Trucks & SUVs

A 2016 Kia Sorento Owner Experienced an Expensive Problem at the Worst Time

One of the reasons for buying a new car rather than a pre-owned one is the manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty on the 2016 Kia Sorento is a great example. With a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, Kia offered a warranty that’s twice as extensive as most of its competitors, and covered the most expensive repairs — ngine, transmission, and the like. 

This great warranty and Kia’s overall rise in popularity has been great for the brand and buyers alike. The problem? That warranty drops by half if you buy a used Kia Sorento that’s still under the original warranty.

There aren’t many complaints about the 2016 Kia Sorento

A 2016 Kia Sorento on display
A 2016 Kia Sorento | Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Kia

Kia’s overall quality makes it more of a surprise when something goes wrong. According to CarComplaints.com, the biggest complaint about the 2016 Sorento is that it really revs up oil consumption at about 60,000 miles — the marker where the standard warranty expires on a new 2016 Sorento and the powertrain warranty on a used one. 

What really irritates some Kia owners is that the warning light that indicates low oil pressure fails to come on when oil is low. They’re driving merrily along until the steering wheel starts to shake, they smell something burning, or the engine sounds like an old sewing machine. When they check the oil level, it’s dangerously low. 

How many miles should the 2106 Kia Sorento go between oil changes?

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Kia recommends using fully synthetic oil in the Sorento, and servicing the vehicle every 7,500 miles. Some automotive technicians will tell you to monitor the mileage more closely as the miles pile up; engines will burn more oil as they age. 

All car owners should keep an eye on the little sticker the servicer puts up there in the left corner of the windshield, and get in the habit of checking the oil level when you’re within 1,000 miles of the next service.

Are there mechanical reasons for the Kia Sorento to burn lots of oil?

Modern automobile engines are more computer than anything else, but no matter how high tech they become, the basics of auto mechanics remain the same, and the engine is still made up of non-digital moving parts. According to Drivetrain Resource, when 2016 Sorento starts to burn excessive amounts of oil, there are the two main culprits, which are not surprising in the 70,000 mile plus range. 

Piston rings 

There’s a tiny gap — measured in millimeters — between the piston and cylinder wall. Piston rings seal that gap, keeping oil from leaking into the combustion chamber from the crankcase. When those rings fail, the ensuing oil leak is responsible for that blue smoke that indicates a problem with oil consumption.

Valve seal

Valves open to let fuel and air into the combustion chamber of the engine, then close when the spark plug fires, and open again to expel exhaust. The valve seals will fail and allow oil into the combustion chamber if they wear out, crack, or break. Again, oil leaking into the chamber will result in that telltale blue smoke.

 2016 Sorento owner gets unlucky

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Owners who have had problems with their vehicles burning too much oil might not have followed maintenance requirements. In one case, the warranty had just expired and the car was using lots of oil.

According to the owner’s complaint on CarComplaints.com, no engine lights appeared and eventually the entire engine was shot. Because this happened after the warranty expired, the owner was on the hook for all the repair costs.

That is a good lesson to take advantage of your warranty while it is still active. Making sure you’re keeping up with all the common problems and complaints your car has ensures you won’t be left with an outrageous repair bill for something that isn’t your fault.