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2003 Kia Carnival Warranty Complaint

Name: kathryn
Car Make: Kia
Car Model: Carnival
Year of Manufacture: 2003

Warranty Complaint:

Sudden engine failure, water in fuel, blown gasket. Lander dealership says it is not an engine problem (that was apparently only with 2002 models) but have quoted up to $8500 to replace engine- which they say is whats required- plus towing plus $650 just for looking. This is utter BS. We bought this car new, still owe heaps on it, and have religiously taken the car back to dealership the whole time for overpriced ineffective servicing. Car has only done 88000kms and city driving.

  • David and Jan Dermody

    Purchased Kia Carnival LS 2001 for $13,996 from Bundaberg Toyota in January 2007. 83,467kms when purchased. After travelling 2,422kms and 3 and half months out of warranty, known engine problem happened. Cost to us – $6979.75. We are still fighting the dealership over this as we believe that the dealership is responsible for costs as they advertise quality cars and assured us of its reliability. We were unaware of the history of this make and model and being on disability pension,carers pension and family payments, this has devastated us financially. Beacause we choose to protest peacefully, but publicly the dealership are threatening legal action.

    • Geoff Hearn

      G’day, I am having problems with my 2004 Kia Carnival and would also like to know how to get a refund, Thanks Geoff

      • http://www.robinsontoolmakers.com.au cassie robinson

        HI all,

        Its very disheartening to see all the problems people have had with their kia carnival and dealing with kia to get help. R.P.E can help all of you, they have re-engineered/re-manufactured the kia carnival engine with their toolmaking and engine reconditioning expertise, please jump on their website and check it out, they are very honest and helpful. http://www.robinsontoolmakers.com.au

    • Craig Dixon

      I too bought a kia Carnival 2003 model late Dec 2008 from a reputable dealer, and with approx 65k km’s on it I was assured it was in good nick. Almost exactly a year later after the warranty had expired did the car start to overheat. At 85000 k’s I needed to do the timing belt which needed doing as well as all the other belts and pulleys that go with it. My mechanic recommended I do the water pump as well as its hard to get to and needs replacing after that many miles, and the list goes on plugs leads brake discs and so on. What is otherwise a beatiful car to drive, the engine is all but crap and I have been told to get rid of it while its still running Ok. I cant afford to change the car as I still owe so much on it I feel I’m stuck with a piece of scrap thats about to blowup on me any moment. I feel sorry for those that have had to fork out 1000’s for replacement engine’s and so on and feel that the manufacturer should wear some of the cost to replace these engines, or recall them and replace them in some kind of deal with the owners -i.e part payment etc. If you have a kia thats manufactured prior to 2005 get rid of it or you’ll be in for heaps of expenses and aggravation. Dont know how they can sell such crap and get away with it. SO NO to KIA

      • nabeell

        i really agree with u .its the same problem with my car too , KIA carnival GS 2003 .i just bought it a month ago and it is getting over heated .went to garage i was told to change the thermostat ,but the problem was still.and the list continued for changing radiator ,radiator cap ,cooling fan.etc
        and now finally saying to replace the engine ,ur engine is finished .this car has finished me

    • Libyan Embassy

      We have a Kia Carnival here at an embassy in Canberra that is approximately 8 years old with 111000 kms on the speedo. It has the same overheating problem everyone else appears to have. The embassy is thinking of replacing the engine but that seems to be a waste of time and money. Any suggestions? Any chance Kia will pay for some if not all of a replacement engine, if that is the only way forward?

  • Dale Morris

    David or Jan

    You are not alone 60-70% of engines fitted in KIA Carnivals have failed. I have managed to get KIA Motors to pay 90% of costs to repair our engine. EMail me your details & I can supply details on how to get a refund

    • Cameron Duncan

      I am another unfortunate carnival owner and I would love you to send me the detailes on how to get a refund for a replacement engine.

      • Cecilia Belz


        Did you get the details, we have just had exactly the same problem and have commenced discussions with Kia, however it is early days.

    • Jim Dunglinson

      Hi Dale,

      We have just experienced an engine failure on the Kia with only 80,000 ks!

      Would love some help in getting a refund….?!

    • Daniel


      can you send me the details on how to do this. I bought a second hand kia and have had nothing bout trouble with it over the last 12 months

    • Brian

      Hello Dale,
      I have had engine failure also with a KIA Carnival 2001 model.
      Amazing how prevelant this problem is when you conduct some research after having problems.
      Any help that you could provide would be of assistance.
      PS Do you know a good company that can provide a new engine, as I beleive I will not receive much assistance from KIA Australia and want to put as little money as I can back in the pockets of KIA.

    • Geoff Hearn

      G’day, I am having problems with my 2004 Kia Carnival and would also like to know how to get a refund, Thanks Geoff

    • donna flannery

      hi we have a kia carnival 2003 same here our motor blew up and we are unable to pay for it to be repaired if yuo could give the details of how to get some sort of help that would be great regards Donna

    • Will

      I bouhght a Kia Carnival 2002 and at 90K’s am having engine problmes. Tapping noises from the engine and it heats up very fast. I would love to get my money refunded.

    • Debbie Sampson

      Hi Dale. I am another Kia victim, just had head gasket replaced on a 2000 model on 86000km. Any details on how to put in a complaint and win, would be greatly appreciated. thanks, Debbie

    • Brian

      Hi Dale,
      i am having a similar problem with a 2002 carnival and would be grateful of any help you can offer.

    • Heather

      My 2003 Kia Carnival has recently just stopped working, it has only done 79,707 kms.
      I had a mechanic who came to my house today and after looking at the car informed me it would cost me $8000 to replace the engine with a reco engine.
      While he was trying to get me a quote to fix the car he was informed by a few mechanics that they would not touch replacing a kia engine because they were not confident in offering the 2 year warranty.
      If anyone could provide me with any advise on how to resolve or get a refund from kia it would be greatly appreciated.
      Is anyone looking into a class action against kia?
      Thanks Heather

    • Marlon Brook

      I purchased a KIA CARNIVAL 2005 or 2006 model this vehicle from a private seller.\r\n
      I took the vehicle to an auto electrician who could not start the vehicle.

      He recommended that I take the car to the KIA agents which I did.

      They then refered me to take the vehicle to another KIA agent which had a bigger workshop.

      I did this and after a week they told me to sell the car for scrap.

      I find this completely opsurd that the agency can not determine the cause/fault and give the customer a quote or even even a solution to the problem.

      I now have the vehicle back home.

      The vehicle is in exellent condition

      What is frustrating is that every electric part in the vehicle works from all the lights, music system, wipers horn side mirrors,fan.

      The engine even turns, but will not start..THERE IS NO SPARK.

      Is there any suggestion from anyone how to start this vehicle.

      I am prepared to replace the entire engine,but will this be the salution?


      Marlon +27825903916

      Johannesburg, South Africa

      • james

        when yo find out whats wrong with your kia let me know because mine has the same problem exactly ?????? and im really pissed off about it

    • http://paul.connell@tradelink.com.au Paul Connell

      Interested in how you got a refund. Mine hasn’t gone yet but I’m assured it is about to.

    • Rachel Walker

      I too have same problem , my warranty has run out and still owe $15000 on my kia in which the motor has died.. They said nothing i can do except buy a new motor, i am on a carers pension and i do not have that type of money especially with 4 kids.. grr
      HOW do i get a REFUND or get my car fixed CHEAP..lol

      • Helen

        Hi there we are in the same boat with our 2004 Kia Carnival. I am wondering if you had any success with KIA compensating and if so how difficult this was? Do you suggest getting a new engine or scapping the car. We too still owe on a car we can not use. Not fair for struggling families

    • Ash

      Hello, Have the same problem, pls advise, how can I get refund to replace the engine?? Thanks

    • http://kia luke

      i have this kia carnival 2002 has had blown motor. new head.and now another blown motor im not paying for this 1

      • http://kia luke

        can you please send me the information that i need to get help with this problem once again.

    • Joanna

      I have had the same problem with my Kia Carnival, the engine just failed on us. We took it to the mechanic and he said that he had two other kias waiting for an engine. I’d love to know how I could get any kind of help from Kia to fix this up.

    • jodie mullen

      please email me how to get this refund. my kia carnival started making severe noise at 81,000. the dealer pulled my engine apart into a thousand pieces and gave me back in boxes in my car. i have 5 children and have been ripped off. there is a court case which started in 2007 or 2008 started by firm of solicitors in SA. do you know what happened there?

    • JOEL

      hi there id like sum details thanx

    • Clinton

      Our family is now in the same situation as most people here, any details you can send us in hope of KIA covering of cost of repairs or refund would be appreciated.

    • vicki

      Hi there i realise it 2as a long time since your kia post, i was wondering if you all had any luck? I have been ringing around trying to get a reconditioned engine for my 2003 model kia and have been informed im just wasting my money {$5,700} if i get a motor – im so sad and soooo shocked that kia can get away with no recalling them and helping us poor people out.
      Obviously being a 7seater – we all have people depending on us to drive them around – in my case it’s 6 children! Shame on KIA.
      Many Thanks.

    • Craige62

      My 2002 LS Carnival has just done a head gasket, water in the sump and oil in the radiator overflow bottle, it has done less than 75000k’s (owned since new), it has been a fantastic people mover up until now, when I purchased the vehicle I was told that this model was ok with no engine related problems, so could I have the details about getting some help on on this matter.

    • D Ward

      1999 KIA Carnival

    • Craig

      Hi Dale, please would you send me those details on how to get a refund, i noticed today that my coolant is full of oil plus oil all over the engine pleeeeeeeese help thanks mate!!!

      • Ronald Story


        Please, suggestions and steps on how to get a refund would be so much appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

        The past 6 months our Kia Carnival 2003, has been in the shop for repairs more often than we can remember. Repairs from replaced complete cylinder head and still a heavily smoking engine, starter problems, injector malfunctioning, constant air conditioning leaks, to the car now not being able to drive in hilly or mountain areas as the engine quickly overheats. Bills and towing expenses have been piling up since.

        It has been quite a nightmare for us. Thank you so much for guiding us in a direction that hopefully may bring some financial (and emotional) gratification.

        Dale, thank you for keeping up the good work!

    • Jai


      I need help to find out the solution to fix Kia carnivals. I bought this car to year ago now head gasket is gone. Please advise how to fix and where.

    • krisma

      Hi Dale i would also love to have to get
      the details that i need to try and get a a refund.

    • Kagail

      Hi Dale,

      I am also having great difficulties with my KIA. Can you please email me the details to recoup some of the extensive costs to keep this money pit on the road.

      Thank you so much.

    • Fred


      Please post or email me the details on refund. Same issue here, 2002 carnival, blown engine.


    • Fleming6s

      Dear Dale,  our Kia 2004 model $130K just failed on us last week in the middle of the road with 4 small children onboard. So angry cause they say timing belt gone, need to replace engine and even then not sure if it caused other problems.   Any suggestions  Thanks Tammy (fleming6s@optusnet.com.au)

    • Mke2035

      mate i have the same problems can u email me the details please mke2035@y7mail.com

    • Mahoneygraeme

      Hi Please can you email the details for a refund for engine repair to mahoneygraeme@gmail.com

    • Mas Tembo

      Please help me do the same, I need to replace motor what should I do?

    • Michael Weigang

      Hi Dale!Would be grateful,especially after all this time,if you can email me how to get a refund from KIA Motors,Yours sincerely;Michael Weigang.Email:mulgamikandsophie@yahoo.com.au

    • sharon cipolla

      i purchased a 2000 kia carnival for 24,000 in 2004 it lasted till the end of 2012 the engine just stopped i had no idea that engine failure was such a common problem until i purchased another one in 2013 the same thing is happening with over heating etc its now making a clicking noise .I would greatly appreciate it if u could give me the email address ,regards sharon

    • Michael

      Hi Dale,
      I’d like to know this as well, could you email me please? pacewayautorep@optusnet.com.au

    • jer Ry

      Hi Dale,

      Thanks for your offer of help in supplying details on how to get a refund.
      My 2003 kia carnival ls also having engine trouble. would you be able to send the details to: jerryoliveria@yahoo.com.au. Thanks again.

