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2012 Kia Sorento
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I have about 122,000 miles on my 2.4 Sorento. It's burning a quart of oil every 800 miles. It passed the engine recall noise test back in the summer of last year, so I called Kia this week and opened a case and am working with my dealer on an oil consumption test. Anyone else had oil consumption issues? Think this may be my engine going bad? At this point it seems it would be best to have them perform the recall again to see if it fails this time.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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You mentioned the current oil consumption, but nothing about the history of it. Have you been checking the oil regularly over your entire ownership? If so, at what approximate rate has the usage been increasing? If not, is this something that you just now discovered? Also what OCIs do you use, and which oil viscosity?

There have been quite a few reports of excessive Theta GDI oil usage, however almost all of them are posted on the Hyundai forums. I'm not aware of anyone showing reliable proof that oil consumption itself automatically leads to engine failure in these engines. Most of the Hyundai owners who report oil consumption also check the level regularly and top off as needed. However, if the engine is run with significantly low oil levels (as a result of not being checked), that is the kiss of death and will result in a seized engine. IMO this is the reason for a percentage of the engine failures - not all, but certainly some of them.
 

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2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD
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If there are no obvious leaks, replace your PCV valve. That's a very cheap thing to do. It might be clogged and sucking up oil. If you still have the problem after replacing it, then your engine is likely going bad.
 

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Sorento 2012
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169 Posts
The engine recall has nothing to do with oil consumption. Have you changed motor oil brands or used any additives in your engine oil lately? Has the Sorento ever been ran hot or overheated? What weight motor oil are you using?
 

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2012 Kia Sorento
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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I was in a hurry the other day and forgot that information. I bought it back in November with 116000 miles on it. It has been serviced at the Kia dealer it's whole life with all records. Oil changed every 4000 to 5000 miles. They did have it checked for an oil leak at 109000 miles and I'm assuming that's when it started. They did not find a leak and it doesn't have one now. I changed the pcv about 120000 miles, it now has 122500 miles and burns the same amount of oil.

Thanks for the help
 

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2012 Kia Sorento
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Discussion Starter #6
Kia is using 5w30 oil, whatever brand Kia puts in it. Im replacing with 10w30 valvoline maxlife full synthetic as I check and refill the oil.
 

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2019 KIA Sorento SX 3.3L GDi V6 - AWD
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Kia is using 5w30 oil, whatever brand Kia puts in it. Im replacing with 10w30 valvoline maxlife full synthetic as I check and refill the oil.
With that much oil consumption, I would up the viscosity to a 5W or 10W-40.

A high-mileage motor oil wouldn't be a bad idea to try.

That said, 1 quart every 800 miles is excessive and totally unacceptable. There's definitely something else going on here.

Good luck.

Richard
 

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2012 Titanium Silver Sorento LX w/ GDI
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Interesting. My 2012 Sorento 2.4 doesn't burn anything and I'm still using 5w-20 synthetic with 7-7.5k change intervals. It used oil briefly around 40-50k adding about 1/2 quart every 1k but for whatever reasons stopped using after that. I don't do a lot of short trips and at least once a month do a 400 mile weekend..
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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Interesting. My 2012 Sorento 2.4 doesn't burn anything .....
There has been no consistency or pattern to the Theta GDI/Turbo oil loss. As with yours, some Hyundai owners report virtually none, while others report losing amounts spanning a very wide range. The important thing is for all owners to check regularly and top off whenever necessary (which of course is also the case for any make or model vehicle).
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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...I bought it back in November with 116000 miles on it....
Unfortunately this means the oil history is a complete unknown. Yes, the oil was changed regularly, but there's no way of knowing if it was ever checked and topped off in between OCIs.

Hopefully, with KIA having done all of the maintenance, there should be no waffling on their part about getting a long block engine replacement, should that become necessary. If something does happen to this engine, stand firm if they try to dealer-dance out pf their responsibility on this. KIA Theta recall documentation extends the coverage to 15 years and unlimited mileage regardless of ownership, and they have done the maintenance. There is nowhere for them to run and hide.
 

