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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our 2020 Soul passed the initial recall inspection, so we felt we were in the clear by now with 14K miles. Then it just started shaking violently on startup, throwing the P0304 Code. Dealer scoped the cylinder walls and saw scoring in cylinder 4. That one off event has become a regular feature now.

Any suggestions how to make Kia make good on their warranty? What exactly would the best "fix" look like? Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Our 2020 Soul passed the initial recall inspection, so we felt we were in the clear by now with 14K miles. Then it just started shaking violently on startup, throwing the P0304 Code. Dealer scoped the cylinder walls and saw scoring in cylinder 4. That one off event has become a regular feature now.

Any suggestions how to make Kia make good on their warranty? What exactly would the best "fix" look like? Any suggestions? Thanks.
If they saw scoring they should be replacing the engine. That’s the only fix. What did the dealer tell you?

If they confirmed there’s scoring and won’t replace the engine you can try calling Kia Consumer Assistance 800-333-4542
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Dealer submitted the case to Kia and have been waiting 2 weeks for response.

In all my years I have never heard of bad rings like this. Do they not have QC to randomly check ring hardness? As a retired Mech Eng I am assuming that the rings were never tempered after their heat treat quench making them super brittle subject to fracture, with fragments wedging between piston and cylinder wall causing vibration and scoring. Am I right? Anyone have any further technical info?

Do we know if the replacement engines are new or remanufactured? Did Kia actually solve the problem?
 

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the recall affected, supposedly, about 1% of the Souls manufactured through October 2020. The purpose of the recall was to make the noise sensors more sensitive and then alert the driver and put the car in limp mode to prevent more engine damage. According to the NHTSA website, Kia agreed to replace the engines on any model that had scoring on the cylinder walls. Souls made after October 2020 should not be affecte.
 

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Some are new some are remanufactured. It takes an hour to about a day or so to get an answer from Kia if the dealership submitted all the correct info and any other steps they asked for in the diagnosis. Perhaps there is something else they need in your case.
 

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If the rings were defective from the beginning, how did they last for 14k miles? Hearing about this makes me concerned. My 2020EX only has 7k miles on it and it has been perfect for two years but I wonder, is this going to happen to my car too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the rings were defective from the beginning, how did they last for 14k miles? Hearing about this makes me concerned. My 2020EX only has 7k miles on it and it has been perfect for two years but I wonder, is this going to happen to my car too?
I think you should be concerned. And btw we have done 4 oil/filter changes to date.

We had the dealer immediately do the piston ring recall last year at 7K miles which checked the cylinder walls for scoring, and all was well. Then one day 3 weeks ago, my wife went out to start the car, and it shook like crazy. Engine light came on, code was P0304, "cylinder misfire." After that it seemed normal again, but we still had the dealer check it out. Electrical was fine, but there was scoring in cylinder #4. Dealer contacted Kia, who did nothing. Then a week later, the wild vibration returned, even worse. So Dealer contacted Kia again. Car was towed to Dealer. We are still waiting.
 

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According to the NHTSA documents that were supplied by Kia to the NHTSA, about 153,000 vehicles, both Seltos and Souls were manufactured prior to the end of October. About 125,000 of these were Souls. Kia estimated that 1% of these vehicles had the defective piston rings. That means that about 1250 Souls have defective piston rings. The percentage is pretty good that you do not have a bad engine. I’m in the same boat. I make sure I keep the oil level to the proper level and get timely oil changes. I’ve got 13,000+ miles on my 2020EX and haven’t had any problem. I’m feeling pretty confiden.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not sure where your "1 percent" number came from, but I found this . . .
Kia is recalling its 2020-21 Soul and 2021 Seltos because of improperly heat-treated oil rings. The affected models have the 2.0-liter Nu MPI four-cylinder engine. The faulty rings can lead to engine damage.

Kia says that 147,249 cars are affected. Dealers will tear down the engines and inspect for damage. Vehicles with engine damage will get new engines. The company also says it is fitting the vehicles with piston ring noise sensing system software.

