Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

The thrill is gone for first-time car buyer

By Ray Hanania

Do you remember that feeling when you got your first car as a kid? The excitement and thrill?

My first was a 1962 Corvair. It wasn’t a hot rod, but it was reliable. A real memory.

I feel bad because Kia has prevented my son from having that same experience. I bought him his first car as a reward for getting straight A’s in college. He wanted the Kia Niro, a hybrid, because he is majoring in Environmental Sciences. He wants to save the planet.

Unfortunately, he’s learning a tough lesson. Protecting your personal safety maybe more important than saving the environment.

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

The car started having problems a week after we bought it. The “Check Engine Light” came on indicating a serious engine problem. The T-Mobile engine monitor reported a “Cylinder 3 misfire Detected. Do Not Drive … could cause serious damage to engine. Severity High. CODE P0303.” Seemed simple to check.

We brought it to International Kia in Orland Hills, where we bought the car, but no one in the service department could figure it out. It happened again, and again, and same results, Kia just couldn’t find anything. One time, the car braked on its own and came to an abrupt halt while my son was driving with a friend in traffic on 159th Street. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Apparently, the Kia automotive computer codes stored by the ECM, or the OBD (on-board computer diagnostic system) are worthless.

We took it to the dealership, International Kia, but the service department couldn’t find anything. The service manager, Edwin, and dealership manager, Chad, are both courteous, friendly and sympathetic. But they work for Kia and can only do so much.

We got the “We care … but there’s nothing we can do.” We called Kia Corporation and learned they only “yadda, yadda, yadda” too.

My son refuses to drive the car anymore, fearing potential dangers. I don’t blame him. Kia ruined his First Car Experience, putting frightening new meaning in the acronym “KIA.” He’ll take my car when he leaves for college, and I’ll take the Kia Lemon.

I spent Saturday morning in the Kia, doing my rounds. Haircut. Hot dogs at Widens. Upgrading laptop accessories and checking out TVs at Best Buy to replace the Samsung, which is having problems, too.

Guess what: the Kia Niro “Check Engine Light” went on, again.

I drove it to the Kia dealership hoping they could help. Wrong!

By now, they’ve had enough of “my” engine light. The receptionist at the service desk had that rude blank stare, saying she can do nothing.

After failing to get anyone to help, I went back for more abuse, and she reluctantly told me to bring it back “next week.” Can I make an appointment? No, she said. Just drive in. You mean, like I just did, so I could be told to go pound it, again?

The worst part of the experience is the contrast to all the caring they showed when I was first shopping for the car. They loved me when I wrote the check to Kia. I was like family. All smiles and cheers.

The dealership, International Kia, isn’t the only one who can’t help. Kia Corporation won’t do anything either. My concerns are worthless to them.

I expect even less from the Illinois Attorney General, who has a worthless “Lemon Law” that makes buyers jump through hoops while protecting the auto dealers, who donate thousands to election coffers.

I guess I am supposed to wait until the car breaks down so the warranty might kick in. I’m wondering if their warranty has any value at all.

What must happen to get the car fixed? It has to die on an expressway? Maybe an accident before they take the problems seriously? Maybe Kia’s “Check Engine Light” is just a Christmas decoration and a South Korean joke on America!

As cheap and as old as that 1962 Corvair was, it ran. It was easy to fix. I enjoyed it. It was American made, a fading category.

Unfortunately, the only memory my son will have of his first car is the Kia trauma and the jokes about the name, and a dealership that has no idea how to maintain the cars they sell.

Check out more of Ray Hanania’s work at hanania.com.

Local News

Angel Williams, of South Carolina, enjoyed being able to phone home to his mom and his fiancé. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Brookfield VFW Post gives 45 Navy recruits a happy Thanksgiving Day

By Steve Metsch It had been about three months since Brittney Rodriguez sat down to enjoy a home-cooked meal. It’s not that the food is terrible at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in North Chicago, Rodriguez said. It’s just not as good as Mom’s cooking. “They have their days, but it’s not a home-cooked…

Team captain Zach Hayes holds the trophy as Coach Tim Racki and the Roadrunners celebrate the school’s fourth state football championship in nine seasons, and first since 2018. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Nazareth rally celebrates fourth state football championship

By Steve Metsch Two huge cheers rocked the Rooney Student Center at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park late Monday morning. The first was when Zach Hayes – joined by the coaches and teammates – walked in carrying the IHSA Class 5A state football championship trophy high over his head. The second was when school…

Members of Orland Park's Dance Company dance during Sunday's holiday parade. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park gets in the holiday spirit with parade and tree lighting

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park’s lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony has been going on for decades, but its holiday parade just completed its sophomore run. The second holiday parade kicked off the festivities on Sunday followed by Mayor Keith Pekau and a group of children pulling the switch to not only…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

Pedestrian, 70, hit by car, dies crossing Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch A 70-year-old Bridgeview man died after he was hit by a car at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the 8100 block of South Harlem Avenue, Police Chief Ricardo Mancha said. The man identified as Brian Callaghan was walking from the east side of Harlem to the west, Mancha said. Callaghan lived at Moraine…

