'05 Sorento smoking and failing emissions @ only 95K - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy '05 Sorento smoking and failing emissions @ only 95K

Hi All, I'm the second owner of a 2005 Sorento EX 2WD. I bought it at 69,000 miles and it just rolled 95,000. It's in great shape inside and out and has been a fantastic vehicle.

My California registration came due with a required emissions test. Well I went to the smog shop a few days ago and my beloved Sorento is failing the emissions test due to smoke from the exhaust. Everything else passes fine. The emissions tech had me watch while they revved the engine and there is a relatively small amount of bluish-white smoke from the exhaust - we're talking small whispy puffs, not a billowing cloud.

I've never had a single hiccup with this vehicle until now and have kept up all regular maintenance. I went ahead and changed the PCV valve last night and took it back to the smog shop today. They ran the tests again and I'm getting less smoke, but it's still there.

So I'm stuck with an unregistered vehicle that won't pass emissions........what to do?

At the last oil change, they did tell me that it was about a quart low, so it's obviously burning a seemingly small amount of oil. So what is the most likely culprit here? Head gasket? Rings? Both of those sound awfully expensive and may cost more than the car is worth.

Any tips on getting it to pass emissions?

Thanks for any input or insight!

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:25 AM
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Sorry to hear that, but yes, that does seem like it's burning oil. That doesn't necessarily mean a head gasket leak or other damage to engine internals.. but that's usually what it means.

If you remove the hoses connected to the PCV valve and look inside of them, is there any residue/sludge building up? If so, cleaning that out might get you to squeak by the emissions test. The fact that it smoked less after you changed the PCV valve is a good sign.

But if that doesn't work, I would get a compression test gauge. It's an easy test to perform, and it will tell you whether you have internal damage that's causing the excessive blowby and oil consumption. It should cost about $30 and it will confirm if you should cut your losses at this point or not. If you have low compression in any cylinder (or all of them), it's going to be expensive to fix, whatever it is. If you have good compression, then have a pro look at it and see what the issue is.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 10:39 AM
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So did the computer sniff test you paid for fail you for hydrocarbons, CO, or other emission related item?

First have your spark plugs replaced. You can do it yourself if you have ever twisted a wrench. If not pay a garage. You should purchase the Kia specific spark plug for your engine and year. This is important.

Get the oil changed along with the filter. Use a good quality full synthetic motor oil. Try a 10W30 weight. If you can find a 20W40 try that. The heavier viscosity the better.

Add a large bottle of Techron fuel system cleaner by Chevron to the gas tank. Good stuff. Fill your tank with the highest octane fuel you can find. Most likely a Sunoco station will have at least 92 or 94. Use the 94.

Drive around for at least 30 -40 miles then take it in for a re-inspection.

If this fails, find out if you can get some sort of waiver from the state due to high cost of repair. I'm not up on California requirements.
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