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Hey GUys,

So like many others, our Soul (2015 EX+) is burning about 1 litre of oil every 1k km(maybe 1.5l). It's at about 125,000 km so out of warranty. I am itching to get rid of this car and never buy another KIA but the finances just aren't there. Can't afford to replace the engine either so I'm trying to make it last as long as possible. I did replace the PCV valve about 6 months ago but that didn't seem to do much.

I know many have suggested switching to 5w30 but with these engines grenading so frequently I'm a little hesitant. Are these engines dieing because they are out of oil or because oil isn't making it to the pistons? I was told that the problem was because the oil pathways were made too small so the oil isn't making it where it needs to which has me concerned to use thicker oil - but I'm not sure if this info was correct.

Secondly, I'm wanting to clean the valves as I'm sure they're a mess. I was debating using the CRC GDI valve cleaner but I can't find the MAF sensor on this car. It says to spray it past the MAF sensor but I can't find it anywhere.

Lastly, does anyone know of any good oil and fuel additives that might be worth a try? I've been doing a lot of looking around at the testing of some of these and most of them appear to do little or nothing at all so I was wondering if anyone had good luck with some.

Thank you all in advance.
 

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Hey Dave, I'm hoping that the recent KIA settlement, that did not include the Soul, will be expanded to include us. In that case, your Soul engine may be warranted for life, with them covering failure and possibly service too.

Short of using a borescope camera on the valves, have you been having rough engine/idling problems or check engine light? They may not be that bad.

I would suggest moving to the 30W. Part of the problem is the thinner oil is getting past the "worn" piston rings, contributing to the loss of engine oil. Some members on this forum have switched to heavier oil and it stopped the "burning" low oil problem. I've used 5W-30 since new and have never had any problems. The owners manual also says this weight is acceptable to use (you know, in keeping the warranty valid).

I'd avoid any oil additives at this point and use a full synthetic 5W-30 with the SN+ rating. Valvoline has a new oil out called ME (modern engine) that they say cleans and is designed for GDI engines. Castrol also has a similar product. I'm actually using Amazons full synthetic SN+. Is it worth a try???

Fuel additive suggested by KIA in a TSB is called Techron.
 

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You can spray the cleaner directly into the throttle body easily enough, or you can spray it into any vacuum hose if that's the best you can do.

The RPM is pretty important during the cleaning. If it's too high, the cleaner won't settle on the valves. Too low, and it will just sort of puddle in the throttle body. It needs the airflow to get where it needs to be. Use a helper or pedal depressor (a broomstick and a rope to tie it to the steering wheel will do in a pinch) to keep the RPM where it needs to be. Most cleaner instructions say 2,000 RPM.

After letting the cleaner soak, drive the car like you stole it for about 10 miles, preferably uphill. You want it to be under load.

It may need more than one cleaning. When the smoke coming out is whitish, then you're done.

I've never done it on a Soul, but on Saturn S-Series cars I've owned (which were notorious for burning oil due to carbon on the rings), piston soaks usually helped. I have no idea whether it would do any good on a Soul. If you want to try, I'll post the procedure.

After cleaning the intake valves for the last time (or after the piston soak if you want to try that in addition to cleaning the valves), you should change the oil and filter within 25 to 100 miles. (40 - 160 km). Much of the carbon and solvent will have seeped into the crankcase, so you want to do an oil change. I like to drive it around for at least 25 miles (40 km) after the cleaning to give it some time to dislodge as much carbon as it can.

I don't believe in oil additives. Nowadays, if you use any decent oil, the additives are more likely to mess things up than do any good. As for fuel additives, KIA recommends Techron, which is a good cleaner; but it will do absolutely nothing to clean the valves on a GDI engine. The injectors are downstream of the valves. The fuel never touches the mating surfaces.

I'm still doing research, but if I were changing the oil today, I'd use either Penn Plat Ultra 5W-30 or Castrol Edge Titanium 5W-30. Both have very good Noack and TEOST numbers, in addition to good lubricity.

Noack and TEOST are very important to consider with GDI engines. The Noack is a high-temperature volatility test, and the TEOST is a test of the oil's tendency to form deposits. In carbureted or port fuel injection engines, the fuel washes the valves, so it's not as critical. In a GDI engine, you want to reduce carbon at the source as much as possible.

