Have you learned that some engine failures are happening with the Kia Optima and you are trying to learn how much is the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? If this is the case, then you can sit down and relax because there will be a lot to cover on this topic and learn why these failures are happening and how much do they cost.
- Kia Optima Overview & History
- Kia Optima Specs & Features
- Engines Options & Applications
- Common Engine Problems
- Cost To Replace The Engine
- Final Conclusion
If you are planning on purchasing a Kia Optima for yourself, then doing proper research on this topic is key because you don’t want to purchase a potential ticking bomb that will grenade at any given moment. You want a reliable car that will run forever.
Also, if you already purchased the 2015 Optima it is useful to know the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost because who knows, you might going to need it soon if the engine decides to give up. Also, it is worth noting that there were recalls on this problem and we are going to discuss them in-depth later in the article.
What is important though, is to be aware of this problem and know that it exists. Knowing this will help you either avoid or do something that will prevent the engine from destroying itself.
That’s why we are going to learn more about the 2015 Kia Optima and its specs, then we are going to focus on the common problems and the recalls. We will later talk about the engine failures that are happening and why is this the case. Then we will learn the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. So, buckle up and follow us till the end.
The Optima is one of Kia’s staple models. If you haven’t heard about Kia, they are a Korean car manufacturer. The Optima is also known as K5 in some regions of the world. The first Optima has debuted back in 2000 and is still in production. At the moment the Optima is in its fifth generation and this tells you quite a lot about the popularity of this model in the US.
But we are interested in the fourth generation of the Optima. Since this is an article about the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. We will focus primarily on this model since it has the most issues than any Optima out there and all this is because of poor quality control, not that the engine is that bad and has design flaws.
The problem with this Optima has thrown a bad rep to the Kia brand since it is so costly to repair this issue and it often requires an engine swap to get it done right.
Except this, the Kia brand is one of the hottest brands out there. Especially for people who want the best value. And trust me, Kia delivers excellent value. Their cars are well put together and they have a ton of options for a relatively cheap and affordable cost.
What is best about Kias is that they are one of the best cars that you can purchase on the second-hand market. They are proper workhorses that last forever and you could easily push them above 200,000 miles.
But some engines like the 2015 Optima engine can sometimes fail. And you probably want to learn the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? But more on that in a bit, after we cover the model’s specs.
2015 Kia Optima
The 2015 Kia Optima was released at the end of 2015. This model shares the same platform as the Hyundai Sonata. As you know, Kia and Hyundai are sister companies and they share most of their platforms and engines between them.
This new Kia Optima was a small leap forward in comparison to the previous generation which was also a really good car. But this new car included an improved design with many new features that were not present before on the Optima.
The designer of the Optima was Peter Schreyer who has also designed a ton of other VW Group vehicles as well as other Kia models. The US model of the Optima was produced from 2015 to 2020 at West Point, Georgia at the Kia factory.
Overall, everything was an indication that this model would be a complete success until the engine problem came across and this meant a big headache for many of the new owners is coming and a lot of them started looking for the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. But more on that later after we learn the engines and transmissions that were included in the Kia Optima.
1. Engines & Transmissions
There were two engines to choose from on the 2015 Kia Optima. These were the 2.4L straight-4 engine and the 2.0L turbo straight-4 engine.
The 2.4L engine was the weaker option available and also more prone to problems. Something that we are going to discuss a bit later. Nevertheless, this engine implemented a double overhead camshaft with variable valve timing as most of the engines back then. It produced a respectable number of horsepower, 192hp to be more precise, and 181lb-ft of torque. Healthy numbers.
But the 2.0 turbo was the engine that was offered in more expensive trims. This engine, either small in terms of displacement, because the turbine under the bonnet was pushing 274hp and 269lb-ft of torque. Really powerful engine, especially for a chassis like the one found in the Optima.
There was only one transmission option. That was a 6-speed shiftable automatic that was rather good and reliable. But what about the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? More on that we are going to cover in a bit after we finish the rest of the specs of the Kia Optima.
2. Fuel Economy
Now let’s discuss the fuel economy of the 2015 Kia Optima. First, we are going to cover the 2.4L engine and then the 2.0L engine.
The 2.4L was not the best performer in its class like the Camry or other similar vehicles. But it still delivered a good performance. It got 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with a combined fuel economy of 27 mpg.
