Many Hyundai and Kia cars equipped with Theta II (2.0 L turbo and 2.4L) engines may notice metal shavings in their engine oil.
This article will provide details about this problem. How to check if your oil has metal shavings, and what to do if you find them.
Engine failures are reported to occur as early as 30,000 miles. These symptoms do not affect only US vehicles but also may be a common problem experienced by Kia / Hyundai owners worldwide. If you are having this problem, please use the comments section to let us know.
Table of Contents
Kia and Hyundai engines equipped with the Theta II engine may show premature rod bearing failure. Once the bearings fail, the metal debris will contaminate the engine oil.
Contaminated oil with metal shavings does further damage to the internal engine parts. As the oil circulates through the engine, it can cause excessive wear and damage to other engine areas such as lifters, clog oil galleries, and restrict oil circulation.
Excessive oil consumption
Oil light comes on
Catastrophic engine failure
If you catch this problem early enough, you may slow down the failure, but eventually, a new engine or complete engine rebuild will be required.
What to do
If you have found metal shavings in your oil and your Kia or Hyundai is still under warranty, you may be able to get your dealer to fix your car free of charge. Kia and Hyundai have issued a recall of over 1 million vehicles. Keep in mind that you will need to prove that you have performed regular oil changes and that the oil level was not low at the time of failure.
Kia/Hyundai vehicles with either 2-liter or 2.4-liter gasoline engines have been identified with this problem. The U.S. engines were made at the Hyundai's engine plant in Alabama. The list of vehicles to be recalled in the U.S. includes:
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs, 2013 - 2014
Hyundai Sonata midsize cars, 2013 - 2014
Kia Optima midsize cars, 2011 - 2014
Kia Sportage SUVs, 2011 - 2013
Kia Sorento SUVs, 2012 - 2014
This may be a limited listed. Our members worldwide are reporting that they are experiencing this problem in other countries as well.
How to check
Get an oil change.
Drive your vehicle for 200 miles.
Check the oil by pulling the dipstick. The dipstick handle will be red or yellow.
Place oil on a white cloth and check to see if there are any visible metal shavings.
You could also send your oil to a lab to perform oil analysis.
The bigger problem is that once the crankshaft bearings fail, the metal shavings can block the oil passages and cause catastrophic engine failures.
Excessive rod bearing and crankshaft wear can cause poor engine lubrification.
As clearances in the bearings and crankshaft increase, your engine oil pressure starts to drop. To correct this problem, you can install a high-volume oil pump.
You can't eliminate factory defects, but there are a couple of things you can do to make your Hyundai / Kia engine last longer.
If you recently noticed metal shavings in your engine oil, perform a couple of oil changes right away. Do the second oil change after 50 miles.
In the future, perform oil changes more frequently. Your Kia and Hyundai dealer recommends 7500-mile oil changes. Our recommendation would be to complete an oil change every 3000 miles.
Use heavier weight oil allowed for your engine. For the Theta II engine, you can use oil with a viscosity of up to 5W40 motor oil.
CTV News station covered Hyundai/Kia engine failure class-action lawsuit. That coverage can be watched in the following video clip.
In 2015, the model year 2011 to 2012 Sonatas were recalled over the chance of engine failure from limited oil flow to the bearings. Similar wear has been found in seized Kia engines. The affected Hyundai engines were assembled in the U.S. Complete details on this lawsuit can be found here.
Warranty Extension: Hyundai is extending the Powertrain Warranty for Class Vehicles. The extension of the warranty will cover the engine short block assembly consisting of the engine block, crankshaft and bearings, connecting rods and bearings, and pistons for 10 years and 120,000 miles (whichever comes first) from the original sale or lease of the vehicle. The 10-year / 120,000-mile extension of the warranty continues even if the vehicle is sold.
On March 31, 2017, Kia recalled many vehicles equipped with 2.0 and 2.4 L engines.
If your Hyundai or Kia is part of the recall, contact your dealer to get your engine replaced for free.
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the engine assembly and replace the engine if necessary, free of charge. The recall began in June 2017. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC147.
This issue is typically discovered during an oil change. This article covers the common problems, symptoms, and troubleshooting tips related to the metal shavings in the oil of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
I have been working on vehicles for over 20 years. In 2016, I decided to start YOUCANIC so that I can empower vehicle owners all over the world. Currently, I hold an ASE certification on G1 Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair.