hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,162 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.

2015 Kia Optima engine problems

engine problem

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2015 Kia Optima Owner Comments

problem #12

Nov 012016


  • 22,000 miles


2015 Kia Optima was out of oil @ 22,000 miles and no indicator light had gone on when it was taken to an oil change. The oil change place was the one that indicated that the vehicle had no oil in it. It started making some rattling noise specially goint uphill so I took it in to Kia service department. They diagnosed it with "sludge" in the engine and engine would have to be replaced. I had to prove 3 previous receipts of oil changes otherwise the warranty would not cover it. I do not have those receipts and 16 days later took it to the same place I did most recent oil change because oil light had turned on. The vehicle again had no oil in it. The topped it off but mentioned that it was not normal for such a recent model to be burning oil. Vehicle is still running but makes rattling noise once in a while, produces white smoke out of exhaust pipe and I have to put oil in it every couple of days. I cannot afford to buy a new engine. I am a single mom and needs a reliable vehicle to get to work.

- San Ysidro, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 022016

Optima 4-cyl

  • 530,000 miles
The vehicle was in motion and had an oil change the previous day. The vehicle lost power and an audible clicking or tapping noise came on while driving on the highway. My wife had just enough time to pull off into a local business and parked the car. I took it to Kia and they advised there was "sludge" in the engine and we had not been maintain the vehicle properly. Offered to produce records but they advised they still would not cover it.

- Fate, TX, USA

problem #10

Oct 192016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2015 Kia Optima. While the vehicle was undergoing an oil change, the vehicle stalled and the oil indicator illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- North Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #9

Oct 052016


  • miles


Driving home from the store last night and my car started sputtering and stalling, a cloud of white smoke came from my exhaust pipes. I parked it called my dad and he told me to check the oil. There was barely any oil on the dipstick even though I had just got my oil changed 10 days earlier. I had the company that changed my oil check it out. They told me it was something internally causing the oil to burn off therefore it was a manufacturers issue and it should be covered under warranty. I had it towed to the closest Kia dealership and waiting to hear what their diagnosis is. My car only has 55,000 miles on it, I have only had it a little over a year and I bought it brand new.

- Shawnee Hills, OH, USA

problem #8

Jul 222016


  • 42,000 miles
Engine failure at 15 months old and 42,000 miles. Kia denied warranty coverage because I could not prove oil changes. Same complaint as thousands of other Kia vehicles, happened abruptly, car starting making loud rattling noise on acceleration while driving, no warning, sludge in engine. I had to pay out of pocket for a new engine to be installed with no assistance from Kia or my local dealership.

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #7

Jun 102016


  • 23,490 miles
My 2015 Kia Optima has 23000 miles.. I couldn't remember when I had the oil changed, but I was driving on 75 coming from fla. The ac stop working and then shortly after that the car started to slow down. It finally came to a complete stop, when I got it to the Kia dealership they informed me that the engine had seized.because the said I could not prove that the oil had been changed, the warranty would not cover it. I bought the car brand new. Only had it 15 months. There was no warning lights or any signs of trouble.Kia will not fix it, they want almost 8.000 to put in a new engine.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #6

Sep 042016


  • 35,000 miles


As I was driving my 2015 Optima to the store my check engine light came on. The next day I started my car and heard a rattling or ticking sound, this was on labor day, so I turned my car off and called the dealership. Due to holiday the service dept was not open. I called them again on Tuesday Sept 6th and was advised they would have it towed. I received a phone call on Tuesday evening stating my motor has sludge and needs to be replaced.

- Villa Rica, GA, USA

problem #5

Sep 032016


  • 47,000 miles
2015 Kia Optima, only 47K miles....engine failure...the dealership says its sludge... and I have to provide all my maintenance records. It started with white smoke coming out of the tailpipe and loud rattling noise when I accelerated, then this past Saturday, it started to shake violently and the check engine light went on. I had to get it towed. This is Kia's fault!!! not mine. I've done the same routine maintenance on my Toyota and Honda which had over 100K miles with no problems! I am being told by Kia that it won't be covered under the warranty.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 042016


  • 26,456 miles
My 2015 Kia Optima has 26,456 miles. The last oil change was performed at 26,064 miles. On 6/4/16 while driving approx. 50mph in 3 lane traffic the engine seized up, car shut down and interior filled with smoke. Had vehicle towed to Kia. Was told it needs a new engine due to sludge in the oil. Kia is refusing to honor the warranty because I cannot produce receipts for previous oil changes. I have researched and many other Kia vehicles are having very similar problems with low miles! there has to be something wrong that Kia is not aware of or is just not willing to admit. Not only will they not fix my vehicle but I fear someone is going to get hurt or even killed. I informed Kia of my concern but they did not seem to care.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 152015


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Kia Optima. While driving 60 mph, smoke emitted from the engine compartment without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the number two cylinder was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- George Town, SC, USA

problem #2

Oct 272015


  • miles
I purchased my car in the greater san diego area back in June 31. 2015. Have approximately 8K miles on my vehicle and notice around 3K my car would jerk when coming to a complete stop. This has happened a few times approximately 3-4 time (average once a month).and today 10-27-2015, my car once again jerk but this time the engine made a unfamiliar sound. I will be taking it to the dealership as soon as possible.my car has received all schedule maintenance; per owner manuel. It has passed all Kia certifed dealer/mechanic inspection when taken in. Also, when the contact to purchase was signed it did not get a full inspection as the dealership was closing and the appropriate staff for inspection had left for the day. Notice when I got home the front passenger signal light did not work. Called the dealership to get my new car fixed and had to wait for approximately 3-5 days for the repair, at that point it also passed thier inspection.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 062015


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Kia Optima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle made an abnormal noise without warning. The contact mentioned that the noise was emitting from the engine. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnosed or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 10,000.

- Milford, PA, USA

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