Why Is My Kia Soul Burning Oil? 4 Tips To Keep Driving

Oil is a very important fluid within your Kia Soul’s engine. Why then, is your Kia Soul burning oil and what can you do about it? An engine like the one in the Kia Soul can be bad and lead to much more serious engine problems. Engines, however, are supposed to burn some oil and just need to be watched.

Why Is My Kia Soul Burning Oil 1 Why Is My Kia Soul Burning Oil? 4 Tips To Keep Driving

Why Is My Kia Soul Burning Oil?

While a variety of problems, like issues with actual leaks within the engine, can cause a Kia Soul to burn oil – oil burning isn’t at all uncommon with any engine. If you notice your Soul burning more than a quart of oil per 1,000 miles, you might need additional mechanical help.

We’ll walk you through how engine oil works, and what is normal for a Kia Soul to turn. Engine oil is critical, though often misunderstood in why a vehicle like a Kia Soul would lose any oil.

We’ve worked on cars before, and looked at an oil dipstick on our own cars while wondering why were burning oil. We can help navigate through your vehicle’s needs.

Why does oil-burning happen?

An easy way to explain this is to first understand one of the goals of your engine: Your engine provides the combustion necessary to make your Kia Soul’s axle, driveshaft, and wheels turn and needs oil to lubricate the parts that provide all that action. 

Any vehicle, including the Kia Soul, also attempts to keep oil out of the combustion chamber, where the fast-moving pistons and rods live. Over time, the seal’s rings, and valves that are meant to allow only fuel and air into your engine will wear out.

The result is that vehicles like your Kia Soul can start consuming more oil because some of the oil is accidentally being forced into the combustion chamber. Another possibility is a simple oil leak.

How much oil burn is normal?

Kia says that a higher mileage engine may burn 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles.

What should I do if my Kia Soul is burning oil?

Why Is My Kia Soul Burning Oil 1 1 Why Is My Kia Soul Burning Oil? 4 Tips To Keep Driving

Burning oil issues can have a mix of prevention and maintenance.

Oil types

We would recommend using high mileage synthetic oil. These oils are formulated to at least try to restore tight seals in the engine while being harder to actually burn.

Check your oil

As simple as this sounds, check your oil regularly between oil changes. While relying on the sticker placed on your windshield by the mechanic might be tempting, try to check whenever you get gas. Keep tabs on how much oil you have and how often your dipstick isn’t quite full.

Mechanic help

You could fix some engine problems yourself, but you are unlikely to look up the info if you already know! Consider taking your vehicle to a mechanic to see if they can find faulty valves or rings that are causing engine oil to either leak or burn. While their service might not be free for even an inspection, it’s probably worth it to avoid a much more costly repair in the long run.

Bring oil with you

Easy is fairly easy to find and buy. First, find out which weight and viscosity of oil your Kia Soul takes. 5W-20 is a likely answer, but we suggest consulting your manual or popping open your hood to read the answer of your oil cap.

When you check your oil and see that the level is below the top, give it a partial refill. If you have time, wait a few minutes for all of the oil to settle into the oil pan, then try to measure it again.

You should also consider getting a small plastic funnel for your Soul. This is to keep the oil from spilling all over the engine. When you start the vehicle up, you’ll smell the fumes of burnt oil in the cabin, which is less than desirable though not especially harmful for a moment.

What’s an oil leak versus burning oil?

Burning oil and an oil leak is a bit different. An oil leak usually involves a hole in the oil pan or someplace along the lines that bring oil to the engine.

These can be relatively easy to spot in the pavement beneath the car- and might be a visible leak. An oil leak is often relatively easy to fix (though not necessarily cheap) by replacing the part that is leaking. 

The major difference? While an oil leak can also be a sign of an aging vehicle, its range of severity can be much larger

An oil leak can develop suddenly and get worse – and possibly dump all the oil out of your engine – which is not good! If you see the telltale signs of an oil leak – dripping or oil on the pavement or ground – get it checked out right away. 

Checking for oil on the ground is a bit easier than checking for other fluids. Oil can be more reflective and is often golden or brown. Other fluids like power steering, coolant, and others have a more unique color or smell, like red or even green.

Burning oil tends to happen more slowly, and is only possible while the engine is running. An oil leak can have fast effects and happen when you aren’t even driving your Soul.

How can I tell if my vehicle is burning oil versus an oil leak?

Aside from the telltale drips and oil on the ground – there are a couple more indicators. A vehicle that is burning oil through the engine can have an occasional puff of blue smoke coming from the tailpipe. 

One indicator that you are burning oil instead of leaking oil is that you don’t see spots on the ground, and the oil level falls relatively slowly.

Can burning oil problems become worse?

The burning oil problem in a Kia Soul can get worse as the vehicle ages. The valves and parts that keep oil out of the combustion chamber can deteriorate and create bigger gaps. 

The result is the need to check the oil and refill more frequently. A burning oil problem is less likely to be catastrophic if the vehicle is maintained and checked on.

There are also certainly worse problems than burning oil.

Is this a Kia problem?

Definitely not! Many makes and models burn oil no matter what you do. European sports cars like Mercedes and BMW are known to burn oil, too. Kia has actually become a more reputable brand in regards to quality recently and has been known to last more than 200,000 miles.

To be fair, there are years of Kia to avoid. This problem is the same with almost every make and model of the vehicle too. When a manufacturer makes significant changes to how a vehicle works, it tends to take a year or two to sort problems out.

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  1. My mechanic uses semi-synthetic oil and recommends it be changed every 5,000 miles. It requires 2 quarts at 3500 miles and the engine light goes on. I change oil. Cost $50 for the oil change. Wondering if I should switch to full synthetic at $70. Car has only 125,000 miles.