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Kia Sorento Maintenance and Repair



  • hey danetaxifor2 i would say your throttle position sensor is out of wack in the post you seen i was answering jlman about his check engine light a p1121 which is code for tps this may be what is going on with your sorento when mine did this it would shift through all gears really fast and would not downshift and had very little gaspedal but all my problems resulted from me trying to ajust tps without propper or all the wright tools lesson learned back to you though i would say try easy fix first undo both battery cables for about one hour then reconnect this resets the ecm if you do it correctly the ideling will kick up to 2000 rpm and then go back to normal idel if this does not work go to local autoparts store have them scan for codes worse case is replace tps also go to kia global information you have to register but this is a free online manual and information hub also kia sorento forum goodluck
  • I have an 03 Kia Sorento with about 150000 miles on it. I have had multiple issues with the car starting. It wants to turn over but it will not fully turn over. The check engine light is not on and not popping out any codes. I have replaced the spark plugs and the battery. Any ideas on what could cause it not to start? I have taken it to the dealership and of course they can get it to start but when I get it home it doesn't want to turn over often times it is when it has been sitting overnight.
  • is it doing it in cold or warm weather is it gas or diesel anyway mine is gas and had similar problems it was a dirty intake air control valve since the gas version does not have egr the iac is on the bottom of the throttle body take off air intake hose to throttle body there is two small holes if you look at throttle body wright below it is a black object with two screws and a wire connector on it unscrew it looks like nipple spray this and two holes and throttle body in general the iac controls cold idle like a choke amongst other things with idleing maybe easy fix hope this helps
  • Hi, I have a 2003 Kia Sorento. Recently, the airbag light has been staying on and doesn't go off unless you shut vehicle off. The manuel says "contact dealer". Has anyone else had this problem with this airbag light before? Thanks!
  • they say that low voltage drop will make airbag light come on has the battery been replaced vehicle jumping other vehicle with dead battery loose cables orit could be airbag warning lamp circut hope this helps
  • Thanks for the info..Has original battery in it..will check out all these that you have mentioned. Thanks again...
  • Hello. Once again problems with my 2005 Kia sorento. Recently fuel gauge stopped working, not a real big concern until today. My car turns over but will not start. Is there any connection or where do I even begin to start looking. Everything is very difficult to get to in the Kia. of course its a sunday so no one is open today and really need car tomorrow. thanks
  • zorentozorento Posts: 19
    edited April 2010
    I had a scraping/rubbing sound coming from the front of my 08 Sorento when I did a slow right turn. In addition I had a bunch of clunking, squeaks, rattles, etc.

    When I took it in I told the service tech that I thought the loud clunking was being caused by the after market step I added and that I did not expect them to work on it. Since I installed it I was responsible for fixing it. This should have been tightened last fall, but I got really sick last year and did not get to it.

    When I picked up the SUV I found that the noise was gone. I'm not sure they realize how much I appreciate it because I was not looking forward to crawling under there again since I'm still not up to par health-wise.

    I did send a thank you email to the dealer.

    I still have some rattles, etc in the rear, but I'm not going to take it back in until I get all my stored stuff out of it so I can determine if that is causing any of the noises.

    Thought I should pass some "good dealer" news along.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Please visit Dealer Ratings and Reviews and write a review there too. Dealers who go the extra mile need all the kudos they can get. Thanks!
  • Before I decide for sure what I want to get is it correct to say that Kia requires the Owner to get the required maintenance work done only at the Kia dealerships? If so then this may be a deal killer to me.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    NO, but insure you document and keep all receipts showing materials used and services performed and insure the maintenance intervals are IAW the owners manual......if you ever need warranty work done, I have heard and seen on the boards where some dealerships required to show all the above if it wasnt in their maintenance records.....especially for the drive train warranty of 10/100K
  • Fist time user here, I posted a problem but it is in "Warranty", Can you all please read it? I'm a bit overwhelmed.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Here's the link:

