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Kia Sorento Maintenance and Repair



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In generally todays driveshafts are supposed to be installed at a particular degree (90/180) and are balanced as such. Very common for them to put it back incorrectly after lubing/working on the rear differential on several makes. I'm not sure why it's not in synch now though.

  • crippercripper Posts: 1
    I have had my Sorento into the service department five times in the last 4 months for "check engine light" problems. Reasons have varied to don't know, loose gas cap and carbon buildup. Anyone else having this problem? Only occurs when going up a fairly steep grade and accelerating rapidly as in passing condition.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I will bring it to another dealer (if they are not too far away) for second opinion. If this is not a good one, the test result will be the same even on your 10th visit. Anything can trigger the CHECK ENGINE light these days.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Very common on cars in the past 2 years with stricter regulations on the OBDII. I know lots of subie and Isuzu owners who get CELs for:

    Gas Cap
    Bad Gas Quality

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I guess.
  • dalancroftdalancroft Posts: 32
    Happens occasionally with my Sportage. It's generally nothing to worry about, just your emissions system saying perhaps a few more micrograms of evaporated fuel are getting into the atmosphere than the feds allow. Two more possible solutions, both of which worked for me:

    1) Be sure to REALLY tighten your gas cap. I know it sounds riduculous, but I usually turn mine 3-4 times AFTER it starts to click.

    2) Buy another gas cap and try that. If it doesn't help, at least you'll have a spare if you ever forget yours (don't know if Sorentos have a tether but the Sportage doesn't and I've lost one already).

    Best of luck but just keep in mind, the CEL does NOT mean the engine is about to blow up!
  • drieddried Posts: 36
    I had the same problem. Does it happen only with a full tank, or shortly after a fill -up?

    Dealer told me to make sure the gas cap was tight and not to overfill the tank. There is some kind of vent that can cause "false" readings if tank is overfilled, or cap is not on tight (or a bad cap). Then wait two weeks because it can take that long to clear things up and if light was still on, to come see him. My light went off after 2 days and I haven't seen it back on in a couple of weeks. Apparently he sees this a lot on many types of cars.
  • ivygrnsorentoivygrnsorento Posts: 119
    I'm sure you havent done this..but I have seen others at the gas station do this...and that is, putting gas into the car while it is running. That will trigger the light almost everytime.

    Bad gas! It only takes a few tanks of bad gas to trigger the light. And I agree with lok888, my last two vehicles have had the light go on because of a faulty or fouled oxygen sensor.

    Im sure your the service station has mentioned all these to you...but the fact they cant fix it would certainly have me you are.
  • fmunoz1069fmunoz1069 Posts: 35
    Have your dealer check the vapor canister, filter and solonoid. Sometimes if you fill the fuel tank too much,(you should only fill it until it stops by itself,don't try to top it all the way) it will cause the filter to clog up and cause the check engine light to come on. I have heard of this happening to a few Sedona's. Hope this info helps..
  • tedyatedya Posts: 10
    The dealer replaced the fuel regulator and it seemed to have fixed the problem I had starting my sorento. The dealer also indicated that KIA has had two cases where the fuel shut off valve had a wire that was crimped and caused the fuel shut off valve to malfunction and not let gas to the engine. The only other problem I would like to resolve is a squeeling noise in the engine compartment at 1000-1500 rpm's somewhere near the belts. It sounds like a bad pulley or bearing. It must be coming from an engine component that still turns when the engine is cut off. When I shut off the engine, and the belts stop turning, the squeeling sound is there and decelerates for about 3-4 seconds. So it must be something that turns for a few seconds even after the engine is shut off. I don't think it is the fans. I think it is perhaps the AC compressor clutch assembly possibly. Anybody have any ideas for me? Thanks.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    The bad oxygen sensor came to my mind because of my in-law's '00 Odyssey had the same problem in just less than 2 years of ownership. They heard so many suggestion like poor gasoline, pumping gas while the engine is on, gas cap not tight enough and finally the bad oxygen sensor was the blame. It gave false emission reading to the system. However, the vehicle has passed the state emission test because there is no significant change. But it is enough to trigger the Check Engine Light. I wonder your dealer couldn't fix it.
  • iseck1iseck1 Posts: 2
    Sad to say cuz I've been loving my Sorento, but this afternoon after taking a letf turn I heard a large clunk followed by a whining noise. I immediately pulled over and examined my car carefully. No visible problems, no leaks and no damage. The problem appears to be with the drive line and is the following. It seems like the 4WD computer or electronics are confused. When making slow right or left turns, the wheels seem to sease up and stop the vehicle abruptly. Those familiar with locked hubs on 4WD Low gears know the feeling. Take that and multiply it a few times. With the wheels turned and more than one rotation, it is almost impossible to move forward or backward as the driveline seases. I've tried the obvious... turned off and on the car... cycled through 4WDLOW and back thinking the computer may just be confused. Symptoms still persist. When driving straight, the wheels don't seize but the whole driveline makes some odd noises and the truck pulsates back and forth.

