really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,109 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.

2005 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #54

Jan 032017


  • 150,000 miles


My vehicle was in motion on a highway driving 60 miles per hr to work (30 miles from home) in pouring rain when engine, brake and battery light came on. Thank god that I made it to work safely but then only to realize that power steering had locked up. Looked under the hood, power steering fluid and brake fluid fine but one belt had came off and the other belt just barely hanging on from the alternator and pulley. Thought pulley had locked up but took to a mechanic just 1/2 mile down from my job and he said that my problem is that the crankshaft bolt had broken off inside of the crankshaft. I go online and find that there were a lot more complaints of the same issue with my make and year as well as others. The previous recall by Kia was only for 2003-2004 (certain models) not including mine but this seems to be a definite issue so the recall should be extended to other years and models such as mine. Thank god that I made it to work safely and now have to find another means to get around since this is my only transportation.

- Easton, MD, USA

problem #53

Sep 202016


  • 100,000 miles
Driving on highway rte 24 when crankshaft pulley broke off causing engine and brake lights to come on. It was impossible to control and to steer the vehicle causing me to nearly get into an accident. Subsequently, my vehicle got towed from the highway to a mechanic shop who informed me that my 2005 Kia Sorento's crankshaft pulley bolt broke off - therefore to buy an engine or junk it. Unfortunately, I owned this vehicle for only 1 year 3 months and with these problems. I don't have any money to replace it right now and I don't know what to do to get to work going forward.

- Brockton, MA, USA

problem #52

Jul 142016


  • 78,749 miles
On 07/14/16 I tried to start my vehicle. It did not start so I called a tow truck to give me kick start. The engine started and the battery light came on, this is the first time it had. Two driver told me to take it and get the battery checked out it just didn't seem right to him. So I did and that is when I found out the I had a blown head gasket and upon further investigation they found that the coolant got into the engine and two of the pistons were gone and the interior wall of the engine was scorched badly. This vehicle has been taken care of I loved it and made sure I followed all the requirements bu Kia to keep this car running. With such little miles this should of never happened. In my investigation, I found similar reports regarding Kia Sorento's and engine problems. I have been in contact with Kia but they have not made any gestures to help me. I do not have money to get a new car and this was my transportation to drive about 2hrs to help my 93 1/2 yr old mother. Now I can't do that. I loved this car and can not believe that Kia will not help. I have had to rent a car for 2 days, take a taxi and depend on others in my time of need.

- Timonium, MD, USA

problem #51

Jun 222016


  • 50,000 miles


Driving across a 4 lane expressway, barely made it across, the vehicle sputters and comes to a stop after fighting with the power steering losing all control. Crankshaft pulley has damaged the engine so severe, that a new engine was put in at our expense ($5,000), gas tank was discovered to have a hole and leaking gas. Air bag light comes on and off just depends on it's mood, the display on the radio, etc. Goes away in cold weather, and now have a constant thump thump when driving as if the tire is flat. Driving for 5 months with new engine, I pressed on the accelerator quickly to pass a truck when a loud noise (sounding like the engine blew) from the engine was heard then something comes loose and hits the undercarriage so hard I can feel it through the floorboard. No smoke, no elevation in temperature. Pull over, there is now a vibration when idling but cannot see anything obvious missing. Whatever it was took chunks out of the right front tire. Brakes seemed to lock up at times and you could feel something like a pump losing air and the car slides just before the complete stop with a low groaning noise. Haven't took to the mechanic yet, but will be soon.

- Ellijay, GA, USA

problem #50

Jul 012016


  • 200,000 miles
In November of 2015, I was on my way home from work and just picking my one year old up from daycare, when I heard a loud screeching noise from a belt. My gauges went wild and I my power steering was in and out. By the time I hit the main highway to get home as I was exiting my power steering went completely out and the car could not be driven any further, so I had to coast to the side of the road. This was during rush hour traffic, I am soooo lucky that I hadn't quiet entered the highway yet. Had to get towed home. Got home and noticed the crankshaft bold was broken and the belts were thrown. We fixed it and now it has just done it again on July 1st as I was backing out of the driveway to go out of town. I didn't drive it because I knew the bolt was about to break because the harmonic balancer pulley was wobbling really bad, the air wouldn't work and the gauges started going crazy. Also the pulley's were struggling to spin. Is it going to take someone to loose their life before something is done about it?

