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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,736 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #41

Aug 132016

Optima

  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2011 Kia Optima. Serviced as required. Approx 120,000 miles. Engine started making knocking noises and seized. Took to mechanic and was told metal shavings were in the motor and need new motor. After investigating on line, it appears this is a common issue with the motors. Also, Kia motors were built in the same plant as hundai and those motors as well had the same issue and were recalled! why has Kia not recalled these motors knowing there is an issue" our mechanic was able to get a motor for a Dodge at his shop with no issue, but when he called to get a motor for the Kia Optima - none to be found! called Kia directly and they said they had none either, all on back order....why??? this is very out of the ordinary, and I wish that something would be done to get Kia to recall these motors and make it right with the buyers. Why has this not been investigated my NHTSA" my daughter was driving this car when it seized in traffic on a busy street in the city, and after reading others they seem to have the same issue! giant safety issue!!!!!!! several class action suits against Kia, guess it is time to join in on that!

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #40

Jul 182016

Optima

  • 124,000 miles
Engine is blown, the engine block has snapped off and pieces are banging around in my engine

- Maynard, MA, USA

problem #39

Aug 082016

Optima

  • 100,000 miles
I was driving along on the main highway and it started making a loud noise then the car just died and when it did it made a loud pop and wouldn't start.

- Upton, KY, USA

problem #38

Jul 272016

Optima

  • 67,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My son was driving our 2011 Kia Optima home one evening and the engine just stopped without warning. No warning lights whatsoever. We took the vehicle to the Kia dealer and they told us that the engine was seized up. They said it was caused by sludge in the oil. The price to replace it would be 6,612.00$ I contacted Kia Corp. And was told they would not pay for it because of the oil. The engines have a defect that they are aware of but refuse to acknowledge it. Something needs to be done about this. They have quite a poor history with these engines. I have taken my vehicle to my personal certified mechanic. He told me the engine was seized but there was not an unusual amount of sludge in the engine. They are going to put another engine in the vehicle with less miles for about 1,200.00$ less. Not only Kia wouldn't help me out but they were going to charge an above average cost. The average cost to replace the engine is 4900.00$ something needs to be done to help all who are dealing with this problem. Please advise

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #37

Aug 012016

Optima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While exiting the highway at an unknown speed, an abnormal sound emitted from the engine without warning. The contact mentioned that the sound became louder while accelerating. The vehicle was shut off, but failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the engine assembly may need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000....updated 10/11/16

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #36

Aug 152012

Optima

  • 102,000 miles
My 2011 Kia Optima has gone through 2 engines without any indication of a problem. Both time I was driving and the car stopped. I change my oil every 5000 miles. No lights came on before the engine failed, that lead me to believe there was a problem. I will be submitting a complaint to the Kia organization shortly.

- Concord, OH, USA

problem #35

Jul 102016

Optima

  • 75,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #34

Mar 252016

Optima

  • 98,000 miles
March 2016 while traveling on highway at 65 mph and passing a slow moving vehicle car lost power, became difficult to steer and unresponsive. We were lucky that we were right by rest area and coasted safely. Inspected the vehicle while and noticed a smell reminding an electrical short/fire. Car was towed to Kia dealer and diagnosed to be engine failure. The engine was inspected and per dealer it was pristine, Kia decided to cover under warranty @ approx 98K miles. Dealer stated that per Kia it was due possibly to non oem oil filter (nice). When we got the car back it did not want to start occasionally, where it hesitated especially as temperatures increased. Noticed dealer, dealer took it in verified battery and starter were to spec. In June on a hot day car almost did not start, set an appointment with dealer for later in the week. Next day car did not start, was towed to dealer and diagnosed to week starter. Starter was replaced and car started on for one day, the second day temperatures increased and car was dead with similar electrical meltdown, also noticed fog lights were not working after bulb replacement. Dealer diagnosed with Kia to bad engine again due to tolerances causing friction and more heat. Spoke to Kia and started a case but they just want to replace the engine again and not discuss potential issues with electrical harness compromise and ongoing issue with engine failing for no reason. This car is scarry and hope it does not start on fire when the third engine fails.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #33

