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Oil and filter problems with a new Kia Carnival 2.2l diesel

We took delivery of a new Kia Carnival 2.2l diesel in July last year. The first service was done on November 14 and the oil and filter replaced at 13,243kms. On November 16, the engine lost power and stopped. The car was towed to a Kia dealership and inspected.

The engine was found to have a large hole in engine block and a snapped conrod due to loss of lubrication. We were advised that the loss of lubrication was due to the oil filter O-ring being misfitted when previous service was done. Therefore, no warranty.

We have towed the vehicle back to Melbourne and had an inspection done which found no leakage on the stone guard under the engine from oil filter area, but all the oil under the block where the damage is.

We use a trained mechanic to service our vehicles and do not believe that the oil leaked via the oil filter or O-ring as the O-ring has to fit inside a groove within the oil filter.

There are two things you need to do. The first is to have the vehicle independently inspected. The RACV is very good for this as it has the resources and a reputation that the car industry respects. Once you've found out what really went wrong (as opposed to what the dealership may have told you on the spot) you can proceed. This will inform what happens next.

If the engine failure was not the cause of a poorly fitted oil filter and was something to do with a manufacturing or materials flaw, then you have a case for a warranty claim. Bypass Kia's dealer network and contact the brand's customer service division at head office.

If, however, the failure was caused by a lack of attention by the mechanic who carried out the last service, then the responsibility may rest with them. Mechanical workshops often have insurance to cover them against this sort of mistake but, regardless, if your mechanic was at fault, the problem becomes theirs in many cases.

A modern vehicle like the Kia has a range of engine protection and warning systems to prevent this sort of thing happening. It seems strange that you didn't receive a dashboard warning regarding low oil level or low oil pressure in the moments before the engine failed.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.


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