- Florence, MS, USA

problem #49

Jun 242016


  • 90,000 miles
While driving a noise comes from engine compartment. Battery and brake warning light come on. Power steering goes out. Have to man ahndle SUV to a safe spot. Crankshaft bolt that hold harmonic balancer broke. Common problem known to Kia engines they offer to fix it for $1300 plus more.

- Rural Hall, NC, USA

problem #48

May 202016


  • 100,946 miles


I purchased a 2005 Kia Sorento in November 2013 from dealership. In June 2014 I had the first incident. While driving on a highway, suddenly all warning lights came on, power steering was lost. I was able to pull over without incident. Had to be towed. Had the problem fixed: Crankshaft sensor, warped pulley, sheered bolt on said pulley, resulting in more damage, including water pump and timing belts. Two weeks later the same thing occurred, again while I was driving in town. My mechanic said it is a defect in the Kia design. Two weeks later got it fixed. Now ten months later the same problem occurs, again while driving. Each time this has cost me $2,000 to fix. I still owe $4,500 on the vehicle! since repairing with Kia parts and the problem is never solved due to poor design, Kia really needs to step up and issue recall. Same problem 3 times in less than a year! please help!

- Brooklyn, WI, USA

problem #47

Mar 202016


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle; however, it was not able to fully accelerate. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the harmonic balancer pulley bolt fractured from the crankshaft. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 105,000.

- Newport Richey, FL, USA

problem #46

Aug 012015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 60 mph, the crank pulley bolt fractured without warning. The failure disabled the steering wheel, which made it difficult to control the vehicle. The contact coasted the vehicle to a stop. A certified mechanic stated that the crank pulley bolt fractured and detached from the vehicle. The contact had the vehicle towed to the dealer for repairs. After the repair, the vehicle stalled without warning and lost all steering power. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer informed the contact that the vehicle was no longer under warranty for repair. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 10/13/16

- Georgetown, IN, USA

problem #45

Jan 132016


  • 82,310 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stopped and shut down without warning. The vehicle did not restart and was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the crankshaft bolt detached and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but did not respond to the reimbursement request. The failure mileage was 82,310.

- Lawton, MI, USA

problem #44

Sep 222015

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 100,300 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to the dealer. The vehicle remained at the dealer for three consecutive months to locate the failure. The cam sensor, crank sensor, and timing belt were replaced. In addition, the ECM computer was replaced. One month later, after the repair was performed, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,300...updated 02/23/16....updated 03/16/16

- Alpine, TX, USA

problem #43

Dec 312015


  • 100,000 miles
Broken crank bolt with 100,000 miles.

- Hollis Center, ME, USA

problem #42

Dec 082015


  • 116,000 miles
I was driving down the highway and all the sudden my car gave a big sound and died. The steering was really hard to steer, luckly I was in the slow lane and coasted off the edge of the road. Had it towed to mechanic the started was bad, along with the fuel line and fuel pump. After got it running once again ran fine hour later the crank shaft sensor went out. I have read many many complaints about the same issues, also was told that my fuel tank and bottom was rusting out. And my sway bar is bad. My car shakes, I have had new tires and brakes put on and a new muffler put on. I have had all my oil changes and tune ups. They say there is no recalls, how could there not be recalls here in the usa. They had a class action law suit in Canada and Kia was made to fix these same issues.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #41

Oct 292015


  • 107,000 miles
I was turning onto a street and heard a big clunk only to find out the bolt on the crankshaft broke off again on 10/29/15 as well as 7/30/13. The power steering went out & battery light came on. Lost power and everything after a big clunk! this happens all the time: There are a multitude of these same complaints: This engine was replaced in May 2010 and the harmonic balancer and pulley have been worked on twice since 2010. There is a defective bolt that was replaced with a new defective bolt. This is happening numerous times to many Kia Sorento owners and they are left stranded. Kia knows about it and refuses to do anything! my car is sitting at country Kia in charleston, SC because the extended- warranty will not cover this defective bolt and I can't pay $5000 on a car that is now only worth $3000. I had to stay in charleston, SC an extra 2 days at my expense $79 /night, pay $75 for the tow bill and an additional $55 or $65 for the Kia dealership to check it out. I had to rent a car to come back to fl as I was stranded in charleston without transportation. I cannot afford the $5000 for repairs and the $1500 to pay it off just to get the title to send this to a junk yard. The mileage just turned to 107,000 or 108,000. This is the 4th time that there was an issue on this part of this car having to do with the same issues related to this defective bolt, harmonic balancer and pulley as a result of this defective bolt. (this is only on one car). You will see how many times this is occurring to many other owners of these Kia Sorentos. Please read through the complaints on the following link: gotaclassaction.com/Kia-named-in-class-action-over-first-generation-2002-2009-equipped-with-A-Hyundai-manufactured-3-5L-24-valve-DOHC-V6-engine/