So far, the Castrol Edge Titanium and the Penn Plat Ultra, both in 5W-30, seem to have the best overall balance of volatility and lubricity factors. But there are many oils whose test results I haven't looked at yet.

Alternatively, look for an oil that meet the European ACEA A5 standard. That's a spec that we don't even have an equivalent for in North America, and is the spec that KIA specifies for Souls sold in Europe. A5 requires low Noack and TEOST scores (in addition to good lubricity scores) to achieve the certification, so any oil that earns it should be a good bet.

I'd also use the 5W-30. It's not unusual for engines to need a heavier oil (but within the manufacturer's range) as they age and wear.

Richard
 

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You can spray the cleaner directly into the throttle body easily enough, or you can spray it into any vacuum hose if that's the best you can do.

The RPM is pretty important during the cleaning. If it's too high, the cleaner won't settle on the valves. Too low, and it will just sort of puddle in the throttle body. It needs the airflow to get where it needs to be. Use a helper or pedal depressor (a broomstick and a rope to tie it to the steering wheel will do in a pinch) to keep the RPM where it needs to be. Most cleaner instructions say 2,000 RPM.

After letting the cleaner soak, drive the car like you stole it for about 10 miles, preferably uphill. You want it to be under load.

It may need more than one cleaning. When the smoke coming out is whitish, then you're done.

I've never done it on a Soul, but on Saturn S-Series cars I've owned (which were notorious for burning oil due to carbon on the rings), piston soaks usually helped. I have no idea whether it would do any good on a Soul. If you want to try, I'll post the procedure.

After cleaning the intake valves for the last time (or after the piston soak if you want to try that in addition to cleaning the valves), you should change the oil and filter within 25 to 100 miles. (40 - 160 km). Much of the carbon and solvent will have seeped into the crankcase, so you want to do an oil change. I like to drive it around for at least 25 miles (40 km) after the cleaning to give it some time to dislodge as much carbon as it can.

I don't believe in oil additives. Nowadays, if you use any decent oil, the additives are more likely to mess things up than do any good. As for fuel additives, KIA recommends Techron, which is a good cleaner; but it will do absolutely nothing to clean the valves on a GDI engine. The injectors are downstream of the valves. The fuel never touches the mating surfaces.

I'm still doing research, but if I were changing the oil today, I'd use either Penn Plat Ultra 5W-30 or Castrol Edge Titanium 5W-30. Both have very good Noack and TEOST numbers, in addition to good lubricity.

Noack and TEOST are very important to consider with GDI engines. The Noack is a high-temperature volatility test, and the TEOST is a test of the oil's tendency to form deposits. In carbureted or port fuel injection engines, the fuel washes the valves, so it's not as critical. In a GDI engine, you want to reduce carbon at the source as much as possible.

So far, the Castrol Edge Titanium and the Penn Plat Ultra, both in 5W-30, seem to have the best overall balance of volatility and lubricity factors. But there are many oils whose test results I haven't looked at yet.

Alternatively, look for an oil that meet the European ACEA A5 standard. That's a spec that we don't even have an equivalent for in North America, and is the spec that KIA specifies for Souls sold in Europe. A5 requires low Noack and TEOST scores (in addition to good lubricity scores) to achieve the certification, so any oil that earns it should be a good bet.

I'd also use the 5W-30. It's not unusual for engines to need a heavier oil (but within the manufacturer's range) as they age and wear.

Richard
Hi RIchard, I've been curious about exactly where the injectors spray on the valves. I've posted this before but haven't had any feedback and I'd be curious your take on it. This is from the Hyundai Video on the 1.6 Gamma engine. I've isolated the spray point and it occurs in the video as well at about 1:34.
132488


We haven't had the tsunami of coked up valves that all the early adopters and advertisers have predicted. I'm certainly not saying it may not be an issue, but looking at the spray points on the Gamma engine it looks to me there is some contact with the backside of the valves. Also, unlike some GDI desgins (like VW, Audi, BMW), the injectors are not way down the cylinder not coming close to having any cleaning effect on the valves.

Am I missing something here? Your thoughts are much appreciated!
 

