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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
63,250 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (17 reports)
  2. replace the engine (4 reports)
  3. replace cam shaft sensor (3 reports)
  4. add premium fuel additive each fill up (1 reports)
  5. battery cable loose at post (1 reports)
  6. replace throttle actuator control (1 reports)
2013 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Kia Sorento:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Jun 172020

Sorento 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


When driving on the freeway my vehicle started making a clicking noise and seized up myself and my two children where on the freeway driving about 55mph when this happened, thankfully I was close by a offramp to pull off of the freeway to the side of the road. There was no prior warning no lights that came on, I had the car towed home and the battery replaced but when car was turned on it made a loud knocking noise, vehicle was towed to the mechanic who can not get a reading or diagnostic reading from the car to see what or why it seized up, thank god we were able to exit the freeway without getting hit this was a terrifying experience and I cannot believe it did this.

I’ve kept up the maintenance and my car was in great shape, I contacted Kia for recalls I find it ironic that numerous customs with a 2013 Kia Sorento and the same issues yet we are not ousted for the recall under our vin. This could of resulted in a detrimental loss and now I am being told the engine was not supposed to do that and that this should of been part of the recall, I will continue to reach out and try to get help now that I’m being told it is safest to replace the engine,

At this point I am extremely uncomfortable even operating a Kia vehicle given all the research I’ve done and how many issues they have and continue to have with the engine, this will be my biggest regret purchasing this vehicle especially because Kia is very aware of the issues yet it doesn’t seem like they care, as many reports as I have seen with this identical issue all 2013 Sorentos should of been replaced due to the accidents that the engine can cause, a car should never shut off on you when your driving. Please give me some guidance if you have any for a lawyer, I will be contacting news stations as well as many other publications to share this and to hopefully prevent others from purchasing a vehicle with these issues.

- Nicole F., Peoria, US

problem #26

May 182020

Sorento LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,000 miles

RPM drops and car will cut off if at a complete stop.

- ladybanks, Lithonia, US

problem #25

May 182020

Sorento LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,000 miles

While driving, the RMP drops causing the car to not accelerate. Also it will cut off if at a complete stop or while driving.

- ladybanks, Lithonia, US

problem #24

Nov 082018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


May of this year my Kia Sorento broke down in the middle of rush hour traffic and the check engine light came on. I was told the Crank Shaft Sensor was bad and needed to be replaced. I replaced it.

November of this year I had the same failure, breaking down in the middle of Houston rush hour traffic for a second time. I turned my 2013 Kia Sorento off, pulled the key out, waited 30 seconds and began to start the car up and it fired right up. I went ahead and took it to a Firestone right down the road from where I work. They had it for the entire day and they were able to replicate the same failure, however, no codes were present. I took the vehicle back and decided to take it to a Kia dealership. The dealership said that it would cost, I believe, $120 for a diagnostics fee. I agreed and turned over the car, this was the first week of November this year. The dealership informed me over the warranty that was extended for the original Kia owners of 120,000 miles due to the Theta II engine failures and told me hopefully this failure would fall under that and nothing would come out of my pocket not even the diagnostic fee and a rental car would be covered. This was a Thursday that I dropped it off. All day Friday they could not the car to replicate the failure. The tech said he needed more time with it, my fiancé and I agreed to leave the car with the dealership until they could get it to replicate. Monday passes and nothing, Tuesday passes still no word, Wednesday comes and goes and still no word.

Finally on November 15th 2018 I receive a phone call from the dealership and they were able to replicate the issue. My car was a few more engine failures away from catching on fire. The dealership told me that the car needs a brand new engine and that Kia is covering the entire cost. That's great right? Well I'm not so sure because they don't make brand new 2013 Kia Sorento engines anymore to the best of my knowledge. It is now December 11th 2018 and the engine is on back order. The claims department has no ETA of when the engine will arrive. I was also informed that my case file is being transferred to someone else. Oh great, here we go.

So I am in a rental car at the moment and no one knows for how long.

