Kia Sorento Problems

Crankshaft Pulley Bolt Issue on Kia Sorento

Problem Description and Possible Solution

In order to correct a problem with the Kia Sorento 3.5l V6 engine that results in difficulty starting, engine vibration, or a rattling sound from the engine compartment, Kia released an updated crankshaft pulley bolt.

UPDATE: A class action lawsuit brought against Kia Motors in regard to the breakage of the crankshaft pulley bolt on Kia Sorento models with the 3.5L V6 may provide relief to some customers who paid to have the repair performed at a Kia authorized repair facility. There are a few caveats, however: 

  • Kia Sorento models from 2003-2006
  • Customer must have completed the repair before 100,000 miles
  • Repair performed at Kia authorized repair location
  • Must be the 3.5l V6 engine
  • The owner must have made a claim by May 17th, 2017
  • Exclusion from the claim is the only way to make further claims against Kia Motors for this issue
  • See more here:



(211 people reported this problem)

Kia Sorento Vehicles With This Problem

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 114,192 (14,400–245,000)
Engines affected: 2.4L 4 Cylinder, 3.5L V6, 3.8L V6
9 model years affected: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, more2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013
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Viewing 1-20 of 127 comments
after hearing a loud screaching noise from my engine that sounded like the fan belt, I called the dealer & told him I was on my way in but the car stalled on the way. Turns out my crank shaft pulley bolt broke off and the dealer said it damaged the crank shaft sensor and the timing belt which I just replaced a few months back.
I'm picking the car up today and he said I can expect to pay around $2100!!!! I am learning that this is a common problem with the Kia's and that their warranty won't cover it. I think Kia needs to step up to the plate and cover the damages caused by their defective bolts.
Crankshaft bolt sheered off inside the engnine block. Despite being recalled part, kia will not do anything positive to resolve. My nice SUV is not worth only what I can donate it for. New engine will cost more than car is worth. When contacting customer service, nothing was done to help. Dealer was no help either, told me part was not recall. Angry is a good word but doesn't quite cover it. Over the years I have read many negative reviews of Kia's products and should have unloaded mine before it completely died. I will never buy a kia again and I encourage others not to either. They do not stand by their product and customer service is laughable.
Several months back I was driving when my check engine, battery, and brake lights went on and power steering went out. I made it the 3-4 miles back home, pulling soley on the power of my battery. When I looked under the hood, none of my belts or pulleys were moving, but the crankshaft bolt was spinning. When I took my car in, I discovered that the bolt had broken, some sprocket had sheared off and was pushed up into my engine block. All this was found only after they determined I needed a new battery and, of course all new belts, and I pushed this issue as to the bolt, which, somehow they didn't see immediately. Only to then find out that this was not covered under warranty and would cost me $1200. Within 3 weeks, my check engine light came on and all of the same things happened added on to that was the engine stalling in the middle of traffic. Again I took the car to the dealer, thinking it had to be the same problem AGAIN. No, this time it was the Crankshaft sensor and, "hey you should replace the CAM sensor too, as well as all new spark plugs and wires." Again another $1200. Again 2 weeks later, the check engine light and and same problem along with a knocking in the engine like I threw a golfball in a dryer. Hydrolic Tensioner went out...another $600. Now, SAME problem, again I looked at the belts and pulleys, nothing moving, and althought the bolt seems straight, the pulley is twisted out. KIA, this is a HUGE problem. Either your Sorentos have issues or your mechanics stink! My suspicion is that both apply.
