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Kia Sorento Lights and Bulbs

The right main beam of my 06 sorento blew at 30K miles ... I run them all the time, so this is not bad. I bought a replacement bulb ... how do I install? thanks. Ken


  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    open the hood, couple of bolts at the top of the housing..undo them..pull the entire housing out and you can access the bulbs....you have to unscrew from the back.....15 minutes to do it..
  • thanks !!! :D
  • Thanks ... 15 minutes is about right ... you can probably do it in five after you learn the process ... here's the procedure.

    1.Remove one bolt from top and two bolts from front of headlight housing.
    2.Pull housing forward ... you have to push from behind with moderate pressure and some wiggling is required. It will only come out 6/8 inches or so with the wires attached, so you have to hold it and work at the same time. Have someone help to make it easy.
    3. Unscrew the cap directly behing bulb. 1/4 turn counter clockwise.
    4. Pull off the electrical connector ... straight back. Look the back of the bulb and the metal bulb base ... and remember how it is aligned ... this will make reinstaling easy.
    5. A metal 'V' shaped wire spring holds the bulb in place. The wide end is a pivot, do not unscrew. Loosen the screw on the other side so you can slide the spring wire out from under the metal tab. Pivot the spring up and remove the bulb ... the bulb has a very loose fit when the spring tension is off.
    6. Install the new bulb ... do not touch the glass ... tabs on the bulb metal base stick out and will make sure it is flush and in the right position. It only fits flush in one position. The fit is very loose, so you have to make sure the bulb does not fall out.
    7. With the bulb in position, rotate the metal spring so it holds the bulb and slide the end of the spring wire under the metal clip. This is the hard part. You may have to loosen the clip hold-down screw a little more (don't remove completely) ... and/or use a small screwdriver to hold the clip up. Tighten the clip screw.
    8. Reinstall the cap on the housing behind the bulb.
    9. Slide the headlight housing back in with a little pressure and wiggling ... it should go fairly easily.
    10. Reinstall the three bolts.

    You should be good to go !!! The dealer will charge $40 for this!
  • smitdogsmitdog Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to install the aftermarket flashers for the turn signals? These are the one that are mounted to the side mirrors. the instructions that are on website say that there are 2 flashers one for each side. Can anyone verify that. It says to hook wire to both flasher fuses, but I never heard of 2 turn signal flashers. Any ideas?

  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    what website are you referring too???
  • hello,

    I have a Kia Sorento EX 2005 and I am experiencing problems with the light system. A few weeks ago; I changed both headlights as a precautionary step after noticing one died. The other day I noticed the same light failed. Usually I would not think too much of it but the vehicle stoplights do not work, and the overhead light assembly in the interior of the vehicle only works in "on" and not in "door" position. I decided to take the vehicle to the dealer and they first claimed that bulbs are not part of the warranty. I explained the service rep that I have a hunch that the electrical system and not the lights are the cause of the problem. Her response was that the vehicle has 43K miles and the warranty on covers for this type of problems up to 36K. I read the manual and it seems the warranty should cover up to 60K. Please advice.
  • Yes,
    Here's a website that will take you to some links to find that mirror - http://sorentosite.com/links.htm. Sorry, you'll have to look through them till you find what you like.

    To install the mirrors you purchased, go to http://sorentosite.com/diy.htm for do-it-yourself instructions if you're handy,

