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Discussion Starter #1
I'm attempting to replace the Valve Stem Seals on my '11 Sorento 2.4 L4 engine and I'm having difficulty removing the timing chain from the CVVT gears/camshaft assemblies. Once I get one of the camshaft assemblies out, I can remove the other and change the valve stem seals. ALSO to minimize the amount of work, I'm trying to do this WITHOUT removing the timing chain cover.

Now according to the "online" KIA Sorento XM 2011-2019 Service Manual, this is possible to do. However, the online manual does not go into much detail on how to do this. Has anyone ever attempt to do this and is there a 'secret' that you're willing to share? I sure would appreciate some direction.

Thanks,
rmd140
(first-timer on the forum)
 

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.... Now according to the "online" KIA Sorento XM 2011-2019 Service Manual, this is possible to do. However, the online manual does not go into much detail on how to do this.....
Unless you can find a step-by-step showing how it's done, I wouldn't trust what they said. The Kia service manuals I'm familiar with are horribly weak, and it could be they simply wrote that part up incorrectly. I'd actually be more concerned about reinstallation issues, such as how to insure that the bottom part of the chain doesn't move and get misaligned. And you also might want to consider replacing the tensioner and chain guides, which have been reported as having wear issues by DIYers in the Kia/Hyundai forums in the past. I recommend removing the cover, in order to have the best possible chance of success for your job.

I assume you must be doing this work in order to attempt to reduce oil usage?
 

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"......I assume you must be doing this work in order to attempt to reduce oil usage?"


Yeah, I want to change out the valve stem seals due to excessive oil usage. It all started this Spring (March-April of 2019) when I did an oil change and refilled with High Mileage 5W-20 full synthetic oil instead of conventional high mileage oil. I thought full synthetic would be better to use. I didn't notice any issues at first. (In fact prior to this oil change, I was adding about 1/2 to 1 quart of oil every 1000-1500 miles. Not too alarming for a vehicle with 135K on it.) Anyhow, I drove local for about two weeks and then checked fluid level. Found out I was about 1 to 1-1/2 quarts low. Refilled to correct level and started to keep an eye on it. Then I started to notice the smell of burnt oil upon engine start-up and oil level decreasing as the week went on. I've switched back to conventional HM 5W-20, replaced the PCV valve, made sure the PCV hose was open and checked for any oil leaks, which there were none. Otherwise very little improvement. Still smell burnt oil on start-up. Next logical step seemed to be the valve stem seals. I found the "online" manual and thought it could help. Well, it doesn't seem so in this case.

Looks like I going to have to go in through the timing cover. And once in there, might as well change out the tensioner and chain guides as you suggest. And the timing chain too, while I'm in there. Thanks for the advice. I'll post the results of this work. Thanks again.
 

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... prior to this oil change, I was adding about 1/2 to 1 quart of oil every 1000-1500 miles. Not too alarming for a vehicle with 135K on it .....
Many of the Theta GDIs have been well documented to be oil 'users', so that level of usage would not be unusual for one of those. However, being a 2011 your engine must be an MPI, which have virtually zero prior history of using oil. My 2.4L MPI uses basically no oil with 7.5K OCIs, always using Pennzoil/Valvoline full synthetic. I've checked the level regularly and continuously since it was new, and it's never needed any topping off between oil changes. And other MPI owners have reported similar experiences as well.

So your situation is unusual (to me), and I'd even call it somewhat alarming. A burning oil smell makes me think of rings, so I'll ask if you did a dry/wet compression test, in order to see if there was a big increase in compression with oil added to the cylinders? Now I'm not trying to say it can't be the seals, because that certainly could be the issue. Just wondering if you had already eliminated the rings, before starting on this fairly large amount of work.
 

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...burning oil smell makes me think of rings, so I'll ask if you did a dry/wet compression test..
No, I never considered doing a dry/wet compression test on the engine. That's something I will look into doing. Thanks for the 'heads up'.

BTW, the engine is a 2.4L MPI.
 

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No, I never considered doing a dry/wet compression test on the engine. That's something I will look into doing. Thanks for the 'heads up'.

BTW, the engine is a 2.4L MPI.
I did the compression test and the psi readings fell within specification. I'm going after the valve stem seats now, which means the timing chain cover is coming off. Would anyone know if the mounting bolt for the serpentine belt tensioner is RH or LH thread? The tensioner has 2 bolts, 1 for the pulley (and I don't know why it would be LH) and a mounting bolt. Thanks.
 