The crankshaft bolt broke off and had in shop for a day as they said nothing was wrong after telling them I heard a thumping noise when engine shut off. I go to drive off lot turning on AC as the belts start squealing loud so get home a couple mins later to look under hood and see the belt slipping off tension pulley and then look to the crankshaft and see it is not on straight. When I look down see this grey bolt sitting on skid plate yeah you guessed correctly it was the crankshaft bolt. Really how could dealership miss this....Pissed so went back in they towed vehicle to shop and said they would take care of and make it right. Yeah Kia should issue another recall as it looks like it's not the bolt check this youtube video out.
There is a nationwide class action against Kia filed by the Law Office of Shmuel Klein PC. email them at
I bought the vehicle used and less than a month later the crankshaft bolt came loose and i lost steering A/C and the Alternator was'nt charging. when i made it home the crankshaft pulley was loose and the belts were off.about 2 months later it did the same thing.The problem with this it that it usually shears the pin on the end of the crankshaft what helps hold the pulley on.Sorry Design By Kia!!
I bought a used 2004 kia sorento in august of 06. By march of 08 I had already had several problems with the vehicle including my crank shaft bolt breaking in half. My car was under warrant and they wouldn't replace it saying my oil wasnt changed. Repair cost for this is close to 9,000.00. I paid them 900.00 to shove a new bolt in there but two weeks ago it felt out. I advise anyone with this problem should report to the nhtsa and any where else and maybe one day we can get thisproblem taken care of
I too have had the 2004 KIA Sorrento crank shaft bolt break twice. Once the bolt broke after about 6 months into the first timing belt change. I took it to the dealer and they were going to charge me $150 to see if it was broken, and then refund me the money when they fix it. It was 30 days from the recall cutoff. The bolt partially came out then seized in the crank shaft. Upon removal the bolt then snapped off. I then drilled out the center, put in an extractor and the extractor snapped off. I then tapped out the bolt with a smaller tap then went to the same size as the bolt thread tap. I replaced the bolt with a new bolt. Three years later it broke again. This time I used the centering jig from this made it much easier drilling out the center of the bolt. I heated the bolt to remove any lock tight and the bolt came right out with an extractor. I then drilled out the crank shaft and put in a 5/8 grade 8 bolt with a “spider’ type lock washer and lock tight. The fix seems to be working great. I think the “Heavy Headed” original bolt is a very bad design, as the thick massive bolt head is actually longer then the bolt, causing centrifugal forces that aren’t needed. The standard grade 8 bolt, as used on most crank shafts, seems to work great. I also had to drill out the new harmonic balancer and washer to accommodate the larger 5/8’s bolt. I will try the softer belt tighten technique too. The fact that the harmonic balancer almost sits flush on the end of the crank shaft with no woodruff key (just a roll pin) seems to be a bad design too (have not ever seen this done). This 2004 Sorrento now has 160K on it. Very strong engine, still has a drinking problem.

