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Kia Sorento Maintenance and Repair



  • tadstads Posts: 31
    I've heard thru these pages of similar noises emitting from the rear of the Sorento.
    Sounds to me like it could have something to do with the fact that these vehicles are fitted with a LSD (limited slip differential).I have the five speed manual and cant say I've heard like what is descibed with yours tho.
    Give you a tip,dont only talk to the sales people who sold you the vehicle, talk to the head mehanic himself as well.In fact call all the Sorento workshops you can untill you find someone that sounds like they know a bit about Sorento's as experiance counts.
    Most dealers dont want it known that Kia vehicles have any faults at all and wont admit to you if there was.
    My 04 EX has just started to leak oil from the rear main (the crank seal between the engine and the gearbox) and as it is only 6 months old, its a worry.
    I've just had the timing belt replaced under warranty as it slipped a couple of notches.Hope the string of faults end here or Kia will wish they had never sold me one of their cars because I just dont have the time or patients to be stuffing around with workshops for the life of the vehicle !!


  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I have a 2003 Sorento too. It is an EX, 4WD with Torque-On-Demand (TOD). Like many owners, I always experience this thump feeling when you release the brake and after a hard stopping from a high speed. It doesn't happen all the time. And it depends how fast you are stopping from. For example, I am exiting the highway and then stop at the light or stop sign. I feel the thump feeling from the rear wheels when I release the brake and take off. I didn't bring this up to my dealer. But all saying is the same thing your dealer said. People also saying about the limited slip differential (LSD). My car has 30500 miles now and there is no drivetrain problem.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    My dealer replaced the body cladding on both rear doors few months ago. There were a metal strips which welded and connected to the cladding and the door edge on EX models. You can only see it when you open the rear doors. The metal strips are easy to get rusty especially driving in snow countries. The moisture and road salt are bad for this. My dealer also replaced another EX with the same problem. They put a new cladding without the metal strips, all plastic... no rust.

    For the rear hatch, I noticed a rust spot on a painted surface near the rear license plate garnish (chrome). I read sometime here or another Sorento board about a poorly design. I have to go back to my dealer to see what they can do about it.
  • I've had my Sorento EX for almost 2 years now, with about 22800 miles on it.
    In this time I have replaced the drivers side low beam lamp 3 times, I'm on the 4th
    bulb now. The passenger side went out for the first time last night. The service dept. told me to call for an appt. on monday. Anyone had a similar problem?
  • beyond_helpbeyond_help Posts: 110
    blown bulbs....check battery condition and charging system voltage ?
  • fergyfergy Posts: 9
    I just replaced all four headlamps with PIAA super whites and I'm wondering if anyone can give me a course in headlight aiming on the sorento? The manual made it clear how to replace them, which was a snap, but nothing about aiming them. I see some diagrams on the housing with arrows but it sure isn't obvious. Has anyone done this?
    By the way, our 2005 Sport is 6 months old and we've had no problems. We love it!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Are you change the bulbs correctly? Did you touch the glass surface with fingers?How long these bulbs usually last?
  • Yes, mine burned out also. First, the low beam driver's side. Then the passanger. I replaced them with very expensive Sylvania Silver Stars (awesome lights) Unfortunlatley, the driver's side burned out within about 3 months. I switched back to just standard halogens. So far, haven't had any more problems (about 8 months now)