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Would anyone know if the mounting bolt for the serpentine belt tensioner is RH or LH thread? The tensioner has 2 bolts, 1 for the pulley (and I don't know why it would be LH) and a mounting bolt. Thanks.
MY BAD! Turns out the bolt for the pulley is LH threads with the mounting bolt being RH and stubborn to remove. Also found out the tensioner assembly casing was cracked. It must have happened during all the disassembly. One more thing to replace.
 

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I did the compression test and the psi readings fell within specification. I'm going after the valve stem seats now, which means the timing chain cover is coming off. .....
I hope you eventually follow up and report if/how much the seal replacement helps with the oil consumption. I've been following this whole Theta engine nightmare very closely for a long time, and it's astonishing to me how many oil usage reports there have been (primarily GDI/Turbo), with no resolution whatsoever as to the reason for the usage. This is due to virtually no DIY happening with these vehicles, and it's VERY rare to read an account of anyone actually diving in and trying to figure it out. And of course there is zero information coming from Kia/Hyundai, even though they must know exactly what's going on by now. Hats off to you for making the effort that almost no one else seems to be willing to do!
 

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Thank you for your kind words. I will be summarizing my efforts which I will post in the near future. I feel an obligation to share the results of this work as I have benefited from others who have posted the results of their work which has helped me. Stay tuned.
 

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It's been an adventure diving into the motor to replace the valve stem seals and I'll post the results of that work later. Meantime, I've another question for you all. Keep in mind I drive a 2011 Sorento LX AWD with a 2.4L engine. While driving, I experience a slight hesitation with the motor and then the Warning light for the AWD lights up and the tach simultaneously quits working (goes to zero). If I stop, turn the ignition off and restart the engine, everything starts working again: no warning light and tach reading the RPMs. Does anyone know what is going on and should I be worried?????
 

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If the light came on there will be error codes stored - read the error codes and post them here.

Also ...........

Please add location and vehicle (year & model) to your signature
With the recent forum platform change, the location and vehicle details in your profile no longer show in each post.


eg.
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2019 Sportage 2.7L V6 SX turbo AWD

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Discussion Starter #15
There are no codes stored when the ' 4WD system warning light ' appears. It just lights up and the tach goes to zero. That's it.
 

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It never happened until after I finished the job. Any ideas??
Unfortunately IMO there is a concern about the RPMs dropping to zero. The tach display is produced by the ECM, which uses the signals it receives from the crankshaft sensor and the camshaft sensor(s). And given that you removed and reinstalled the cams, that has to be the first suspect in anything that's now wrong with the displayed RPMs.

I can't tell you exactly what might be wrong, but I suspect it's somehow related to the reluctor wheel on the camshaft, which is what the cam sensor is using to produce the signals back to the ECM. For instance, just the slightest bit of extra play at the reluctor wheel could account for an occasional deviation in the cam sensor signal sent back to the ECM. That's of course is a speculative guess just to use as an example, but IMO the problem is likely to stem from something not quite right with the reinstall. Perhaps it could be as simple as some gunk getting lodged between the reluctor wheel and the sensor.

A bigger concern than the RPM display is if the current problem gets worse, and turns into poor running and/or no-start. Hopefully that won't happen before you can get this figured out.
 

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The new problem may not be related to the work you did...I would bet it isn't.

In any case, sounds similar to the issues I was having. Tach goes to 0 with the 4wd warning light coming on. The hesitation happened as well and except for the tach going to 0 and the 4wd light coming on, the car/engine seemed to operate correctly. There were usually no codes but occasionally a code was stored. I think it was P0335 or P0355. I looked it up and it was crankshaft position sensor. I have a thread about it and I'll be updating it in the near future. On those occasions where there was a code stored, the check engine light came on...which is supposed to happen. It's been 2 or 3 weeks since I've replaced it and the hesitation/tach/4wd light hasn't happened yet...hopefully it won't.

Not saying this is what you're issue is, just providing some info and thoughts.

FYI, I have the 3.5L V6.

Good youtube video for the 2.4L at

On another note, there are a couple of things I don't like about the redesign:
  • Shows the info of the original poster for a thread instead of the most recent post. Makes it a little more difficult to know info about thread updates
  • All text displayed is much larger and more "spaced out" causing much less information to be displayed on each screen. I like more data on the screen so I don't have to scroll or scroll as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Earlier, I said... "There are no codes stored when the ' 4WD system warning light ' appears. It just lights up and the tach goes to zero. That's it."

