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10 Engine Problems with Kia Soul: Repair Options & Repair Costs

2013 Kia Sorento Engine Problems

Kia Soul is an amazing vehicle to look at and to drive. However, when it comes to engine problems, you need to know all the details before buying a Kia Soul since this is an incredibly popular vehicle with many problems in its engine.

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If you have been considering buying a Kia Soul, it is important to know that it has had some engine problems.

There are 10 Engine Problems with the Kia Soul that could be a problem for you if you plan on keeping your car for more than 15 years.

This article will discuss these ten engine problems and how much they cost to fix. It is just one of many reasons why you should consider buying a different car instead of getting a Kia Soul.

2014 Kia Souls Engine Problems

What's unique about the Kia Soul, and why do people like it?

Before getting into the ten engine problems with Kia Soul, you should know what makes this car so unique.

#1 The design

One of the main reasons people want a Kia Soul is because it looks different than any other car on the road. This vehicle has one of the most aerodynamic designs out there.

This design makes it very easy for you to see out of this car when you are driving it.

Another main reason so many people like the Kia Soul is that it looks like a little box yet has four doors and seats up to five people. This vehicle also gets very good gas mileage, making it even more appealing.

#2 The warranty

Another reason why so many people buy a Kia Soul and keep it for more than 15 years is because of the warranty that comes with it.

This vehicle has a warranty that lasts for ten years or 100,000 miles, making it easier for you to save money on repairs since you know you won't be spending as much on it.

#3 The cargo space

Kia Soul gets great gas mileage, and it looks amazing, but that is not all.

This vehicle has more than enough cargo space to store whatever you need inside of your vehicle without having to worry about where you are going to put everything.

The one-box design makes it easier for you to store even the biggest items.

#4 The price

Price is another main reason why people like this car.

You can get the Kia Soul for less than $15,000, with some models even having features like leather seats and power windows.

If you plan on keeping your vehicle for more than five years, it makes sense to spend a little extra money on a car that will last a long time.

#5 The engine

This vehicle is very environmentally friendly on the inside. It has a lot of recycled materials and some plant material. This makes it appealing to those who care about the environment and value being eco-friendly.

However, there are many engine problems with the Kia Soul. These issues could cause you to shell out a lot of money for repairs if something goes wrong.

Engine Problems with Kia Soul

What type of engine do Kia Souls come with?

A Kia Soul usually comes with two engine options.

  • The first option is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder which can produce up to 130 horsepower at 6,000 pm.
  • The second option is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo with about three horsepower more than the standard engine between 6,500 and 6,700 pm.

10 Engine Problems with Kia Soul

#1 – Cracked Cylinders

Problem: The most common reported problem about Kia Soul engines is The cylinders in this engine crack over time, especially if the car has been left to sit for long periods. This creates a rough idle and loss of power.

Repair options: The only option is to get the engine fixed, but this can be equal to half of what you paid for it.

Estimated cost: $1,500 – $3,000

#2 – Faulty Thermostat

Problem: The thermostat for this vehicle does not always open when the car is warm, so it overworks the engine. This leads to overheating issues and can ultimately ruin the engine.

Repair options: Replacing the faulty thermostat with a new one may fix this problem. However, if you are out of warranty or have any other problems with your engine, this will be extremely expensive to do.

Estimated cost: $150 – $300

#3 – Stalling at High Speeds

Problem: When driving at high speeds, your Kia Soul will likely stop running altogether due to not having enough power from its engine. This is also due to some faulty parts that need replacement.

Repair options: Your vehicle needs to be brought back to the dealership so they can fix it.

Estimated cost: $500+

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#4 – Faulty Crank Shaft Sensor or Camshaft Sensor

Problem: The crankshaft sensor or camshaft sensors monitor how hard your Kia Soul's engine is working and send signals to the computer on whether it should speed up, slow down, create more power, etc. This sensor fails often and will cause issues for you while driving, leading to stalling at high speeds (see #3).

Repair options: You will need replacement sensors either way because both of these are faulty. This can be done through the dealership or an independent mechanic.

Estimated cost: $200 – $400 for each sensor.

#5 – Poor Compression

Problem: The compression in Kia Soul's engine suffers due to cracks, corrosion, and other problems that come with age after time. When you have poor compression, this causes issues for your vehicle, which will lead to rough idling, stalling at high speeds (see #3), and lack of power when accelerating quickly.

Repair options: You need to rebuild the entire engine with low compression. If you are out of warranty or have any other engine-related problems simultaneously, this will be extremely expensive to fix outside of spending $5,000+ on a new engine.

Estimated cost: $3,500+

#6 – Leaking Head Gasket

Problem: The head gasket seals the cooling system and parts of your engine together to prevent leaks from happening in certain areas. When you have a leaking head gasket, it causes issues for the engine because coolant is leaking into places that it shouldn't be going. This creates rough idling and a lack of power when accelerating quickly (see #3).