  • rnlrobinson


    I’m in a very similar situation to David and Jan where the company is claiming “consequential damage” resulted in the problem that has left me facing a $5,500 bill to fit a new engine (this is at trade rates thanks to the dealership). Mine is the 2003 model LS Carnival though…

    The car is 4 months out of warranty and Kia is claiming there is no “goodwill” because of this “consequential damage”. I have always taken the car to the dealer for regular servicing and have not punished the car at all. It’s only got about 8,300km’s on the clock.

    If you do have any information you can give to help me deal with Kia, I would be most interested. Where do I email my details to though? 😉



  • Emmanuel

    I own a 2001 carnival and going through the same experience. I also need help on how to get refund from kia. How do I send my details?

  • Lyndsay

    What I found was a trail of negative stories about most of the Carnival range. The company knows about the problems, but seemingly refuses to recall the vehicle to address the problem. How on earth do they keep trading?? The Federal Govt. should suspend all KIA imports until the company accepts responsibility for their faulty product (not of merchantable quality) as is required by the Trade Practices Act. There are many consumers who\’ve had really bad experiences with this company (http://www.motorsm.com/complaints/000.asp?catid=1101) and (http://www.carsurvey.org/viewcomments_review_43564.html#c206629). All I can suggest is that the Federal Govt. Minister responsible for vehicle imports (was Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources pre election) be hounded with letters of demand outlining the problems experienced and seeking an assurance that KIA do the right thing by its customers, or kick them off the approved imports list. Good luck, but I think I\’ll look at another people mover.

  • James A

    I am now up to my second engine and out of pocket $4000 dollars. I bought my new Kia Carnival in 2000, it lasted 49000km before the motor failed. Kia replaced the motor and I was assured the problem was rectified. Our Kia does very little mileage and this year the second motor failed after only 40,000km. It costs $4000 to repair and it was the same problem, coolant in the engine oil,2 weeks later the motor went again!!! Kia sent out their technical experts to repair the engine. They undertook a modification and claimed to have fixed the problem however they told me they have only undertaken this new fix on a few carnivals. In two weeks I am off to QLD in my repaired Carnival. I can’t say I feel confident that it will travel the 1000km without breaking down. I asked that the costs be covered for the second engine however no was the answer. It’s hard to believe that a company can get away with selling a car that the engine fails before 50,000km.

  • http://twosandysclearnet.co.nz Lloyd

    And I thought the Holden problems were bad!!

  • Derek

    I bought a Dec 1999 Kia Carnival from Ken Morgan Brighton in Oct 2007 escpecially for use during the festive season to enable me to carry extra passengers compared to a normal sedan. Was assured by Ken Morgan that the known engine problems are found only in automatic transmission and the manual transmission does not suffer from this problem. Engine died in mid Nov 2007. Kia refused to talk to me. Ken Morgan said it’ll be early Feb 2008 before I can get my car back. Xmas plans gone kaput thanks to Kia.

    Ken Morgan even had the cheek to try to sell me another Carnival if I traded the current one as it is (scrap value). Don’t ever buy anything from Ken Morgan.

  • William

    I also have oil in the coolant after only 56,000 KM after taking my car for its regular service with a KIA dealership.

    Any information on how to gain full refund on cost of repairs would be greatly appreciated.

  • Diane

    We have had this same problem with our Kia carnival 2001 bought one year ago -we live in Taiwan. It has 60,000 miles on it most city driving was not abused. Now it is siting dead and we are taking buses and taxis to work and school with our 4 children. When I look at the engine I cannot believe it, it looks like a new car and it is junk metal! Will we have to pay to have it junked is what I am wondering?

  • Diane

    Sorry I meant 60 kilometers.


    We have the same problem , our motor went at 68,000 kms, and went back to Ballarat Kia and it took six (6) months for them to make a decision, they did say they gave us a new engine to find out now , it is a reconditioned engine, it is again off the road and we have been told it has blown up, at 55,00 kms. WE ARE ACTUALLY TRYING TO FIND OUT IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO PUT ANOTHER ENGINE IN A KIA ?.EG HOLDEN , FORD ETC. IF ANY ONE HAS DONE THIS AND KNOW AN ENGINEER PLEASE HELP !!!!. THEY WANT $9200.00 FOR OUR THIRD KIA MOTOR AND THAT IS WITHOUT FITTING AND ALL THE OTHER GOODIES WE WILL BE TOLD WE NEED. PLEASE HELP. AND GOOD LUCK CHARLES


    Hi it is Charles again, i forgot to say our KIA CARNIVAL SCRAP HEAP was manufactured in 2000,

  • Paul Mather

    Add me to the list of woes over Kia Carnivals. We bought a carnival in 2004, have done 89000 kms, and then the engine blew up on the family holiday to Queensland at christmas. Result dead car at Ballina, I live in Newcatle and now have to argue to get car fixed. It was 4 months out of warranty. We also had the car serviced for 90,000 km book service at a Kia delership two weeks before the trip. New timing belts, spark plugs full service history etc. Excuse is that problem is a serviceing issue as no oil was left in engine. This is crap, obviously oil has penetrated into the cylinders due to failure of the casings or block or anything else. Kia’s first response was that type 2 engines do not fail in this model and all of the problems occured with 1999 and 2000 models only. I am allready out of pocket substantially in hire cars and car floating to kia dealership etc. Will look forward to any advice. Thanks

  • Rachael

    I also bought a 2002 Carnival last May. It has just done 80,000km and the died. I took it back to the dealer every time we had any trouble over the last 10 months (5 times it has broke down) only to be told there was nothing wrong with the car or the last time, that we needed a new radiator cap.
    Our car broke down again 2 weeks ago and I took it back to the dealer this time I have a cracked head and block and the estimated repair cost is $8500 for a new motor. We paid for an extended warrantly (through the dealer not KIA) which apparently does not cover this repair, the dealer is also saying that they are not liable.
    I am currently 8 months pregnant with our 4th child so any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated.

  • Colin

    I also have an 03 Carnival, blown engine.im interested also on refund procedure and repair cost. thanks

  • Gary

    oh my god ive just bought a o8 model grand carnival i just hope the engine is good

    • Nath746

      You’re Carnival is fine. The problem is only with the Rover 2.5L V6 which was used in the older model carnivals. Your car has a Kia Engine in it, and should hold up fine. We have a December 2008 Model Grand Carnival and it runs fine. No major problems yet, but we have only done about 35,000kms so far…


    lol hahahahaha, hang in their greg, Kia’s are like buying a mobile phone, you either throw them out after two or three years or drive them down to SA for a 5 cent recycling refund………. GOOD LUCK DUDE…….

  • http://a.g.hbigpond.com paul

    Seen your kia on the roadside last weekend. Not that Ive owned a kia or likely to buy one, I like the stand your taken. I had problems with a commodore a few years ago with about the same responce that you recived. In my case the dealer had his home phone numder listed in the white pages, so I rang him about 5am each morning at home. Not much was gained but he knew who I was when calling the dealership later in the day. Keep up the good work and keep the bomb on the side of the road, telling as many people as possable. In the end you vote with your dollar, and I now run a midsize fleet of cars for our business and guess what, no holdens.

  • Tony

    Hi all. We bought our Kia Carnival new in mid 2004. August 2007 the crankshaft oil seal went. The car was just out of warranty but we laughed it off and paid the grand to fix it. Then the rear wheel bearing needed replacing. We serviced the car at the same time (70,000km). 75,000km and on a trip home after the Easter holidays the engine rattled, we limped into the nearest town where the NRMA took one listen and shook his head.

    Our car is a write off after 75,000. WTF? As in all the cases Kia are not interested, in fact in my last phone call the response was “a resounding no”. The reason we do not qualify for ‘goodwill’? We didn’t get the previous-to-last service at a Kia service centre.

    I am now on a campaign to humilate the company for selling an inferior product with inferior back up.

  • jo


    I would like to know if anyone actually got a refund lately off Kia, for motor problems (as mentioned many times in above emails). We are now in the same boat…

    If, you have gotten a refund… how did u do it?


  • TP

    That’s what you get for buying a KIA, should’ve bought a Torago instead.

  • Golfschwein

    TP, why don’t you do Social Skills 101 at TAFE? Jo’s not looking for your caring suggestion that she should have bought a “Torago”.

    She’s obviously not a frequent visitor to the site, but is a family woman doing what she can to restore a situation that’s pretty serious for her and is doing some investigation on the internet for that reason.

    Grow some empathy and some brains. See if they offer a double-major on spelling.

    Jo, most of us here would apologise for this. I don’t have the knowledge to help you, but wish you the best of luck.

  • http://realcarsbigpond.net realcars

    I owned a 2002 model from new and luckily didn’t have any probs. Traded it on a Grand Carnival which is a good car.

    A friend had the engine failure with 1999 model and it was fixed under warranty.Traded on a 2006 model a year after and so far so good with the new one.

    Perhaps people with problems would be best served by contacting DEPT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS in your state en mass.

    They should be able to assist with the issue.

    I had a used Mazda MPV that I bought second hand with excessive piston slap and got the dealer to replace with jap exchange engine when I mentioned Dept of Consumer Affairs.

    Otherwise write en mass to relevant Government Minster State and Federal etc. Call Allan Jones even. If u are aggrieved then make as much noise as possible in these ways and I think u will find they will come to the party eventually.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  • http://realcarsbigpond.net realcars

    …and TP did u know that Toyota had a similar issue with the early v6 Prado?. Also blown head gaskets a major prob with the sv22 v6 Camry.

    Perhaps u should show a bit of empathy towards people in a bind but being the obnoxious idiot u are I doubt u know what that word means.

  • http://. Naughtyius Maximus

    TP ever the Toyota Puller and classic full blown idiot!

  • http://. Naughtyius Maximus

    If one pays any attention to TP….he thinks every Toyota is top of class. Truly an Idiot!

  • kennedy

    Hi, I am a single mum with 4 kids. Before my husband left we bought a new 2003 Kia Carnival. Up until now I have had no problems with it. However, I was told last week by an independent mechanic that I would be lucky to get another year out of it due to oil in the engine. It has only done 65 000km and is still under warranty by a month. I have been told that the warranty does not cover this problem. Help!!!!!!

  • claire

    I’m glad I found this site. I was looking at buying a 2008 Kia Carnival Grand, but looks like that would be a bad idea!!! I’m not willing to take the chance that they’ve inproved. I feel so bad for all you guys but I can’t understand why the government are not doing anything about this? How can they keep letting Kia get away with supplying shonky vehicles, it’s a disgrace. There must be a way to bring this to their attention. As someone said above, try writing to the federal government minister. Copy all these complaints and send them with yours. Everyone needs to take action to get this maddness stopped. Good luck.

  • Genna Churches

    Hello to all fellow Kia Carnival owners. I brought my Kia in mid 2006. What a great car – I was so impressed then I heard about the head gasket problems and I phoned Kia. They rang me back and said no problem if the head gasket goes that they will either replace the engine or repair the fault and to have it serviced at a Kia dealer to make it easier if there is a problem. So in January this year the head gasket went and a Kia dealer told me it wasn’t a head gasket just a massive air lock and a faulty radiator. Little did I know that they had screwed the head down harder and bodged it up. So now in May it now has really blown and guess what Kia Australia have said? That when I spoke to them in 2006 that the company was run by Ateco and now it is Kia Korea as Ateco did not have Kia’s best interest at heart. Wow. I have a car that is irreparable and Ateco did not have Kia’s best interest at heart? Right so lets get organised all you Kia owners and pursue these bastards. Let’s show them who’s interests they should have at heart. This is my email address genna@iinet.net.au please email me and tell me your stories. I am a law student so perhaps I can help to find some way to apply some pressure? But we all need to band together. Even if you have sold your Kia please email me your story – it all adds weight to our plight. United we stand, divided we fall. Oh and I suppose we have nothing to loose either!

