really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,160 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.

2013 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Kia Optima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Jun 152016


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. The contact stated that the vehicle required to be jump started several occasions in order to start. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the alternator was drained and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #39

Dec 122016


  • 31,500 miles
I bought my 2013 Optima sxl with 26K miles. I was driving home from work and my car now has under 32K miles on it, and started shaking with smoke coming out from the hood and it turned off. Tried to turn it back on but it was dead I called road side assistance to get it towed to a Kia dealership. Next day I get a call from the service department and they said the engine was blown and that the extended warranty wont cover it due to sludge found on the engine wtf!! it's a new car! so to get it fixed they are charging me $9,400 dollars that's a lot of money. And I keep calling them asking why the warranty doesn't want to cover the charges and they say it's because of the sludge found due to poor maintenance which is nothing but bs. I dont even have a yr with this car and now I dont know what to do. And the sad thing is that I have seen a lot of reviews with the same problem and Kia is not doing nothing about it. I will have to get a repo because I can't keep paying for a junk car. I will never buy from Kia ever in my life.

- Hockley, TX, USA

problem #38

Nov 222016


  • 57,628 miles
Took car to dealer a month ago for siren noises as I excelerated. They told me it was my turbo casing that came open and that they closed it for me. I called them an hour later after I had left to tell them it was still making the noise they said it will and should make the noise. Took the car back today for same issue and for the engine light being in now for a 6 days. Now they tell me I have sludge in my engine and will blow at any time so I need a new engine and will let me know if warranty will cover it or not. I'm not even at 60K miles yet but they say I'm almost expired for warranty. I bought this brand new end of January 2013. The noise was happening when stationary, and when excelerating to drive and speed up with flow of traffic.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #37

Nov 172016


  • 66,105 miles


My vehicle is a 2013 Kia Optima and today a very horrible and scary situation happened to me on highway I-25. I was driving home at night and going around 68mph I noticed my oil light start flickering, at this point I tryed to slow as much as I could but thwre was heavy traffic. Almost to the nearest off ramp I heard a loud pop and I lost all engine power. I lost control of the vehicle as whatever popped pushed me to the right, I soon regained control and I could hear something dragging and it falling off. I approached the off ramp on the shoulder where my vehicle stayed disabled until a tow truck arrived. A passer by stopped to see if I was alright and said that my car was emmiting flames from the connecting rod I was dragging. My machanic had a look and said "wow, you definitely threw a rod. You're lucky it didn't come in your direction or at another vehicle." I searched for a recall and found out a bit of information regarding this exact engine with both Kia and also Hyundai. Kia sent out an extended warranty for this problem but Hyundai is doing a recall for the same exact engine because it is faulty to begin with. Come to find out that there a lot of Kia customers with the same identical problem in which a class action lawsuit was created. This faulty engine is a real safety hazard to the streets and highway and its a matter of time for all of the cars with these engines to have failure. Please! we need these cars recalled so they can be fixed and not on the road waiting to fail like Kia expects.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #36

Nov 102016


  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2013 Kia Optima gdi engine, I hear a noise in the engine and latter star with smoke like burning oil, the engine bloat

- Laurinburg, NC, USA

problem #35

Oct 132016

Optima 4-cyl

  • miles
I bought my new/used 2013 Kia Optima at the end of June 2016 with no idea that this particular make, model and year had such issues. The car seemed to run nicely. I am a very conservative driver so I rarely took the rpms up past 2.5 when taking off. One day, not even 90 days into owning my Kia, I hoped on the highway. In order to safely merge into traffic I had to accelerate up to 3.5 rpms to reach speed of 65mph. When I did I heard a strange almost clicking noise from the engine and gray smoke pouring from the back end of my car. I pulled over immediately. Just back off the exist next to my gym was a garage. I carefully managed to get my car there where they told me the devastating news (that I've learned now so many Kia Optima owners have faced)...a blown engine. Kia has issued an extended warranty on this problem, but with such limitations that they rarely actually cover the actual repair. I've taken my Kia to the dealer (per Kia customer affairs request) for them to tell me the same thing and now, because Kia won't warranty it due to exemptions on their "extended" warranty, I have to pay the dealer $300. I have a note on this car for 72 months. I've only made 3 payments! no one can help me and I'm not the only Kia owner facing this dilemma. The rod that is defective is causing issues with the oil which is allowing metal flakes to enter the engine. Thus cause seizures in the motor and engine failure. At high rates of speed the engine completely dies creating unsafe driving conditions. Please help!

