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Kia Sportage Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to check or change the spark plugs in the Theta II 2.4L I4 engine in a 4th generation 2017 to 2022 Kia Sportage.

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2018 Sportage 2.4L I4
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Release Engine Cover
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Pull Up Rear Edge
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2017, 2018, 2019 and probably also the refreshed 2020, 2021 and 2022) Kia Sportage SUV in checking or changing the spark plugs in the Theta II 2.4 liter inline four cylinder engine.

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

The original OEM laser iridium spark plugs were part number NGK SILZKR7E11 (also known as SILZKR7E-11 or SILZKR7E 11 or 92315).

A few other compatible replacement spark plugs with their part numbers include the following: NGK LKR7DIX-11S (93175), Bosch 9622, Denso 4703 IKH16TT and ACDelco 21.

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

The first two steps are to open the hood and then gently pull off the black plastic engine cover.



 

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Plastic Cover Removed
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Top of Engine Exposed
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Spark Plug Ignition Coil
The plastic cover is held in place by four rubber friction fasteners that are attached to metal pegs on the top of the engine.

Set the engine cover aside in a safe place.

Once the cover is out of the way, you'll be able to see the four black plastic spark plug ignition coils along the top of the engine.

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Slide Out Grey Lock Tab
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Push Down Release Tab
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Pull Off Power Plug
If you have access to compressed air or a wet/dry shop vacuum, thoroughly clean off the top of the engine.

This will help reduce the risk of having dirt, sand or other debris fall down into the spark plug well or the cylinder.

I also recommend only checking or changing one spark plug at a time to further reduce the risk of having a foreign object or debris fall down into the engine.

Use your fingernail or a small flathead screwdriver to gently slide the grey locking tab on the electrical connector away from the ignition coil housing. Any debris in the engine such as sand could cause accelerated wear.

Once the grey lock tab has been fully released, push in the release tab on the electrical connector.

Slide the power plug straight out of the socket on the ignition coil.

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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Single Silver Bolt Removed
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Loosen Ignition Coil
The ignition coil housing is held in place to the top of the engine by a single silver metal bolt.

Loosen the bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

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

Gently rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to make sure the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the coil is not stuck or "frozen" to the of the old spark plug.

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Lift Out Ignition Coil
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Denso 27300-2GGA0
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Spark Plug Well
Lift the ignition coil out of the spark plug well and set it aside in a safe place.

If you've had any symptoms of a failing or faulty ignition coil such as starting problems, poor fuel economy (lower MPG), stalling, rough idling or backfiring, you may need to replace the coil.

The OEM spark plug ignition coil part number is Denso 27300-2GGA0 (also known as Kia / Hyundai 27300 2GGA0 or 273002GGA0).

If you have an OBD2 / OBDII scanner, the scan tool might display the following ignition coil related DTC (diagnostic trouble codes): P0351, P0352, P0353, P0354, P0355 and P0356.

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Spark Plug Socket
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Loosen Old Spark Plug
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Spin Out Counterclockwise
Attach the 5/8" spark plug socket to an extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

I like to use a piece of painter's tape to keep the socket attached to the extension bar.

I've had the socket become stuck to the top of an old spark plug and pop off the end of the extension bar. Then I had to use a pair of long nose pliers to pull the socket off the old spark plug.

Lower the socket into the well and secure it to the top of the old spark plug.

Carefully loosen the old spark plug by rotating it in the counterclockwise direction.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The spark plug should rotate relatively easily.

If you have trouble loosening the old spark plug due to rust or corrosion, try spraying in a very small amount of penetrating oil such as PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench down into the well.

Allow the penetrating oil to work its way into the threads for at least five to ten minutes.

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

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Lift Out Old Spark Plug
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Inspect Old Spark Plug
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Spin In New Spark Plug
Carefully lift the old spark plug out of the well and detach it from the socket.

Inspect the old spark plug.

If the old spark plug appears to be ashy white and discolored, it may have been exposed to an overheating engine.

If the old spark plug is covered in oil or soot, the engine may be burning oil and should be inspected by a professional mechanic.

If you have a spark plug gap gauge, verify that the gap on the new spark plug matches the specification on the box. The gap should be .044".

Push the new spark plug into the socket.

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

Carefully lower the new spark plug down into the well.

Spin in the new plug a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.



 

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Tighten Clockwise
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Apply Dielectric Grease
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Lower In Ignition Coil
Continue tightening the new spark plug in the clockwise direction with the ratchet.

If you are installing a new spark plug, continue tightening until you feel the new crush washer collapse which should be just a fraction of a turn past the point when the plug makes contact with the cylinder head.

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

I've never used a torque wrench to tighten spark plugs since you can easily over tighten them and possibly break them off in the engine.

Most spark plug manufacturers also do not recommend using anti-seize lubricant since it can easily lead to over tightening. If you live in a harsh climate with salted roads or ocean air, you may want to use anti-seize to help prevent the plugs from becoming stuck or "frozen" in the cylinder head. Just be sure to not over tighten them.

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

Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the opening in the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil.

The grease will help keep out any moisture and debris to ensure a reliable electrical connection.

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

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Rotate - Spread Grease
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Spin In Silver Metal Bolt
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Tighten Bolt Clockwise
Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to help spread the dielectric grease.

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

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

Tighten the 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 housing.

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Electrical Connector
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Push On Power Plug
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Slide In Grey Lock Tab
Push the electrical connector straight into the socket on the ignition coil assembly.

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

Slide the grey lock tab in towards the ignition coil to secure the power plug.

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Connector Secured
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Push On Engine Cover
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Spark Plugs Replaced
Double check that the electrical connectors are secure and the ignition coils are securely attached to the top of the engine.

Start the ignition and listen closely for any strange noises that might indicate a problem such as a loosen spark plug, a disconnected power plug or a faulty ignition coil.

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

Please check out all of my 2017-2022 Kia Sportage DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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