really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
74,700 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. remanufactured engine (3 reports)
  3. bought new (used) engine (1 reports)
2013 Kia Forte Koup engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Kia Forte Koup Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 212019

Forte Koup SX 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles


This car is still at the dealer (not fixed) as the manufacturer is dragging their feet, even though the car is under their 10 year 100k warranty. There is a recall and class action suit against a sister variant of this same 2.4L engine that may soon extend to my car. I am currently $800 into a rental car and not a happy camper ):

- hods13koup, Sonora, US

problem #6

Feb 212020

Forte Koup SX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,700 miles

click to see larger images

engine blew engine blew

I bought a used 2013 Forte Koup SX this last September with around 69,450 miles. I've had nothing but good performance from this car and everything had worked fine up until 21 Feb 2020. I was making my usual drive to work and just happened to hear what sounded like rod knock over my music. I muted the audio and sure enough, there was a noticeable ticking coming from the engine. As I work 80 miles from home, I knew I still had to get there, and I was still 35 miles away. As I drove over the next hill, the slight ticking turned into a full on hard knocking, the engine surged, the power dropped severely, and all the engine did was rattle when I pressed the gas pedal.

I used the downhill momentum to coast to the shoulder of the road where my car finally decided to stall out. As I am familiar with Hyundai & Kia's 2.4GDi recalls, that was my first thought. My wife had her 2011 Optima's engine replaced last year under this recall. Now my Forte has the same problem, but no fix since the Forte has been excluded from the recall.

I waited for three hours to get my car towed back home, 45 miles away, then paid for yet another tow the following morning to have to brought to the dealer I bought it from, not a Kia dealer though. Per the extended warranty, this was required. My car is scheduled to be inspected tomorrow, to which I'm considering being present and requesting to be allowed to watch and document the damage. I've been a mechanic for 18 years and I already know what's bad, but have to let them do it this time.

I will be taking this up with Kia, and have no intention of letting it rest until there's definitive results from Kia. Being a mechanic for half my life, I would never let this sort of problem go unresolved, and neither should Kia. I will update this as the journey continues. Hopefully I can get some resolution for the rest of you plagued with the same malfunction.

Update from Mar 11, 2020: I spoke with Kia, and had my car towed to their dealership for an inspection. Told them I would only have it towed if they paid for the tow. They said ok, so they got it towed the same day. After the car was there for a week, they finally told me that Kia Corporate has denied any help with my car and is denying anything being wrong as far as defects. All this was based on them running my engine for 20-30 seconds and stating "yeah, your engine is bad, we aren't taking responsibility". They never lifted the car to pull off the oil pan for a real inspection.

I've been a mechanic for eighteen years, and have never made any final decision based on a sound. That is the stupidest response I've ever gotten from any mechanic. I called the other local Kia dealer just to get prices if I decided to buy a new engine, since I'm now stuck with a broken car that I still have to make payments on. Conveniently, Kia has since DISCONTINUED this engine. It is no longer available period. This is Kia's solution to a problem they need to own, discontinue the product and leave their customers screwed in so many ways.

Update from Apr 20, 2020: I finally got my Forte towed back to my house, and pulled out the engine myself. I pulled the engine apart, and found a lot of bearing material in the oil pan. Enough material to build a couple bearings. I found the crankshaft thrust bearing was half destroyed, and half the thrust washers were just missing. That crank journal, however, looked fine. It has the typical wear lines, but passed the fingernail test.

On further inspection of the cylinder walls, cylinder 2 had noticeable gouging on both sides, that would require machining work to fix, but would need to be done to all 4 cylinders and have larger pistons installed to compensate for removing metal from the cylinders to correct the damage. Furthermore, cylinder 2's connecting rod just rattles on the crankshaft. The bearing is still present, but one half is paper thin and squished, and the other half is now a permanent part of the crankshaft, thus destroying the crankshaft.

Cylinder 2's connecting rod also has the same pitting and damage to its bearing surface, making it now unusable. To wrap this up, the best estimate of failure, is cylinder 2's rod bearing failed, and the resulting debris clogged the oil galleries to that rod and the crank thrust bearing. The engine could be rebuilt if Hyundai/Kia didn't discontinue all the parts needed, to include the engine block and crankshaft.

- Tom D., Fountain, CO, US

problem #5

Jan 022020

Forte Koup SX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Okay, my Kia only had 61000 miles. The warranty was for 60,000, so Kia told me they would not help me. So this is what happened, I had real bad luck - I lost my job, lost my car, and the motor blew up so my mom helped me get another motor put in it. It cost me $1700 for the motor and I had someone that works for Kia put it in and that total was $600, so that was the first motor, Jan 2 2020.

I pulled into work and my car just stopped so I had to have it towed to Midas. That was the closest place in all the state that would take it. That said the battery was bad and the alternator was bad. They said it started smoking so they would not touch it so I had to have it tow to a mechanic and he replaced the battery and alternator. That cost me $550.00 so he was not able to get it to run. So then I had it towed to Kia which cost me $135.00 and then they told me that the engine was locked up and it would cost around $6000. I only owe $1800 on it. I was going to lose my job if I didn't buy something fast so my car is still sitting with a blown motor. Please me with this.

