Friday Wrap #12b – I have issues about car issues edition

I have trust issues, particularly when it comes to vehicles. While I am not a mechanic or mechanical, I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. This stems from my interest in learning, combined with my desire to not get my hands dirty. My knowledge base – and experience of being screwed over once-or-twice on a vehicle – means it takes a lot for me to trust someone about my vehicle issues.

For the last year, my wife and I have had issues with our KIA Soul. When we bought it in 2017, we loved the car. Good on case, drives well, good head room, and it is a bright green colour. The car replaced our “granny grey” Corolla which was sent off to the great boneyard in the sky – but I still get airbag recall notices about. The KIA was reliable, colourful, and fun to drive. That was until March 2022.

While driving up to my son’s music lessons, I changed lanes to pass someone on the highway who clearly did not know what the speed limit was. When I did, the car shuddered, the lights flashed, and I lost power – the car went into “limp mode.” I did not know what “limp mode” was and assumed when I googled it, that it would need a blue pill. Instead, what the car needed was far more troubling.

This KIA, and hundreds of thousands of other KIA and Hyundai cars have a crap engine called the “Theta” and “Theta II” engines. Essentially these things can seize with little-to-no warning. There was a class action lawsuit, engine replacements, and so on – plus a recall or several. Google this and you can read about what a shit product KIA made.

Our KIA’s “knock sensor” noted something was wrong, put the car in limp mode, and it was off to our local-ish dealer. The service department did some tests, flashed some computer thing, and replaced the “Faulty Knock Sensor”. Problem solved, and we were off to the races again,. Also received a letter from KIA saying our warranty was extended on the engine to 200,000 KM as part of the class action lawsuit settlement. Great, except our car had 198,000 KM already.

After getting the car back from the KIA dealership, it did not run great. We both noticed it shifted a bit off. Gradually it has gotten worse. We did the transmission flush, etc., and it just got worse. It runs like crap.

Share Wanderings – Selected writing by Phillip Blancher

All the service work we’ve done happens at our local mechanic. He has fair prices, doesn’t fix what isn’t broken, and knows his stuff. If he says “Phil, you need to fix this widget.” I know it means it needs fixing. When I go to a car dealership to get anything done, I end up with the bill, plus a “You must fix this” list of everything under the sun except buying a new car. A past dealership I dealt with performed service work without permission, so I have trust issues. Our mechanic doesn’t know what is wrong with the KIA, but it acts like it is in “Limp Mode” without being in that mode. Try going on the freeway and I can’t get over 105 km/h – and that is with the foot on the pedal to the floor.

The dealership said to bring the car in to be looked at. I stipulated that under no circumstances “am I paying for any work at all without permission.” I may also have cursed some words under my breath. KIA is a corporation, and after spending a couple Billion (Lots of zeros there) they don’t want to be spending more money on my car. Neither do I. I trust my mechanic, but I don’t trust KIA. Maybe it is my reporter nature that leads me to be skeptical of corporations and government. A small business owner like a local mechanic knows that if they don’t look after their customers, they won’t have customers. A corporation doesn’t care if one person smartens up to their crap and doesn’t buy their shit product, because there are millions of other customers who will.

My appointment is in a couple weeks. Fingers crossed this is another recall issue, so it is fixed for free. I do keep threatening to build a trebuchet to fling said car across the river, no one things I am seriousl

Three things:

It’s Easter weekend – if you celebrate by going to church, or going to hunt Easter Eggs, or don’t celebrate at all, enjoy the weekend.