    • vicki

      Well, i sure wish i found all this info b4 i brought my 2003 kia!
      i have 7 children & no vehicle now! Same problems…mine did not even make it home from where i brought it! Do you think there is any hope? Did you have any luck? Any advise would be helpful. many thanks,

  • Peter

    Hi All

    I’m looking at the viability of a class action against Kia Australia and ATECO. If anyone is interested please email the following details name, model, year, new/used, number of motors, KMS and contact number. Email address viparr@bigpond.com, there is no obligation to join a class action, this is just to find out the viability.

    Cheers Peter

  • corrie

    uh oh last month we bought a 2002 with 63000kms and the dealer told us only 2001 ones had the problem…..fingers crossed we are in the minority that don’t have any problems


  • http://www.caradvice.com.au rachel

    Hi all
    I am in the middle of a legal battle with Southside Auctions i bought a kia carnival 2002 from them 3 months ago.After a month the car went back into their garage to fix the gearbox which also cost us $679,then 2 months later the startermotor went and the doorhandle fell off.After alot of abuse of the phone from the company i contacted RACQ legal time which they have helped me heaps step by step.It is costing heaps to get my 4 kids back and forth to school,but i wont give up the fight!!!!
    Good luck to you all and dont give up!!!

  • D

    Hi Dale Morris November 10th, 2007 at 5:35 pm
    I’m in a very similar situation to David and Jan I own a 1999 Kia Carnival bought in 2007 had it for 8months now there’s oil in the coolent radiator. I rang Kia and they said it was replaced in 2003 and nothing they can do.

  • Warmurf

    Hi all,

    I own (and am about to get rid of) a 2005 model- we’ve had little problems with it, but I knwo what you mean about anything to do with warranty- they have an excuse for every thing under the sun. Must be rats- (burnt wiring). All lights shorted- you used your mobile phone in the 12V socket- it’s only made for cig lighters (so why do you put three in the car with only one cig lighter!!!). Has anyone looked at taking this to say 60 minuites or (in desperation) a current affairs show? Or maybe 4 corners?? Even if the plight of those above can’t be won, at least it might stop more poor people being royally stung. There must be enough examples here for a major story?? Good luck to everyone- this is so un Australian- we deserve better!!

  • Tina

    I can’t believe I am going through this AGAIN with the 2004 model! I bought the original 2001 Kia Carnival brand new and had the engine replaced TWICE under warranty. When it came time to trade it in the only people that would give me anything for it was a Kia dealer…so I bought the 2004 model brand new. Last Sunday with a car full of kids the whole thing just stopped in the middle of a highway. No smoke, no noise – it just shut down. It had to be towed for miles to my mechanic who has just told me that the right side of the engine has seized and the whole thing will need replacing at a cost of over $7500. Kia assured me that the problems they had with old models engines had been fixed…stupid me.

  • Ford GT40

    Why oh why did you buy a KIA, just asking for trouble, I hope everything goes well with the next engine, really you should look else where…

  • Colin

    hi ive done a bit of research on the carnivals and it seems its just the 2002 and previous to them models that have these engine problems is this true? we were told it is these models because the motor in them is a rover motor and thats the problem. i have read wat is in this site and am now in to differnt minds weather to buy one or not ,we are about to have twins and alas need a people mover could someone suggest another thats still in a good price range wat bout the trajet?

    • Peter KING

      Just to clarify the Rover engine comment- Yes the 2.5 motor is the same motor as the Rover 75 and MG ZT has.These engines are extremely robust in these cars and regularily clock up to 250,000km no problems.The major difference is that Kia bought the rights to make the engines themselves under licence and from what I gather Kia production quality and materials were not as well spec’d as the Rover manufactured ones and thus the gasket failures etc.The original Rover motors were designed by Lotus and are pretty good motors.
      Like all motors they too have issues (such as the plastic thermostat housings leaking) which if not checked can cause overheating but they are not prone to HG failure on their own.

  • Terry

    The Trade Practise Act (“TPA”) defines and identifies the consequences of engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct both at corporate and personal levels.The TPA is administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. I was told that my replacement engine (in my 2001 model)had been redesigned and the design fault of the KV6 2.5 engine fixed when it was replaced at 80,000 klm in 2006 (I hope that’s true). It should be a simple matter for the ACCC to learn how many Carnivals, Freelanders and Rover 75’s engines of the same design have all failed when the coolant mixes with oil due to head gasket failure resulting from the cylinder sleeves moving up and down in the block (hence the “short engine” being installed but not new heads-note,poor quality coolant may result in corrosion and pitting to the cylinder heads which would require head replacement). Internet site reports indicate that it is in the thousands of engines that have failed… anyway Kia has the records cause they can tell you all about your “special operation” if you provide them with your VIN. KIA told me that engines were only now failing now due to incorrect servicing (tell that to someone who has a 2004 model, 75,000 klms on the clock,a blown engine and a big car loan). Hey Kia, if you have replaced thousands of Carnival engines(like other manufacturers who have the same Rover KV6 engine) it may seem pretty obvious to a learned person, like a judge, that its more than servicing that causing the problem especially when your dealership network is doing the servicing (and they were factory trained). It will become even more apparent if the replacement KV6 engines,which were “redesigned” and fixed also suffer (or are suffering) the same fate for a second time or post 2002 engines start failing. How about doing the Australian thing and give us a fair go. Is the problem a irrepairable design fault in the KV6 engine. Did you really fix the design or simply try and find a stronger adhesive for the liner and put in a new multi layer steel gasket (like a bigger and stickier band aid). Or are you just putting the same old design into every Kia Carnival 1999-2005 (with a new band aid of course) and consequently selling a product that may won’t “go the distance” (that is, not of acceptable quality and will fail in time). Funny that they now offer a 5 year warranty on new vehicles.
    See websites on Freelanders or Rover KV6 engine to confirm other engine problems.

    They may be Carnivals but your customers are not
    clowns.To quote an old Australian adage “KIA doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

  • John

    We own a 2003 Carnival 175000Kms on the clock.We bought it second hand with 70000kms. Just checked the oil this morning and there is small amounts of water in oil. No lost of power up to this point, I do the basic servicing on the car and send it to a mechanic for anything bigger. Would seem that getting it servived by KIA makes no difference at all. I do suspect that it had a new motor before we bought it but the dealer said no. Cars of to the mechanic tommorrow but I think I know the answer. Owe just to much to get rid of it But beginning to think I should cut my losses and move on

  • Hate my Kia!!!!!

    Hi All, I too unfortunately own a kia carnival, 2002 model in dec 07. We bought only the body at about 80000km as the original owner had blown the first engine.(lucky them to have gotten that far on their first engine) silly us believed that as we were putting a new engine in that their would be no problems associated with the engine and would get a good 80000km out of the brand new engine as Kia was supposed to have modified the engine to resolve previous problems. We bought a brand spanking new long engine from a motor importer (would recommend this rather than a kia dealership to save money, you can find them in your phone book under motor recyclers and or importers) and set about having it put in by our own mechanic, the engine from the start was damaged and the whole vehicle had to be taken back to where the we purchased the engine from for repairs before it could even be driven. They rebuilt the head (rediculous for a brand new engine that we hadn’t even driven) adn then about 3 weeks later the head again blew at the same point. The motor recycler and is absolutely fantastic (can’t say the same about the kia) and they replaced the engine for us with another brand new engine. in the last three months our kia has been back to have engine repairs 2 times adn is again currently sitting there having the engine ripped out again so they can again repair the head which they believe is blown on this engine or at least have major damage and this 2nd brand new engine has no more than 4000km’s use adn half that time it has been sitting unused waiting for repairs… and the only reason i bought a kia was i though it would be cheaper on fuel than my 4wd had been as i need a 7 seater for our family of 6, but again kia didn’t fail to disapoint and i was only getting about 350km out of my tank instead of the alledged 600-800km. I am going back to a 4wd. shame on you kia…

  • DUFF

    My husband and i are looking at another car for our 4 children and i have always wanted a kia. After reading this website i am not so sure. Are the problems still with the motors on the new kias? Maybe i should stick with the car i know.

  • No Name

    “My husband & I” – surely Will and Harry don’t need to ferried about by mum any more

  • Michael

    I have never visited this website before and have been completley 100% turned off buying a Kia Carnival after reading the above posts.

    Before tonight I was definately going to purchase one.

    The main reason for my change is that the warranty does not appear to cover what is frequently breaking down.

    I have read a plethora of drive reviews and other online reviews which are positive(ish) but they tested new kia carnivals.

    I feel for those sufferring, particularly those with children as we are about to have our 4th and need a people mover. With new engines going between $5000-$10000 a pop it appears seemingly under every 100,000 km cycle, I would need to be paid to drive one not vice-versa.

  • Robert Kury

    Another Kia bites the dust. Just over 79,000kms, purchased brand new, full service history, no accidents, easy semi-rural driving and the engine seized without warning. Still going through the motions to get Kia to face up to this problem. Hopefully everybody is sending letters to the ACCC and State Dept of Fair Trading to get them moving on this unmerchantable piece of junk.

  • Olivia

    Thank you everyone for your comments, this page has saved us from buying one. I do feel sorry for those in stressful circumstances.

  • Bob

    Bought a new KIA Carnival in 2003. Put the car in for a 110K service today (23/07/2008). Guess what ? mechanic tells to think about getting rid of it as there is signs of impending disaster!!!. Suppose I was lucky to get 110,000 out of it after seeing all the other stories. This is the first and last KIA that I will buy…..

  • Paul

    The other side to this is the resale value of the vehicle; have a 2003 model 68K and lucky (as it would seem) no a problems.

    The problem I am having is no dealer with touch the car stating this exact problem.

    So although I dont have any of these issue financialy it is still hurting me…go figure!

  • Nicole

    Have you seen all the KIA Carnival’s on Ebay being sold with blown head gasket problems…
    Nearly all of them

  • http://realcars realcars

    The new Kia carnivals are essentially Hyundais so u can buy with confidence. For god sake get over it!!!!!

    Five year 130klm warranty when most people only keep their cars for four years.

    So many lame brains out there. U must really find it hard to make toast every morning.

    If u were jilted by the old model then by all means stay away and get some gumption and pursue the issue for gods sake.

    • vicki

      Wow for people 2 use the name ‘god’ and be sooo rude in a few sentence must mean you are a nothing and we should all sleep better in just knowing we – although car-less, are much better than this ‘fool’who writes utter BS!

  • http://realcars realcars

    350klms to the tank no wonder it blew up.

  • http://realcars realcars

    If your probs are genuine u should stop waiting for other people to do the dirty work for u.

    Step up!!!!!!

    • vicki


  • http://realcars realcars

    Too many dummies not prepared to step up. That’s how they get away with it. If u still have warranty u have them by the balls!!!!!

  • http://realcars realcars

    If u have full service history again u should have them by the gonads.

    Whining people expecting someone else to solve the prob for them. Get off your collective butts if u have been screwed over!!!!@!@!!!!

  • http://realcars realcars

    Organise a rally outside Kia headquarters.Have it towed there if u have too. How hard is it to put collective pressure on a maker?

    U have to step up or shut up.Simple.

  • http://realcars realcars

    Organise and embarrass them and I bet crates of the latest
    Hyundai engines will appear.

    Help me somebody help me on a site like this is pissing in the wind. Read my earlier hints for a call to action if u are serious in righting a wrong.

    If I had this prob with my first Carnival I promise Kia wouldn’t be trading in Australia today.

    I hate weak people!!!!!!

  • http://realcars realcars

    The silence is deafening.

    I suspect a few pot stirrers at work.