Update from Apr 4, 2019: I got a phone call from the dealership in early March 2019. They informed me that my engine has finally arrived! Kacie told me that they engine arrived, they installed it, then they unistalled the engine and ordered a nother new engine. She informed me that the brand new engine that took 5 months to arrive had the same issues as my engine that is being replaced. No ETA on when my 2013 Kia Sorento will be ready. I have no idea what I will do with the vehicle if/when I get it back. I do not have a lot of faith in this Theta II engine.

- Jaclyn T., Houston, TX, US

problem #23

Jun 152018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,321 miles

Driving in 5 pm rush hour in Columbia SC and the car just quit!! No power and would not restart!! I waited 4 hours for a tow truck. Had it towed to the closest garage I trust, cost almost $300. Called Kia this morning and there is a recall, but it has to meet all the criteria to be fixed, and because I didn't have it towed to Kia, they will not pay for towing, Next car is American made!!

- Lloyd H., Greer, US

problem #22

Jan 052018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I too own a 2013 Sorento. Driving down the freeway the car just shuts down. Had it towed to a repair shop and was told I needed a new motor. I have taken good care of this car. Even at 4 years old the interior is like new, no dents or dings in the body. This is very aggravating. KIA needs to get me driving again.

- Janet I., Little Rock, US

problem #21

Nov 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


We have one of the 2013 Kia Sorrento's that we are currently fighting with Kia to fix the motor. Our car currently sits at our local dealership after Kia Corp told us to get it diagnosed. They then told us our car would be fixed under Good Will, now they have shifted us to several case managers all of which do not call back. Our car has been sitting at our local dealership for months. Our local dealership has had our car since the recall in May came out. Kia wants us to pay $2,000 to fix the engine. I refuse, the Kia rep that was assigned to us before they took him off our case was Dustin and he told us that Kia would have to eventually open the cars in the recall because they know there are many more involved. That is the reason he was going to fix ours on Good Will. Our local dealership sent paperwork to him and then neither of us heard from him again. Our car just died on the highway one day with our whole family in it. We had it towed home. We have been given the biggest run around from Kia. The customer service is horrible. We have a Kia and our daughter has a Kia but I promise you one thing, the way we have been treated never again, everyone I know will hear about Kia. We don't even have a vehicle to drive and I am still making payments on a car I don't have. Kia never calls us back, we call every week.

- kblunday, Belleview, US

problem #20

Sep 192017

Sorento LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

This issue originally started every once in while this year, now it's happening more often. While driving, the car will jerk once, slow down, and then the RPM will go to zero and not move. I try to accelerate and the car will not accelerate back to normal. I will have to coast over to the shoulder or side of the road, depending on where I'm driving and turn the car off and on again and then it will return to driving normal again until this happens again. Yesterday morning in rush hour traffic on the highway it happened twice back to back. I took it into a Kia dealer yesterday morning and on another occasion for this issue and both occasions they could not replicate the issue or find a problem. I was told there were no codes. The check engine light or any other lights have not illuminated. This is really frustrating and a safety concern for me. I've had 3 Kia Sorentos, this being my 3rd, and never had this issue until now. I'm going to go to another Kia dealer to see if I receive the same response.

- Teriah J., Balch Springs, US

problem #19

Nov 302016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I bought the Kia Sorento used. But I got the extended warranty thinking this would keep me covered. NOPE. I am missing receipts from oil changes so Kia will not fix it. My problem stated out with my car with a small noise. I took it to the dealership and they changed out the transfer case. At that time they told me I had a small amount of sludge. We went right out and changed the oil. Only had the car at around 6 months. Within 2 months after that, my car would not start. It would turn out and sound great but would not start up and run. I had it towed in and they said it needed a whole new engine due to sludge. REALLY!! I've had the thing for about one year this time.. I had left me stranded a few times. They will not fix it.. They want 6k for a new motor. I've had oil changed 3 times at different business and my husband changed it a few times. but we do not have the receipts for the home changes so they will not cover our car repairs. So disappointed and so pissed that I have to pay 6 more years on a piece of crap . I saw a recall about some metal in the engine. but They are not telling me anything about that. I know they are putting out bad motors and not standing behind their vehicles. I hope a class action happens and if so put my name on the suit.