    Adjusting the lights - forget about it! OMG, they are so stupid! You have to pull the headlight fixture out, adjust the screw, put it in, check the alignment, pull the light out, adjust the screw, put it - you get the picture. A royal PITA!
  • fergyfergy Posts: 9
    Yeah, my original bulbs were fine, but just wanted to upgrade. I've dealt with halogen bulbs for years with tv studio work so I know the ropes about not touching the glass and getting oils on it etc. I figured that you had to remove the lense module to adjust them. My dealership repair shop guy told me they weren't adjustable but were fixed aim. Oh well. I'll give it a try. The PIAA's are awesome bright. Real sharp cutoff on low beams. That's what I need to raise a hair.
  • tadstads Posts: 31
    After recently having major engine failure after beach sand contaminated the inner timing case and derailing the timing belt, I modified the Belly pan to eleminate the same problem occuring.I suggest anyone here do the same if you head off into sandy area's as the std belly plate scoops up and traps sand where it makes its way through the radiator.
    When the thermo fans kick in this trapped sand gets blasted into the engine bay.There is a huge gap around the crank pully/timing belt cover that should not be there ! Might be ok on a street car but a 4x4 ?!!
    Appart from that and the oil leak coming from the rear main oil seal the Sorento is great :confuse:
    They are a nice rig but Kia need to do abit more homework on them befor giving them a title as a true off road vehicle.Anyway I've posted some pics on webshots to those interested in seriously going bush with their rigs.

    Good luck and have fun good people

    Ps A link i posted earlier was wrong,goodluck with this one.
  • beyond_helpbeyond_help Posts: 110
    the only comment i can make is, WOW ! well done!
  • fergyfergy Posts: 9
    The manual has very good instructions on removing the headlight module and replacing bulbs, but nothing on aiming adjustment points. I replaced all my factory headlamps with PIAA bulbs, much brighter by the way and it was a snap. I called Kia and they said call the dealership, so I did, and talked to a repair tech who said the headlights weren't adjustable, but were fixed at the factory. Someone else replied to my earlier post saying that you had to remove the assembly and turn the screw, put it back in and check it, remove it etc. Well, to my surprise, after taking both modules out to look them over, I noticed that the screws (which are in the back and would be nearly impossible to get to) have a metal cap around them with groves in it. There is a channel from the top of the housing down to the groves where a standard flathead screwdriver can easily fit into to turn the cap and screw, easily adjusting the aim of the headlights without having to do anything special, and while it is still mounted in the vehicle. The adjustment screw and cap for the left and right adjustment has a plastic cover over it, mainly (I'm sure) because you generally don't need to adjust left and right. If necessary, it does come off and you have the same access as the up and down adjustment from the top of the housing. Since I noticed this, I thought I'd post it to clear things up! It was absolutely the easiest headlight adjustments I've ever had to do.
    By the way, the PIAA Super White H1's and H7's are unbelieveably bright. A huge improvement over the factory bulbs! Matter of fact, I've got to adjust them down further as the low beams are blinding oncoming vehicles and they're flashing us.
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    Are you talking about the owners manual or the shop manual. If you have a shop manual, may I ask where and how you purchased it ? Thanks
  • mijulianmijulian Posts: 3
    Hi to all:
    2004 LX RWD 7655 miles in Miami.
    This is my first post on this board; I am experiencing a harsh metalic sound, like something is scrathing or rubbing, very hard to describe, when I first start rolling, more noticeable when I press the gas pedal and it goes way as the engine gets up to temperature, it lasts for about 3 to 4 minutes, took it to the dealer but of course they could not duplicate the sound, heard it on an Spectra the other day while driving along side to it.
    Besides I am having also a ticking sound, very hard when I first start the truck in the morning and afterit remains but not too loud, I am pretty sure is a lifter/valve problem, also the dealer could not duplicate.
    I am very frustrated, traded a 2001 Hyundai Santa fe LX FWD for the Sorento, never had a sound coming from the engine or drive train in 3.5 years and in a way, I am sorry I did it.
    Any sugestions or anybody had this problems? Will appreciate any response.


