Common problems with Kia Forte

Kia Forte

Kia is popular for making some of the most reliable cars on the market. The Kia Forte is not an exception as it’s a reliable car. Additionally, it is efficient, comfortable, and practical. Nonetheless, the Kia Forte also comes with several issues. But what are the common problems with the Kia Forte?

Common problems with the Kia Forte are engine problems, exterior lighting issues, malfunctioning transmission, faulty lamp switch, sound problems, leaky interior, and fluid leakage. To avoid experiencing most of the above problems, ensure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended scheduled maintenance service.  

What are the common problems with Kia Forte?

Engine issues

Many Kia Forte users have reported having different engine problems. Some of these issues include abnormal knocking sounds because of excessive stalling, misfiring, shaking, and complete engine failure. Note that engine issues are rampant in the 2017 Kia Sportage model year. Affected users say that this issue shows up when the car hits around 30,000 miles.

Some users even went ahead to complain that their engines would suddenly die while driving, thus increasing the chances of an accident. After inspecting the car, most mechanics have linked this problem to bad ignition coils. So, to fix this issue, the bad ignition coils have to be replaced.

Malfunctioning transmission

Another common issue with the Kia Forte is a malfunctioning transmission. Some of the signs of a malfunctioning transmission are rough shifting, debris in the transmission fluid, check engine light coming on, and unusual scraping noises. This issue is common in the 2011 Kia Forte. It usually happens when it reaches around 57,000 miles.

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Transmission issues are not only dangerous to your car, but they can cause an accident. So, if you’re having transmission issues, ensure to fix the problem. Besides, fixing the transmission can be costly and time-consuming.

Exterior lighting issues

Many Kia Forte users have reported having exterior lighting problems. This problem is common in the 2015 Kia Forte and it normally takes place when the car hits around 56,000 miles. Some users reported that the exterior lights would start to flicker suddenly, while others said that the lights heated up and even melted.

If you notice that your car has exterior lighting problems, ensure to have the mechanic fix the underlying issue. In most cases, this is caused by faulty wires.

Leaky interior 

This is one of the most annoying problems on the Kia Forte. Several users have reported having a leaky interior that ended up damaging both the front and back seats. If not tackled in time, a leaky interior will also lead to the growth of mold and permanent damage to the seats and the car’s interior.

Note that this problem is common in the 2014 Kia Forte. It also occurs when the car hits over 23,000 miles. The best solution is to have the mechanic inspect and replace the weather strips to prevent leakage.

Faulty lamp switch

Kia had to recall more than 980,000 vehicles because of a faulty lamp switch. The defective lamp switch is used to interfere with the car’s cruise control, brake light, and push-button functions. Furthermore, the faulty switch could make the transmission erroneously shift out of the park when the ignition is turned on. As a result, this caused the car to move without any warning.

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This issue was rampant in the 2010 Kia Forte. All the affected cars were recalled and the faulty lamp switch was replaced.

Fluid leakage

This problem only affected Kia Forte models with the 6sp manual transaxle. The axle seals can become faulty because of an interference fit of the axles. Hence, this can cause fluid leakage and later on, axle failure. To rectify this problem, you will have your mechanic replace the original part with a revised part.

Ensure to replace both the left and right axle seals, even if you have leakage on one side. 

Sound problems

Kia Sportage comes with an excellent infotainment system. However, the sound system has issues that users should look out for. A software glitch in several Kia models makes their speakers not produce sound at all. This problem is common from 2011 to 2016, and the 2018 Kia Forte model years.

This issue normally takes place after 73,000 miles on the affected models. To fix this problem, you will have to perform a hard reset.


Is the Kia Forte reliable?

The Kia Forte is a considerably reliable car. Many reliability agencies have rated it highly in its class. For instance, Repairpal provides this car with a reliability score of 4.5 out of 5.0. This is one of the best in its class. Besides, the Kia Forte is cheap to maintain and its spare parts are affordable.

How long does the Kia Forte last?

It depends on how well you maintain and drive the car. With proper care and maintenance, the Kia Forte can last between 200,000 and 300,000 miles. Nonetheless, if you want your car to last this long, you will also have to exercise good driving habits. Without proper care and maintenance, the car may not last over 200,000 miles.

Is the Kia Forte expensive to maintain?

The Kia Forte is cheap to maintain. It is estimated that the Kia Forte will cost about $5,805 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This is better than the industry average for sedans with a round $1,291.

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Does Kia Forte hold its value?

Most Kia models hold their value well. For instance, the Kia Forte will only depreciate by 21% for the first 5 years of ownership. This means that the owner can resale this sleek and comfortable sedan for $20,635. When compared to its rivals, you will find that the Kia Forte holds its value well. 

Which is the least reliable Kia Forte?

Kia is known for producing some of the most reliable models on the market. Nonetheless, while the Kia Forte is reliable, not all of its model years are reliable. For instance, the 2012 Kia Forte registers many issues. But the most common problems with the Kia Forte are connected to the engine. Apart from the 2012 Kia Forte, the 2010 model year also has multiple issues.


The Kia Forte is a nice mid-size sedan with several outstanding features. This car is also reliable, comfortable, practical, efficient, safe, and affordable. But like any car, it also comes with multiple problems that interested buyers should be aware of. Nonetheless, most of these problems can be avoided with proper care and maintenance.

If the Kia Forte is well-maintained and driven properly, it can last for more than 250,000 miles. Despite the few issues that this car comes with, it is an incredible mid-size sedan.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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