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Fluid level checks Kia Sorento 2003 - 2009 Petrol 3.3 V6

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Kia Sorento 2003 - 2009  | 3.3 V6 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
1 Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake, clutch and other systems. Because these fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be periodically replenished. See the specifications listed at the bottom of this section before adding fluid to any of the following components
Note: The vehicle must be on level ground before fluid levels can be checked

Engine oil

1 The engine oil level is checked with a dipstick located on the driver's side (2009 and earlier models), or the front side (2011 and later models) of the engine (see below). The dipstick extends through a metal tube from which it protrudes down into the engine oil pan
2 On 2009 and earlier models, the oil dipstick is on the left side of the engine; on all models, the oil filler cap is located on the valve cover - make sure the area around this opening is clean before removing the cap
3 Engine oil dipstick and oil filler cap - 2011 and later four-cylinder engines
4 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 5 minutes after the engine has been shut off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper engine components, producing a low reading on the dipstick
5 Pull the dipstick from the tube and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back into its metal tube and pull it out again. Observe the oil at the end of the dipstick
6 The oil level should be at or near the upper mark on the dipstick - if it isn’t, add enough oil to bring the level to or near the upper mark (it takes one quart to raise the level from the lower mark to the upper mark). Do not allow the level to drop below the lower mark or oil starvation may cause engine damage. Conversely, overfilling the engine (adding oil above the upper mark) may cause oil-fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures
7 Remove the threaded cap from the valve cover to add oil. Use a funnel to prevent spills. After adding the oil, install the filler cap hand tight. Start the engine and look carefully for any small leaks around the oil filter or drain plug. Stop the engine and check the oil level again after it has had sufficient time to drain from the upper block and cylinder head galleys
8 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A continually dropping oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, from loose connections, or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in color or has water droplets in it, a cylinder head gasket may be blown. The engine should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Each time you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed

Engine coolant

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Don’t store new coolant or leave old coolant lying around where it’s accessible to children or pets - they’re attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage floor and drip pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered and repair cooling system leaks as soon as they’re noticed
Warning: Never remove the cap from the coolant surge tank unless the engine is completely cool. Serious burns can result
1 The coolant reservoir (surge tank) is located at the passenger's side of the engine compartment
2 The coolant level should be checked regularly. It must be between the Full and Low lines on the tank. The level will vary with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be at or slightly above the Low mark on the tank. Once the engine has warmed up, the level should be at or near the Full mark. If it isn’t, allow the fluid in the tank to cool, then remove the cap from the reservoir and add coolant to bring the level up to the Full line. Use only the type of coolant listed at the bottom of this Section or in your owner’s manual. Do not use supplemental inhibitors or additives. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, water can be used. However, repeated additions of water will dilute the recommended antifreeze and water solution. In order to maintain the proper ratio of antifreeze and water, it is advisable to top up the coolant level with the correct mixture. If the coolant level drops within a short time after replenishment, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, coolant surge tank cap, drain plugs, air bleeder plugs and water pump. If no leak is evident, have the surge tank cap pressure tested
Warning: Never remove the surge tank cap when the engine is running or has just been shut down, because the cooling system is hot. Escaping steam and scalding liquid could cause serious injury
3 If it is necessary to open the surge tank cap, wait until the system has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and turn it to the first stop (or slowly unscrew it, as applicable). If any steam escapes, wait until the system has cooled further, then remove the cap
4 When checking the coolant level, always note its condition. It should be relatively clear. If it is brown or rust-colored, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. Even if the coolant appears to be normal, the corrosion inhibitors wear out with use, so it must be replaced at the specified intervals
5 Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contacted areas immediately with plenty of water
Windshield washer: The windshield washer fluid reservoir is located at the right front corner of the engine compartment

