2019 Kia Forte EX making ticking sounds at 26,000 miles. (video included)

Hello all,

First time poster. Hoping to get some guidance.

I bought the car brand new in April 2019 and have racked up 26000 miles of highway driving in this time. I get a synthetic oil change done at the dealership 5w20 weight approx every 6500 miles (Kia Canada recommends 3700 miles while the dealership recommends 5000 miles on synthetic since they say Canada is a severe weather region but from my understanding the warranty terms require service intervals within 7500 miles and the shorter interval is just that, a recommendation).

I have started noticing a continuous ticking sound from the engine area that I believe has started recently. It is present even when the engine has warmed up. The video is as follows (I try and focus the mic around at different areas in this 30 second clip):

I know engine noise is something hard to diagnose in this way. I was concerned wether it’s something I should take up with the dealership since I’m under warranty for 60,000 miles. I have had someone say it sounds like some internal damage so I am worried/paranoid.

Thank you for your help!

Simple , use your warranty and find out if you have a problem . Why depend on internet guesses when you have a warranty ?

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Oh, I guess I am under the impression that dealerships would rather not repair under warranty and being equipped with an idea of what might be happening before going would be in my best interest.

The negative thinking was along the lines of having something to counter them saying “we don’t hear anything out of the ordinary/that’s how it’s supposed to sound like”. But I see I may have been wrong to think that.

Granted they don’t receive as much for warranty repair but that is part of their agreement as dealer for the brand. also while the noise or problem might be solved the first time it will be on record and can usually still be taken care of after the warranty expires . also you tell them what you think you hear , not how to fix the problem . And if you do something to try and fix it or have a non dealer work on it you void the warranty.


Thank you! I am going to tell them that I have noticed the engine being noisy and need whatever issue is causing that to be resolved under warranty.

Tl;dr: feels a bit like being gaslighted. Told oil level was low when I checked a few days ago and it was fine, car insoected, oil change done, told to keep monitoring. Sound persisted. Came next day and told there is no issue. Second opinion dealership said no issue.

Full story: So I went to the dealership. Showed them the video and emailed them a copy as well. They claimed the oil level was relatively low and the drain plug was a bit loose (I had checked it a few days ago and it was fine) and spent an hour and a half checking it out including a drive. Said everything should be fine and to monitor the sound after they did an oil change. I drove the car back and at the destination still heard the noise. I took a video again, emailed it to the dealership and was told to come the next morning. The main service person proceeded to take a look at it and said there is no issue and everything is fine, had another mechanic with him and the same opinion while one was revving the engine and turned the AC on as well. I asked them how come there was no issue with the dealership acknowledging there being a noise yesterday and now you are saying there’s no issue. He said he doesn’t know but he will talk to the mechanic from before to see why he gave that diagnosis and that there is nothing wrong. I even asked to hear a new car engine there so we could compare but he said they had no 2019 models in stock and again just kept the same line going. Wrote an other report up saying customer came in and upon his diagnosis everything was ok.

Obviously unsatisfied, I took it to another dealership for a second opinion and was straightforward with them regarding the issue. When the reception saw my video from after the oil change they said it warranted investigation, but after a few minutes I was told by the mechanic that he couldn’t hear anything out of the ordinary and if the sound was as bad as what it was on the video to come back.

So overall, this has been a frustrating experience. At this point I’m not sure if maybe the video amplifies the audio to make it sound worse, if the original dealership made stuff up the first time or my second visit, or wether the second opinion dealership has any reason not to get involved.

Ticking sounds could be caused in the valve system, or the serpentine belt system, water pump, or elsewhere. And some sounds like that are just normal. I expect it’s going to be nearly impossible for someone here to offer much help just by listening to your posted vdo. Some options

  • Does the dealership have a similar car on their lot? If so, ask to take a test drive in it and see if that one has the same ticking sound. Maybe you know of a friend or relative or co-worker who owns a similar car.

  • Use a short length of old garden hose as a stethoscope to narrow down where the sound is coming from. A long screwdriver as a contact stethoscope can be helpful also. Be extra careful, as there are lots of moving parts in the engine compartment when it is running. Knowing the sound location might be helpful for ideas from the folks here.

  • Hire your own inde mechanic to assess the situation. If they think there’s a problem ask them to write a report or opinion and show that to the dealership.

  • Or contact Kia directly, rather than working w/the local dealership.

In any event, do not make any modifications at all to the vehicle while it is under warranty. Doing so could void the warranty. If you want to do somelthing yourself, make sure the fluid levels are correct.


Thank you for the detailed response George! I was thinking of going the independence mechanic route for an opinion. I was also thinking of going to a third dealership, this time not mentioning anything about what the previous verdict was and basically saying “hey this vehicle is under warranty, I’m concerned about how the motor sounds, could you take a look and see if it is something to be concerned about” and let them take it from there. The second dealership did not put through anything in the system so that would not show up in any shared system the Kia network may have.

I know I may be sounding paranoid, but it’s the first time I got a new car and the last thing I wanted was to be given the runaround by dealerships.

Check your oil level early and often, save your engine and have usage statistics available.

Audio clips make a normal engines sound like a noisy factory, the engine would need to be inspected in person.

From what you posted there where some observations made, none in your favor and no repairs performed.

Direct injection engines have noisy high pressure fuel pumps and noisy injectors, don’t be encouraged by “you have a warranty, so use it”, if there is nothing wrong with your car you are being sent down a dead end road.


Yes,these engines are known to be noisy.I remember Kia having problems with some of these engines in the past. A valve cleaning job that involved cleaning them with a sandblasting solution was required to stop the ticking noise.

Dealer was giving a brush-off to @chromehed_163415 on this, telling they do not have any other 2019 vehicles of this model on the lot.
#1. I would not trust them, but rather would go to used car sales department and ask there.
#2. Kia Forte seem to start a new generation in 2019, so any 2019 or 2020 vehicle will do, including a new ones, which dealer would dfinitely hae on the lot.

Did you ever find out why it was ticking yet? I have the same car, mine only ticks after sitting for awhile with the ac on, but then i shut the ac off and it stops making the noise. 28,000 miles. also the lane keeping assist, is horrible in rain, if you cross under a street light, itll shut off because their arent any lines to track, and can make you hydroplane. Very unsafe

Well of course the Lane Assist will not work in the rain or Snow . And just because it turns off that will not make your vehicle hydroplane . And don’t expect a reply from chromehed or that you have the same problem. You have a warranty so take it to the dealer and have your problem on record . Don’t do anything yourself or have a non dealer shop mess with it so you don’t void your warranty.

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Have you raised the hood and checked the motor oil level? As a secondary question, do you check the oil regularly or never? Not checking fluids has become an epidemic.