctly. Remember he is not the original owner.

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