2011 Kia Optima engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems

2011 Kia Optima (Page 1 of 4)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,010 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.

2011 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #63

Nov 102015


  • 120,722 miles


2011 Kia Optima driving home on expressway engine started knocking and seized up, pretty much froze the steering and had to fight to get to shoulder. Kia has a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty. A letter was sent in mail claiming issues with bearings crankshaft pistons on the 2.0 turbo and 2.4 gdi motors, so Kia bumped up warranty to 10 years 120,000. I have 120,722 Kia says they wont warranty even though I am this close. Also Kia and Hyundai are sister companies and Hyundai put the same in engines in there sonata a recalled 400,000 plus engines and Kia has not recalled one. If there is an issue and there claiming there is one by extending warranty shouldn't it be fixed under a certain amount of time. I've read that engines tend to stall at around 100,000 to 120,00 miles.

- Tinley Park, IL, USA

problem #62

Dec 042016


  • 167,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact heard a squeaky noise. The vehicle began to decelrate and all the warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 167,000.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #61

Nov 112016


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle did not restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine failed due to the oil consumption and that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. The VIN was not available.

- Newburgh, NY, USA

problem #60

Oct 172016


  • 55,000 miles


Car was being driven on city street when smoke appeared out of the hood of the car. Car was driven to a safe spot in a residential neighborhood to assess the problem.flashlight showed a large hole at the bottom of the engine. Car was towed to Kia dealership and inspected. All oil change receipts were submitted as per dealership request. Dealership submitted claim to Kia headquarters to see if engine would be covered, I. E.,replaced. Next day engine replacement was approved at no cost to me. It has now been over a month, there are other Kia cars at this dealership with the same problem and still no replacement engine. I spoke to Kia customer service in so. California and was given a case number and the message that the engine is on back-order. No eta can be provided and apparently there is a backlog of cars with this catastrophic engine failure with no end in sight. Any assistance from your office would be greatly appreciated.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #59

Oct 302016


  • 118,000 miles
At approximately 118,000 miles, the connecting rod and engine failure happened while travelling approximately 35 mph on Rhode Island state route 114 in East providence, ri. The engine seized completely and I was able to coast the car to the side of the road where I then required a tow truck. Thankfully it was 1am and no cars on the road. Nobody was hurt. Bald hill Kia in warwick, ri now has my car, but no eta on when it will be ready. They tell me that there are two other Optimas waiting for engines ahead of mine. This is 100% unacceptable. I spent $26,000 on this car in good faith and Kia will not honor the warranty they extended on the engine in a timely fashion. While they have offered a loaner car for now, they will not provide in writing that the loaner will be of no cost to me. I am now stuck with the option of hope and wait that Kia does the right thing, or take matters in to my own hands by contacting NHTSA and considering the purchase of a new vehicle.

- Riverside, RI, USA

problem #58

Oct 192016


  • 71,000 miles
There's a ticking in my motor when first starting up N last about 5-10 mins afterwards and also a clanking and popping sounds in steering even worse when hitting a hole or going across intersections or railroad crossings steering slips some going down the road at various speeds

- Adrian, GA, USA

problem #57

Oct 242016

Optima 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


Driving down road 55 mph engine shut off had towed to dealer. Engine seized from faulty connecting rod replacement engine 2 month back order.

- Rentz, GA, USA

problem #56

Oct 192016


  • 133,858 miles
There is a defective part in the motor which causes the motor to fail and seize at any speed causing the driver to lose power steering and brakes. My wife was traveling home from work on the highway when without warning all lights came on the dash and my wife had trouble just getting to the side of the road and getting the vehicle to stop. There is a recall on the exact same motor which is in the Hyundai sonata.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #55

Oct 132016


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 25 mph, the engine warning indicator illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to a Ford dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 61,000.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #54

Sep 122016

Optima 4-cyl

  • 45 miles
2 issues with 2011 Kia Optima @ 101,987 miles. Quick burning of oil (causing oil to burn up and having car owner deal with topping off oil levels) and gradual "ticking" sound from engine that results in engine shutdown as car is in motion prob #1: my Kia burning thru oil at high temp-I performed each and every oil change paying over $70 for top quality oil. Issue with oil gradually became worse. I had to buy my oil in between changes to keep adding oil to engine, made mistake in blaming oil change companies, wasted time and money in having oil changed sooner then 3,000 miles. Oil can henry stated that they believed Kia engine ran on high temp which was burning oil 2X faster then any car. Problem #2: "ticking" sound from engine, that gradually for louder, finally caused engine to shut down (characteristics are deceiving car owner assumes battery issues/ Kia mechanics blame bad battery) this is not the case! I have aaa witness my car issues, and car still had issues after new battery was installed, which Kia mechanics still blamed battery. Car shutdown is not battery since all inside lights, radio etc still function and when car died during driving it still allowed me to "coast" home at 3 mph. The day my car died, there was already a new battery in car. I came out to leave for doc appointment, car lights came on/radio on but engine barely start, if it did start car engine died, it was as if engine barely started and couldn't maintain itself. I missed a urgent appointment(iam disabled). Called aaa, they confirmed battery at 100%. we tried everything possible, aaa guys said horrible noise from engine, after 20 tries I was barely able to revive it enough to test drive. Drove around my block down the street and after 10 min car died, but not completely. Although I couldn't accelerate, car "drifted" at 2-3 mph. I turned on er lights, coasted home in 1 hour.

- Happy Valley, OR, USA

problem #53

Oct 122016


  • 120,350 miles


Vehicle was accelerating at 60 mph on the highway when the engine shut off, no power. The vehicle had enough momentum to drift across the slow lane to the shoulder. Car did restart. A child was in the vehicle and thankfully they were not rear-ended. This incident happened a second time while accelerating and prompted with clicking noises under the dash. The vehicle was brought to our local mechanic who stated that the engine failure at 120,400 miles.

