hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,686 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.

2003 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Jul 232013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 124,797 miles


The crank bolt broke July 23, 2013. The second time was, the crank bolt again and it broke December 19, 2014. The odometer was at 133181 for the second bolt break.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #44

Apr 292012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
Driving to store and heard noise. Several warning lights came on and I had no power steering. Returned home and found crank pulley and broken crank pulley bolt laying in the skid plate.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #43

Mar 132008


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sorento. While driving 40 mph, the contact noticed that the front end of the vehicle began to vibrate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the crank shaft pulley bolt was replaced. The failure continued. The failure mileage was 83,000 and the current mileage was 107,000.

- Marrietta, GA, USA

problem #42

Jan 072012


  • miles


2003 Kia Sorento. Consumer states bolt loosened while driving the consumer stated while driving, the brake and battery light illuminated. The consumers husband soon discovered it was difficult to turn the steering wheel. Her husband was able to pull over to the side of the road. As he examined the vehicle, he touched a bolt, which was extremely hot, and it was the same bolt that was recalled, which had become loose again. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The consumer was informed the vehicle needed a new engine at a cost of $6,000 even though there was no damage to the rest of the engine. The consumer wanted the bolt to be re-threaded. The dealer advised the consumer, they did not have the equipment, to perform the re-thread of the bolt, but instead of needing a new engine, they could replace the crankshaft at a cost of $3,500.

- Castle Rock, WA, USA

problem #41

Jan 212011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
Crankshaft bolt recalled 2007 they break off recall done crankshaft bolt broke on 2011crankshaft broke Kia will not fix recalled part.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #40

Oct 162006


  • 32,500 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia sorrento. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, a long bang was heard from under the vehicle as it stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the crank shaft pulley detached from the vehicle abnormally. The vehicle was repaired yet the failure recurred later while the contact was driving 40 mph.the vehicle was again towed to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the crankshaft pulley had yet again, detached from the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the vehicle was repaired a second time. The failure mileage was 32,500 and the current mileage was 76,000.

- Buckingham, PA, USA

problem #39

Jul 152011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


Was driving approx 60 miles per hour and fuel pressure dropped; engine shut off. Was able to restart and drive but for only a few miles at the time. This happened over course of couple of days. Had fuel pumped replaced. After fuel pump was replaced I had problems fueling vehicle. Gas would bubble up and spray out of gas tank. Had to pump slowly. Gas would get all over me, vehicle and ground. Returned vehicle back to repair shop six times over the course of six weeks; had other part replaced. Vehicle still losing fuel pressure, shutting off and not able to pump gas without it spurting out of tank. Vehicle parked as I feel it is not safe to drive for me or daughter. Out of 600 dollars and not vehicle to drive. Something from manufacturer should be done. This is a dangerous situation. I am afraid of vehicle starting a fire with me in it.

- Swainsboro, GA, USA

problem #38

Aug 302011


  • 120,000 miles
Crankshaft bolt was replaced after recall in 2007. Crankshaft sensor was replaced in April 2011 after malfunctioning and causing car to stall out at anytime, including while doing 65 on the freeway. While driving a few days back, sudden loss of power steering and brake and battery lights came on. Had car towed to dealership where we were told that the bolt, which had been replaced per the recall, had broken, but the warranty on the replaced bolt is only 1 year. Now repair on this will cost over $300 and new bolt will still only be warrantied for one year. So this same problem with this faulty part could continue, but the part is only under warranty for one year.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #37

Apr 262011


  • 79,400 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 to 20 mph when the vehicle would suddenly stall. The vehicle was towed on a few occasions and other times he was able to restart it on its own. The vehicle was inspected by a independent mechanic and they advised him that it was the fuel pump. The vehicle was repaired for the fuel pump. On another occasion it was towed again and they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle has not been repaired again. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was approximately 79,400.

