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2004 Kia Optima EX 4dr Sedan Auto

2004 Kia Optima
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4dr Sedan, Compact
22 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy
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September 7, 2012, 3:03 pm

Shafi B

Question: Approximate cost for replacing engine?

Car was over heating and we had refilled coolant/water, after a week on a long drive, i heard a slight clicking noise and it stopped, and it won't start again. Towed and noticed radiator was cracked on the top. Immediately when we attempted to start, it didn't start. Left it on the drive way. Refilled coolant and attempted to start, it started fine, I was able to drive it (just on the drive, from one spot to another), noticed water drops from exhaust.

Left it for a cpl of days and started again, won't start. Took it to a local mechanic. He says the pistons are gone, and need to rebuild/replace motor. Probably due to low oil/cooling & water system not working correctly.

I needed a second opinion. If the motor was gone, would the engine still roll when we try to start it?

Also in your opinion, is it worth replacing motor on Kia? Or am I better off buying a new car? Got 101k on it.


September 9, 2012, 10:17 am

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

Sounds like you may indeed have engine issues. Modern cars do not do well with overheating. Ask your mechanic what tests he did to figure out the engine was gone. That will give you a better idea of his diagnosis.

If you aren't comfortable with it, get another opinion, but from your description, it could very well be correct, although I cannot say for certain without looking at it.

Is it worth repairing it? That's up to you. For me, I would say yes, but at 00K miles, the vehicle will require more maintenance than it did in the first 100K miles. So maybe a new car would be better for you.

I just don't like having car payments, so I would fix it, but ultimately it is up to you.

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September 9, 2012, 1:45 pm

Shafi B

Thanks Ryan. Yeah, same here. Either I pay cash for a new car or don't buy it. Going with the repair. He will do the overall service too and take care or minor issues. This is a spare car for the house. The way I am seeing it is like I am getting an extra car for $2k.

Thanks Again.

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