Complaint / review text:
KIA vin indicates timing chain but timing belt installed
My engine blew up without warning. The Timing Belt broke.
The problem is that when I bought the vehicle I intentionally went to the Auto Parts store to purchase a timing belt set for my KIA. But the Auto Parts store could not sell me a Timing Belt set because the car had a Timing Chain.
Later I'm driving along and the engine blows up.
I rechecked the VIN and it does indicate a Timing Chain. But when the mechanic pulled the engine apart, it had an old broken timing Belt.
I suggest that ALL auto mechanics everywhere contact their KIA customers to have them bring in their vehicle for a quick check.
The 8th digit of the VIN number is a 6 for a timing Chain, and the left side of the motor looking in under the hood has a plastic cover that can be opened to see if there is a chain or belt for that engine.
If the VIN indicates a timing chain, and a belt is installed, then you can get class action suit information at:
So based upon all this, I have mixed feelings.
The car drives great and has otherwise been a good car. But that the VIN prevented me from getting the correct information I needed to do scheduled maintenance is a major issue.
If any of your readers have a KIA, any model, I suggest they or a mechanic visually sight the timing chain before trusting that the engine has a chain instead of a belt.
Don't let the mechanic talk them out of it, I did and now my engine is blown up. Vehicle data is usually reliable, but in this case KIA made a huge mistake by installing a cheaper engine without changing the VIN number accordingly.
This is easy for a mechanic or even the reader to do in less than 5 minutes. The cover comes loose with a couple of bolts. Don't let anything accidentally slip into the timing belt housing.