  • Rach Chee

    So tell me Realcars..what car do you own??? Your aggressive tone is deafening..Some people are only in a position to buy a car such as a Kia Carnival as it is the cheapest people mover on the market. Sometimes its best to keep your \’Should have or should do\’s to ones self\’ as not to come off pompous.

  • Jenni

    Hi All
    My sister and I purchased a carnival for our disabled mum.
    With the fit out for her to drive it independently is cost $50,000. We aren’t rich and we don’t live with her. My Dad died and MUm wanted to stay where she had always been so we did what we could to help her live as she wanted.
    We are still paying the car off.
    Last week the motor did exactly what you are all talking about and the dealer told her it was a fault with the motor but since it is 5 years old ( only done 60,000) she ( or we) will have to pay $6,000 to have it reconditioned.
    Mum has no other means of transport , she is in an electric wheel chair which means she cant go any where in anyone else’s car because it doesn’t fit.
    She can get to the local store but has to carry the food back on the chair and it is expensive. SHe lives on a pension and we try to help her.
    The car is crap quality anyway inside things are always falling off or falling apart.
    She is devastated.
    I would be happy to be part of a class action

  • Brad

    I had exactly the same problem with a 2001 Carnival LS. 2 litres of coolant was flowing into the sump a week. Contacted Kia and was told to take it to Ferntree Gully Kia so they could have a look. The engine had already been changed at 40,000Km and Kia refused to do anything about this fault. Took the car to my local mechanic and explained the situation. His suggestion was to put a $12 bottle of Chemiweld into the car. (Get a mechanic to do this for you if you are not mechanically inclined) This happened 3 years ago and the engine now has another 50,000 Km on it with no more coolant loss. I’m sure this won’t work in all cases but it worked for me. Suffice to say, I check the coolant level EVERY DAY. You should do the same. This won’t work if you have oil in the coolant and radiator. It only works if you have coolant in the oil. Best way to determine if coolant is in the oil is to remove the oil cap and look inside the cap. If it has a milky white froth inside, you have coolant in the oil.
    Hope this helps. Brad

  • Brett

    Having recently aquired a carnival (03) model from a dealer it nuked the block within 200 km – technically it is the dealers problem but i intend to get around this problem myself – i am an engineer and my group has found a cheap($2000)(150,000+ garantee)., ultra reliable engine and gearbox combo from another car and we will start the transplant over the next couple of weeks.We are interested to see if there is enough interest aus wide for us to take on the transport authorities approve it as a retro kit for the market,rather than a 1 off engineering approval….

    • allen

      I have a 2006 grand carnival with a 3.8lt engine that has blown up surprise hay .
      I would like to know if theye is another motor that will fit

    • Judith Cunnington

      Hello Brett, We too have a 04 Kia and are interested in your modification repairs. Were you able to develope and are you able to offer information on the replacment unit/availability costs. Reply to judith.cunnington@hotmail.com

  • Philip

    Hi All. Bought 2003 Kia Carnival LS new & the engine just blew up @ 40,000km. In my case, I took it to my mechanic and made a claim w/ my insurance company. My mechanic stated that this was an inherent fault w/ Kia and the insurance assessor had it confirmed from the local Kia Dealer. My mechanic negotiated w/ Kia, and Kia provided a new engine free of charge on the condition it had to be installed by a Kia dealer (cost me $2000.). I had spoken to the dealer & the National Service Manager to try to recover the $2000. but it was “No.” Basically, they said I was lucky to get the engine outside warranty. My recommendation is try going through your insurance company first & another mechanic to determine the cause. Once your engine is replaced, get rid of the Kia. No one could give me a reply when I asked if the new engine still had the defect. To me, that means it’ll blow up again.

  • a

    Phillip/ 2.5 or 2.7 engine? If 2.5, that’s Rover engine….so that’s Rover’s fault not Kia

  • http://google Heather

    Brad we are having the exact problem with our 2001 LS Carnival. We bought this car 2nd hand in May so just out of its dealer warrenty bought an addtional warrenty but ofcourse they do not cover this. I will suggest the chemiweld and maybe that will solve our problem until we trade it in!

  • Brad

    How did you go Heather?

  • G&B Byrne

    Hello,we bought a 2003 Kia Carnival new in 2003 after three years the warranty ran out we had the car serviced regularly the motor blow up three months after waranty ran out Kia wasn’t interested in discussing thematter with us we were told it will cost us $11000 to get a new motor put in we can’t afford that we are looking for a reconditioned motor and we are finding it very hard almost impossible there should be some compensation to cover costs we don’t know where to go

  • Pam Bettison

    Our wonderful Kia now joins the many crappy kia.we i think were lucky that we didnt owe money on it but sold it to buy a good car, a ford, which was what we should have bought in the first place.We wouldnt be out of pocket say at least $20,000.

  • http://kortge.net pkortge


    I’m (and I’m sure a whole lot of other people would be) interested in hearing more on your “cheap ($2,000) (150,000+ guarantee) ultra reliable engine and gearbox combo from another car”.

    Please post more (complete) details – i.e. Engine Make / model etc so we can make an informed decision !

    Also, it’s now 1 November – how did your “transplant” go ?

  • Tony Eva

    Oh no, very depressed finding this website and reading how bad Kias are! We bought a second hand Kia just last week from NSW (we live in Victoria), everything great until we took it for its 100k service, new timing belts etc. $1550, new engine mount $400, plus some new tyres(it apparently had a replacement engine at 45k), picked up from Kia Dealership on Friday night, Saturday morning (less than 100km later, head gasket/coolant everywhere!), still waiting to hear the bad news…. Of course, no warranty, but seems that Kia are covering up something here. Definitely interested in being involved in class action or whatever it takes to get bad workmanship off our roads.

  • Tony Eva

    Just wondering how brett’s transplant is going. Can you tell me which engine youre planning to use?. I think we have decided to take the car off the road untill we come up with an alternativ power plant/ gearbox.

  • tony eva

    Just had the bad news from Kia dealership, they’ll replace front head for $2500 or $5500 for both heads (with 12 month guarantee), think a new alternative engine is the way to go. Not impressed, our $7800 purchase now cost us $16000 so far.

  • Anon

    Just curious if anyone has had any issues with the automatic gear box (Sluggish gear changes, and jolts) and the alternator’s? Mines a 2004 Kia Carnival and I’m a single mum of 4 little children, 1 with disabilities and not in the financial situation to be able to replace a car or even pay for big repairs. I’ve noticed lately that the temp gauge has been slowly rising when driving, say 60km/h just around town, but is fine on highway driving. Could all of this be a sign of impending problems? I’m up to 89,000kms now and has only broken down twice. First time being a dead battery, 2nd time a faulty battery.

  • Mick

    Trading our 2003 Kia Carnival in tomorrow. Paid $30,600 4 years ago – trade in $6,500. Haven’t had problems but at 68,000 km got scared after reading this site. Done some money on it and would never touch another Kia in my life. 4 dealerships really did not want to touch the car and all warned that the Carnivals have a huge reputation for failing engines. Traded in on a Mitsubishi Grandis, which all my research indicates should be pretty good. Should have stuck with quality in the first place. Just wondering why Kia Carnival continues to be the best selling people mover – what percentage overall have engines failing ? Anyway – hope people sue the pants of this company as the evidence seems damning – just a heap of crap car !!

  • Peter

    We bought our 02 carnival 9 months ago, it had 104k on motor, we replaced timing belts 6 months ago. motor blew up the other day and now we dont know what to do. Apparently the cogs on the end of the cam shafts have a centre bolt with a locating pin. the centre bolt came loose on one cam eventually twisting the cam shaft and exploding the motor, i have a piece of one piston and a piece of the block on my computer desk. two mechanics have verified that there is no lock tight on any internal bolts, (parts) in the 2.5 litre motor and they just shake the motor apart. I personally believe that there is no quality assurance on these motors, hence the problems everyone is having. Can anyone tell us how we can get our motor dealer to fix this problem because we just dont have $6000 for complete motor replacement here in Tassie.

  • http://canwefixityeswecan vik

    hi all, i here all your plight and i am willing to work on a fix, but i need the help from someone first, i am going to work on an engine swap for the carnivals that is a lot cheaper than a kia engine, it will be a 2nd hand engine and no other, what i need is a kia carnival to buy cheap and i mean under

  • http://canwefixityeswecan vik
  • lisa

    Wow I wish I found this website earlier.We bought an 03 LS kia carnival in 2004 an with 4 kids we needed a people mover.. Our Kia decided it had had enough an died on xmas eve..What a xmas present that was!!!! exactly the same problem as everyone else, only thing is we were lucky to get 100,005km out of ours with no previous problems….Only thing now is we really like the style and room in the kias the price range suits as well..Do the 07 08 kias have the same problems???? Please if anyone knows would be greatly appreciated if you could let me know..thanks Lisa

  • Peter

    Gday all, I have just found a secondhand motor for our carnival which i have sauced through a web site called parts locator. just sign in ask the question about (supply good motor) and parts locator will submit emails to dismantlers etc around Aus, you should get a reply by email very quickly. if motor is secondhand ask for vin number then ring Kia dealer they should be able to tell you if engine is series 2 which i am told is the replacement motor for the rubbish motor they came out with. Also if someone out there has a little bit of money and the knowledge to replace these dud motors with a motor out of something else i believe that they will make a small fortune out of resurecting all the dead carnivals that are around Australia. Models are 1999 to 2003 2.5 litre rover engine.

  • rachel dioth

    oh kia wonderfull kia,
    i payed 24000 for a dec 2001 model kia carnivalin 2004 with 22000km on the clock.it blew its first egine, head gaskets split the motor at 32000km. kia replaced the motor but we payed for labour and fluids.
    that motor then did the same thing at 30938km. we were without a car for over6 weeks with 5 children to get to school etc, had to hire a car. kia refused to warrent motor as it was 938km out of allowed km’s. we then had to fork out 9500 to get our car back on the road. it then blew a fuel pump, harmonic ballencer, door handles etc etc.
    now guess where our car is?
    at the mechanics with a blown head gasket. we have been without car now for 3 weeks and the mechanic believes that there is another problem and said start figure would be $1500. we are 30km from town and stuck with 6 kids.
    what do we do? pay more money and fix it again or count our losses and sell it as is?
    its getting depressing.
    the car has had over $26000 spent on it in 3 years.
    but is only worth about 15000 if we are lucky.
    i wish i could hold kia accountable.
    but …………

  • rachel dioth

    oh and forgot to mention the engine mount had to replaced as well .

  • rachel dioth

    just heard from mechanic…. new motor needed at a cost of $8500 not including install and oils etc….
    im depressed

  • Neil Yashin

    Glad I found this site, as I have just left a deposit on a 2004 Carnival, after reading this, no way!!!! I am out of this deal, only left a $100.00 deposit, I will be happy to lose it!!! after reading the above stories here.

    Must be able to make Kia accountable for all your expenses and worries????

  • Jason Trevis

    2004 Kia Carnival – Bought new and double serviced(7500km intervals) Currently 171000km on the clock and the only trouble has been the erratic auto transmission, new right driveshaft, dirty MAF sensor and have just found that the rear wheel bearings are shot.

    Not a bad run I think.

  • Wendy

    Thank you everyone for sharing your Kia Carnival experiences. I was considering buying a 2003 model advertised by a private seller in the Trading Post. Now after reading all your stories, I will definitely not buy it. I’m a bit disappointed that people would resell it and advertise it as such a great car when they know how much trouble they really are.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, I’m sure your stories have helped alot of people from getting into the same predicament.

  • Laurie Godfrey

    To ‘Vic’

    I have an engineless 2000 Kia Carnival, and I’d like to talk to you about an alternative engine. My Kia is for sale an Ebay right now for $1000, but with a good engine (not Kia) it would be worth much more. When you get time, could you give me a ring on 0433 763428. You could buy my Kia, or we could discuss the pros and cons of replacing the engine.


    Laurie Godfrey

  • Nasis Ellis

    Here’s yet another complaint.