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #34

Oct 082016

Optima 4-cyl

  • 130,500 miles


I was diving on the I-15 up the baker grade and the engine started to make a rattle sound and then a large bang and then shut off. No power to try to pull to the side of the road I was almost hit by a big rig. Once getting to the side of the road opened the hood and oil and smoke every where it was 3:00 a.M. in the morning. My maintenance record are impeccable and I had just paid the Kia dealership over 700 dollars for a tune up and other services. After finally getting a 525 dollar tow to the dealership I was given a report stating these cars from 2011 to 2015 have an issue with the connecting rod and that engines are seizing. Document attached is something the service dept showed me but I never had seen it before.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #33

May 012015


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving, the contact heard a clicking noise coming from the engine. The engine failed and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who discovered metal fragments in the motor oil and diagnosed that the engine would need to be replaced. The engine was replaced; however, the vehicle would turn off and on while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine harness and transmission solenoid were faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #32

Sep 262016


  • 113,000 miles
Heading up steep incline hwy 680 as I began to accelerate engine began to make clanking sound. Attempted to pull to the far right lane as I was in the far left lane. As I crossed five lanes of traffic car died. Many semis coming up on me. Had to have car towed 50 miles back home at 1am. Upon inspection. Engine seized. My car has had all regular maintenance and there were no warning lights that ever came on and car was running fine until that moment. Kia said out of warranty, too bad. New motor is needed on a 2013 car. Car is now sitting in my garage torn apart because I can't afford to replace the motor.

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #31

Oct 132016


  • 99,000 miles
My vehicle started using a lot of oil and was losing power upon acceleration. I had read online that there were problems with the engine and I kept hoping for a recall. However, the recall hasn't happened and I am almost at 100,000 miles. My car started making a ticking noise when I would accelerate and I had just had the oil changed 3 weeks before. I checked the oil and it was already very low. I took it to the dealer and the dealer says that the engine needs to be replaced and if I can give them at least 13 receipts they'll replace it under the warranty that I purchased. I drive all over town for work and I have my oil changed wherever I may be. I went to the two places that I have gone most frequently but, one of them switched their computer systems 3 months ago and only has records for the last three months and the other place changed ownership a year ago and only has 2 receipts for this year. They're saying that I have to pay for it out of pocket.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #30

Mar 152016


  • 57,000 miles


In March of 2016 my 2013 Kia Optima died at an intersection in town. There was no prior warning of any malfunction, (no lights, no abnormal behaviors), but the oil light did come on very briefly right before the engine died. I put gas and 1 quart of oil in then jumped the battery and drove the car to the nearest Kia dealership. Kia informed me that I needed a new battery and that my oil was too thick, dirty, and viscous and that I needed to have an oil change and have a special treatment put in the car, (seafoam), to help clean the engine out. We were instructed to bring the car back in 500 to 1000 miles (against manufacturers recommendations), to flush the treatment out of the engine and change the oil again. We returned with the car a little over 500 miles later and Kia informed us that it needed another special treatment because the oil reremained dirty so they put another treatment in the car and then instructed us to bring it back again in 500 to 1000 miles but after 4 days the car started making a very loud tapping noise coming from the engine and soon after the engine was ruined all together due to a faulty connecting rod bearing in the crankshaft. When we drained the oil 4 days after Kia changed it, it was black, thin like water and full of dirt and sediment. After the loud engine noises began I brought the car back to Kia who then informs me it would cost another $350 to diagnose what was wrong with the engine. Feeling like they had treated the engine improperly already I had the car towed to a private mechanic and declined any more of their services. I had completed my oil changes on time despite not having my record at the time of my service however Kia refused to honor my expensive extended warranty stating that I could not have possibly done the oil changes at regular intervals due to the high amount of sludge in the engine.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #29

Sep 302016


  • 40,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle used in May 2016. I have only had one oil change and the car has 40,000 miles. I was driving the car at 55 mph. The vehicle cut off and I coasted to the edge of the road. Vehicle was towed to Kia dealership. They dealership advised that the engine is blown and no oil was inside. No warning lights, no oil leaks but they won't pay

