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I have been having non stop problems with my car. I accidentally bought a kia optima. I was only 17 and had no idea what auto suggestion was. Now I'm 24 and I have been paying for a car that does not run. Let's say I'm driving the car right now on the free way. The engine is warmed up and all of the sudden it will just die. So there I am on the freeway stranded. After a while the car will start back and drive away like nothing happened. I almost had a heart attack though. So I bring to a mechanic I trust. He hooks it up to a computer because the engine light was just glowing red.(Danger). The codes come up cam position sensor. Also misfire among cylinders. I did all the recommended tune up work. Timing belt kit, alternator then had to be repaired, plugs, wires, crank shaft sensor and two different cam sensors. Among other things. I am desperate. A couple weeks ago I brought it to the dealer because I thought they knew something. Keep in mind I brought it there for the stalling on the freeway. Told them my story. They charged me 90.00 to tell me the computer came up cam position sensor. But what is making this sensor kill the engine while I'm driving it. I was told it could be a problem with something small to something big to get that sensor to kick in. So I was wondering if you know how small of problem could a sensor pick up to how big. I have been in tears over the last 5 months with this car. What should I do. Do you know if it is possible to trade a car for what's left of my loan and continue to pay my loan off but on a different car?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) I can only address the last part of your question. Yes you can carry a balance over to a new loan as long as the amount doesn*t push the financing amount too far over the Loan to Value of the car you are purchasing. Usually this is up to 110% of the MSRP of the new vehicle. If you owe a lot more on your vehicle that it is worth you may have problems moving the entire balance over to a new loan. Check out the value of your current vehicle on sites such as and call your bank to find out exactly what your payoff of your loan. If the two are close you should be OK. If the payoff is a lot higher than the value you may have a problem with financing unless you have cash to add in to the deal.

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Jessica, Camshaft position sensor can get a heavy build up over time on the head of the sensor, the purpose is to tell the main computer how many revolutions the cam is rotating per second. If it has a faulty reading it can shut the car off due to inactivity. If you owe more that what your car is worth, you may be better off leasing a vehicle than to buy. AJ Pierce

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Jessica, So sorry to hear of your difficulties. As a technician, to fix this vehicle correctly, I would want to experience the problem first hand. Has anyone driven the car until it cut off? Just because the dealer got a code for a cam sensor does not mean that you have a cam sensor problem. This code is just a starting point for diagnosis. If you are really that unhappy with this vehicle, it wouldn't hurt to speak with someone in financing to go over your options for trading it in. Good luck. Suzanne

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