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My first guess would be your fuel pump is failing. It can be difficult to check fuel pressures w/o the right tools - and dangerous to try to check for fuel w/o the tool. It's also possible the fuel filter may be restricted. If you want to replace the filter first, might be a good idea - its fairly easy to do and the part is inexpensive.
The first question is, do you have a "check engine" light on? If so, have you gone to someplace to have the code(s) read? If so, what were they? Moving forward not knowing the answers to those questions, I wil tell you my "best guess". Best guess would be you have small cracks in your spark plug wires, water got into the wire(s) under the insulation, and its misfiring due to inability to carry higher voltage loads under acceleration & at higher engine RPM's. Sometimes they dry out on their own - takes a couple days - sometimes they don't. If not, you'll have to replace the wires. Vacuum lines that are disconnected/broken usually cause a slightly higher idle, if the hose was small; the engine would not start/die if it was a bigger hose.
I know ziptie responded first, and if I'm stepping on toes, due to some kind of protocal, I apologize, but I figured getting the 'customer' (what is a good term for folks with problems we try to assist on here?) taken car of was the priority. Based upon your answer to ziptie, and I believe they may agree, it sounds as though your ignition switch needs replaced. If there's some kind of "follow-up" you get to fill out later, give ziptie the credit.
You said it is a "4 speed standard" - did you mean a 4 speed automatic? A standard transmission has a clutch. Not trying to insult intelligence here, but the symptoms don't make sense to be a vehicle with a clutch. You had the statement of "entering 1st gear randomly", which is what's throwing me off.
I believe you are correct in your concerns for the longevity of the rack, but, if its leaking, its leaking. I thought $600 for the rack was too much, though. I call around and find out the nominal price, then figure the shop needs some mark-up room on that price, to pay for shop overhead, etc. You can call Kia and see if there is a recall, but, barring that, the repair bill is yours. Not being the original owner will not help your situation, either, at least not with Kia.
If you are certain that you have spark and PROPER fuel pressure (the pump running is not enough to go on),and since you must be fairly mechanical to replace the crank sensor, check for injector pulse. Having spark & fuel, but no injector pulse, would indicate a failure of the camshaft position sensor circuit. I don't know what computer you rented, but what is needed is likely a scanner with graphing capabilities. There needs to be certain wave forms generated by both the crank and cam sensors, and they must be in synch, for the engine to be capable of starting on the ignition side of things. Unfortunately, the engine needs to be turning RPM's of at least 675, steady for about 10-20 secs, with no "start" signal present, before the ECM will even consider starting to run "after start" self-checks. However, start by verifying fuel pressure at the port on the fuel rail. If ok, & I think the spec key-on/ engine off, w/o looking it up to be sure, is about 40-44 psi, at a minimum. If pressure ok, since you know you have spark, then take some brake parts cleaner, a flammable spray, and sprayy a couple times in the throttle body or air intake tube every 5 secs while cranking. If it starts, you know the injectors are not doing their job, and the most likely cause, being not 100% sure, but maybe 90%, is the cam position sensor.
It almost sounds like you're describing two separate issues. The first being that there is a metal-on-metal screeching sound while the starter is engaged & shortly after engine start. I would agree with the conclusion of the shop you normally use that the starter needs to be "shimmed", meaning, insertion of metal spacers, like elongated washers between the starter motor & the engine block. This provides the necessary spacing for the bendix, or gear drive of the starter, to extend, contact the flywheel to turn the engine during the start process, and retract without hitting the flywheel at a small angle, which is enough to create the binding of the starter gear, which is the source of the screeching. The second issue seems to be that when you turn the key to try to start the engine, sometimes you get nothing - no click, no screech - nothing. This is an electrical issue. It could be the starter solenoid, wiring connections or the ignition switch. Someone just needs to find out where the power "stops" when you try to start and nothing happens.
Ignore the veh listed. Need FRH's for oil pump & starter, as independent jobs, on 76 Eldorado, a/t, a/c, 8.0L. Thanks.
These are always ineresting situations - on both sides of the fence. I understand the internal ispection, but usually, at that point, if a shop is even considering a removal & tear down of the trans, they offer options. We offer the removal & tear down, which may reveal a $50 part causing the problem, but you still have an extra 4-6 hrs in labor for the tear down. Option "B" is to not figure out the "exact" cause, but just confirm the problem is internal, and offer to replace the trans with either a rebuilt unit or a used one, and explain the pros and cons of each decision, thereby only having the 1-1.5 hr diagnosis & maybe 5-6 hrs for replacement (plus the cost of the trans). You are being billed based upon "flat rate hours" not "real" hours. Every job that can be done on a car is listed in a book or in a computer base as to how long it should take the average technician to do that job in hours. If the technician is experienced, they will always do it faster than the listed time allotment. However, the shop still bills, and pays the technician, the number of hours listed in that book or program. That can create "time warps" one customer told me when I explained the system. But if it takes longer in "real" time than the listed time, you are still only billed the listed time. Depending on the laws of your state, and what you signed, you may be stuck for the $1100.
I figure you are asking how long does it take, not at what mileage - your owner's manual has that info. That particular job, if you do it yourself, you're probably looking at a 4 hr process.