Reliability of Kia Sorento - Kia Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Reliability of Kia Sorento

Even though my 2014 Kia Sorento was meticulously maintained at the dealer, both the engine and transmission has already blown and have been replaced by the dealer even though my vehicle was just shy of 2 years old. Currently, I am having significant reservations about my Kia Sorento and I currently contemplating possibly trading it now while the going is good.

My Kia Sorento is the 4 cyclinder version with a 2.4 engine. Subsequently, I have researched on the internet and it appears that Kia and Hyundai vehicles with the same engine has had significant engine issues aka engine “dying” while being driven. In fact, Hyundai has had a recall on this engine that is also in some models/years of the Sonata. Similar engines were not recalled in the Sorento. I have read tones of blogs posts and message board forums of the Kia engine “dying” while driving which was similar to my case. I was lucky enough to have the engine replaced for free by the dealer since my Sorento was always serviced there. Other owners who changed the oil themselves or at other places and did not have receipts were denied warranty coverage and had to pay up to $6,000 for a “remanufactured” engine from the dealer.

I have also read posts whereby some people have had to replace their engine 2 and even 3 times for a similar “blown” engines in their Kia vehicles. In all my 30 years of driving before I got a Kia, I have always had Toyota vehicles(4 Toyotas in fact and I have never had an engine “die” on me before). “Engine Tear Down” reports I have read from persons who had their engines taken apart(other than the dealer) suggests sludge issues and issues related to not enough engine oil getting to certain parts of the engine which is said to be a design “defect” in the 4 cylinder 2.4 engines even though the owners like me changed their engine oil on a regular basis.
From the tonnes of reports I have read, "changing" the engine does not "fix" the underlying possibly design defect and thus, this can happen again.



With all that being said, I am very concerned about keeping my current vehicle or possibly trade it in now. I have read tones of reports of people where warranty coverage was being denied or vehicle was out of warranty when the engine died and being quoted a $6,000 price to replace engine all while still having to make a car payment.
I got several quotes for the trade in value of my vehicle and the highest quote I got was $11,500 for a vehicle that I paid almost $28,000 two years ago. Of course, that is not satisfying of course. If I trade in now, I will be a few thousand dollars in the red to the bank.

I am at a crossroads right now. Not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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I usually keep for car for many years. My last car I had for 10 years. However, I am not confident my current Kia Sorento will hold up that long without massive repair bills of my own when the warranty runs out. BTW, I usually drive around 25,000 miles per year.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I usually keep for car for many years. My last car I had for 10 years. However, I am not confident my current Kia Sorento will hold up that long without massive repair bills of my own when the warranty runs out. BTW, I usually drive around 25,000 miles per year.
i am on my fourth kia. I put 265,000 km on my 2009 Rondo with a 2.4 l engine like you have in your Sorento. it used about a half litre of oil between changes when I traded it on a 2014 Rondo. Never had to make any major repairs to that '09 2.4l engine other than a water pump at about 190,000 km.

I only put about 50,000 km on the 2.0 l Rondo before trading it on my 2017 SX with the turbo 2.0 l .

I would't just be assuming that kia's are not reliable. My experience is quite to the contrary. Unfortunately this problem with a few Theta 2 and 2.4l engines has given them a bit of a black eye which they will have to live with.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I am sure the engine in your 2009 Rondo isn't the same exact engine in the 2015 Sorento.

If you go to carcomplaints.com, you can read tonnes and tonnes of problems Sorento owners have with the engine "dying" while driving their Kia Sorento primarily with the 2.4L 4 cylinder engine. I know 2 people with the 2013 and 2014 6 cylinder Sorento's and they have never had any significant problems.

Again, based on my vehicle and the tonnes of reports/blogs I have read over the past few months, it is primarily the 2.4 4 cylinder engine that is affected.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 06:26 PM
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What was the oil change interval on the engine that failed, and how often did you check the oil level in between changes? What was the issue that caused the transmission to fail?
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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What was the oil change interval on the engine that failed, and how often did you check the oil level in between changes? What was the issue that caused the transmission to fail?
I normally change my oil every 5.000 miles even though the service manual recommends every 7,500 miles. I had about 2,000 miles before the next oil change.

No reason was given to me for the transmission failure. They just fixed it.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 07:26 PM
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How about the oil level between changes - did you ever check it? Reason I'm asking is that one of the theories on these Hyundai/Kia GDI and Turbo engine failures is low oil levels due to the engine using oil, eventually resulting in low oil pressure. Not saying this is what happened to yours - just asking for information.

There's lots of speculation and conjecture about these engine failures, but no cold hard published facts (such as lab analysis) that I'm aware of. Maybe one of these days real soon some Hyundai/Kia insider will spill their guts and we'll all know what the real truth is. Until then, folks like you will continue to have a hard time knowing what strategy to take, not to mention constantly being on the edge, waiting for the engine to blow.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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I have never checked the oil level especially since I am changing the oil way before the manufacturer's recommended 7,500 interval.

The dealer did a boatload of diagnostic testing and had to provide the results to Kia corporate HQ. They never told me what the results of those test were other than telling me "these things happen sometimes"

I have been to many websites with tonnes of people complaining having similar issues with this engine having been replaced and those fighting with Kia Corporate for their failure to replace engines out of warranty. Kia has never publicly addressed the issue and I have seen a few class action lawsuits floating around going nowhere.

For the hundreds/thousands of engines KIA has had to replace, you would think they should be able to diagnose the issue and possibly have a recall. Probably won't happen however since I have read it might be a manufacturing defect which might result in all of the 2.4L 4 cylinder engines being recalled. So until then, they will just "stall" for time.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 12:34 PM
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If I was you I would trade it for a 2016 sorento V6 or go with Toyota. Highlander or 4Runner you can't go wrong. I own 2 Toyotas and a V6 sorento . Toyotas are easy to maintain and last a long time. The V6 sorento is a great SUV , but still can not compare with Toyotas.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 01:06 PM
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There is nothing worse than having car issues. If it makes you feel any better my 2009 honda fit blew its motor one fine morning while i was driving to work. I had about 120k miles on it when it went. Turns out they deemed the motion spring recall was the cause of the failure. So I didn't have to pay anything, but these things do happen. I still have the car.

We bought the 2014 sorento SXL because of all the awesome options it has and because we read that it was very reliable. Its such a pleasure to drive I hope that it stays reliable for us, because I would rather keep it forever. Hopefully the v6 is reliable. My guess is that your car will be just fine, but I understand the nervousness the history has caused you. Thanks for sharing!
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