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Kia Sorento Maintenance and Repair



  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide will tell you what we think your 30,000 mile service should cost in a USA zip code. The only services you should have to perform to maintain the warranty are those that are listed in your owner's manual. The dealer will likely recommend that other things be done but they are optional. Check your owner's manual to be sure.

    Check the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act about "tie-in" sales. The dealer or Kia generally can't require you to have your service done at a Kia dealer.

    On the flip side, loyalty to the dealer may pay off in other situations:

    Understanding After Warranty Assistance
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    simply check other dealerships and service centers...make sure they use Kia parts or OEM equivalent parts and document and save all your receipts and do only what is required in the owners manual for service....the bigger service will be the 60k one when the timing belt should be replaced.....check the owners manual for that service interval as well

    as for tires...depends.....I have an 03 Sorento EX and had to change the OEM Michelins out at 30K.....check the tires yourself using the penny method...lincolns head into the the tread....if the top of his head is visible..time to get new tires....the OEMs are not the same compounds as those you will get at a tire shop....Im running BFG long trail t/as now...and getting about 50-60K out of them....
  • can anyone help me with temp on aa 2004 deisel model as gauge do'snt go up as far as normal was thinking it was the thermastat but don't no where to find it
  • jcorbinjcorbin Posts: 1
    I just brought an 06 Kia Sorento on Feb. 29th and on March 1st, while in a busy parking lot, the transmission stuck - the car (a manual transmission) would not shift into any gears - not even neutral. The car would not even stay on - it would just shut off no matter what gear I had it in. It was almost impossible to push the vehicle so that we could get it out of traffic. The car gave no indication that anything was wrong, it just froze in the middle of traffic. I had my three children in the car with me and I am scared to drive this vehicle again. Of course the dealership is trying to make a case for themselves by stating that I may not have known how to drive a manual transmission but that is totally bogus and has nothing to do with what's wrong with the vehicle. I look forward to any updates regarding your situation.
  • Finally, someone else with the same problem. It has happened to me 5 times total so far. I have taken it into Kia 3 times, they just say the only way they can tell what is wrong is to bring it in when it is doing it. If it happens to you again. try putting it in 5th gear, really ride the clutch and slowing give it gas. Mine only needs to go a few feet and it will start shifting properly again. hasn't happened to be for a couple of months now (knock on wood), but if it does I intend to sit right where I am and call a tow truck!!!! Good luck, let me know if you find out anything, I'll do the same.
  • awsaakawsaak Posts: 1

    Can you please tell me what was the part number of that cable??
  • karenrbkarenrb Posts: 1
    I purchased my Kia in Dec. 07. Well the problems that I have been having have been minor but annoying. The check engine light has stayed on constantly, I got a diagnostic check done on it and was told that there is insufficient activity from the oxygen sensor 1 and the voltage sensor in the evaporative emmision control system is too low for the current engine operating conditions. I have no other choice but to place the vehicle in the shop. It also started making this beeping sound while I am in motion (once I stop the beeping stops) usually the only time I hear that sound is when the hatch is not closed properly or when I am extremely low on fueld (full to the brim). Can someone please tell me if they have had any similar problems like mine? :confuse:
  • jlmanjlman Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 kia sorento.The service engine light is on and the code is p1121.Does anyone know what I should replace to fix it?
  • I have a 2005 EX 4x4 Sorento. I drive in Auto and lately on start-up, it's been putting itself in 4 wheel Low. It's like the light check system just leaves that light on & tells itself to switch into Low. BTW the dial is still on Auto. HELP!!! One dealer couldn't make it happen & gave up. the other wnts me to leave my Sorento there for 4 days. there are out of their gourds! It takes a little while, but by playing around & turning it off & then on again ro startng & re-starting the truck, I can usually get it out.
  • Did anyone find out about that cable for you? I am working on my fathers '03 Kia and it is doing the same thing and I was stummped until I saw this post... so anyhelp would be really useful.
  • jwincmanjwincman Posts: 1
    While driving my 2007 Kia Sorrento the ESC light came on and will not shut off even by depressing the button. Also the tail lights are on and will not shut off unless I disconnect the battery terminal. I pulled every fuse/relay I could find and they still remained on. Thought it might be the brake lights or turn signal but both of these work. The head lights are off along with the fog lamps. Really weird??? Any ideas only about 30k miles
  • zowwiezowwie Posts: 5
    OK all... I will admit there are times that I regret my purchase of a Sorento. But I am about to share with you my findings on various topics to help you!

    1) Dealers and Issues involving the BBB or the State are pointless. Contacting corporate is tricky... But simply google for CEO names of KIA or their sister company Hyundai. You will find the corporate number under Hyundai.

    When you call (say executive Bob Johnson). Simply say... This is Janet XYZ calling on behalf of Mr. Doe for Bob Johnson.

    Normally when it's formal like that... The receptionist gets the impression that you are a secretary calling for your CEO or executive for their executive. When I did it, they put me RIGHT through and boy did he get an ear full.

    DONT ACT UNPROFESSIONAL AND COMPLAIN!!! Simply stick to the facts, be very business like and be sure to let them know that you have already compilled all the data for the media. More than likely they will fix your issues VS that of having to be bad mouthed on your local TV consumer watch group and possibly lose 10-100,000 customers!

    2) Headlights - I have blown headlights, parking light bulbs, etc. I found the contributing factor! You have too much air in your tires and more than likely you live on a bumpy road or have slow bumps that you drive over daily!

    Since gas is so high... Don't let the air out! Just go to autozone and buy the proper bulbs. But be sure they have a LL designator! LL stands for Long Life and the filement is much stronger than a standard bulb.

    Once I made that change with ALL LIGHTS (turn, bake, head, parking)... I have not had an issue.

    3) Get rid of your factory air filter! It's junk and is terrible. Go get yourself a 20-25.00 code filter. Unscrew the thottle body hose that goes to your air box (two screws) and simply hose clam on the new filter to it. Then every month you can simply wash it out in the sink and re-oil it.

    Sometimes the air filter oil may cause a trouble code with your MAP sensor. This is common... Simply get some electronics cleaner from rad shack and spray down your MAP sensor. It will get the oil off there.

    You will notice TONS more power and your Sorento will have a nice sound to it! Plus if you add this and drive like a normal person... Your MPG will increase.

    NOT recommended for very hot climates.

    4) Watch your dealer like a hawk!!! They will wessle our of any warranty coverage in a heart beat! Know your rights before you go in there! If there are recalls, service bulletins, etc. Now your stuff before you see them.

    5) If it's a standard KIA issue that is common on google... DEMAND a loaner car or tell them you will simply file suit in your county for the cost of your rental car. They will tell you that rentals and loaners are not covered by warranty. However if they don't want to cover it, just tell them you will submit the complaint to the feds and encourage others to do the same.

    With that said... they can bite a 100 rental bill... Or end up with a recall on over 50,000 vehicles.

    Do the math? They will normally provide you a loaner.

    Overall... Try to be nice and polite. But be firm and stand your ground. If they start being butt heads... Then get all crazy on them, but remain professional and courteous.

    Lastly... I built an HHO generator for my Sorento and doubled my MPG!!!! :) In the city I am getting about 29 MPG instead of the 15 MPG the manufacture says. NO, I am not going to give you step by step plans on how to build one! Simply go to youtube and search for HHO. be sure to use a 20amp type1 circuit breaker inline.

    Good luck to everyone and I hope my tips have helped.

  • zowwiezowwie Posts: 5
    When you say your tail lights are on... And considering the key is off and the switches are off... I would assume that your brake lights are actually on.

    See if your third brake light above the glass is on.

    If it is... It's your brake light switch that is located near the brake pedal.

    This circuit should be fused... But it doesn't care if your key is on or not, right?

    Normally those switches in most vehicles have a plastic plunger that can get bound up due to weather. Considering it's near the floor and is placed in direct path of cold air from vents or hot air from vents... I could easily see this occuring.

    Try to wiggle the plunger free without force. If it pops out and the lights go off. That's your issue. Lube it up with something and see if that helps over the long run.

    If it IS popped out and lights are on... See if you can disconnect the harness to that switch. if you unplug the harness and the lights go off, there is your prob. Go to the junk jard and get another switch... Or make one yourself that will mount there.

    Good luck!
  • zowwiezowwie Posts: 5
    Find someone with an ODB scanner (not a reader) so they can see your oxygen sensor readings. If it's WAY outside of spec, this could be an indication of an exaust leak prior to the sensor and letting in too much oxygen.

    Vibration should not occur and is normally and indication of something lose.

    If you DO have a leak... your fuel consumption should be through the roof! Very bad for your MPG.

    Good luck
  • zowwiezowwie Posts: 5
    My dealer tried the same song and dance... he said the KIA took special transmission fluid, etc, etc.

    When I cornered him and said... Wait! Your telling me that KIA is holding the proprietary rights to the transmission fluid that forces me to pay this outrageous amount? Then he said... Ahhhh... It's this type of fluid, you just have to use the right stuff.

    Yeah... What ever buddy!

    You can have your service done by any "professional"... But make dern sure you keep ALL your receipts!!!!

    if something goes wrong... The dealer will pull up your service record and deny warranty coverage because they have no record of 30K service! Then you have to appeal their decision and produce your receipts.

    As with any shady company... I would keep a running ledger of every receipt for your vehicle! Bulbs, fuel, licenses, etc.

    Also... I don't trust dealers as far as I can throw them! So if they ask to see your receipts, give them copies... Not the original folder! I could easily see them going into another room and taking some receipts out and trashing them just to be able to screw you out of money!
  • zowwiezowwie Posts: 5
    All... I got the LX RWD cheap model of the sorento and the other day I was checking out the fuse box and I saw a 30amp fuse for the prem sound system.

    Obviously I have the standard 4 speaker/2tweeter system with no amplifier.

    I can't find any schematics on the Sorento other than speaker wiring... But I saw a reference that the factory amp is installed under the seat.

    My questions are:
    1) In the higher models... Where is your stereo amplifier? Under drivers or pass seat?

    2) Does anyone know if the LX has the wiring under the seat... It's just not used?

    Also... keyless entry....
    1) I want to go to the junk yard and purchase a keyless entry receiver for my sorento since it didn't come with one. Where is it mounted on the higher end units?

    Remote Start:
    1) has anyone installed a remote start on a LX 5 speed? If so, what model did you install and how difficult was it?

    Six speakers:
    I also read elsewhere that some models of Sorento have six speakers. Where are these extra speakers located on higher end models? I want to see if the wiring harness is already there on my LX.

    Are hey inside the hatch back (rear gate door)? or on the sides near the trunk area?

    Thanks all.

  • sbilodeausbilodeau Posts: 5
    I finally got fed up and tried another Kia dealership today. Yesterday the transmission stuck in 5th gear, was actually in the neutral position but it was stuck in 5th. After a couple of miles it started working properly. The dealership gave me a run around at first just like the first dealership. After I threatened to stage a sit in they finally admitted that they knew what the problem was, and even though they were not able to duplicate it and verify that i really do have a problem, they agreed to replace the transmission and cover it under the warranty. Guess it does pay to stamp your feet and threaten once in a while!
  • bettysbettys Posts: 2
    I recently has service done on my 04 Sorento EX, leather, power-seat, sun roof, rack, the works. My driver seat had to have the track replaced becaused it rocked when I put my seatbelt on or adjusted myself in the seat. The repair required the technician to remove the seat cushion. This is where the problem occurred. When they replaced the cushion, the leather cover was not properly secured with the hog rings (large metal staples), instead of them being secured from the bottom of the leather seat cover they were on top holding the leather flap that tucked under the seat together. Imagine someone hemmed your pants and hemmed them on the outside instead the inside. Although this is in between the seat, it's the principal and I know it's not right, but the manager is claiming that's the way it was installed. I disagree so much that I went to another dealer and ran my hand between the crease of the seat and it was not like my seat had been installed. I contacted KIA and complained, and they are saying that it's pretty much up to what the manager said at the repair shop, which i know is not right. I would like the manager to replace my seat cushion since it is not damaged and was not installed correctly. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments to help me get this resolved. I am going back to the manager with what I have found in hopes they will just replace the cushion with a new one and let me be on my way. Thanks :mad:
  • kiasuckskiasucks Posts: 2
    I have the same exact problem with my 2003 Sorento

    Did you get if fixed?

    Need help


  • kiasuckskiasucks Posts: 2
    So did they fix the vehicle?

    What parts did they replace to get the 4 wheel drive lights to go off? Did your overdrive come back?

    I have same problem, but I dont understand your explanation

  • frustrated2frustrated2 Posts: 28
    Hello everyone, Just hoping to get some suggestions on how to handle some repair/warranty problems. I have a '05 Kia Sorento which has had nothing but problems from day 1. Unfortunatley I drive high mileage so whatever seems to go wrong with vehicle is blames on mileage (even though all highway). It just turned 100K however all prob started prior to 100K. The current issue I have is that the wipers quit working on me for the second time in a month. They replaced wiper motor. A week or 2 later they started slowing on me again and yep quit working once again.
    the dealorship stated I needed new wiper arms since they were rusted I refused to have them changed last time since I stated that was not the problem. That dealorship refused to warranty the motor since they stated it was the arms freezing up the motor. I brought it to a none Kia dealor, they stated the motor was weak and to bring it back to them and told them to prove to me its the arms and not motor by disengaging the motor and seeing arms move freely. So I brought it to another dealor which stated its actually the wiper transmission and not the motor so therefore it was NOT covered by the warranty. My question is after they put in the new wiper transmission should I also fight to have them replace wiper motor under warranty since transmission more than likely also weakened the new motor? Also another kicker,they are now refusing to pay for loaner which they stated originally would be covered since this is not a warranty job. Please help Renee'
  • beyond_helpbeyond_help Posts: 110
    correct me if i am wrong is not the wiper and wiper trans part of the same assy. if not
    the pivits (the things the arms attach to) are covered by warrenty same time and milage as wiper motor assy ?

    kia stinks most kia dealers stink also they think all customer are stupid

    i will never purchase another kia product

    the famous kia run around and lies !
  • beyond_helpbeyond_help Posts: 110
    kia has finally stepped up to the plate and is recalling thousands and thousands of sorentos
  • howardskidhowardskid Posts: 8
    I'm just out of warranty. Does anyone have an idea what the dealers are charging for this replacement, or whether it's something an owner can do himself?
  • My brand new LX CRDi feels every bump in the road and transfers them through to every passenger and the driver.It also bounces and judders. :cry: I am wondering if anyone can recommend a bolt-on suspension upgrade kit that can make life bearable in a country with lousy highways??? It seems a great car in most respects...very economical even though the trip computer doesn't seem to have a clue what is going on!! Also the clutch engages about 3 mm above the this normal? Thanks for any help....
  • esj1esj1 Posts: 6
    I had to replace this part last year and am not sure that it was replaced with this newly designed/improved part. Regardless, I paid over $1000 for the service and do not see how they KIA can now do the service for those who have not had this done yet and not compensate those who have! Anyone out there who is out lots of coin for this service - what to do about this!
    I will check with the dealer who did the work to make sure that the part they put in my car is this approved/improved part.
  • I just had my 04 in yesterday at the dealer for an oil change and was informed about the recall for the ICV. The part was replaced. Thank god that I wasn't having any problems with that yet! I just wonder why it takes Kia so long to notify customers about recalls! I have had almost my whole engine replaced because of the crankshaft bolt breaking(of course before the recall). Then having to have the bolt replaced again because it was not recalled until after I had mine replaced. I finally received a recall notice about 3 months after the second replacement. If it were not for the fact that I have to have all my work done, even oil changes, done at the dealer, I guess I would never hear about the recalls!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    This happened in about a month ago. Everything is fixed now.

    I thought I had a leak in the coolant reservoir again in my '03 Sorento (72,000 miles). I replaced the reservior at my buddy's garage. Then it leaked again.... coolant level was way low (below the LOW mark). I could see the coolant was dripping on the exhaust pipe.... like cooking oil in a hot pan.