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Well, based on the above advice, what 5w-20 semi or full synthetic would you use for a '15 Soul+ with 9K miles? I used a 5w-40 Shell Rotella diesel rated full synthetic in my '99 Ford E-150 Van. Never had to add oil between 5-6K changes.(y) Also, use to throw in MMO (Marvel Mystery Oil) in my very old Dodge Van. It seemed to keep things clean under the oil cap and the floor mats too ;)
 

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Hi RIchard, I've been curious about exactly where the injectors spray on the valves. I've posted this before but haven't had any feedback and I'd be curious your take on it. This is from the Hyundai Video on the 1.6 Gamma engine. I've isolated the spray point and it occurs in the video as well at about 1:34.
View attachment 132488

We haven't had the tsunami of coked up valves that all the early adopters and advertisers have predicted. I'm certainly not saying it may not be an issue, but looking at the spray points on the Gamma engine it looks to me there is some contact with the backside of the valves. Also, unlike some GDI desgins (like VW, Audi, BMW), the injectors are not way down the cylinder not coming close to having any cleaning effect on the valves.

Am I missing something here? Your thoughts are much appreciated!
I'd love to check myself on this; but after an hour of searching for a good actual picture (not an animation or schematic), the only thing I found was that all image search engines suck.

I'm pretty sure the fuel injectors are between the valves and toward the circumference of the cylinder, pointing inward. The fuel therefore shoots past the valves to the far side of the cylinder. Little if any touch the back of the valves. At least that's what I think. Without a decent actual picture, I can't be sure.

Also, remember that during light load (cruising on level ground and not accelerating, for example), the fuel is actually injected during the compression stroke, so the valves would be closed.

Richard
 

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Thanks Richard. I agree image search engines suck. I wish there was better info available. I'm still wanting to do a borescope someday.
 

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Well, based on the above advice, what 5w-20 semi or full synthetic would you use for a '15 Soul+ with 9K miles? I used a 5w-40 Shell Rotella diesel rated full synthetic in my '99 Ford E-150 Van. Never had to add oil between 5-6K changes.(y) Also, use to throw in MMO (Marvel Mystery Oil) in my very old Dodge Van. It seemed to keep things clean under the oil cap and the floor mats too ;)
KIA recommends ACEA A5 in countries that use that standard. I haven't found any 5W-20 oils that meet ACEA A5 on actual shelves (as opposed to marketing literature). It's what's on the individual bottle that matters.

Castrol Edge Titanium, Penn Plat, and Amsoil Signature Signature Series all have low Noack and TEOST. Castrol Edge Titanium has exceptionally low TEOST (3.5 mg), but slightly higher Noack (10.5 percent, which is still pretty good). Personally, I would use one of those three based on the research I've done.

That being said, my research time has been pretty limited lately. You probably can find more current and complete information on BITOG. I need to get over there myself again one of these days...

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the info guys.

So is there actually a push to get the Soul added to the recall list or are we just hoping KIA will do it of their own good graces? If there is a push, I'd like to join.

Funny, we had a Saturn SL2 before we bought the Soul, kinda miss the Saturn that car was bulletproof.

We've run full synthetic oil in the car since day one, we usually get whatever is on sale as the cost is a bit prohibitive. Lately, we've been using the Castrol Edge SPT from Costco, it says it's designed for GDI and Turbo vehicles. It says it has "Titanium" technology so I'm not sure if it's the same oil you're referring to.

As for Techron, can't find anywhere that carries it in Canada, or at least near us. Amazon has it but they wat $23 for a 12oz bottle which seems a bit much.

I do feel like the car idles a bit rougher, especially when in gear. For spraying it down the throttle body, there's no MAF sensor in there is there? I tried to find the MAF sensor to clean it a while ago but couldn't find it. Could I just pull the air filter and spray it down the ar intake or do I need to get the straw past the butterfly valve?
 

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I have a can of CRC and plans to use it.
My hang up has also been, "For spraying it down the throttle body, there's no MAF sensor in there is there? I tried to find the MAF sensor to clean it a while ago but couldn't find it. Could I just pull the air filter and spray it down the air intake or do I need to get the straw past the butterfly valve?"
I have not been able to locate or determine where the MAF is located, it appears to me it does not have one between the air filter and throttle body. I am still not sure where to inject the spray during the cleaning procedure. I need help from someone who has done this & where they injected the CRC?
 

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Thanks for all the info guys.