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2012 Kia Sorento
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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your help! Yes, I typically do all maintenance to my vehicles, but in this case I want to continue Kia doing the oil and filter changes, as you said, they can't argue much at that point, successfully. I was just curious as to if the oil consumption was a prerunner to the engine recall problem. It appears not.

I will keep all of you informed on the situation as I take it in during the oil consumption test.

I assumed that with all service records and regular service I wouldn't get into this situation. The test drive and conversation with previous owner didn't reveal any of this. I will up the viscosity most likely as a last resort.

Thanks!
 

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sorento 2012
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my 2012 2.4 sorento had this issue. at about 96000 it went from zero oil consumption to about a quart every 1k miles. this was the same week as the engine recall was announced. The engine was replaced on the recall after some involvement from the kia rep putting some pressure on the dealer. i was not able to inspect the motor when it was replaced but I believe that the lubrication channel got plugged for a period of time while driving, my theory is it either was starved lubrication from the metal particles floating in the oil or one of the bearings started to overhead and dumped shaving into the oil which damaged the lower end of motor. I dont know if the lubrication cleared itself while it was running or if it it cleared when the oil pressure dropped from shutting off the engine, but the motor didnt grind to a halt like usually happens when this occurs. The service tech at the dealer tried his best to tell me that the excessive oil consumption was not related to the recall. Fortunately a Kia rep got involved without any prompting from myself and it got resolved rather quickly once kia said to replace the motor.
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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... The engine was replaced on the recall after some involvement from the kia rep putting some pressure on the dealer. ... The service tech at the dealer tried his best to tell me that the excessive oil consumption was not related to the recall. Fortunately a Kia rep got involved without any prompting from myself and it got resolved rather quickly once kia said to replace the motor.
What you posted above is not consistent with how the procedure for the recall/engine replacement is supposed to take place. Virtually every other report of KIA and Hyundai Theta recall engine replacements indicates that either the engine is already seized, or it fails the recall 'sound' test done by the dealer. This is a black-and-white situation: if the sound test fails, then the engine is replaced; but if it passes the sound test, then no action is taken. An engine MIGHT also be replaced based on excessive oil consumption, but that would normally only happen after going through an extensive KIA oil consumption test (which it sounds like did not happen with your vehicle).

So based on the above, it's really puzzling to me that there was any waffling on your vehicle between your local KIA and corporate. Did they say anything about the sound test on your vehicle? Did they do it, and (if so) what was the result of the test?
 

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sorento 2012
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yes they did the sound test, the kia rep insisted that the dealer test it cold, so it was left at the dealer over a weekend and it was tested on a Monday morning which I assume it failed, as the motor was immediately scheduled to be replaced. My point though is that the excessive oil consumption, especially since it started abruptly was likely caused by a lubrication problem related to the recall issues. having metal shavings contaminating the oil supply is pretty hard on cylinder walls and rings. if you disagree I'd like to hear it.
 

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sorento 2012
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Another point id like to add is I did have the dealer do an oil consumption test over the course of about 4500 miles, checking every 500 miles. During this process I was told that the oil consumption was normal (they were adding about almost a quart every 500 mile) and the recall did not apply to this. sorry to have over simplified my ordeal at the dealer, but the point is the rapid onset of oil consumption was brought on by something failing inside the motor, and diagnosing the lower half of a engine based on a "sound" test is less than ideal.
 

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yes they did the sound test, the kia rep insisted that the dealer test it cold, so it was left at the dealer over a weekend and it was tested on a Monday morning which I assume it failed, as the motor was immediately scheduled to be replaced. ...
Ok, replacement based on a failed sound test is the normal course of events, and what I'd be expecting to read. Your OP caused be to believe there was something else going on, but your added description of the events seems to be typical of how this goes.