- Betty C., Cassopolis, MI, US

problem #18

Nov 222016

Sorento ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I have a 2013 Kia Sorento. The engine shutdown while traveling south for Thanksgiving. My car is in Jacksonvile, FL. It needs a new engine, which is covered by the 100,000 mile warranty. Unfortunately, the dealer doesn't know when a new engine will arrive. Kia did give me a rental car, however they aren't sure how long I will need it because they don't know when the new engine will arrive. I see there are several lawsuits regarding this problem with the Kia engines, I'm surprised that Kia hasn't issued a recall. If this happens on the interstate, I can see this causing a few deaths. I guess that is what it takes for Kia to do something. Hopefully, I will get my Kia back soon.

- Myra R., Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #17

Jul 072016

Sorento LX 2.4L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,502 miles


ON jULY 6 THE MOTOR was knocking. I took it to local garage. Put it on the machine and the code said spark plug #4 was misfiring. So all spark plugs were changed. Only drove car home 2 blocks from my home. The next day car started out running ok but soon same engine knock started. I decided to drive car to my nearest Kia dealer Southlake Kia where the car was purchased. To get to this dealership I have to get on interstate. As I am gaining speed to merge on to I-65, the engine stopped so I had to work my way to the shoulder of the road with no power steering or brakes. The car restarted and once again I gained speed a merged onto I-65 inter state , only to go maybe 5 miles at top speed 70 mpg. Once again the motor cuts out only this time I am in the middle of rushing cars and semis. I fear for my life trying to get off inter state to the should with the engine shut off. I had to be pulled to the next exit by a passing man in a truck. I was stalled in a dangerous place. The 2013 Kia Sorento has never started or ran since. I am on disability, set income. I was informed the motor was locked up.

I have been a deep depression since. I am making car payments still because I still owe 18,000.00 still on it. On August 8 I receive in the mail from Kia "Limited warranty extension" on 2013 Kia Sorento 2.4 lt. GDI engines due to engine knock because the connecting rods begin to wear. There is a class act law suit against Kia because they know about this problem and have yet to call a recall on these engines!!! I have spoke to 5 different general managers and none will honor this extension for me. I am trying to seek out legal help.

- Michele R., Lowell, IN, US

problem #16

Jul 082015

Sorento ES6 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

This is my problem 2. See my problem 1 where I had the transfer case replaced. When I had the transfer case replaced, this caused me to recall that twice while I have owned the 2013 KIA Sorrento it has stalled, engine has died while I was accelerating. The first time was shortly after I purchased the vehicle and the 2nd time was in July 2015 on my way home on our main drive where speeds can be 60 mph. As I was accelerating the engine stalled and I had to pull over with no power steering - NICE. When they replaced the transfer case, I asked them if this could have been the cause of these two stalls and they said it could be as the KIA will protect itself if it is not working properly. After I discussed this with the two guys in service, I emailed the GM and advised him of the incident and told him to record it in my file for future just in case.

I have also had a couple of issues with the air conditioner not working in the summer and I shall report that as problem 3.

- Karen C., Saskatoon, SK, Canada

problem #15

Sep 022014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Just wanted to post this after reading everything, we decided to check on the alternator and charging. We were shocked to find one of the battery terminal cables very loose. Apparently a poor design on the nut tightening down. This is why the stalling does not show upon codes.

- Lisa B., Conroe, TX, US

problem #14

Dec 222014

Sorento 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,503 miles

So on our 2014 Christmas Vacation; we are driving on the highway in Florida at a good 85 miles per hour when our entire car turns off completely. My two kids in the back seat are completely terrified as we try to maneuver to the side of the road with no control. It turns out the engine is blown and it’s only a 2013.

We end up at dealership the next day only to find out that the new engine won’t be available for a week and a half because of the Christmas Holiday. We are from Chicago IL. We chose to trade in this car which was under warranty and get another Kia. Not a big fan of Kia right now but we didn’t want to ruin our whole vacation.

Long story short, I get a voluntary service campaign letter from Kia and decide I would share what happened with us on our trip. Come to find Kia has no concern for its Customers. The person I spoke with seemed irritated with my call and all he could say is I’m sorry for your situation. There is nothing he can do. I guess you have to crash and lose your life in order for Kia to express some kind of Customer Service? Shoot, I would take a card and an Oil Change after going through that scare!!!

