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Kia Sorento Maintenance and Repair



  • Thank you for your input. I called KIA direct and
    they told me to let the dealer try to correct the
    problem tomorrow and he will contact them to find
    out if it has been corrected. Maybe I should just
    look for another KIA dealer, but they are all a
    lot further from my home. Then again maybe it isn't enough work for them when they are not being
    paid by me. KIA told me it will be covered under
    warranty. It has to be one of the most annoying
    noises I everheard, especially from the Sorento. It ran so quiet for the first month and a half, I didn't know it was running sometimes.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Is that mean your car must stay in shop overnight? I remember I talked to the sales manager from my dealer about the rentals. I think he told me if the car requires more than 6 labor hours for any nonscheduled warranty repairs, they will give you the rentals. Kia will pay for it, not dealer. It is a case by case situation. I don't know much more than this. I also learned and posted something about the warranty coverage if your Kia travels outside the U.S. I don't remember the post number or when I post it. But, the warranty is only good when you are in U.S. But you properly will get reimbursement for the repair (save receipts) from Kia. Again, it is a case by case situation. Also, it is good when you have a dependable service center. My Kia service center also serves Chevy and other GM vehicles. They seem very serious about the Sorento. People were asking how I like the Sorento. Anyway, please keep us updates on the problems and service center department.
  • As far as I know they don't have to keep it over
    night. I think they will probably tighten the belts some and put some belt dressing on them and
    send me on my way. If things don't work out, it's
    back on the phone with the KIA office.
  • Greetings all. I've taken a little time to get caught up on the topics. I've had my Sorento EX 4x4 for about 3 weeks now and I've noticed many of the topics already discussed....such as vibration from front when vehicle is put in drive or reverse and rattle from rear seat latches (I can actually see where a metal plate in the seat is rubbing against the "latch post" on the car body). An additional problem I have is intermittent problems with the drivers side window. Sometimes it works...most of the time it doesn't! :-( The gas mileage has been good. I'll be checking the tire pressure ASAP! BTW...the reason I have a 4x4 is because the 4x2 doesn't come with a limited slip rear end. The sales person "thought" it did when he sold me a 4x2. After reading the manual that was back to the dealership to teach the sales staff what the "snow" button really meant! One other annoyance of mine is that the overhead console (temp, direction, etc.) hangs down so far that it appears in the rear view mirror (blocking my view) and the sunglass holder isn't big enough to hold my sunglasses. Otherwise the vehicle is pretty cool and I hope to drive it for some time. This message is getting long so I'll wait on asking about aftermarket tow hitches.
  • Still had squealing noise when I started up the Sorento this A.M. Took it to the KIA dealer who
    had their Service Department replace all 3 serpentine belts. They said, maybe it will fix the
    problem, but are making no promises. They said they replaced all the belts because they might be
    missing something wrong with one of them. We'll
    see. Any more problems, it's off to KIA/Consumer
    Affairs again for help.
  • drieddried Posts: 36
    artiejoe - I really hope changing the belts works for you. I have had my EX for only 3 weeks and a whopping 550 miles, but no problems yet. I'm just trying to throw ideas out here, but if the belt change doesn't work, it might be worth the dealer looking at the following:
    - alternator
    - steering pump
    - a/c compressor
    - water pump (not sure if that's belt driven in this engine)

    All these things are turned by the belts (and more), and it's possible that one of these devices has a bearing failing or something. It's really rare, but new equipment does that sometimes, and it can be affected by temperature/humidity. If the squeal is still there right after the belt change, they may need to remove one belt at a time until the problem goes away - there should be no harm running the engine for a short time with a belt removed. Also spraying belt dressing on the belt with engine running will stop a slipping belt immediately (or at least change the nature of the squeal) - for a while anyway.

    By the way, one thing that distinguishes many Asian cars from the rest is that fact that they use 3 belts for all these functions, instead of 1 belt. In my view (just an opinion) this is a good thing because if one belt breaks, or one of the devices on the belts seizes, you don't lose everything else - they're independent. Now I'm rambling...

