Kia Carnival engine problems 

Kia Carnival

The engine is the heart of the car. So, if you want your Kia Carnival to last for a long while, taking good care of the engine is a must. With that said, what are the Kia Carnival engine problems? 

Common Kia Carnival engine problems are engine shutting off, engine light & noise, head gasket failure, carbon buildup, and faulty fuel rail tubes. Moreover, some users have reported experiencing clogged fuel injectors, high oil consumption, and spark plug & coil failure. 

What are the Kia Carnival engine problems? 

Head gasket problem 

Head gasket failure is the main Kia Carnival engine problem. This problem is common in used or old Kia Carnival models. Most 2007 Kia Carnival owners have reported the head gasket blowing and causing the engine to overheat. It is believed that the old engines had a design flow that made the head gasket blow. 

Signs of a blown head gasket are rough idle, frothy, milky engine oil, and smoke coming from the tailpipe. To fix this issue, you will have to replace the blown head gasket. 

Engine shutting off

Another common problem that Kia Carnival owners have reported is the engine shutting off or stalling. This is usually caused by low fuel pressure, broken fuel pumps, and dirty or defective fuel injectors. But when it comes to stalling, it may be due to bad spark plugs or ignition coils. 

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To rectify this issue, you will have to visit an experienced mechanic and have them inspect the fuel lines, fuel pump, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and ignition coils. 

Faulty fuel rail tubes 

This issue forced Kia to recall the affected cars. A total of 2,744 minivans were affected. The affected cars were recalled because gasoline was leaking near the engine, which could be a fire risk. If you’re buying a used Kia Carnival, it is vital to find out if this issue was fixed by the previous owner. 

Engine light and noise 

When you notice that your Kia Carnival engine light is on, you must drive the car carefully. This is because it can be one of the many engine issues. Some of the common issues that your car may be having are a faulty head gasket, malfunctioning fuel injection system, broken oxygen sensor, faulty emissions control part, damaged spark plugs, or even a dirty mass airflow sensor.

Ensure to have the car is diagnosed to determine the real issue behind the engine light and noise. 

Carbon buildup

It is important to use the right type of oil in your car. On top of that, you should use fuel treatment like Techron. If you fail to do so, you will have issues like carbon buildup in your Kia Carnival engine. Things that cause carbon buildup in your Kia Carnival minivan are short trips, extended low-rpm driving, extended engine idling, and poor engine oil quality. 

You can fix carbon buildup by cleaning the affected parts. But to avoid this issue, you will have to drive your car for longer trips and change the oil as needed. 

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Clogged fuel injectors 

One of the main signs of clogged fuel injectors in the Kia Carnival is slow acceleration. Fuel injectors get clogged because of carbon deposits created when gasoline burns. Other signs of clogged fuel injectors are engine misfire, car won’t start, and low gas mileage. 

To correct this issue, you will have to clean the clogged fuel injectors. 

Spark plug & coil failure 

Spark plugs and ignition coils are some of the first parts to fail in the Kia Carnival. Therefore, you should closely monitor these parts when they reach 40,000 miles. When spark plugs and ignition coils wear out, you will notice signs like slow acceleration, starting issues, low fuel economy, and engine misfiring. 

Visit a professional mechanic to replace bad spark plugs and ignition coils to fix the problem. 


Is the Kia Carnival a reliable car? 

Yes, the Kia Carnival is a reliable car. According to J.D.Power, Kia got a score of 75 out of 100, which is average or slightly above average. This is impressive as most of its rivals had a similar or lower score. But when it comes to driving experience, J.D.Power gave Kia Carnival a score of 84 out of 100, which is great.

How many miles does the Kia Carnival last?

Like most Kia cars, the Kia Carnival can easily last for more than 200,000 miles. However, for this to happen, proper care and maintenance of the car is needed. Additionally, the owner must exercise good driving habits. Besides, some owners have reported clocking more than 250k miles. 

What is the main Kia Carnival engine problem? 

The main Kia Carnival engine problem is head gasket failure. Many Kia Carnival users have reported this problem, and it has become a nuisance, more so as the car ages. The main cause of head gasket failure is a lack of coolant or an oil leakage into the coolant system. 

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If the engine faces any of these challenges, it slows the engine’s ability to cool off, hence causing overheating and blowing a head gasket. 

Does Kia Carnival have transmission issues? 

Yes, the Kia Carnival comes with multiple transmission problems. The transmission fluid can leak over time and probably cause transmission problems. Some of the transmission problems that it can cause are a loose or damaged transmission pan, damaged seals, faulty transmission cooler lines, cracked transmission housing, and transmission fluid leaks. 

Is Kia Carnival fuel efficient? 

While the Kia Carnival is not the most efficient car in its class, it is still very efficient. It comes with 22 mpg combined, 19 mpg in the city, and 26 mpg on the highway. On top of that, it consumes an average of 4.5 gallons per 100 miles, which is quite impressive. 


The Kia Carnival features different engines that provide varying performance and power. If these engines are not well-maintained and cared for, owners will have to face most of the problems that we’ve discussed above. But with proper care and maintenance, most of these issues can be avoided. 

Overall, the Kia Carnival is a spacious, practical, and comfortable minivan. It is also reliable, fuel-efficient, and ideal for a family.

Car weaknesses, problems, issues, errors, disadvantages and realiability.

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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