- Clinton, MS, USA

problem #28

Sep 232016


  • 70,000 miles
Gdi engine burns oil, connecting rod failed. White smoke, and makes weird noise under hood when gets to 60mph

- Yukon, OK, USA

problem #27

Jun 012015


  • 32,000 miles
After purchasing the vehicle brand new we noticed a problem with the steering. When you turned the steering wheel while stopped you would get a loud knocking noise. The power steering rack was replaced twice already and the vehicle just now has 43,000 miles. Our biggest concern has been an engine knocking noise that started to occur at just over 35,000 miles when you start vehicle. We had brought our vehicle to libertyville Kia in libertyville, il for our problem and they said they could not duplicate what we are hearing. The service manager verbally told me to wait for it to get worse that it is hard to get Kia to cover this known engine problem. After reaching out to Kia with this engine problem and getting no help except them blaming us for lack of oil changes and maintenance. Which was absurd when we only took the vehicle to Kia for service since purchasing new. Filed a formal complaint with Illinois attorney generals office lisa madigan to get help with this and Kia has botched their records and still sdays we have not maintained the vehicle properly. Buyers of Kia and Hyundai I strongly urge to think again. I hope everyone that has had problems like this get the honest help they deserve.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #26

Sep 222016


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle vibrated abnormally and stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle, but was concerned about driving the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that there was a connector rod in the engine that was fractured. The contact was also informed 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 79,000.

- Prince Frederick, MD, USA

problem #25

Sep 222016


  • 57,000 miles
Same issue as everyone else. Showed receipts of consistent oil changes and they refused to honor the warranty due to sludge. The dealer said they called Consumer Affairs but the regional manager refused to honor the work.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #24

Sep 092016


  • 83,314 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Kia Optima. While driving approximately 20 mph, on an incline with the accelerator pedal depressed, the vehicle rolled back. In addition, the vehicle lost power. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 83,314. The VIN was not available.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #23

Jul 222016


  • 65,929 miles
When ideling the engine would start sputtering. Mechanics said it need an oil control value and it may fix it, but they couldn't do that because the warranty would not cover it, because I couldn't produce all the service records. I took the car because they said the engine light was off, but as soon as I got in the car the light was on. They said the couldn't do anything. Once I got the car home and drove it for one day the car would be running and just shut off.when turning or ideling. I took it to another Kia mechanic they put in the oil control value (some how it was covered under the warranty). The mechanics said it might fix the problem. It did not fix the problem and now Kia is saying it needs a new engine and Kia will not replace it even though I have an extended warranty. They said since I could not produce all the maintenance service records they would not cover it. I call Kia Corp, and esp warranty and they would not do anything. At this time I filled a compliant with the state of Maryland consumer protection division. I have gotten a hold of a non-Kia mechanic and he said that he has heard the Kia was having problems with their engines.

- Fort Meade, MD, USA

problem #22

Jul 262016


  • 33,600 miles
My 2013 Kia Optima has had difficulty remaining in a sraight line on the freeway. Tends to pull left and right. The rate of travel is aprox. 45-65mph. There is also a problem with "oversteering" when I attempt to return to the center of the lane. I had been driving my other car for 29yrs, and I assumed that newer cars may have been differnt, such as being more sensitive with steering. I have almost had a collision on the freeway because there are also blind spots in several areas of the Kia otima. This time I did end up in collision because of blindspots and oversteering in order to avoid hitting the car next to me, and instead hit the car next to me on the other lane when I attempted to move out of their way this occurred from sensetive oversteering. Our airbags did not deploy. Before this accident, I had received a letter from Kia stating they wanted to know if I would like to trade up to the knew Kia Optima. The email stated they had new features; such as cameras for blind spots. This made me aware that Kia knew there was a problem with these serious.blindspots. The car was also beginning to rumble, and I believed it was coming from the engine, in fact quite sure it was from the engine. I also had received a letter in the mail from Kia, stating they were having problems with the engines from certain years of the Kia Optima my car was within the years stated. It stated they would honor this problem if you kept this letter in your car, when bringing it in for repairs. I was going to do this, but the car is now totaled after the accident.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 202016


  • 65,013 miles
Car only has 65,000 miles, has had regular oil changes, had to be towed to dealer. Found sludge in engine and needs to be replaced. Kia will not honor the warranty or extended warranty.

- Westminster, MD, USA

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