The 2.0L engine was delivering a slightly worse fuel economy than the 2.4L but this is understandable since this engine is much more powerful. The EPA numbers for this engine were 20 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined. Not great, not terrible, though.
Also, you can take these numbers with a grain of salt, since they are lab numbers. While the real-world numbers can be slightly less. In the 3 to 5 mpg margin. So if the combined fuel economy of the 2.0L is 24 mpg, the real-world number is probably 20 or 21 mpg.
But what about the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? We’ll get there. Let’s first discuss the safety aspect of the 2015 Kia Optima before we dive into the problems of this model.
3. Safety Score
The Kia Optima was heavily tested by IIHS and got the top safety pick+ for the 2016 model year. As you know the 2015 model, in reality, is a 2016 model year since it was released in late 2015.
Nevertheless, the Optima got decent scores on the crash tests, and on most of these tests, they rated the Optima with a “good” rating which is the IIHS’s highest evaluation score.
But what about the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? We’ll get there, let’s first discuss the common problems of the Optima.
In the previous chapters, we only scratched the surface when it comes to the Kia Optima engines and we only briefly discussed their specs.
Now in the following chapters, we are going to cover these two engines’ specs and after this, we are going to discuss the common problems that both of these engines have and also after that we are going to learn about the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost.
2015 Kia Optima 2.4L Engine
Let’s first discuss the 2.4L engine and then we will move on to cover the 2.0L. What is important to know about this engine is that it has 2.4L in displacement and produces about 192hp. Even though it has more displacement than the 2.0L engine, it is quite down on power. The 2.4L engine belongs to the Theta family of engines that are shared between Hyundai and Kia.
This engine was offered in both variants. As an MPI or multi-port injection and GDI also known as direct injection. Although direct injection might be the way to go since it offers some advantages like better fuel economy, it still has some downsides that we are going to discuss later when we will cover the problems.
Nevertheless, the GDI had an increased compression ratio of 11.3:1 in comparison to the MPI which was rather lower than this. This engine implements a dual overhead camshaft head design.
2015 Kia Optima 2.0L Engine
Although the 2.0L turbo has a smaller displacement than the 2.4L engine. It is significantly more powerful than the 2.4L. This is because this engine is forced induction. This means that it has a turbocharger and this turbocharger is making the engine produce a lot more power than the naturally aspirated can make. Simple as that.
This also makes this engine harder to maintain and the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost for this engine is a bit more on the higher side in comparison to the 2.4L engine.
When it comes to power numbers it is worth noting that this engine is pushing about 274hp, a healthy number.
This engine also comes as a GDI meaning that it has direct injection. The head is a dual overhead camshaft design with a 10.0:1 compression ratio. But what does the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? More on that in a bit after we cover all of the problems that these two engines have.
Kia Engine Problems
Now let’s discuss the common engine problems of the 2015 Kia Optima. We will focus on the 2.4L and the 2.0L engines that we covered above. Both of these engines have problems that they are sharing among them and can be really critical. Namely engine failures. We will focus on both of the engines at the same time since these problems happen in both of them.
In the following chapters, we are going to elaborate on these engines and learn what are their possible faults, and then cover the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. So, let’s dive into it.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #1. Theta II 2.4L & 2.0L Engine Failure
The first and most notorious problem of this engine is the complete engine failure on the Theta II engines. What is worth noting is that this is not only happening on the Optima but also on other Kia and Hyundai vehicles that have this engine installed. So, why does it happen in the first place?
This problem doesn’t happen because of bad engine design. But the root of the problem is the manufacturing process. During this process, there are some metallic flakes inside of the engine. These flakes are not properly cleaned before assembly. So, they run inside of the engine and prevent oil passage to the rod bearings of the engine.
So if the rod bearings are not properly lubricated, they will wear down prematurely and cause complete engine failure and make you look for the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost.
The symptoms that you are going to feel before the engine fails completely are rod knocks, rough engine operation, and heavy oil consumption. The engine will be down on power since there will be less compression and the engine will eventually stall completely. Then you will have to look for the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost to sort this problem.
The engines affected were the engines until 2015. So, if you have an older Optima, then you know that your engine has this problem, and it’s most probable that will fail sooner or later.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #2. Theta II 2.4L & 2.0L Oil Consumption
The second most common problem on the 2.4L & 2.0L engines is the increased oil consumption. They love to drink more oil by design. This means that’s how these engines work.
