Notes: There are just too many engine stalls or shuts down while driving reports to feel good about the Sorento. Especially when those things happen, on average, at just over 32,000 miles. Hopefully things will change.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
83,550 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced motor (12 reports)
  2. replace engine (8 reports)
  3. not sure (3 reports)
  4. engine was replaced (2 reports)
2013 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Nov 282022

Sorento LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles


I got this car from an older lady who I personally knew and who took great care of it, changing oil and maintenance well before scheduled. I got it about 155k miles and had multiple issues with this car.

It started making a noise very recently. I heard a 'ticking' noise, was told it was likely the timing chain tensioner. I noticed there were a lot of recalls on Kia for engine issues and had it taken to the dealership to see if they would cover it. They said they would have covered it if it was a rod bearing issue but it was the long block that needed replaced. Basically, this means I need a new engine. It would be 5k to fix, I paid 5k for the car. The car still runs but who knows for how long. I am going to likely sell or trade it in on a NON KIA.

On a side note, I have a 21 Seltos and at 20k miles the short block completely failed, it was under warranty so they replaced it but it hasn't ran correctly since.

Never will buy another Kia and will tell everyone my experience with them.

- Jeffery S., Rock Hill, SC, US

problem #24

Jul 172020

Sorento EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Engine in 2013 Kia Sorento made funny grinding noise, then stopped. Took to a reputable shop that I use all the time for other vehicles. They said the engine is toast and needs replacing. The car is not even paid off yet. Bought used, has 140,000 miles, but is garaged and serviced regularly.

- .Andrew A., BERNALILLO, NM, US

problem #23

Feb 142021

Sorento EX 3.5lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,900 miles

This is my wife's car that is perfectly maintained. It started ticking then big puff of smoke out the back and then the motor died. I do not expect motors to die at 106k and 8 years old. Also had the same problem on my 2013 Hyundai Sonota, which they did replace the motor under warranty even though it had 110k. This seems to be a trend with these Korean car companies. All my other vehicles were spectacular: 1992 Saturn sc2 189k, 2001 Neon RT 239k, Jeep Liberty 179k... Apparently just like the Samsung phone that catches fire, these Korean companies have a problem with QUALITY. Next time instead of buying a "knock-off" Honda, I will buy the real Japanese Honda.

- Jim C., New Milford, CT, US

problem #22

May 072020


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


No signs of an engine problem.

Always changing the oil

Very expensive issue to replace.

- tamelablack09, Orange Park, US

problem #21

Oct 302018

Sorento SX 3.5L/V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I bought my car used in 2014, with low miles on it. Hadn't had any issues with the car, got in one morning, drove 2 miles to get coffee, after 10 minutes, came out to my car and there was a small green puddle next to the drivers side door. Recognized it as coolant, drove right to an independent mechanic that has been servicing the car for 18 months regularly. They called and said I looked like my head gasket was leaking.

They took the entire motor apart and called back, telling me that several of the cylinder head bolts were loose when they took the engine apart and the threads actually came out with the bolts. They said I could get a heli coil retro fit to cement the bolts back in which would be about $700 and no guarantee it would work. They said the only alternative was a new engine, but apparently they stopped making engines for this model. My only option was to buy one from a scrapyard with a warranty and have it installed and then sell the car as soon as possible.

I have no mechanical expertise, so I took someone over to look at the engine and talk to the mechanics who had experience rebuilding engines and the mechanics showed him what they were talking about and he agreed the best option was a whole new engine, which would run about 5,400 before labor. The frustrating part is that if I were the first owner all of this would be covered.

Early on, I tried getting a Kia dealership where I had had a lot of maintenance done to take a second look at it, but they couldn't even look at it for at least a week and I had already without a car for a week, so I needed an answer quickly.

I have never had an engine go on a car before, much less one that's only 5 years old and less than 100K miles. Seems really unreasonable.

- Keri S., Attleboro Falls, MA, US

problem #20

Sep 032018

Sorento 2.4L Mpi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Driving along Interstate 10 on a Sunday, from Mesa heading to Tucson, I hear this ticking noise coming from the hood. The ticking becomes persistent and the car starts to loose power. As I maneuver to the side of the road , ask my wife, "Do you hear that noise?" She replies "what noise?" Sometimes I wish I had as much ZEN as she has. For a moment I think this is all in my head.

Ladies and gentlemen, that noise eventually turns out to be the sound of a $ 6,300.00 estimated engine replacement.

