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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
123,042 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Sep 132014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles


Son heard squealing sound from belts, had belts changed. 1 week later belt came off pulley and never would line up. Repair shop came back saying that it was the crankshaft pulley and that a bolt had broken. After changing timing gears, belts, gaskets and other front end parts end of costing 1500. I then read the problems with this vehicle on line. I called the dealership and becky act like this was the first they had heard of this problem.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #17

Aug 082014


  • 161,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact noticed smoke and flames underneath the vehicle. The fire department extinguished the fire. There were no injuries. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 161,000.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #16

Jun 222014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 142,133 miles
While in a fast-food drive-thru line, my car shut down. I immediately tried to restart the car and after several attempts, it tried to turn-over, but it didn't start. I didn't want to flood the engine, so I waited a few minutes. When I tried again, it started right up and I headed straight home thinking I must have some water in my gas because no warning lights came on. After talking with my husband, he agreed with my assessment and put some dry gas in the tank. I drove the next day, Monday, June 23rd, with no problems, but Tuesday, the car shut down again. It took a longer time to restart and then finally I couldn't restart it and had to get it towed to our mechanic who told us that the engine needed to be replaced. He assured us that there was nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening - according to our car mechanic, the cam sensor was actually burnt which led to a catastrophic engine failure.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #15

Aug 222013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles


While driving there was a noise from the engine compartment, power steering failedby the grace of god was able to get the vehicle off of the interstate. Looked under the hood and seen the crank shaft pulley and bolt laying on the tie rod under close examination the spring pin was sheared off from the timing chain pulley. The first time took the vehicle to Kia of brandon Florida, inwhich they said other things were wrong with the vehicle as well, the total bill came to around $800 dollars. I think they just tightened down the bolts because the crank shaft pulley came off again, went back to Kia of brandon and they would not repair it, stating that they were not going to repair the vehicle for free, they wanted to charge another $800 vehicle was taken to a mechanic that reattached the pulley...and the pulley came off again this time the bolt broke off in the crank shaft, the timing chain sprocket also came off. Called the dealership and they are only repairing certain VIN numbers of that year.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #14

Apr 072014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 143,439 miles
I was driving down the expressway when the car engine light came on, the power shut down and the power steering stopped working. I had trouble trying to merge over into a safe lane before the car stopped rolling. I did manage restarting the vehicle to move over to the side of the road before it cut off on me again. Once I was safe I restarted the vehicle and let it run a couple of minutes before I was safe to pull back out. This happen to me a couple of time before but this time it was so unsafe I almost was killed my a 18 wheeler truck. I contact many dealerships to see what code comes up and no code comes up.

- Romulus, MI, USA

problem #13

Jan 212010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 62,894 miles
@ 62,894 miles: Driving from gas station to home less than 1 mile away, engine made noise and started running rough. Parked car overnight, then drove about 3 miles to closest repair shop. Diagnosed as sheered off crankshaft pin/bolt. Repaired under extended warranty with new parts from Kia, but one week later had to be towed in because it happened again. Crankshaft was warped so engine was rebuilt with used crankshaft and new parts from Kia. @ 104,595 miles: Driving on rural road in heavy traffic, lights on dashboard came on and lost power steering. Speed was 55 mph. Managed to steer car off road without incident. Towed to repair shop. Crankshaft pin/bolt sheered off. Cost to repair $895.30. @ 109,885 miles: Engine began making clicking noises and lost power steering, etc. Crankshaft pin/bolt sheered off. Repair not recommended. Replacement engine recommended. There is a class action lawsuit pending against Kia for this problem. Please search online and you will find there are literally thousands of people who have had this issue with this same vehicle (2002-2009) and many had accidents because of it. Why is this not in the news? Kia knows this part is bad, they know this design is bad, and they continue to put band aids on engines rather than fixing them.