    I've got 5300Kms on it and it's an EX with all options except leather and sunroof. So far I've been the greatest fan of it... nothing but good to say about it.

    I've called the dealer and I will be taking it in tomorrow to have them check it out. I may actually tow it so cuz it may be unsafe to drive in this condition.

    Anyone else having such problems?
    I'll keep you posted.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Very common problem. Is yours TOD or non-TOD? This is a very common problem on all 4wd trucks. If the 4wd isn't engaged/disengeged 1x a month roughly, the Shift on the Fly mechanism will stay engaged or stay un-engaged. The binding you feel is it not disengaging. Should be ~$300 fix and should be under warranty.

  • iseck1iseck1 Posts: 2
    Yes, it's Torque on Demand that's why I wasn't expecting such issues. It initially engaged unexpectedly after I made a slow left turn into my street. I didn't even touch the Transfercase button. Anyways I do understand your explanation and I've also seen it before on Jeep Grand Cherokees but those had a lever to move between the Transfercase settings instead of the electronic button that I have. What is the fix for it? (that sums up to $300)

    I got restless so I decided to tinker with it some more before taking it to the dealer. The problem was still there so I did a few tight turns, back and forth rolls, straight accellerations etc. Needless to say it did mark up the pavement quite a bit cuz the wheels were locked. At one point though it somehow released itself and all returned to normal.

    Quite scary as I'd hate for the 4Low to engage at highway speeds unexpectedly.

    I'm still gonna get it checked out... I've gotta take it in for it's first oil change anyways.

    I'll keep ya posted.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The Low range can't get engaged cause you need to throw a lever. But on mine the Shift On The Fly unit got corroded contacts on the SOTF motor. This in turn would not allow me to take it out of TOD/4-LOW into 2wd. My guess is that something similar happened there on yours. $300 was the replacement of the SOTF Unit. (It was covered under my warranty)

  • dekesterdekester Posts: 322
    Has anyone gotten theirs replaced? Did it solve the problem, or will you have to wait until next winter to see if it recurs?

  • dbgindydbgindy Posts: 351
    Great info as usual. I was going to answer that until I saw your post. I couldn't have put it better myself (and I would not have been able to go into near as much detail as you were able to).
    Nicely done.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Always glad to help out fellow car enthusiasts. :)

  • jseck1- I had the same problem on my EX with TOD. When I took it the dealer, they could only duplicate the problem once. They returned it to me after a week (I had a free loaner car) and the problem had vanished. I'm uneasy about this, but the dealer said Kia will cover any damages including premature tire wear out or driveline damage. I guess we should be glad we don't have a vehicle with the 3/36 warranty- like the Trailblazer I was considering.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not sure if it's in the owners manual or not, but I would consider switching that switch to all the positions and driving a few feet 1x per month to make sure all the contacts stay in good shape. I know my manual says to engage the 4wd/TOD/4Low 1x a month to keep it in good working order.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Thanks for the advice. This should give the transfer case/gear well lubricated. Many of us usually engage in Auto or 2HI for everyday driving. I will check my manual.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The problem I had with my Trooper was I left it in TOD/AWD mode all winter, didn't put it in 2wd mode til spring, at that point it had corroded the contacts and the SOTF unit would not dis-engage. So it goes both ways either engage or disengage (whichever is opposite you normally run in) to ensure it gets the proper movement.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    paisan - I also put mine (TOD) in AUTO mode all the time. I only switched to 4Lo few times in winter just to pull out from snow or parking on snow. I don't have 2WD mode. I mean, the car is basically RWD on dry pavement even with TOD. What mode do you have in Trooper with TOD?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You get a 15/85 torque split on dry pavement from the TOD system (Sorento, Axiom, Trooper, Vehicross). Since you don't have a 2wd mode, then I would suggest putting it down into 4-low 1x a month just to keep things flowing smoothly. Flip the switch pull forward and backward in a straight line or in a gravel lot to engage the 4-lo and then disengage it. On the Trooper we get 2wd/TOD-AWD/4-Lo so I usually switch out of TOD 1x a month and engage 4-lo 1x a month just to keep it all lubed/working.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Paisan - Will 2WD mode (in your Trooper) give more torque than my TOD mode which usually in RWD mode? It seems to me 2WD mode is similar to TOD on dry pavement. Is this give more serious off-road capacity?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    On the Sorento and Trooper and Axiom TOD puts 15% power to the front and 85% power to the rear on dry pavement. In 2wd mode on the Trooper it puts 100% power to the rear.

