Kia Sportage Maintenanceby Mickey Arthur
The importance of obtaining appropriate maintenance for your vehicle cannot be overstated. Your Kia Sportage is a significant investment. Provide for its basic maintenance on a regular, recurring basis and your vehicle will function properly, last longer and you'll save money. It will also keep you safe on the roads when you're traveling.
It is critical that you change the oil in your Kia Sportage in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. It's common practice to change engine oil at 3,000 mile intervals under normal conditions. If you frequently drive in "stop-and-go" traffic or are often in dirty and dusty conditions, you may increase your frequency. If you frequently do highway driving, it's okay to stretch the frequency. Also, if you have switched to using synthetic oil, longer intervals between oil changes are acceptable as synthetic oil doesn't break down as quickly as conventional motor oil. Keep your engine lubricated to prevent breakdowns or something more catastrophic such as total engine failure.
Kia recommends you change engine coolant every five years or approximately 60,000 miles. Doing so minimizes the likelihood of engine overheating. As your Sportage's interior heating system is dependent upon the proper functioning of the engine's cooling system, you'll be happy during those colder months when the heater is blowing hot air. Regular coolant changes also helps to prevent rusting of your cooling system's internal parts, which may result in a breakdown.
Rotate your Sportage's tires at an interval of approximately 7,500 miles. Many auto service centers offer tire rotation as a part of the oil change package now. Tire rotation is important to avoid uneven wear that can result in poor performance and compromise safety. Additionally, check tire pressure at least weekly to ensure they're inflated to Kia's recommendation of 35 psi (pounds per square inch). Improperly inflated tires can be dangerous, have a negative impact gas mileage and reduce tire life.
Don't take for granted less obvious areas of vehicle maintenance. Monitor your brakes by feel and sound. If your brake pedal feels "spongy" or needs to be pushed all the way to the floor to stop your Sportage, have the brakes checked right away. Squealing brakes may indicate time for replacement. Change your windshield wipers every six months to ensure a high degree of visibility in inclement weather. Check your oil levels, coolant levels and tire pressure each time you stop for fuel. You will be forming a good habit by checking the critical items on your maintenance list with high frequency. Check your parking spot in the driveway or garage for fluids that may indicate a leak from within the engine compartment. Check your belts and hoses for softness, looseness or fraying and have them replaced the moment there are indications of failing conditions. At least weekly, check your Sportage's lighting system. Your headlights, high-beams, tail lights, running lights, reverse lights, hazard lights and turn signals should all be functioning properly or replaced if malfunctioning.