Kia Carnival Engine Failure

8 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Kia Carnival Engine Failure
Kia Carnival

Kia Carnival

Engine Failure

For many people, the purchase of a motor vehicle is the second biggest expenditure of their life after their home. For that reason, you need to be careful what you buy. You need to research the possible candidates.

You want to buy a quality product and you want to know you’re dealing with a product that is backed by its manufacturer. I thought I was dealing with a manufacturer who stood by their product. I thought I was buying a quality product.

It seems I bought a whole lot of trouble.

I bought my Kia Carnival as a second-hand car in 2000. At the time is was six months old. To be fair, it has been reasonably good to us and hasn’t had too many troubles.

I’ve seen the Carnival criticised for its brakes, for its lack of power and for its large turning circle. Let’s be realistic. Its a bus. It weighs 1.7 tonne. (The new ones are even heavier.) Its a budget vehicle. I wasn’t expecting the Hilton.

The turning circle I can deal with and the brakes I found adequate as long as I wasn’t towing anything. The power thing I disagree with. It doesn’t have a lot of power down low but use the revs and the 2.5 litre twin overhead cam V6 hauls along nicely, although luckily I got one fitted with factory extractors. The body finish isn’t to the level of a Japanese car, but again, for the price I paid, I wasn’t expecting a Rolls Royce.

I did have some problems with the peddle box but after my mechanic made some modifications (he rebuilt the peddle box himself), I was quite happy. I’ve always cared for my Carnival well and my mechanic has performed all regular maintenance. Unfortunately though, it seems the Carnival was not designed to last the distance.

The trouble started in September when the engine developed tappet noise and started overheating. The reading on the odometer was 99,000km. Kia’s slogan is The power to surprise.

It certainly surprised me when my mechanic (for over ten years by the way whom I have trusted with my life and that of my family may times) informed me of the bad news. The engine is of a wet sleeve construction. This meant nothing to me but it appears the cylinders move up and down in a sleeve inserted into the engine block. The engine coolant is behind the sleeve.

You have to understand the only thing separating the piston from the water jacket is the sleeve. It appears one or more sleeves in my engine have moved creating a gap allowing oil and water to mingle. Because its at the bottom of the engine, the whole engine required a rebuild. My mechanic removed the engine from the car and sent it to Melbourne for the rebuild.

The cost to me: $5,800.

My research has shown that many people have had trouble with the engine in their Kia Carnivals. Most of their problems appear to be with head gaskets and pertain to motors in cars built up to 2002. I have read in a number of places (but I have not seen this statement directly from Kia) that Kia acknowledge that 40% of engines in Carnivals up to this date fail.

It appears to be a design issue with the engine. There are many people who have had problems, some complaining of two engine changes before 100,000. There appear to be a good number of them who have not had satisfaction from Kia.

Like many other people, I have written to Kia telling them that their product has performed well below any reasonable expectations but I have not received any assistance from them. To me, this is plainly unacceptable. I have an seen advertisement for a car described as having LOW KMS and on inspection it had done over 170,000 kilometres. If 170,000 is LOW KMS, then 99,000 kms is near new.

To think that a car manufacturer could make an engine that cannot last 100,000km is unthinkable. And to think they could do it and fail to rectify the matter beggars belief. It would have been different if the car were sold with a warning that the motor needed replacing every 100,000km.

Of course, who would buy such a car? I’ve owned Ford Falcons and the motors in them are bulletproof and will last for half a million kilometres. The Kia Carnival is a budget car but I’d expect to get better than 100,000 from the engine.

Kia Carnival

Now there’s a new Carnival with 8 seats and an option for a 3.8 litre engine. People say the engine woes are fixed but I really have to wonder. They say that this problem hasn’t occurred with the new engines but have any of them done 100,000km? If I were looking at buying another Kia, I’d have to ask myself the question: What if this one’s faulty too?

Will they walk away again if it fails? If I were to buy another one, I’d have to budget $6000 for an engine rebuild (plus inconvenience) every 100,000km

I told Kia that the public has a right to be know what I have experienced so they can make informed decisions about the products they buy. I won’t make the same mistake again.

I’d be a fool to buy another Kia.

Read other reviews about the Kia Carnival here and here .

Last Updated on 18 January 2007 by Matt Walsh .

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Kia Carnival
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