Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,944 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.

2003 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 082011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


My car broke down while mechanic advised me that the pulley broke off & I needed to take it to the dealer... the dealer advised, it will cost me almost $5000...I called Kia corporate & with my VIN#, they found that it was recalled in 2007 & fixed it & can not be fixed again.... my question here is, if it was defective part & broke again, how can this be my fault? I have no car now to use, I can not afford to get it fixed, I still owe more than $5000 on the car....the car is not worth $5000.. I tried to rent a car for a week to see what could be done, that will cost over $400.... I am desperate for your help!! thank you so much!!

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #6

Mar 222008

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,001 miles
Second occurrence in less than 900 miles, third occurrence overall, of the crankshaft pulley bolt coming loose. Lose of power steering occurs when belts come loose.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 152007

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving my 2003 Kia Sorento on August 14, 2007, the engine began to make noises, loose power and slow down rapidly. Two belts popped completely off and the car lost all its power and shut down completely. I towed the car to the Kia dealer at arbor place in douglasville, Georgia for repairs. The dealer informed me that the crankshaft bolt was broken and did damage the crankshaft pulley and sprocket. The dealer made the repairs but after driving the car a few days later on August 22, 2007 it began loosing power again. I turned off the vehicle for approximately 10 minutes and tried to start it up again but it would not start at all. I again towed it to the Kia dealership at arbor place. In short, they said that the car was dumping gasoline into the cylinders and that when they test drove it, the car looses gasoline rapidly. The car clearly has major manufacturer defects that should be fixed by Kia at no cost to me.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #4

Jul 102007

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,700 miles


Last Feb. The coolant reservoir cracked, lost all coolant. Towed to dealer. They fixed it and told me that I needed a new belt. I didn't want anything more to happen as I take my 90 year old mom around, they replaced one belt for $120. Never ran right after that, with screeching noises and no more A/C. today, just as I was driving onto the highway-I started losing my steering and I immediately pulled over off the ramp, then it stalled as I was pulling over. I have read about this happening to a lot of people and was just waiting for it to happen. Well it did and thank god I wasn't going 70 on the highway yet. It has been towed to dealer and they said it was the bolt on the drive shaft that broke. Then he said that since I'm only 8000 miles away from 60K, then I should just do the timing belt service now because if I don't and it goes, then my engine will blow. So I guess this is what I have to wait to happen next and I'm sure it will. Thousands of people can't be wrong. Don't buy a Kia!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Upton, MA, USA

problem #3

Apr 282007

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,333 miles
"the battery and brake lights were on the dashboard. Also, the vehicle lost power steering. Opened the hood and the engine area and found the alternator belt fell off its pulley. The power steering belt ran off the alternator belt. This was why the vehicle had no power steering. Checked the crank shaft pulley, and found the crank shaft pulley had play, and the crankshaft bolt backed out of place. Kia has a pit stop highlight, stating that the crank shaft bolt backed out of place due to improper torque settings on the crank shaft bolt. Highlight KT2006042501. Removed the radiator to gain access to the crank shaft pulley. Removed the crank shaft pulley and inspected. Found the crank shaft sprocket pin sheared off due to the crank shaft pulley backing out place. The crankshaft sprocket holds the pulley in place. The crank shaft pulley, sprocket, and bolt will have to be replaced. Removed the timing belt and to replace the sprocket. Installed everything back in place and started the vehicle. Oil was now leaking from behind the timing cover. Removed all parts again to gain access to the timing belt. Found oil was leaking from behind the timing sprocket. Removed the sprocket, and found the crank shaft rubber seal had signs of wear and was slightly bent. Replaced the crank shaft rubber seal, and reinstalled sprocket and timing belt. Started vehicle, and no signs of leaks were noticed. Road tested vehicle, and vehicle drove properly. The owner complained and questioned the result of the loss of power steering due to the improper torque setting on the crank shaft bolt as suggested by the narrative of the mechanic's report and as stated above. If it was so does the owner have remedy in contacting Kia or the dealership )for possible reimbursement for the parts and labor associated with this part of mechanical performance.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #2

Aug 122006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,903 miles
: the contact stated while driving various speeds a noise and a vibration was noticed. Upon further inspection, unusual wear on the inner tread of the front tires was also noticed. The vehicle was driven to the dealer who could not duplicate the problem. Updated 9/11/2006 - the left front strut was noisy due to loose bottom strut bolt. The dealer tightened end and secured bolt. The consumer felt vibration in brake pedal when reversing and making turns. The dealer resurfaced the brake rotors and pads. The vibration returned. The dealer indicated that the rotors were warped and replaced them. The vehicle's engine made noise. The dealer adjusted all the belts. The cd player would not eject properly.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 082006

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,670 miles
: the contact stated while driving 65 mph there was a screeching noise that came from the engine. The dealer determined that the bolt on the drive shaft pulley had sheared off and that the crank shaft needed to be replaced. The manufacturer has been alerted. Updated 7/13/2006 -

- San Dimas, CA, USA

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