By then, the engine stalls and wont start again. And there begins the nightmare. I tow the car back (towing a car 65 miles is freaking expensive.. get AAA to cover that mulch next time) to my mechanic who tells me dude, this engine is kaput. Its got all these metal flakes from the bearings inside. You have to get the engine replaced. However, you are in luck. Kia has a recall for this particular problem so I suggest you tow it to the dealership and let them fix the problem. He's thinking GDI.

I call Kia tells them of the problem and what my mechanic has said about this engine being potentially part of the recall. They mention this engine is not under recall, but it doesn't mean if it has the problem you say it has, we can take care of it under the recall. In their sweet professional voice, they say bring it in, we will take a look at it. After more than 1 week of back and forth, they tell me (sweetly) Dude you are SOOL. You repair estimate is $ 6,300.00 and a $ 90.00 for diagnostics. However we will waive the diagnostics if you do the repair. Bewildered, I ask metal shavings, broken bearings , recall no SC147 does not apply? NOPE SOOL

How I'm I supposed to accept a repair bill of $ 6,300.00 on a vehicle that has been religiously maintained with oil changes every 3000 miles at 89,000 miles? So I hit the internet and find a fellow with exactly the same complaint on this page and like 19 overall complaints about KIA engines.

Is there a class action lawsuit we can bring? How come the GDI engines manufactured during this time are on recall but not the MPI engines manufactured in the same plants? And for heavens sake, why are these engines so expensive on the after market sites? (1 site has 2 engines for $ 2,950.00 with 1 year warranty on engines refurbished with wait for it... NEW BEARINGS!!)

I'm beyond pissed in describing how I feel right now.

- Meshack O., Mesa, AZ, US

problem #19

Apr 212018

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 147,000 miles


I purchased a 2013 Kia Sorento on April the 6th. 2017. Soon after I became very disappointed with the car. Two days after the purchase I noticed a strong burning plastic smell. My husband checks the oil and not a drop! We put oil in thinking the service department for some silly reason forgot to put oil in the car they just sold me. We kept a close eye on it only to learn the car was using 1 to 2 quarts of oil a week and continues to smells like burning oil or plastic.

Now it stalls at red lights like it's choking itself and I have to give it has to keep it from dying, and as I do it blows smoke out the tailpipe. We also noticed the lifters rattling. Then about 3 weeks go by after the purchase we find out KIA has just issued a recall on my car. We were very relieved to hear about this and decided to keep the car since we assumed the issues would be fixed now.

So I took it in to have it serviced for the recall and they said it passed the recall and nothing was wrong with the car, only to find out later in time our oil pan was never removed during this inspection, as advised to me by my current mechanic.Then I was told I had to pay $90.00 dollars a hour to have the dealership diagnose the problems with the car I'm currently having that I just purchased on April the 6th.

After looking at the specifics of the listed recall I find that these very symptoms are part of this recall! So your telling me there is a recall for the very things that are happening with my car but it passes inspection?! Really! So I ask... at least tell me why its burning so much oil?

He tells me that it had the wrong dip stick on the car, and that can cause it to use excess So I ask then should the dip stick issue been resolved or caught by the inspection before the car was put out on the car lot to be sold ? And this guy proceeds to tell " I don't know , they should have " . So we dealt with the car as best we could because we just made this purchase and couldn't afford to dispute the issues .VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!!

We planned to call a Kia service representative to further our complaints but no reply. And we will never buy or do business here again!!!!!! This is at Rusty Wallace Kia in Morristown Tn. Now, fast forwarding almost a year to the date and it's been roughly 10 months since this all happen to my car over the recall.

On Saturday April 23, 2018... coming home from work on the interstate, my car shuts off with no warning, no dash lights, no nothing what so ever. I had to cross two lanes of traffic with no steering or brakes, no nothing. And almost got hit trying to make it over to the side of the road. I had to have my car towed to my local mechanic and he checked everything on the car. His result was that my engine had completely seized and locked up. He says its like it disintegrated. He took off the belt, the starter, and plugs to attempt to manually turn the motor with no luck. He says that the pistons seem to have jammed somehow. And the access oil usage was where they have been chipping away at the block and oil was getting by the rings.

We called the dealership again and spoke with the manager. He Is supposed to get the car from my mechanic and take it back to the dealership for a full recall inspection at no cost to me. Now I have only had this car for a year and now I have to wait on them to tow my car back to the Kia dealership to check and see if the engine blew from the recall a second time after I had shown and documented all of these signs and symptoms before it got to this point over 10 months ago.. I would like some help with Kia and the dealership on fixing my problem . I am without a vehicle and really need this matter resolved. My car is still at my mechanics and has yet to be picked up by the dealership. This is my only means of transportation to get to work .

