Dealership Screw-up

Joined
Mar 2, 2004
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Kentucky
I'm losing count of all the times I've had mechanics botch a job or screw something up, or plain try to screw me over-- and I don't even use them that often. I live by the rule that unless I can't afford the equipment to do the job (alignment, tire stuff, etc.) or someone else is paying the bill, I do all car repairs and maintenance myself. This latest discovery is a prime example why.

In October, I had the transmission replaced on my '15 Sedona. Without going into too much detail, it left me stranded while on vacation 1500 miles away and the dealership we bought it from (had just bought it over the summer) paid to have the transmission replaced. I trust dealership techs over some random corner auto shop, so I had the van brought to the Kia dealer to have the work done. Evidently that was a mistake!

For the last month or two I've been noticing a clunk/clicking type sound when shifting into drive or reverse, basically anytime you change vehicle direction. Noise wasn't loud or too concerning so I let it ride until the next time I'm under there changing the oil or something. Today I got that chance and had the wife shift gears while I was underneath trying to pinpoint the noise. It wasn't hard to find, immediately I notice that the powertrain mount bracket where it attaches to the transmission (other end connects to subframe) is rocking back and forth; the bolts that hold the bracket down (@ transmission) aren't securing it. I go down there to tighten them and right away I can tell they're the wrong bolts. Automotive fasteners are almost universally the flanged type, these are standard hex bolts (think the proper name is hex cap screw). So I go to remove them so I can get the correct bolt, and surprise!-- every thread in the transmission case comes out with the bolt.

Somehow these idiots used a 10mm x 1.5 thread bolt instead of the correct 1.25mm thread pitch. I don't know how you could mix that up, they had to have known it was the wrong bolt when they were installing it. What happened to the original bolts? Who does this to a new transmission or a vehicle with 30k on it?

Picture shows the three incorrect bolts, next to one that has the correct thread pitch. When I first pulled the bolts out you couldn't even tell they were threaded because the aluminum shavings filled the threads completely. I've since cleaned the aluminum shavings off them. I don't think bringing the vehicle back to them is an option (work was done at the Kia dealer in Montpelier, Vermont), so it looks like I'm going to have to tap for a bigger bolt, or hope there's extra threads at the top where I can use a longer bolt. How would you guys approach this, and is it worthwhile to contact the dealer? Not sure they could provide any kind of recourse.

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Joined
Sep 10, 2005
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5,089
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Massachusetts
Yeah, those look like grade 2 cap screws. What a bunch of donkey's.
It's too long ago, so I think you're screwed in reaching out to them. I feel for you man.

If you have enough room to get in there, Timesert has some kits that would work well and restore full load of the bolt.
 
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I know many more indy shops I trust than dealerships. Dealerships tend to be filled with new techs, techs who don’t care, and managers who just want it done quickly and whether it’s done correctly or not is a secondary consideration.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
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Pennsylvania
The correct way to fix that would be to install a thread insert. P/N for the bolts is 43172-26000. Parts catalog does not list a length to match up to but at 2 bucks a piece I would get 3 bolts from Kia.

Seeing stuff like this annoys me as a professional. I take pride in my work. When I do a job like an engine, transmission, dash removal, etc, the only giveaway that I was there is clean parts, and thats how it should be. We have a saying in our shop, a little give a **** goes a long way.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
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WA
There's enough thread left if you get the proper reach 1.25mm bolts in there.
Got lucky . Believe it or not. Go to dealer or Pikn'Pull for the proper fasteners.
 

92saturnsl2

Thread starter
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There's enough thread left if you get the proper reach 1.25mm bolts in there.
Got lucky . Believe it or not. Go to dealer or Pikn'Pull for the proper fasteners.
Actually there's not much thread above it, maybe 1/4" or so, it's a dead end hole. I used a thread chaser to clean the crap out of the holes and was able to get two longer (proper size) bolts to snug up pretty good. The third one was a lost cause, it would just spin.

I'm going to follow up with the dealer that did the work but I'm not holding my breath that they'll do anything about it. If they don't I'll get some time-serts ordered and effect a permanent repair. Wouldn't be the first time I've had to re-do work from the so-called professionals, probably won't be the last. No doubt there's solid mechanics out there that take pride in their work, apparently I'm just really bad at finding them!
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
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In October, I had the transmission replaced on my '15 Sedona.

When I first pulled the bolts out you couldn't even tell they were threaded because the aluminum shavings filled the threads completely. I've since cleaned the aluminum shavings off them.

and is it worthwhile to contact the dealer? Not sure they could provide any kind of recourse.
1. Am I missing something? Wouldn't a new transmission job have at least a one year if not a three year warranty?
2. Seems like you messing with it could be a problem. Should have taken it straight to a dealer instead.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
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25,167
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CA
I can loan you my M10x1.25 timesert kit to fix this. But yes, this is definitely unacceptable.

Were you lucky enough to be just outside of the 5/60 power train warranty?
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
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452
1. Am I missing something? Wouldn't a new transmission job have at least a one year if not a three year warranty?
2. Seems like you messing with it could be a problem. Should have taken it straight to a dealer instead.
Indeed he should have taken the car back to his home dealership if they are reputable or another dealership that he's found to be somewhat reputable.

That's the problem with Kia and Hyundai stores, most of them are horrible places to do business with and the service departments are abysmal .
 
Joined
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5/60 is the bumper-to-bumper warranty. Kia's powertrain warranty is 10/100,000 (or lifetime warranty on the short block if it's a Theta II engine).
Only for the original owner. Subsequent owners are 5/60 only.
 

92saturnsl2

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Joined
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I can loan you my M10x1.25 timesert kit to fix this. But yes, this is definitely unacceptable.

Were you lucky enough to be just outside of the 5/60 power train warranty?

Yep, was just outside of factory warranty, which was 5/60. The saving grace is the dealer I bought it from (a Chevy dealer, not Kia) gives a 10/100k powertrain warranty with all their used cars, so they got to foot the bill on the repair. They also got to pay for my rental car and have the car transported 1500 miles back home, though it took a LOT of persistence, almost to the point of lawyering up.

I really appreciate your offer, and might take you up on it, will PM you if I end up needing it-- will gladly pay shipping costs and send ya some beer money for the effort. I'm going to hit the dealer up in VT that did the work and see if they'll let me bring it to my local Kia dealer for repair. I don't think they'll balk too much about me cleaning the threads up and putting the correct bolts in. Without removing the bolts, I wouldn't have spotted their screw up, and I'm not going to put the wrong bolts back in to mess up the threads further. I have plenty of pictures of how they were installed previously. If they become a stick in the mud, I'll just fix it myself. For the amount of time this repair will take, it's not worth the headache, and I'll know it's done right.
 
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