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2014 Kia Optima
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at the posts for engine problems has me worried, but I haven't found that post that says "If it's doing this, then your engine is about to fail in this fashion..."

We've had this 2014 EX since 3k miles, it now has 76k and we gave it to our son in college. It has developed a low-frequency engine "knock" or "rattle" at startup that really only is bad when you put it in gear and drop the revs. Then it sounds almost like a diesel, but I can't say it's a metal-on-metal knock like a rod or lifter noise, but I could be wrong. If I listen closely with my head under the hood, it sounds like it's internal, and not the alternator, or A/C compressor.

I'd like to think it's something I can't see that's loose, and rattles when the engine revs drop (and the vibes increase, I think that's inherent in a 4-cyl?).

But I also figured that if it's low-end bearings, one of the first things you see is the oil pressure light coming on because of the lower pressure due to the slop, but everything guage-wise seems to be fine. No CEL.

Other than this low knocking, it runs like a top at higher revs. I first told my kid to just drive it and see what happens, but now I'm worried the engine might really fail.

Are we experiencing an engine about to fail? If so, what is the proper approach to KIA, and are they likely to take action? We JUST had it to the KIA dealer for a recall on some sensor or something, and they didn't say squat about the obvious noise, and I forgot to mention it to them. Is the next step to pay them to diagnose it and acknowledge the engine problem?
 

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Looking at the posts for engine problems has me worried, but I haven't found that post that says "If it's doing this, then your engine is about to fail in this fashion..."

We've had this 2014 EX since 3k miles, it now has 76k and we gave it to our son in college. It has developed a low-frequency engine "knock" or "rattle" at startup that really only is bad when you put it in gear and drop the revs. Then it sounds almost like a diesel, but I can't say it's a metal-on-metal knock like a rod or lifter noise, but I could be wrong. If I listen closely with my head under the hood, it sounds like it's internal, and not the alternator, or A/C compressor.

I'd like to think it's something I can't see that's loose, and rattles when the engine revs drop (and the vibes increase, I think that's inherent in a 4-cyl?).

But I also figured that if it's low-end bearings, one of the first things you see is the oil pressure light coming on because of the lower pressure due to the slop, but everything guage-wise seems to be fine. No CEL.

Other than this low knocking, it runs like a top at higher revs. I first told my kid to just drive it and see what happens, but now I'm worried the engine might really fail.

Are we experiencing an engine about to fail? If so, what is the proper approach to KIA, and are they likely to take action? We JUST had it to the KIA dealer for a recall on some sensor or something, and they didn't say squat about the obvious noise, and I forgot to mention it to them. Is the next step to pay them to diagnose it and acknowledge the engine problem?
I know you have done a good job of trying to narrow it down, but my 2012 EX 2.4 engine locked up ...with NO WARNING at 67,500 mi.
So, did you use the dealer "free oil change" during service? Also if you did, the 2.4 liters burned cheap dealer oil. Now, I got a new engine, and sold it to my next door neighbor. He asked me about the valve chatter at startup, and that IS normal. Part of GDI means having a 15,000 psi fuel pump and that makes noise at startup, along with the valve chatter, but that should stop in 5 seconds. What you are describing is engine damage. Perhaps you son is hammering it with the cheap dealer oil in it, which burns and loses 2 quarts in some engines and the end of that equation is engine damage or lockup on these cars. It IS covered, unless you transferred ownership to your son. Otherwise the powertrain warranty has you covered. So get it checked out or he will be driving a rental Sentra for months (also covered but...its a Sentra😒).

-Chris
PS I wouldn't mention that you gave it to your son for college at the dealer. Don't give them an excuse to not cover it. (I am picturing him reverse donuts and stoplight races and not so much oil checking.) I have 3 daughters, 2 in college so I get it. I also have blown an engine before (94 SHO) so it feels not so good). I now have a 15 turbo and only use Valvoline synthetic at a trusted shop. It does NOT make valve noises at startup at all. So you get what you pay for.

-Chris
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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3,398 Posts
As i stated in another thread, oil has absolutely nothing to do with the engine problems.
Have all the updates been performed? These updates are necessary to have the
lifetime engine warranty.
If they have been done, just drive the car and see what happens, if not, get them done
posthaste.
 

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2013 Ebony SXL Turbo: Original Everything @ about 189K with Drag wheels.
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348 Posts
OP - just take it to Kia - it has a lifetime warranty on engine proper (if it fails due to oil starvation/bearings). If its covered, problem solved, otherwise just wait - nothing you can do other than keeping up with oil/filter changes. Mine gave up the ghost at 120k, replacement runs great! Luck. -
 

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2012 Black SX Prem. & Tech.
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2,194 Posts
Did you open the hood and watch and listen to the engine while someone else sat inside and shifted from park to reverse or drive?

Maybe it's something like worn engine mounts, and the clunk is just the engine rocking as load changes and as you drive?
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update:

UPDATE: Called KIA Customer Service and they opened a case #. Taking it to the dealer today.

All service bulletins have been incorporated, I have the oil changed per owner's manual intervals but do not use the Free Dealer option, I don't think that is available to me. We bought the car with 3k miles on it from a dealer that had never transferred the car to a buyer....the owner's wife drove it.

What concerns me now is how the dealer will assess the condition. Is there a way they can actually measure the noise/knock other than just "listening" to it like I do? I've heard my kid start it and drop it into gear and creep out of the driveway sounding like a diesel, but I drove it yesterday and the sound wasn't that bad....it was there, but not as severe.

What exactly are the terms of the extended warranty? If the dealer determines that it CAN'T verify the bearing failure, will I still be covered if the condition DOES get worse with time to the point that the dealer can't deny it? Or is this a one-time shot?
 

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Engine is under 100k so it should be covered regardless. I'm sure they'll check to make sure maintenance was kept up on it. They have something they use to listen to the engine from what I was told when I had them check my replacement engine.
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Engine is under 100k so it should be covered regardless.
We were not given the full 100k factory drivetrain warranty. As a clarification of my earlier statement that we bought it from the dealer who put the 3k miles on it, as I remember now we bought it from a re-seller who bought it from the dealer at auction. I didn't really argue it at the time, but I think we were given a 60k warranty.
 

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2012 Kia Optima 2012 Kia Optima LX
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33 Posts
3K and it's auctioned off? Smells fishy! I'd pull a Carfax report on it immediately if you didn't get one with car. I'd also wonder about the dealer and the reseller...
 

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2018 Kia Optima
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Hmmm that is interesting--why would a dealer auction off a car that had only 3K miles on the clock? To be fair we don't know how old the car was at the time it was auctioned off but on the surface it does seem odd for a dealer to auction off a car with so few miles on it.
 
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