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Discussion Starter #1
The rings on my 2012 KIA Soul+ blew out at 45,000 miles.

Ever since I purchased this vehicle it has made a harsh rattling sound at start-up which lasted a second or two. I never thought this was normal and from what I understand, this noise is a common complaint with my model year. Every time I complained about this issue, the dealership told me the noise was normal for that particular KIA engine.

I later found out, through this site, there was a valve related Technical Service Bulletin which affected my make and model. I brought it to the attention of the dealership, they supposedly checked the vehicle and gave it a clean bill of health.

KIA replaced the engine with a "new re-manufactured" engine and- surprise, surprise -it no longer makes the harsh rattling noise at start-up.

I suspect KIA is aware there is a serious problem with some of their engines and are hoping the 100,000 mile warranty expires on at least some of these vehicles before there is a major engine malfunction.

Maybe my experience is merely coincidence and I just happened to get a lemon, but I doubt it. Either way, in the future, I'm not taking that chance. The funny thing is, just before the engine blew I was seriously considering buying a new KIA Forte. I had my choices narrowed down between that and a Hyundai Elantra. No longer. Once bitten...
 

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Sorry to hear of your problem, having said that it looks as if you were taken care of. Haven't read any other posts on this forum with problem such as yours and engine blowing out so don't know why you suspect there are serious problems. Anyway am glad KIA took care of your problem.
 

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Thank you very much for letting us know in future reference if we baby Soulsters with 22,000 something miles on 'er experience this.

That being said, however, I am very please to read that Kia actually solved the problem for you. They stood true to their warranty & fixed the engine.

Also, almost on ANY vehicle that goes over 100,000 miles, you are bound to be having problems with it. There is going to be some very costly repairs, maintenance, and even engine malfunctions. Most folks including I would probably be investing in a new vehicle to upgrade to whenever that time comes. It affects a lot of cars after that mileage range. Just be glad you aren't driving a Range Rover and have to worry about your $7,000 transmission going out at 25,000 miles!! :sour:
 

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Sounds terrible! But with so little information about what car, what engine and what kind of maintenance it had, I'd have to be very careful about making assumptions.
I've been on this forum (and others) for almost two years now and that's the first engine blowout I can remember reading about. It's definitely not an every-day occurrence.

In over a Million Miles of driving all sorts of vehicles, I've only had two engines fail and both were attributable to Bad Gas, in High Performance engines.
Now I'm very careful about what products go into my car, and about maintaining a very tight Maintenance Schedule.

I sincerely hope you don't give up on Kia because of one engine problem.

A "rattling" sound, at start-up, sounds to this old Tech, like valve lifters getting NO Oil.
I had a car once, that would rattle it's valves when it needed an oil change. That would usually happen somewhere around 3k miles.

:cool:
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sorry to hear of your problem, having said that it looks as if you were taken care of. Haven't read any other posts on this forum with problem such as yours and engine blowing out so don't know why you suspect there are serious problems. Anyway am glad KIA took care of your problem.
The reason I feel this could be a larger KIA problem is twofold:

1. I associate the engine failure with the chronic cold start-up noise I discussed here and in other threads. In fact the engine blew out at start-up. Other Soul owners on this forum have complained about similar start-up noise. I don't know if it's related to just the 2.0 engines of my model year.

2. There was/is a valve-related TSB for some of these engines. My engine was in the affected production run. As these engines reach my mileage mark I suspect we may see more failures. It is possible the issues I am describing are coincidence and I just happened to purchase a lemon. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you very much for letting us know in future reference if we baby Soulsters with 22,000 something miles on 'er experience this.

That being said, however, I am very please to read that Kia actually solved the problem for you. They stood true to their warranty & fixed the engine.