I have had the crank shaft bolt break 2x and unscrew 2x. I have learned a lot. Taped out the crank shaft to receive a larger grade 8 bolt. As well as made the hole larger on the washer and Harmonic balancer pulley. Put a star lock washer on it. Torqued to 130lb with lock tight RED. A year later it loosened and sheared the timing gear pin (this is much better then shearing off inside the crank shaft like before). Bought another harmonic balancer and crank timing gear. This time I'm putting on a very heavy duty grade 8 lock washer and lock tight RED & 130lbs torque. Also put in 2 more pins in the timing gear at my local machine shop Micar 702 871-4300 see attached pictures. So this gives it a total of three pins between the crank shaft timing gear and the harmonic balancer.

I spoke to the local Kia parts dealer and he said this engine is in 2 other Kia's but transverse mounted with no problems. My theory is there is so much weight out there that it pulls itself apart moving up and down from the road. Since there is no woodruff key on the harmonic balancer and it doesn't slide onto the crank shaft (like every other engine on the road) I thought 2 more pins might keep the slipping at bay. The balancer pulleys gotta weigh 15-20lbs and that's a lot of weight spinning out there on one bolt. It's just a bad design that needs help. I'll repost if this doesn't work. I should sell it but it's the kid's college car and other then the "y" in the heater hose and all the plastic covers turning into crayon and the head lights burning out every 6 months, and the drinking problem , , , , , it's been a pretty good car. Mark Peveler702-379-7357
We bought a used 2004 Kia Sorento in july of 2010. 10 months later, we lost the power steering and alternator while driving and had to fix the crank pulley. A few months later, we started to hear the belt noises again and had it checked to find out we had the same problem re-occuring; 9 months after the first repair, we had to change the crankshaft pulley once more. This time we went to the dealer to make the repairs and he told us that he cant garantee the job, since this was a problem that should re-occur. The second time we had to change the timing belt (was reasonnably used) but the mechanic showed us that the gears were not in the correct place, the second gear was off by a whole dent.
lost power steering and alternator while driving. made it 3 miles to home, only to find crankshaft pulley wobbling and belt off. have tried to remove the bolt and pulley in order to replace. no luck so far.
crank shaft bolt backed out locked up the belts, still trying to get bolt out. This should be on kia knowing that all of these problems are coming from piss poor design but of course they wont step up and admit that there at fault with putting cheap parts in there vehicles. sad
same story...driving down the road, lost my power steering, brakes, et. Three tows later (the first two garages wouldn't touch it) to the local Kia dealership and a $4,000 estimate to replace the motor, because a defective bolt broke off in the crank shaft causing irreversible damage. One has to wonder why Kia has not stepped up to the plate for its consumers before someone is seriously injured. There are thousands of stories all over the web about this one little $10.95 bolt causing financial pain and burnden on hard working people. Shame on Kia, surely they have lost many repeat customers..
Somehow this thing was sheered off and broke away by the time we had any understanding of what had happened, it had destroyed the timming belt, the water pump, the crank shaft, and put a hole in the engine block. We are looking at nearly $3500 to repair this vehicle that we no longer want, and the manufacturer is refusing to do anything about what our mechanic is calling an obvious manufacturing defect!
I see alot of people talking about their crankshaft bolts breaking and getting them replaced yet to have it happen again. There are 2 problems here. Yes, the bolt needs replaced but the reason the bolt breaks is because the crankshaft gear has one single pin that shears off over time and causes the bolt to break. If you dont replace the gear or put a stronger pin in, which we did, you will end up with the same results.
Crankshaft bolt broke very lucky my wife was driving slow . Kia is going to have a big problem on their hands . They better start taking notes from GM because their going to need it. April 5, 2014..
Over 1800 is repairs at the dealer. Was told where I got my oil changes didn't tighten the pulley belts and at the dealer they did it every time they do a oil change. So the pullel broke off distroying everything it was connected to. Nothing was covered under warranty. I'm now at 109,000 miles and had the crank shaft sensor failed and since we were going to tear it apart might as well to the timing belt, water pump and cam shaft sensor, oil change and tune up ok $ 1800 more! Ok drop it home seem great next day it sounds like someone threw a golf ball in the motor! Not driveable and the dealers says its the motor and sounds like something broke inside and to look at it they want another $600 this doesn't include the repairs. Does anyone one know someone other then the dealer that can help me, I have a pile of crap KIA and need it fixed so I can get rid of this lemon! I WILL NEVER BUY A KIA AGAIN AND I WILL TELL EVERYONE THAT IS THINKING ABOUT A PURCHASE TO LOOK AT ANOTHER CAR OR SUV! SOMEONE HELP GET THIS CRAP OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY!
Mine had the new bolt in and it still broke. Screw the dealers I'm modifying the design. Who uses a right hand threaded bolt in a place they should be using left hand thread? This is the first time I have ever seen this in 30 years of working on cars. Luckily I don't have to pay a mechanic to fix this and all they would do is put the same poor design parts back in. The problem is the torque on the bolt is to excessive but it has to be that high to keep it from backing out. 138 lb-ft is way beyond excessive torque for a bolt this size. It's going to constantly break. I'm pulling the whole motor, pulling the crank out and having it machined for a 14mm left hand thread bolt. I'm also drilling out the roll pin in the crank sprocket and replacing it with a steel pin. Another poor design. We'll see how long it all holds up after I'm done.
Crank shaft bolt sheered off. Aftermarket extended warranty company refuses to cover due to the fact that is an "external" part that happened to cause internal damage.