really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
124,246 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.

2004 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Oct 192016


  • 170,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. While stationary, the vehicle caught fire without warning. The contact extinguished the fire. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 170,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #38

Aug 142016


  • miles
I was driving down the road and all of a sudden my cars wouldn't turn the battery light came on and it was acting like it was dying. It happens a bout 5 miles from home and when I got it there I told my husband. He looked at it and told me my harmonic balancer was loose and it looked to have snapped the bolt. Now I cannot drive my vehicle until I can get the broken bolt out and get it fixed. I looked up what to do and noticed I am not the only person 28th this problem.

- Des Arc, AR, USA

problem #37

Sep 022007


  • 70 miles
Harmonic balancer pulley bolt broke. Very bad design. Driving down the road it broke off causing loss of power steering. Bolt snapped off inside crankshaft.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #36

Oct 062015


  • 121,000 miles


I was driving our 2004 Kia Sorento with my 3 young children in the car. Driving down a city street at 45 mph the car began to jerk as all the lights flashed on the dashboard. I lost all power, but I was able to cruise to park next to a curb, however the vehicle would not restart. I had it towed to my mechanic. The mechanic found that the crankshaft sprocket, key shaft, damper pulley, and crank bolt all were damaged and needed to be replaced.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #35

Mar 182016


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. Within less than 30 days of owning the vehicle, the contact stated that the fuel gauge on the instrument cluster continued to indicate full whether the contact refueled the vehicle or not. Also, when the air conditioner was turned off, smoke emitted into the interior of the vehicle and under the hood. The contact exited the vehicle and lifted the hood to fan away the smoke. The contact drove the vehicle to her job. Another consumer called the fire department because the vehicle erupted into flames. The fire department extinguished the flames. Neither a fire nor a police report was filed. The approximate failure mileage was 107,000. The manufacturer was notified of the failure.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #34

Jun 012015


  • 96,000 miles
I brought a 2004 Kia Sorento used in June 2015 with 96,000 miles on it and noticed the engine was making noise after a short time it wasent that bad I thought, until it started getting worse. Then I took it in to the Kia dealership and got a call from them and I was told the blancer pulley bolt broke off in the crankshaft and was a big issue and they would let me know if they could get it out, they did but found the sprocket was damaged also, I went online to see if their was a recall and found many Kia owners have had this issue. I had to pay 1300 dollars to get this fixed because of a bad part by Kia. I'm very upset.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #33

Oct 042015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 105,930 miles


On 10-4-2015 I was driving on interstate 80 from hastings, ne to kearney, ne. My girlfriend heard a bang from the engine, shortly after that noise I lost all power. I managed to steer our 2004 Kia Sorento onto an off ramp. I popped the hood and saw the harmonic balancer and the lower timing sprocket laying on the skid plate. We had her brother-in-law come get us. We put the Kia Sorento up on his trailer and towed it to a mechanic. The mechanic told us that the crank shaft bolt had sheared off. After fixing this bolt, and putting everything back together he then informed us there was no compression in the engine. It has been sitting every since.

- Kearney, NE, USA

problem #32

Oct 252015


  • 100,000 miles
200 miles from home, out of the blue, car acted like it was misfiring then lost power and died on highway at highway speeds. Car would not turn over or crank. Called tow truck to bring vehicle home for $490 and mechanic came out and hooked up machine to it and code came out crankshaft position sensor system. Check engine light wasn't on at all, until we got it home and it started up like no problem, but then died again. Weren't the crankshaft bolts already recalled and fixed?! maintenance schedule always kept up to date and wouldn't you know, happened one month to the day that my extended warranty expired! still haven't had it to shop, can't afford to bring it in after having it towed 200 miles, others thinks it can be fuel filter/pump or the brain, ECM. Who knows. Sitting with no vehicle is so much fun, thanks, Kia!

- Ephrata, WA, USA

problem #31

Oct 092015


  • 126,000 miles
Three times this week I have been traveling 35 miles an hour or less and the car has just turned off. The first time I was in a parking lot and had to push it into a stall (cracking my tail light while doing that quickly to get out of the way.) the second time was turning a corner and it died. The third time I was just entering the freeway on-ramp when it died. It gives no warning other than silence and a last gasp of gas going through. All three times I was able to stop the car, put it in park and restart it. It has been harder and harder to get it started after that. I took it into the mechanic and he cleaned the fuel filter, but it hasn't stopped the problem totally.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #30

Jul 272015


  • 190,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. While driving at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle lost power and the contact heard an abnormal noise coming from the fan and air conditioner. The battery indicator was illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to be restarted. This was a recurring failure. The contact stated that the neighbor assisted her with the failure by check under the engine. It was discovered that the air conditioner belt fractured, was on top of the engine block, and the pulley was loose. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the vehicle was diagnosed and repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 190,000.