  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I beleive you are correct on the 5/60.....ask the service writer to show you the 36k warranty limit in writing as your owners manual states differently...some of the headlight issues have been traced to a bad ground....
  • flanker3flanker3 Posts: 1
    Did anyone ever have this problem with their exterior lights? running lights work(headlights), brake lights work, turn signals work, but when i turn on the light switch there are no exterior lights-interior lights work though. fuses were checked and are fine.
  • frustrated2frustrated2 Posts: 28
    I have had numerous problems with the lighting as well. Unfortunately I drive minimum 30-35K a yr so I too am having problems with items being covered under warranty since high mileage. My car is only 3 yrs old but have 100K on it. So as expected they blame the mileage and dont look at car only being 3 yrs (even though problems started at 2 yr mark). My interior lights work when they want to, replaced headlights and tail lights twice. Locks dont work (major safety concern), etc etc. I, too, keep stating these are known electical problems with vehicle however they deny and refuse to do any "warranty" work. I bought a lemon!! but again too many miles to fight it again even though 3 yrs old. I should have kept my beater with 200k on it. All I had to do was put oil in it every 3 days or so. Would have saved a lot of time, money, and hassel!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    make sure you are using LL bulbs Long Lasting labelled for the exterior lights...also check the ground wiring around the fuse box......and have your changed the car battery recently....I up the cold amp starting power on a new replacement and went to LL bulbs and have had not problems...03 EX with 106k on it here
  • I recently took my 2003 Sorento in to the dealer for a couple of things. When I got it home I noticed the headlights will not turn on without the key being in the on position. The parking lights will come on but not the headlights. I took it back and the dealer told me that was how it was supposed to work. I find this suspect as it wasn't that way before they worked on it. Is this true?
  • Hi. I just had my daytime running light module relaced to correct tail lights not working. (106000K so no warranty left) I also have my shifter lights not working, but the KIA dealer where I live says their are no lights on the shifter and to ignore the problem. I know their are lights under the P/N/D buttons etc. Why they would say their are no lights is beyond me.
    My problem is how to fix the lights. They will turn on if I hit the top of the shifter cover 5 or 6 times, but they do not stay on when I shut the car off and back on again. The back of the shifter dust cover is broken off and I can feel down inside with 2 fingers the light wire under the light assembly, but it feels tight. I cannot figure out how to get the shifter cover off to see if the connector I cannot reach is tight or not.
    Any help would be appreciated.
  • can sum one explain to me i jus brought a kia 2003 sorento and i didnt get a manual book so i would like to kno what is the buttons on the mirror for how and what do they operate and the buttons that says set mode 5f 32 f ??? also also if i need to replace my interia light fuse what num is it same wit the the d all other gears r lit but not that one PLEASE HELP
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    if you have three buttons on the left hand side of the bottom of the mirro..that is the homelink system....for controlling garage doors etc....you must program them using the remote...the button on the right turns the night dimming feature off I beleive...will have to check to be honest..
  • I am experiencing lighting issues as well with my 2003 Kia Sorento. My exterior lights do not work. Checked all fuses, checked DRL, changed every single bulb in cases one of them was shorting out, and all is ok.
    We unhooked the trailer hitch (wiring part) and a few minutes later all the lights came on, even my fog lights worked up front.
    Is the hitch wiring causing this?? If so, what can I do?? I did have it installed professionally.

  • kail1123kail1123 Posts: 1
    I hope you still check this because I have had the same problem! I am on my 5th time around with my Sorento......every headlight, fog light, taillight, and brake light!
    I got Kia Corporate involved awhile back. They supposedly was going to have a gentleman from corporate fly in from Chicago that was bringing a wiring harness with him to see if that was the problem. Well, when it came time for me to take my car to the dealer, the man from Chicago wasn't there and the dealer told me they sent it FedEx. Two weeks later...another headlight and fog light went out! I took it back again and believe it or not..the dealership tried to tell me that this is typical of headlights to do this! Not once did they come up with a remedy for what was blowing these lights. I went round and round with them. I actually was told by an insider of the dealership that when they put my name in the computer, it flashes accross the screen"DO NOT SERVICE THIS VEHICHLE". Keep in mind, I purchased this vehichle New from them, with a 10yr., 100,000 mile warranty plus a bumper to bumper warranty for the same! When I finally got a chance to talk to the owner of the dealership, He told me and I quote" When JD Powers called you, you did not give my men in service all 10's and when they do not get 10's, they do not get their bonuses and that tends to make them mad!" I say that if they don't do their job...they don't deserve the bonuses just like everyone else! Needless to say, Kia Corporate acted like they were going to help me with the problem but they did nothing but side for the dealer as to there being no problem with my vehicle...I got no where with Kia Corporate! I am at 108,000 miles on my Kia and this all started at approx. 20,000 miles. I just replaced another headlight and brake light this week. I also had and still have a problem with the lights coming on by themself and the doors locking by themself.....something else they never fixed! I probably can't do anything more about it now but if anyboby has had this problem I wish you would let me know! And by the way....Kia told me that they never had this problem with any other Sorento! I see the Sorento's passing me all the time with the headlight out!!!!!!!
  • I continuously have the same problems. TONS of electrical problems. I also get the same responces that NO other KIA has had these problems. I ask them if its their first day on job because look around...I am not the only one. ALSO got the same responce about them getting 10's. Well I havent even gave them 5's becaus of [non-permissible content removed] service etc. Being female I am fed so much BS regarding mechanical problems. I tell them just because female I am not stupid. I do research before I go in as to not get screwed however with Kia it does not help. Hands tied. Other mechanics dont usually want to deal with KIA because most of work warranty and/or they want kia to fix their own mistakes which they never do. They lie and say its another part. I have had prob since I left the showroom and they never fix the problems just tell me its suppose to make that noise. Dont ask me how many times i fixed head/tail lights and interior lights cause I lost count. Because I drive lots of miles they like to blame mileage for things going wrong even when car only a year old. I told them I had 3 saturns with over 150,000 miles and took worse car in college and being parked out in snow that NEVER gave me the prob this kia is giving me. I would love to get rid of it but lucky to even get 3K for it so stuck for now.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    have you checked to insure you have a good ground from the fuze box...also assuming you replaced your battery...did you go with one with a higher cold weather cranking.......I did on both...and havent a problem blowing bulbs in over two years now...03 Sorie EX here.....
  • Sorento Dome lights...very common issue.