    Of course, you could just post your message here too.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    is it an AWD?
  • Sell it as soon as it "seems" OK. Run away from the Sorento. My 2005 started acting possessed; the clock numbers would flash one day, the next it wouldn't. It started a slight oil leak. The A/C went out. (I live in Vegas) The brakes need to be redone for the umteenth time. She turned 60k miles & it was all downhill. The dealership ripped me off once; I learned my lesson. Good luck unloading.
  • trenchtrench Posts: 1
    Purchasing the fogs is not a problem. Its getting the wire and plugs for them that you cant find.
  • Has anyone installed larger tires on a 2006 EX with TOD AWD? It came with 245x70-16s and I was hoping to go up to a 275x70-16. This is 1.66 inches larger in diameter and 1.18 inches wider. I'm thinking that with four new ones, the AWD will be okay.FDoes anyone have experince with this and will this invalidate the warranty?
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Posts: 196
    Does any body know the replacement schedule of the 2011 Sorento timing belt?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    according to the maintenance schedule at 2011 no longer has a timing belt replacement the 2011 sorento thread here..someone stated that had converted the belt to a chain...thus eliminating the replacement requirement.....
  • pinyachtapinyachta Posts: 3
    Not sure of the year they changed, but my 2008 has the Hyundai 3.75ltr engine, which has the chain. It's the same engine that's in the base Genesis and Genesis Coupe, but detuned to 270hp. It's 300 in the Genesis and 330 in the Coupe. Don't think any KIA engines are being used anymore in the Sorento.
  • I have the exact same problem occurring in my 04 POS. 102,000 miles and it is falling apart piece by piece. Replaced the Alternator at 100K. CD player is shot. Heated seats don't work anymore. Airbag lights on. (Kia Mall of Georgia said the reason the light is on, was because I needed a new Alternator for $670. Well had it replaced with new one for $440 from independent mechanic. Light still goes on and off.Mostly on) I've gone though about 20 light bulbs. Head and Rear.
    I'm curious what was your final outcome with the 4 wheel drive locking up the wheels?
    Truck runs ok going straight. Turn either way or back up and it binds up the wheels.
    My mechanic thinks the Transfer Case is the problem. Doesn't want to work on it. Say's it sad how many problems the Kia's present so early in their operation.
    I've read these boards over the years and always thought It's gotta just be their particular Kia. Now I am experiencing what everyone warned me about.
    Sorry Kia owner.
  • sonnyrockersonnyrocker Posts: 127
    Sorry to hear about your problems, missilcornfuse.
    I have a 2003 Sorento, purchased at the end of 2004 new. We never had any problems with it except for the radiator, which needed to be replaced.
    We have had problems with the oil filter when it needed oil change not by the dealer or Valvoline. Valvoline seems to be the only reliable one for our Sorento if we need oil change.
    The brakes should be fine, someone is screwing with you if you have to do it all the time.
  • Well, after the A/C went out & the warranty expired just prior, I unloaded it. My boyfriend still has his 2003.

    His A/C went out this week but has an extended warranty. Highly recommended for any Sorento owner.

    My brakes on my truck kept having problems; uneven pull and squeaking. At least it always stopped. His is now having some uneven pressure, but I'll take it to get the wheels balanced first. Our local Brake Masters has been the most honest & helpful of all mechanics & they honor the extended warranty. They're fixing the A/C.