    again - good luck - please keep us posted.
  • Hi all, having purchased our Sorento EX a mere 3 weeks ago we already have a list of items that need to be addressed. They range from not being able to take the key out of the ignition, a rear window and side mirrors defroster not working, dash lights periodically not working, and seatbelt won't retract properly. We also had a dump of approximately 20 cm of snow overnight and I must say that the Kia handled the elements quite nicely with one exception, on a number of occasions when starting out on an icy surface from a dead stop our Sorento pauses slightly then will advance forward with a bit of a thud.
    The thing that I fret about is having the Kia service guys ripping apart our new Sorento to do the appropriate repairs and then keeping our fingers crossed they do a decent job of returning it back to looking new.
  • I have the Sorento service manual and thought that you'd like to know that the water pump is driven by the timing belt.
  • I am looking into a sorento and on the test drive i noticed the rattle from rear seat. I love the vehicle and i am very serious about buying it. just for refrence, I will be trading in my 2000 Land Rover Discovery for the sorento. That has been nothing but a headache!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    StevePlll - That could be the cargo cover. I was also thinking the Discovery when it went major redesgin few years ago. I think it was build by BMW. I hope it will give some money for the Sorento.
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    I kind of agree with lok888 there was a slight rattle coming from the back in ours and I noticed it went away when the cover was extended fully into its latch points or when I removed it. Give it a try.
  • maabmaab Posts: 41
    That doesn't make sense. Timing belt goes from the crakshaft to camshaft(s) ONLY! That is true on all the cars I've ever seen; unless Kia does it differently.
  • maab- sorry, but you are wrong on this one. The Kia service manual shows that the water pump is driven off the timing belt. To change the water pump, the timing belt covers, tensioner and belt must be removed before you can access the pump. Of course before you do all of this, you have to remove the serpentine belts for the engine acccessories (P. Steering, A/C, Alternator and tensioners). It would make good sense to replace the water pump at the same time that you replaced the timing belt. Unfortunately, Kia's (actually Hyundai) 3.5 L V-6 is not a very user-friendly engine.
    Also, there are several vehicles that drive the water pump off the timing belt- I just can't say for sure which they are since I have never owned one. (Maybe the Dodge Neon?)
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I have to say most things under the hood are not a user friendly. When you changing the low beam, you have put your hand in a small gap in between the fuse box or air filter unit in order to open a cover/cap. A guy with a big hand may find this is a difficult task. And there is a rubber seal ring around the cover. I almost lost that thing.
    I have to look what people say about the maintenance on Sedona. It is the same engine. Many components may have the layout.
    brooklyn1951 - Can you look up the service manual to see if I have to remove the tail lamp assemble in order to change the bulb? It seems there is no access panel in the cargo area.
  • maabmaab Posts: 41
    Mea Culpa. I think it's coming back.

    Timing belt driven water pumps, do these pumps have sprockets/teeth for timing belt or driven by friction ("back" of the timing belt)?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hey Just an update. The Sorento now with a new hitch can tow 5000lbs. :)

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    paisan - Factory or aftermarket tow hitch? Any upgrade on alternator, battery and cooling system? We can tow another Sorento now. Any mid-size SUV can tow this much?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Basically what the problem was (same problem on the 4-runners as well) is that the spare tire interfered with the hitch, so they could only mount a class II hitch (3500lbs rating) on there. So they got new hitches that stick out beyond the bumper (and provide a step) and are Class III which can tow up to 7500, but the vehicle max is rated at 5000.

    You can't tow another Sorento unfortunately since you are limited to 1500lbs of un-braked towing (almost all vehicles are limited by this) and if you put the sorento on a trailer, it would be over the 5000lb mark.

    Other mid-size SUVs that can tow that much, pretty much all of them I think. I know the Rodeo and Axiom tow 4500lbs. and most other frame-built SUVs in the mid-size range can town in the 4500-5000range.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    paisan - I got the picture. Same thing with many SUVs with spare tire mounted underneath the vehicle. I rear like the integrated tow hitch on Jeep G.C. and Benz M-Class. There is another type of tow hitch like those on the pick ups and previous generation of Ford Explorer. Are these work all the same?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The bumper mounted hitches like found on Pickups and older american SUVs are only rated at class II 3500lbs. You need a reciever (box with tounge that you insert) type for anything in the class III and up range.

    Also anything over 3000lbs usually requires you to have a weight distributing hitch to attain those high towing #s.

  • lok888- It appears from the service manual that the taillight is a single piece lens/reflector unit. You remove 2 screws located near the opening for the hatchback door and the whole light assembly comes out. The lamp sockets are acessible at the rear (engine-facing side) of the taillight.
    maab- The water pump seems to be driven off the "smooth" side of the timing belt. Generally it is done this way to prevent problems- seizing of a water pump driven by the toothed side could snap the belt or strip the teeth. If the engine were of the "interference" type, the still moving pistons would collide with the valves that were open when the belt broke- very expensive!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    brooklyn1951 - That's what I thought. Also, I noticed there seems to be some kind of access panel at the location where they put the first aid kit. Do you know what's that for?
  • Brooklyn -- How did you obtain a copy of the Service Manual?? Do you know where I might be able to get one?

