First time the head went and they fixed it
Second time it went it was beyond repair so they replaced the engine.
And it went again and they fixed it.
Funny how the same car can be so different. My 2003 Kia Carnival automatic has not missed a beat since a bought it brand new. Actually that's not entirely true, there was an electrical issue that effected the power windows/mirrors/antenna, but this was fixed under warranty and did not effect the running of the vehicle. It now has over 82,000kms and I'm very happy with the wow it has served my family. Guess I should just count my blessings that I didn't encounter the head gasket problem.
Whatever you do, don't buy a Kia Carnival, whatever year; it is the worst car I have ever had; 2003 model, four engines, 2 auto boxes.
The biggest problem is their design; very small radiator, plastic thermostat, plastic plumbing from the thermostat, timing belt, heavy on fuel, slow, no power, paint is thin.
If you are even thinking of buying one of these, go to the Perth casino and gamble your money away; you would have more luck doing that; they're a time bomb!!!
The cars can't handle the heat in Perth, and the turning circle; well Mack trucks turn sharper!!! I'm not joking.
To avoid the head gasket problem, you should monitor the water pump, or replace it with the Japanese compatible version. The original water pump internal vein was made of plastic; it will break or fracture due to wear or aging. There is a T joint for water circulation made of plastic on top of the engine beneath the cover. The best idea is to replace it with an aluminium t-joint. Always monitor the water in the radiator, fill the coolant tank with the coolant with lubricant function to protect the radiator and water pump. On and off, check the electric fan of the engine. This will minimize the head gasket problem.
When I was driving back home on the highway from college the other day, in my 2000 Mitsubishi Magna TJ, I noticed that a white Kia Carnival had pulled over to the side of the road with its bonnet up after breaking down. My initial thoughts were how bad the owners were going to feel about this, when find out it's gonna cost them $5K+ to get a new engine. I also see many Kia Carnivals with the 2.5 engine in perfect condition at wreckers.