- Samantha G., Russellville, US

problem #18

Mar 282018

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

While driving to Durango, Colorado my motor started knocking and making noise. I took it into Durango Kia and they said the motor was blown and it was not covered by the manufacturer' warranty. I bought my 2013 Sorento as a used vehicle with very low mileage in late 2013. I have had regular oil changes, but the engine was blown driving at less than 60 MPH and the car mileage was only 56,000 miles. I would appreciate any suggestions anyone can give me. Also, if anyone knows of some class action lawsuits that I can join in with or be a part of. Thanks.

- nrnorvelle, Farmington, US

problem #17

Jun 302017

Sorento LX 2.4L Mpi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

My wife and I were driving North on I-49 in Louisiana when our 2013 Kia Sorento (approximately 86,000 miles) began making a clicking/knocking noise upon acceleration, the check engine light began blinking, and the engine immediately shut down. We pulled over to the shoulder, turned the vehicle off, and attempted to restart the vehicle; however, the engine failed to restart. We turned our emergency lights on for cautionary purposes, but after approximately 30 minutes, the lights completely stopped working. There was evidence of oil leakage underneath the vehicle, as well as oil splatter underneath the hood of the vehicle near the engine and over the entire exterior of the vehicle, from the front hood to the back window. We had the vehicle towed to the nearest Kia dealership and were told by the service department that the bearings in the engine had failed, which resulted in "catastrophic engine failure," and that engine will need to be replaced. We were also informed that the engine in our vehicle is a 2.4-L MPI engine, which is not part of the current recall; however, individuals at the dealership and with Kia Customer Service confirmed that the problems we experienced are the exact same problems that have been reported with the 2.4-L GDI engines that are part of this recall. We have been extremely diligent with oil changes, and had approximately 2000 miles until our next oil change, which we can support with documentation. Kia has denied our request for assistance because our vehicle is no longer under warranty. Kia should be ashamed of this poor product.

- Justin M., Baton Rouge, US

problem #16

Dec 262017

Sorento LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,800 miles

KIA won't tell me specifically what is wrong with the car. Just that it is going to cost $6K to replace the engine. My car is no longer covered under the warranty and they won't do anything about it. There was a recall of about 600K cars, which KIA ignored until a class action suit was filed (article in FORBES). My engine was not made at the same plant therefore it is not covered under the recall.

The first mechanic who looked at the car indicated my oil was clean so the problem wasn't my neglect. This mechanic looked on-line and saw that there were recalls so he directed me to my local KIA (Lansdale KIA) dealer. After the Service Manager said they would not cover the repair I contacted KIA and was connected to a Total Case Specialist. No help.

Never should of gotten rid of my Toyota.

- Cheryl S., North Wales, PA, US

problem #15

Jul 302017

Sorento V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


My husband and I were on our way to SF airport from Sacramento, On our way to the airport my husband heard knocking noise. After 10 minutes and passing the SF bridge the knocking noise got louder and smoke came out of the car. We were forced to get off the freeway and stop because the car will not continue to drive. We called corporate Kia and they came and towed our car. We never got to the Airport, and we needed to rent a car to go home (Sacramento). Kia 3 days later said we need a knew engine. I never heard knocking prior to the incident and nor lights came on in the vehicle. I just got a Oil change from the dealership two months prior to the incident. Likely I have 100k warranty.

- akravani, Sacramento, US

problem #14

Jun 302017

Sorento LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,963 miles

We have the Theta II MPI engine which is NOT covered by SC147 and is NOT under warranty. We are the second owners of this vehicle which we put approximately 33K miles on it. The options suggested by our Kia dealerships was to put an engine in from a wrecked Sorento that had 100K on it for $6700-$6800 or another identical engine for the same price. We declined. We maintained the vehicle with oil changes at approximately 5K miles and that is the only work we've had done .other than tire rotations. With a little research, we found at that a recall had been issued for the MY 2012-2014 Sorento with the Theta II GDI engines which began on June 20, 2017. The service manager stated that we could spend $195 to look for metal shavings (pull oil pan) and look for bearing wear for $495 but we would still be on the hook. There is an open investigation at NHTSA on the "timeliness and scope" of the recall. It was opened on May 18,2017. My only hope is that they include the 2.4L MPI engines. Fortunately we not hurt when the engine failed at 55 mph on a heavily traveled two lane. Current cost is towing back to Austin and now to storage approx. $600.