The service action is set to begin June 11. Kia owners can contact the company for more information at 800-333-4542. Kia's internal reference number for this recall is SC209."
 

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I assure you no one is tearing down any engines to inspect them. It is done through the knock sensor and with a borescope down the spark plug hole. The 1% number seems accurate, I work for a dealership that probably sold several hundred if not a 1000 Souls and Seltos and we have replaced maybe 6 or 7 engines that had the issue.
 

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According to the NHTSA documents that were supplied by Kia to the NHTSA, about 153,000 vehicles, both Seltos and Souls were manufactured prior to the end of October. About 125,000 of these were Souls. Kia estimated that 1% of these vehicles had the defective piston rings. That means that about 1250 Souls have defective piston rings. The percentage is pretty good that you do not have a bad engine. I’m in the same boat. I make sure I keep the oil level to the proper level and get timely oil changes. I’ve got 13,000+ miles on my 2020EX and haven’t had any problem. I’m feeling pretty confiden.
You shoud be using the Severe Service Schedule and if you are, there should not be any need to keep the oil level full at your young mileage. It should remain full up-to 3,750 miles.

I change my oil with 5/10w30 synthetic every 3k. At 16k now, the dipstick oil level always remains FULL.
So should yours.

Our 2020 Soul was built in June or July of 2019. I suspect our Soul will be a victim of these bad rings in the future. But it could take 3 more years to show it's ugly head. We will probably only have 36-37k on the odometer, when the vehicle reaches six years old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Thanks. That's good news and bad news. Good that it's only 1% and it won't bankrupt Kia. Bad that it was us, and not sure what will happen to our car. The car was towed to Kia last Wednesday, and we still have not heard whether the car ever made it to the dealer or not. SMH.
Glad to hear you car was towed because it is NOT SAFE to drive. You need to stay on top of this. My dealer (very responsive, always kept me informed, returned my phone calls promptly) had my 2020 Soul for 9 weeks last summer waiting for a new engine and then installing it. I was a "remanufactured". It's been working fine ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glad to hear you car was towed because it is NOT SAFE to drive. You need to stay on top of this. My dealer (very responsive, always kept me informed, returned my phone calls promptly) had my 2020 Soul for 9 weeks last summer waiting for a new engine and then installing it. I was a "remanufactured". It's been working fine ever since.
9 weeks! For a "remanufactured" engine! Wait till my wife hears that!

Any tips on "how to stay on top of this" when the dealer can't even return a phone call? Appreciate any suggestions you might have. TIA.
 

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9 weeks! For a "remanufactured" engine! Wait till my wife hears that!

Any tips on "how to stay on top of this" when the dealer can't even return a phone call? Appreciate any suggestions you might have. TIA.
If your dealer is not being responsive, if there is another dealer in your area, contact them about doing the work. Also contact KIA corporate and get a case #. If you need a loaner, demand one, there might be a waiting list. My KIA Soul is my only car, I called my dealer every other day about a loaner, got on their waiting list and after a week had a loaner for the next 8 weeks while they had my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If your dealer is not being responsive, if there is another dealer in your area, contact them about doing the work. Also contact KIA corporate and get a case #. If you need a loaner, demand one, there might be a waiting list. My KIA Soul is my only car, I called my dealer every other day about a loaner, got on their waiting list and after a week had a loaner for the next 8 weeks while they had my car.
Thanks. Finally heard back from our Kia Dealer. Apparently our service guy is on maternity leave and his manager was out sick, which explained why we were kept in the dark.

Anyways, Kia Corporate has approved our warranty and the dealer just received the engine. The dealer has three more cars waiting for new engines ahead of us in the queue, pushing us back a week or two. Each engine takes a couple days to install. We are next in line for a loaner car perhaps available on Friday.

What a horrible misfortune for Kia. A $10 piston ring from a supplier got bad heat treatment, and it destroyed the whole engine.
 
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