- South Pasadena, FL, USA

problem #40

Nov 202014


  • 72,000 miles
Had a car repair in October 2014 due to a broken bolt near crank shaft driving down the highway. Paid for repair and got car back and within a month the motor was shot. I went to go start the car to go to work and it was making a terrible noise, it was stationary. I still have at 7 more car payments to make on the car.

- Milan, IL, USA

problem #39

Oct 112015


  • 66,778 miles
The Kia Sorento has a catastrophic failor do to a single pin on the crank shat timing gear. This gear has broken free twice and caused head damage bent valves and also cost between 2 and 4 thousand dollars to replace the 30 dollar gear that will with out question fail again I'm on my third time of this happening this time the timing gear pin grow slowing only the crank shat himonic balancer to come free braking a 10 dollar bolt but with out a doubt it will cost me again thousands to fix. Each time this has happened it has been a different situation once was while driving on the high way the vechical made a loud bang and the vechical list power and came to a halt once while pulling out of my drive way this time the engine locked up and the vehicle had tobe towed to a shop only to find out they would not work on it because it is a know defect the third time was driving threw town and it sound like I had dropped a saw mille under the hood it damaged the valves and broke the fans and tore up the most thus time.

- Cameron, MO, USA

problem #38

Aug 032015


  • 130,709 miles
The vehicle's power steering didn't work, and it was rarely driven after transmission repair at a Kia dealer. Looking under the hood showed that the belts weren't moving. The crankshaft pulley was attached but not straight; offset. I called the dealer and they said the crankshaft bolt breaking is a common problem in these vehicles. Is/was there a recall for this? this is a potentially dangerous situation. Luckily the vehicle wasn't driven far when the problem was noticed. MA 10/8

- Mccordsville, IN, USA

problem #37

Jul 232015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 119,248 miles
Driving in rural eastern Colorado when the battery and brake warning lights came on. Drove on to the next town with a repair shop (brush, co) and checked under the hood. Belts were loose and the bottom pulley was lying in the bottom of the engine compartment. Had to have it towed 70 miles to the Kia dealership in windsor, co ($375). They did the repair and charged $1303.85. Had to rent a car while the repair was completed ($343.57). Harmonic balancer had failed and caused damage to timing belt, tensioner, crank sprocket, etc. Updated 10/9/15 updated 12/21/2015

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #36

May 082013


  • 135,680 miles
Crank shaft bolt broke three separate times (2nd time Jan. 21, 2015; 3rd time July 3, 2015) after repairs made. The last time, the car was considered irreparable due to the inevitability of failure due to faulty design of the factory made crank shaft bolt. Whole new engine needed for complete repair.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #35

Jun 052015

Sorento 4WD 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I was driving though a parking lot on late Friday afternoon and heard a rattling noise coming from under the hood. So, after I parked I popped the hood, I also started to hear a squeaking noise (belts rubbing), so I drove home and parked it until Monday when I took it to a local shop and they said it sounded like a pulley for the timing belt, they got it in on Wednesday and called to have me come take a look at what was causing the noises when I got there, they explained that it was the crankshaft bolt that held the fly wheel on and there where two options (1)I could drive it until the bolt snapped or (2) they could try and break the bolt loose and replace it, so we went with option number 2 and after about five hours I got a call telling me that the bolt had snapped and they had tried welding a new bolt on to try and break the rest of it loose, and they had tried to drill out the bolt but with no luck, they then gave me an estimate to replace the engine with a re-manufactured engine the estimate was $6,900 before tax, so I called Kia corporate and they took a week to come back and tell me due to the age, the mileage, and not the original owner they would not pay to replace the engine so now I'm going to join the class action law suit. Very bad engineering design to think one seer pin could hold that bolt plus it sounds like they are using a deep thread skinny shaft bolt which means the threads are holding a 15-20lbs fly wheel when that seer pin snaps, very disappointed in Kia, will never buy their cars again..updated 08/24/15

- Indianola , IA, USA

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