Also, almost on ANY vehicle that goes over 100,000 miles, you are bound to be having problems with it. There is going to be some very costly repairs, maintenance, and even engine malfunctions. Most folks including I would probably be investing in a new vehicle to upgrade to whenever that time comes. It affects a lot of cars after that mileage range. Just be glad you aren't driving a Range Rover and have to worry about your $7,000 transmission going out at 25,000 miles!! :sour:
True, KIA did replace the engine as they are obligated to do but they should recall the vehicles they suspect of having faulty valves, not just issue a TSB few people are even aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
1. Sounds terrible! But with so little information about what car, what engine and what kind of maintenance it had, I'd have to be very careful about making assumptions.


2. I've been on this forum (and others) for almost two years now and that's the first engine blowout I can remember reading about. It's definitely not an every-day occurrence.

3. In over a Million Miles of driving all sorts of vehicles, I've only had two engines fail and both were attributable to Bad Gas, in High Performance engines.
Now I'm very careful about what products go into my car, and about maintaining a very tight Maintenance Schedule.

4. I sincerely hope you don't give up on Kia because of one engine problem.

5. A "rattling" sound, at start-up, sounds to this old Tech, like valve lifters getting NO Oil.
I had a car once, that would rattle it's valves when it needed an oil change. That would usually happen somewhere around 3k miles.

:cool:
1. It's a 2012 Soul+ with the larger 2.0 engine option. All scheduled maintenance was performed at the KIA dealership. In fact I had all oil changes performed sooner than the recommended 5000 mile mark. I use 89 octane gas. My wife primarily drives the car and she's a cautious driver.

2. Yeah, it sucks. Before I bought the Soul I looked up it's ratings and they were all above average. Like I said before, I was actually considering buying a KIA forte before this happened but this experience has really turned me off the brand.

3. I've owned all kinds of vehicles, some of which I've driven well past the 100,000 mile mark and I've never had an engine blow out. When this happened to my 2012 Soul I was shocked.

4. There are so many alternatives there's really no reason to stick with KIA.

5. Again, I connect it to the valve-related TSB. I never thought that sound was normal but I was repeatedly told by KIA it was.
 

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Funny thing is after reading the OP, I was talking to a fellow church-member who has the same car. (2012 +).
She just had her engine replaced under warranty. I'm guessing she had the same mileage as the one mentioned. She couldn't tell me what the issue was.
I just hope that when mine reaches that mileage I don't have the same issue. (Currently just under 20K)
 

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I wonder what another carmaker would have done. KIA replaced the engine. That sounds like good service to me. I would be complaining if they did NOT replace the engine.

I bought the Soul partially because of the warranty. Initial build quality is very high, which really cuts down on warranty claims. I wearied of supporting my local garage with my high mileage vehicles. I won't even change my own oil anymore.

As a former shop foreman at a General Motors dealer, I saw a LOT of new cars come in on the hook with under 100 miles on them. One car was towed with under 30 miles on it. A fellow bought one for the Missus, she loaded her stuff and the kids in it, and DID NOT MAKE IT HOME.

Those were not happy campers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wonder what another carmaker would have done. KIA replaced the engine. That sounds like good service to me. I would be complaining if they did NOT replace the engine.

I bought the Soul partially because of the warranty. Initial build quality is very high, which really cuts down on warranty claims. I wearied of supporting my local garage with my high mileage vehicles. I won't even change my own oil anymore.

As a former shop foreman at a General Motors dealer, I saw a LOT of new cars come in on the hook with under 100 miles on them. One car was towed with under 30 miles on it. A fellow bought one for the Missus, she loaded her stuff and the kids in it, and DID NOT MAKE IT HOME.

Those were not happy campers.
If they had not replaced the engine, KIA would have been in breach of contract and I would have hired an attorney. I posted my experience not to complain, but to warn fellow 2012 Soul+ owners of a potentially serious problem with at least some of these vehicles, a problem I suspect is related to the aforementioned valve-related TSB.
 

