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:
58,143 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.

2004 Kia Sorento cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 162011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Just normal driving the reserve radiator tank split at the seem. The car has 60,000 miles on it. It leaked all over in my garage and my two puppies almost licked up the coolant from the floor.

- Central Point , OR, USA

problem #6

Apr 142007


  • miles
I bought a Kia back in 2006. The Kia was a 2004 Sorento. After having this vehicle for one year the coolant started leaking. The dealership stated that the coolant case was cracked. They fixed it and when I picked the car up I drove off and 10 minutes later realized my car was overheating. I stopped and popped the hood and realized they didn't reconnect my fan belts. Then in 2007 I was hearing some noise in the engine and the next day the power steering locked up and the car would barely move. Come to find out my crank shaft bolt had broken. The car was under warranty but they would not pay for it to be replaced stating that I didn't change the oil. I argued with them and nothing. Remind you the quote on fixing this problem the right way cost close to $9,000. I paid them $900 to replace bolt and shove it back in there and hope that it would last. On Friday Nov of 2010 my husband was driving the car and the crank shaft bolt fell out almost causing an accident. I still owe one year on this vehicle and it doesn't work. I have read several complaints on the internet about the exact same problems that have occurred in 2004 Kia Sorento. I feel this is a defect in their product and that they should half to pay for all these peoples problems with this vehicle. There was also a recall on 03 and 06 models on crank shaft bolts. Tell me there isn't a consistent problem.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 052010


  • 60,000 miles
While driving in the fast lane on the interstate, my 2004 Kia Sorento overheated and the engine seized, we were able to coast off the freeway at an exit and pull over safely. Upon inspection, we noticed the coolant reservoir was cracked on the bottom, allowing all the coolant to leak out. After a little research, I found the tsb about this old model coolant reservoir cracking and a new model was out. This damaged tank caused my engine to overheat, seize on the freeway and now has blown the head gasket and warped the aluminum heads. Why wasn't I told that these tanks were a problem, I had my oil changed at the dealership 3 weeks prior and 3 months before that, nobody said anything.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #4

Oct 122009


  • 82,000 miles


My 2004 Kia Sorento was in the dealership for diagnostics due to engine misfire. During which phil smith Kia technicians gave my cooling system green check that all was ok. Approximately ten miles afterwards the engine suffered failure, headgasket blown. Vehicle was towed to the dealership. Was advised by service manager when they started the vehicle the engine seized. Dealership is refusing to cover under warranty, claiming that the car overheated causing the failure. The even occurred within 5 minutes of the car starting and it never overheated. I have contacted Kia consumer and received no assistance. Despite having documentation to support the cooling system was fine, they will not accept the claim. I am forced to pay for charges relating to the engine tear down, approximately $400 before they will release my vehicle back to me. I will then have to take it elsewhere to be repaired.

- Deerfield Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 232009


  • 77,000 miles
No problems before hand to indicate there was a problem until complete power loss with engine failure, within a 50 second span of driving on interstate. This was the only failure, as stated, with this car. Nothing could be done. The coolant reservoir tank was faulty on this model. Informed of this from the dealership and local corporate rep., after the fact. I was never informed of this faulty part at any time. Even when car serviced. This was a 3 year known faulty part that manufacturer knew about. Car was new when bought. Had a engine warranty of 10/100,000. I only had 5 years and 77,000 on car. Car corporation refuses to honor or deal with replacing engine. Was told the first week twice it would be covered. Local Corp. Rep. Then said no to warranty coverage. I have since pay for a new engine out of my own pocket.

- Ocala, FL, USA

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problem #2

May 052008


  • 64,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Sorento new. In May 2008 and at 64,000 miles this year the water pump started leaking. I took it into the local Kia dealership and they said it was under a recall and replaced it. They also recommended a timing belt change at that time and I did that too. After I left the dealership and drove into my garage, water was pouring out from underneath the passengers side tire, where the reserve tank was. I turned around took it right back and showed them. They said it wasn't anything they did to bust it, it must of been that way already. I informed them that I know it wasn't that way because I had been pouring tons of water in it until I could get my car in for that appointment since the water pump was leaking and the leaking before was coming from the center of the car, not by the tire. I also informed them, that I knew they busted because they had to put pressure on the water pump line to test it and therefore it was there fought. They still said even though they didn't do it they would go ahead and replace it for free. Why do they not want to own up to it to begin with? if I had not made a scene in front of their other customers they where going to make me pay for it. I have also had the wiper park area burn out. Smoke started coming from my windshield on he inside and now the heated wiper park area is not working. It will need a whole new windshield.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #1

Oct 212007

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
I was told by the Florida state attorney general's office this is the site to enter information for a possible product recall. This is not a safety issue. The radiator reservoir on Kia sorrento's start leaking for no apparent reason. If the consumer does not notice it then the engine will overheat and stop working. Although the engines are warranted for 10 yrs or 100,000 miles I see potential for many consumers losing their engines and the response from Kia be that the customer let the engine overheat. It is not easy to realize that the car is overheating. Rather than a flashing light the temperature indicator is a gauge. You have to actually notice that the needle has moved. It seems a shame that so many people may lose their engines because of what amount to a plastic part that just starts leaking. I believe the replacement radiator reservoir is a redesigned part and I strongly believe that the original part is defective should be recalled. I own a Kia, this did not happen to me. I was luck enough to notice that the radiator reservoir was leaking. My sorrento is a 2004 but I believe other sorrentos around that year use the same defective part.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

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