    So, in this case, it wasn't someone screwing with me, they really were bad. I think it's the technology or lack there of. LOL
  • sspazianisspaziani Posts: 1
    I am currently having a problem with my 05 Sorento. It all of a sudden would not start but is turning over. It has been sitting at the dealer since Monday and they still have not found out what is wrong with it. They say they have ruled some things out but have not told me what they are. I was just curious as to what they found was the problem with your Sorento when it would not start.
  • we were on the highway when our sorento backfired and quit running. we tried restarting it but it just turns over and won't start. heard that the timing belt goes bad around 60,000 miles and ours is at 61,000 - but can see that the timing belt is still turning. anyone know what it can be?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    you can probably see the serpentine belt turning..but the timing belt is cant see it without disassembling the front engine cover...not sure what the problem could be based on your symptoms....
  • I again had a problem with the car - after it was in cruise I had to break for traffic while headed up large hill. The car did not pick up as should - would only go about 50mph. Stopped it at rest stop and shut it down - then after it started again was OK.
  • I changed the battery in my 2003 Kia Sorento and now the ambient tewmperature reads in degrees C. How do I change this back to degrees F?
  • I have a 2005 Kia Sorento that is giving me a serious headache. What started as the battery, turned into a new altenator and a new battery. The car still wont stay running after the battery dies and I continue to have to recharge the battery. Can anyone give me an idea of something that I am apparently missing? New altenator? Check, New battery? Check... New Belt? Check!!!! What's next?
  • thecometthecomet Posts: 1
    edited November 2010
    I have the "ESC OFF" problem myself and my Sorento slows down drastically even on the highway. Please help me remedy this situation since I cannot spend hundreds of dollars trying to resolve the problem and I fear being the cause of an accident. Sometimes I have to stop and open the gas cap 3 or 4 times before the light goes out and the vehicle goes back to normal. Please I need help urgently if you have an answer that can help me and my family in this situation :confuse: :(
  • You hold the down temp arrow at the same time as ambient button and it will change in a couple of seconds.
  • Thanks for the advice. It worked like a charm. I tried countless button combinations but overlooked this one.
  • moni2moni2 Posts: 3
    after doing some research, i have found that there are many consumers having a problem with the ESC OFF light randomly turning on in sorentos. am having discrepancies with KIA and am in the process of gathering as much info as possible to submit to my case i filed with KIA.

    i own a 2007 KIA sorento ex, with 62000 miles on it at this time. i have been experiencing the ESC OFF light randomly turning ON for quite some time. unfortunately, it wasn't until i experienced 2 close encounters of an accident on the freeway when my ESC OFF light had turned on and i lost acceleration/power. during this time i was stuck at 50mph, meanwhile vehicles behind me were coming up at 65 or faster slamming on their breaks im sure!! this poses a serious safety hazard and from reading other posts as well as my dealer informing me that i am not the only one reporting this issue, i can't help but to thinks this may be a malfunction on KIA's end.

    after having a diagnostic check for this problem at a KIA dealer, they found that the transfer case decoder motor is faulty. i am not a mechanic but to me it sounds more like a electrical problem? anyway, i was told that since there is a service bulletin posted for this issue that KIA is willing to cover this repair that was quoted at $700 if you fall under your 60000mile warranty. i came in and my odo was at 62000, basically i am SOL unless maybe i can prove to them that other KIA owners are having this issue before they even reached their 22500 mile recommended maintenance. KIA is trying to wing their way out by reviewing my service docs, which show that i haven't had my transfer case serviced until i reached 62000miles. i understand that maybe because of this my ESC OFF light is malfunctioning but again, with so many people having the same issue i would like to look into this some more.
  • The solution to our ESC OFF light problem came about when our cruise control stopped working. When they replaced a switch/sensor(?) associated with braking it fixed the ESC problem.
  • moni2moni2 Posts: 3
    anyone having problems with the "ESC OFF" light coming on and staying on, causing loss of engine power?