So is there actually a push to get the Soul added to the recall list or are we just hoping KIA will do it of their own good graces? If there is a push, I'd like to join.

Funny, we had a Saturn SL2 before we bought the Soul, kinda miss the Saturn that car was bulletproof.

We've run full synthetic oil in the car since day one, we usually get whatever is on sale as the cost is a bit prohibitive. Lately, we've been using the Castrol Edge SPT from Costco, it says it's designed for GDI and Turbo vehicles. It says it has "Titanium" technology so I'm not sure if it's the same oil you're referring to.

As for Techron, can't find anywhere that carries it in Canada, or at least near us. Amazon has it but they wat $23 for a 12oz bottle which seems a bit much.

I do feel like the car idles a bit rougher, especially when in gear. For spraying it down the throttle body, there's no MAF sensor in there is there? I tried to find the MAF sensor to clean it a while ago but couldn't find it. Could I just pull the air filter and spray it down the ar intake or do I need to get the straw past the butterfly valve?
I finally broke down and consulted the service manual for the 2016, and there is no reference to a MAF sensor in either engine's documentation. Neither could I physically find one in my 1.6. I'd always assumed it was upstream of the air filter in the intake duct because it wasn't downstream like they generally are, but I have to wonder if maybe the car simply doesn't have one. Maybe it calculates MAF from IATS and MAPS.

I'd love to say I knew that for sure, but there's no reference to the wiring harness I'm trying to find in the manual, either -- and I know that exists.

In any case, I know it's not in the throttle body nor anywhere in the intake system downstream of the air filter, at least on my 1.6. But personally, I'd pull the duct off at the throttle body rather than spray the cleaner through the plastic duct.

As for Techron, I think I'd I'd take a trip across the border and buy half a dozen bottles before I'd pay the price they're asking to ship it to Canada.

Richard
 

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I thought the whole point of having the really high injection pressure was to spray the fuel in during the compression stroke, as close to the firing time as possible. If they were spraying it in during intake, then the pressure could be much lower like all the old multi-point injection schemes.
 

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I thought the whole point of having the really high injection pressure was to spray the fuel in during the compression stroke, as close to the firing time as possible. If they were spraying it in during intake, then the pressure could be much lower like all the old multi-point injection schemes.
That's where I'm a little confused Greg. The Kia Gamma GDI engine seems different from others in that the injector spray appears to have "some" interaction with the intake valve (hence may provide incidental cleaning???). Compare that to this video of a more traditional GDI, where the injector is on top right next to the spark plug, no where near the intake valve and can't possibly provide any "cleaning" effect. Go to about 40 seconds in.

Geez, I dunno.....it's just thinking out loud on my part :)
 

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I thought the whole point of having the really high injection pressure was to spray the fuel in during the compression stroke, as close to the firing time as possible. If they were spraying it in during intake, then the pressure could be much lower like all the old multi-point injection schemes.
In cruise, the fuel is injected during the compression stroke. That's why you need the high pressure. The mixture is also extremely lean when in cruise.

When under load, however, the fuel is injected earlier and the mixture is richer to avoid detonation. The spark is also retarded, for the same reason.

Richard
 

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Thank goodness for computer control (ECM) for these adjustments on the fly(y) Just returned home from 1k miles going up and down from 3k feet to 8k feet continually. In the old carb days,we'd keep the screw driver handy:LOL:
 

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Thank goodness for computer control (ECM) for these adjustments on the fly(y) Just returned home from 1k miles going up and down from 3k feet to 8k feet continually. In the old carb days,we'd keep the screw driver handy:LOL:
We old-timers like to cuss all the new technology, but that's just because we're curmudgeons. Today's cars use smaller engines to deliver more power, using less fuel, producing fewer emissions, requiring little maintenance, and lasting four or five times as long as the old cars did. So we have to spray some PEA in the intake once in a while. I'll take that to having to carry around a hundred pounds of tools in my trunk.