    I cannot beleive that Kia have been able to get away with this for so long. Is not some sort of class action warranted? Consumer affairs or the ACCC should be informed if they already haven’t. I have never read so many complaints about what appears to be the biggest lemon ever sold in Australia. I hope with this finacial crises Kia Australia will be one of the manufactures to go under. They deserve to it looks like.

  • Rodrigo Vasquez

    Hello sirs,

    Greetings from Guatemala, Central America. Unbelievable, I also had the same very Bad Luck of buying that piece of Kia Canival 2002. The engine blew just after 3 months of using it. I got it 2 yars ago, with 57,ooo kms. And dealer here is close to nobody. I want to install a new engine from a diferent car maker, Does anybody had any succes making it? Please if you have been succesfull replacing the engine, and tranny, please email me to vacaloca@intelnett.com. I will shurelly appreciate it. Kia SUCKS!

  • Tracey

    Another ”proud” Kia Carnival owner (2001 model) with an oil and coolant mixture. Car has 119,000k’s on is, brought used at 89,000k’s and has had a few minor things go wrong. I now wish I had of done some research on these cars as I would never of brought it, so I am now the proud owner of a lemon that will have to sit in my garage. I have no idea whether to fix it and waste thousands so I can get rid of it or just cut my loses and see the bank about getting another people mover.

    Very disappointed in Kia

  • Jean-Claude

    I bought a 2001 Kia last year and my engine just blew up 2 weeks ago ….Head gasket . I am in the process of rebuilding it as i need a car for my family but i wished i had seen this site before buying a KIA . I am in the process of emailing every single person that i know and i am hoping that it will put a stop to KIA from dealing in this country . You should all mail your friends and relatives and help boot KIA out. They should not be allowed to get rich on people’s misery .

  • /

    That is Rover made engine in that Kia should have not used Rover engine…

  • ian

    Brett / vik
    you posted that you were looking at putting in a different engine for a lot cheaper than 7000 have you had amy luck yet ? if you have I’m interrested in what you fitted and how you did it. Any info you can post would be good I own a 2001 carnival which is getting oil into the coolant I have 155,000km but brought the car with 135,000km on the clock not sure if it has already had the engine replaced before

  • Chris

    Bought a used Year 2000 KrapIA Carnival LS about 4 years ago and am just waiting for the SCRAP DEALER to collect it today. Engine ‘went’ for the second time. First time round we managed (eventually, after threatening legal action) to get the (short) engine and surrounds replaced on the warranty. This took 6 months going backwards and forwards. (This warranty was through the dealer). The problems started with the coolant becoming mixed with oil. The engine ‘went’ for a second time and this time there was no chance. Repair from Kia dealer in Canberra was quoted at $8,000. Independent mechanics would not touch it. It has been sat on the drive for over a year because I still had finance on it. Will be glad to see the back of it. I would dissuade anyone from buying one of these, even people I don’t like. It has been about as much use as a chocolate teapot. cblak32@hotmail.com

  • Margy

    Anybody want to buy a Kia Carnival Its motors been replaced, transmission replaced, engine revs constantly, and now the antenna makes this horrible clunking noise and I csnt even listen to the radio. I’ts left me stranded on the side of the road with 5 kids Kia wont fix a thing they helped with the motor being replaced but nothing else Its only travelled 67 000 at 42,000 the engine blew up at 50,000 the transmission went. Anybody know of a decent people mover that doesnt cost 50,000 and doesn’t break down?

  • so sad

    I am so upset, I put a deposit on a carnaval 2002 on the condition it passed the racv test, the test came out as caution, everything on the report was given the green light accept the engine needed some work. When I went today, the dealer told me he wasn’t willing to sell it to me becuase he didnt want the hassel of it breaking down. Im glad he was honest but I am so dissapointed that these cars look great, are so versitile, and comfortable and no one has bothered to find a solution to their problem. As much as I want a KIA, I’m not going to buy a second dud car, the first one was a ford falcon ea 89, which I bought for $8000 and have rebuild it I don’t know how many times, for fear of purchasing another crap car ( better the devilk u know)….when I think about it I probably spent another 15,000 fixing that ford. so sad!!!!!I want a kia so bad it’s so prettyyyyyyy.
    On a positive note: thank u all for sharing ur experiences.

  • Katrina

    Hi All, Well I wish I had found this site sooner. I have just purchased a Kia Carnial 2002 from a second hand dealer 4 weeks ago. The dealer stated that it was the 2001 and earlier models that had this problem and that from 2002 onwards it was fixed…what a crock of shit…being desperate for a I belived him…my fault. I have just started having problems with it. Tonight while driving, the car started to heat up….really hot. I checked to make sure it had oil and water which it did but it still continued to get hot. So I am off to the mechanics tomorrow, no doubt what I am going to hear. I have purchased this car on finance and will no be out of pocket, just like everyone else. I will let you all know what they say…I am sure you already know…Thanks to you all for all your very helpfull imput, without you all people like us would be left in the dark.

  • Judi

    Hi guys I am also in the same prodit, 2001 model brought in Sept 2008, 75,000 on the clock, on staurday after a full oil change and service it split a radator hose, (no warning of over heat) with a lovely coffee milkshake all under the bonnet!! I wish I had listened to my husband who did some research and told me about the problems before I purchased the vehicle but I knew better!!!! so I guess it will sit on the scrap heap and I will not be able to mover my grandchildren around the region on there visit from the NT. Thanks KAI, not that you care!! NO MORE KAI CARNIVALS!!

  • tamnie

    hi everyone i also have kia (2002) same problem as everyone else head gasket water in motor was hoping if someone could tell me what other engine will fit in a kia as i dont want to replace with a new motor and end up with the same problem any help would be great tamnie2000@hotmail.com

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    These are eight and nine year old cars. Regardless of klms traveled all cars wear out. No car company will cover a car that’s a decade old so why boo Kia??????. Best way to fit the problem…….Buy a new car! Don’t try and save money on a used car and expect trouble free motoring

    • Craige62

      I bought my Carnival new in 2002, I expected to at least get 150000k’s plus out of the motor before I had any trouble.

  • Peter

    Dear salesman, regardless wether this Kiacrap car is old or new the car broke down from day one. if you did your research like most of us have even if the horse bolted first you would see that 1999 through to 2004 Kia Australia have had a problem with the KV6 motor wether it had 10,000ks or 100,000 and when the dealers did replace these motors some would blow after 2000ks.If they blew a h/gasket they could not be fixed without having to put a new head on because of no valve clearance tolerances. you can put a lock on the bottom of the sleeves to stop them from moving hence the water problems. (A gentleman in Qld has developed this lock and swears by it, you might try Ebay.The other problem you have is nothing in these series 1 motors have any locktight on the internal bolts so they tend to shake bits loose hence maybe a piston going through the sump or camshaft cog coming loose. the KV6 motor was originally a Rover motor which Rover Europe produced in the eighties for there own but they had these problems so they scrapped the motor. Kia Korea bought the patent from Rover and built the motor for the carnival. A magna motor i believe will bolt up with minimal fuss but the fire wall has to be cut back. the problem would be getting a roadworthy inspection to pass. It would have passed in the 70s. goodluck everyone as i have also been bitten in the past. Kia sportage motors are next.

  • Fi M

    Hi all- i have a Kia Carnival 2001 – same problem with heads etc, am going to try Kia to get some goodwill but am sure i will not get far – but i am willing to go to the media and organise massive Carnival dump at kia headquarters or the like if i have to – this is just ridiculous how many are in the same boat – if you have any ideas to contribute feel free – or if u want to join me to do something publicly (in Melbourne) let me know…maybe we can do something if we all get together and make a big enough noise. fmaelasi@optusnet.com.au






  • Jimbo

    ANGRY ISAAC, and all the rest of you that purchased this car second hand. The Salesman is right, your cars are 7 to 10 years old, way passed its warranty, AND this model is notorious for this problem.
    10 seconds of research on the internet would have saved all that financial pain and all the stress.
    My advice is to take it as a life lesson in doing your homework and move on! Don’t let the stress of this lemon of all lemons consume any more of your life.

    • screwedbykia

      Hey Jimbo,
      Have you got one? Did you buy one back in 2002 when no one knew what was wrong with them? Have you got a family of 6 or 7 to move around? I’ll bet my leftie that all your answers are no!! So I guess I speak for all those with a Carnival when I say, “go fall over, and get up yourself!” Pompous f–k wit!

  • Jimbo

    $20,000/less buys a very decent Toyota Torago.

  • Jimbo


    This took me less than 10 seconds to find.




  • Pappa Bear

    I have a seven person family and have spent over $13,000.00 wasted on the 2002 Kia.

  • kate

    2005 kia carnival!

    I have one, did/ do mine had done 94000 kms and just stopped 2 weeks ago while I was driving it no bang no funny noises it was driving perfectly. just stopped, would not start again.

    the mechanic said originally around $2500 to fix as it was the timimg belt then towed the car to his premises and tells us $5000 just send something to be checked first
    today calls and says $8000 plus to fix

    So it is a rite off!

  • Sandy

    I purchased a new Kia Carnival in 2005 and as with all these other shocking stories I have read, a year after the end of the 3 year Warranty with no warning/noise etc the engine just stopped…. and yes the whole engine now needs replacing at a cost of $8000.00 – $10,000.00. I contacted Kia who simply said that it was out of Warranty so is basically my problem to repair. My advice to everyone is DO NOT BUy A KIA, I have found out, too late, that is a very common problem with Kia.

  • http://www.kiacarnivaldisaster.com/ kate

    to update

    My Kia disaster story
    • 2005 kia carnival brought may 2006 with 11 000km on the clock
    • 94000 kms just stopped whilst driving it no warning, no noises nothing.
    • Cam shaft seized
    • Timing belt thrown
    • One head damaged by the above
    • Opposite side bottom end pistons burnt and overheated
    • Little or no oil and water to one side of engine due to carbonization blockages caused by poor quality rings
    • Mechanic advised not worth repairing engine is a write off
    • Unable to purchase new motor, have to purchase second hand motor and rebuild $8000 plus!
    • Financially unviable to repair.
    • Was worth $12 000 to $16 000 now worth NIL
    • Left owing money and no car
    The car dealer we brought it from said too bad out of warranty 3 years!
    Kia said if it had done under 90 000 kms they may have covered parts only.
    I just got offered a $1.00 for it!

  • edmond

    what a disaster,how much money do we have to lose. 02 carnival paid $23,000 from bayford ford. had 96000 on the clock, car died at 126,000, mech repaired head gasket cost $4600. one week later car dies. crack in block this time , mech wants $9000 to fix . l have only travelled 30,000 in the car , rang staurt mckenzie dealer principal and was brushed off like a fly.warranty they sold was useless and was told they coudnt help me in any way. bayford sold me a lemon that they knew was a problem car. bayford ford sold me this car and l am so angry. this was supposed to be a car for my 7 kids instead we have no car and in debt to finance comp. we must get together and make kia pay. l cant beleive this is happening with all these complaints l have read. why hasnt anyone helped us with this problem,why hasnt the govt done something , this is crazy, we are being ripped off and they are letting kia do this to all of us. all together we must be able to get some form of compensation ,we cant let kia get away with this. l am interested in any form of protest,class action, email swans72@hotmail.com . we have all lost a lot just from trying to buy a car from kia and its dealers, now they must lose.

  • Neil Yashin

    I ended up buying a Holden Commodore VX, it’s bullet proof and reliable compared to a Kia. It has 89.000km on it, about the same amount of mileage a Kia starts to give trouble or dies, I know I will get 300,00 plus KM’s from the Commodore!!
    Stuff KIA!!! their a big joke!!!!

  • Sabir

    I am just going to purchase Kia 2009 modelwith 3.8 engine. but not sure now, my family and me like the car and the kids are sold over it. Any comments on 2008/2009 model.