Especially higher mileage engines that are well above 100,000 miles. This problem might also come as an aftermath of the first problem with the engine failures as we noted that the bearings suffer from this metallic debris that is left by the machining process.
So, when this debris is there inside of the engine, it could damage some of the components like the cylinder walls and cause the oil to escape inside the combustion chamber.
If your engine is not losing a lot of oil, then you don’t have to worry. But if it loses more than 1 quart on 1000 miles, then you might want to learn the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. Since this engine would probably have to be replaced with a new one.
The most important thing when it comes to oil consumption in engines is that you need to be properly aware of it. If you never open your hood and check on the fluids, you might end up scrapping the whole engine. And look for the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost.
That’s why when you have an oil consumption problem it is advised to top off the oil whenever you can. Always carry a quart with you wherever you go. By doing this your engine will be safe and never out of oil.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #3. Theta II 2.4L & 2.0L Carbon Buildup
And the last problem of the 2.4L and 2.0 engines that we are going to cover is the carbon buildup. This problem affected only the GDI engines. This is because of the direct injection. All of the cars in the world that have direct injection suffer from carbon buildup.
The buildup occurs on the intake valves and if it goes too excessive it will prevent the valves from opening and closing and you could see something like a burnt valve and making you look for the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost.
That’s why is it useful to carbon clean your engine every 60,000 miles if you want some damage to occur on the engine head.
The method of cleaning carbon buildup is also known as walnut blasting. You can look it up on the web if you want to learn more about it.
Some dealerships also use special solutions that are neutralizing the carbon buildup on the intake ports and then suck the debris with a vacuum. Either way works. What is important for you is to not allow it to go too far and ruin your engine. And then look for the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. And that is something that we are going to cover in a bit where we will elaborate on the costs.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #4. Engine Stalling or Hesitation
One of the complaints from 2015 Kia Optima owners pertains to the engine stalling or hesitating during acceleration. This could arise from a variety of causes such as faulty spark plugs, a malfunctioning ignition coil, or issues related to the fuel system. As with any car, engine hesitation is concerning. If left unchecked, it can lead to serious issues that might eventually necessitate expensive repairs or replacements.
It’s imperative to keep an ear out for unusual sounds or erratic behavior while driving. If you detect any sudden drops in power or if the engine seems unresponsive, it’s a good sign to get things checked.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #5. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensors
Oxygen sensors are crucial components in your vehicle’s emission system. In the 2015 Kia Optima, some owners have reported issues with these sensors, leading to decreased fuel efficiency and increased emissions. Faulty sensors may also trigger the “check engine” light.
If the oxygen sensors fail, they should be replaced immediately. Not only can faulty sensors reduce your gas mileage, but they can also cause damage to the catalytic converter—a much pricier repair.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #6. Overheating Issues
Another commonly reported issue pertains to overheating. An overheated engine can cause considerable damage, even leading to total engine failure. Radiator leaks, malfunctioning water pumps, or clogged coolant passages are potential culprits.
Always keep an eye on the temperature gauge, especially during hot weather or long drives. If it starts to creep up, it’s best to pull over and let the engine cool down. Frequent checks of your cooling system, including the coolant levels and the condition of the radiator and hoses, can help you prevent these issues from escalating.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #7. Faulty Turbocharger
The turbocharged versions of the 2015 Kia Optima have, in some cases, experienced turbocharger issues. These can result in loss of power, abnormal whining noises, or excessive smoke from the exhaust. As the turbocharger is a significant component of the engine, any problems with it can seriously impair the vehicle’s performance.
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with a mechanic or a Kia dealership. Regular oil changes and making sure the turbocharger is well-lubricated can help extend its lifespan and reduce potential problems.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost, Problems #8. Timing Chain Failures
A few 2015 Kia Optima owners have reported timing chain issues. The timing chain is essential for keeping the engine’s components synchronized. If it fails or becomes misaligned, the engine might experience a range of issues, from minor rattles to catastrophic damage.
Regularly servicing your vehicle and following Kia’s maintenance schedule can prevent such issues. If you notice any unfamiliar noises coming from the engine, especially a rattling sound during startup, it might indicate a problem with the timing chain.
In conclusion, while the 2015 Kia Optima offers a stylish and value-packed package, like any vehicle, it’s essential to be aware of potential issues. Regular maintenance, prompt attention to any irregularities, and a proactive approach can ensure the longevity of the vehicle and reduce the risk of major problems.