    this is a safety issue that can cause a serious accident. if you experience this problem you can file a complaint to , if enough people file complaints, nhtsa will conduct an investigation regarding this issue to see if it is a possible defect and/or recall.
  • I need the same help,(answer},My kia also beeps when the car is driving but not when stopped.Help???
  • My experience tells me this is related to the throttle sensor problem. Our 08 Sorento had the ESC light problem without loss of acceleration, but when we had the throttle sensor problem that caused loss of acceleration it turned out the ESC light was somehow connected to it. Having the work done to repair the throttle sensor problem also resolved the ESC light being on. At least that is my recollection...
  • I have a 2008 Kia Sorento with just over 34,000 miles on it and am on my second experience with the ESC OFF problem. The first time was July 2010, car was taken to a dealership and they replaced the sensor and car worked fine until this past Monday. I started my car to warm it up and after 10 minutes I returned to the car to leave and noticed that the ESC OFF light was on as well as the check engine light. As previous experience has shown me, the ESC OFF light is dangerous as the car loses power. I turned the car off, then on, but the lights were still on. I got a ride to work that day, but my dad went over to look at the car. The ESC OFF light went off for him and so did the check engine, he drove it around with no problem. Now this morning I started it to warm it up, no lights came on. I got in to leave and when I reached the end of my road at the stop sign, both lights came on again. I turned the car off, then on and the ESC OFF went off, but the check engine is still on. Called the dealership....taking it in on Friday an HOUR away....I hope I make it okay. I'm so disgusted with this problem. From what I am reading of others posts I should trade this car in soon as the problems will just mount from here and after the warranty runs out the cost will be a serious problem. I love this Kia other problems yet. Maybe I should trade it in for a new 2011 Sorento. who knows :0(
  • moni2moni2 Posts: 3
    That's pretty crazy and sorry to hear about your KIA. Although, this may help my claim I filed with KIA about the esc off light and power loss. They have me in a tail spin saying that since I did not comply with my initial recommended transfer case maintenance at 45000 miles they will void anything beyond warranty. It's interesting to hear that you have the same problem before your 45000 miles..obviously my lack of maintenance to the transfer case has no relevance. It doesn't matter because your esc problem started well before that number. It's up to you but, I was told that if enough people file a complaint to the nhtsa it will give them reason to run an investigation on this issue. Otherwise, if u wait beyond your warranty the quote I was given would be around $700 to fix. My complaint is listed, it's really quick and easy to do too!!
    Again, to me this is a safety issue that should be looked into as a recall/ defect. Good luck, i hope to hear your outcome.
  • I am not aware of a Kia that has a low range 4x4 or for that matter 4x4. They are automatic AWD with a single range. You can lock the front and rear differentials into AWD for really bad conditions but this would create problems on dry pavement and excess wear.
  • My 2008 Kia Sorrento 2.5 Diesel 5 speed manual definitely has low range. The dial beside of the key has three stops that read. 4X2 HI, 4X4 HI, 4X4 LO.

    The new Sorrentos have no low range but this one certainly does. It also has no center differential so that you can't drive in 4wd on the highway.
  • capjackcapjack Posts: 1
    2008 Kia stalls and hesitates until the engine reaches full operating temperature. Have returned 3 times to the dealer and the problem re-occurs after a few hundred miles.
  • missjjmissjj Posts: 1
    I know this message was a long time ago but we are having the same issues with the crankshaft bolt and it has already been fixed from a recall and it broke again and now KIA is trying to say it's not their fault. Yet it's the same exact problem. Does anyone have any new information about this issue or had any luck with a class action lawsuit ???
  • loralouloralou Posts: 1
    I drained 2 quarts of trany fluid ou and put 2 quarts of Dex-Merc lll in. I found out 4 hours later it should have been kia red 1 fluid. Can I drain fluid 2 quarts and refill with Kia red a couple of times or must I have the trany flushed?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I would have the trany flushed
  • soryibykiasoryibykia Posts: 6
    I wish I had found this site before I purchased mine. I have read lots of posts in reference to the lighting issues and missing bolts and sheared bolts these are all safety issues and should be reported to the NHTSA they are who investigates and does the recalls My newly purchased vehicle new to me but used has electrical and now the sheared bolt problems and an extended warranty that isn't covering my warranty that declined due to a bolt that is not covered under powertrain over $1,400 in damages thanks to a bolt please if you are having issues make a formal complaint to the NHTSA they have up to 10 years to do recalls. Most people I know are not able to purchase new but we still have rights so please file your complaints where they will be effective and protect the little man. We do have rights!!!
  • tskeutskeu Posts: 1
    I just bought a Sorento 2011 XM last month in Malaysia. But i have to send it to service center today due to a strange and loud noise when i switch on the air conditional. The service center said it was due to the air conditioning compressor and need to order part from Korea. They said they need to take a month for delivery. This is unbelieveable! any one of you have this air conditioning problem?
  • crissygcrissyg Posts: 4
    Hey everyone!
    I have a few questions and hopefully someone may be able to help me out. I have a 2011 Kia Sorento, AWD, I4 LX. First of all, I have noticed, but thought it was ABS, that I will be going 40mph and need to apply my brake. At first it seems like it is braking "normally" and then all of the sudden it feels like it locks or something and it will actually jerk me forward. I am not applying any addition brake, just a steady brake. Is that normal? I have had other vehicles with ABS and that is not normal. I have not had this intop the shop on this situation, again, I thought it may be "normal."