    • Michele

      I do not recommend you buying a Kia what ever model. Read the comments very carefully. I bought my 2005 Sedona with all the hurrah & good stuff that was related to me by the salesperson at the time. Now at 48,000 miles my Kia is all rusted and practically falling apart. The worst is that Kia will not honor their rust proof time limit and I had to pay repairs due to the premature rusting, such as faulty rear AC lines, transmission leaks and so on. I tried contacting the dealership and the dealership manager could not be approached. Never was able to discuss the matter. I contacted the Kia representative that is now giving me the run around for 2 months telling me that with patience she will try to get the District Mgr look at my van. All of Kia consumer rep gave me the run around. Just remember that for my van to be faulty as such in such a short relative period of time means that parts must be sheep and faulty. Moreover, the way Kia services their customers is appauling.Do not buy a Kia….you will save yourself a lot of head aches. Specially, do not even go near Delray Beach Kia, it is my sentiment that they are real shifty.







    $8000 POORER







  • Peter the have been bit

    hi everyone, just thought i would tell readers that i read an artical in the local newspaper witch said that Chinese car manufacturer Ateco that was headed up by managing director Ric Hull was the driving force behind Kia’s early success (not) in Australia before the Koreans took it back. It should’nt come as any surprise to all of us then that he is now behind the push into Australia by Great wall Motors to use the same formula to sell the Great Wall utes that are heading to Australia. These to are an untested cheap transport that i am thinking could be rubbish just like the kia range headed up by the same bloke sitting at the steering wheel driving more rubbish down under for the unweary to to fall prey to.

  • FrugalOne

    Other than the few above and small engine issues mentioned, is the Carnival otherwise ok?



    • BR

      You are kidding right???

      It’s not a small engine problem when it happens. It’s a very large and expensive one!

      And it happens to the majority of Carnivals with the 2.5L engine (not just earlier ones).

  • Another one

    We have just blown our 3rd motor. We were told that it was previous models that had the problem! Only done 120,000kms. I want to join any class action if there is one started..

  • ..

    That’s Rover made engine so that is Rover’s fault

  • ..

    So guys do not buy European built cars or cars with European built engine such as Kia Carnival (Pre 2004 model) …Almost all European built cars are rubbish..!!

  • Frank

    I did my homework and bought the current model Kia Carnival (June 2006 build) (short wheel base) with 2.7 litre V6 engine 4 speed auto tiptronic. It still has twelve months factory warranty left on it. Car seems to be quite solid and engine is quite smooth and responsive. Only problem encountered so far is wind noise from drivers door and middle row retractable seat belts dont operate when car is parked on a slope where vehicle is pointing down hill. I expect both problems to be repaired under warranty. nGear box sometimes goes hunting for the right gear, but this is only when accelerating up hills. If they are not covered by warranty you will hear from me shortly.

  • Anthony

    My 2005 (first registered 12/05) Kia Carnival with 80,000 km has suffered engine failure. The local Kia dealer South Coast Auto Group, Nowra NSW has advised that Kia Motors will provide a short motor but I have to pay labour costs of approximately $3,000.
    I lodged a complaint with the ACCC who have said all you can do is pay to have it fixed and take legal action against Kia. How pathetic is that! I wil pursue further through my local Federal MP

  • Kerry Tunbridge

    Please get in touch.

  • Anthony

    Hello Kerry, I still have not had any success and my Kia has been sitting in the dealership for 3 weeks and i am being stonewalled by Kia! I have been in contact with Dale but Kia are not intersted in the information he provided. Looks like I will have to pay the $3000 and seek redress through the small claims division of the local court.

  • Karl

    I had a 92 Ford Falcon wagon which I sold at 238,000km – only problem was a new $80 alternator. I then had a 96 Falcon wagon which I sold at 204,000km – no problems, Then I had a 99 AU wagon which I had until 178,000km no problems. I stupidly traded that in on a 2003 Kia Carnival which lasted oly 37,000km until the engine blew. I sold it straight after that and now drive a 2004 BA Falcon wagon with 112,000 km and still going. Im never buying an imported car again. Incredibly the brief time I had the Kia it used 30% more petrol than what I got from my much more powerful Falcons, what a piece of junk car that Kia was.

  • http://caradvice.com.au jeff

    hi,we got a 2004 model carnival after being told that they had fixed the problems after 2002.it lasted 5 weeks before discovering water in the oil. we’re devistated! did a ring around to find help, started with kia itself first and was told they wouldn’t help because its to far out of warranty. repco wanted $8500 for a replacement and didn’t even have one ready. one kia dealer wanted $8000 depending there was nothing wrong with the heads. found a dealer who suggested to contact a engine rebuilder that he knew. on contacting them and telling my story, they were surprised mine lasted 140000km. he explained all their faults and that you cannot simply rebuild the motor because they WILL fail again. these people have developed a method of fixing the oil / water problem for good!!!they have done heaps of these and have had none returned. they also strongly suggest putting fresh oil in every 7500km to prevent problems with camshafts etc, as oil gallerys are very small and block up. my car is now with them to be fixed. they are somewhat cheaper then anywhere else i found. their phone number is 03 55627622 (vic), for those who think that their car is worth reviving. hope this helpfull to the may other peolpe who got sucked in like me. on a good note , my brother inlaw has a 2007 grand carnival and he has had no problems with it at all, he has a much larger V6 and he’s said it’s not good on fuel.

  • jessie

    hi guys same story same problems with 2001 model 63,000klms. I have put a complaint into the accc, the more people that do this the better! And at the moment have just lodged hearing appeal against kia australia through dept. fair trading and my local mp has also offered if i dont get anywhere with that to help also. Up till now hadnt heard of another engine my partner has just found a decent wreckers who know all about this problem and has told him that we can put a vn-vr commodore engine in the kia and have to get compliance plates. So if anyone is interested they should ring wreckers because they have yards full of the kias they know all about them even if kia meets me anywhere with costs same problem is goin to happen so i suggest to everyone look in to the commodore motors. good luck everyone this has devastated my family financially and you get smart people sayin google the car, I personally didnt own a computer or have internet access might sound behind the times i know but i saved for a car instead lol .

  • Glenn

    We brought our kia in 2004 new. It now has 106,000 kms on it and the only issue we had has been the CD player was faulty. Reading all these post’s I feel everyone got the lemons and we got the only good car out of thousands. We are about to service the car and the timebelt has to be done. Im told it cost 1100 dollars as theer are 3 timebelts, I only see 1 where are the other 2? Anyone know? After this I think it may time to get another car and change to another maker as I can count my chickens in the luck we have had with the kia carnival but I wont buy another due to all these comments and the issues you all have had… Cheers

    • Greg

      There is one belt at the “drivers side” if you are in Australia and a belt at the other end of the motor on each cylinder head making 3 belts in total. Oh by the way if your are going to replace these belts, it would help if you are a dentist because the only way you can see the ones on the ends of the cylinder heads is with a mirror.

  • george

    i havwe a kia van 2002 mod iv had two moters 3 cluches one gearbox frount driver seat snaped in two as i was driving it i will never by a kia again

  • Bongo

    If you check carsale . com their is always around 5 that are selling as is with blown motor.

    Somebody should make a conversion kit from the Holden V6 into the Carnival

    Marks Adaptors of Dandenong?

  • Glen & Deb

    Hi everyone.
    Bought 2004 Kia Carnival, 130,000 on the clock. Gearbox and diff have died I’m up for thousands. Out of warranty out of luck. Told we cant get gearbox and diff in Western Australia. Now we are stuck with a car we cant use, loan we cant pay as I’ve just been retrenched. How can big companies who make millions a year in profits be allowed to get away with selling crap !!!!!!

  • Carrie

    OK, now I didnt have the net in 2006( its an 05 model) otherwise I wouldnt have brought my Carnival which we have had since new,only the local kia dealer touches it!
    Dont get me wrong I love my car,the kids love the space and the air-con. We couldnt afford anything else and have 4 kids, the eldest is 6’4 so we needed a car with plent of space. Our problems are right now this very moment the coolant/oil/cam shaft common prob. Earlier this year the steering went and Kia replaced this under GOODWILL but not the labour , the same week the air con hose went and so did the battery. I was so furious i told them to set a match to it!it cost us over $1200 that week. Now im looking at another GOODWILL claim as my car is 10 months out of warrenty and we now have the same common prpblem as most, at less than 90,000 on the odometer too
    Our local KIA dealer has been fantastic so far

  • Carrie

    Hi, heres the latest, KIA are going to replace the engine block ($5000) under GOODWILL as I was able to prove it had regular services , and the only mechanics that touched it was KIA themselves. Yet to hear if they will cover the rest of the damage.We may just get stung with labour but I am not complaining.Once it gets sorted out it will be another week or so without my car. And just like everyone else I have kids (9yold triplets) to run around and my husband has been in hospital for 4 days now so life without a car stinks!
    Found out from great mechanic, that it is the tensioner that holds the timing belt in place that fails!! It causes a bit of a chain reaction , pistons cease up due to it! Apparently our motor looks brand new on the inside! no damage to pistons other than when the ceased and snapped due to this failure.
    Make sure your mechanic is only using SYNTHETIC oil also this makes a diffrence also.
    Hope this helps, will up-date everyone next week.

  • Carrie

    Another up-date, got repair quote today $3600,at this stage thats with KIA paying for the block and heads ($5000), We just got back from the hospital after spending a week in our Perth have been borrowing friend cars, looks like parts are starting to arrive and may have my car back mid-next week.

  • H Lowe

    Bought my Kia in 2001, just done 100,000 kms, noise in engine took it for a service $1400 later, the gasket blew, engine overheated and died. Yes Kia is Crap!!!
    Get rid of Kia in Australia, biggest piece of junk ever!!

  • Michelle

    Well my husband and I have a kia lined up to purchase next week but since reading all these comments and even checking out online dealers and seeing how many owners one Kia goes through, I will Not Be Purchasing this car at all now, so thank you and I HOPE that KIA gets to read this and realise they will lose money due to people like myself not falling for their Bull, We aren’t loaded and cannot afford to blow money on crap when I have a Big family. AND whats with this stupid GOV of ours are they getting a hand out to shut their eyes on these complaints. Typical they have never cared why start now !!!!

  • Stan

    Sheesh, what are you guys complaining about on these 2001 and 2002 Kias with 80,000 miles? I say that jokingly, but for the following reason: My wife’s 2008 Kia Optima (4-cylinder) with only 22,000 miles threw a rod. Yes, Kia only has short blocks, so dealer has to rebuild. It was under warranty. Dealer had it a month. Got it back, and it has a minor clicking noise on every start-up for the first few minutes. In my mind’s eye I see metal on metal going on. We will definitely trade in this vehicle before the power-train warranty runs out. I think it’s fair to say any short-block Kia will not last. Please remember, this engine, as well as many others built by other manufacturers, is an “interference” engine, meaning that the valves and pistons occupy the same area in the cylinder, just trading the space due to the timing belt. HAVE THE TIMING BELT AND WATER PUMP REPLACED BY 60,000 miles. Anything that breaks the timing belt, such as the water pump seizing up, with cause the piston and valves to crash together, resulting in a ruined engine. Again, many new engines are “interference” engines. There are places on the internet to look to see if your car has an interference engine. If so, it is absolutely necessary to replace timing belt and water pump early. I have a Hyundai Elantra, and it’s an interference engine. It has 46,000 on it. I will definitely have the timing belt and water pump changed out by 60,000, or before the warranty expires.

  • Fiona

    Well I am here now too. I should have found this site 12 months ago. We bought our 2004 Kia carnival LS in 2006. It had 91000 on the clock. When we bought it, it had its timing belt etc “big service” done. I was told 2004 & up are ok.
    All was good till last year the timing belt snapped. No warning, no nothing just stopped dead in its tracks. So there I was left in the middle of the road with 4 kids.
    5k later we had it repaired as it was all financially we could manage at the time.