- Staton Island, NY, USA

problem #36

Mar 312010


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the bolt crankshaft sensor bolt failed and caused the belts to fracture and the power steering to malfunction. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where it was repaired yet the failure recurred shortly after. The vehicle was not further repaired. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The current mileage was approximately 106,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 78,000.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #35

Dec 012010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Kia Sorento. Consumer states several problems with vehicle the consumer stated on two occasions, the pin that held the crankshaft together broke loose. The crankshaft sensor located behind the timing belt failed.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #34

Aug 152010


  • 111,404 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sorento. The engine crankshaft bolt failed in August of 2008. The dealer replaced the engine crankshaft bolt four times. The repairs didn't correct the failure. The manufacturer stated that the continuous failures were dealer error, and they would not assist with the repair. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 111,404 and the current mileage was 118,000.

- Eastanollee, GA, USA

problem #33

Oct 282010


  • 36,000 miles
I have had my 2003 Kia Sorento since March 2010. It was purchased with 32,000 miles on it, and as of the end of October 2010, it had 36,000 miles. So far, I have had to replace the coolant reservoir, because it was cracked. I was driving, and it overheated out of nowhere. It was in the shop for four days, because they could not find the problem even after doing several pressurized systems tests. At the end of October 2010, I had to replace the oil pump, because it had a crack in it. No one anywhere I called could believe I had to replace an oil pump. All the mechanics stated that's one of the few things they never have to replace on any vehicle, and certainly not at 36,000 miles. Anyway, due to oil leaking onto the timing belt, that had to be replaced also. The timing belt was in fine condition otherwise. Consequently, I now have engine problems. I'm sure the engine will have to be replaced from overheating and then having no oil. At high rpms, you can hear a slight tick, which I'm pretty sure is a lifter issue. Headlights burn out quickly. I was driving one day, and both burnt out at the same time. I had to drive on high beams in the city. Constant electrical problems with the dash. Dash lights rarely work, and then all of a sudden all the lights will start flashing here and there - dash lights flash on/off, ceiling light flashes on/off, all back and forth while I'm driving in the dark. Very distracting, especially in traffic. The truck itself (seats, comfort, etc.) is awesome, but it was definitely manufactured poorly. Worst purchase ever. Glad I bought the 5 star warranty or I'd be paying for a truck I can't drive.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #32

Sep 132010


  • 74,000 miles
Crankshaft pulley bolt failed. Brought to dealer for repair. Bolt was part of NHTSA recall. Dealer stated they needed to replace crankshaft as well. Dealer returned vehicle w/O replacing crankshaft. 15 months later the same bolt failed. Took to an independent repair shop, they explained the crankshaft needed to be replaced. Took back to the dealer, they replaced bolt and didn't replace crankshaft. On 9/13/10 the bolt failed again, independent repair shop, and a different dealer verified the need for crankshaft to be replace. Contacted Kia of America, and casey Kia with no sign of resolution.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #31

May 082010


  • 82,779 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle was purchased in 2007. The previous owner had the crank shaft pulley bolt recall repair performed. While driving 35 mph the crank shaft pulley bolt snapped off. The vehicle was driven 1 mile to her destination and then towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer replaced the crank shaft pulley bolt in May 2010. The failure happened again on July 22, 2010. The vehicle was in the dealers possession when the complaint was filed. The contact was unable to provide a VIN. The failure mileage was 82,779. The current mileage was 84,000.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #30

