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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,036 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.

2005 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Apr 232015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


At a stop light, I heard and felt a shudder throughout the vehicle. The brake and battery light came on immediately after the shudder. The engine continued to run normally. Proceeding through the intersection, I experienced the loss of power steering making the car very difficult to control. Managed to get the vehicle to a nearby parking lot where I called for a tow to the Kia dealer. Dealer confirmed a sheared crank shaft bolt. Incident occurred on a busy state highway during rush hour. Speed limit is 45 mph on this stretch of road and very busy at rush hour. Had the vehicle been in motion at the time of the part failure there would have been an accident.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #31

Mar 152014


  • 106,510 miles
During my trip home from a local outing I noticed my battery light flashing intermittently. As I got closer to home the light became more steady steering became more difficult. I had a good guess what the problem was due to the fact that I've had this same issue twice in the last eight months. I made it home safely and had my vehicle towed a few days later to a repair shop. I was not at all surprised when the mechanic told me I had a crank shaft problem. This is something Kia has known about for years and should have scheduled a recall to repair this issue. I might not be here today if I was traveling on the highway at a faster speed.

- Irvington, NJ, USA

problem #30

Mar 232015


  • 55,606 miles
Vehicle died while driving, then would not crank over. Had towed to dealer. Vehicle was no longer covered by warranty. Dealer replaced cam and crank sensors, timing belt, crank bolt and badly fraying accessory drive belt.

- Altoona, IA, USA

problem #29

Mar 062015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Driving approx 55mph, my lights seemed to dim then my battery and brake light came on. I immediately turned my heater, radio, dashboard lights and lights to low. I continued driving for nothing else seemed to be wrong and was going to pull over when I noticed my power steering also was not working. I was able to get myself to a safe place to stop and put the car in park, it began making an odd sound (thinking a possible belt) it then made a popping sound thinking I broke a serpentine belt, I then turned the engine off and had my mechanic look at it. He said the crankshaft bolt had broken off and was an estimated $3000+ repair. I have also had issues with crankshaft sensor which caused my car to not turn over without a jump. After that was repaired I had to buy a new battery that prior to the winter season tested out to be good. Ihave also been told I need to replace a spark plug which could cost hundreds to replace because of the location. I have to replace headlights/taillights more than normal.I have seem to have issues with alignment and have put 2 sets of tires on after noticing abnormal wear on the insides, I've had it aligned twice. I still owe $6100 on a car that I would have to put $3000 into and now have nothing to drive!

- Williamsfield, OH, USA

problem #28

Jan 052015

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
On July 13th 2013 I started financing a 2005 Kia sorrento LX from a dealership in pinellas park, Florida called E-Z car credit. During the first month of financing the car had to be serviced for many different reasons. Over the last year and a half of financing the problems have gotten worse an more expensive. Problems include but not limited to: Overheating, bad sensors, front end alignment, new water hoses, new water reservoir, thermostat, power steering, electrical. An then we come to the most recent problem. The one 1,000S upon 1,000S of customers have been having "catastrophic engine failure" broken push rods, cams destroyed, valves, pistons. Estimated cost $4000. An now that I have $7,000 invested and owe another $5,000 on my loan I am joining the class action lawsuit against Kia motors.

- Madeira Beach , FL, USA

problem #27

Jul 042014


  • 118,000 miles
I was stopped waiting to turn into a fast food place when I let off the brakes to turn in, the SUV took off from 0 to 60 in a split second.when I tried to mash the brakes it wouldn't go down and I couldn't stop.I ended up hitting a tree, the air bags did come out.the SUV was totaled.I contacted Kia's office and they had the SUV towed to a lot for of this date I haven't heard form Kia as to what they found out.this was the second time the Kia took off on it's own with me.I would like this accident off my record and info as to what went wrong with the Kia.

- Silver Creek, MS, USA

problem #26

Nov 102014


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, an abnormal noise emitted from under the hood and the power steering seized. The contact discovered that none of the belts in the vehicle were moving. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the crank shaft damper, harmonic balancer and the gear needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Aldi, VA, USA

