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Discussion Starter #1
2009 Kia Borrego ex 3.8v6 awd

I have had my Kia since new and it has a knock that is driving me crazy. I brought it to the dealer, and they did replace the timing chain tensioners guides and chains under warranty but no change.

The problem is not when I start the engine, but when I put it in gear with my foot on the brake, the engine knocks when cold for 2 to 3 mins then the knocking quiets down conserably but is always faintly there and can be heard slighty. I have tried different grades of oil, both conventional and synthetic, different oil filters and have even changed the spark plugs.

The dealer is now saying that this is normal for this engine as it has a mechanical valvetrain which makes it noisey but I have heard other 3.8s in sedonas and sorentos and hyundai genisis and they don't make this noise.

Any ideas?/ any solutions?/ anyone else have this problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have used Fram, Mahle/wix/Ultra 8 and currently the Kia #26320-3c250 and no difference what so ever. I was told that the oil filter issue does not apply to cartridge filters.
 

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That is not true, it does apply to your style filter as well, but dosn't matter in your case, because your using the Kia filter. Wanted to rule that out. What weight oil are you useing?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have used 5w20/5w30/10w30 both in conventional and synthetic and have even tried 0w40 and no difference.

Currently I have Castrol Syntec 5W30 in it.

Just to recap, when the engine is cold and sits for a while, on the first start, it is ok and sounds normal..once I put my foot on the brake and put it in gear, it knocks and even when driving to about 40 km/hr. The knock then deminishes greatly but if you go thru a drive thru or window down you can slightly hear it.

I asked the dealer if it could be the oil control valves and they said no as it would store a code. Dealer says its normal but it can't be.
 

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My 07 Sorento 3.8 does this as well. It has 40k miles and like you, my dealer says its normal as well. On really cold mornings it knocks pretty loud when you put it in gear and take off. All of my oil changes are done by the dealer on time every time. I just live with it and chalk it off as normal. But I truly do not like it. Once warm, it is very quiet. It has remote start, so we usually just remote start it and allow it to warm up for several minutes before driving it on really cold days. Wish I could be of more help, but you are not alone.
 

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the cam phasers on these engines 4 each are a little noisy when cold but once the engine is warm you don't hear them next time ask you service tech about them. when cold the will tick and make knocking type noise which is normal. the 5.4l triton & 5.7l Hemi both have noisy phasers and the Hemi has the Hemi tick as they call it.

How a Car Engine Camshaft and Variable Valve Timing Works - 2CarPros
 

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the cam phasers on these engines 4 each are a little noisy when cold but once the engine is warm you don't hear them next time ask you service tech about them. when cold the will tick and make knocking type noise which is normal. the 5.4l triton & 5.7l Hemi both have noisy phasers and the Hemi has the Hemi tick as they call it.

How a Car Engine Camshaft and Variable Valve Timing Works - 2CarPros
Thanks for that info. I never really knew that. I just know that it does sound like there is a major engine problem, but I know there isn't because it's perfect once its warms up for a couple of minutes. The cam phasers make sense.

I will say that I do not have a cold knock on my old 99 F250 5.4l Triton. It actually sounds much better when cold than the sorento does and it has 190k miles on it.
 

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i also forgot to mention the 2.4l which i have has very noisy cam phasers when cold and if memory serves me right Ford didn't go to variable valve timing till 2004 when they introduced it to north America with the 5.4l 3 valve SOHC but the Aussies in 2002 had it in 5.4l barra 220 engine for the ford fairmont.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well honestly I do have to say that my Borrego seems quieter with conventional oil then with synthetic but It still does not seem right to me to make that kinda racket. If it is the cam phasers, what will quiet them down? I have tried different oil grades and no difference, should I try lucas maybe?/ I don't believe in additives but there must be a way to control that noise.
 

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Well honestly I do have to say that my Borrego seems quieter with conventional oil then with synthetic but It still does not seem right to me to make that kinda racket. If it is the cam phasers, what will quiet them down? I have tried different oil grades and no difference, should I try lucas maybe?/ I don't believe in additives but there must be a way to control that noise.
i would not add an additive and if it is indeed the cam phasers its the nature of the beast noisy when cold but i cant hear what you hear. i would say take it to another dealer and get a second opinion and give KIA a call and open a case and get them involved and they will possibly send a factory rep out.
 

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Ok , so I went to another dealer and they tell me the same thing, that the 3.8 has a mechanical valvetrain and is generally a noisy engine. They said to them its normal, but I still say its not. They told me not to use synthetic oil as Kia's engines are not designed for it, they said synthetic oil is too fine a oil and generally very light at the same grades. They have had customers complaint of additional noise from using synthetic.

They changed my oil, drained out the 5w30 syntec and replaced it with ptro-canada 5w20 conventional oil(there bulk oil).

Believe it or not, the engine seems quiter and smoother with it, they said just change it every 8000kms, but as far as the knocking sound when cold is concerned it is normal to them. It is quieter when hot and smoother with the 5w20 reg oil, but I still say it never knocked when it was new unless they had some additive in the oil to quiet it down when new. I bought the Borrego new in March of 2009 and did not notice the knocking till the following winter.

Could they use a additive at the factory?
 

