really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
28,950 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new engine (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
  3. repaired with short block engine (1 reports)
  4. used engine was not the right one. so no engine for 3 years (1 reports)
2008 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 062010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles


Repeated problems with car. 08 optima I bought new in Ohio stopped running on a vacation to North Carolina on Sept. 06 of 2010. The car was in the shop until October 20 2010. The repair statement was not given to me at the time of pick up, but mailed to me after phone calls and complaints about car to the KIA corp. I received the papers through the mail post marked Feb. 18, 2011. The papers state Oil pan had debris and bearing parts, cylinder rod bearing #4 spun. Replaced short block (with re-man), also milled the head and several other parts and repairs.

After papers received made appointment and I took the car to Ricart on March 9, 2011 for complaints that came about after engine replacement. Ricart at this time stated "(Injectors O-ring leaking/all 4 coil packs loose from prior engine replacement. Confirm complaint/engine shaking bad/misfire /bolts E missing and parts installed improperly)".Stabilizer bars repaired, alignment and balance done. Told by KIA and ricart March 11, 2011 car is now fine all repairs authorized by KIA have been done. March 17, 2011 car returns to ricart service for air bag light. Service papers state (Driver side air bag resistance to high). AGAIN, TOLD CAR IS NOW FINE. 4 hours later car is returned to Ricart for check engine light. Service papers state, (Oil temp sensor high resistance). AGAIN TOLD THAT CAR IS OK ALL REPAIRS AUTHORIZED ARE DONE.I am still not happy with my car I call KIA and they see they have done repairs for ALL problems they found. I tell KIA motors repeatedly I do not feel safe, and the car is not running properly, I am driving to North Carolina and would like them to assure the car is ALL OK, THEY SAY IT IS. Finally I get ch. 6 news involved, they call me and contact Kia. FINALLY A NEW TONE Kia calls me KNOWING ALREADY FROM PREVIOUS CONVERSATIONS I AM OUT OF STATE. Says to take car to ricart again. after returning home ch. 6 sets up with kia to have a loaner car from ricart for me while my car is being looked at. My car returns to Ricart again on April 15, 2011 finally kia has authorized ricart to look farther.

On April 22, 2011 Ricart calls and says there are too many problems they do not know where to start, they dad state, holes in vacuum lines oil pan leaking, engine cover leaking, large amount of bolts missing, engine out of balance, and stated I could go on and on. Ricart said they do not want to point fingers but they have no other idea how this could all happen. My father then called ricart and got a few more things that had problems or needed repaired, Ricart said they would fax a list of all damages and needed repairs but has yet to do so. Car is still today at Ricart May 3, 2011. I contacted Kia and told them I do not feel safe in this car, they have to admit their NC dealer did this stuff, possibly intentionally, or it is manufacture problem. I want a different car, I do not feel safe, we have no idea any further problems that they have not found, I have been told multiple times the car has been fixed and it has not. I do not trust that it is all just ok now. Kia said they are not willing to even discuses replacement of the car. It does not fall into the lemon laws and I have since found out that Kia has a BBB rating of F. I have a sick child that is in and out of drs. and hosp. I need a car that I can feel is safe and reliable that is why I bought a brand new car in the first place.

He car has been in several more times since this, it has been out of use for over 150 days in one year. The car has even died on me while driving down the road more than once. The latest thing was that they tried to replace the short block again. Still the car runs like crap, I only get about 20 miles to the gallon, it sounds awful, it loses power, dies, there is an air noise, the air bag light is on, this is just out of control. I do not feel safe at all and Kia just gives me the complete run around. I still owe several thousand dollars on this stupid car or I would just get rid of it. Fact is, it isn’t worth squat now.

As for the cost. I can’t even begin to add up all the money and time I have in these repeated trips to the repair shop, and the rental car to get me home from out of state. I have rented a car several times when mine was sitting in my driveway just because I do not feel safe taking it any kind of distance at all.

- Jessica K., Thornville, OH, US

problem #5

Nov 132011

Optima 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,860 miles

Car started making a knocking noise. Called the dealer to make an appointment to have it looked at. Engine seized on the way to the dealer.

- kiaowner, Hockley, TX, US

problem #4

Jun 242011

Optima 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,633 miles

Car was bought new , had the service done every time it came due at the dealer. Car only had 48633 highway miles on it all highway. Without any warning it started knocking and only after about 30 mins it was all over - car locked up tight never cracked again. Kia tried to get out of a rental car but my extended warranty covered the first 6 days and then they picked up the next week. Then I get a call from the dealer that some parts had been changed and they were going to have to wait another week to get them and when they come in their master mechanic was going to be out that next week so there is 4 5 weeks to replace the motor. I will never buy another kia vehicle and when I get it back I will sell the piece of junk

- Scottie E., Eden, NC, US

problem #3

Dec 242009

Optima 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


Kia refused to follow their warranty. they claim that car was low on oil but i could prove my oil changes and when engine was removed by a non-kia mechanic they said the problem could not have been low oil because it didn't effect the engine the way it should have if it was low oil. Kia never gave me all my parts back for a second opinion, were going to charge me $5000 to fix engine. They put the parts in the back seat and in the trunk so inside car is covered in engine oil. I still have three years to pay for a destroyed vehicle. I bought a rebuilt engine and am trying to get it put in. DON'T TRUST KIA WARRANTY ITS A SCAM!!!!! the parts needed to prove it wasn't my fault turned up missing and couldn't be located including the oil filter

- hjglpn, Mechanicsville, VA, US

problem #2

Sep 202008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

I rented a 2008 KIA Optima to go to Canada, with only 20,000 miles on it. After driving about 600 miles, the engine start to make a strong knocking noise. As I was on a busy highway I could not stop right away. 20 seconds after the noise started, the engine stopped and forced me to pull out. I got road side but from now on I will never drive a Kia again, even as rental.

- Etienne M., Lowell, MA, US

problem #1

Jun 182008

Optima 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,106 miles

I bought the car new only had 2106 miles on it. Had my husband, Mother, niece and 3 small dogs in the car. We were on our way to Fla. The engine started making a loud knocking noise. We stopped and called KIA. They called a wrecker and told us to rent a car and they would take care of it. It took them 8 days to repair the car. It cost me 481.10 for the rent-a-car from enterprise. I have made many calls to KIA and Enterprise about the bill. I had to pay for the rental. So don�t get caught like I did. DO NOT BUY FROM KIA.

- Terry C., Wilmington, IL, US

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