.... My point though is that the excessive oil consumption, especially since it started abruptly was likely caused by a lubrication problem related to the recall issues. having metal shavings contaminating the oil supply is pretty hard on cylinder walls and rings. if you disagree I'd like to hear it.
As of this date, the true story of why these engines are failing remains tucked away inside of the Hyundai/KIA organization. Everything else is just theories and speculation. Even the Hyundai/KIA techs don't really know, because they don't get to tear down the engines (they get sent back to Korea 'asis', except for maybe the oil pan and/or valve cover removed).

The best attempt I've found so far to figure this out is one guy on the Hyundai forums who recently has been tearing down and rebuilding failed Theta's on his own. That's just about the only hands-on reporting that I've found, and yet even this guy has not been able to identify the true cause(s) of the failures. He's found a few interesting things, such as slightly smaller oil passages in the newer cranks, but nothing approaching a smoking gun.

I have a few ideas of my own, such as poor maintenance being the cause of SOME of the problems, but mine are no better or worse than anyone else's at this point, because only Hyundai/KIA knows for certain. Yes, you will see people posting the 'answer', but when pressed for the source of their information, there is never any follow-up. And of course there are the 'official' Hyundai and KIA Theta engine stories, which amazingly enough are not identical. IMO, those versions have about as much credibility as any of the rest of them. Take your pick - whatever you like to believe, until such time as Hyundai/KIA is force to spill their guts, if that in fact ever happens.

Another point id like to add is I did have the dealer do an oil consumption test over the course of about 4500 miles, checking every 500 miles. During this process I was told that the oil consumption was normal ....
'Normal' is what all of the automakers fall back on whenever they have to explain their oil burners. IMO, anywhere even close to that level of oil consumption is nowhere close to normal, but that word apparently can be given whatever meaning you like, depending on who you are.

... but the point is the rapid onset of oil consumption was brought on by something failing inside the motor, and diagnosing the lower half of a engine based on a "sound" test is less than ideal.
Yes, the sound test is much less than ideal, but what are the alternatives? Would you want the typical KIA tech to remove everything it takes to be able to plastigauge the bearings? Any other ideas?

Given what KIA has done with the recall, I believe that the validity of the sound test is a non-issue. IMO it's INCREDIBLY fortunate for KIA owners that the automaker decided on the 15 year/unlimited milage recall policy for these engines. Mothership Hyundai has not (so far) been nearly as generous, and their owners are understandably more than a little upset over this difference in recall policy. So although the sound test often doesn't identify a failing engine early on, it's not over until the fat lady sings or the engine blows up, which ever comes first.
 

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2012 Kia Sorento
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Discussion Starter #17
Update: have had 3 quarts of oil put in every 800 miles by the Kia dealer. They offered to do the noise test again...but will only pay for it if it fails... thats $100 i pay if it passes, and Kia customer service has completely backed out on me offering 0 help.

The PCV has been replaced.

Should I just switch oil viscosity on my own and maybe add an oil additive of some kind?

Thanks,
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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Update: have had 3 quarts of oil put in every 800 miles by the Kia dealer. They offered to do the noise test again...but will only pay for it if it fails... thats $100 i pay if it passes, ....
What a great way for them to try to weasel $100 out of your wallet. Just say no, because they are on the hook to replace your engine if it croaks within 15 years, with unlimited mileage.

... and Kia customer service has completely backed out on me offering 0 help....
If your engine dies inside of 15 years, they will be required to 'offer' you a new engine.

... Should I just switch oil viscosity on my own and maybe add an oil additive of some kind? ....
I would definitely not do anything on your own with the oil. They sound like one of those outfits that might try to dealer-dance out of their recall responsibility, based on nothing but smoke and mirrors. So keep taking it to them for timely oil changes, so that they have no way to pull a disappearing act on you.

Just keep checking and topping the oil off on a regular basis. Time is on your side with this one.
 

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sorento 2012
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I agree with Kiaguy, keep bringing it into the dealer for oil changes, keep receipts for all oil added in between services. you could even take pictures of the oil level on the dipstick at service and before and after ever time you need to add, keep the preponderance of the evidence on your side. Im just guessing but given enough time it will fail the "sound" test or it will have a failure they cant ignore and they'll have to replace the motor.
good luck
 
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