2016 Kia Soul - new engine and no oil pressure

After an accident the engine spun #4 rod bearing so I purchased a 2.0 short block from the dealer. I took the head to a machine shop where they cleaned it and did a valve job. I re-assembled everything and used assembly lube on the top end. I filled the engine with approximately 4 quarts of conventional oil and it shows full on the dip stick. I pulled the fuel pump fuse and cranked the engine for 4 seconds. The oil pressure light didn’t go out. I cranked for another 4 seconds and the light is still on. I checked the oil level and it didn’t drop so the oil pump isn’t working. Do I need to prime the oil pump? What should I do?

I suspect that 4 seconds is not sufficient for the sending unit to get a good reading. Why do you think the oil level should drop as long as you have the recommended amount of oil refilled?

Thanks for the reply. I will crank it longer. I assume the oil level will drop because the engine is completely dry except certain areas that have assembly lube. There are lots of little voids that held oil when I dissembled the top of the engine and the galleries are empty too.

Did you use a new oil pump ?

The accident didn’t cause the bearing to spin, the lack of oil caused it.
The accident may have caused an oil pump or oil pump drive failure.

No i didn’t replace the oil pump but I inspected it and it looks OK. The oil pump is part of the timing chain cover on the Kia 2.0 engine and I think a used timing chain cover was installed by the people that repaired the car. G4NC was written on the outside of the part and this matches the engine #. The car was involved in an accident and totaled by the insurance company. It has minimal exterior damage but the oil pan was dented, the lower ladder frame was cracked and the transmission housing was cracked. The transmission also suffered some internal damage. It was purchased at auction by someone and they used JB weld to repair the inside of the ladder frame and transmission housing. I purchased it “repaired” from another auction. I drove it for 600 miles before it developed a rod knock and spun the bearing. I discovered the JB weld when I removed the oil pan.

The engine is new and the trans was rebuilt. I’m afraid to start it until the oil light is off.

The oil pump should have been packed with vaseline to prime it when the engine was apart. It needs to come out so it can be inspected and packed.


Just a couple comments from a non-mechanic. When I re-did the timing chain on my Buick and needed to pull the pump, in fine print the instructions were to pack the pump with Vaseline to allow it to prime. I would check to make sure. An old local radio host on a car talk program talked about pulling the fuse and using the starter or other device to get the oil pressure up on a rebuild. He was a former racer so they would do an overhaul about every day.

I wanted to ask about this, because I am planning to reinstall the engine and transmission into my Sundance in the not-too-distant future. I replaced the crankshaft and bearings, among other parts. Before doing that, I cleaned everything with copious amounts of carburetor cleaner to get rid of sludge and deposits. I applied engine assembly lube to the crankshaft journals, and rubbed clean engine oil on the cylinder walls, but I wasn’t really sure if the oil pump would “prime” again automatically, or if I needed to do something special to make that happen.

Is Vaseline really the best thing to use, and it won’t clog up any oil ports in the engine? I was planning to pour clean engine oil into the oil pump while the engine is on the ground upside-down before installing it, but it would likely be several weeks to a month from when I reinstall the engine until the car can actually be started again.

On the old engines I used to drive the oil pump driveshaft with a drill for 30 seconds but with oil pumps driven by the cranckshaft I just crank the engine with the ignition off, it will take 15 to 20 seconds to fill the oil filter so don’t expect oil pressure right away.

I’m just telling you what the GM factory manual said, so that’s what I did. Might be worth reviewing the Kia manual.

Thank you for the replies. The Kia oil pump is completely different from a distributor driven oil pump. I have used Vaseline to pack those oil pumps and it works. I used a modified distributor to turn the oil pump using a drill. In this case I did the only thing I could. I built an engine priming device out of a drill pump and some tubing. I connected the tubing to the threaded part where the oil filter attaches and I was able to fill the oil galleries and engine at the same time. I removed some oil first since I already added 4 quarts. I re-installed the fuel pump fuse and cranked the engine, stopping it from starting each time. I did this three times and the oil light went out. The engine runs fine and I didn’t detect any abnormal noise.


Sorry, I got you two mixed up. Glad everything worked. The Buick pump was run off the crank or timing gears best I can remember though.

Vaseline is pretty benign and melts into the oil without any harm. It is thicker, by far, than plain oil so it creates good suction to start oil flow. Generally, there is no good way to get oil into the pump and keep it there during assembly. It is a simple thing to do to insure the engine builds oil pressure before starting it.

North Star motor would lose prime which really annoys caddy owners. Trick was to overfill crankcase by 4 qts and crank motor. It worked for me. Then drain excess oil. Maybe that trick would work for other cars?