- Rhonda S., Austin, TX, US

problem #13

May 302017

Sorento LX 2.4L Li

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,449 miles

Engine blew same day of purchase. Good times. Engine stalled 3 times on way home. Engine completely blew, seized, whatever on way back to dealer. At least they sent someone out to pick me up and drive me to the rental car agency for a loaner. They replaced the lower part of the engine, and then discovered more problems, so replaced the upper part of the engine.

Update from Jun 10, 2017: Still waiting for repair to be completed. This is NOT a GDI engine. The non-GDI engines are not covered by the recall, but should be based on my experience. This was a "Certified" used car.

- astrosboss, Maple Shade, US

problem #12

Jul 222016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,636 miles

I bought the car used with 38k miles. it was great. I put almost 25k on it in a year. Last week at 65k miles on the way to vacation the engine starts knocking. I pulled over to see if it was a belt or something. I couldn't find anything I could see. I started out of the rest area and the check engine light comes on. So at 10:30 pm I had it towed to a hotel. In the morning I had it towed to a dealer. It took two days for them to look at it and tell me it was catastrophic engine failure. with me being the second owner the car was only covered to 60k miles. Two and a half weeks and roughly $6000 later I get my car back.

- ransonwv, Fairmont, WV, US

problem #11

Apr 012017

Sorento V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 123,000 miles

I have a Kia Sorento had no problems, no noises, no lights going off nothing. Drove home from work and heard a noise. It was time for oil change took it get the oil changed and was informed I needed a new motor. They were surprised because the has been serviced regularly. They said it is no longer under warranty and would need to be replaced at my cost. Upon investigation apparently this motor has been recalled in Canada but not in the US. Its going to cost approximately $6000 to repair. Kia needs to fix this problem!!

- Kathy C., Jackson, US

problem #10

Mar 092017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,128 miles

On March 9, my engine blew without any prior warning! Strange thing is my husband changed the oil on Monday and said it was hard to describe and it was like lumpy oil? (We were not late on changing the oil!) Thursday picked it up and garage had found a small leak ordering the part keep an eye that it doesn't get low yada yada! Leave the garage and get 2 blocks and bam engine seized while driving! I am reading all of these other complaints and wondering if there is any kind of class action law suit currently? This doesn't appear to be an oil change problem and me not having service records since we do our own oil changes of course screws me out of my warranty!

This seems to be a manufacturer problem and there has to be some kind of law suit? Not sure what to do and now of course I owe the garage that it is sitting at because I had to authorize them to take engine apart so warranty to say lack of maintenance and now this is in my lap because we care for our cars ourselves? I am not sure how to pay for these repairs let alone figure out how to pay for the bill already being accumulated just for tear down! What did anybody else do? Any information would help me if there is contact info or anything regarding a lawsuit against kia?

- Tracy W., Arvada, CO, US

problem #9

Sep 092016

Sorento EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

On the 11/09/2016 took my perfectly running car for an Oil change and for a small sound in the engine to the dealer. Chuck Olson KIA performed the oil change and the technician at the dealer took the car for a test drive. He test drove the car and he had connected a computer to the 2013 Sorento to perform some analysis to the engine. Once the car from the dealer., The technician talked to me and told me that the tiny sound in the engine was normal, he told me that he had consulted this problem with this "Master technician" and both had agreed that the sound was normal in this cars. So I took the car and drove it back home on my way back home the car suddenly stopped. We called Chuck Olson the KIA dealer to let him know that the car was not running and to be picked up to check the problem. So they checked the car and they told me that I need a new engines. ( just a reminder, A perfect running was car was there before for an oil change and to check a noise in the engine, both technician agreed of a normal engine)

So at the end the dealer DOES NOT WANT to grant me a WARRANTY on A 100,000 miles Warranty car. because. Im missing one oil change receipt.

To me, the problem of the engine is more that an oil change. this is not an oil related problem. (This is just BS)

It seems that there are (were) a problem with the 2013 engines. It is believed that the connecting rod bearings in these engines fail as pieces of metal circulate in the engine. with time, this dirty oiling cause the connecting rod bearings to get damage because of the tiny metal debris into the engine oil, which cannot filter out to maintain the oil flow and pressure. Therefore the engine will end up Seizing.

So this problem is a manufacture problem. I would love to find an answer to this problem.

