really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,264 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.

2006 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Oct 202016

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 106,700 miles


Bought car started having an over heating problem. Compression test came back with complete pass nothing abnormal. Car was not starting without a jump so bought a new battery for it everything seemed completely fine. Drove a total of maybe ten miles to ace hardware to get some supplies and car started to smoke once I turned the heater off.immediately pulled over white smoke coming from under hood, puddle of fluid in parking spot, and water boiling sound under hood. Towed car home then to mechanic where it is sitting now for an estimate being told it looks like I will need a new motor. There is 106,661 plus or minus a 100miles I am the second owner of the well maintained vehicle.when smoking started I was drying on a hwy with speed limit of 55 miles/hr. It is an AWD passed smog, and I bought it from a dealer who bought it from an auction. It was a trade in by lessee to the lessor for a newer one.

- Discovery Bay, CA, USA

problem #59

Jul 012016


  • 139,500 miles
This is the third time that this has happen to me. I was driving and my car stop in the middle of the street need a tow truck so I took it to the shop and the diagnose was crank shift sensor $700. About 3 yrs later driving on the freeway lost all power light came on guide of the freeway I took it to the shop the same problem again crank shift sensor again $700. The yr driving from work on the freeway it happen again no power light came on another $ $700. Darryle brown 832 722-9347.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #58

Dec 232015


  • 168,504 miles
Overheated on highway wouldnt run nevember 2015 12/23/2015 $3,687.71 engine replacement 03/30/2016-05/23/2016 jeff smith auto multi pt. Inspection replace coils wires plugs timing crank and cam sensors clean tank and replace fuel pump $2,995 and car still had to be towed to the location it sits at now

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #57

Apr 152016


  • 151,000 miles


My 2006 Kia Sorento has had a few problems that I fear may be very dangerous. A few months ago I was driving on highway and it felt like it was speeding up on its own. As I got off the highway on an S curve the car completely died. The battery and check engine light came on. It started back up and I got to work. The next morning on the way to work it died again at the same spot on the off ramp. I had to have it towed and missed a day of work because of it. I brought it into the shop and mechanic said the alternator belt was loose and he fixed it. However its happened since numerous times when I turn the car off and try to start it again the car wont start at all for 20 minutes to a couple hours. Now recently it will shut off as I'm driving and steering wheel is very hard to turn. It is getting more and more frequent and is effecting work. Kia dealerships refuse to fix it at cost even though it seems like a big problem that many Kia customers have had to deal with. Other mechanics say they don't even want to touch the problem because of the reviews of problems on the internet. Please inform me and anything I can do as soon as possible.

- Abington, MA, USA

problem #56

Nov 112015


  • 145,000 miles
Less than a year prior, timing belt needed replaced. A costly fix. Only months later due to problem(common issue Kia is aware of) with crankshaft sensor, vehical stalled and died driving down the road. There was no warning for this and when the engine stopped while going down the highway, I lost all control of power stearing, speed, brakes and other main elecrical componets. I was in the middle of a curve of the highway when this occured. This threw me into ongoing traffic. Luckily, I only hit a hwy traffic sign. The recalls for this vehicle needs to be updated and added to. This vehical should not be aloud on the road! its dangerous for everyone on the road.

- Farmersburg, IN, USA

problem #55

Feb 052016


  • 92,000 miles
I was driving on the highway in slushy snow and the brake light & battery light came on. The engine sounded rough. When I went to pull of the highway, I had no power steering.

- Winchendon, MA, USA

problem #54

Jan 252016


  • 174,000 miles


While moving at 70 mph interstate speed limit, my daughter heard a loud pop and the engine made popping noises as she brought the SUV to a stop on the side of the interstate. She ultimately restarted the vehicle and drove at 30 mph with flashing hazard lights on until reaching the next exit (2-3 miles max.) to a safe location being around 9:00 pm in the evening. The SUV was taken to a Firestone mastercare store in chattanooga, tn. After removing the engine cover, the mechanic found part of the spark plug and ignition part, indicated that the location where the spark plug was inserted had been stripped out by the parts blowing out of their normal location with extreme pressure. The SUV has been towed to my home where it is sitting pending what options are available for repair.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #53

Jan 152016


  • 159,000 miles
Belt sprocket and harmonic balancer with bolt. The bolt is made of substandard material and broke causing the automobile to lose power steering and other vital car features. No warning, it just broke while in motion causing all of the belts to seize. I was on a hilly mountainous road in my home area of high ridge Missouri, acutally on the high ridge.I am lucky that I am smart enough to drive defensively and was able to coast to a safe side road. Two mechanics came to my rescue and easily saw that the problem stating that I would need a whole new engine.I have a temporary fix estimate from my mechanic but he says the car really needs a whole new engine.....

- High Ridge, MO, USA

problem #52

Jan 152016


  • 140,000 miles
6/2015 vehicle began to run rough. Local mechanic discovered crankcase bolt had snapped and the pulley and balancer mounting screw had sheared off. Shop confirmed a Kia kit to fix the issue ($1200 + $1007 for timing gear kit and water pump) 1/15/2016 while driving into the roundabout on portal way (15 mph) there was a loud clunk from the engine compartment immediately followed by the loss of power steering, asb braking and voltmeter warning lights. The vehicle was towed to mechanics shop where it was confirmed that the new crankcase bolt has broken again damaging the new pulley and balancer also. The shop contacted the local Kia dealer and they confirmed that the 2003-2006 V6 3.5L misabishi engines used have a long record of this problem with no permanent fix. The following information was emailed to me from the owner of axton automotive, ferndale wa an ase certified shop, "on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, axton automotive wrote: Hello, on you Kia. It doesn't look like any fix is permanent on the vehicle. Even their own recall/fix is failing. I recommend filing a complaint at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.. I will come up with some options tomorrow and get back to you. But whatever we decide I recommend not using this vehicle. Jim" the vehicle is disabled at this time with no response from Kia.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