Nov 162009


  • 79,000 miles
I have a 2003 Kia Sorento. As I left the garage at my office around 6 P.M. Monday 11/16, the car began making a horrible squealing noise. It immediately lost power steering, several warning lights came on, and it felt like the parking brake was on (it wasn't). I managed to get out of the garage to a space on the street. I turned the car off. When I tried to start it again, it wouldn't start. I had it towed to a service station, which said the car had thrown its drive belts and that it needed a new crankshaft balancer pulley, crankshaft sprocket, crankshaft pulley bolt and crankshaft pulley washer to fix the underlying cause. I called Kia customer service to see if there was a recall related to those parts. There was a recall in 2007 and my car was serviced at that time as ordered by Kia. Kia said Tuesday that they would only consider paying for needed repairs if I had the car towed to a Kia dealership. I had it towed to king Kia in gaithersburg, md., at my expense. The service writer, wayne johnson, told me that the garage that had put my new timing belt on had left a bolt loose. He told me his mechanic put the three drive belts back on. He told me I needed a new battery (though the current battery was only 2 years old) because the current one wasn't holding a charge. I told him to put one on. He told me the car was running fine and ready to go. I assumed -- it now turns out, wrongly -- that the Kia mechanic had tightened whatever bolt he found loose. I picked up the car Wednesday night and drove it straight home. When I started it yesterday morning to leave for work, I drove it about 1.5 blocks and the steering locked up, the brake and battery warning lights came on, and it felt like the parking brake was on. This time the engine kept running. I brought it back home and called the Kia garage back. Wayne now admits the mechanic never looked for an underlying cause. He simply put the old drive belts on and a new battery in. Today he says it needs a new crank pulley.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #29

Sep 122009


  • 105,000 miles
2003 Kia Sorento harmonic balancer bolt broke off reported to Kia they will not honor any recalls, they said it was a recall from several years ago. But if its a safety issue like this they should try harder to inform people of this before there is major accident. Just wish they would honor a recall that they have had with this bolt. I never received a recall notice or it is not posted on any site that I could find, ,just want my car fixed without a $2900 bill at the end.

- Hendersonville , NC, USA

problem #28

Aug 252009


  • 103,365 miles
Back in Oct 2008 went to car at 5am to go to work started my 2003 Kia Sorento heard this noise got out to raise hood before I could saw coolant coming from under my car didn't have time to really investigate had my sister take me to work when I came home had car towed to Kia dealer they advised me that my coolant reservoir had crack and I needed to have replaced at 250.xx at this point they did tell me there was a recall on my Sorento made appt to take back to have part replaced never, before this so call recall part was replaced never had any warning lights come on after they say they replaced the part my engine light came on took my Sorento back to the same dealer 5 times within a 2 month period they kept telling me nothing was wrong with my car so I let the light stay on, moved to a different city tired of seeing this light on took to another Kia dealer they ran a diagnostic for $125 to tell me nothing was wrong with my car but I noticed when I was leaving the engine light was off when back in to find out why and how did the light go off he stated he turned it off now while sitting at a traffic light with no warning my car just shut off got started back but this time with a loud banging noise I was only about 3 blocks from my home so I drove about 5 miles per hr to get home to have to have a tow truck come get my car the dealer has yet to let me know what the problem is....

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #27

Aug 072009


  • 60,980 miles
My 2003 Kia Sorento kept losing antifreeze and to find out the reservoir had a crack in it. Also, after I purchase Bridgestone fire destination tires a year later they were worn after spending $600 I had to have two of them replaced within a year. P245/70R16. Also 2 defects recalls when my car was put in the shop one from 2007 SC073 and SC072 when my check engine light came on. It was still on after the car was supposedly fixed by quirk Kia in braintree. When I was driving out of the parking lot the check engine light was still on. I was told the car was fine and it was just a sensor and to fix it the cost would be over $200. A year later, I brought it to get a sticker, they rejected my for another recall that should have been fixed when I brought it in last year. The recall was from 2005. Now I am trying to contact the dealership because of the inconvenience of me going to get this fixed when it should have been taken care of last year. I will never buy a Kia again, the dealership does not care about their cars or customers.

- Dedham, MA, USA

problem #26

Apr 052009


  • miles
2003 Kia Sorento, purchased used with 11,000 miles on it. Has been a nightmare since the day I bought it! head gaskets warped at 28,000 miles, overheated without warning, no spike in temp gauge, wham smoke from everywhere and even with proof of maintenance upkeep it took Kia 2 months to decide to honor the warranty. This was after the check engine light would come on every two seconds and have to be in the shop for months for them to say nothing wrong with it, even when it was towed in every time because it would just shut off. Then the headlight issues are insane. Every other month and that is no exaggeration I have to replace either low beams, high beams, brake lights & tail lights.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

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