- Los Agnelos, CA, USA

problem #29

Apr 032015


  • 930,000 miles


About to get on hwy in nc, red light turned green started driving not even 10 seconds later gas pedal goes straight to floor and sounds like something drops. In the middle of the road car just stops with no warning-right before major hwy. Try to crank the Kia, nothing. Again, nothing. Physically push the car off road while others are speeding by-accidnet waiting to happen thank god it didnt. Get it towed home. Sat in yard ever since. Replaced multiple parts. Still does not run..

- Zebulon, NC, USA

problem #28

Aug 112015


  • 92,400 miles
I was driving approximately 35-40 mph and my car suddenly lost power with all the dash lights briefly coming on (battery, oil, etc.). fortunately I was close to a side street and was able to make a hard turn and coast to the curb. I waited a minute and was able to restart the vehicle. I drove home and there was one more incident when the car started to lose power (lights dimmed) however I pushed on the gas and it powered up again. I have had the lights dim and the car seemingly lose power several times. Just prior to this the car typically hesitates when you are going full speed and then the dimming occurs. I've had my car idle at stop signs and at train crossings and have not experienced any power loss. It always seems to happen while driving 35-40 mph or more. I've had it happen while driving 60-70 mph on the highway. I had a diagnostic run on the car at the dealership with no concerning results. I've had a mechanic I trust check the alternator, the spark plugs, flush the coolant, put in fuel cleaner, etc. And he cannot locate the problem.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 152015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 177,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Kia Sorento. While driving at 65 mph, the vehicle lost all electrical power. The vehicle stalled and all the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road and after opening the hood of the vehicle, the contact noticed that the drive belts fractured. Upon further inspection, the contact noticed that the crank shaft pulley was loose and the crank shaft bolt had fractured. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 177,000. Updated 9/21/15.....updated 10/01/15

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #26

Nov 122012


  • 124,094 miles
In this instance, the car failed to start. However, there were several more incidents concerning the same issues. In those instances, the car would suddenly lose power, stall out and if able to be restarted, could be driven with a lag in the engine a short distance before all the dash lights would turn on and the car would lose power steering. In two instances, the power steering was suddenly lost when making a left turn with a break across oncoming traffic.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #25

Feb 132015


  • 120,000 miles
Was driving down the road at 55 power steering went car lost power lights went crazy car shut down. I almost wrecked harmonic balancer fell into pieces all pulley belts and pin have to be replaced. I just got this car I have a payment on it. Going to cost 1200 to fix. This is on top of it sputtering and spottying. Replace head lights the radio glitches the air bag light is on all the time and if U turn the interior dash lights up it turns the interior lights on.over drive button does not work and transmission lags... I have read al these complaints over and over again why isn't anyone forcing a recall" these are serious issues I almost got rear ended and the electrical problem could cause fire.... someone is going to end up very hurt if Kia is not forced to fix these. Could U imagine this happening on a thru way"

- Wilmington, NY, USA

problem #24

Feb 072015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Driving down the road and all of a sudden I have no power and can not go over 25 mph. How safe is that on the highway, especially as I am driving with my kids!!!?? this has happened twice. The 1st time, it self corrected when I went to take it to the dealer to look at. This time, it has not. The lights constantly go off and on at any moments notice (real safe while driving at night)- and remain off for great lengths of time. I have had to replace the fuse that controls the fan in the engine twice already. I would shut the car off and the fan would not turn off unless I popped the hood and pulled the fuse myself and pocketed it until it was time to drive again. Not to mention major rust issues on the body of the vehicle. The cosmetic I can deal with, the losing power while on the highway I cannot. It is just a matter of time until someone is very seriously injured, or killed. The smell of exhaust comes thorugh the vents, even with normal scheduled maintenance. This car is full of dangers and I am shocked there are not recalls of these issues. In particular, the losing power while driving, and the lights turning on and off for no reason. Try googling any of this and you will be amazed how many people are dealing with the same issues. Unbelievable that these complaints have not been taken into serious consideration.

- Ypsilanti , MI, USA

problem #23

Dec 202014

Sorento 6-cyl

  • miles
I was driving down the highway when the car started stalling the it picked up. Little ways down the highway the car felt like it was dragging then the belt broke I pulled it over. When reach the shop the mechanic said the crank shaft pulley broke apart.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #22

May 022014

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 76,308 miles
Loud crack was heard while driving. Lost power steering. Pin in the crank pulley snapped and belts stopped turning. Car was very difficult to steer and fortunately we were able to get it to the side of the road. This car has a 10 year, 100M mile warranty which expired in September of 2014. Dealer contended that this problem, although part of the engine was not covered.

- Beaver, PA, USA

problem #21

Dec 152014


  • 160,000 miles
My 2004 Kia Sorento has an intermittent check engine light that displays error code P0446. The light comes on and off as it pleases. There is a tsb for this particular problem, but there are no details. This intermittent light is causing my vehicle to fail it's smog inspection. I have replaced the gas cap as indicated but this did not fix the problem.

- Laton, CA, USA

problem #20

Oct 062014


  • 115,000 miles
While driving home there was a loud screeching noise. Get home to find out that my camshaft pulley is completely loose and broke! this needs to be recalled!!!! completely unsafe to be driving luckily I was only a mile away from home.

- Forest Grove , OR, USA

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