    Also, Can anyone provide an opinion of the Torque-on-Demand 4WD system. Have you had any problems? Are you confident driving it in snow or off road, or does it take a long time to get used to?
  • StevePIII- There is an address and toll free number in the Sorento owners manual to order the service literature. You can also order on the web at the Helm website- but they did not have the Kia manuals in their database last month. If you need more info- email me at [email protected]
  • The TOD transfer case is a no brainer. Here's the simple explanation- It uses speed sensors to apportion the drive bias to the front or rear driveshaft when a difference in speed (slippage) is detected. It does this by applying a computer controlled electrically operated clutch in the transfer case. This differs from some other full time transfer cases (such as Jeep's QuadraTrac) that use a viscous limited slip differential. There are no electronics in these. The viscous LS differential is filled with a silicone fluid that thickens as it heats. If the front and rear driveshafts have a difference in speed, the silicone fluid undergoes greater "shearing" forces and heats up. The fluid becomes thicker and "locks" the two driveshafts together.
  • It may just be my ignorance, but is this type of system common and should is last? -- (i wonder if its covered under the powertrain warrantee?) Based on your description, I would have little faith in a Jeep's LS Diff.
    Thanks for the info on the service manual. Further, your knowledge seems vast and is really appreciated - not only by me I am sure, but everyone else reading this forum.
    Thanks again.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In addition, there are 22 other sensors in the vehicles (weight, acceler, etc) that also control the power shift. For instance if you are decending a trail nose first it will put more power to the front due to the pitch and weight sensors. The TOD ECU also learns situations where you need more power and applies it to that axle before such a situation occurs after it has learned the driver.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    StevePlll - Good question. Does anyone know this is covered by the 10yrs/100000 miles powertrain warranty or the basic bumper-to-bumper 5 yrs. one? What type of maintenance do I need?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I believe it takes ATF fluid, change it ever 50K miles and you'll be good, unless you do a lot of mudding like me then ever 20K miles.

  • Mike, do you have any photos of your sorento off Road -- or are you referring to muddy roads?
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I think he has the 2000 Trooper, not Sorento.
  • StevePIII- Thank you for the kind remark!
    I think that it is strange that the TOD transfer case calls for Dexron III fluid, while the transmission calls for Dexron II. To my knowledge, Dexron II was superseded by III which meets all of the specs. That being said, when the transmission in my Jeep GC was re built, the tranny tech used Dexron II instead of the Chrysler specified 7176 ATF. He claimed that it was a superior fluid. Also, it's worth noting that the manufacturers of the transmission (Aisin-Warner {Japan}) and the transfer case (Borg Warner (U.S.)) are not exactly the same. Maybe someone could shed some light on this.
  • I found it interesting that under the sorento is a similar torque transfer system made by the same company that supplies them to Ford, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and others.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I don't have a Sorento, I have a 2000 Trooper which has the same TOD system by Borg Warner.

    Pics and lots of good off-road info can be found at which is my page. If any of you guys are up for some good offroading you should definitely think about heading to Uwharrie, NC with a bunch of Isuzu and Mitsu folks April 5-7. We always have a good time down in NC. I'll post up more info as soon as they nail down the particulars.

  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    My bumper mounted hitch is rated at 5000 lbs on my pickup, not 3500 lbs and most mid size full frame SUVs tow between 5000 and 7000 lbs!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    What truck? Most hauling over 3500lbs usually requires a weight distributing hitch which necessitates a reciever type rather than a step-bumper type. Most all the pickup ones I've seen are 3500, but maybe the "optional" bumpers they have have higher towing capacities or on the HD models.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm not disputing the towing capacity of the vehicles at all. Pickups tow 5000-13000lbs easily.

  • I'm trying to keep up with the reading in this forum.. in my sephia, the tail lights come out the same way, after removing the 2 screws, you have to SLIDE the assembly outwards before pulling it back. the assembly is held by 2 other screws. play with it sideways to prevent breaking the holders...

    The dealer gave a different 800# to get the manual. not Helm anymore..
  • The company for the manuals is DDS publications 1-866 542 6268
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    I have a Silverado with a 5000 lbs bumper tow rating. All GM fullsize pickups this rating for the bumper. The truck is rated higher. I tow 5000 lbs with this truck with no weight distributing hitch (as per the manufacture). I see you are not that knowlegable about American made products.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Which model? 1500? 2500? 3500? HD? 2wd? 4wd?

