Fuck you, KIA. (A little long)

So yesterday, I turned on the A/C in my car, a 2002 KIA Spectra. It started to get cold, then just started blowing out cool air. Then it started blowing out warm air. Then my girlfriend said something to me about the warm air coming out, as if I hadn’t noticed. Then I looked at the engine temp gauge. While I was looking at it (we were at a red light), it jumped from the middle to the H. Great. A/C off (for the engine), windows down (for us). So we drive a little bit, then hit the next light. While we were driving, the temp went back to normal. Next red light, it jumps right back to H.

So, we got to our destination, the campus bookstore, one whole mile from our apartment. I popped the hood and checked the coolant level. It was, of course, bone dry. Ack. This is the second time this year this has happened. The first time was in the coldest part of winter. Now, of course, it’s the hottest part of summer. I suspect it’s the same problem it had then, a leaky radiator. Unfortunately, like last time, there are no fluids beneath my car to confirm this suspicion.

So we went in to the bookstore and bought her books and sold some old ones. I also bought a bottle of water. The water got deposited into the coolant reservoir in hopes that this would cool my car off a little. About halfway home, the temp spiked again. Mind you, this is half a mile away from both the store and my apartment. I nursed it back to the apartment and dumped more water into it. I asked my GF to follow me to the dealership to drop it off. So we drove the three miles to the dealership, with my car wanting to overheat the entire way there. I pulled up to the service department, got out and walked up to the door.

Here’s the fun part, and what I really want to bitch about.

The service department is only open Monday through Friday. What kind of bullshit is this? Don’t cars break down on the weekend? Is mine the first to do this? Wait, no, when I had my Ford, they had 24/7 service, so apparently, cars can break down at other times, this dealership just chose to ignore that fact. What fucking good is a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty if the dealership is open fucking banker’s hours? So now I’m sending out a big, hearty “fuck you” to KIA of America, for building a shit product, and Seelye/Wright KIA, for being the shittiest dealership I’ve ever dealt with.

OK, so I’m overreacting. But, in my defense, I’m leaving for vacation Monday and I really wanted to take my car. It has so much more trunk space than the lady’s Focus. I’ll just have to drop it off before we leave and have it sit there for the week. It’ll probably take the whole week for the radiator to come in anyways, as they had to have it shipped from South Korea last time.

I can’t wait to get it fixed so I can sell it. Too bad I’ll lose my ass on it. I owe my parents $14000 for it, and its blue book value is $7600. Shit.

Holy crap. What Ford dealership has a 24/7 maintenance department? My car’s (Ford Taurus) dealership is open Mon-Sat, mostly banker’s hours.

Russ Milne Ford. On the corner of Gratiot and M-59, Mt Clemens, MI. And never tell them to call you as soon as your car is ready, you’ll get a call at 3:30 in the morning.

Damn, that’s pretty nice - er, not the call thing, the 24/7 bit. That being said, not even having Saturday hours is pretty crummy. I’d at least expect that from a dealer!

Nothing special about the mon-fri thing. Although the Toyota Dealerships I deal with are open on saturday too (from 10 - 2 pm) which is pretty useless. No dealerships around here are 24/7 but there are 2 mechanic shops that are (independant).

Too bad you can’t take it to just any mechanic (if you know a friend mechanic) to take a look. Leaky rads are pretty simple to spot (pressurize the system and look for spray/steam).

You might also be able to hold out by using some sort of rad sealant. Throw it in, fill the rest with water/coolant (and a bottle or 2 isn’t going to be enough, if the rad is completely empty you’re going to need 12-14 liters (3-4 gallons?) of water) and turn on your car. I’ve had fair sucess in stopping leaks in my old bonneville this way (until I bought me a new rad).

Good luck!

I hope this will help, but you probably already know this now, but you never want to stick plain water into your engine coolent tank. That will just evaportate really fast and hurt your engine.

Yeah, I knew that, but it needed someting in it, and I was always taught that water is better than being bone dry in a pinch. As I said before, I only drove it about five miles like that, then I’ll drive it three more tomorrow morning to the dealership.

If you see no coolant leaking on to the ground under your vehicle, buy a new radiator cap for 6 bucks.

Yours is leaking, allowing the coolant to evaporate.

Save the receipt and present it to the dealer along with the defective cap.

Given that this seems to be a recurring problem and thus that the dealer might have some degree of responsibility (I’M JUST GUESSING HERE), perhaps he could lend you a courtesy car for the duration. Just a thought. No hurt in asking, I guess.

Unless you intend to give him hell!:smiley:

Well, like I said, I’m going on vacation for the week. I doubt they’d let me take a demo on the 400-mile round trip from here to Traverse City. I’ll let them deal with it clogging up their lot.

Oat1957. thanks for the tip, I’ll remember that. But as it’s Sunday night and the parts stores are closed, I’ll just let the dealer take care of it in the morning.

In case you didn’t know, turning your heater on full blast will help the engine cool down. It sucks when it’s hot as hell out there, but running your engine with no cooling is asking for a busted head gasket.

Could there have been a message when they named the company for the acronym, Killed In Action?

Aww, man, don’t pick on the little brother cars of the automotive world (I work for a company that handles dealerships, and they all laugh at Kia, despite the fact that some of them sell them.).

However, I own a Kia - love my little car. It’s a Rio, so it resembles a Barbie car when it’s out on the road, but it runs well, and she gets awesome gas mileage - I’ve gone two and a half weeks in town without filling up again - and I drive all over the place. I’ve had her seven months and I’ve never had one problem with her. I have a friend who’s had one for over two years and she’s never had a single problem either. Granted, 2 cars do not a study make, but we’re both happy. I plan on keeping my Kia for at least another 4 or 5 years, and at that point, may get another one (I’m forcing the SO to sell his Saturn so we can buy a Mini-Cooper in another year and a half - the Saturn’s seats KILL my back for some reason - but he’s dying for a Mini, so it’s not much of a sacrifice:).

And wmulax93, working with car dealerships, you’re lucky to even find one open on a Saturday. Did you try calling Kia’s 800 number to see if they could recommend another dealership that could fix your car?


Silly question, but are you telling me you can’t park the car, lock it, take the keys and put them in an envelope by the service door, write down a description of what’s wrong & a call back number & jam it through that mail slot type opening in the service bay door?

That reminds me of something I read in Consumer Reports:

“You’d have to search far and wide to find a worse new car than the Spectra … an awful ride, a noisy cabin, a crude, unrefined powertrain, uncomfortable seats, and clumsy handling. Cabin materials felt cheap and insubstantial …”

One reason why I don’t like consumer reports. I find that report to be snobbish.

Two comments on this thread:

  1. I have owned a lot of cars “Not Recommended” by Consumer Reports and had better luck with any of these alleged lemons than my sister had with CR’s sainted Honda Accord. My experience with their “best buy” Nissan Sentra was nearly as bad as my sister’s Honda experience.CR should stick with TVs, toasters, and evaluating financial services/insurance. They know a little bit about THOSE subjects.

2)Ford can be as bad as anyone about customer service. My Ranger blew a fuel hose–which is a custom-molded dealer-exclusive part that Ford apparently doesn’t require any of its Nebraska and Iowa dealers to stock. I waited 4 days for that hose.

well, people never believe me about CR. I buy a car based on what I like, not what CR says.

zenith: CR did identify horrible roll-over problems in misdesigned jeeps and SUVs well enough to earn the ire (and lawsuits) of the idiots who made the deathtraps.

That means a lot.

And Hondas Derleth