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2016 Sorento awd V6
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a travel trailer my Kia sorento 2016 ex awd v6 is supposed to be able to tow 5000 lb. My travel trailer weighs 3000 lbs. unloaded. The car pulls the trailer with no problem however the rear sags a bit when towing. Is it possible to upgrade the rear suspension?
 

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2019 Sorento
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107 Posts
 

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2017 Sorento
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38 Posts
You can add airbags to the rear suspension. I have found the stock rear springs to be too soft even when doing our monthly trip grocery shopping to Sams and a few other places. When towing it is an issue as well.

Also many trailers have a tendency to have too much tongue weight and then when you load the trailer it gets even worse. Many still go by the really old rules of thumb for tongue weight by percentage but that isn't the whole story. Most trailers have the axle too far back because most of the time it's a truck towing it and extra tongue weight isn't a big deal and they tend to way over err on more tongue weight because if you load it really badly and it goes light it will end badly. It's a lawyer/lawsuit safety factor...
 

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2016 Sorento awd V6
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I stopped at Les Schwab and they said there isnt anything they can do to the suspension except better shocks. Hmm so even though it sags a little I guess I will just drive it and hope for the best.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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8 Posts
Mark,
I have a 2016 Sorento SX AWD V6 7 passenger. I had the same issues with the suspension. I tow a 2018 Jayco X17Z it’s 3550lbs dry weight with tongue at 400lbs. I purchased new coil springs front and rear from Dobinsons spring and suspension from Australia Dobinsons Direct Also replaced front struts unloaded so I can put my new springs on them from Kia wholesale parts in Savannah Georgia. Shop Genuine OEM Kia Parts & Accessories | Wholesale Kia Parts
New rear shocks (KYB) from https://www.Parts geek.com
And lastly I use a Blue OX WDS with sway control system. SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch | Blue Ox | Blue Ox
Lifts the load to tow level and safe. The car now sits higher and all the Sag is gone. Totally pleased. Hope this helps
 

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2019 Sorento LX AWD 3.3L
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72 Posts
Mark,
I have a 2016 Sorento SX AWD V6 7 passenger. I had the same issues with the suspension. I tow a 2018 Jayco X17Z it’s 3550lbs dry weight with tongue at 400lbs. I purchased new coil springs front and rear from Dobinsons spring and suspension from Australia Dobinsons Direct Also replaced front struts unloaded so I can put my new springs on them from Kia wholesale parts in Savannah Georgia. Shop Genuine OEM Kia Parts & Accessories | Wholesale Kia Parts
New rear shocks (KYB) from https://www.Parts geek.com
And lastly I use a Blue OX WDS with sway control system. SwayPro Weight Distributing Hitch | Blue Ox | Blue Ox
Lifts the load to tow level and safe. The car now sits higher and all the Sag is gone. Totally pleased. Hope this helps

Great info, thank you
 

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2016 Sorento SXL
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1,330 Posts
What KYB shocks did you find that weren't straight OEM spec? I've never seen a KYB for front or rear for a Sorento that wasn't 'stock'.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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The rear shocks I purchased were to replace the originals due to they went soft. I used 349189 KYB for the rear shocks and OEM unloaded front struts from Kia. The coil springs I purchased from Dobinsons are almost twice the thickness In the coil. Lifted the car 1.25”. Make a huge difference in performance and towing. Car doesn’t sag or bounce anymore. My mechanic advised me. Since I was putting on new coils to replace all components or if just chase my tail. Glad I did.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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I had the alignment done since we made the changes. Absolutely no issues at all. Car tracks perfect, sits a little higher, and huge difference now when on bumpy roads car is solid. Prior car had a very soft response and when accelerated the ass end would dip. That’s all gone. She now stays level and moves
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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C8DA08B1-58F4-418C-AAC5-B99D2A5B796C.jpeg
you can see the clearance in the wheel well. I can put four fingers from top of rear tire to fender now. Prior two fingers.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento (run about)
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174 Posts
Many folks confuse the differences between shocks and other products.

Always remember that shocks reduce up/down movement speed. They do NOT allow more trailer hitch weight. Vision, bounce reduction and still having rear sag. Ouch!

Air Bags, Timbrens (if they made for Soreneto) create less suspension "compression" depth - which creates more rear storage weight support &/or rear hitch weight support.