    Oh and what year is it?


    PS: I was talking IN GENERAL, there are always exceptions to every generality, so step down off your high horse and let's talk about the Sorentos!
  • Well, after 7,800 care free miles in my Ivy Green Sorento EX...the drivers side rear (furthest back) window shatters in a 80 mph wind gust!! Yep...WIND. Turns out...well, at least what I have been told, that this seems to happen quiet a bit in all types of vehicles in strong winds...or when the seals dry up. Anyway...after talking to Kia and basically begging, they replaced it under the warranty. But for those that are interested, that piece of glass costs $240.00 and another $150.00 for labor. my surprise they have to remove all the interior plastic panels sorrounding the window to replace it. That window is bolted into place in 9 spots around the window frame. The window tech told me that the design is very good, but that those windows are installed before any of the interior panels in production. I assume he is correct, but non-the-less, it looked like a total pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to fix.

    Happy Motoring!
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    This is not the place for this discussion. But to answer your question- all models you mentioned from 99 and up have the same rating for the rear bumper. I tow 5000 lbs with this truck with no weight-distributing hitch. In fact, I like the idea of having the dead weight on the rear of the truck. I was thinking of replacing my 99 Blazer with the Sorento. I also use this SUV for towing and the rear bumper on this SUV is rated for 3500 lbs. I have a class III hitch on the rear of this SUV so the information that the Sorento can tow 5000 lbs was interesting. I hate the fact the Sorento engine has a timing belt, nothing like a steal chain. As the price a gas goes up I my just ditch the whole SUV idea, get a Honda Accord and leave the towing to the Silverado!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I take it you have trailer brakes for the 5000lb load? Even the great GMC truck does not allow more that ~1500lbs of unbraked trailer weight. :)

    Yep the 5000lbs is directly from KIA, basically the hitches they had in the early production were not the right ones so they could only tow 3500. The same problem is on the 4-runners. The "new" hitches are the beefier ones that stick out from the spare-tire area and have a little rubber pad on top of them.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I spoke to one local Kia dealer and they quoted me $105.95 for the bike rack, $119.95 for the low rider and $42.95 for the cross bars. Does anyone know what's the low rider for? My Sorento EX has the standard rook racks and cross bars. Do I still need to buy the cross bars?
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    Wrong agian. Why do you claim to be an expert in all areas? Most of your posts are incorrect. God help the people that listen to you! Here is the data from the Chevy web site, "Trailer Brakes. If your trailer weighs more than 2,000 lbs. loaded, then it must have its own adequate brakes."

    By the way, for my info, what is the max weight the Sorento can tow without trailer brakes?
  • lok888...maybe I can help. I just installed the Yakima low riders onto my well as the crossbars and 2 Rockymount bike racks. The Low Riders attach to the Sorento EX's roof rails. Which then hold the crossbars in place. I removed the stock cross members...they are basically useless and just add more wind noise than I care to hear.

    I paid $114.00 for the Yakima Low Riders...$20 for the 48" crossbars...and $50 each for the Rockymount bike trays and for mount.

    All in all, I am very happy with it. But I will say this, the wind noise is a little intrusive....mostly because of the sunroof. The Yakima wind deflector doesn't fit the vehicle well enough to consider purchasing. I tried it, but it does not extend far enough forward of the sunroof...even with the crossbars moved as far toward the front of the car as possible. So I had to return it.

    Anyway...I hope that helps.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    ivygrnsorento - Very good info. I also looked at the Sorento accessories brochure. The picture shows the stock cross bars were removed which means they are useless when you want to add things like this (and cargo box, ski racks, etc).
    For the numbers, the dealer quoted $105.95 for the bike rack. I am not sure if he means two bike trays.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You are a riot.

    If you look back at my post it say ~1500.

    Do you know what "~" means????????

    It means "about" about 1500 is pretty close to 2000 in terms of a 5000lb towing capacity!

    My GUESS on the Sorento is that it's just like most other Manufacturers of Truck based SUVS and is rated at 1500-2000lbs max towing w/o trailer brakes.

  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    My guess is the Sorento can trailer only 1000 lbs without brakes. Can anyone who has a Sorento verify this with real data? It should be in the manual. I guess 33% is not a big deal to you, but I bet the lawyers would think different!
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