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Kia Sorento 3.3L V6 Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to change the spark plugs in a 2016 to 2020 Kia Sorento SUV with the Lambda II GDI 3.3L V6 engine.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2019 Sorento V6
Pull Off Plastic Cover
Engine Cover Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) Kia Sorento SUV in checking or changing the spark plugs in the Lambda II GDI 3.3L V6 engine. (The procedure is basically the same for the Theta II GDI 2.4L I4 engine and the Theta II Turbocharged GDI 2.0L I4 engine.)

Owners of other Kia, Hyundai and Genesis vehicles such as the Soul, Seltos, Sportage, Niro, Telluride, Forte, Rio, Optima, Stinger, Cadenza, K900, Sedona, Kona, Venue, Santa Fe, Elantra, Sonata, Accent, Veloster, Ioniq, Nexo, G70, G80 and G90 may also find these instructions to be helpful.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) iridium spark plugs in this 2019 Sorento were part number NGK SILZKR7E11 (also known as NGK SILZKR7E-11 or NGK 92315).

A few compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers are as follows: NGK LKR7DIX-11S, NGK SILZKR7B11 (9723), E3 E3.48 and Kia 18846-11070.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet or a 10mm wrench, a 5/8" spark plug socket with an extension bar, a 3/8" drive ratchet and a tube of dielectric grease.

Note - This Sorento only has 45,000 miles on it so I will just be checking the front three spark plugs that are easily accessible since the OEM iridium spark plugs don't have to be replaced until 97,500 miles (or 156,000 KM). If you plan on replacing the rear three spark plugs, you will need to remove the black plastic intake manifold.

To remove the intake manifold, disconnect the vacuum lines and other hoses, disconnect the electrical connectors, detach the large rubber air intake hose, detach the throttle body and remove the various 10mm, 12mm and 14mm bolts situated on the top and also on the rear of the black plastic intake manifold by the firewall. Be sure to remove the 12mm bolt on the right rear of the intake manifold and the 14mm bolt on the left rear corner of the intake manifold near the firewall. It would also be a good idea to replace the intake manifold gaskets and place a small amount of Loctite Blue on to the bolts.

Since accessing the rear three plugs is so much extra work, you may choose to also replace the ignition coils at the same time. The OEM part number for the spark plug ignition coils in this 2019 Sorento AWD is Kia 27310-3L030.

The first two steps are to open the hood and then pull off the plastic cover which is held in place by four rubber friction fasteners attached to metal pegs on the top of the engine.


Lambda II GDI 3.3L
Pull Off Foam Cover
Heat Shield Removed
Set the engine cover aside in a safe place.

Remove the foam rubber heat shield from the top of the EGR valve and set it aside.

To help prevent from having debris, sand or dust fall down into the spark plug well, clean off the top of the engine with compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum.

Three Front Ignition Coils
Loosen Counterclockwise
Single Bolt Removed
Loosen the single bolt on the top of the ignition coil by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratchet.

Spin out the bolt the rest of the way by hand to prevent from having it fall down into the engine bay and become lost.

Slide Out Locking Tab
Push Down Release Button
Power Plug Removed
Gently slide back the grey plastic locking tab on the electrical connector.

You may need to use a small flat head screwdriver to slide back the lock tab.

Once the lock tab has been slid out to the released position away from the ignition coil, push down on the release tab and slide the power plug straight off the ignition coil assembly.

Remove Ignition Coil
5/8" Spark Plug Socket
Spark Plug In Well
Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to loosen the rubber boot from the tip of the old spark plug.

If the ignition coil's rubber boot is stuck or "frozen" to the top of the spark plug, do not use excessive force to pull it out.

Instead, continue to rotate the ignition coil back and forth and gently pull up on it to release the boot from the tip of the old spark plug.