problem #25

Aug 232014

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
First incident-on August 16, 2014 while on vacation and driving from Virginia to Chicago ill, the vehicle start making a rattling noise coming from the front of the vehicle and warning lights came on the dash (battery, brake) and the power steering went out making the vehicle very hard to maneuver, I immediately pulled over into a fast food parking lot to check the noise and found that the harmonic balancer was loose and belts were not turning, I had the vehicle towed to a mechanic after inspection I was informed that the crank shaft gear pin had broke off to the harmonic balancer. I purchase the parts (harmonic balancer, bolt and crank shaft gear) and had the mechanic repair the vehicle and drove back to Virginia. Second incident-October 2014 while my wife was driving the vehicle, she encountered the same problems the warning lights, rattling in the front of vehicle, power steering locked unable to turn vehicle, I inspected the vehicle and saw that the harmonic balancer was loose and belts were not turning, the pin in the crank shaft gear has broken again, I had the vehicle towed to the Kia dealership in richmond, and they stated that I needed a new motor. After investigating complaints about this vehicle on line I found out that this problem is well documented with this make and year vehicle. If I or my wife had been on the highway at the time of this fault it could have been catastrophic. I also found that their is a class action suit against Kia motors addressing the exact same fault.(civil action no. 13-006 United States district court, district of New Jersey) essentially, plaintiffs claimed their vehicles were designed with a "defective crankshaft pulley bold and balancer, ? which could result in ?breaking off the spring guide pin, ? causing ?catastrophic engine failure." This vehicle is unsafe, a recall is warranted and Kia motors needs to correct the defect.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #24

Oct 142014

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 69,586 miles
While leaving our home to run errands, I lost power steering and several dashboard lights came on. We purchased the Kia Sorento in 2005 new and have had very few problems with it until now. It has less than 70K miles and has been serviced by the dealer every 3K miles. I had the vehicle towed to the dealer, who rather quickly diagnosed the problem as a broken crank bolt and estimated repairs would cost about $1300. The dealer checked with Kia on whether our 100K warranty would cover the repairs. Kia said this problem was not covered. At the time I didn't realize this is a fairly common problem with the Kia Sorento's. checking the comments from other Sorento owners, I have concluded this certainly appears to be a design defect. Our concern is that this could have happened in traffic at 70 mph and the loss of the ability to steer could certainly become a very serious problem, with potential fatal consequences. I am especially concerned about the number of situations that the bolt failed a second and sometimes a third time after the initial repair was made. Request serious consideration of Kia issuing a recall to remedy this design defect. Updated 01/14/15

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #23

Aug 232014


  • 104,900 miles
On 8/23/2014 my family a I were in Chicago we traveled there on Friday 8/22/2014 from Virginia in the 2005 Kia Sorento that I just purchased in July 2014 from pearson Hyundai. While driving to my family reunion in the forest reserves the vehicle brake light and other warning lights came on, and a rattle could be heard coming from the engine, the vehicle became hard to steer and the noise from the engine became louder. I stopped the vehicle and had it towed to my families mechanic, after checking the vehicle it was found to have the pin on the crank gear broken off, and the crank bolt came loose, replaced the sprocket (crank gear), the harmonic balancer, and the bolt. I drove the vehicle back to Virginia with no problem, then on October 3, 2014 while my wife was driving in richmond, va the exact same thing happened again, (warning lights, no power steering and rattling from the harmonic balancer, I had the car towed to the Kia dealership on Friday, they finally got back with me wed, October 8, 2014 and told me that I needed a motor cause the crank shaft is blown, prior to having it towed, I saw that the harmonic balancer was doing the exact same thing it had did in Chicago and turning it I can tell that the same pin has came off the sprocket. The Kia dealership wants to sell me a used engine, same as the one that is in the Kia I have, I am reluctant to pay $5000 to replace the engine to have the same problem, that I and after further investigation a lot of Kia Sorento owners have suffered.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #22

Oct 192013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 101,427 miles


The crankshaft sprocket key (pin) got loose and the sprocket displaced which chewed the timing belt and short-circuited the crankshaft sensor and fuel pump, causing $1946.03 of repair, $213.67 car rental during repair, loss of working time and stress to me with health damage. The total loss is estimated to be $3,000 at least.

- North Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #21

Jan 032014

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Kia Sorento 2005, similar crank bolt main pulley assembly break that many, many of the others have all been complaining about and unfortunately been experiencing. This is the third time I had this very same issue repaired for substantial dollars and now my mechanic stated there is not enough thread left into the crankshaft to fix and it needs a completely rebuild or engine replacement - which in all likelihood be less expensive. There should definitely be a recall for this - as so many have the same issue. Thank god my incidents were all at slow speed because this would easily cause a crash because you loose all power steering and control.