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I have a 2012 with almost 42K now, and I say "Whatever", to your attempt to scare me. It was known that some of the engines had some lifters with "defects", and I can't say I'd expect to see Kia just replacing engines all day long because of the off chance, that it was one with the defective lifters. By waiting they can get better research out of the issue. You still get a new engine, but they can see what happens longer term with a failure. And they can see for sure it really had a problem and not just a picky customer whining about noise. Sucks that you were unlucky in the lifters department, but good to hear they fixed you up. Keep an open mind, and go buy a lottery ticket. Luck runs in spurts. Might be comin up on some good luck here shortly!
And my engine makes the normal lifter rattle at start up......but only when cold and for about 2 seconds. I know I have good lubrication.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1. I have a 2012 with almost 42K now, and I say "Whatever", to your attempt to scare me.

2. It was known that some of the engines had some lifters with "defects", and I can't say I'd expect to see Kia just replacing engines all day long because of the off chance, that it was one with the defective lifters.

3. By waiting they can get better research out of the issue. You still get a new engine, but they can see what happens longer term with a failure.

4. And they can see for sure it really had a problem and not just a picky customer whining about noise.

5. Sucks that you were unlucky in the lifters department, but good to hear they fixed you up.

6. Keep an open mind, and go buy a lottery ticket. Luck runs in spurts. Might be comin up on some good luck here shortly!

7. And my engine makes the normal lifter rattle at start up......but only when cold and for about 2 seconds. I know I have good lubrication.
1. My intent is not to scare but to inform and perhaps get some feedback.

2. A reasonable course of action would be for KIA to recall suspect vehicles and determine which engines are defective, replacing them if necessary.

3. With all due respect, I prefer not to be a guinea pig for KIA's quality control failure. There is a safety issue here.

4. Apparently this "picky" customer was on to something and KIA should have paid more attention to his "whining."

5. Yes, they fulfilled their legal obligations.

6. No thanks. I gambled enough buying a KIA.

7. Good luck. Let us know if your engine blows.
 

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1. My intent is not to scare but to inform and perhaps get some feedback.

2. A reasonable course of action would be for KIA to recall suspect vehicles and determine which engines are defective, replacing them if necessary.

3. With all due respect, I prefer not to be a guinea pig for KIA's quality control failure. There is a safety issue here.

4. Apparently this "picky" customer was on to something and KIA should have paid more attention to his "whining."

5. Yes, they fulfilled their legal obligations.

6. No thanks. I gambled enough buying a KIA.

7. Good luck. Let us know if your engine blows.
Back in the 90s Saturn extended their warranty on their vehicle head gaskets to 75K miles. Did not help me when mine blew at 75,200!

Glad Kia stood behind their warranty & replaced your engine.
 

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I'd be curious to know what the valve-related TSB was and how that could be related to your piston rings breaking. Piston rings only serve to seal the cylinder so you get full compression and, along with oil rings, keep oil consumption down to a bare minimum. Valves are part of the cylinder head assembly and allow gasoline/air mixture to enter the combustion chamber to detonate, and spent gasses to exit to the exhaust system. Valve stems and hydraulic lifters are lubricated through the actions of the oil pump, while the valve bases are essentially unlubricated other than some incidental oil in the combustion chamber, which eventually combines with gasoline deposits and exhaust gasses to form carbonized crud on the seats and bases.

A broken piston ring, if it's not from a physical defect in the ring, a misshapen cylinder, or a wobble or other defect in the piston, rod, pin, or crankshaft, is usually because of overheating from a lack of lubrication. Run a piston ring up and down a cylinder 2000 times per minute without lubricant and it's going to get heat stressed real fast. Lack of lubrication is either low oil levels, a faulty oil pump, debris or blockage in the oil passageways, or improper oil viscosity (too heavy or too thin). Any of those are not related to valves, so I'm still uncertain as to how all this fits together.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I'd be curious to know what the valve-related TSB was and how that could be related to your piston rings breaking. Piston rings only serve to seal the cylinder so you get full compression and, along with oil rings, keep oil consumption down to a bare minimum. Valves are part of the cylinder head assembly and allow gasoline/air mixture to enter the combustion chamber to detonate, and spent gasses to exit to the exhaust system. Valve stems and hydraulic lifters are lubricated through the actions of the oil pump, while the valve bases are essentially unlubricated other than some incidental oil in the combustion chamber, which eventually combines with gasoline deposits and exhaust gasses to form carbonized crud on the seats and bases.

