Skip to main content

Oh no, the Kia Sorento might be in bigger trouble than initially thought. There was a major recall for the Kia Sorento, Optima, and Sportage models due to needing software updates. But the solution may not have corrected the issue, meaning your vehicle could actually need a new engine. 

The Kia Sorento faces engine problems 

2022 Kia Sorento X-Line, Consumer Reports review
2022 Kia Sorento X-Line | Kia

Recently the Kia Sorento was involved in a recall due to potential engine compartment fires. But luckily you don’t have to worry. The new current issue is related to another problem. 

However, those with Sorento, 2016 – 2018 Kia K900, and 2014 – 2016 Kia Sportage models at risk should still take their vehicles in for service to have the Hydraulic Electrical Control Unit replaced. It may have a malfunction that could lead to an electrical short. This may result in a fire in the engine compartment. 

In 2018, a voluntary product improvement campaign (P1 1803) was started for the Kia Sorento, Sportage, and Optima for a separate problem. These vehicles need a software update to protect their engines. 

What is the Sorento engine problem? 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), the Kia Sorento, Sportage, and Optima are subject to severe engine damage and failure due to excessive connecting rod bearing wear. 

To address this issue, a software update to the Engine Control Unit to install the Knock Sensor Detection System could protect the engine from excessive connecting rod damage. 

The system is designed to detect vibrations indicating that the engine could be at risk of excessive wear before severe damage occurs. 

But drivers who received the software update might not know they need to go back to a service center for another repair. The Sorento might need engine long block assembly repairs and a new engine. 

Luckily, Kia is voluntarily providing lifetime warranty coverage for new and used vehicles needing long block assembly repairs due to excessive connecting rod bearing damage. But this is if the vehicle completed the Product Improvement Campaign process. 

The specific vehicles include the 2011 – 2014 Kia Optima, 2011 – 2013 Kia Sportage, and 2022 – 2014 Kia Sorento. The 2.4-liter GDI and 2.0-liter T-GDI engines are the units at risk. 

Replacing the Sorento’s engine could be tricky 

The 2022 Kia Sorento on a dirt road
2022 Kia Sorento | Kia

Some people don’t know that they need to have their Kia Sorento fixed. According to WCNC, one driver had her repair rejected by a mechanic because the issue could be taken care of at a dealership for free. 

This information will save her thousands of dollars for the repair but involves a much longer waiting time. She found that a Kia dealership in Dallas had about 40 vehicles ahead of her, needing the same repair. 

She needs to drop her vehicle off for several weeks to see if her Kia is eligible for the repair, then it will take a few weeks for the new engine to arrive. But Kia will reimburse people $40 per day to cover the cost of a rental vehicle. This may not fully cover the cost, though. 

Kia struggled to provide estimates and waiting times due to challenges with employee staffing levels and supply chain issues. We will keep an eye out for updates about the engine problems and repair times.


Recall Alert: Kia Sorento and Optima Models Are Catching on Fire