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Kia Sorento 2.4L I4 Engine Spark Plugs Replacement Guide
How to check or change the engine spark plugs in a 2nd generation 2010 to 2015 Kia Sorento with the Theta II 2.4L I4 motor.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2014 Sorento 2.4L I4
Pull Off Plastic Engine Cover
Rubber Friction Fasteners
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015) Kia Sorento SUV in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the Hyundai Theta II 2.4 liter inline four cylinder motor.

Owners of other Kia and Hyundai vehicles such as the Optima, Forte, Cadenza, K900, Rio, Sportage, Sedona, Soul, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis and Equus may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The OEM iridium tipped spark plugs in this 2014 Sorento are Denso brand part number FXU16HR11 (3478).

A few other compatible replacement spark plugs with their part number are as follows: Autolite XP6203, NGK LFR5AIX-11 (4469), Denso FK16HQR11 (3458), Bosch 9622, Champion REC12WMPB5 (9055) and ACDelco 41-835.

The tools needed to replace the spark plugs include a small flathead screwdriver, a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench, a 5/8" spark plug socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet and a tube of dielectric grease.

Theta II 2.4L I4 Engine
Ignition Coil Power Plug
Pry Out Grey Locking Tab
The first two steps are to open the hood and then pull off the plastic engine cover.

Set the engine cover aside in a safe place.

Slide Out Grey Lock Tab
Press Black Release Tab
Pull Off Electrical Connector
Slide the grey plastic lock tab on the electrical connector away from the ignition coil to unlock it.

Press down on the release tab and slide the power plug straight off the end of the ignition coil.

Loosen 10mm Bolt
Remove 10mm Bolt
Lift Out Ignition Coil
Loosen the single bolt holding the ignition coil in place to the top of the engine by rotating it counterclockwise with the 10mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the bolt aside in a safe place.

Rotate the ignition coil back and forth a few times to make sure that the rubber boot at the bottom of the coil is not stuck to the top of the old spark plug.

Lift the ignition coil straight out of the spark plug well.
Spark Plug Well
5/8" Spark Plug Socket
Attach Socket To Plug
Attach a 5/8" spark plug socket to a 6 inch extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Lower the socket over the top of the old spark plug and carefully loosen it in the counterclockwise direction.

If you can't loosen the old spark plug, do not use excessive force to avoid cracking the ceramic part of the plug.

Spray a small amount of penetrating oil such as PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench or Kano Kroil and wait at least 15 minutes or more before attempting to loosen it again. If you don't have any penetrating oil, try spraying some WD-40 or warm up the engine for a few minutes to help expand the metal engine block.


Detach Wrench - Spin Out
Lift Out Old Spark Plug
Denso # FXU16HR11
Once the spark plug is loose, detach the ratcheting wrench and spin it out by hand using the extension bar.

Lift the old spark plug out of the well and pull it out of the socket.

The OEM spark plugs in this 2014 Sorento are Denso part number FXU16HR11, which are also known as part # 3478.

Inspect both ends of the old spark plug.

If the end of the old spark plug looks ashy white, the plugs may have been exposed to high temperatures such as overheating or they are the incorrect heat range for your driving conditions or environment.

On the other hand, if the old spark plugs are dark grey or covered in black soot, the engine may be burning oil and should be checked by a professional mechanic.

An optional step is to apply a tiny amount of anti-seize lubricant to the upper metal threads of the new spark plug. This will make the plugs easier to take out if they are not changed again for another 100k miles. Do not get any of the anti-seize on the electrode tip at the bottom of the new spark plug. Most spark plug manufacturers recommend that you do not use anti-seize grease since it can lead to over tightening.

If you do apply anti-seize to the threads of the new spark plug, less force will be necessary to tighten them.

If you have a spark plug gap gauge, check that the gap on the new spark plugs matches the manufacturer's specification which should be .044". If a new spark plug's gap is not correct, it may have been dropped or damaged in shipment and should be returned or exchanged for a new one.

Lower In New Spark Plug
Spin In Clockwise By Hand
Attach Wrench - Tighten Plug
Push a new spark plug in to the socket and carefully lower it down in to the spark plug well.

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

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

Attach the ratcheting wrench to the extension bar and the spark plug socket.

If you are installing a new spark plug, continue tightening the plug in the clockwise direction until just barely past the point when you feel the crush washer collapse.

If you were only checking the existing OEM plugs, tighten the old spark plug to just a small fraction of a turn past finger tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the spark plugs to prevent from cracking the ceramic part of the plugs.

Apply Dielectric Grease
Lower In Ignition Coil
Spin In 10mm Bolt
Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the opening of the rubber dust boot at the bottom of the ignition coil.

The dielectric grease will help keep out any dust or moisture.

Gently lower the ignition coil down over the spark plug.

Tighten 10mm Clockwise
Push On Power Plug
Slide In Grey Lock Tab
Spin in the 10mm bolt by hand in the clockwise direction.

Tighten the bolt by turning it clockwise with the 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the 10mm bolt to prevent from cracking the plastic ignition coil housing.

Push the power plug straight on to the ignition coil until it clicks securely in top place.

Electrical Connector Replaced
Push On Plastic Engine Cover
Spark Plugs Replaced
Slide in the grey lock tab on the electrical connector to secure it in place.

Line up the four friction fasteners on the underside of the plastic engine cover and firmly push it back in to place.

Start the engine and listen for any strange sounds which may indicate a loose electrical connector, a loose spark plug or other problems.

For more, check out my other Kia Sorento DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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