Set the ignition coil aside in a safe place.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Spin Out By Hand
Lift Out Old Spark Plug
To further reduce the risk of having debris fall down into the cylinders, I recommend only checking or changing one spark plug at a time.

Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to the 6" or 9" extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Your spark plug socket should have a rubber insert or a strong magnet to securely hold the old spark plug in place.

I like to attach my spark plug socket to the extension bar with some electrical tape or painter's tape to make sure it doesn't pop off in the spark plug well.

Carefully lower the socket down over the top of the old spark plug.

Loosen the old spark plug by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

Avoid using excessive force to prevent from cracking and / or breaking the old spark plug.

If you have trouble loosening the old spark plug due to corrosion (rust), try spraying a very small amount of penetrating oil down into the spark plug well.

Allow the penetrating oil to seep down into the threads for at least 5 to 10 minutes before re-attempting to loosen the old spark plug.

You could also try warming up the engine for a few minutes to expand the metal cylinder block and then turn off the engine before trying again to loosen a stubborn spark plug.

Once the old spark plug is loose, detach the ratchet and spin out the plug the rest of the way by hand.

Carefully lift the old plug out of the well and detach it from the socket.

Inspect Old Spark Plug
Spin In New Plug By Hand
Tighten Clockwise
Inspect the old spark plug.

If the old spark plug appears to be burnt or covered in black soot or oily sludge, the engine might be burning oil and should be inspected by a professional mechanic.

If the electrode tip on the old plug appears to be covered in white powder, the engine might have been subjected to overheating. You may need to choose a spark plug with a different heat range for your climate or check the performance of your engine's cooling system.

The OEM spark plugs in this 2019 Sorento AWD were part number NGK SILZKR7E11.

Some home mechanics prefer to apply a small amount of anti-seize grease to the threads of the new spark plugs to help make them easier to remove during the next change in another 97,500 miles. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend against using anti-seize lubricant on the spark plug threads since it can easily lead to over tightening.

Push the new spark plug into the socket and lower it down into the well.

Spin in the new spark plug in the clockwise direction by hand until it makes contact with the cylinder head.

Attach the 5/8" drive ratchet and continue tightening the new spark plug to a small fraction of a turn past finger tight. You might feel the new crush washer collapse.

If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for the spark plugs is 11 to 18 lb-ft of torque.

If you are re-installing the old spark plugs after checking them, just tighten them to a small fraction of a turn past finger tight.

Double check that the new spark plug is tight before moving on to the next steps

Apply Dielectric Grease
Lower In Ignition Coil
Re-Insert Bolt
Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the opening in the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil assembly.

The dielectric grease will help ensure a reliable electrical connection by keeping out any dust, moisture or debris.

Carefully lower the ignition coil down into the well and push it on to the top of the new spark plug.

Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to help spread the dielectric grease.

Line up the bolt hold in the ignition coil housing with the corresponding bolt hole in the top of the engine.

Spin in the ignition coil bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten Bolt Clockwise
Push On Power Plug
Slide In Grey Lock Tab
Tighten the ignition coil bolt in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the bolt to prevent from cracking the plastic ignition coil assembly.

Push the electrical connector straight on to the base of the ignition coil.

You should feel or hear the power plug "click" securely into place.

Slide the grey plastic locking tab straight in to secure the electrical connector.

Replace Foam Rubber
Push On Plastic Cover
Engine Cover Secured
Replace the foam rubber heat shield cover over the EGR valve.

Lower the plastic cover into place over the top of the engine.

Push on the cover to secure the four rubber friction fasteners.

Start the engine and listen closely for any strange sounds that might indicate a problem such as a loose spark plug or a disconnected electrical connector.

If you do hear a strange noise, immediately turn off the ignition and check your work.

The owner's manual service interval specification for the spark plugs is to change them every 97,500 miles (78 months or 156,0000 KM).

Be sure to write down the spark plug change in your vehicle's service records.

Please take a look at all of my 2016-2020 Kia Sorento DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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