Brake fluid

1 The brake master cylinder is mounted on the front of the power booster unit in the engine compartment
2 To check the fluid level of the brake master cylinder reservoir, simply look at the MAX and MIN marks on the reservoir
3 The brake fluid should be kept between the Min and Max marks on the reservoir
4 If the level is low, wipe the top of the reservoir cover with a clean rag to prevent contamination of the brake system before lifting the cover
Warning: Use caution when filling the reservoir - brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces. Do not use brake fluid that has been opened for more than one year or has been left open. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Excess moisture can cause a dangerous loss of braking
6 Add only the specified brake fluid to the brake reservoir as listed at the bottom of this section or your owner’s manual. Mixing different types of brake fluid can damage the system. Fill the brake master cylinder reservoir only to the dotted line - this brings the fluid to the correct level when you put the cover back on
7 While the reservoir cap is removed, inspect the master cylinder reservoir for contamination. If deposits, dirt particles or water droplets are present, the system should be drained and refilled
8 After filling the reservoir to the proper level, make sure the lid is properly seated to prevent fluid leakage and/or system pressure loss
9 The brake fluid in the master cylinder will drop slightly as the brake pads at each wheel wear down during normal operation. If the master cylinder requires repeated replenishing to keep it at the proper level, this is an indication of leakage in the brake system, which should be corrected immediately. Check all brake lines and connections, along with the wheel cylinders and booster for leaks or damage and repair as needed
10 If, upon checking the master cylinder fluid level, you discover the reservoir empty or nearly empty, the brake system should be thoroughly inspected for leaks

Power steering fluid

1 The power steering system relies on fluid that may, over a period of time, require replenishing
2 The fluid reservoir for the power steering pump is located near the front of the engine
3 For the check, the front wheels should be pointed straight ahead and the engine should be off
4 The power steering fluid reservoir is located on the right side of the engine compartment - the reservoir is translucent, so the fluid level can be checked either hot or cold without removing the cap
5 If additional fluid is required, pour the specified type into the reservoir, using a funnel to prevent spills
6 If the reservoir requires frequent fluid additions, all power steering hoses, hose connections, the power steering pump and the steering gear assembly should be carefully checked for leaks

Automatic transmission fluid (2009 and earlier models only)

Note: On 2011 and later models, transaxle fluid level check is not a routine maintenance item
1 The level of the automatic transmission fluid should be carefully maintained. Low fluid level can lead to slipping or loss of drive, while overfilling can cause foaming, loss of fluid and transmission damage
Caution: If the vehicle has just been driven for a long time at high speed or in city traffic in hot weather, or if it has been pulling a trailer, an accurate fluid level reading cannot be obtained. Allow the fluid to cool for about 30 minutes
2 The transmission fluid level should only be checked when the transmsission is hot (at its normal operating temperature). If the vehicle has just been driven over 10 miles (15 miles in a frigid climate), and the fluid temperature is 160 to 175-degrees F, the transmission is hot
3 If the vehicle has not just been driven, park the vehicle on level ground, set the parking brake and start the engine
4 While the engine is idling, depress the brake pedal and move the selector lever through all the gear ranges, beginning and ending in Park
5 With the engine still idling, remove the dipstick from its tube (see below). Check the level of the fluid on the dipstick (see below) and note its condition
6 The automatic transmission fluid dipstick is located next to the power brake booster
7 Automatic transmission fluid COLD range (A) and HOT range (B)
8 Wipe the fluid from the dipstick with a clean rag and reinsert it back into the filler tube until the cap seats
9 Pull the dipstick out again and note the fluid level. If the transmission is cold, the level should be in the COLD or COOL range on the dipstick. If it is hot, the fluid level should be in the HOT range. If the level is at the low side of either range, add the specified automatic transmisssion fluid through the dipstick tube with a funnel
10 Add just enough of the recommended fluid to fill the transaxle to the proper level. It takes about one pint to raise the level from the low mark to the high mark when the fluid is hot, so add the fluid a little at a time and keep checking the level until it is correct
11 The condition of the fluid should also be checked along with the level. If the fluid at the end of the dipstick is black or a dark reddish brown color, or if it emits a burned smell, the fluid should be changed. If you are in doubt about the condition of the fluid, purchase some new fluid and compare the two for color and smell

Transfer case lubricant (2009 and earlier models)

Note: It is not necessary to check the transfer case lubricant level weekly; every 15,000 miles (24,000 km)/18 months is adequate (unless a leak is suspected)
1 The transfer case does not have a dipstick. To check the fluid level, raise the vehicle and support it securely on jackstands. Remove the damper weight from the back of the transfer case, if equipped. On the rear of the transfer case housing, you will see two plugs - remove the upper plug (see below). If the lubricant level is correct, it should be up to the lower edge of the hole
2 Transfer case check/fill plug (A) and drain plug (B)
3 If the transfer case needs more lubricant (if the level is not up to the hole), use a syringe or a gear oil pump to add more. Stop filling the transfer case when the lubricant begins to run out the hole
4 Install the plug and tighten it securely. Drive the vehicle a short distance, then check for leaks

Rear differential lubricant level (RWD/AWD models)

Note: It is not necessary to check the rear differential lubricant level weekly; every 15,000 miles (24,000 km)/18 months is adequate (unless a leak is suspected)
1 Raise the vehicle and support it securely on jackstands
2 Using the appropriate wrench, unscrew the check/fill plug from the rear differential (see below)
3 Rear differential check/fill plug (A) and drain plug (B) - 2009 and earlier models
4 Rear differential check/fill plug (A) and drain plug (B) - 2011 and later models
5 Use your little finger to reach inside the housing to feel the lubricant level. The level should be at or near the bottom of the plug hole. If it isn’t, add the recommended lubricant through the plug hole with a syringe or squeeze bottle
6 Install the plug and tighten it securely. Check for leaks after the first few miles of driving

Front differential lubricant level (2009 and earlier 4WD models)

Note: It is not necessary to check the front differential lubricant level weekly; every 15,000 miles (24,000 km)/18 months is adequate (unless a leak is suspected)
1 Raise the vehicle and support it securely on jackstands
2 Remove the check/fill plug from the front differential (see below)
3 Front differential check/fill plug (A) and drain plug (B)
4 Use your little finger to reach inside the housing to feel the lubricant level. The level should be at or near the bottom of the plug hole. If it isn’t, add the recommended lubricant through the plug hole with a syringe or squeeze bottle
5 Install the check/fill plug and tighten it securely. Check for leaks after the first few miles of driving

Manual transmission/transaxle lubricant level check

Note: It is not necessary to check the manual transmssion/transaxle lubricant level weekly; every 15,000 miles (24,000 km)/18 months is adequate (unless a leak is suspected)
1 Raise the vehicle and support it securely on jackstands
2 Remove the check/fill plug from the transmission/transaxle. On 2004 through 2006 models, the check/fill plug is located on the right side of the transmission case. On 2011 and later models, the check/fill plug is located on the front side of the transaxle
3 Use your little finger to reach inside the housing to feel the lubricant level; it should be at or near the bottom of the hole. If it isn't, add the recommended lubricant with a syringe or squeeze bottle
4 Install the check/fill plug and tighten it to the torque listed below