Richard
 

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Between the recent posts of reported engine failures and threads like this one I'm feeling that I didn't do enough research before buying my Soul. 😢 But I'm trying to control my initial panic by using assumptive logic that for every report of an engine problem there are hundreds, possibly thousands that experience no issues at all. Man-o-man, I hope I'm right. 🙏

I do not change my own oil (I'm physically unable to) and the place that changed it for me used 5W-20 Dexos1 GRP3 Synthetic, (trying to learn this jargon) no brand name on my receipt. Should I be changing this to something else on my next change? I plan to have my oil changed every 6 months regardless of miles driven. I'm the 2nd owner and it's at 17k miles and is mostly driven short trips, which I'm now finding out are extremely tough on these small engines. Thoughts?

Also, although I never expected to get that personally involved in maintaining my engine, but I'm willing to spend a little extra money to keep this car running for as long as I can. Can anyone suggest what I can do regularly to this engine to make that happen? I came across this product (below) while searching for a video on how GDI engines work and wondered if anyone's tried this treatment? It looks like a bit of overkill to me, I mean there's even what looks like an IV & syringe involved for crying out loud, but I want to my Soul's engine to last even if I have to periodically give a sacrificial offering to the "Engine Gods". 😁

Edit: It looks like the kit in the video is only sold to mechanics. 😒

 

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FWIW kerig, your 2014 runs great after nearly 6 years old. At your current mileage it would take another 25 years for you to get up to 85,xxx miles where you "might" experience some problems (it tends to be the higher mileage engines, even mpi has some carbon buildup).

Some of these products may just be snake oil feeding on owners GDI fears. We have yet to see anyone post actual photos of Kia Soul coked up valves. Honesty I would just keep using TT gas, throw in some Techron once in awhile & keep clean, good quality oil running through the engine.

The 2014 Soul receives 5 stars in Reliabilty from it's owners. If there was a tsunami of failed engines, I doubt it would be considered reliable. Sometimes we know just enough (from the internet) to scare ourselves :)

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/kia/soul/2014
 

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Between the recent posts of reported engine failures and threads like this one I'm feeling that I didn't do enough research before buying my Soul. 😢 But I'm trying to control my initial panic by using assumptive logic that for every report of an engine problem there are hundreds, possibly thousands that experience no issues at all. Man-o-man, I hope I'm right. 🙏

I do not change my own oil (I'm physically unable to) and the place that changed it for me used 5W-20 Dexos1 GRP3 Synthetic, (trying to learn this jargon) no brand name on my receipt. Should I be changing this to something else on my next change? I plan to have my oil changed every 6 months regardless of miles driven. I'm the 2nd owner and it's at 17k miles and is mostly driven short trips, which I'm now finding out are extremely tough on these small engines. Thoughts?

Also, although I never expected to get that personally involved in maintaining my engine, but I'm willing to spend a little extra money to keep this car running for as long as I can. Can anyone suggest what I can do regularly to this engine to make that happen? I came across this product (below) while searching for a video on how GDI engines work and wondered if anyone's tried this treatment? It looks like a bit of overkill to me, I mean there's even what looks like an IV & syringe involved for crying out loud, but I want to my Soul's engine to last even if I have to periodically give a sacrificial offering to the "Engine Gods". 😁

Edit: It looks like the kit in the video is only sold to mechanics. 😒

Dexos 1 is a GM-specific standard that came out a while ago (I'd guess about 10 years, but I don't have the time to look it up at the moment). As I recall, they were concerned mainly with low-temperature flowability and SAPS level. At the time, it was a superior standard. Nowadays, pretty much any decent oil will meet the Dexos 1 specs.

The newer revision of the standard is Dexos 2, which I believe added some additional requirements for volatility (Noack and TEOST). Again, I can't look this up at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that's what changed from Dexos Gen1 to Gen2.

Group 3 refers to the base oil, which in this case would be a highly-refined crude oil that meats the non-existent standards to be called "synthetic." Neither API nor SAE define exactly what "synthetic" means, however; so you're pretty much trusting the manufacturer's reputation for Group 3 oils.

Without knowing the brand name and specific label, that's all I can say. Neither Dexos standard is considered the pinnacle of oil technology nowadays, but an oil meeting either standard will at least not be crap. If you can find out the specific oil, we can learn more about its properties.

Run-Rite has been around for a while. It doesn't do anything all that different from what a can of any decent intake cleaner will do, but it does it without having to stand there and hold the can. It's a convenience more than any sort of magic. You can do the same thing yourself with a can of CRC, Seafoam, Lucas, etc. and a helper to maintain the RPM while you're doing it.

Richard
 
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