- Paula O., MILAN, IN, US

problem #4

Jun 202019

Forte Koup SX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


2013 Kia Forte Koup 2.4L engine BLEW UP on highway going 65mph on I-70 in Maryland.

My engine started giving out. I noticed as I was traveling up the slightest hill on the highway, I hit the acceleration and it just wasn't kicking like it should. I figured I'll just keep on as I could manage the speed limit and try to make it home. All the sudden.. BOOOOOM!!! Huge explosion! Smoke, plastic pieces and metal went flying EVERYWHERE from beneath the engine, ricocheting off the pavement, flying into all the traffic beside and behind me. Cars swerved to miss the huge and small metal debris from hitting their vehicles. Power steering went out, I panickingly smashed the hazard lights button and forced my car over to the emergency lane - terrified of oncoming cars flying by, behind me and close to hitting me.

This could have EASILY ended in my death, traveling at 65mph and other cars above that if I hadn't managed to narrowly miss a few cars in the 2 right lanes next to me, to get to the shoulder. I got towed, found out an engine rod SNAPPED IN HALF and blew a piston (?). Through the engine, through the engine pan to the asphalt flying metal pieces and plastic everywhere also causing a small fire which eventually went out. Got my car towed about 20miles to a trusted shop... NEEDED TO BUY A WHOLE NEW ENGINE. $4500+ LABOR.. OUT OF POCKET!!!!!!

This was the FIRST WEEK I owned the car and i JUST started a job so I couldn't drive to work. The car was owned by my father first and was the biggest car nerd and cared for ALL his cars fantastically - oil changes and maintenance on the DOT. Because I bought the car off my father a week or so earlier for 8k, he felt bad as i was broke and now going to lose my job without a car. So he bought a used engine from another totaled Forte Koup. The SAME THETA 2 ENGINE THAT KIA AND HYUNDAI RECALLED IN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VEHICLE MAKES AND MODELS... JUST NOT THE 2013 KIA FORTE KOUP! Why Kia, why... WHY DID KIA RECALL EVERY SINGLE OTHER MAKE AND MODEL OF THIS SAME EXACT ENGINE BUT NOT THE KIA KOUPS?!?!??!?! Want to know the answer?? Because NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE OWNED THE DAMN 2013 KIA KOUP WITH THE SAME THETA ENGINE CAUSING THOUSANDS OF FIRES TO WHICH THEY RECALLED!!! NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE OWNING IT = NOT ENOUGH COMPLAINTS (FOR THAT MAKE!!!! BUT THE SAME ENGINE!!) = EVERYBODY WHO OWNS A THETA 2 ENGINE IN A HYUNDAI OR KIA IS SH*T OUT OF LUCK IF IT ISN'T ON THE RECALL LIST.

F*** Kia. Until they pay me for the engine I had to replace, I and my father who HAPPENS TO BE THE #3 SALESMAN OF KIAS IN THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES (!!!!!!) ARE NEVER BUYING A KIA AGAIN. I can PROVE my dad is the #3 kia salesmen! He has a medal on his desk and won a nice vacation to Hawaii! It says #3 national salesman! He only buys LEXUS now and will never buy another Kia because their selfish decision not to add EVERY make and model with the Theta II engine in it. I'm selling my car IMMEDIATELY for a more reliable brand. I'll never buy Kia again.

- Alex B., Frederick, MD, US

problem #3

May 242018

Forte Koup SX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

My car is barely 6 years old and in phenomenal condition (or so I thought). I kept up with standard maintenance - regular oil changes, tire rotations, etc. - consistently since I purchased the car in 2012, and mileage is only at 56K. Quite literally, I was driving home from work and everything just stopped. The engine completely shut off. Power brakes and steering...off. I had to be towed.

- Katie K., Gretna, LA, US

problem #2

Jun 182017

Forte Koup SX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,520 miles

I've called kia 3 times and they keep telling me because I'm a second owner they won't do anything about it. But I'm still paying on the car.

- Jennarae C., Springer, US

problem #1

Apr 182015

Forte Koup SX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,600 miles

I experienced a loud bang, the sound of something hitting the bottom of the car, smoke and engine failure. Coasted into a parking lot, oil puddle under the vehicle. Kia towed the car. Finding was that the #3 connecting rod failed and came through the engine block. Dealer installed a factory remanufactured engine, no loaner provided. New engine smoked and knocked at 25 miles, took to dealer and it never showed its ugly head. Car is running fine now, I suspect it will reveal itself soon, this lemon is going to be used to go car shopping. BTW, I had a 2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT that had 230,000 miles on it with very few issues, I'm disappointed that a car built by the parent company can be so poorly made.

- Rob R., St. Louis, MO, US

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