pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,950 miles
Total Complaints:
29 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace engine (23 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. kia motors of america assumed responsibility (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Kia dealer.

problem #29

Jun 262023

Optima EX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,030 miles

The engine seized on my 2013 KIA Optima (GDI) on June 26, 2023. A local Kia dealership replaced the engine for free, but they also told me I needed a new starter because the engine seizure CAUSED the starter to fail, but that the warranty through them only covered the new engine, not any repairs that were caused by the engine failure, and that I had to submit reimbursement for that charge with my Kia settlement request. So I submitted the costs through the Kia Customer Care Center along with my reimbursement request for my rental car and the Kia rep told me that the charges from the Kia dealership were not considered to be related to my repair and if they were, they would have been completed under warranty at no cost out of pocket. So basically they were both pointing the finger at each other and now I'm out $450 for the new starter I had to buy which was ruined due the faulty engine. Shouldn't that be covered by them?? Anyone know how I dispute this decision with Kia? Thank you for your time.

- Kimberly L., West Sacramento, CA, US

problem #28

Jan 262022

Optima LX 2.4L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,352 miles

My Optima with 71k miles (yes, that's about 7k miles per year) engine suddenly started shuttering and seized. I called Kia and they referred me to Bob Rohrman Kia in Lafayette, IN to schedule an appointment. I called the service department and they told me there was a recall for the engine but if it was already blown that they will not cover it and refused to do the recall. I'm contacting Kia back to see if they can recommend another dealer.

This seems to be a known issue with this engine although it was unknown to me. I'm needless to say very disappointed with this dealer and the reliability issue with this engine.

- Ditto K., Wolcott, IN, US

problem #27

Jul 142021

Optima LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,598 miles

I purchased this vehicle about three months ago. I thought I made a great purchase but was I mistaken. The vehicle engine blew out on me while driving on a busy highway. I was lucky enough that the vehicle had enough power to get me to a shoulder where I had to get the vehicle towed to my home. After doing extensive research on my vehicle I discovered that KIA has a recall on my vehicles engine. I contacted KIA MOTORS OF AMERICA and spoke to their consumer affairs hot line. The representative said my vehicle qualified to be inspected by KIA. She advised to go ahead and take my vehicle to a kia dealership.

One important note. I have to pay out of pocket to have it towed to the dealership. I contacted a kia dealership in my city and they advised they cannot inspect my vehicle until the first week of August. No rental or loaner assistance. I am at the mercy of KIA. I am a hard working single father of 4 and this really has become a HUGE inconvenience to say the least. KIA dropped the ball and expects me to flip the bill. I hope KIA does the right thing and will replace their faulty motor.

Update from Oct 13, 2021: I finally got my 2013 KIA Optima from the dealership and I am happy to report that KIA replaced my blown engine with a brand new one. The repair time was the biggest inconvenience because I had to rent a car for 16 days. KIA motors of America will reimburse you what you had to pay out of pocket for the car rental but you will need to send in an invoice and it will take more than two months before you get that money back. I was surprised that they had my car ready in two weeks because I've heard of individuals waiting for almost two months before they got their vehicles back. I was very lucky. I did have to pay for new hosing and other essentials that the dealership highly recommended. Basically the dealership gave me no options but to have them replace all the hosing and clean out the fuel injection system. I ended up paying 1300.00. I guess I should be thankful that I got a brand new engine that is covered with a life time warranty. I am currently still dealing with KIA motors of America in getting the tow truck, Car rental and the 1300.00 I paid at the dealership. I have not received any reimbursementfrom them and it's been close to three months. One more important issue that you need to make sure was done on your KIA vehicle that is covered under the lawsuit. The recall that was done for the knock censor had to had been replaced on your vehicle. If it wasn't KIA will not assume responsibility for the blown engine. Make sure to take as much of your service records as possible. Hope this helps and good luck to all of you going through this issue.

- Stephen B., San Antonio, US

problem #26

Dec 182018

Optima SXL 2.0L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Regular day drive to work and I started hearing really loud knocking sound. I had to pull over and tow the car.

- Salvador P., Los Angeles, US

problem #25

Nov 132019

Optima LX 4 Cyclinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,610 miles

My son was traveling to his apartment on the expressway in Austin, Tx when his engine lost power and began to make a horrible knocking sound. As his parent, I had to make arrangements from 200 miles away to get his car towed off the freeway and then to Dallas for repairs.

- nucleus2, Desoto, US

problem #24

Jan 022019

Optima LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

On January 2, 2019, I had just filled my gas tank up and pulled out into traffic and my car sputtered and just shut completely down. The engine would not crank over and it would not start again. We tried to jump it and it would not do anything. I had just put oil in probably 3 days before because I frequently check to make sure its not low. Well the engine did not have any oil in it. I am irritated because this car is not that old and I have seen SEVERAL complaints on the same issue with this type of car.

