How to Change the Spark Plugs on Kia Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

With the advanced modernization of vehicles and all the gadgetry they have nowadays, doing something as benign sounding as replacing spark plugs has become challenging to the common person. You may know this already if you've considered replacing the spark plugs in your Kia car and popped the hood to see where they are. Or worse, maybe you already went and bought the spark plugs and then opened the hood. Keeping in mind you have some knowledge with the motor in your Kia car grab the manual and some tools and this article will try to help you through it.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Spark Plugs on a 2007 Kia Optima

Check the gap between the ground and center electrodes on the base of all four new Denso SK16PR-A11 (or equivalent) or six new NGK ILFR5B11 (or equivalent) spark plugs, using a spark plug gap tool. Kia recommends a gap between 0.039 and 0.043 inches. Exchange any spark plugs with and incorrect gaps for new ones, as the gap is non-adjustable.

Remove the plastic cover from the top of the engine by unscrewing the retaining nuts with a wrench and socket and pulling the cover off the engine.

Unplug the wiring harness on top of a coil pack by pressing the locking button and pulling the wiring harness away from the coil. Remove the coil pack retaining bolt, using a ratchet and socket, and pull the pack up to remove it from the spark plug.

Remove the spark plug from the engine, using a ratchet, 6-inch extension and a 16-mm spark plug socket.

Pull the old spark plug from the 16-mm spark plug socket and insert a new Denso SK16PR-A11 (or equivalent) spark plug, if fitted with a 2.4-liter engine, or an NGK ILFR5B11 (or equivalent) spark plug, if fitted with a 2.7-liter engine. Feel for the spark plug to "click" into place inside the spark plug socket.

Hand-tighten the spark plug into the engine, using the 16-mm spark plug socket and a 6-inch extension. Attach a torque wrench and apply 11 foot-pounds of torque to the spark plug.

Apply a thin coat of dielectric grease inside the rubber boot on the base of the coil pack and press the coil onto the spark plug until it "clicks" into place. Tighten the ignition coil packs to 4 to 5 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and socket. Plug the wiring harness back into the top of the coil pack.

Repeat steps 3 through 7 until you replace all four spark plugs on the 2.4-liter engine, or all six plugs on the 2.7-liter engine.

Reinstall the plastic engine cover and tighten the retaining nuts to 3 to 4 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and socket.

Items you will need

  • 4 new Denso SK16PR-A11 (or equivalent) spark plugs (2.4-liter only)

  • 6 new NGK ILFR5B11 (or equivalent) spark plugs (2.7-liter only)

  • Spark plug gap tool

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • 6-inch extension

  • 16-mm spark plug socket

  • Dielectric grease

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace Spark Plugs in a Kia Spectra

Raise the hood and locate the battery. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Allow the engine to cool before attempting this process. Depending on the climate, it may take 30 minutes or more to cool the engine.

Find the spark plug cables on the Kia Spectra engine of either a four- or six-cylinder variety. The number of cylinders indicates the number of spark plug cables on the engine.

Turn the cables by the boot, or cover, that connects to the engine or directly to the spark plug. Disconnect one cable and complete the replacement process before removing the other cables to ensure the cables don't cross. Pull back on the cable to reveal the spark plug.

Remove the spark plug from the cylinder well with the socket. The extender may not be needed for 4-cylinder engines. Turn the socket in a counter-clockwise motion to unscrew the plug and remove it from the cylinder block.

Use the applicator supplied with the anti-seize to spread the compound over the threads of the new spark plug. This compound allows for easy removal when you need to check or replace the spark plugs.

Screw the spark plug into the cylinder well by hand. The spark plug needs to be tight in the well but may have to be loosened after the tension test finishes.

Test the torque of the spark plug with the tension tester tool. Normally the spark plugs on a Kia Spectra need 18 to 22 ft-lbs torque. Check the Spectra model's owner's manual or the manufacturer's package because some premium or performance spark plugs use different torques.

Reconnect the spark plug wire and turn it to lock it in place. Continue replacing the rest of the spark plugs. Reconnect the battery cable after you replace all the spark plugs.