    Now I sit here holding back tears from the stress. It is now leaking oil really bad. I had it serviced 1 week ago & have already had to put 10 ltr od oil in it.
    A few days before I serviced it, we went for a drive on a hot day. Got home & it shuddered as I turned it off. So i started it again & it wouldn’t start. So got it in ASAP to be serviced. Were I am informed of the oil leaks all around the timing belt seals. I put oil in it 2 days ago & this morning the dip stick is dry. You can see the trrail of oil up my street leading to my drive way.

    This is going to totally screw us over. We are a single income family with 4 kids. We still owe 17k on this stupid piece of crap.

    If anyone has any hope at all of how we can get out of this with out being totally screwed please please let me know sf_fuller@aapt.net.au


    Just happened to see a 2000 model Kia Carnival for sale whilst driving behind it. On speaking to the driver, she said that it had probs with water leaking into the oil or something like that and that the motor had been replaced, and had a new clutch and radiator. Needless to say, we decided against buying it and will put our money into something with less probs.

  • Peter KING

    I find this forum rather interesting.I ve heard people talking about the KV6 motor being unreliable etc and that it is a Rover motor etc.I would have to add that I own a Rover with a KV6 motor and these motors are robust,do high miles without any issues.
    The difference here is they were built by /for Rover to their high specs and are able to run up 250,000km no problems.
    The Kia KV6 was a licenced copy of the Rover motor but built by Kia to their specs, or lack there of.
    From what I see this is a clear case of a well designed engine not being manufactured properly.

  • andy

    so there is plenty of advise to not buying a kia.. wish i had of looked into last week! missus didnt want a 6 seater ford ( yuk, too old, too ugly! wont drive it i want a pretty car ) so bought a 2000 carnival.. with a blown motor! has 119,000 on the clock. been quoted anything from $5 to $10 G’s for a motor. so i asked the wife how she wanted to pay for the motor for her pretty car. so now my question is, where are the geniuses who were working on an engine swap? they havent posted since claiming they would have it ready?? has anyone actually completed one? need a car for 6 real soon, but i want a RELIABLE one.. cheers

  • gladys leighton

    I am having problems with my Kia Carnival 2002, my users book tells me that a blinking button in my left front panel , means that my automatic transmission is working in a HOLD position. Somebody can tell me what that means?.

    • stacey suaesi

      theres a button on your t bar that u press to take it off hold – in the owners manual

  • carl

    I suggest everyone’s got a Kia Carnival should crash their cars and claim money back from the insurance to save further trouble!!

  • garry smith

    Hi i bought a 02 kia with same issues head gasket gone but suspect the promlem maybe be caused with the thermostats not opening and therfor cooking the engines and causing this head gasket to blow as these theromstates cant be replaced on their own as they are in a sealed plastic housing resembling a washing machine pump!lol . I honestly think they created the engine problems by trying to be greedy by not letting you buy a $10 thermostat and putting it in a housing for you to buy it from them at $150! and doing this people cannot see it or check it properly or want to try a new one so then it stays shut and then engine cooks! , they also must be using a toilet paper thin paper gasket or something whatever happend to the good old copper gaskets , i think maybe put silicone on the gasket too to make sure it not blow again , as for a engine retro fit , maybe a electric washing machine engine will fit or turn it into a talking peice and put a barbie under the bonnet and have it as a outdoor lounge or a chicken coop or dog kennel or a trailer or outside teenagers retreat :) lol
    well luckily i only paid a grand for mine so will just put it in the paddock and use it as a dog kennel! . No point in keep fixing them if you get the same results but i do feel really bad for u kia people as i have read all the stories and i hope that you can get kia to pay up and dont buy any korean cars again , maybe they do this on purpose because they dont like our western culture and just slap em together and dont care if they fall apart as long as they get your money for their nuclear bombs !

  • matt

    south korea does not have nukes, idiot.

  • okies

    Kia carnival engine failure (2000-2003) Report

    – Rover KV6 engine–

    The KV6 automotive engine is a techologically-advanced 24 valve, quad cam V6 engine, available in 2.5 litre or 2.0 litre, built by Powertrain Ltd which is a sister company to MG Rover. It is derived from their four-cylinder K-Series engine.

    In 1994 the engine was licenced to Kia Motors who invested in a new plant at the Asan Bay complex to build the engine. This engine was used in several Kia vehicles. Its introduction in Korea shortly followed its use by Rover in the Sterling.

    A number of early units were seen off by head gasket failure brought about by poorly maintained production tolerances. This caused the height of the cylinder liners to vary resulting in over compression or under compression of the head gaskets. However, the redesign of the engine and its production facility, prior to the introduction of the Rover 75, cured this problem and it became one of the company’s most reliable units. Problems remaining through until the end of production were largely confined to the inlet manifold mechanism (particularly the VIS valve motors) and leaking thermostat housings.

    A Kia manufactured variant of the engine was also fitted to the Kia Carnival (people mover) with some problems on early model engines. A large percentage of early model (2000 -> 2003) Kia Carnivals sold in Australia required a new engine— some multiple engines. In most cases KIA provided a reconditioned short (without transmission) engine free of charge and with no questions asked, providing the vehicle was under warranty. For those outside warranty, Kia “covered costs proportional to what should have been the full expected life of components” and charged for labour and consumables.

    –From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (google serch “Rover KV6 engine”)

    It is Rover basically who gave hard time to Kia and their customer.
    But Kia also resposible choosing wrong engine.

    –end of story–

  • WalterJ

    KIA MOTOR COMPANY’s own words

    “The goal of Kia Motors Corporation
    is to be one the top five automakers in global production.
    To get there, KMA has developed the following corporate priorities:
    Profitable Growth;
    Brand Development;
    Customer Satisfaction and Quality,
    Retailer Satisfaction and Development.

    In summary, the business challenges for Kia are to
    increase customer satisfaction with sales, parts and service at the retail
    Kia’s focus is on business results, such as customer satisfaction, service retention and reduced unnecessary warranty repair costs.”

    KIA MOTOR COMPANY; focus on your own goals and fix your relationship with KV6 Carnival owners; recall these cars, reclaim you responsibility for their failure and refund your unfortunate customers; only then, can you hope to achieve your ambition.

  • WalterJ

    Pros: The most practical and efficient people mover available on the Australian market with genuine seven seat capacity the KIA Carnival is an excellent car for our needs.

    Cons: The first engine failed with 81,853 km on the odometer at 4 years and 8 months old. The second engine failed with 163,828 km on the odometer; that is, 81,975 km on a new engine and at only 2 years and 5 months after being installed in our car.

    Overall: Recall Recall RECALL!!! KIA Motors Australia has appointed its new president and chief executive officer for 2010. Welcome, from your valued Australian customers. We have purchased your KV6 series Carnivals in good faith. We cherished and nurtured these cars only to be devastated by their failures. We are aware that the engine design is a big problem for KIA. We ask that your first priority is to make good with all affected owners. We seek your good will to turn this unfortunate experience around. We ask that you recall these vehicles from their owners and reclaim. We deserve either an exchange or refund. Welcome to Australia.

    • Jabba the Hutt

      I don’t like your chances. Hyundai bought KIA out after that horse had bolted. They are under no obligation to provide a refund or an exchange. Harsh yes but it’s also reality.

      • The Oracle

        Wow and you reckon this mob makes great cars and provide excellent service. You can’t be serious. I’d hate to see what you think is poor service. They have washed their hands of their moral obligation by refusing to repair cars with a known manufacturing fault.

  • WalterJ

    “Kia Told To Recall 100,331 Units Of Carnival I
    SEOUL March 31,2003; Dow Jones reported that the South Korean government has asked Kia Motors Corp. to recall 100,331 units of its Carnival I mini van from the local market due to defects in the blow-by-gas hose and engine oil-level gauge, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation said Monday.
    The flawed components could cause an excessive injection of engine oil into the engine, resulting in damage to the engine, it said.
    The ministry said the cars to be recalled are those made between December 8, 1997 and September 22, 2000 in South Korea.
    It said the recall will begin April 1 year and will last until Oct. 31, 2004.”

  • Tkh

    Thank you to all of you for voicing your stories. I empathise with your experiences as had similar problems with an unrelated model. I WAS about to purchase a 2004 Kia to replace the previous aforementioned lemon (Mitsubishi -new transmission @ 100,000k’s & LOADS of other constant problems) which took me the last 7 years, and a great deal of hardship, to finally finish paying off. It is not much consolation for your own lives, but thank you for saving me from adding a second extremely stressful car problem to my own. I wish you all good fortune in fighting this injustice.

  • AA

    OH GOD! What a lot of hell KIA has brought to us…!

    We bought a 2005 kia carnival 6 months ago, and wish we never have bought it! Since then we have only been fixing the engine not once, but twice, and now w have just faced the blow out. Overheating yet again and engine is gone!!! The car is not fixable, we are getting rid of it very soon by selling it to dealers. Yes we will loose a huge amount of money, but this is the last option, otherwise it will keep ripping our pockets…

    KIA should be brought to justice, I can’t believe ACCC and the Australian govt accept such low quality ouright robbery to affect thousands of Australians!!!

  • stacey suaesi

    im yet another unhappy kia owner – our 2002 carnival engine died on our way to brisbane – so we had our 3 kids (all under 5yrs) waiting on the side of the rd for 2 hrs in the heat for the nrma – we had to pay $350 to get it towed back to coffs – mechanic has done about $3000 work on it – to then discover the engine still isnt fixed and now we have to get a recon engine which is another $8000…. we are still paying the van off and cant afford to have this fixed … PLEASE if theres any way to get thru to kia about paying for repairs or part of the repairs i desperately would love to know …. cheers guys and merry christmas ! 4 days to go ! (our pressie is our mechanics bil)

  • Renee

    We bought 2009 model kia grand carnival. It has only done 26 000km and our mechanic told us today it’s blown a head gasket. Kia are refusing to honour the warranty.

  • Renee

    4 weeks later and there is still no resolution to our problem. Kia are burying their heads in the sand, head gaskets have been repaired, car has been put back together and now it won\’t start. It is STILL at the mechanic while they try and figure out what the problem is. I will NEVER recommend buying KIA to anyone.

  • Nath746

    Would people please stop blaming kia completely for the engine failure. The Engine was supplied to kia by Rover. Kia did not know about the problems with the engine until the problems actually occured (i.e. once the vehicle had gone on sale).

    Rover gave KIA a dodgy Engine. Any model without the 2.5L V6 Engine will be fine to buy for most people. It is a KIA/HYUNDAI developed engine (i think…) and should be reliable… The newer model Carnival and Grand Carnival are all fine.

    • Sumpguard

      I have heard glowing reports from recent plated Carnival owners. I spoke to one outside our local dealer who was trading their 3 year old one in on a new one and loved the vehicle for price, performance and RELIABILITY. Not a single thing had gone wrong with it in 3 years and 70,000 k’s.

      They were actually staring at it through the window at midnight and couldn’t wait to pick it up the next day.

    • Blitzkrieg

      Give me a break nath,if kia had done all the proper testing of the engine before fitting it to the vehicle like most manufactuers do perhaps they would have seen the problem.The simple fact is it was sold by kia,warranted by kia it is kia’s problem.

    • MRT

      Hi Nath746
      Do you know anything about the new motors made in Korea for carnivals – cant get any specs have been told however that I must ensure I have right auto transmission – no economy switch, screw on filter and breather tube for dipstick goes into sump.
      My Kia is a 2004 auto transmission Motor went kaput and I am tossing up between getting a new motor if it compatible or getting Hugh at Robinson precision engine reconditioners and toolmakers in Kelso to recon mine.

  • Blitzkrieg

    Here’s a quote from Graeme Smith,the Daily Telegraphs motoring expert that i cut out and kept when he answered a letter about patrol 3Ltr motors blowing up.
    “What few of us understand is that while car makers warrant their products for a set period,they are also subject to a STATUTORY warranty that has NO time limit and many of us could actually pursue compensation for problems after the manufactures warranty expires”.
    It seems to me that this motor is clearly a manufactured fault(lemon) from nissan where this statutory warranty should be applied.
    Hope this helps.