- Christy W., East Alton, US

problem #23

Mar 182017

Optima LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

I purchase my 2013 May of 2016. Never had any problems, there was never a noise or light on detecting a problem. I have always had the oil changed on time. I took my car to the Kia dealer March 17,2017 for oil change and driver headlight replacement. Saturday evening while driving on the expressway, all my dash board lights came on and the car just slowed and would not go anymore. I pulled over turned it all the way off, waited 5 min and started it back.

The next morning as I was driving it did the same thing, all the dash board lights came on and the car would not go anymore. I pulled over and tried to start it again but it would not start. Open the hood and the car is smoking. I had to have it towed to the Kia dealer. Monday the dealer was saying it was the battery but I had just brought the battery 1 month after I purchased the car. The next day the dealer called and said it was the alternator and it had drained the battery. The alternator and the battery was replaced. Then the dealer called and said the car still was not turning to start. Then he called and said it was the engine.

So here I am 1 week later and waiting to hear what I need to do and who is going to replace my engine. I have had this car less then 1 year and the car was not giving me any problems plus I am paying $300 plus car note. Then I get on here and see other have had the same problems with their Kia.

- traceytownes, Memphis, US

problem #22

Mar 082017

Optima LX 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,950 miles


- toy69, Farmington, US

problem #21

Nov 012016

Optima Tubo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


2013 KIA Optima Turbo

I bought this Kia for work and I like the car. I started hearing knocking noise when I made it home the car was knocking so bad I thought it was going to blow-up. Now the engine has blown with 135,000. THERE IS OIL IN THE ENGINE BUT THE MOTOR IS GONE This is so upsetting to have to buy an engine still owning money. I call the warrant number that was mailed regarding the engine replace. I was told to take it to the nearest Kia dealership. Carlock Kia is the closest and their customer service sucks. After reading so many comments about not honoring the warranty because services were not done at the dealership. I just bought an engine for $3000 used because a new one would have caused me $9,000. Spending money for no reason.

I really HOPE they come up with a lawsuit on the KIA Optima. I see there is a lawsuit going on for the Kia sonata. Wish it was for all KIA. SO I KNOW KIA MAKES KRAPPY CARS! Will never buy another one.

- Shanek M., Aliceville, US

problem #20

Nov 252016

Optima SXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

On our way back from a short getaway with the family on the highway going about 75 mph we started to hear a light clicking noise and thought it was the old truck next to us. We realized after a couple of minutes once the truck had passed us that it wasn't in fact the truck, it was our car. As soon as we started to change lanes to pull over, the engine just quit. We had enough speed to make it completely out safely.

Tried to start the car again and NOTHING.

Called the 1-800 number on the window and arranged for a tow to take my car to the nearest KIA. We were still 4 hours away from home. Got to Kia and the mechanics were getting ready to leave so nobody could even look at the car till the next day. Ended up having to spend on a room for the night...not happy about that. The next day they called us and told us that they would have to replace the engine. They got us a rental and told us they have no idea when my car will be ready as all those engines are back ordered.

Its been a few weeks and nothing yet. When the car is ready we will have to take that long trip to pick it up and return the rental. I'm very disappointed in KIA, I've always heard bad things about them but since they seemed to have stepped it up I decided to give them a chance....NEVER AGAIN!

I soooooo hate that even after they change the engine...sometime in the next decade...I will be driving a car I don't trust and I don't want. I have my kids all the time and now I'm going to be stressing about the car engine just stopping while driving again and next time we may not be so lucky to get out of traffic safely. If there was a way to get rid of it I would in a heartbeat. I still owe money on it and have negative equity so getting a different car is not affordable at this moment. Not a happy Kia customer and will never do business with them again. The service they provided us at the dealership was very good, i have nothing against them, they didn't make the car, they just sell what this trash company produces.

- bellarisel, Acworth, GA, US

problem #19

Feb 092017

Optima 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

2013 Kia Optima 2.4 liter engine compartment caught on fire and vehicle is totaled. 37000 miles and had oil change done routinely, I loved this car.

I was driving and when getting closer to my destination I noticed a burning smell. I arrive and as soon as I put my car in park my car begins to shake and the dash lights flicker. I turn the car off and my passenger notices smoke coming out from underneath the hood. I realize it's a fire when I see black smoke begin to come out and within minutes my car is on fire. Needless to say it was an extremely terrifying situation as I had been driving the car on the freeway that day, I can't imagine what would've happened if I hadn't pulled over and parked when I did.

If anyone has had a similar situation or can find more information regarding this issue, please contact me.

- Cecilia R., Modesto, CA, US

problem #18

Feb 062017

Optima SXL Turbo 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

The service rep new there was a problem and that there was a class action going on and he played me for a fool for two days. Until he finally said they will replace the engine and it would take 10 days to get it and 3 days to install. The rep @ Rick Case in Sunrise made a big deal about getting me a car rental. Too bad I really like my car and now have a bad taste due to poor customer relations....