A broken piston ring, if it's not from a physical defect in the ring, a misshapen cylinder, or a wobble or other defect in the piston, rod, pin, or crankshaft, is usually because of overheating from a lack of lubrication. Run a piston ring up and down a cylinder 2000 times per minute without lubricant and it's going to get heat stressed real fast. Lack of lubrication is either low oil levels, a faulty oil pump, debris or blockage in the oil passageways, or improper oil viscosity (too heavy or too thin). Any of those are not related to valves, so I'm still uncertain as to how all this fits together.
Thanks for your informative post.

As I initially stated, I can't say with certainty the TSB is related to what happened to my car's engine or the chronic cold start-up noise I've mentioned, but here it is (Post #8):

http://www.kiasoulforums.com/10-soul-problems/21193-tsb-technical-service-bulletin.html

I'd be curious to know your opinion.
 

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Thanks for your informative post.

As I initially stated, I can't say with certainty the TSB is related to what happened to my car's engine or the chronic cold start-up noise I've mentioned, but here it is (Post #8):

http://www.kiasoulforums.com/10-soul-problems/21193-tsb-technical-service-bulletin.html

I'd be curious to know your opinion.
OK, that clears it up. It's just a TSB on lifter noise. Lifter noise is common on hydraulic lifters. Some engines are worse than others, and some designs are worse than others. My Miatas (Miatae? :D ) always, always had lifter noise on start up for a few seconds. If I let the oil go a little too far, the lifters would tell me. My Mazda truck 2.2L also had persistent lifter noise.

The noise is related to the ability of the lifter to hold and regain oil from its drain/fill holes (other than something mechanically wrong like a broken spring). The lifter depends on pressurization from oil to keep it sized properly - the spring helps push it back into place but without oil it will soon be collapsed. Once the lifter is collapsed, there's going to sometimes be a little gap between the roller of the camshaft and the top of the lifter, which is going to sound like "tap tap tap tap" every time the two come together. Lifters were always called tappets because in the old days of pushrod engines it was common to have lifter noise on many engines. Anyway, the lifter drains oil through the hole and fills through the same hole. If the oil gets gunked up it won't fill and drain right and hence your noise. Some designs have noise on start up because the oil drains out slowly as the car sits and it takes a few seconds to repressurize.

It doesn't hurt anything, it just sounds annoying if that kind of thing bothers you. It would have zero relationship to your piston rings, so that failure is just coincidental to the lifter noise. I doubt they told you what their theory is on why the rings failed but I would be curious to know. I am going to guess it was a manufacturing defect, assuming your oil didn't go so low as to starve the engine of lubrication (another factor that can contribute to lifter noise).
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
OK, that clears it up. It's just a TSB on lifter noise. Lifter noise is common on hydraulic lifters. Some engines are worse than others, and some designs are worse than others. My Miatas (Miatae? :D ) always, always had lifter noise on start up for a few seconds. If I let the oil go a little too far, the lifters would tell me. My Mazda truck 2.2L also had persistent lifter noise.

The noise is related to the ability of the lifter to hold and regain oil from its drain/fill holes (other than something mechanically wrong like a broken spring). The lifter depends on pressurization from oil to keep it sized properly - the spring helps push it back into place but without oil it will soon be collapsed. Once the lifter is collapsed, there's going to sometimes be a little gap between the roller of the camshaft and the top of the lifter, which is going to sound like "tap tap tap tap" every time the two come together. Lifters were always called tappets because in the old days of pushrod engines it was common to have lifter noise on many engines. Anyway, the lifter drains oil through the hole and fills through the same hole. If the oil gets gunked up it won't fill and drain right and hence your noise. Some designs have noise on start up because the oil drains out slowly as the car sits and it takes a few seconds to repressurize.

