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13 Kia Optima LX, 10 Toyota Tacoma
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First i would like to say Hi and thanks to this site we can share info on our Kia's. I have a 2005 Kia Sorento LX, i bought used and i had just over 99,000 miles on it with some issues after buying it. I had a hole in my freeze plug and a leaky transmission output seal. I got the replacement parts and swapped them out easily enough. Then i had starting issues with a cam position sensor being bad and dead battery. I had the dealership swap those out. After time and transfering out to Ca from Az. i know i needed to swap out the timing belt and i still had some coolant issues. I noticed my coolant temp fluctuate from cold to hot. Thinking it was time to do the water pump too. Before i was going to do that i did a routine tune up (plugs, oil and air filter). I swapped out the stock plugs to Bosch Platinum Plus spark plugs. After 3 to 5 months since tune up heard a loud pop and the Kia was sluggish and the check engine on. I had borrowed my brothers code checker and showed a misfire. Me thinking cant be plugs just replaced them and bought 3 coil packs and new plug wires. That didnt resolve it of course. Now i check the plugs and had one cylinder plug that blown out the bottom porcelain piec. I took the plug back to the retailer and had it swapped out for a new one. That cleared the code and about $300 out of my wallet and a stalled me from doing the timing belt and water pump. Another 3 to 5 months pass and i blow out another plug. Took it back to retailer alittle more pissed and taking to the manager about this problem with Bosch. He has never seen this in 20 plus years and the plugs i bought originally were pulled and replaced with new Bosch Platinum plugs. When looking at them you can the different design slimer in design than the older ones so i bought the other 5 and got a credit for the other blown one. Which at this time i had purchased timing belt, water pump, new idler and tensioner pulley. Spent the weekend and using the https://www.kiatechinfo.com/Index.asp as my tech manual. Gotten everything back together and i notice that timing belt was still good and water pump was fine. For the miles on the Kia i thought it was still a good investment to do. During my flush and sealing of the coolant leaks. I believe that i had a internal leak. Blown head gasket or crack in the block. The Kia would exhaust white smoke after car was fully warmed up and coolant smelled gassy or oily. I purchased some coolant leak stop and ran it though the cooling system. That cured that for a little bit. I wrapped everything up thinking that was done. After starting it and running it, my check engine light came back on for a P0016 crankshaft camshaft position correlation and the code checker had my timing around 30 degrees BTDC so i ran it around town. It was a little sluggish, but was performing a little better. I kept it that way it was doing fine just had to deal with the sluggishness and the engine light staying on. Last weekend i wanted to correct the timing issue and still working the coolant issue. I had the front half of my engine off at least 15 times to get the timing issue just to get right. I gotten it the timing to 10 to 15 degrees BTDC. Thanks to Tim and posting pics and giving advise on the timing. I was having the hardest time to get the timing spot on. I would be 8 to 10 degrees from the desired OEM timing 10 +/- 2 degrees BTDC. Now that i had the codes cleared and coolant retopped of and more leak stopper in it. I had another code pop up. Misfire number 4, checked that plug and expecting the bottom to be blow out. Nope the top of the porcelain piece was broke but not all the way off. it was hanging on by the Platinum core. I felt like a loose tooth...lol. Well after all this time adjusting timing and redoing the coolant issues. I may have to do the head gasket or look for a replacement engine. I have done compression checks on all cylinders and they are all running 170 psi average. I wanted to share this and anyone that may experience anything new or having simliar issues. I also wanted to thank who ever started this site to assist anyone that is in need of help or sharing their knowledge. ;)
 

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I now drive a 2003 S-10 Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
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2,484 Posts
Use the Iridium plugs. NGK 5464 BKR5EIX-11

I use them and have had "0" problems in 2 changes.

Try the plugs first. If everything else is cleared up you should not need headgaskets.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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I agree with nstoolman1..the Bosch plugs were not originally designed for that engine. The NGKs and Denso plugs were the ones KIA built the engine around.
I have seen many posts here on the forum about Bosch plugs and KIA (Hyundai) engines and most are bad results...Usually misfires P0300/P030X.
I had "Champion" plugs from the factory in both of our Spectras and when I changed them to NGKs both cars ran much better...
My wifes car had a strange mis-fire that I found came from the porcelain cracking and dropping down over the center electrode (Champion plug)
As far as the "stop-leak" garbage you are slowly plugging the heater core and radiator... They end up plating everything internal in the engine and create more problems than solving them. That "stuff" also damages head gasket material... A bad head gasket leak will smell "sweet" (with antifreeze in the system). If you ever had a bad gasket before you won't confuse the smell.
The engine may or may not be worth the time and/or money with 100k on it and on going problems not being addressed properly...
I would suggest a known good independent Hyundai/KIA mechanic that is familiar with the 3.5L build and design to guide you any farther..
Dave
 
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