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Ok, so I took this one step farther and went to a reputed engine rebuilder and had them listen to this knock, both at start-up when cold( I let the vehicle sit there overnight and when in gear. They said it is normal. They said that all variable valve timing engines are noisy this way, some more then others but it is the design and nature of the beast.

They told me to use Lucas pure synthetic oil stabilizer and 5w20 regular non sysnthetic oil and it will be hardly noticable. They do this to all there engine rebuilds as more modern engines are all noisy and this quiets them down considerably. They said not to use synthetic in these engines as it is to fine a fluid and will make them noisy. They said that regular oil is alot better no a days and keeps things clean and quiet. They are lucas nuts and said the synthetic stabilizer will maintain pressure in the tensioners and keep them very quiet. I am not a fan of additives but am strongly considering trying this.

Any thoughts or experience with the lucas synthetic stabilizer?/ Do these guys sound like they know what they are talking about?/ I have used the non synthetic lucas stabilizer in the past and did not like it as it was very thick.

Any opinions?
 

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Ok , so I went to another dealer and they tell me the same thing, that the 3.8 has a mechanical valvetrain and is generally a noisy engine. They said to them its normal, but I still say its not. They told me not to use synthetic oil as Kia's engines are not designed for it, they said synthetic oil is too fine a oil and generally very light at the same grades. They have had customers complaint of additional noise from using synthetic.

They changed my oil, drained out the 5w30 syntec and replaced it with ptro-canada 5w20 conventional oil(there bulk oil).

Believe it or not, the engine seems quiter and smoother with it, they said just change it every 8000kms, but as far as the knocking sound when cold is concerned it is normal to them. It is quieter when hot and smoother with the 5w20 reg oil, but I still say it never knocked when it was new unless they had some additive in the oil to quiet it down when new. I bought the Borrego new in March of 2009 and did not notice the knocking till the following winter.

Could they use a additive at the factory?
That is so funny. I have used syn oil (mobil one) since the first oil change and the engine is as quiet as it could be. Now at 37k and no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, the dealer does not recommend synthetic oil, and the engine is alot quieter with reg 5w20, that I see. I understand what you are saying Rick as I have always used syn oil myself but understand also that these engines run very well with light oil and in hot climates.

Where I am here in Canada, temperatures are cold and bring out the noise. I am goinig to listen to the engine rebuild shop and attempt to try the lucas synthetic oil stabilizer with reg 5w20 oil and see what happens.

I am going to do this on the weekend, got nothing to lose.
 

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ok, so I just did a oil change, I used a oem oil filter, quaker state 5w20 grenn bottle, non synthetic oil and 1 litre of lucas pure synthetic oil stabilizer.

WoW!...right after start up the engine is so much smoother and quieter, hardly any knock!..it seems to of really made a difference. I will know better once it sits overnight and do the first start up in the cold morning.

The engine rebuilder I spoke to said these modern engines are all noisy, some more then others and said they use the synthetic stabilizer in all rebuilds to keep them quiet.

This lucas synthetic stabilizer is as clear as water, a little thick, but I immediately seen the difference.

Let's see how tommorow morning goes, keep you all posted.
 

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ok, so I just did a oil change, I used a oem oil filter, quaker state 5w20 grenn bottle, non synthetic oil and 1 litre of lucas pure synthetic oil stabilizer.

WoW!...right after start up the engine is so much smoother and quieter, hardly any knock!..it seems to of really made a difference. I will know better once it sits overnight and do the first start up in the cold morning.

The engine rebuilder I spoke to said these modern engines are all noisy, some more then others and said they use the synthetic stabilizer in all rebuilds to keep them quiet.

This lucas synthetic stabilizer is as clear as water, a little thick, but I immediately seen the difference.

Let's see how tommorow morning goes, keep you all posted.
Interesting. Let me know how this turns out. If it does indeed help on cold starts, I'll try it with my 07 Sorento.
 

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Well, I am sold on this lucas synthetic stabilizer, it made the difference.

This morning it was -8 celsius and the truck sat overnight, when I did the first start this morning, it was a much smother and quieter start. I put my foot on the brake and put it in gear, it still knocked but not near as load and only for 20 secs and then it stopped!

I can definately live with that as it was embarassing to drive away knocking!

If it only did it for 20 secs when cold at -8 celsius, then it should not do it at all in summer months. I will do the full 8000 kms on this oil change and see if there is also any milage improvement. But the stuff definately works!
 

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Well, I am sold on this lucas synthetic stabilizer, it made the difference.

This morning it was -8 celsius and the truck sat overnight, when I did the first start this morning, it was a much smother and quieter start. I put my foot on the brake and put it in gear, it still knocked but not near as load and only for 20 secs and then it stopped!

I can definately live with that as it was embarassing to drive away knocking!

If it only did it for 20 secs when cold at -8 celsius, then it should not do it at all in summer months. I will do the full 8000 kms on this oil change and see if there is also any milage improvement. But the stuff definately works!
Can you just get this at any parts store? If so, do I just need to add the entire bottle to a fresh oil change? Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
In Ontario, you can get it at any parts store. Here the average price is 19.99 for 946ml when not on sale.

I recommend doing a oil change and substituting a litre of oil for this lucas pure synthetic oil stabilizer. This morning was -2 celsius and on the first start, it made that noise for about 30 sec and then went feather quiet.It's like a cadilac now.

Let me know how it gos for you, but I am sticking with it.
 
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