    Item number 2.....As I can see, tranmissions are a popular item in the Sorentos......seeing that several of you have had yours replaced. Well count yourself lucky....mine has been replaced 2 times already. I have 7,200 miles on this time bomb. Just a quick history report.....Bought the Kia on 12/13/10...on 4/14/11 with 5,893 miles (or that is when I finally got it to the dealership 40 miles from home) I was going down the road about 40 mphs and it felt like I hit a brick wall. Called my husband to meet me, and my vehicle only had 1 & 2 gears. Took it too the nearest Kia dealership 3 miles away only to get a very rude customer service rep. In the mean time we had shut the vehicle off. After the horrible expereince with the local kia, I took it back to Princeton where I bought it. Talked to the tech on the phone and he said just go between 50 -60 mph. (It is an interstate and I should NOT have even tempted doing something like that. I could have got into an really bad accident. THank God I didn't) The tech informed me that since we turned the Kia off it reset the computer and it would shift normally. So, took it down there and they replaced the transmission. Brought the vehicle home on a Saturday--4/16. We went on a trip on Sunday. Everything seemd good to go. And then on 4/22....not even a week later it did it again. My husband was driving this time. We took it back down there and it needed a 3rd transmission. Odometer reading 6,636. This time they also check the wiring harness and replaced the transmission. I got the Kia back on 4/28/11. I have since limited my use of this piece of crap. Even though my husbands truck is much harder on gas, we use it more because I am scared to death it will happen again. It is very hard because I work 20 miles from my house so I have to drive my car.

    But here is the next thing.....I have been receiving calls from Kia. I was told that they are going to be doing an investigation on my car and I would be getting more calls. They have offered to give me $500 for the "trouble" I have had. So I started looking into Lemon Laws. I am in WV and the law states that something must go wrong 3 times or that it could cause bodily injury. I have posted the law below. Would this fall under (b)? What happens if #3 is on the interstate when I am going 70 Mph and someone hits me? Will I be here for #3?

    Thanks in advance for help and advice!

    (a) It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties, if the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealers within the express warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever is the earlier date, and the nonconformity continues to exist, or the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the term or during the one-year period, whichever is the earlier date.

    (b) If the nonconformity results in a condition which is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven, it is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform the vehicle to the applicable express warranties if the nonconformity has been subject to repair at least once by the manufacturer within the express warranty term or during the period of one year following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date, and the nonconformity continues to exist.

    (c) The presumption that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a new motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties applies against a manufacturer only if the manufacturer has received prior written notification from or on behalf of the consumer and has had at least one opportunity to cure the defect alleged.

    (d) The term of an express warranty, the one-year period and the thirty-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike or fire, flood or other natural disaster.
  • soryibykiasoryibykia Posts: 6
    things of this nature should be reported to the NHTSA they are the ones that do recalls without complaints being filed they will not do investigations to get a recall.
    What year is your sorento? I have just been through this recently and have filed a report
  • crissygcrissyg Posts: 4
    It's a 2011. Crazy huh??
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