With above in mind.... Sorentos have factory rear suspensions made for rear passenger comfort and less for static heavy weight loads (like attached trailers). Its a common theme on this Sorento forum. To compensate for this factory design weakness, simply install Firestone Air Lift / air bags (generic pn: 60901). re:

Air lift 1000 Bags / pn: 60901 – estimated $148 (fit inside rear coil springs)

Introducing Air Lift 1000 Universal Air Spring Kits

Air Lift 60901 Air Lift 1000 Universal Air Spring Kit | Tdot Performance | Tdot Performance

Luckily, these air bags are low cost and simple DIY install. And being Air bags, they are adjustable - based on different air lbs amounts.

Air lift product works great for my 2017 Sorento AWD / V6.
 

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2016 Sorento SXL
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1,330 Posts
Shocks respond to force, and more weight being thrown up and down calls for a 'stiffer' (different valving and perhaps different diameter) shock. Tuning them to a particular task allows them to function 'normally'. Trouble is, only OEM spec shocks are available for these vehicles. You can get rid of the sag with different springs, but to keep the suspension behaving (dynamically) as it should, one ideally matches all the components to the task.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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Hi Spike99,
Good advice about the airbag. I choose to go the route of replacing coils, struts and shocks as a permanent solution. I realize it’s costly to do but the end result for me was I didn’t have to worry about losing a bag while towing, or something grabbing a air line while towing my camper. If the airbag works for those who use them that’s awesome. I like to do things with Murphy’s law in mind. The New coil springs made a huge difference and the compression rate is great. Prior to me replacing them my trailer would sit extremely low that’s where the WDS came into play. But now with the coils installed I can stand on the hitch and it compresses approx 1/2” and stops. I know it’s expensive to do it but when I tow I want to make sure everything is right less stressful pulling on highways. Also the shocks where replaced since I changed out the coils. Didn’t want to do them later. Didn’t make sense.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento (run about)
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Shocks reduce up / down movement when "vehicle is in motion". They don't eliminate rear sag from heavy weight loads and/or attached trailer tongues. Simply connect trailer, do NOT move it and watch its rear sag appear. Replace shocks with better shocks, load up with same weight and do NOT move it. Same rear sag. Simple science that many folks confuse.... re: Shocks do NOT increase rear support load.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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I think you’re missing the part where I said I replaced all coil springs front and rear with heavy duty coil springs. The new Springs took the Sag out. The shocks I replaced because they were shot not for load issues.
 

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2016 Sorento SXL
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I noted the echo, too.
@Spike99
We got your message. We're agreeing with you.
That said, there IS a good reason to prefer stiffer shocks as well with heavier loads. The OEM shocks aren't built to handle that much force up and down and still dampen the motion. But we seem to be stuck with them. The springs are trying to do all the extra work.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6
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Sorry I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you thought that doing the shocks fixed the sag. I was trying to let people know that there is a company that makes springs for our Sorento. I love the car but was so disappointed when the sag happened. I bought the car because they sold me on the towing abilities and when I hooked up the trailer the rear was mush. Kia said they use soft springs for passenger comfort. I saw all the people looking for help with sag and the only thing I could find was using the air bags. I wasn’t crazy about how the air lines were hanging down. Affraid I would grab a rock or root when driving thru campground. Sand roads. I hope my info helps those who are looking for a solution as well. But thank you for the clarity.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento (run about)
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174 Posts
I'm not a fan of air shocks / air bags either. Always a risk of air leaks. And, hassle of airing up & airing down. Always a hassle and risk with air bags.

I'm not a fan of stronger steel - like stronger coils either. Being steel, they also have a stronger rebound effect. Thus, one needs to install stronger (HD) shocks to reduce their up movement as well. And with stronger coils, the empty ride is slightly stiffer as well.

Within my many previous vehicles, I installed Timbrens. If wondering, they are chunks of rubber with a small gap (on empty vehicle). And, their gap can be adjusted using Spacers - from eTrailer company. Thus, no ride comfort change with empty vehicle. Being rubber (instead of steel), Timbrens don't have rebound effect and no worry about air leaks either. Simply install them, adjust them (to one's comfort level) and they work. Unfortunately, they don't make Timbren SES units for some make/model of vehicles - like the Sorento.

I do know that the Sorento's factory rear suspension is designed too soft. And, its rear suspension needs "beefing up" for rear cargo and/or attached trailer loading. Especially if one does this usage on a consistent basis - like my vehicle.
 
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