    TOD mode on the trooper will shift up to 50% power to the front same as on the Sorento. My guess is that the gearing on the Trooper is such that it's more offroad geared (lower gearing) than on the Sorento which is probably geared more for onroad.

  • bobmcbbobmcb Posts: 1
    I just took delivery on a 2003 LX 4x4 w/o ABS and TOD and noticed immediately vibration occurring while braking. It's most noticeable on the highway - braking from higher speed, in essence. I'm not stomping on the brake - just applying normal pressure. I checked the tire pressure and it was a bit high, so I deflated it to 30 PSI as recommended. No difference.

    The vibration is felt mostly in the brake pedal and seat cushion. Sometimes the vibration is strong enough to hear. It seems to be coming from the rear of the vehicle.

    I tried to read any and all posts here related to vibration prior to posting so as not to be redundant. I couldn't find any concerning vibrations related to braking. If I missed something, sorry for the rerun.

    I'll be stopping at the dealer two days from now about another minor cosmetic issue and it would be nice to know if any other Sorento owners have had similar experiences and what, if any, solutions their dealers were able to arrive at so I might point mine in the correct direction.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    bobmcb - If you read my message in Kia Sorento forum, I have a similar issue with my 5 months old Sorento. However, I have a bumpy ride on less than smooth dry pavement. It is even wrost on rough road. I noticed this since less than a week old. Unlike most previous posters with the vibration issue, mine is over 5600 miles now. I think they had the problem since they took deliver of the car. Most of them were tire pressure related. They had tire pressure over 40 psi because of the oversea shipment and dealer didn't correct it.

    Anyway, I lowered the tire pressure to factory recommended 30 psi (cold). Before I lowered it, it was 37 psi. Both settings made no difference. I still get bumpy ride. The only different is you have the vibration when braking from high speed. I feel it most of the time when the car is moving.

    One poster already gave me some suggestions. But I haven't tried that experiment yet. It may be a bad tire like he suggested. I don't know this is tire pressure issue since I have tried several different settings. My next guess is wheel balance or alignment. But I am sure the wheels and tries have no sudden impact to cause them out of balance or alignment. I will go to my dealer in few days. Any suggestion?
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    I am wondering if any other owner is feeling this or is it just our Sorento. EX model with Lux package, TOD. We we come to a stop and lets say at a traffic light and when we release the brake there is a thumping feeling. Thump, thump. I can't figure it out its as if the rear differential or tranny is releasing itself from being locked up. It dosen't happen everytime and trying to pinpoint when it does it or what may cause it is difficult. Again it only occurs when we come to a stop and release the brake. Other than that its running beautifully.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I don't remember I have this when I drove my Sorento. But I have been noticed this perhaps few months ago. As you have know, I also have an EX 4WD with TOD. However, I only have this feeling when releasing the brake. I can feel it is come from the rear wheels. It sounds and feel like when you apply and release brake with wet wheels or just finish car wash. And this is happened not all the time. I can say this is like there is an extra force from the rear and when I was releasing the brake... when the brake pad is releasing from the surface of the disc rotor and the car is in drive mode (RWD). Furthermore, this is only when the car is in "D" mode (from complete stop and go) and not when you first shift the gear from "P" to "D". I think paisan explained this is usual for 4WD... RWD most of the time on dry pavement. And I have not mentioned this to my dealer.

    Anyway, I still don't know what happen to cause the bumpy ride or vibration on my Sorento. I looked back and people were having similar problem but tire rotation and balance did correct it.
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    Yes as I mentioned it happens only when you are in drive and when you take you foot off the brake and start to go. It does feel like the rear calipers are sticking as if they were wet but this happens even when its dry. I don't think this is usual for a 4wd as I have a 4wd pickup and have had several. As for AWD I never noticed it on the Forester I had. I am thinking that it is the rear differtial engaging when you start off. I will bring it up with the service manager when it goes in for service.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Will see what my service people tell me this Friday.
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    the lower tire pressure should help, but it sounds like you need a roundnes check on all the tires, at the locations they are installed presently.

    have them raise the car off the ground a few inches on the lift. take a dial indicator gauge with a roller tip and a heavy metal base. slide it up until it just touches the tire. then rotate the tire by hand. you should be able to see the deflection in thuosandths of an inch. this is the out-of round condition. the dealer ship can establish a number for it with the tire vendor. this wil help you get replacement tires. my goodyear dealer did this for me once and it was very helpful at finding the bad tire.

    you can also measure the side wall by adjusting the gauge to roll on the sidewall. this helps find a bulging radial belt. or a wacked out rim.

    that also happens.