- Buda, TX, USA

problem #52

Sep 262016


  • 91,000 miles
Started car after work and it suddenly started knocking. Tried to "baby" the car home, made it 3 blocks away from work and the motor blew up. The result of a piston slapping a spark plug and punching a hole in the block. Should fall under the warranty of these cars having "weak connecting rods" but should be a recall instead.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #51

Sep 252016


  • 140,000 miles
On September 25, 2016, I was driving my 2011 Kia Optima to church with my 2 children. After coming up on a red light I stopped and then proceeded to go when the light turned green. I was able to get through the light and accelerate up a slight hill at about 35-40mph. After going over hill, I was not able to press the gas to keep going and my brakes ended up locking up so I had to get in far lane in order for the car to coast into a store parking lot. All the lights on the car came on and car literally just cut off. Thankfully it was not a lot of cars on the road to cause an accident. I contacted a tow company the next day to have it towed to a mechanic and said the car still wanted to turn over but something was blocking it from starting so I had it towed to a 2nd mechanic for diagnostics and it appears that the connecting rod is the issue. I've maintained the car with the same mechanic for the past 3 years and I have a little of 140K miles. I've talked with the dealership and said I could have the car towed there and they would perform a diagnostic test for about $99 an hour and if the engine was the issue it would not be covered because of the warranty is only for 120K miles and that I must have all my paperwork for maintenance from the mechanic I used.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #50

Sep 302016


  • 85,000 miles
The engine totally locked up....while driving, in motion, on a very busy interstate type highway! very dangerous! many Kia owners appear to be having this problem also. The engine is frozen solid and will not turn over per reputable repair shop. These engines also are not readily available to buy for replacement and Kia has discontinued making them available. This indicates loudly there is a problem.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #49

Sep 282016


  • 85,000 miles
Same complaints as the others, 85,000 miles and the engine locked up while driving home. No check engine/low oil light. Had to have it towed to the shop, only to find out that my only option is to replace the motor. The shop's report was that the oil was low and dark, could not crank engine manually by hand, engine has internal damage and has to be replaced.. $4100 if I choose to proceed. We bought it used, and are sol.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #48

Sep 252016


  • 132,000 miles
On Sept 24 2016 around 10 pm, driving home engine locks up, car turns off and I was unable to steer the car. Luckily I was heading around a wide turn and was able to slow the car down as it drifted off the road onto the edge of the road. Kia dealer diagnosed the engine failure with a hole in the block. Kia consumer support today Sept 29, 2016 said they will not replace the engine. This problem seems to be pretty wide spread with many Kia models as well as Hyundai models. There also seems to be a class action starting against Kia for not follow suite with Hyundai when Hyundai make owners aware. Same engine from same plant. Going to keep calling Kia support until I get some help. I have not received any notice from Kia about a recall or service notice as other have made note of receiving.

- Amelia, VA, USA

problem #47

May 232016


  • 126,000 miles
I purchased my vehicle in February 2016, out of the blue on May 22, 2016 I heard a slight knocking noise coming from the engine area. I immediately scheduled an appointment for the very next morning. While driving on the I-15 South at around 7:00am I was traveling at around 55 mph due to traffic when the engine made a loud noise then completely shut off on me. Luckily I was able to crank the wheel and pull the vehicle to the off ramp nearby without hurting anyone. I had my vehicle towed to a nearby shop and after a 24hr evaluation it was found that there were metal shavings inside the oil compartment and because of these shavings it caused complete engine failure. Now my vehicle has been undriveable since may because it will cost me $4,200 to repair.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #46

Sep 142016


  • 95,000 miles
I was told by the Kia dealership that my 2011 Kia Optima needs a new engine. I was driving down the highway in middle lane. I tried to accelerate my car and my engine was making a rattling noise and the oil light started flickering all the lights on the dash came on and the car stalled. I had to call a tow company to tow my car to Kia. The next day Kia said I needed a new engine and I must prove that I kept maintenance on my car by providing them with all my oil change receipts. I have no car now and I need to get to work and get my kids to school.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #45

Mar 022016


  • 95,000 miles
I had drove this car for a year with no minor or major problems what so ever just regularly performed maintence and up keep. Never once seeing a engine or oil light. However in March of 2016 with no warning or anything my car started making this horrible ┐knocking noise┐ which was minimal at first and grew louder as I accelerated. And the engine light came on after that and has never gone off. This immediately raised concerns for me but did not no the cause, I pulled over to a mechanic shop and after just 30 seconds of hearing my car start then die with the horrible knocking noise. I was told I would more than likely need a whole new engine. His exact words to me are 'sounds like you got a rod knock┐. and he checked my oil to see if any was in the engine which it was and asked me about vehicle history. From my understanding and the 3 separate mechanics I have spoke with says there would be no reason for a 2011 that has 90K miles to have an internal engine problem. At the time I immediately called Kia and they say it won't be covered which puts me at a lost for words and having me try to prepare to buy a engine which cost will equal into the $5,000 price range. This was not a realistic option for me and forced me to seek other options. And come to find out Hyundai shares the same engine in my 2011 Kia Optima and they recalled theirs. But Kia is calling this a mechanism defect now, and still fighting claims. It just baffles me if Hyundai is the parent comapny of Kia and they re called the engine, why is Kia fighting everyone so hard on these claims... I just don't believe all us Optima owners in America don't T know how to get oil changes, and thats what Kia wants us to believe.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #44

May 132016


  • 87,000 miles
The engne locked up at 87K! I had no oil in

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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