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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,952 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

problem #17

Jun 172011

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles


While driving my vehicle, it began making a "knocking" noise. The power steering then began to fail and then I was unable to accelerate. The car died (on a busy 4 lane hwy with my 7 mos old daughter in the car). Once stopped, I looked under my hood to find a large bolt laying on the floor of the interior of the bumper. The vehicle was towed to a local auto repair shop where, after 2 days and $1300 in repairs, I was told that the "large bolt" I found was half of the crank pulley bolt. It had snapped clean in half leaving the other half inside the pulley. Extensive labor to remove this piece and then reset all the pulleys and belts (timing belt) attributed to the excessive cost. I was told that there was no reason why that bolt should have simply broke in half and that it was a faulty part. Kia refuses to take responsibility and I have read several posts that make it clear that this is not the first time it has happened. Electrically, I have had to change my headlight bulbs several times over the last 3 years and the accuator for the automatic door locks is faulty. The car randomly locks itself at any given time (while driving, when sitting in the driveway during the night, parked and running). I stopped in a parking lot to get my daughter's toy that she had dropped. When I got out of the car to walk around to the other side, the car lock defect locked my daughter inside the car while it was running.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #16

Aug 242011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Harmonic balancer bolt broke causing failure of all belt driven components. Loss of power steering while driving at highway speeds being the worst of which. It was extremely difficult for a small framed older woman to control while pulling over. Harmonic balancer fell from vehicle representing substantial risk to other vehicles on roadway. Vehicle had been to dealership for previous repairs but they neglected to adhere to the manufacturers tsb and replace the bolt. I have since found that many many other owners of this vehicle have had the same issue spanning many model years. I don't believe the defect to be in the bolt but rather in the design of the harmonic balancer, the crank shaft and the mating of the two. When this failure occurs the vehicle becomes inoperable and leaves it occupants stranded. Loss of power assisted control and the high probability of a large and heavy piece of steel being dropped in the midst of oncoming traffic represent a substantial risk to the public. This issue has not been properly addressed by the manufacturer as no notice that this bolt should be replaced has been given to consumers. Kia motors is aware of the problem and sent a tsb to dealers directing them to change the bolt in question upon the vehicles next dealer service. However this practice is not properly adhered to and with the customer being unaware of any possible problem it becomes easily overlooked. I have also noticed that many people have more frequent failures after the bolt has been replaced. After having the vehicle towed to Kia I was informed that the engine would have to be replaced and that Kia would not cover this under it's power train warranty.

- Inverness, FL, USA

problem #15

Jul 102011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated while driving 40 mph the brake lamp, battery warning lamp illuminated and the vehicle lost power steering without any warnings. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the drive belts, and crank bolt sheered off and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 80,000.

- La Grange , KY, USA

problem #14

May 102011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


2005 Kia Sorento ex with 80,000 miles; crankshaft pulley bolt failed may of 2011, resulting in being stranded. Towed to nearest repair facility, cost approx. $1200 for repair. The 2003 and 2004 Kia models had a recall for this very problem, but Kia refuses to extend the recall to 2005, even though many Kia owners have experienced this problem. Some have had their crankshaft bolts fail multiple times. I have contacted Kia several times to try to get them to pay for the repair but they have refused.

- Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #13

Aug 102010

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 99,877 miles
05 Kia Sorento. The harmonic balancer bolt doesn't adequately secure the balancer or pulley. Thru normal use, the bolt becomes loose causing damage to the balancer. The damaged balancer causes the pulley to become damaged, and all of the accessory belts run by the crankshaft pulley are damaged. The "fix" offered by Kia does nothing to permanently fix the problem. I have now taken my vehicle to an ase certified mechanic twice in the last year and the problem still exists. Costs have now reached over $2100 and counting!!!!!

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #12

May 212010


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving at 60 mph, the contact heard a banging noise in the engine. Within a few minutes, the vehicle stalled and could not be restarted. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the crankshaft bolt and the crankshaft position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were approximately 69,000.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #11

May 222010


  • 81,000 miles


Timing belt service performed by Kia dealer on 3/1/2010 @ 77105 miles. On 5/22/2010, noticed brake warning and battery warning lights on while on highway. Pulled onto next off-ramp, and noticed no power steering. I then pulled into a gas station, opened the hood, and noticed that the alternator, A/C, and main drive belt appeared to have come off of the pulleys. I was able to drive the vehicle home, and checked the next morning to see if I was able to replace the belts. I found the crankshaft pulley lying at the bottom of the engine bay. Upon further inspection, I found that the crankshaft pulley bolt had sheared off at the threads inside the crankshaft sprocket.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #10

Apr 282010


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving at 10 mph and making a right turn, the bolt that connected the pulley and crankshaft snapped causing the contact to lose control of the steering. The engine turned off and the vehicle came to an abrupt stop in the middle of the road. The contact restarted the vehicle and took it the nearest repair shop where the pulley fell to the ground when lifted for diagnosis. The contact called both the dealership and the manufacturer but would not cover the repair expenses. The vehicle was awaiting repair at another repair shop at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 97,000.