    A similar test can be run on the axle shafts where they are installed on the car. there are about foru shafts one your car. two on the front , at least one in the middle and one or two on the back depending on if it has independent rear axles.

    they also can make wicked vibratino if crooked.

    The most amazing noise file- I had a drive shaft on an LTD that needed 1 Oz. of weight! I knew I had a vibration , but did not know why. Finally I took the drive shaft to a truck axle/ drive shaft place. for $ 50 they straighten the shaft and welded on the tinyest little booger of metal you ever saw. What a great $ 50. from then on the car drive silently.

    good luck.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Sean - Thanks again. I will bring my car to the service this Friday for an oil change and this problem. Yeap! I lowered the tire pressure to 30 psi and it couldn't help. BTW, why Kia recommended 30 psi (cold) for the Sorento, like most cars. I thought it should be higher. Anyway, I noticed the tires (especially the front) are kind of flat (at either 30 psi or 37 psi) when the car is parked on the smooth pavement. I thought it is loosing air. But I constantly checked the tire pressure and it is not. Well, I will be in the service Friday.
  • drieddried Posts: 36
    Finally got the check engine light problem fixed. Started intermittently about 6 weeks ago - no change in car performance so from everything I was told and read, it was probably an emissions control problem. It eventually stayed on all the time so I hooked up an OBDII code reader and it reported 2 faults - Purge valve failure and Mass Air Flow Sensor. Took it to the dealer and they diagnosed the problem: purge valve had a loose pin, the MAF sensor had voltage out of range so the electronics was busted internally. Anyway dealer did a great job diagnosing and fixing - no more warning light!

    Anyway - I learned a lot about the emissions controls on newer cars and the OBDII codes. By the way, places like AutoZone will hook up the OBDII reader for no charge, so that's good to know if the check engine light ever comes on. At least you know what you're dealing with. I also don't consider this to be a very major issue, and it was the first I've had since purchase in December - 4800 miles. Funny thing is I've still had fewer problems on my Sorento than I did with my Accord at the same mileage. Hmmm.

    -- Dave
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    Good that its been repaired. I remembered when you first posted about the problem.
    For our own reference, where is the connector in case any one has to get a system check done at AutZone. Thanks.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Just wonder why these things (OBDII or oxygen sensor) are easy to have problem on cars these days. My relative's 2000 Odyssey with Check Engine within a year of its ownership. They replaced a new oxygen sensor.
  • drieddried Posts: 36
    hciaffa - the OBDII connector is just under the dash in front of your right knee. You'll have to look under the dash, but it's pretty obvious. I think part of the OBDII spec says that the connector has to be within something like 12" of the drivers right knee.

    lok888 - From what I've learned, the emissions controls trigger the light 95% of the time in cars nowadays, so most people never experience performance problems. Out of the 95%, a large percentage of the problem is just a loose or broken gas cap. Some states have strict laws that won't allow emissions tests to pass with this light on. But OBDII also monitors other vehicle systems so it can really help. The emissions limits that are set for modern cars are really strict. The ODBII system is looking at a lot of things and therefore has more sensors, wiring, tubing etc. When all that is added, the reliability of the emissions system actually goes down and you get more reported errors - although the emissions probably haven't gone up much. With that many parts in a vehicle, you will have some that fail early. After a year or so, the early failures will stop - this is true in any complex machine so the vehicle will appear to get more reliable as time goes on until things start wearing out at "high" mileage. I found this to be true on any new vehicle that I have owned for a long time. The nice thing about all this is that even as complex as it sounds, all systems have a backup, so overall reliability of the vehicle is very good. You won't be stranded because a single sensor failed.

    Man am I long winded - hope that clarifies things a little.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Generally a solid light means an emissions problem. A blinking CE light is something more drivability related.

    ODBII Emissions (solid CE light) can be triggered by anything from loose or defective gas cap to a charcoal canister problem, to even bad gas. Usually what I do is disconnect my battery overnight and re-set the ECU, if there is a problem other than bad gas/gas cap, it will come back.

