really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,700 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace engine (7 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
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problem #9

Jul 042022

Soul 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I got my 2016 Kia Soul 2.0L and it was fine for 6 years, when all of a sudden a couple of weeks ago my car would only go 35 miles an hour and smoke started to come out of the exhaust pipe and then my car stopped driving. It completely died and I had to pay to get it towed for them to tell me my engine has blown and then I got a second opinion and they said the same thing. I called the Kia customer care line and spoke to a lady about recalls and she ran my vin number and advised me that there are no recalls and we are responsible for ALL REPAIRS AMD DAMAGES. I read about Kia having the same problem on their 2016 Kia Soul 1.6L and they refused to listen to my 2.0L problem because it has never been reported. I am now stuck without a car and stuck with one that does not work. I think Kia does horrible business and should be taken off the market.

- Micheal S., Arlington, US

problem #8

Jun 222022

Soul 1.6L

  • Manual transmission
  • 144,000 miles

I maintain my vehicle regularly. While drive home from work, my engine light came on. I thought that was quite odd since I'd just had an oil change 1000 miles previously. I pulled over, the engine died and wouldn't start. Had it towed. My regular mechanic said it was locked up and I was only a quart low of oil so there is no reason this should have happened. He did say he has heard there is a problem with this particular issue and I should reach out to Kia. I have no response. In doing some research, it seems my mechanic is right. This is ridiculous and they need to address the issue before someone dies.

- cattrell, Gulf Breeze, US

problem #7

Oct 202019

Soul Soul + 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,722 miles

I was driving home last night listening to music when I noticed my 2016 Kia Soul seemed to be losing power and wouldn't accelerate. I started to move over to the side of the road when the engine simply quit working. There was no warning whatsoever... no oil light or engine light or anything to tell me something was wrong at all. Engine just lost compression and then quit.

I drifted to the side of the road and called a tow truck which took my car to Greenway of Kia of Rivergate in Madison, Tennessee where they said there was a significant knocking sound coming from my engine, which surprised me because it wasn't knocking last night when it quit... it just stalled out and that was it. No noise. Just wouldn't start again.

This sounds like a blown head gasket but I'll know more tomorrow when they call me with the results. I just don't understand! I've always used pure synthetic oil in my engine and, up until my most recent oil change, I've always had my oil changed at Franklin Kia where I bought the car. My service agreement finally ran out so I took my car to Take 5 for it's last oil change, where I continued my tradition of using pure synthetic oil. There was plenty of oil in the crankcase when the engine died and absolutely no warning or oil light came on when the problem occurred so I have no idea why it would have just quit like that.

More information will be forthcoming as it is brought to my attention.

- David H., Ashland City, TN, US

problem #6

May 012021

Soul ! (eclaim) 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Excessive oil use since 120,000. Piston 3 rings blown out. Already replaced the Cat Converter, then this. Current recall for this problem but Kia Soul ! (Exclaim) with 2.0 liter motor isn't listed.

- Christina R., Oceano, CA, US

problem #5

May 312021

Soul Plus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,452 miles

I had gotten bad fuel with water in it a month prior. I drained the water out of fuel and replaced the plugs and coils for the plugs. Car ran good but fuel economy was down just a little. On memorial day the on our way to the city the car just shut off while going down the road. We did not hear anything to tell us we had an issue. The engine did not surge or anything. It just shut off leaving us to cost to the shoulder to fend for ourself. We called for a tow that took over an hour to get due to the holiday. We had it towed home and did checks to see if it was something easy to fix. I checked the fuel and the spark and air flow. All seemed good however car would not start. I would just turn over but did not hear it try to start. I talked to a lot of mechanics and had the codes pulled. We had 3 codes pull up that came on when car shut down. p0014, p0011, and p0340.

They told me to check the camshaft position sensor. No bother just replaced due to not very expensive. We also checked out the oil solenoid front and back of engine to make sure no issue with them. All seemed fine. Car still no start. My wife said we have a letter for the ecm update that she got in mail. I had car towed to kia and they said they would do the update to see if that would fix it. After a week and a half they called and said no update is needed and i need a new engine. I asked why and how when we had no warning. They said this is common and we needed a new engine and that it would cost over 9000. I said no way and that we would be upside down on the car at that point.

The trade in value would make it impossible for her to ever trade it. I asked how they new the engine was blown. They said car wont start. They then said the engine had no compression at all and that verifies a new engine. Then when challenged the engine had some compression in 2 different cylinders and not enough. I was fed up at this point and will have car towed from there to get a different mechanic look at it. Very upset over this. How does an engine just blow out with no noise or warning signs. They say it is very common. Sounds to me like a manufacture problem then. I can not believe we can not get 100000 miles out of a car that said they have warranty on engine to 100000 then don't honor it. We did all the oil changes and maintenance above the recommendations and then this. WOW WOW

- James H., Rineyville, US

problem #4

Feb 092021

Soul 1.6L

  • Manual transmission
  • 110,802 miles

I was driving on the interstate Feb. 9th, 202, going about 75-80 mph. I sped up to get away from this tail gaiter and noticed all of a sudden a noise coming from my dashboard, sounding like almost a mental, crunching noise. I noticed that while in sixth gear still, my speedometer was going down no matter how much I pressed the petal to the metal. I got down to about 60 mph and switched it into 5th and it drove but the noise continued until basically the speed kept going down farther and farther until I was forced to pull over to the side of the interstate and when I turned my car off, it wouldn't start until and I started to see smoke and smell something bad.