Repair options: You will need to replace the entire head gasket, which can be done through a dealership or independent mechanic. This will cost you several hundred dollars at most since they often only charge by the hour.

Estimated cost: $500 – $1,000

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#7 – Leaking Oil

Problem: There are many different reasons you might be leaking oil from your Kia Soul. You could have a hole in the engine or an actual crack in the cylinder, causing oil to drain from it.

Repair options: The only option is to get a brand new engine when this is happening due to significant damage that has been caused by leaking oil. Suppose you are out of warranty or do not have any other engine-related issues at the same time. In that case, this will cost you around $5,000+ depending on how extensive the damage is and if they need to replace anything else with your rebuild.

Esimated cost: $5,000+

#8 – Leaking Transmission Fluid

Problem: The transmission in your Kia Soul is integral to the working of your vehicle because it changes gears when accelerating quickly. If you are leaking any fluids from your engine, this can damage important parts, leading to costly repairs.

Repair options: You will need to replace the leaky part(s) if they are available or get a new transmission altogether through an independent mechanic or dealership. This will cost several hundred dollars at most, depending on how extensive the damage is and what else needs to be fixed with it/them.

Estimated cost: $500 – $1,500+

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#9 – Burned Out Spark Plugs or Plug Wires

Problem: You will need to replace worn-out or burnt out parts in your Kia Soul's engine, including spark plugs and plug wires. These parts break down and cause issues for your engine with starting (see #1) and fuel economy (see #2).

Repair options: You can get them replaced through a dealership or an independent mechanic. This is extremely easy to do yourself if you know how, but it usually costs less to have someone else fix it for you because of labor fees.

Estimated cost: $50 – $200 per part

#10 – A Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor or O2 Sensor

Problem: The mass airflow sensor measures airflow into the engine, while the o2 sensor measures the air/fuel ratio in your engine. If these are broken, damaged, or replaced incorrectly, it can affect how your engine runs. It will cause issues with starting (see #1), fuel mileage (see #2), and acceleration (see #3).

Repair options: You need to replace the broken part through a dealership or independent mechanic, which costs around $200 – $300 per part. You can buy them yourself cheaper if you know where to look for them online, but labor fees will still apply when having them installed, so it's best to get it done by someone who knows what they're doing.

Estimated cost: $200 – $500 per part

issues with Kia engines

What are the worst Kia Soul model years to avoid?

The later years of the vehicle they produced are bound to have more engine problems than others because most vehicles start developing them. However, some model years they made were better than others, so you might even be lucky enough to find one without any engine issues at all if you know where to look (hint: independent mechanics).

Here's a list of the worst Kia Soul years to avoid:


You should avoid purchasing the 2012 Kia Soul because it is bound to have many engine problems. There are too many negatives about this year for you not to want to avoid it at all costs!

If you still want 2012, I would purchase a used version because brand new ones are likely to have costly repairs coming up sooner rather than later.


It's not a bad idea to avoid the 2011 Kia Soul due to engine problems. However, if you decide to purchase one, I would recommend getting a used version because it will save you money in the long run.

New ones are likely to have costly repairs coming up very quickly and can potentially become major expenses for you if something breaks or goes wrong with your brand new brand vehicle right after purchasing it!


Avoid purchasing a 2010 model year of the Kia Soul since this is another prime example of a car that should be avoided overall.

It's not going to hold up well over time and could potentially have many other engine-related issues that will cost a lot more than just a few hundred dollars, quickly multiplying into thousands of dollars. So if you're looking for a new car, I recommend avoiding this year's model entirely!

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What are the best Kia Soul model years?

The first year they made it back in 2009 is not considered their best. It had a few engine issues but nothing too bad, so that's always an option if you can find original parts for it.

Are there other alternatives to Kia Soul?

Yes, there are many other options to choose from. If City MPG, Engine Problems and Repairs, Gas Mileage and Fuel Type is what you're seeking, then check out the following:

#1 Chevrolet Cruze

If you're a big fan of Kia Soul and would like a similar alternative, consider purchasing the Chevrolet Cruze. It has lots of room, including trunk space; it's very comfortable for four people with front bucket seats. It also averages around 28 MPG city and 40 MPG highway.

#2 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla is another great example of Kia Soul alternatives. It is one of the most reliable roads, with excellent safety ratings and many safety features.

#3 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra is another great example of Kia Soul alternatives. It's comfortable both in front and back; it averages around 28 MPG city and 36 MPG highway, slightly lower than Cruze's.

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After reading this article, you should have a better idea of what to expect with your Kia Soul and how much it might cost to repair. It's important to choose the right car for your financial situation.

If your Kia Soul engine problems require high repair costs, you might want to sell this car and use its value to purchase a better one. Luckily, Cash Cars Buyer is willing to purchase your Kia Soul despite its problems! So give us a call today at (773) 791-4363!

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