    There is a diode located in the dome light circuit (door only positio). It is not in there factory wiring diagram and is just as hard to find in the parts catolog.kia part number 9138a-3e000 should take care of that issue. It is taped into the wire harness under the lower left kick panel (by the fuse box).
  • I tried to upgrade my lights to some blue and they lasted less than a month and in 6 months I went thru 3 pairs...I was told at the store that I was touching the bulbs and should be using bulb grease...still went out...so I went back to the cheap yellow looking stock ones and they have been in there over 6 months now...I talked to a guy online and he went to hid lights...they have their own ballast and take less power to run...get them online ebay less than a $100 bucks...sorry to hear about all these problems cause we sure do love ours...scott
  • tonyj4tonyj4 Posts: 2
    Anyone else had these problems, found fixes?

    56000 Miles, bought new in October '05. I just installed my third battery. When they die, they just die, no warning whatsoever. Turn the key, snapping/cracking sound, dead battery. Yesterday I noticed the battery was still very warm even after 3 or 4 hours out of the vehicle, this was a Bosch that I purchased in November '08. I am pretty sure the batteries are shorting out internally.

    Also, my headlights and tailights have been popping since about 6 months after buying it. I gave up on the dealer a long time ago. I love the vehicle so I just deal with it.

    Also, a third issue. My brake rotors have now been turned on the lathe 3 times in 56k miles. They keep warping. I have never had to have this done this many times on ANY other vehicle I have owned in 25 years.

    So, lets see...

    Replaced more batteries
    Replaced more bulbs
    and turned more rotors... than on any vehicle I have EVER owned.. but I still LOVE this SUV.. What is wrong with me???
  • ...so sorry to hear that you are having the same problem as I had....I gave up on changing anymore bulbs until I can afford to do the HID's up front and use led lights everywhere else...my battery went out too...I have read alot from different websites on the Sorento and everyone says the same thing they love them but hate the trivial problems they are having...my brake pads went out this last time and ruined the rotors..so I went to Autozone and bought new rotors and new pads...I decided to go up this time to the ceramic they have...so far so good...I know that I sure can tell a difference at the beginning...I also installed a cold air kit from Spectre Performance...you have to buy the individual parts but well worth it...I got mine from Autozone too...hope this helps....
  • tonyj4tonyj4 Posts: 2
    Too bad Kia isn't stepping up. They really do make a great vehicle with some trivial problems that could be easily be resolved..
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    blubs are a constant problem in the sorie....had a 03 EX....finally when to a higher output batter y and stuck with stock sylvannia auto bulbs....didnt have any more problems with bulbs....also I stop using the auto on function for the lights...I noticed when them set of auto on...at start up the headlamps would slightly flash on starting....turning the auto function off..eliminated this...telling me there is some sort of electrical surge going on.....I also noticed the radio dial would flash as well if left on.....so I basically simply started turning everything off when I turned off the Sorie...

    Rotors....yes the OEM ones are lousy....replace with aftermarket ones when you can...and dont overtighten the lugs....they should be hand tighten to the proper specs

    Sorie finally gave out after 5 years and 115k when the front differential let go and eveloped a coolant leak at a y joint that required the motor to be lifted in order to access the part for replacement ($30 for the part and 5 hours labor alone)....approx $4500 to replace the differential .....car wasnt worth that much so donated it........I enjoyed it while it lasted...but not convinced the drivetrains are built to sustain long term wear and tear.......
  • Where did you get the replacement diode? Do you have to go through a dealer? How much does it cost? Thanks.
  • I have a 2003 Sorento that I have been having some electrical problems with. The tailights are both out, but the brake lights still work. I changed the bulbs on both sides, checked the fuses and had a Kia dealer check the wiring. They said they don't know what is causing the problem, but that it could be the electronic control module. Has anyone else had this problem? They want $400 for the part and 2 hours labour to install it so i would like to know if that is the problem before I get it done. Thanks.
  • If youve changed the headlight on your Sorento, youll know what I am talking about. Its a little v-shapped spring, not much bigger than a paperclip, that holds the headlight socket in place in the headlight assembly.