I had it towed to my mechanic and they stated that the engine blew up. They found holes in the engine block and the oil dip stick was dry. There was no oil in the engine due to obviously the gaping hole in the engine but the weird thing was was that there was no dash lights that ever came on. No check oil light. No check engine light. I was due for an oil change but even if I was low, wouldn't my light come on like "Hey dummy! Go check your oil!"? But nothing, just driving down the road like a clueless wonderer. My mechanic also informed me that the CV axle was damaged because of the engine blowing up and that was quoted @ $ 674 to fix. They quoted me $6400 to replace the engine.

After I had gotten off the phone with my mechanic, I called my bank loan on my car and asked what would be the total pay off of the loan because I figured for what I would spend to fix the car, might as well just pay it off and start over but the lovely lady that was dealing with me said to call KIA and see what they could do. They might have an extended warranty on my engine since I already went over my 100,000 miles last year. She also went the extra step and found this recall on 2012-2016 KIA souls on Cars.com. It was an engine recall stating that "high exhaust gas temperatures may damage the catalytic converter, possible resulting in ABNORMAL ENGINE COMBUSTION AND DAMAGE to one or more of the engine's pistons as well as possible piston connecting rod failure. Piston damage may result in an ENGINE STALL, increasing the risk of a crash. A BROKEN CONNECTING ROD MAY PUNCTURE the ENGINE BLOCK, allowing ENGINE OIL TO ESCAPE that may contact the exhaust, increasing the risk of a FIRE." So, I called KIA, gave them my VIN# and they tell me that my particular car isn't apart of this recall. It all depends on the specifics of where the engine was made and when and a bunch of other dumb stuff to try to excuse themselves from taking ownership in making sh*tty vehicles. They DID tell me that my car was included in this "Product Improvement Notice" for my ECU sensor to get checked out that was put out 2/21/2020.

Well, I was never informed of that from either the dealer or KIA themselves. I am not sure if that has anything to do with why I receive no lights on my dash or what but I was like ok. KIA told me to tow my car to the dealer ship so that a KIA tech could do a diagnostic test on my car, so I did. And guess what the F they sent me in a text? "It appears the issue with your Soul is it had a catastrophic ENGINE FAILURE CAUSING IT TO THROW AN ENGINE ROD THROUGH THE BACK OF THE ENGINE BLOCK Unfortunately, there are no warranties on the engine of the vehicle that would cover the replacement cost for you. I can price out and engine for you either used or new if you'd like?" When I asked him what made this happen, no reply. Still haven't heard from him. And I'm sitting over here thinking "For my car not being apart of this recall, why did my car do almost exactly what this recall said?!?!?! And why would that man think I'm ever going to buy and trust anything more of KIA?!?!?! No you may not find me an engine for a car you sold me that was a POS to begin with!

I'm so pissed and disappointed but I know now, NEVER BUY A KIA!!!!!! Horrible service. Horrible product. Horrible company. KIA said that when I find out from the dealership what is the problem, to notify them so that MAYBE they can see what they can do for me but reiterated SEVERAL times that they can't guarantee anything so basically don't expect their help. What upsets me the most is that I keep finding forums and reviews of similar things happening to other drivers and nothing seems to be getting done about it and nothing seems to be done to compensate customers for their time and money! I'm so disappointed and upset.

- pcakes, Bellevue, US

problem #3

Jan 212020

Soul 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Motor blew up at 70,000 miles - Kia wouldn't warranty motor. I bought a new short block from Kia and had repair done but oil light still on and caused new short block to spin a bearing in less than 5 min. Kia still wouldn't warranty the new short block - they did offer to give me a new short block but then I'd have to pay repair cost again. And in my opinion that still wouldn't have fixed the problem so I had to junk the car I still owe 12,000.00 on

- Dewey Thomas S., Lawrenceburg, IN, US

problem #2

Jul 022019

Soul EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Many 2016 KIA Soul's were recalled for a problem that causes overheated exhaust which in turn causes engine failure. That is exactly what happened to my vehicle but for some reason, my VIN is not on the recall list. I am having to pay for more diagnostic tests while we wait for KIA to include it.

- Jason K., North Haven, CT, US

problem #1

Apr 292019

Soul 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

My car was in the shop having cosmetic damage fixed. Got it back on a Friday, oil level was fine. Monday driving down the road the battery light came on and my car was completely dead. My cars engine was blown, no one can tell us what happened and how I went to having no oil.

- geerlings, Zeeland, US