IM CONSIDERING PURCHASING A 2004 KIA RIO WITH ...

  • Tiny
  • neallennon
  • 2004 Kia Rio
  • 120,000 miles

I'm considering purchasing a 2004 kia Rio with 120K on it. I'm told by the driver, the car was driving along and died. It was towed to a shop, They charged the battery and say the alternator went out. Now the auto trans doesn't work ! What could be the problem, If the transmission was working before the alternator went out? Is this a common problem with this model? Has the computer or a sensor been damaged by running the car untill the battery ran completly out of voltage? I think the car has a lot of life left in it, but need a direction to go on this before I buy it. Got any idea's? The seller is open to me checking it over or having another shop of my choice scan it before I purchase it. Thanks Neal

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Sunday, February 10th, 2013 AT 3:24 AM

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  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
  • Expert
  • 25,616 posts

"Auto trans doesn't work" can mean an awfully lot of different things. If it's computer-controlled, low system voltage is going to make it do strange things. Chrysler was the first manufacturer to develop a computer-controlled transmission, and I'm more familiar with their system. Once a problem is detected, regardless if it's due to a charging system problem or something in the transmission, it defaults to second gear and stays there so you can drive it slowly to a repair shop without needing a tow truck. That is called "limp mode". It will come out of limp mode when you turn off the ignition switch and restart the engine. In your case, I wouldn't get overly concerned with the transmission yet until the charging system is fixed. Then if a problem still exists, there may be a diagnostic fault code stored in the Transmission Computer that needs to be erased.

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Sunday, February 10th, 2013 AT 3:59 AM
  • Tiny
  • neallennon
  • Member

Ok, I will replace the alternator first and see if that fixes the problem, If it still has a problem I will scan it to see if there is a code, ansd do what it takes to fix it. I'll let you know how it turns out. Neal

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Sunday, February 10th, 2013 AT 11:21 PM
  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
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  • 25,616 posts

Check for fault codes first. When you disconnect the battery to replace the generator, any stored codes will be erased and that valuable information will be lost.

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Monday, February 11th, 2013 AT 9:54 AM
  • Tiny
  • neallennon
  • Member

Ok, I will scan for Codes first thing this morning, Thank you for that important information, I'll keep you posted. Neal

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Monday, February 11th, 2013 AT 4:59 PM

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