    Julian :confuse:
  • fergyfergy Posts: 9
    No, just the owner's manual.
  • I have a 2003 EX and i have had the vehicle in the shop twice for the dome light. I was covered under warranty both times and its a good thing the part was about $300.00.
  • tadstads Posts: 31
    Gday mate,

    Yeah that ticking sound could be the fuel injectors.It had me stumped for a while as my 04 EX dose the same thing.I noticed it more so with the plastic engine cover off.At first I thought it might be a spark plug lead earthed out but nah, apparently injectors make that sort of racket.
    One thing in regards to spark plug leads in my Sorento.At night while checking to see if a plug lead was earthing out to eliminate a possible cause to the ticking noise, I noticed all three leads while the motor was running of corse, on the right side (Aus) were all throwing a glow,earthing where they channel into the head.I doubt this is normal and if it is, its wasted energy to the spark plugs !
    Is your Sorento a manual ? If so are you slightly labouring the engine when it happens ? If it is a manual it may be the gearbox rattling ? Mine dose it now and then.

    The fact that these vehicles have a warranty means it makes good sence to give em heaps befor the warranty expires and get every thing fixed befor then.

    Good luck
  • mijulianmijulian Posts: 3
    Gday to you Tads from the US:
    No, mine is an automatic transmission and I said, the sound goes way after maybe 5 minutes, and it does it everytime I start rolling.
    About the ticking or tapping sound, why the fuel injectors would make this kind of sound? Never heard that before, are they defective or maybe need adjustment? I already put the most expensive fuel injector cleaner in the market and it did not do anything to alleviate this. Did you take the truck to your dealer and they said that they were the fuel injectors?
    I know about the warranty, that's why I am not too worried, but is exremely stressfull to the ear, specially that the truck is brand new, 7 months of ownership.
    Going to persue this with Kia and demand to see the Florida General Manager, already have a case open for Kia for this two little (sic) problems.
    Thanks for your response.

  • tadstads Posts: 31
    Yeah Gday Julian

    That noise you talk about could be any number of things.My 74 XJ12 L Jaguar once made a noise like you describe and it turned out to be the cooling fins that wrap around the Torque Converter coming loose and hitting the Bell housing.Mind you I did fit a 350 Chev to it so it was all non standard.
    One other thing to concider is that your rig was either built on a Monday or a Friday ? ;) Maybe some loose bolts.Another thing Ive seen happen is rocks getting caught between the brake caliper and the disc.Jeez mate I dunno,it should be looked at ASAP in case something lets go.

    The ticking sound that I thought was a loose spark plug lead and that I was told was the injectors, was pointed out to me by the dealers w/shop.Its not that obvious tho.
    One reason they may make this sound is because of some sort of non return valve inbuilt into them as usually the fuel rail is one pressurized fuel line and the injectors are like a solenoid opening and closing according to the timing.Im not a full bottle on EFI by any standards but it makes sence.

    Your on the right track by contacing the GM and yeah it is disheartening to have your Sorento less than perfect,I know because when the timing belt slipped and was finaly fixed on my rig, I then noticed a bad oil leak.It looks like the rear main oil seal and the gearbox will have to come out to replace the seal.The clutch will be contaminated by oil by now and it too will need replacing so I'll wait a while.Ive had my Sorento about the same time, 7 months.
    As I've said in the past,the Sorento's are a nice vehicle to drive and feel solid enough but Kia need to test them in a place like Australia for at least one year,preferably with me behind the wheel :P before they release them to the public.

    Good luck with it and let us know how you go

    Regards Tads
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    you're dreaming if you think Kia's gonna test SUV's out in the Outback for a year or so. Ain't gonna happen. Try to find that much equipment on any other rig for sale for the price, though. Even Hyundai's offerings don't match up to Kia's. Kia is your best choice on the planet now for an SUV.

    hey, the rock band AC/DC from Australia? I thought they were from England. They are. Why is it I hear a report on them in the news media as being from Australia? What do you think, man?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • ghurkghurk Posts: 6

    Here's a quick update from Canada on my rust problem. I bought the car at Donnelly Kia in Ottawa Ontario, Canada. Took the car in Wed for another inspection & the service manager had been arguing my case to Kia Canada; however, he was not successful.