    I lost mine while changing the lightbulb. Kia does not sell this part on its own, but only by buying the entire headlight assembly (~$150-200). Has anyone had to replace the spring only and found a place to buy them?
  • mcreed25mcreed25 Posts: 1
    2011 sorento. 2400 mi Just on the passenger side?? Has anybody ever heard of this?
  • Premature failure of light bulbs (headlamps, brake lights, marker lights, rear lights, etc) IS A PERVASIVE PROBLEM ON SORENTO'S! Any dealer that says otherwise is either naive or lying...PERIOD!

    This problem should be taken up by the NTSB because what happens when one brake light fails, then before you get it replaced...the other fails??? Yes, somebody slams into you from behind under many circumstances. Kia has blood on their hands somewhere; I can't imagine that it has not happened yet.

    Has anyone had a dealer repair the problem yet? :mad:
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I checked all fuze connections,, found a few not firmly seated, tighten the battery chassis ground...and up graded my battery and it seemed to fix the problem....in my 03 Sorie....my $$ is on the upgraded battery, put in a top rated, max starting power, battery available for the Sorie......
  • driver04driver04 Posts: 1
    I have been experiencing my interior lights wont turn off while having my headlights on. have tried to turn them off but they will not...they only slightly dim. It scared me to have to drive at night with the lights on. What could be the cause for this?
  • franxalotfranxalot Posts: 1
    My dealer replaced all bulbs when I brought the car in for an oil change-N/C

    Its a Kia campaign. Possibly you should check with your dealer before getting theatrical?
  • My bulbs have been replaced, many times...some by the Kia dealership, now all are replaced by me. The repacement bulbs are not the problem. It doesn't matter who makes the bulb...it will fail in a Kia Sorrento because there is an underlying problem.
  • nikkilennikkilen Posts: 1
    I am having trouble with my interior dome lights and dash lights when there a lot humidity but dash lights continously going out and the only way to get back on I must hit the top of dash fot them to back on and my dome lights will shut off and had to take the bulbs out advise to my problems are needed as it is very frustrating
  • janskijanski Posts: 2
    I really like my Kia Sorento EXCEPT::::I have had to replace my headlights at least twice a year sometimes three times since I have had this car. Also the outside lens on the headlights are faded and scratched up for no apparent reason. They look like someone took a brillo pad and scratched them from the inside. I have taken it to the dealer several times and they said it had the right amps for the lights and never have fixed it. I am sick of buying headlights. I had my car before for 7 years and I don't ever remember having to replace the headlights at all the entire time I had it. I think there is some kind of default or short in the electrical system of the car that is making them go out. Anybody else having the same problems?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    this is a systematic problem with the sorento....check to insure your battery ground into the body is good...all fuses are tight....and when you replace the battery...get one with the max amps possible....above and beyond OEM status...

    as far as the headlamps being faded, depends on where you are...and if the vehicle is parked outside all the time....the lamps can be buffed out...with products at most auto parts stores
  • I own a 2003 and have the same problem .... seems like Kia still cant fix the issues. do not get me wrong I love my Kia but sometimes it seems too annoying... can you elaborate more on the "systematic problems" and has Kia offered any recourse for the possible design flaw? I thought I was the ONLY one that had this problem till I stumbled across this website. Has anyone relayed all the issues to Kia???
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    systematic in that it appears to be in the early MY sories....03-04s...dont know that there is a fix, mine has long been out of warranty...140k on it now....I havent had much of a problem since replacing the battery and tightening all the grounds down at the battery and fuze box....I havent honestly followed up with a dealer in over two years......
  • I have a set of backup sensors I want to install on my 2011 EX. Kia Canada tells me I may invalidate the warranty and could interfere with the operation of other equipment if I do so myself. Nor can they supply me with a wiring diagram which is in the workshop manual given to authorised dealers.

    The odd thing about all this is that there is a Sorento model in the US but not in Canada which has both sensors and backup mirror.