Items you will need

  • Spark plug socket

  • Socket wrench with extender

  • Anti-seize compound

  • New spark plug

  • Tension tester tool

 How to Replace Spark Plugs in a KIA Sportage

Open the hood to the Kia Sportage. Do not perform this repair on a hot engine. If it is hot, allow it to cool down before going any further.

Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery using a hand wrench or ratchet and socket.

Locate and remove the air intake hose assembly to get it out of the way. Use the appropriate screwdrivers to loosen any clamps.

Locate and remove the accelerator throttle cable bracket using the ratchet and socket or a hand wrench.

Remove the coil cover from the cylinder head cover using the ratchet and socket. There are six bolts.

Remove the cylinder head cover. There are four bolts and two coils.

Twist the boot on the high tension leads attached to each spark plug and pull them off.

Inspect the spark plug cavity to ensure there is no debris or dirt inside. If so, blow it out or vacuum it out.

Place the spark plug socket onto the 12-inch long extension and ratchet and insert it onto the spark plug. Remove the spark plugs.

Gap the new plugs to .039 to .043 inches.

Apply a very light coat of anti-seize compound lubricant to the threads of the new spark plug(s).

Install the spark plug into the cylinder using the extension and socket only. Do not use the ratchet to tighten until you're sure the spark plug has threaded into the bore correctly. Cross threading a spark plug can damage the cylinder head.

Tighten the plug to 13 to 15 foot pounds using the spark plug socket, the extension and the adjustable torque wrench.

Reconnect the tension leads.

Reconnect the coils and four bolts to the cylinder head cover.

Reconnect the coil cover and six bolts.

Reconnect the accelerator throttle cable bracket

Reconnect the air intake hose.

Reconnect the negative battery terminal.

Test start the Sportage to ensure it's running properly.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet 3/8-inch drive socket set 3/8-inch drive 12-inch long extension spark plug socket (size the socket up at the part store where you buy the spark plugs) Flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers Metric hand wrench set Spark plug gap tool or dial indicator Anti-seize compound lubricant 3/8-inch drive adjustable torque wrench

 How to Replace Spark Plugs in a 2000 Kia Sephia

Open the hood. Disconnect the negative battery cable to avoid the risk of shock while changing your spark plugs.

Remove the six Phillips screws holding the plastic engine cover in place. Lift off the cover and set it aside.

Locate the two spark plug wires running to the top of the engine block, one on each side. Grasp one of the wires by the rubber boot and gently pull up until it releases from the spark plug.

Attach a 5/8-inch spark plug socket to the extension adapter on the ratchet and place the socket firmly over the spark plug. Turn the plug counterclockwise to remove it.

Place the spark plug gap tool on one of the new spark plugs. The ideal gap for the 2000 Sephia is between 0.028 inches and 0.032 inches. If the spark plug has a gap wider than 0.032 inches, adjust it with the spark plug gap tool.

Insert the new spark plug into the spark plug hole and turn it clockwise with your fingers. Once it is finger tight, use the ratchet and spark plug socket to tighten it. Repeat this process for the spark plug on the opposite side.

Locate the other two spark plugs. They are under insulated covers connected to the first two spark plugs by white wires. Use a ratchet with a socket to remove the bolts holding these covers down. Lift the covers off and replace the spark plugs using the same process you used for the first two.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Ratchet with extension adapter

  • Socket set

  • Spark plug socket

  • Spark plug gap tool

 How to Replace Spark Plugs on a 2006 KIA Sorento

Insert the edge of the spark-plug gapping tool under the meal arm in the center of the one of the new spark plugs and turn the gapper until the number .038 is in the center of the metal arm. Repeat this for all other new spark plugs.

Open the hood of the 2006 KIA Sorento and remove a rubber wire from one of the spark plugs. Use the ratchet and spark-plug socket to remove that spark plug from the engine.

Insert the new spark plug into the hole where the old plug was. Hand-tighten the new spark plug until you are certain it is seated properly, then tighten it further using the ratchet and spark-plug socket. Replace the rubber wire to the top of the new spark plug.

Repeat for all other new spark plugs. Once you have replaced all six spark plugs and replace the rubber wires to the tops of them, close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Spark-plug gapping tool

  • Six new spark plugs

  • Ratchet

  • Spark-plug socket