It doesn't hurt anything, it just sounds annoying if that kind of thing bothers you. It would have zero relationship to your piston rings, so that failure is just coincidental to the lifter noise. I doubt they told you what their theory is on why the rings failed but I would be curious to know. I am going to guess it was a manufacturing defect, assuming your oil didn't go so low as to starve the engine of lubrication (another factor that can contribute to lifter noise).
Excellent information. Thank you.

No, KIA didn't provide any theory as to why the engine failed other than to say the rings blew out. The oil level was good and I had all scheduled maintenance performed by KIA.

As to the cold start-up noise... While it's impossible to describe a noise with any accuracy, all I can say is, it wasn't a mundane tapping sound. It was more of a harsh rattling sound and different KIA mechanics gave me different opinions as to what it was. Either way it did not sound normal based on my experience with other vehicles (I've owned at least seven and have driven many more than that). The new re-manufactured engine does not make this sound which leads me to believe the old engine was defective from the get-go.
 

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They honored the warranty. They replaced the engine. Sounds good to me. This is why I take mine to the dealer for every oil change and let them run the database every time I bring it in to make sure it's up to date on all TSBs.

My Chevy HHR is currently subject to recalls for defective ignition switch (which can shut the car off in mid turn) and a headliner upgrade for crash protection. There are documented issues and probably a pending recall for electric power steering motor once enough evidence is gathered nationwide.

I am happy with my Kia and the dealer.
 

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I've got 122,809 miles on my '12 Soul + that I use for courier work. Change oil every 5,000 miles myself. My previous '08 Kia Rondo 2.4 had 157,000 miles when traded. Neither use(d) oil between changes. The engines are a little ticky when first started,but quiet to normal sounds pretty quickly. Very good vehicles and dealer service,especially when compared to the over 40 new GM cars I've owned and GM's apathetic service depts.

I was a mechanic for 27 years and once had an older Audi come in leaking oil. A piece of the BLOCK at a bracket mount had broken off!

I sold cars for 2 years and if you want engine noise,an older Honda at 10f cold start will scare you. Nothing is beyond failure,but I have total faith (at this point) in Kia and their products.

Buy what'cha dig and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update

After KIA replaced the engine, an issue with rough idle, particularly in neutral, developed. We were told this is normal. Everything is apparently normal with KIA until the engine blows. The car also made a strange whirring noise at start-up, different from the strange rattling noise at start-up the original engine made. I told my wife (the primary driver) not to worry about it. The car is still under warranty for another 50,000 miles. After that we'll unload it and get something other than a KIA.

Then one evening my wife starts up the car and it begins shuddering just like it did before the engine blew. She immediately turned off the vehicle. When she went to restart it, the shuddering subsided but the engine light was now on. Another in a seemingly endless number of trips to the dealership followed. KIA had the car for 3 days and did not pay for a rental. The diagnostic test showed an engine misfire had occurred but the mechanic could not identify a cause for the misfire.

The proverbial straw on the camel's back had been broken.

Long story short: I traded in this lemon for a 2014 Scion XB. My wife still wanted the practicality of a boxy design.

So far so good. The car lacks the bells and whistles the Soul had but feels like a more solid vehicle and has excellent acceleration and handling. The interior is also more spacious. The best part is, there are no weird start-up noises or idling issues. In the interim I also purchased a 2014 Mazda 3. So far, not a single issue.

One final irony: Part of the down-payment I used to purchase the Scion was $500 bucks I had on a KIA Fuel Reimbursement Card, probably the only part of my KIA experience I will miss.

Good bye KIA.
 
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