- Fernando O., Seattle, US

problem #8

Aug 302016

Sorento LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,200 miles

We purchased a 2013 Kia Sorento LX in Jan 2013 with only 300 miles on it. We have had it faithfully maintained by the dealership we purchased it from. Fast forward to August 30th 2016 when my husband is driving home with my two toddlers when the car just lost power with no warning. He said it took all he had to steer the vehicle off of the road and luckily, the cars behind him were able to slow down and not hit him. My husband called our dealership and they sent a tow truck, which arrived 2.5 hours later. Got the car towed and the next morning we were informed that the crankshaft had broken therefore destroying the engine. Our Sorento was going to need a new engine at only 36000 miles! Thankfully because the vehicle was maintained faithfully through the dealership, they were able to immediately confirm this was covered under the warranty. They also did provide us a loaner vehicle (Kia Soul). On Tuesday, September 6th, they call to inform us that they are still waiting on an engine because Kia has yet to release one! Argh!!! So today, we get a call from corporate Kia who informs us that the engine has been ordered however, it is on backorder. Seriously?! Who knows how long this will take!

I love my Kia Sorento and have had no problems with it up until now but if you plan on purchasing a Sorento (especially a 2013), do your research and make sure you follow the warranty!

- Amanda J., Saint Augustine, FL, US

problem #7

Aug 082016

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Engine died while on the interstate on the way back from a 350 mile trip. Started with a small tapping sound and about 30 min later it completely died with all sorts of racket and noise from under the hood. Fortunately we were close to a Kia dealer and managed to get it there for service.

Dealer called back the next day and said the engine was full of sludge which had clogged up the oil pump, starving the top of the motor for oil and caused it to fail. The engine was not repairable and needed to be replaced. He said Kia needed to see the oil change records. As many as I could provide. Fortunately our local dealer provides free oil changes so I had the last 6 oil changes done there. The dealer said that sludge wasn't always covered by warranty.. Even if the oil has been changed regularly. What???? They said all we can do is submit the service records and wait and see what Kia decides.

After a couple days of anxiously awaiting and answer, and reading lots of horror stories about this issue online, Kia DID end up honoring the warranty. Thank god!! Now we're waiting for a new (remanufactured) engine to arrive. Hope that doesn't take too long.

Overall it was a very eye-opening experience. I've always done my own oil changes and never thought there would be an issue like this. Make sure you get your oil changes done regularly and have proof. Preferably at the dealer if possible!! Now it makes me wonder what other kinds of "clauses" are in that warranty.

- Danny F., Youngsville, LA, US

problem #6

Jul 222016

Sorento LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The engine failed on my 2013 KIA Sorrento on July 22, 2016, while driving to my vacation destination on I-57 in Chicago. It was towed to a KIA dealership on a Friday night. I was not told what the problem was until the following Tuesday and then only told the engine would need to be replaced because of an "internal engine problem." I was told no engines were available in the US and was told there was no telling when one would be available. KIA offers no rental cars at its expense or loaners. The dealership referred me to KIA Consumer Affairs. I am 450 miles from home and my vacation — like my engine — is blown. The blown engine clearly is a KIA issue, since warranty will cover the repairs, that coming after having all my service records were FAXED to the dealership doing the repairs. I was told there is a back order on engines, which indicates to me this is not an uncommon occurrence. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Update from Aug 12, 2016: I am following up on my previous report about my 2013 KIA Sorrento's blown engine. There are a few things that have occurred that others might find useful:

1. The dealership doing the repairs will require all your servicing records in order to verify warranty coverage. This is automatic. I was fortunate because all my servicing was done at the dealership where I purchased the vehicle, and they sent those records within an hour to the dealership doing the repairs. I was told by my dealer that approval for warranty work takes about 45 minutes once the service records are produced. Any wrinkle in servicing — such as missing a servicing or doing repairs yourself, especially oil changes — likely will result in a challenge to your warranty claim.

2. The dealership doing the repairs likely will tell you that KIA does not provide a rental car or a loaner car. This is not true. A regional parts and service manager can approve a rental at no cost to you. I found this out by contacting the KIA corporate Customer Service office. The customer service rep who I spoke with — after contacting them via the website — was very helpful. It took a week, but I got a rental car. The only hook on the car is that it must be returned within 24 hours of repair completion.

3. The replacement engine — a rebuilt engine not a new one — was installed on Aug. 9. The blown engine occurred on July 29. So, you can expect a wait. The official explanation for the malfunction was a blown rod.

4. Blown engine's on KIA's seems to be fairly common problem. I will be taking the vehicle into my dealer for a thorough inspection of the repairs done next week. In setting up that appointment, the service rep at my dealership told me it is currently waiting on four engines and does not know when they will arrive.

- mmac, Bowling Green, KY, US

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