Feb 112016

Optima

  • 99,205 miles
Vehicle shot down while driving and accelerating pedal didn't respond. We had restart vehicle some day 3 or 4 times and after that was working for the week or two with no problem.when the same problem occurred we took the vehicle to Kia and told them that engine has a problem because while driving shot down. It was still under warranty. Kia failed to fix the problem and said that is nothing wrong with the engine.Kia said that vehicle is fine with no problem. After warranty expired engine blow out and Kia replaced the engine. They asked $ 5900for replace the engine. We refused to pay so much money because we feel that was the same problem before the warranty. They offered us the engine for free and we paid $ 1875 for labor. We made a claim through Kia headquarter before the warranty expired. Nothing helps.we have to pay because Kia engines are not good and it has to be a recall the long time ago. When engine finally blows out it was the same scenario as always before...restart engine, engine shot down while driving, restart again, driving, restart until we heard loud knock noise

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #32

Jun 102016

Optima

  • 92,479 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving at 15 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was diagnosed that the engine seized and needed to be replaced. It was unknown if the vehicle was taken to a dealer or independent mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired due to the parts not being available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 92,479.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #31

Mar 052016

Optima

  • 135,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

In March 2016, our Kia Optima seized on the onramp to the I-10 speed going at 45 mph without any warning. When it stalled the car in back of us nearly hit us. There was no warning the engine was failing as in signs or warning light. After getting towed to the mechanic, the inspection found that only 1 cup of oil was found in the engine. The engine had no signs of engine problems or oil leak. Maint. Per owner's manual was done since I bought the car brand new in 2011. We were very lucky no one was hurt seriously and was grateful that we were able to move to the shoulder with no power. Kia did not assist in anyway as goodwill due to fact we were just outside of the warranty. Please investigate this safety issue with Kia engines.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #30

May 212016

Optima

  • 76,000 miles
I was driving my 2011 Kia Optima home from my college graduation. Without any warning the car stalled as I was driving down my driveway and it would not restart. No warning lights came on, the oil was fine, nothing to indicate any problems. The car was towed to a Kia dealership where they said the engine had seized. The car had 76,000 miles on it and was always brought in for its regular scheduled maintenance. The only option was to pay out of pocket for a new motor, the dealership would offer no assistance because it was no longer under warranty. I have never had previous issues with the vehicle and have a hard time believing that it is considered "normal" for an engine to seize at 76,000 miles. I was very fortunate to have this incident occur in my driveway because it could have potentially been very dangerous to myself and other drivers if it had happened on a roadway. Still in contact with Kia customer service but have not made it very far at this point. Very disappointed with the 2011 Optima, I expected it to last me more then a year and a half, and the Kia customer service.

- Windsor, NY, USA

problem #29

May 202016

Optima

  • 79,800 miles
Light tapping sound was heard for approximately 3 days. On the fourth day, when accelerating to merge onto a highway, the car shut off completely and smoke came from engine compartment. Car was towed to mechanic and diagnosed with seized engine. Complete replacement of engine was only recourse. The car was regularly serviced with oil changes and no warning lights were lit.

- South Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #28

Apr 252016

Optima

  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving over 55 mph, the engine would begin to rumble. After inspecting the vehicle it was discovered that no oil was present. The contact indicated that the low oil sensor warning light had not illuminated to alert of the issue. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 78,000. Updated 09/08/16

- South Boston, MA, USA

problem #27

Apr 102016

Optima

  • miles
On April 10, 2016 while driving on 270W in stl during rush hour traffic my car without any warning stalled and died. I was able to pull over to the side of the road and contact aaa to come tow my vehicle as it would restart but then die again within 1 minute. Upon taking to my local dealership the mechanice determined through a thorough investigation that the high pressure fuel pump went out and a new one would need to be installed. The total cost to fix this issue was $964 which I felt was robbery. My vehicle has 76K miles on it and has all regular maintance at the scheduled time. I see that these exact same engines have been recalled for the Hyundai sonata and that there are a multitude of complaints regarding the same engine but yet nothing is being done to investigate this issue. Kia needs to recall this engine and fuel pump asap so others will not have to deal with the stress of this situation. I am just thankful I did not have a tragic accident from this occurence