    I would be most grateful if anyone can supply me with any details about how to install the sensors which only need linking to a wire leading to the tail lamps. Additional information about how I can lead the wires from thee sensors to the tail lamp would be most useful.

  • I had a similar problem. What I did was buy electrical parts cleaner. I started removing all the fuses and relays one at time and spraying in the slots. FIRST DISCONNECT THE BATTERY. The spray will dry quickly but allow 5 or 10 minutes before reconnecting the battery. I think the metals/wires under the fuse box are corroding. This is causing shorting out of the electrical system and bad contacts. Hope this helps
  • I also have a 2006 Sorento. I have had to replace tail lights on sometimes alternating sides once a month since owning it w 6K miles. Headlights on either side every other month. Dealer said I needed to buy KIA bulbs ($7). I laughed and put down my money. Three weeks later I replaced it with NAPA then Oreilly and others. No difference. I buy bulbs by the dozen and keep the screwdriver in my Sorento. I now have the interior dome not responding to the door opening. Bulb is good, but no door switch will turn it on. Just consider your service costs over the life of the Sorento to be one headlight and two tail lights per quarter.
  • Have two '06 sorentos 2 vin digits apart (made the same day/same crew). Around the 10-11k mark, both lost the dome lite feature. I just tried to trouble-shoot the problem yesterday, now everything works perfect except the engine won't start. Called KIA, $175 to tow it to the shop, a $200 non-refundable "diagnostic" fee just to open the hood plus $106 an hour for trouble shooting, parts extra. I have 27K on this suv, they want Oil change receipts and even then they don't think they can honor the 10yr/100k warranty. Sorry, but when I get it running again, both sorentos will go on sale. Any one know a cure to this problem, I can't afford kia's prices.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    have an 03 Sorie here....as far as towing prices....probably normal depending on mileage and who you had tow it..idependent or the dealership.....diagnostic fee...yes high indeed.....hourly labor....probably about right...90-120 depending on area you are in...

    so what reason did they give for not honoring warranty if you provide oil change receipts and hard it serviced at the appropriate intervals for those items effecting the drive train.....almost 150K on my Sorie...and have been taking it to a independent mechanic for many years now....
  • We have the same problem, my husband pulled the fuse to it as I could not drive at light with the interior light on. I have blown fog light and tail lights so far and only have had it 2 months and kia says it is my expense the electric needs to be recalled I will be making a formal complaint to the NHTSA if more owners would come forth and complain they would investigate and hopefully get a recall issued. recalls can be issued on vehicles that are under 10 years.
  • I see a lot of complaints on different boards but the complaints need to go to the right place to do any good. I have recently purchased a 2006 sorento and have experienced lighting issues. Spoke with kia but not resolving any thing. If all the kia owners would make a complaint on the vehicle to the NHTSA It would give them enough to investigate and possibly make Kia responsible for the repairs nedded to make our vehicles safe Recalls can be made on a vehicle for up to the age of 10. you can read the complaints, you can call or file a complaint on line you can go to www.nhtsa.gov you may also read how the process goes into getting a recall
    Headlights and brake lights that continually need to be replaced is certainly a safety issue as well as interior lights that won't go out when using your headlights.
    make the complaints and make kia give back to us liitle people that they clearly do not care about and make our vehicles safe to drive.
  • This is serious, especially when it comes to both brake lights failing...what happens? Well, somebody plows into you because they don't know your applying the brakes. It's probably already happended where one brake light fails, your unaware, then before you get around to replacing the bulb, the other light fails. You have no brake lights. At least if your headlights fail, you can use the high beams.

    The NTHSA needs to know, but I recall no finding a method to report it on their web site. It is a safety item.

    [email protected]
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    edited March 2011
    Here's the NHTSA complaint link:

    Report Your Safety Complaint
  • I like to know how Kia fixed your complaint of the interior lights staying on while using your headlights please. I am on a budget and trying to save some money. I would greatly appreciate any help in this issue.

    Thank you, Brian
  • soryibykiasoryibykia Posts: 6
    Brian, Kia did not fix the vehicle, my husband pulled a fuse that operates the interior lighting I am going to Kia this week when the rep is there to dispute a sheared bolt that is also a common problem with this make, my extended warranty company denied my claim as the bolt to the harmonic balancer sheared off destroying my powertrain parts and the bolt is not under warranty. a bill of over $1,400. and rentals with no reimbursementt and I can have hubby check which fuse he pulled if that will help you I to date have no interior lights
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