Kia Engine Recall
Because of this problem and the engine fire problem that often occurs in these vehicles. The NHTSA has stepped forward and made an investigation and uncovered that more than 3 million vehicles produced between 2011 and 2016 are prone to engine fires and engine failures. With many complaints of engine fires reported.
In addition to this, there were also recalls on Hyundai and Kia vehicles for engine failure situations that we covered above. But as we learned only the vehicles built between 2011 and 2014 were eligible for engine failure recall. The vehicles affected are exactly the ones that we covered in this article. Namely, the Optima with the Theta II engine, MPI, and GDI respectively.
So, if your Kia is part of these recalls, you should immediately call your dealership and take your car for a thorough inspection and make sure that your vehicle is in check. But what does the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost? That’s what we are going to cover in the following chapter.
2015 Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost
To learn the exact 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost, you need to consult with your dealership. If the engine failed all of a sudden with no previous warning and failed because of the problem with the metallic debris that is blocking the oil passage and damaging the bearings, then you might probably be able to replace the engine for free.
Since it is not your fault that the engine destroyed itself. As we know only engines between 2011 and 2014 were eligible in these recalls. So if you have the 2015 Kia Optima you will need to pay a hefty amount of money to get it fixed.
So, the 2015 Kia Optima engine cost will probably be between $5,000 to $6,500 for a brand-new engine.
Many people reported that they have already replaced their engines and these are the numbers that you probably have to pay if you want to return your Kia Optima to proper working order.
A hefty amount but that is the price to pay sometimes. If else, sell it and recuperate some of the money if you don’t want to lose this money on engine replacement.
Kia Optima Alternatives
If you don’t have a 2015 Kia Optima and you are reading this. It is better to go for a different car than the Optima in my opinion. Get yourself a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry if you don’t want to deal with a $6,500 engine replacement.
Nobody wants that and no do you. If else, go for a car that was eligible for the recall and these are the cars built between 2011 and 2014 as we previously noted above.
Kia Engine Problems and Repair Costs: What You Need to Know
- Kia Motors is the second-largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea, but reliability and durability are not the themes in this company, with many owners in the last decade or so citing complaints about common Kia engine problems and a high Kia engine repair cost.
- The average cost to fix engine failure in a Kia car is between $4,600 and $5,300, with the total price depending on the exact make and model, resulting in premature engine fixes and repair costs.
- Kia used a variety of engine types, such as the 2.0-liter DOHC inline-four gasoline engine, the 2.0-liter FE Gasoline inline-four engine, and the 3.3-liter Lambda II V6 engine, in their models.
- Some of the most common engine problems associated with Kia vehicles are due to engine stalling, fire risk, and faulty airbag deployment.
- Kia recalled almost 300,000 vehicles due to an increased potential for engine fire in various car models, including the popular Kia Sorento and Soul SUVs.
- Between the model years of 2012 and 2014, the Sorento experienced numerous issues with the transmission and the engine alike.
- The engine problems in Kia cars are categorized into various groups depending on the root cause and severity, such as lubrication, overheating, denotation or combustion, and disassembly of parts upon construction.
- The average price of an engine rebuild comes between $2,500 and $4,000 for both labor and the cost of parts in Kia cars, which is among the highest in car repairs or replacements.
- Kia owners report that the vehicle stalls and emits strange noises before completely failing, sometimes taking only around 500 miles to go from symptoms to complete failure on the road.
- Diagnosing common engine concerns can help Kia owners save money on the overall Kia engine repair cost, and potential car buyers should be aware of the engine reliability issues before purchasing Kia cars.
Kia Optima Engine Replacement Cost: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the 2015 Kia Optima. First, we learned what is the Kia Optima from 2015 and its specifications. We focused primarily on the engines and transmissions, fuel economy, and the safety aspect.
Then we have covered the specs of the engines. More precisely the 2.4L and the 2.0L, and learned the power numbers as well as their common problems. And there are a lot of them. Namely the complete failures because of the worn rod bearings. Then the carbon buildup as well as the oil consumption.
What was worse is that we learned that only the cars between 2011 and 2014 were recalled for the engine and not the 2015 model, unfortunately. And lastly, we covered the 2015 Kia Optima engine replacement cost. And as we can note this engine is quite expensive to replace. $6,500 to be more exact. So, if you have one, better sell it and buy something new. Don’t wait for the engine to fail and pay $6,500 to replace it.