    Kia Canada will not fix this problem as a warranty repair even though it has significantly less than 20K km or 1 year of use. Although the repair could be completed for $500 they are only willing to shell out for a $175 partial fix. I would be on the hook for the rest if you can believe it!

    The worst part's a documented design flaw in the Sorento that's been problematic since the 2003 model. Although aware of the problem, and sending out service bulletins, Kia has taken no steps to correct the problem on newer year models; and refuses to correct under warranty.

    I hope you have better luck with your US dealer.
  • tadstads Posts: 31
    Yeah your right,its hard to beat the Kia as far as overall value for money goes and I suppose you have to take the good with the bad.
    It would be interesting to know the percentages of Sorento owners,the ones who are having greif to those that dont have any problems at all, that dont have the internet or dont know about to report such problems here as well.
    Most drama with the Sorento seem trivial and there seems to be quite a few dealers who just aint on the ball in regards to fixing problems quickly and without fuss.It would be the same for all makes I guess.

    Yes AC/DC are an Australian band (most members are or were Scottish tho)and Bon Scott's Parents live over in Perth WA where Bon is buried.Bon died in the UK around 1982 I think.
    America banned AC/DC from performing over there early on because they were, at the time to full on.You blokes pretty much break all the rules now tho ha ha.

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    tads. I knew Bon died in the UK but I thought the band was also from the UK.

    Enjoy your Sorento and don't be too hard on it!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • joboo1joboo1 Posts: 75
    can you show pictures of the rust area.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I took some pictures of the rust spots too. I can email them to you. Make sure your email address is on (change to public) on your profile. I wish I can post pictures here. But I am not so good with this.
  • joboo1joboo1 Posts: 75
    hey lok888 - you are good to go. thanks. i have not noticed any rust anywhere on my sorento yet. i have an 04 ex.
  • ghurkghurk Posts: 6

    I appreciate your perspective on Kia & not to split hairs but my grief is with Kia Canada, not a bad dealer. My service manager at Donnelly Kia has been very supportive of my cause, but it's the company that refuses to stand behind their product and offer a fair warranty repair.

    Unbelievable as this sounds, they are quibbling over a difference in repair cost of $325 Canadian. They will authorize a $175 partial-fix, but not the $500 repair the service manager recommends (incl a full tailgate repaint to ensure the rust doesn't reappear).

    So, now my dilemna is do I keep an SUV that develops rust after 8 months & hope nothing else goes wrong, or do I sell and cut my losses by going to Honda or Nissan. How can I trust any of their warranty claims when they refuse to fix the results of a design flaw that occurred so early in the vehicle's life-cycle?


  • tadstads Posts: 31
    I've seen this happen to Landbruisers due to corrosion in the barrel but the Sorento ?
    Is your Sorento Auto or Manual ? If its a automatic then it may well be that the cable that runs from the gear selector lever to the ignition is either loose or streched ? The idea of the cable is to stop you from removing the key while the car is in drive ie "D" or anything other than "P" park so the car wont roll away I suppose ?
    This is assuming that the Sorento uses this system like many other automatics do.

    Anyone else know if the Sorento has this cable ?

  • beyond_helpbeyond_help Posts: 110
    i just my sorento, the gearshift (auto trans) must be in park to move key to lock position
    (to remove key) i could not tell if to was a cable or electrical system.
    so my theory that the tumbler was bad would only hold true if you can get the key into the lock position and then the key would not come out
    if the key will not go into the lock position something is wrong with the interlock system from the gearshift to the key switch may it be electric or mechanical
  • beyond_helpbeyond_help Posts: 110
    for the 2nd is DOA, with in 2 months, only 4.75 volts in batt. i though i might have left the interior lights on the first time, so i charged the batt and called the dealer and told them and explained the problem and i did not think i left the inside lights on. his responce was if it happens again call kia roadside assistance, well it happed again nothing was left on.
    as i type the "hook" is on it's way.
    i do not want to here from the dealer '"duh we could not find anything"
    this "NEW" vehicle needs to be dependable
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