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 1.57.20 PM

A Thanksgiving surprise

The kindergarteners at St. Daniel the Prophet School had a surprise visitor earlier this month–known to them as Army National Guard Sergeant Bryan Dudycha. But one student in the class knows him as Daddy; and when she saw him, Madison leapt into his arms, gleeful over his return from deployment, just in time for Thanksgiving.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound November 30, 2022

Mary Stanek

Hang out your socks for St. Nick

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Hang out those socks on the night of Monday, Dec. 5. St. Nicholas day is here on Tuesday, Dec. 6. St. Nick was known for selling all of his possessions and giving to the poor. He may…

Kathy Headley

Thanksgiving was fun, and delicious

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun and happy as ours. As always, the aroma and taste of home cooking and holiday desserts were a big part of the day. I feel comfortable telling you where we picked up…

CRRNH_SweetSaluteRhineVFW_112322

A sweet salute to veterans

Rhine VFW Post 2729 members William Haas and Jerry Dipasquale survey some of the bags of candy, pastries and other treats given to the post earlier this month by the students of Sahs School in Central Stickney. The Sahs boys and girls also wrote personal letters and made patriotic posters expressing their thanks and appreciation…

Summit Trustee Aleco Julius (from left), Summit Trustee Sam Dardovski, Summit Fire Captain Anthony Anderson, Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz, Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez stand in front of the village Christmas tree. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights Christmas tree, holds last Neighborhood Watch for the year

By Carol McGowan Summit officials and residents were on hand November 17 for the lighting of the village Christmas tree in front of the police station on Archer Road. In what’s become an annual event the last couple of years, the tree is lit before the last Neighborhood Watch meeting for the year. There is…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Angel Williams, of South Carolina, enjoyed being able to phone home to his mom and his fiancé. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Brookfield VFW Post gives 45 Navy recruits a happy Thanksgiving Day

By Steve Metsch It had been about three months since Brittney Rodriguez sat down to enjoy a home-cooked meal. It’s not that the food is terrible at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in North Chicago, Rodriguez said. It’s just not as good as Mom’s cooking. “They have their days, but it’s not a home-cooked…

Team captain Zach Hayes holds the trophy as Coach Tim Racki and the Roadrunners celebrate the school’s fourth state football championship in nine seasons, and first since 2018. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Nazareth rally celebrates fourth state football championship

By Steve Metsch Two huge cheers rocked the Rooney Student Center at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park late Monday morning. The first was when Zach Hayes – joined by the coaches and teammates – walked in carrying the IHSA Class 5A state football championship trophy high over his head. The second was when school…

Members of Orland Park's Dance Company dance during Sunday's holiday parade. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park gets in the holiday spirit with parade and tree lighting

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park’s lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony has been going on for decades, but its holiday parade just completed its sophomore run. The second holiday parade kicked off the festivities on Sunday followed by Mayor Keith Pekau and a group of children pulling the switch to not only…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

Pedestrian, 70, hit by car, dies crossing Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch A 70-year-old Bridgeview man died after he was hit by a car at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the 8100 block of South Harlem Avenue, Police Chief Ricardo Mancha said. The man identified as Brian Callaghan was walking from the east side of Harlem to the west, Mancha said. Callaghan lived at Moraine…

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 1.57.20 PM

A Thanksgiving surprise

The kindergarteners at St. Daniel the Prophet School had a surprise visitor earlier this month–known to them as Army National Guard Sergeant Bryan Dudycha. But one student in the class knows him as Daddy; and when she saw him, Madison leapt into his arms, gleeful over his return from deployment, just in time for Thanksgiving.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound November 30, 2022

Mary Stanek

Hang out your socks for St. Nick

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Hang out those socks on the night of Monday, Dec. 5. St. Nicholas day is here on Tuesday, Dec. 6. St. Nick was known for selling all of his possessions and giving to the poor. He may…

Kathy Headley

Thanksgiving was fun, and delicious

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun and happy as ours. As always, the aroma and taste of home cooking and holiday desserts were a big part of the day. I feel comfortable telling you where we picked up…

CRRNH_SweetSaluteRhineVFW_112322

A sweet salute to veterans

Rhine VFW Post 2729 members William Haas and Jerry Dipasquale survey some of the bags of candy, pastries and other treats given to the post earlier this month by the students of Sahs School in Central Stickney. The Sahs boys and girls also wrote personal letters and made patriotic posters expressing their thanks and appreciation…

Summit Trustee Aleco Julius (from left), Summit Trustee Sam Dardovski, Summit Fire Captain Anthony Anderson, Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz, Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez stand in front of the village Christmas tree. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights Christmas tree, holds last Neighborhood Watch for the year

By Carol McGowan Summit officials and residents were on hand November 17 for the lighting of the village Christmas tree in front of the police station on Archer Road. In what’s become an annual event the last couple of years, the tree is lit before the last Neighborhood Watch meeting for the year. There is…

CRR NH Reliable Waterproofing House Ad
CRR NH Farmers Insurance Cavoto House Ad