Specifications

Note: Listed here are manufacturer recommendations. Manufacturers occasionally upgrade their fluid and lubricant specifications, so check with your auto parts store for current recommendations
Engine oil
  Type API “certified for gasoline engines”
  Viscosity SAE 5W-30
Automatic transaxle fluid (2011 and later models) MICHANG SP-IV, SK SP-IV, NOCA SP-IV or KIA genuine SP-IV Automatic Transaxle Fluid
Automatic transmission fluid (2009 and earlier models)
  30-40LEi transmissions Mobil D-II Automatic transmission fluid
  A5SR1 transmissions Mobil Oil ATF RED-1 Automatic transmission fluid
Manual transaxle fluid (2011 and later models) GL-4 SAE, 75W-85
Manual transmission fluid* (2009 and earlier models) GL-4 SAE, 75W-85
Brake fluid type DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid
Power steering system fluid PSF lll power steering fluid
Transfer case (AWD models)
  2009 and earlier models* DEXRON lll Automatic Transmission Fluid
  2011 and later models API GL-5, SAE 75W-90 Hypoid gear oil
Front differential lubricant (2009 and earlier 4WD models) GL-5, SAE 90 Hypoid gear oil
Rear differential lubricant
  2009 and earlier models
    Without limited slip differential GL-5 SAE 90 gear lubricant
    With limited slip differential GL-5 SAE 85W-90 (INFILREX 33) gear lubricant
  2011 and later models API GL-5, SAE 75W-90 Hypoid gear oil
Engine coolant 50/50 mix of ethylene-glycol based coolant for use with aluminum and distilled water
* Filled for life unless there is a leak or a repair has been done
Engine oil (including filter)
  Four-cylinder engines 4.86 quarts 4.6 liters
  V6 engines
    2006 and earlier 3.5L engines 4.7 quarts 4.4 liters
    All other V6 engines 5.5 quarts 5.2 liters
Coolant
  Four-cylinder engines
    With manual transmission 6.87 quarts 6.5 liters
    With automatic transmission 6.97 quarts 6.6 liters
  V6 engines
    2006 and earlier models 4.7 quarts 4.4 liters
    2007 through 2009 models 9.4 quarts 9.0 liters
    2011 and later models 9.1 quarts 8.6 liters
Automatic transaxle ** (2011 and later models)
  Four-cylinder engines 7.5 quarts 7.1 liters
  3.5L V6 engines 8.24 quarts 7.8 liters
Automatic transmission ** (2009 and earlier models)
  2006 and earlier models
    30-40LEi transmissions 11.5 quarts 10.88 liters
    A5SR1 transmissions 10.0 quarts 9.46 liters
  2007 through 2009 models 10.57 quarts 10.0 liters
Manual transaxle (2011 and later four-cylinder models) 1.9 quarts 1.8 liters
Manual transmission (2006 and earlier models)
  2WD models 3.2 quarts 3.0 liters
  4WD models 2.7 quarts 2.55 liters
Front differential lubricant (AWD models) Up to 1.37 quarts Up to 1.3 liters
Rear differential lubricant
  Without limited slip differential Up to 1.37 quarts Up to 1.3 liters
  With limited slip differential Up to 1.69 quarts Up to 1.6 liters
  2011 and later AWD models Up to 0.74 quarts Up to 0.7 liters
Transfer case
  2009 and earlier RWD models Up to 1.5 quarts Up to 1.42 liters
  2011 and later AWD models
    Four-cylinder engine Up to 0.63 quarts Up to 0.6 liters
    3.5L V6 engine Up to 0.74 quarts Up to 0.7 liters
* All capacities approximate. Add as necessary to bring to the appropriate level
** This is a dry-fill specification; the amount required during a routine fluid change will be substantially less. The best way to determine the amount of fluid to add during a routine fluid change is to measure the amount drained. Begin the refill procedure by initially adding 1/3 of the amount drained. Then, with the engine running, add 1/2-pint at a time (cycling the shifter through each gear position between additions) until the level is correct on the disptick. It is important not to overfill the transaxle or transmission
Torque specifications Ft-lbs (unless otherwise indicated) Nm
Note: One foot-pound (ft-lb) of torque is equivalent to 12 inch-pounds (in-lbs) of torque. Torque values below approximately 15 foot-pounds are expressed in inch-pounds, because most foot-pound torque wrenches are not accurate at these smaller values
Engine oil drain plug 26 to 32 35 to 44
Automatic transaxle drain plug 65 in-lbs 7
Front differential cover bolts (2009 and earlier AWD models) 27 to 38 38 to 52
Rear differential cover bolts (AWD models) 29 to 39 40 to 49
Differential check/fill plug (front and rear) 27 to 38 38 to 52
Manual transmission check/fill plug and drain plug 43 to 48 60 to 65
Manual transaxle check/fill plug 22 to 25 30 to 33
Manual transaxle drain plug 44 to 57 59 to 77
Transfer case check/fill plug and drain plug 14 to 22 19 to 30
Wheel lug nuts
  2009 and earlier models 65 to 86 88 to 117
  2011 and later models 66 to 79 89 to 107
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