- anthonymerlucci, Plantation, US

problem #17

Jan 232017

Optima EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I have 70,000 miles on my Kia Optima. On January 23,2017 while driving to work on the hwy all of my warning lights came on the dash board, the slowed down but didn't shut off. I pulled to the side of the road and turned the car off, I started it back up with no problem but it continued to drive as if it was going to shut off. Luckily I did make it to work. That evening I was not so lucky. I started the car twice and it kept shutting off. Finally it started up and I made it halfway home, then the knocking sound got really loud so I pulled over and called a tow truck. I had the car towed to Carmax where I purchased it.

I called this morning to make sure they knew the car had been dropped off. The service tech told me that they would try to get to it today and let me know what the issue is. After reading all the review on the Kia Optima I am pretty sure it's the engine. I still owe $17,000 on this car and haven't had if for 2yrs. Kia needs to do a recall on these engines. I had a honda for 13yrs until it was totaled in an accident and I never had one issue with.

People are paying their hard earned money for these Kia's and Kia needs to back their product!

If anyone is interested in starting a lawsuit against Kia please contact me- toya713@gmail.com

- Latoya B., Douglasville, GA, US

problem #16

Jan 242017

Optima EX 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,224 miles

Since around 70000 miles I started notice that when I change the motor oil and check the oil stick was dirty. Thinking that the dealer was not changing the oil I started doing it by myself and still when I checked the oil the stick looked dirty. Yesterday after changing the oil I was driving like 12 miles and the motor start knocking and finally stopped. Does not want to turn on. Take it to Kia dealer and they said the motor is blown, need a new motor or fix the same motor. Price to fix the motor is between $3600-6000.

- Isaac G., Dallas, TX, US

problem #15

Nov 082016

Optima ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Had this car routinely maintained!

Just lost power and died... two days after an oil change.

The car has 125,000 miles which is 5,000 over the extended KIA warranty... all KIA has to say is "sorry".


- Burrell D., Citrus Heights, CA, US

problem #14

Oct 102016

Optima LX 2.4L Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

My 2013 KIA optima is acting what seems like everyone else KIA vehicles with the 2.4 theta II GDI engines are acting. Driving down the road and the engines just quits. Luckily it is still able to coast and I was on a old country rd when it happens or I'd be screwed to say lightly. Of course I call up KIA and they say that the engine is out of warranty but the connecting rod is covered up to 120000 miles. Well what they don't tell you is that unless you've had your oil changes done by a certified kia oil change specialist of some sort then you're not covered. I have my receipts from my local oil change station but obviously that isn't good enough for them. So to say the least, this will be my last KIA I ever purchase or hyundia being they are both owned by the same company. Going to replace the engine as soon as I can being I'm still making payments and hopefully trade it off for something reliable. Do better research next time and not listen to my daughter saying we should get this vehicle just because it looked good. Doesn't look as good now as a yard decoration. UGH

- da42701, Leitchfield, KY, US

problem #13

Oct 012016

Optima LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

No warning, that your engine is about to blow. A paddle sound starts and the engine loses power. If you keep driving (only drove 30 more minutes after the paddle sound), the "check engine" light turns on, then if you keep driving, the car shuts off and coasts and all of the lights turn on! This is beyond scary. This means your engine probably blew. Do not keep driving, take to repair asap. Don't let them stick you with the entire bill. KIA should cover this under the 100,000 mile warranty!

- rebecca.faez, Thousand Oaks, CA, US

problem #12

Sep 152016

Optima GDI 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,415 miles


- nancy.jones4, Jackson, MS, US

problem #11

Jun 272016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I didn't have any warning on my 2013 KIA Optima - just a loud clanging noise, then knocking after about a mile to a garage - I left it running and the knocking got louder. I am told the engine is blown. My question - I seen on Facebook an attorney's office saying they are starting a lawsuit on KIA for this - I didn't take a number down but sent them my email - now I can't find them. Does anyone have any info on this attorney's office.

- gem3911, Fort Thompson, SD, US

problem #10

Apr 242015

Optima LX Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Bought my new Kia Optima in August 2011, the engine started making knocking noise but no engine light came on.Took the car to the dealership and it was diagnosed as engine need to be replaced. The would not honor the warranty. It had 82,000 miles on it and was still under warranty. The service department accused me of maintenance neglect. I paid $5200 to have it replaced. The turbo went out months later. I had a new one put in at $3,200, my expense. July 2016 while my wife and I were traveling out of town the car would not accelerate. Had to pull over on the side of the road in 98 degree heat. Tow truck came out and took it to the nearest Kia dealership. Tow cost $300 in addition to what my insurance paid. The car is still at the dealership. Service department said the engine needs replacing. I contacted Kia Consumer Office. I am waiting on what they will do about it. I don't think the car will ever run again. I am hoping that I can get my money back for the repairs and other costs I have paid out. I had to buy another car so my wife can get to work. I still owe some on the car. Kia needs to honor their commitment to the car buyer. If not, I will never buy another Kia and will tell everyone I know about this company and how I was treated.

- fredtx, Converse, TX, US

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