    I returned to my mechanic few days later and he found a leak in the coolant hose connector. The parts was like $40 but I paid $120 for labor. The leaking area was hard to see. The hose was even hard to reach. He had to remove the surge tank, windshelid wipers & motors, air filter box. Well, no more leak.
  • Hi,
    Can anyone help in regards to the air bag light being constantly on? What does this mean?

    Thankyou for ur help
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    2003 Sorento has air bag warning light for driver side only. Mine was on and dealer replaced the clock spring inside the steering wheel column under warranty. Did you buy yours from a dealer?
  • I was told that I should be changing my timing belt before I hit 103,000 km on the SUV. I have been checking around and the cost would vary from $500 to $700 as for estimates from various garages. So I was hoping there was a manual out there or someone would be able to point me in the right direction as to where I could get the manual or at least tell me how to change the belt. thanks all.
  • What was the name of the system you installed in your Sorento? And what year is yours? Have you had any problems since installing the system in your Sorento in regards to the HHo system or mechanical from the conversion of yours.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Timing belt is a replacement item at 60,000 mile (or 96,000 km) intervals. If the timing belt is letting go and cause damage to the engine, Kia (powertrain warranty) will not cover it.

    I replaced the timing belt (and drive belts) and did the 60,000 miles service at 64,000 miles last fall for my '03 Sorento. I paid $860 at a local shop. My mechanic also replaced the timing belt tensioner.
  • No, we did not buy a a dealership, we bought it off a freind of the family, but i will be taking it to a kia dealership to have it checked, the only thing is that the car is not under warranty :cry: , thankyou
  • ICV info/warranty
    My engine light went on as well as hearing a knocking noise which became worse with accelerration. I chanced it for the 1& 1/2 hr commute home with fingers crossed. Brought it once place and they refused to work on Kia moter since so many problems. Luckily I read forum and another mechanic as well believes my problems are due to ICV. Luckily it is under warranty. for once luck on my side for this car. Its an 05 and I swear mechanics have this car more than I do. I tried to trade in my vehicle with a 3-5K trade in value on my 25 K vehicle. So basically losing my [non-permissible content removed]. Trying to keep it thru winter then buy car in feb. Unfortunately i dont think a 3 yr old car with make it. sad to say. I tried to do lemon and follow up on complaints but all they tell me is well it has a lot of miles. BULL [non-permissible content removed]. ITS ONLY 3 YRS OLD . I had a car prior to this that was 15 yrs old and all i had to do was put oil in it. Sorry for rampage. Question is can other mechanics do KIA warranty jobs?? If so, do I need to do anything? Had nothing but problems with Kia mechanics and having to bring car in numerous times for them to do a job correctly.
  • tobyamptobyamp Posts: 9
    I had a 2003, the harmonic balancer fell off 2 times, the the engine blew. I had to fight for two months and finally had the engine replaced under warranty. I tried to get the lemon law to apply---they said I had too many miles (60,000). I had a 1988 S-10 blazer with 265,000 miles on the original drive train with no problems! My suggestion---get rid of the Damn thing as soon as possible!
    Good Luck :lemon:
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    if it is under warranty, only a KIA dealership can do the work and get reimbursed, beleive there is a recall on the ICV, not might want to check over at

    fortunately I have a good dealership and have had nothing but good work done through them. I have an 03 sorento with 109K miles on it without any problems.
  • Hi, I have a 2003 Sorrento and its also doing the weird door-locking thing. Did you ever resolve this? Your help would REALLY be appreciated. Thanks. Steve (Vancouver, BC).
  • Previously, I have had 2 4Runners (99 &02) which both owners mannuals recommended once a month engaging the 4 wheel drive system for approx 10 miles to lube the 4X4 system (keeping seals, gears, etc lubed).

    I don't find anything in the owners manual for my 05 Sorie that recommends anything about engaging the 4X4 system on a recommended basis.