- Mundelien, IL, USA

problem #20

Nov 222013


  • 101,000 miles
Driving approximately 55mph 22 Nov 2013, heard a thump from engine compartment, and lost all power to vehicle, ending up in a ditch. Engine stopped, no steering, no brakes. Dash lights illuminated. Vehicle would not re-start. Crank pulley bolt broke off. Over 5 hours to extract remainder of bolt to repair engine. $1359 in repairs. Now, 22 Sept 2014, 10 months later, had same happen on highway at 70mph in heavy traffic. Thankful I was in a lane at the edge of the roadway. Current mileage slightly under 114,000. Yeah. 10 months and 13000 miles and another huge repair bill. No recall, Kia claims no liability. Other issue: Interior lighting turns itself off and on at whim. Headlights burn out every 45-90 days.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #19

Jul 302014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
In September 2012, traveling at 35mph my Kia came to a stop. At first glance it was determined the drive belts had unfastened and the cam shaft bolt was laying on the engine pan. After inspection at Kia service shop the specialist identified that the cam shaft bolt had sheered off due to the defective part: Cam shaft sprocket-C, part # 23120-35701 cost $60. The final suggestion was to replace the bolt set, sprocket, crank angle sensor, damper pulley, auto tensioner and all drive belts a total of $2,000 repair cost. In 2014, the cost repair is now 4,000 to replace the engine because of the same exact issue but traveling over 40mpg causing more damage. The main cause of this defect derives from the small pin attached to the sprocket that turns the harmonic balancer and grinds the steel with the force of the engine into nothing. The result of this defect causes the harmonic balancer to come lose, shearing off the crank bolt first, then if traveling at low speed will follow with the repair above, however if at high speed will result in engine damage in the valves making it necessary to replace the engine at a cost of $4,000. You may refer to the following resources for more information: The Kia Sorento engine defect class action lawsuit case is robinson el al V. Kia motors America Inc. Case no. 13-CV00006 us district court of New Jersey. For a video visual of the exact defect you may refer to youtube:

- Fountain, CO, USA

problem #18

Nov 142012


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering failed without warning and the vehicle became increasingly difficult to control. The dealer stated that the camshaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 117,000.

- Fountain, CO, USA

problem #17

Jul 122014


  • miles
Daughter had cranked vehicle after coming into grandmother's after her wedding getting food. She said the steering was working properly and the motor seemed to be having alot of problems so I told her to park it and not to drive it again that I would have it towed to be looked nephew looked at it said it seemed to be the bolt coming out of harmonic balancer. I bought it used but it was purchased at Kia in huntersville, N.C. from the person I purchased it from. After taking it back there to be looked at they did unauthorized work breaking the bolt off then telling me I had to be the one to replace the motor. I even went to Kia in gastonia, N.C. they didn't seemed to be concerned at all and said they would not even take it as a trade in so I started doing research as to any problems with this particular vehicle.

- Dallas, NC, USA

problem #16

Jul 132009

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
From the time I got the car head lights have repeatedly burned out after a month or two, also dash lights go off randomly and flicker and then come back on when ever they decide, my power steering went out, brake light came on and A/C went out all at once. Started to overheat, so it was determined the serpentinre belt had broke, replaced belt and vibration under hood was noticeable but could not determine the source., but somewhere under the hood. Still replacing headlights every couple months, then power steering fluid started to be consumed and constantlyt required adding fluid, then had a mechanic check for leak and he replaced some hoses and clamps but vibratiion continued and eventually power steering began loud noise when car started and only when reved up would noise stop, and when A/C was on sometimes would effect the power steering noise. Replaced the powersteering pump, still the noise continued and recently the belt came off while I was driving and brake light came on, I was able to get safely off the road and didnt cause an acciedent, but very close call, belt had come off but after minor adjustment it was put back on, vibration noise has become worse, I am affraid to drive it, mechanic looked at it and said harmonic balance seems to be off and root of problem is crank shaft bolt most likely, common problem, however during the time in Kia dealership for other recall issues, crank bolt was never brought to my attention as being a problem in my year or model car, non it turns out it is a major problem and legal action has been taken by class action suit dealing with same issue.

- Shandon , CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 182014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
The engine developed a very loud tick/knock in the motor.

- Knoxville, MD, USA

problem #14

Jun 032014


  • 117,000 miles
I recently had to have the crank shaft sensor replaced on my 2005 Kia Sorento. This morning, driving my young son to school, I lost the steering on my vehicle. Additionally, the engine light and brake light came on. As I understand it, this is an ongoing defective issue with Kia's. this is a dangerous problem for the public as well as consumers.

- Windham, NH, USA

problem #13

May 032011


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated while driving 10 mph, the vehicle started shaking violently and making a loud noise without any warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the harmonic balancer was not properly attached to the crank shaft causing the bolt to brake. As a result, the harmonic balancer and bolt needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred twice. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 52,000 and the current mileage was 87,000.

- Midland Park, NJ, USA

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