Now we ended up with another Kia which I didn’t want and a higher car payment that we can't afford. The dealers are independently owned so they could care less on making you a deal in your situation. I asked for a number to contact Kia directly and they said there is no direct number to Kia. There is a customer service number but no one there that give a crap!!!

- jodiep, Round Lake Beach, IL, US

problem #13

Nov 042014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


CRANK SHAFT - I was driving down the highway approaching a traffic light. My car cut off as I was coming to a stop. When I tried to start it, it turned on with no problem. I drove about 10 more miles. While switching lanes on the HWY, the engine died again. I restarted it with no problem & the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT came on. I took it to my local mechanic and he ran a diagnostics test on it. Missed fire.

1. Cam Shaft Sensor 2. Crank Shaft

He cleared the check engine light. He gave it an oil change, replaced the air filter, & told me to drive it again & bring it back when the check engine light returns. He wanted to be sure it needed both parts and to see which code was the 1st to be thrown on the 2nd test. I drove it 2 blocks and the check-engine light came back on. The diagnostics test only came back with one this time

1. Cam Shaft Sensor Mechanic replaced cam shaft sensor. The part cost $139.64.

So far, after 1 day, the check-engine light has not reappeared. IF IT DOES, I have a good feeling it will be CRANK SHAFT .

Hope this is helpful. Jemison,AL

- jemisonal, Foley, AL, US

problem #12

Nov 072014

Sorento V4-Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

While driving vehicle will lose power , no matter how much gas i give, it slows down. There is also a jerking movement as if it was slipping in and out of gear. This often happens on the highway and knocks me out of cruise control. I have to pull over, turn off the vehicle, restart, that normally fixes the problem. This same thing happened last year, replacing the battery fixed the problem. Now the problem is happening again, have to get it back to dealer..

- Christopher H., Goodyear, AZ, US

problem #11

Sep 292014

Sorento EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

A car almost rear ended me due to my Sorento turning off, gave me a lot of anxiety!!! Now having to deal with the hassle of taking it to dealership and getting a rental. Not sure if my Sorento will be repaired.

- Amy N., Houston, TX, US

problem #10

Oct 292014

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

This "glitch" happened twice in one week. First, driving off from a stop light at about 15-20 mph the car seemed to brake itself for about a second, lunged me forward and 30 seconds later died. No check engine light. Car restarted fine after 3rd try. Then again I had let go of the accelerator and was cruising before braking at a light, the car did the same thing at about 25-30 mph but harder and a loud clunk came from it. Even the tires screeched when it "braked" itself for a second. This second time the car died 2 seconds later when I applied the brakes.

Took it straight to the dealer, the car died again in front of them whey they switched on the A/C to check if it was working (could be coincidence since I wasn't fooling around with the A/C the first two times). They called me back on second day and asked me to take my car back since they could not replicate the problem and the computer hadn't registered it. I've used it exclusively on highways for 2 days now and no problem. I've done less than 10 miles of city driving since I got my car back. I've heard of other people getting an upgrade for the ECU and solving the issue, but that upgrade was already applied over a year ago to mine and according to the dealer, there is no newer version.

- Fernando B., Santo Domingo, DN, Dominican Republic

problem #9

Jun 252014

Sorento LX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,600 miles

This has occurred since 6/25 to present 7/15. Car unexpectedly goes into limp mode with service engine lit on.

Shut off & restart gets you a few more miles.

Update from Aug 24, 2014: 8/24 Dealer replaced throttle body. I have been adding fuel additive with each fill up. Vehicle seems to be running normal. 28,500 miles. Problem seems to be specific to V6 Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. I am looking to trade for 2015 Sorento with GDI engine.

- 116737, N. Granville, NY, US

problem #8

May 272014

Sorento EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Vehicle stalls when coming to a stop or while driving. Took it to the dealership 4 times, never found problems. They installed a flight recorder to monitor the systems and never duplicated or found any. I complained to Kia Motors America, they said the same things. They could not find any concerns. This morning It stopped in the middle of the traffic again, I almost had an accident.... I called the dealer again....

What do I have to do??? Will Kia do something, if I crash and die with this reason???

- Joseph K., Los Angeles, CA, US

Read the next 7 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?