Mechanic calls Kia, Hyundai ‘one of the biggest failures in automotive history

@fordbossme/TikTok (Licensed)

‘You’re gonna spend a ton of money’: Mechanic calls Kia, Hyundai the ‘biggest failures in automotive history.’ Here’s the one reason why

‘Kia should have fixed from the beginning.’


Chad Swiatecki


We’ve already shared our admiration and respect for Jason Carr, the Canadian car repair guru who got plenty of attention last month for a TikTok post he created that took some shots at the quality and trustworthiness of Kia and Hyundai engines. Looking at a blown head gasket on a Kia Sorento, Carr suggested that insufficient threading on the block holding the head bolt in place was to blame.

Commenters on Carr’s video offered plenty of other possible causes for the failure, though plenty of them joined him in taking a dim view of the quality of Kia vehicles.

new video from another repair-focused creator—RIchard Poisson, who posts as @fordbossme on TikTok and YouTube—sees him adding his own thoughts to a replay of Carr’s clip. It’s kind of an car repair viral video remix, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Offering his thoughts while cruising through midday traffic, Poisson chalks the head gasket failure up to carelessness and a “Let them worry about it” attitude on the part of the manufacturer.

What’s wrong with Kia and Hyundai engines?

According to Poisson, the engines on certain models aren’t properly secured and this makes them susceptible to wearing out quicker.

“Some people use a different type of bolt. Some people use a different way of putting not a helocoil in the block, but a time cert in the block. There’s also other methods of what they do. But the engine has to be pulled apart. It has to go to a machine shop. It has to be cleaned out if it doesn’t have engine failure. They’ll retimesert it, get you the right head studs and stuff that you need, and then you can put everything back together with new head gaskets and basically runs like brand new,” he said.

But you’re going to put a ton of money into it to fix the problem. That Kia should have fixed from the beginning. Hyundai should have fixed, but instead, they stick it to the consumer and make them deal with it. It’s normal.”

The other mechanic, Carr, said that these coiling designs affected the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe with 3.3 – 3.5 liter engines.

“What it really boils down to, in my opinion, is the casting of the block, meaning the aluminum that they make the block from isn’t strong enough to hold the threads required to produce the clamping force needed to hold that head on and seal that head gasket. So, ultimately, the threads pulled out all on their very own,” Carr told us last month.

Like Carr, we’ll have to take Poisson at his word since he’s a self-described former dealer tech for the Ford brand but now owns and runs an independent repair shop. That means he sees plenty of makes and recurring problems with all kinds of vehicles, so he knows who the problematic repeat offenders are, so to speak.

And yet another car expert flatly says to avoid both brands. As we previously reported:

The worst vehicles to own, according to Prymak, are any Hyundai or Kia. “Virtually every model made from 2011 onward with the 2L or 2.4 L direct injection engines are at risk for engine failure,” he explains. Consumer Reports states that most engine problems for these models stem from a faulty connecting rod bearing. These malfunctions can cause knocking, excessive vibration, and engine stalling. In the worst-case scenario, the connecting rod punctures the engine block, causing an oil leak and sparking an engine fire. “In total, over the past decade, Hyundai and Kia have recalled around 10 million vehicles with these engines,” Prymak adds.

PBS report from April 1 regarding Hyundai and Kia recalls states, “All told, 13 million vehicles have been recalled for engine problems since 2010.”

The comments on Poisson’s video seemed pretty split on how reliable and trustworthy Kia and Hyundai vehicles could be. Though coil issues with them have been logged elsewhere such as Reddit forums.

One two-time Sorento owner swooped in to share their positive experience with the brand: “My 3.5 had 300k on it. My 3.3 currently has 120k and no issues.”

Another pointed out that Toyota, long considered one of the most dependable vehicle makers in the game, has experience similar issues as what Carr and Poisson were highlighting. “toyota literally had a similar problem with the 2az engines. I literally have a time certs kit for THAT engine.”

And another noted that taking a close look at one failed engine doesn’t warrant making sweeping generalizations about entire fleets.


Kia And Hyundai one of the biggest failures in automotive History @Olde Carr Guy

♬ original sound – Rich

“One failed engine design does not equate to a manufacturer being a failure.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Poisson via direct message, and to Kia/Hyundia via email.

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