problem #51

Oct 272015


  • 60,000 miles
Kia Sorento - I have a 2006 Sorento that just turned 60,000 miles in October. I had driven it at lunch one day, when I went to leave the office at 5, the car was making an awful grinding noise and the emergency brake light came on, even though the brake was not on. Then the power steering went out. I had to have it towed in because the crankshaft malfunctioned and that along with all the belts and parts had to be replaced. It took 5 weeks for the repair, and now it has to go back because one of the new belts is screeching. I paid $1,300 for the repair and Kia only paid part of the repair. Why would they pay for part and not all, if it was a defective part that there should have been a recall on?

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #50

Oct 192015


  • 83,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Kia Sorento. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the engine stalled and all the warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the crank shaft pulley bolt fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 83,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #49

Oct 012015


  • miles
2006 Kia Sorento. Consumer writes in regards to design defect with the engine crankshaft sprocket. Consumer has previous correspondence with different ODI# (nar) and issue in artemis. The consumer state if the bolt breaks, the engine will stall and power steering will be lost.

- Green Valley, AZ, USA

problem #48

Sep 012015


  • 225,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the crank position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 225,000.

- Loris, SC, USA

problem #47

Aug 272015


  • 107,000 miles
While driving down highway, both the break light and battery light came on and lost power steering. Was able to make it to a safe location. When at first glance it appeared that the main belt has slipped off the pulley. When towed to a service station for assessment and repair, it was discovered that the harmonic balancer bolt had broken off in the crankshaft. We are still in process of trying to find out of the remaining part of the bolt can be removed or if the entire engine will need to be replaced. The bolt is not considered a 'working part' of the engine and extended warranty refuses to cover the repairs. The root of the problem is in the roll pin inside the casing that wears down and the bolt can not support the stress. Kia has had a recall on model years 2003 and 2004 but the problem continues for 2005 and 2006 years and research is showing that Kia is not covering the problem for 2005 or 2006

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #46

Nov 042013


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the temperature gauge displayed a dangerous increase in temperature. In addition, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that he attempted to restart the vehicle several times. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician was unable to diagnose of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lynn Haven, FL, USA

problem #45

Jul 202015


  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Kia Sorento. While driving approximately 65 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the harmonic balance needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 119,000.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #44

Aug 052015


  • 120,000 miles
While driving almost home, (2-miles) the power steering stopped, we pulled into a gas station, barely missing the fuel pumps. The belt came off. When the mechanic assessed the problem, it was much greater. The harmonic balancer was loose, and the drive pin to the cam belt gear had sheered off. The repairs were costly $1300. This is a design defect and has affected thousands of Kia owners. The owners are like myself and don't know what to do, so we just pay the bill.. Kia denies any issues. This a huge Kia cover up! it has been a known defect for a long time, and Kia does not want to pay for all the damages, and I'm sure the accidents.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #43

Nov 052014


  • 84,000 miles
Kia Sorento 2006. Crank shaft bolt sheared off. Total control of vehicle lost. Can not drive vehicle. Contacted Kia motors who stated they know this happens. Exact words of person on phone were "you should have replaced the crank shaft bolt with an upgraded model". as I am a private owner and never got any information from Kia this was never done. The dealership was helpful in that they said they would look at the vehicle for a fee, in which case they stated that they could fix it for a large amount and that it was the crank shaft bolt which was the problem. Lol I asked them if they were going to put in the upgraded version I was told about, and they said they only have one kind which is the original part. After several conversations with mechanics at the dealership and outside mechanics the vehicle has been non-operational as it is too much money to fix a problem that is not being addressed and is not safe for the road. As a Kia owner of more than 2 of their vehicles I am highly upset as this company has took no action in such a huge problem. Stand by your product Kia. I stood by you buying more than 2 cars over the last decade. That is up in the air now as Kia refuses to step up to the plate. Kia should fix this problem and this vehicle should be recalled.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #42

Jun 142015


  • 180,000 miles
I was turning at a stop light when I loss power steering and nearly crashed.I was able to get it pulled over.I raised the hood and saw the crankshaft pulley lying on the the bottom skid plate.I looked on the internet only to find there are probably thousands of similar cases worldwide.I called Kia.they basically blew me off!

- Darlington, IN, USA

problem #41

Dec 172014


  • 91,991 miles
While driving my 2006 Kia Sorento on Wednesday December 17, 2014, a week before christmas, the crankshaft pulley bolt loosened up. Under tremendous pressure from the engine the steel pulley bent skewing all belted driving systems: Power steering, electrical, electricity to engine, A/C, wipers, heating and defrosting systems, and etc¿¦ causing me to lose complete control of car while turning corner at busy intersection; loosing steering, complete engine shutdown, panic, and putting me in ¿¿harm¿'s way¿! my wife and I had specifically bought this SUV because we care and drive our 3 beautiful grandchildren to school/back and to all activities and so many other children (their friends) going to the same places and activities. I thank god this didn't happen with any children or my wife in the car and even under worse situations; ex: Expressway driving or so many other life threatening driving situations! I have paid many hundreds of dollars for the repairs and much time and worrying about that terrible incident I have suffered! also my immediate children put much pressure on me to get rid of this unsafe car concerned for their children (my grandchildren) and their friends!

- Babylon, NY, USA

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