- Pierceton, IN, USA

problem #9

Oct 132009


  • 50,000 miles
My 2005 Kia Sorento cut off while I was driving, throwing me into a spin and leaving me facing the wrong way into oncoming traffic. Could have killed me and my kids. Had it towed to dealership. They jump started it and said they couldn't duplicate the problem. They did nothing. It subsequently cut off in traffic 3 more times. Called the dealership, they said it wasn't a warranty issue (this was the month of the warranty expiration but it hadn't expired yet) and since they couldn't duplicate the problem there was nothing to fix. Kia is parked and I won't drive it. They don't honor their warranty and know about this defect and won't try to fix it during warranty period.

- Clarksburg, MD, USA

problem #8

Apr 282009


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the engine was making a loud knocking noise. When she started the vehicle, it began to shake severely and make a ticking noise. The vehicle could not be driven and was towed to the dealer. The technician found particles that resembled metal fragments in the engine. The entire engine had to be replaced. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #7

Jun 172008


  • 42,874 miles


Driving out of my office park at lunch time, heard fan noise like loose belt, then when turning wheel to exit lot, heard a loud "clunk" and lost power steering. Engine sitting loose in compartment land loose belts everywhere. Called roadside assistance and had vehicle towed to dealer. Told 2.5 hours late, when I called to the dealer, that the crankshaft bolt was broken again. Contacted Kia Consumer Affairs and found although there is an active campaign to recall this bolt, my VIN is not on the list (this is the second failure). Although "short block" was replaced at last failure (in 4/07 at 20,200 mi) this failure required machining the bolt out and only replacing the crankshaft sprocket, crank pulley and crankshaft bolt, then reinstalling other components. Contacted Kia Consumer Affairs 6/18/08 and requested dist service mgr approval short block replacement. No return phone calls although messages were left for agent on 6/19 and 6/20. Agent called on 6/25/08 to ask "how is the vehicle riding?", but we had not picked up the vehicle from the dealer, since yet again no alternate transportation was provided. Safety is now a major concern with this vehicle. No confidence in replacement parts to solve this problem. Research shows many other owners reporting multiple failures of the crankshaft bolt. Repair took 6 business days (8 calendar days) and again no alternate transportation was offered or provided. has information from a Kia technician that the crankshaft problem is due to a design flaw that cannot be fixed by replacing a bolt every 10,000 to 20,000 miles or each failure. No owner should be expected to wait for another failure that drops the bottom half of the engine. This is a serious safety concern that needs to be addressed. I have been fortunate that the failures have been out of traffic and not on the interstates. Living in metro atlanta, ga means I a far greater chance of the next failure causing injury to me or others.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #6

Oct 222007


  • 30,455 miles
Check engine light came on and engine idled very rough. Fearing repeat of cylinder misfire that occurred in September 2006 took vehicle straight to dealer. Cause determined to be a faulty evap pressure sensor. Replaced sensor under warranty.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #5

Apr 022007


  • 20,200 miles
Turning into the driveway from a short trip to the corner gas station, I heard a loud "clunk", lost power steering and vehicle would not restart. Contacted Kia roadside assistance and had vehicle towed to dealership. Dealer indicated the crankshaft bolt broke. Dealer replaced the "short block" under warranty. Repairs took 5 days and no alternate transportation was provided.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #4

Sep 272006


  • 12,149 miles
Check engine light came on while traveling with 100 miles of home on 9/22/06. Called Kia roadside assistance, they recommended contacting the dealer. Took to dealer same day, they reset the light and recommended using a higher octane fuel and return for service if light returns. Returned to dealer on 9/26/06 with light on again. Testing showed cylinder #3 misfired and caused internal engine damage. Engine replaced at 12,149miles under warranty and 9/27/06.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #3

Jul 122007

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles
At under 20,000 miles I was told I need a new engine. They have had the car for two weeks and won't give me a rental in the meantime.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 292005

Sorento 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,005 miles
Check engine light, needed canister close V canister ass/check engine install ccv filter and splash shields/check engine sensor fuel tank/ still waiting for sensor. Now cannot put gas in vehicle, keeps back splashing out, on 1/4 tank and cannot put gas in, still waiting for part.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #1

Jun 052005

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,632 miles
1) slowed car to put into park & car lunged forwarded, backed off, lunged forward, backed off, etc. Tapping sound came from engine. 2) car engine stopped and would not restart (stalled on roadway) 3) it is currently in the dealership for repairs, after they told me they couldn't get it to duplicate the problem (although the 1st day it was in the dealership, they anknowledged it was "misfiring".) they have now stated that a clip on the intake manifold comes dislodged and end up in the catalytic converter, and this could have caused the problem. My car has been out of service for 3 days, as of this writing, as they have ordered a new intake manifold.

- Pennsburg, PA, USA

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