- Greenacres, FL, USA

problem #12

Jan 022014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


My daughter was driving on highway @ 55 mph with two children ages 2 and 1 year old in January 14. She heard a loud noise and power steering went out. Scared the[xxx] out of her. It took all of her strength to steer it to the side of the highway.the Sorento was towed to repair shop and was told the crankshaft bolt (pulley) broke that drives all the other pulleys including the power steering. Half the bolt was still in the engine. It was repaired with a Kia updated bolt and remember being told, "this is known to be a problem with this model". thank goodness nothing happened to her and my grandchildren. On 21 February, the power steering went out again caused by the same reason as before. What I do not understand is: 1. the bolt itself has been recalled but it is obviously not a bolt issue. It is a "design issue" that Kia is well aware of and they are ignoring this issue. 2. a class action suit is in process against Kia, "Kia Sorento engine defect class action lawsuit" case is robinson et al V. Kia motors America Inc. Et al., case no. 13-cv-00006 U.S. district court for the district of New Jersey. This is for Kia Sorento's 2002-2009. 3.a number of incidents have occurred and reported to NHTSA ( 4. performing a fmeca (failure mode effect criticality analysis) it would show this failure could lead to engine failure, loss of power steering, hazard to other drivers due to engine parts breakage, injury and potential death. What does it take for an Agency such as NHTSA to take action. The death of a child. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Whitewater, WI, USA

problem #11

Aug 252012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Traveling at 40mph crankshaft bolt broke off inside crankshaft sprocket causing harm balancer and belt to fall off. 2nd instance.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #10

Jun 132012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Traveling at 40mph crankshaft bolt broke off inside crankshaft sprocket causing harmonic balancer and belt to fall off. Also had to replace A/C comp, water pump and timing belt due to damage. 1st instance.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

Jul 042013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
Traveling a 45mph and crankshaft pulley broke off inside crankshaft sprocket. 3rd instance of same problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 202013


  • 154,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, there was a loud noise as the power steering assist failed. The battery warning light and the parking brake light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic, who stated that the crankshaft detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The failure and current mileage was 154,000.

- Portage, PA, USA

problem #7

Feb 082013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
I was driving the car when I suddenly started hearing rattling noises from the engine. The power steering stopped working and the steering wheel would not turn. Thankfully, I was on a side street with no other traffic. If I had been in traffic or traveling at a higher speed, this would surely have caused a crash. My mechanic says that the crankshaft bolt is sheared off and must be drilled out to be replaced. Kia won't cover this expensive repair, says it is not covered by their warranty. After researching this issue, I see that Kia is aware of a defect in the bolt and has issued service bulletins and discontinued the bolt, issuing a new part to replace it. There are already numerous complaints on this and other sites due to this issue, spanning several model years. To date, I have not seen a recall from Kia. Dangerous defect and alarming lack of concern (not to mention customer service) from Kia. I would never have bought this car if I had known the gamble I was taking with my family's safety. I hope others will not make the same mistake.

- Brookfield, IL, USA

problem #6

Jan 012010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
I had the vehicle in the dealership just below 100,000 miles. They didn't bother to tell me the transmission control module was messed up and needed replaced. This seems to be an issue with several people. And then to find out this is a dealer only part and over 900.00! I think this was poor customer service and they should've known something was wrong. The gear shift wasn't sitting in drive and not shifting correctly. I doubt I'd ever buy another Kia because their service sucks! they don't value their customers and that really makes me uneasy.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #5

Jul 012012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The crankshaft pulley bolt broke and messed up the steering, I was unable to steer the car. This has happened twice now and continues to be a problem as I'm reading the Kia forums.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #4

Dec 312012


  • 137,685 miles
While driving on the highway at 65 mph the crankshaft bolt broke, the timing belt and drive belt came loose.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #3

Sep 052012


  • 94,186 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds, steering became very difficult and the battery, check engine, and brake warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the catalytic converter and the crank shaft bolt and pin needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 94,186 and the current mileage was approximately 120,000. The VIN was not available.

- Nubuffalo, PA, USA

problem #2

Dec 102012


  • 36,471 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle lost complete power and all of the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact restarted the vehicle and took it to the dealer for inspection where they advised that the crank shaft sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified and advised the contact that the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The failure mileage was 36,471.

- Dundalk, MD, USA

problem #1

Oct 102012


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while starting the vehicle, she heard an abnormal ticking noise as the battery and engine warning lights illuminated. In addition, the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic where it was determined that the vibration dampener had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the issue. The failure and current mileages were 81,000.

- Sand Point, ID, USA

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