  • ivan4741ivan4741 Posts: 24
    This is great information I sure will keep this in mind if I get a check engine light. I have just over 1000 miles on my EX and have dropped the two covers under the filter and oil drain plug. I bought a real Kia oil filter and some Mobil 1 10/30 and changed the lub. I noticed that there are no lub fittings on ball joints. Does this mean they need to be drilled and tapped for Lub fittings?
  • ivan4741ivan4741 Posts: 24
    Has anyone used this Equus 3100 code scanner?
  • ivan4741- I think that you're asking for trouble when you drill into the ball joint to put in a Zerk (lubrication) fitting. How deep do you go before you hit the ball and how can you de-burr the underside of the drilled hole?
    Zerks are a mixed blessing at best in my experience. The check ball in the fitting often jams and allows water and dirt in and grease out or overzealous grease monkeys pump the joint up with too much grease and the seal ruptures. Unless you grease these fittings daily when exposed to water, mud, etc. (like on off-road construction equipment), I think that you are better off with sealed ball joints. The ball joints are not that difficult to replace and many sealed units last for a good long time.
    BTW- I had used the local Kia dealer for my first two oil changes and was pretty satisified for the price and service- until yesterday. When I got under the Sorento to check something, I noticed that the U-joint fittings had never been greased. There are 5 fittings if I remember correctly- front and rear U-joints and slip yoke for the rear axle and rear U-joint and slip yoke for the front axle. All the fittings had their rubber caps on them- (similiar to what is on a brake bleeder screw)and you can be sure these caps are never reinstalled by service people after they are greased.
    Heck, maybe they did me a favor- at least I know now the fittings are greased and I still had the caps to put back on!
  • ivan4741ivan4741 Posts: 24
    That is just what I was wanting to know. I also noticed the small rubber caps covering the fittings. It has been my duty since 1982 to grease my 82 Bronco and know where all the fitting are even the hidden one inside the velocity joint in driveline. it takes a hypo. type needle fitting to grease it. Also my 78 Chysler Cordoba has a fitting on the top side of a stearing joint that I use a special 90 type fitting. So I have learned over the years to be very untrusting of dealer service people. The wife asked me in 1989 to let the Nissan dealer change oil and filter on our then new 89 Maxima they over filled it had drained oil still dripping from under auto. filter was on top of engine. That was the last time I allowed them to change the oil. I have a 98 Maxima and the filter in behind driverside front wheel. But I still change filter and oil myself :-) This is why I have just started changing my own filter and oil on the 03 Kia Sorento. And I also will do my own greasing :-) I also plan on buying a OBDll code scanner so I will have a better idea what is happening to my engine if the little yellow engine problem lite comes on :-(
  • sorentoguysorentoguy Posts: 12
    I have an EX (only had for a week) with the Luxury pkg.I have generally poor AM radio reception even on stations that were strong in my Sephia. FM and CD are great. Antenna is in tight.

    Anything I should check before adding to dealer list?
  • What are the part numbers and maker of the H.I.D lights for the sorento? And does any one know if they make a K & N filter for the sorento?
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    I see you want to dress up your Sorento like I do. Here are the numbers for the light bulbs. They are not Kia part numbers.

    * Low beam - H7
    * High beam -H1
    * Front marker - 168 or 194
    * Front turn signal - 2357 or 1157
    * Rear turn signal - 1156
    * Back up - 1156
    * Tail light - 2357 or 1157

    If you are interested in buy those HID look, super white, xenon bulbs, be careful not to buy those exceed the factory recommended wattage of 12V55W. Higher wattage like 80W plus will cost overheat and burn the wires. I like the PIAA but MTEC (also made in Japan - same rating with PIAA) cost half less.

    To change the headlight bulbs, I would suggest to remove the headlight assembly for better hand position. For the tail light section, you have to remove the tail light assembly. There is no access panel inside the car.

    For K&N filter, I am not sure. The stock filter costs about $15. And I am not sure K&N will boost some horsepower or the same. But they cost twice as much than the stock.

    I hope this can help!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    the K&N is re-usable. That's why I use it.

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    pasian - I heard about this product before but I haven't looked at it seriously. What benefit do I get for the use of this filter? Is it really boost some horsepower or overall performance? I supposed this is re-useable because they are selling the spray cleaner. Can you tell me more about it? I assumed you use this because you are doing quite some off-roading.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Lots of pros and cons in K&N Air Filters, bolt-on power?.

    Steve, Host
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    steve (Host) - Thanks for the link. This also remains me a TV ad about the Tornado, that metal thing to increase the air flow to the engine. I doubt it will work.
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