  • Blitzkrieg

    Clearly this kia motor is in the same boat as the nissan motor and cust should persue kia under this statutory warranty.

  • Rob

    So… like many of you hear my wife has also set her heart on a KIA Carnival.. We like some have a disabled child and what grabs our attention is the way the seats in the rear attach to the loop in the floor. This Loop can be used to attach tie-down straps to our daughters wheelchair.

    HAS ANYONE??? been able to identify AND get working another brand of running gear (Motor and Transmission) to fit these cars?

    Like many families – we simply dont have a large budget.
    We are looking to move away from our Fairmont AU-II Wagon because the stress of putting our child into the seat is having on our backs.

    looking at SOME of the vehicles on E-bay im almost tempted to buy a cheap rolling shell and attempt to convert to AIR power.. bypass the electric and Hybrid thing all together,.

    in the mean time.. if anyone has had success i would love to hear from you..


  • chris

    Bought a second hand Kia Carnival 2002 18 months ago(silly me).

    Over last few weeks had a few problems dipstick started popping out, repalced dipstick, stopper on crankshaft blew out emptying oil everywhere (had that repalced), stopper on different part of engine blew out and sprayed oil everywhere, fixed that.

    Thought mechanic is only fixing symptons and not the problem. must be a build up of pressure somewhere that is not being released. Saw some comments re PCV valves thought I would get KIA to have a look. Took it in and KIA mechanic opens oil cap and goes its full of sludge and will have blocked the PCV hose etc, only solution is to replace the engine at $4000 + $3700 for labour etc…. is this really the only solution.

    Said there was also water in the engine and when the engine was turned on there was vapour coming out. this looks like the problem mentioned on this thread, but realistically am I going to get anywhere on this?

  • http://www.constipationclinic.com Jezza

    Best to avoid early model Carnivals if possible. If you have one the best thing to do would be to get the electrics checked and fixed if possible, then consider http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1709465 maybe we can import some sh jap models.

  • Darren

    My wife and I purchased a 2004 KIA CARNIVAL LS in 2008. We purchased it second hand with 69,000 k’s on it. We have had it now for 3.5 years and it now has over 128,000 k’s on the clock. It went if for a service yesterday and we were informed that without regular servicing on the motor, carbon builds up inside the motor, kind of like plaqure on your teeth and makes the cam work harder to push the oil to the top of the motor, therefore putting extra strain on all the belts. What happens, is if the engine isnt isnt cleaned out of all this carbon and sludge that builds up, the engine seizes up and costs about $4500 to repair. We are having ours cleaned out for $1400, which includes a new air intake hose, rear engine seal, sump cleaned out, and rocket covers repalced. Apparantly this is a common problem with them and causes alot of engine failures. Not sure if anyone else has been told this!! There is also a problem with the power steering, you need to replace the hydraulic hose for the power steering, because the original hose doesnt really allow enough pressure for the power steering!! Looks like we might have ourselves a good carnival, fingers crossed we get a few more years out of it after our repairs are done……

  • John


  • DV8 Dave

    The Kia Carnival K5 uses the based upon Rover KV6 engine. I am surmising years 1998–2006 used this KV6.

    Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) has produced the KV6, thiey call it the 25K4F, since about 2006 for their Rover 75 aka Roewe 750.

    I am not sure – yet – if this 25K4F engine is a direct swap or not, but could be for the Carnival. To what I know this 25K4F has had some design changes and thus it does not turn into a pile of scrap in short order.

    If anyone already knows – please do tell. In the meantime I am getting – hopefully – confirming info direct from an engine supplier in China. Once I do find out I will try my best to get on here and post all info I have found and hope this helps all people who have been screwed with this pc of crap Kia. This as well esp includes people like me outside of Oz that do not have any support at all.

    • Andrew

      Has anyone had any joy with a different type of engine conversion, or a cheaper supplier for a repalcement than those being peddalled in Australia at around $5800?

  • Robert Menzies

    If you’ve got a 2.5L V6 Carnival, it will fail sooner or later, they all do and Kia has never wanted to know anything about it. Do yourself a favour and avoid this make at all costs.

  • Slimer

    Our Kia Carnival Classic is 10 years old and served us well. Today had to get it towed, started overheating called NRMA and there was oil and water mixing in the head gasket.

    So it must be the dreaded engine failure. NRMA have it at their service center now and will give the bad news on Monday.

    Does anyone know if KIA Australia will help to repair the engine if it has to be replaced given the age of the car?

  • Nathan

    As someone who works for a large european manufacturer and handles warranty and requests for “goodwill” on a daily basis, i’d like to offer some suggestions regarding what your options are if something like this issue occurs with your vehicle. Firstly, if you have a relationship with a Kia dealership, then you already have some glimmer of hope that you might get some help. The dealers, despite standard aussie assumptions and steretyping, are there to help you. If you have a good relationship with them, then can go into bat for you. It’s in their interests, as good relationships mean repeat business. I know when I worked in dealerships, relationships built over time reaped lots of business. If you visit a dealer having never taken you vehicle to them before, it’s hardly realistic to expect them to feel obliged to jump up and down to Kia on your behalf. This said, the dealer can be a powerful ally, so getting them off side serves no purpose. If you bought a vehicle outside of warranty, i.e. as a used vehicle, then remember Caveat Emptor or Buyer Beware. Anyone that doesn’t use the web to research a potential purchase of a vehicle, especially a used one, is an idiot. It’s not hard, and really can save you time and money down the track. Once a vehicle leaves warranty, no manufacturer or dealer is obliged to assist you with costs, regardless of how unfair you think that may be. Some, but not all, manufacturers may offer goodwill assistance. This is entirely discretionary and is not something that can be expected just because you ask for it. If you bought a car outside of warranty that has now travelled more than 100,000km and is over 5 years old, you’re either going to need a lot of luck or really, really good solicitors. Your dealer may be able to request goodwill, and this won’t cost them to do so. If they think there is a case for Kia to cover or contribute to a repair, they should make the request pro-actively.
    If you can show full kia dealer service history (on time/km intervals) and you are the original owner, you are most likely to receive assistance of some sort. However, if you’ve had Bob’s Garage service the vehicle (or you’ve done it yourself) I can almost guarantee Kia won’t even think twice about knocking your request back. Why? Simple. They have no way of knowing whether your vehicle has been serviced properly, and whether the engine has been kept in good order. The number of times i’ve seen customers ignore the service intervals and have later issues with engines doesn’t bear repeating. Sludge build up, poor quality oils, poor filters, bad fuel, you name it. So given that, why would Kia feel obligated when faced with that kind of unknown side of things? If you are unable to get assistance, please bear in mind each state and territory government has agencies such as NSW Fair Trading etc to investigate claims. You can also pursue Kia via a tribunal such as CTTT or VCAT etc. Also consider that at tribunals, information off web forums and other case examples are generally inadmissable and are disregarded when the matter is reviewed. They will simply deal with each case individually and on its own merits. I hope this gives you out there some sort of idea of what processes to try following and what options you have. Whilst I work for a european car company, it’s safe to assume under the law all manufacturers have essentially the same review processes in place for situations like this.

  • http://KiaCarnival Victoria

    I have read every comment on here and well aware of the problems with the 2.5ltr, what never seems to be answered is if the 2.7ltr 2006 onwards or the 3.8ltr had the same issues? I cant believe i am considering one after all i have read but stuck with very little choice here in WA for a people mover that can tow 2000tonne and have opening rear windows? thanks for any help

  • Henryhing78

    In Malaysia, many kia carnival has undergone engine transplantation very successfully with minimal modification on the mounting. The popular engine of choices is the Nissan cefiro 2.5l V6 engine and the Toyota Harrier engine. No more hassle after that. I guess the Koreans still need the Japanese in some way or the other..Good luck

    • Dewyse1

      Hi Henryhing78. Have you got a web site with the info how to change to the Nissan or Toyota motors. Info on the engine mounts, electrickery and other stuff to make this a seemless transition. That info would be helpful to a lot of upset people on this website.

  • Gosena


    Very dishearting to read this column, coz at last I realise that I am not alone. Bought the 2005 Carnival from Kia Motors in Botswana. Just after the first 1000 km I reported the disappearing coolant problem. Was told it was fixed until warranty lapsed. When I raised the manager threw a $5000 short qouatation into my face. I went away shamefully got another to fix crank shaft and bearings – only for the problem to resurface 6 months later. From 2008 the car has been in that garage for 99.5 percent of the time. I am shattered coz car, interiors and all are now gone. I spent not less than USD50,000.00 to purchase new. What a shame.

    Any help out there, AU or anywhere, crying for justice.

    Heartbroken (literally) Botswana

  • Mobilecarsound

    Was going to buy a 2006 Carnival for $500. Said to have unknown engine problem. now after reading this lot. He couldn’t pay me to take it off his hands

  • Vil

    I recently bought a surplus 2002 Kia CRDI carnival direct from Korea. It was alright during the test drive. But just after 5 days from purchase, the engine suddenly shuts down after some mild revving. Checked by the dealer and found out it had air lock and damaged 2 injectors. I have only traveled it a little over kilometer distance. Fuel was still half full. Currently were demanding a refund. Too bad, I read this only now.

  • Slewfoot64

    Hello all. Was just about to purchase a Kia Carnival 2005 LS Man for a ridiculously low price. Luckily I found this and other sites complaining of the terrible engine failures they have. It’s quite unbelievable that Kia can just walk away from these issues and continue to trade and sell the Carnival even if the issues have been sorted. The fact they kept selling the same car with the same motor for six years knowing that it had problems is the worst part. I’m not sure if anything can be done legally as most of the issues seem occur out of warranty. The amazing thing is that Kia are so stupid they have an animated ad running for their new cars one cm away from where I am now typing…and they are paying for it. Ha Ha…

  • Germano Stellanero

    I just met someone from Geelong who paid $4,500 for a 1999 Kia with a Mitsubishi engine.  If my information is correct, there is around 60 cars with this modification. I wasn’t able to find out who was actually selling them.

    From what I was told, the cheap buy is because so many people are avoiding Kia Carnivals.  There was some engineering shop in NSW supposively experimenting with a different engine but to my knowledge nothing came out of it.  Once again,  it seems working with a fundamentally flawed design is self limiting (and unprofitable).

    One issue that has to be taken into consideration is that the engine has to be compatible with the ETAC units.  They’re the computer engine and electrical control devices.  To replace and refit an ETAC takes less than three minutes but Kia charges $300 labour plus $550 for the ETAC.

    The ETAC controls the power windows, central locking, rear lights etc as well as the engine functions. To date, I haven’t heard of anyone incorporating the existing ETAC system alongside any introduced  technological with a non Kia engine.                   

    To compound the issue even further, the various sensors also input info to the ETACs. 

    I would like to know if anyone has actually sorted out all the compatibility issues.  From my point of view, there’s no real commercial value unless some one is going to refit several thousand engines let alone 60. Until otherwise advised, I don’t know how well these Mitsubishi engines function in a Kia.

  • Darren

    I had a new motor in my 2004 Carnival 3.5 years ago. The service manager at Keema (Clveland, QLD) told me that they had sourced a Japanese engine to eliminate the issues caused by the shifting piston sleeves. A new Kia engine was $10k and this Japanese option was $4500, so we took it.

    Now we have a blown head gasket and I want back to Kia to ask what parts I would need as the engine was no longer the original Kia fitted one. The guy I spoke to said that the engine I got was either a short engine or a reconditioned engine, both Kia, and there had never heard of a Japanese engine for that car. The service manager that looked after me had been sacked a few months after my car was repaired and had lied about the replacement engine.

    Keema have now refused to help saying I am on my own. I’m talking to the ACCC now and will happily go to court for breach of contract if need be.