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #26

Mar 232016

Optima

  • 108,000 miles
On March 23, 2016 while driving on 422W in pa during rush hour traffic my car without any warning stalled and died. I was able to pull over to the side of the road and contact aaa to come tow my vehicle as it would not restart. Upon taking to my local service mechanic for inspection nothing was outwardly wrong except vehicle engine would not turn over. Mechanice determined through a thorough investigation that the engine has seized and a new one would need to be installed. The vehicle has 108K miles on it and has all regular maintance at the scheduled time. I see that these exact same engines have been recalled for the Hyundai sonata and that there are a multitude of complaints regarding the same engine yet nothing is being done to investigate this issue. Kia needs to recall this engine and hopefully save another family from having to deal with the stress of this situation. I am just thankful no one has had a tragic accident from this occurence. I also find it amazing that when calling Kia to get a remanufactured engine that we were told that all of these engines have been sent out immediately to cover the Hyundai recall.....

- Limerick, PA, USA

problem #25

Feb 262016

Optima

  • 1,451,900 miles
On February 26, 2016 I was driving to work in my 2011 Kia Optima at approximately 5:45am on md rt. 695 South I was in the left lane going 55 mph driving with the flow of traffic. The Optima was driving normally there were no sounds coming from the engine, when suddenly without warning the car shook violently I lost all power at the same time all the lights on the dash came on. I pressed on gas pedal there was no response from the Optima I had no power. I quickly put on my right turn signal to get over the four lanes; I was trying to get to the safety of the shoulder of the road. It was amazing that with all the traffic I was not hit by another car because I didn┐T have any power to the wheels I was just coasting the Optima was starting to slow down without the engine to power it. I ended up on exit 17 which is security blvd. Ramp. I opened the hood of the Optima I saw oil all over the engine and oil down around the engine compartment. I called aaa to get my Optima towed to the auto shop I go to in new oxford pa. That was about 45 miles way from where the Optima's engine died. The mechanic looked at the engine; he stated that a rod from the engine had gone through the engine block. The mechanic also stated that there metal pieces and oil on the outside of the engine and around the engine compartment. After the mechanic stated he couldn┐T find an engine for my 2011 Kia Optima I had it towed to the Kia dealership in gettysburg, pa. The Kia dealership stated that they would inspect the engine. They charged me $89 for an hour labor to look at my 2011 Kia Optima. I was told that either the main barring to the connecting rod malfunctioned or the pin that connects to the piston could have just broken. At this present time I still don┐T know why this engine's major parts came apart and caused me to lose all power and put my life and the lives of others at risk.

- Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #24

May 092015

Optima

  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 60 mph, an abnormal sound emitted from under the hood of the vehicle and the check engine oil warning light flickered. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the connecting rod failed and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 92,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #23

Feb 172016

Optima

  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact heard a knocking sound emerging from the engine compartment. The vehicle was driven home and the contact immediately checked the oil. She noticed that the oil was very dark and had a burnt smell. The vehicle was driven to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine had to be rebuilt or replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 71,000.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 302016

Optima

  • 106,421 miles
My 2011 Optima had 106,214 miles and was almost due for another 3000 mile oil change (which was done regularly) and without any warning lights, sounds, smells etc. It stalled out while driving I was able to pull in a parking lot. I tried to start it and it would not start. I called the Kia dealer that was not even a mile away and they said they were closed and could not look at it. So I had it towed to another garage, they looked at it and said the engine was "shot" it did not have oil in the top (?) they also said that the only replacement engine they could find would be close to $3000 and was out of state, so I would have to pay shipping as well as labor. I since have had it towed to my home and have looked online for engines and have found hundreds of complaints about this happening to others with the same year and model of car. I also found that the same exact engine was put in the 2011 Hyundai sonata, and that it was recalled by Hyundai. Kia knows of this problem and has had many complaints that are almost exact with vehicles with even lower mileage and still refuses to recall the engine.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

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