Updated Timing Chain Tensioner to Correct Noise on Startup on Kia Sedona

Problem Description and Possible Solution

If the engine is excessively noisy on startup (after the engine has been off for several hours) and the noise lasts more than four or five seconds, turn off the engine and check for correct engine oil level. If the oil level is correct, the noise may be caused by the timing chain tensioner. Kia released an updated timing chain tensioner to solve this problem.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 87,621 (122–225,000)
Engines affected: 3.5L V6, 3.8L V6
11 model years affected: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, more2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
140 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 66 comments
knocking on start up that lasts only a few seconds and is louder the colder the engine is..if turned off and back on engine does not make the noise only after its been off for a little while..
Had the fan belt replaced some months ago. When starting the engine all is OK. but when I put the auto in drive or reverse there is a rumbling noise until I accelerate slightly. After driving a short distance or a warm up of five minutes or so, the noise is gone. I suspect the belt material itself is making the noise until it is sufficiently warmed up and more pliable. Is this a reasonable diagnosis? Or is there a known cause?
I think Kia should be required to fix this problem regardless of warranty coverage. It is a problem they have admitted to by releasing a new tensioner to fix it
Excessive noise on startup when cold then goes away after the car is warmed up. Noise is increased when put in drive or when heater fan is running.
The engine makes loud rattling noise during start up after sitting overnight or after shut off for multiple hours. My wife had mentioned it to the dealership since the van was brand new, and was told - "that's just the way they are supposed to sound on startup". Well, it now has 122K miles on it and the noise is even louder. Because the noise scared her, my wife stopped driving the van and started driving my Toyota Tundra (176K miles)but VERY dependable.

I took the Sedona to an independent repairman that I know, and he told me its the Timing chain tensioners. I called the dealership we purchased the van from, they had us bring it in. After listening they admitted it was probably the timing chain tensioners and had us leave it with them so they could do more testing (they gave us a new loaner van to use while they had our van). I have had a KIA mechanic and a KIA service writer both say they have replaced "hundreds"(each) on Sedona vans.

They finally talked to their local KIA rep earlier this week and he said..."well, now it has too many miles on it(122K), it is no longer covered under warranty" - Repair cost = $1591.00.

Thank goodness we have a great local family-owned DEALERSHIP - three weeks later they still have our van & we still have their loaner. I called KIA immediately after the phone call from the service writer and after getting to the correct person, explained my case. He was very helpful and seemed to be genuinely concerned. He made some calls, and today the district warranty rep from KIA is coming to the dealership to look at our van and see if "qualifies" for KIA to re-evaluate their decision not to honor the warranty.

BTW - I do not consider 122,000 miles hi-mileage for todays vehicles that are maintained properly (that's why there are now 6 digits on the odometer)

FYI - KIA issued a TSB (technical service bulletin) in 2007 and again in 2008 and it describes the problem perfectly, and instructs the dealerships to (in caps and bold) "NO REPAIR ACTION NECESSARY OR RECOMENDED".

NOTE - If KIA does not honor the defective parts & labor involved in this issue I will start a class action law suit against KIA. I have official KIA documents that describe the defective timing chain tensioner and instructs the dealerships to "do nothing". I will update this posting with the results of KIA's decision.

This is really too bad. My wife loves her van, and besides the Xeon headlamps burning out every 6 months that's the only issue we have ever had. And to make things even worse, I have been seriously considering buying a 2015 Hyundai Sonata to replace my 2001 Lexus(200K miles). Hyundai and KIA are sister companies (like Lexus & Toyota). The outcome of their decision WILL determine my next step.
loud whistling sound from left side by tensioner during startup and rainy days due to the humidity. beginning to last longer.
Rattling noise upon cold start which lasted until engine warmed up. Took to KIA. They finally decided to replace timing chain tensioner.
Our timing chain broke at JUST under 50,000km, 2 years old. Initially, the engine was making a strange noise on startup that would go away and sometimes return on acceleration. No warning lights came on. Within a week, the timing chain broke and the motor blew apart. We have been waiting for a week now to hear from KIA whether they are going to honor the warranty. I'm pretty choked that a 2-year-old motor could blow apart like that - let alone that a timing chain can blow apart like that - let alone the fact that NO warning lights came on - AND, a military mechanic who stopped to try to help us with his service vehicle tried to use the code reader on the van, and NOTHING came up. Now they are suggesting that a short lag in an oil change from a YEAR ago may void the warranty. REALLY, KIA? Hope you come through on that warranty...
We have had the noisy timing tensioner issue for about 18 months now. Yesterday, my wife was driving the car home and the engine locked up. The dealership confirmed today that there are metal fragments in the oil filter and in the oil. Luckily, we have 2 warranties on the vehicle so it should be taken care of, but now we're unsure of what we should expect. The dealership says that it could take a few weeks, especially with the holidays before they can get an engine in to replace it. Even still, we're not really feeling confident that the van can reliable after this is done. And, it doesn't help that we have the new car fever for the new 2015 model which had a timing belt instead of timing chain. So, now we're unsure what we can expect, should or should not ask for and/or how to proceed from here. To this point, they are not paying for our rental or the tow bill to the dealership. I would start going through the warranty to find the fine print, but that is all in possession of the dealership as they required all documentation on the van in order to process the warranty service.
My 2006 Kia Sedona makes a horrible noise only on start up, have had it to kia many times and was told this was called a rough start, also had my kia in the shop in december 2013 cause the oil light was on, when kia called me they said good news is that is not the oil pump but my engine needed to be flused $200.00 later on the way home the engine light came back on. I took my car to another shop they removed the oil pan and said the oil pump was bad and that kia never removed the pan cause the original seal was still on it.
Dealership said 14.0 hours of labor and $1240.00 to fix, which will avoid wearing ou the guides.
We bought this van brand new in 2009, it's a 2008 kia sedona ex and after five years of having it, we were told it's the timing chain, we told kia last year and they told us everything was fine,
When I first start it up it knocks I turn it off then start again it knocks for a few seconds again then goes away, and on one occasion I had no throttle , then it seemed to right itself.
this is my wife's van. she had taken it to Good Kia in Rock Hill SC a couple of times for the start up noise - they told her it was "normal". Now it has gotten worse so that she is afraid to drive it! A mechanic told me to add 1/2 QT of Marvel Mystery oil to see if there might be trash stuck in the hydraulic tensioner. I'm not sure what to do. She has babied that van since day 1 - it looks brand new inside and out!
we were unaware of the tensioner problem untill now i own a 08 sedona (still paying on ) and our tensioner failed which caused our timing chain to become loose and break things which all the peices then went all over my engine and a clog so we ended up with low oil presure which none of our gages or lights notifed us of .. we are at a loss we bought the sedona used from a non kia dealership and were unaware of the 60000 mile timing chain we always did our oil changes ourselfs and any other upkeep .. currently trying to get it fixed
it was making the noise under warranty and the dealer told my husband it had to rattle for 5 seconds for them to replace it. we just paid to have it replaced because afraid engine would blow, spent $2000. I will never buy another kia. they should pay/replace all of these timing chains since it is a manufacturer defect.
On start up after car has been off a while, it makes a clicking noise for a few seconds.