    Anyone got the answer about this? With my 2000 Sportage it did not recommend engaging the 4X4 unless you were off road.
  • Just an update: Had 2005 K. sorento in shop for ICV recall. Found out only because engine light came on and problems accelerated on highway as well as hearing knocking noise. Very long story short and week later without car, found out some parts were sucked into engine. So now dealor calling a Kia rep to find out if they will replace WHOLE motor and if under warranty. Remind you car only 3 yrs old. If under warranty, would new timing belt and serp belts be under warranty as well. These need replaced also and wondering if I need to fight for coverage. thanks to all for your assistance in the past, now and future problems.
  • ICV?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Service Campaign provides information related to replacing the Induction Control
    Valve Sub Assembly (ICV) some would ingest a butterfly mechanism screw into the cylinders....sounds like what happened above....the recall has been out since May of this year.....for 03-04 and some 05 MY sories if Im not mistaken

    This recall campaign is affecting Sorentos produced from 06/19/2002 to 04/21/2005. You can check your production date on the sticker located on the driver's side door jam. If you want to download the official PDF, right click and save as (10 pages long, about 2mb):

  • I have a Kia Sorento 2005 with 54,000 miles and I took it into the repair shop b/c the check engine light came on and then I received the recall notice in the mail.
    The repair shop told me that my problem was a spark plug wiring problem and so I had them fix that; fix the engine recall and to also replace the drive chain. In doing the repairs they said that they found a cracked radiator and so they fixed that. Then they said that the check engine light was on and found that there was a bent spark plug. So they had the car for 3 days to fix.

    After the various fixes I found that it would jump from 1st gear to 2nd gear from a stop sign. It had harsh shift shock going up and going down gears. There is a 1 to 2 frequent delay from when I press the gas to when the car goes. I am nervous when I drive the car b/c it is dangerous and nonresponsive. I have taken the car back to the repair shop 3 times and have been told that it is fine and is exactly like the other Sorentos.

    I went to and complained to them there and got an advocate and phone number (800) 333-4542. My problem isn't resolved b/c I believe that I am being lied to from the repair shop and that they screwed up my car. I am hopeful that I will be able to get this resolved before I get killed in an accident or harm someone else.
    I was at a stop sign on a hill two days ago. I pressed the gas and slid backwards. If there was a car behind me I would have crashed into it. Worse yet, if someone was walking behind me they would have been hurt. I national Kia and they told me that a rep drove in the car and that everything is up to factory spec and fine. I'm pretty disgusted with the problem that people can't tell when a car goes directly from a stop into second gear with a learch.

    So I have to bring it to another shop and hope and pray that they can diagnose and fix the problem before someone gets hurt. :sick:
  • As an attorney I can tell you that you have acquired some real liability here. You know that the car is dangerous, so if an accident does occur you could be found liable for punitive damages which your insurance policy probably won't cover. To mitigate your situation you have little choice but to have the car thoroughly analyzed and repaired by an authorized repair center. Obviously the shop screwed the car up royally. So the place you now take it to must thoroughly document what it finds and does. Chances are the total bill will be less than the small claims limit for your state, and with good documentation, you could get a relatively quick court order for your outlay. Good luck.
  • Howard,
    Thanks much.
    The car is still in the shop. Kia initially told me that it was ok and was going to send me out the door. I then told them to fix the dome light. Then low and behold they find that there is an electrical short and have had the car in the shop since 9/2. My problems with the car being in the shop for over 30 days in the last 3 months is a joke around the office about Kia quality.
    I call the service department daily about the car and then he tells me another thing that they will try to find the electrical problem. Then he tells me that he will call me later in the day and never does. :sick:
    This problem and service that I have received over the past 3 months is the first time that I have regretted purchasing a Kia. :lemon:
  • nts1nts1 Posts: 1
    Hypothetically, would edladaire still be liable if an accident occurred on the way home from the dealership? At this point edladaire had been told 4 times that there is nothing wrong with the car by the experts at the dealership. Seems like Kia should be more attentive to a safety issue like this one.
  • No argument there. Until he "knew" how dangerous the car was to drive, there was no punitive liability, but after he posted his knowledge/opinion on Edmunds, it became a self declared admission.
  • ANYONE know where I can download an owners manual in English for the 2008 diesel engine?

    Bought a new one in the Dominican Republic and it is only in Spanish.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    You could try the phone number listed for DDS Publications in How To Find Your Car Owner's Manual Online.
  • If you really get stuck I could scan mine and email it to you. It would be a job but could be done. Mine is Australian compliance. David N
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