This "warning light and tach to zero" happened the other evening when I drove the vehicle. I was trying to complete a 'drive cycle' in order to reset the IM monitors and submit the vehicle for PA state vehicle inspection. The only code present was a P0016, which on my OBD-II reader had the code at a status requiring a drive cycle to clear it. After approx. 20 minutes of driving, I noticed the 'hesitation' and the 'tach go to zero'. I stopped, turned off the ignition, waited a few minutes and restarted the engine. Everything seemed fine. Moments after I started driving again, the vehicle lost quite a bit of power, made some strange metallic noises and eventually stalled while I was still moving. Fortunately, I found a place to pull over and stop, restarted the engine and turned the vehicle around, heading back for home.

On my way home, I went a mile or so and soon discovered I had very little response with the accelerator pedal. The engine was still running at idle and the vehicle would move slowly when in gear, but I had no response with the pedal. I found a safe place to pull off the road and tried to get towed. I had no luck with the towing. Now, I tried something that I experienced with my daughter's car earlier this year. I had the same no response condition with her vehicle accelerator pedal. The engine still ran but I had no response when using the pedal. I read online some information about her particular vehicle, which said to wait 5 minutes and restart the engine and the accelerator pedal should work. It worked with her vehicle and it worked with mine. Having arrived home, I checked for codes and found 4 codes: P0016, P0336, P0605 and P2110.

Upon investigating, I found the P0016 and the P0336 codes had similar possible causes:
  • Crankshaft position sensor harness is open or shorted
  • Crankshaft position sensor circuit poor electrical connection
Having replaced the camshaft and crankshaft sensors, I checked the connections and found I didn't have the CPK sensor connected properly. An improper connection can be interpreted as one of the above causes. I reconnected the sensor and started the the engine, which ran fine. When I say fine, I mean it started immediately and ran smooth. After a few minutes, I checked for codes and found only P0016. The other codes vanished. Still, another drive resulted with the hesitation, 4WD warning light and Tach at zero.

After reading both of the latest comments and after the above experience, I am inclined to open the motor back up for a 3rd time and check the camshaft reluctor wheel(s). I assume both camshafts have one. I appreciate all the advice/comments/remarks involved with my dilemma and welcome even more if you all are willing to share.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
...but I suspect it's somehow related to the reluctor wheel on the camshaft, which is what the cam sensor is using to produce the signals back to the ECM. For instance, just the slightest bit of extra play at the reluctor wheel could account for an occasional deviation in the cam sensor signal sent back to the ECM.
Once again I went back into the motor opening up the valve cover and inspecting the reluctor wheel on the camshaft. It appears the camshafts for the 2.4L engine have the reluctor wheel as part of the camshaft.
112160


The end of the camshaft to the right is what I am calling the reluctor end as it works together with the Camshaft position sensor. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. However, what I did discover was both camshaft position sensors were not properly seated . Turns out the o-rings on the replacement sensors were slightly bigger than the originals and would not allow the sensors to fully seat creating a larger gap between the sensors and the "reluctor". I put the o-rings from the original sensors on the replacement sensors and assembled the sensors onto the head. The sensor fit as designed.

Still no matter what I try, I keep having trouble with the 4wd warning light and the tach 'reading' going to Zero RPMs. So far it only happens once the engine has run for 5-10 minutes and has warmed up. It does not occur when I first start the engine and drive with the engine not quite to operating temp. Just a hunch.....not sure why I'm going to say this, but is there a chance all the problems I'm having with this stems from from ECM???
Just a thought.
HELP!!!!!!!!
 

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.... Turns out the o-rings on the replacement sensors were slightly bigger than the originals and would not allow the sensors to fully seat creating a larger gap between the sensors and the "reluctor". ....
Replacement cam sensors is new information, and I'm curious why you chose to do that. In any case, I suggest swapping the old ones back in to find out if that makes any difference in what you're seeing.

If that doesn't help, then IMO you need to find out how the signals from the cam sensors look, compared to the spec. The Kia dealership GDS tool is able to display the graph of the signal waveform, as it is received by the ECM. There is a specified waveform in the KGIS FSM which, when compared to the vehicle signal, should identify any abnormality, and might provide a clue as to the underlying cause.

An alternative to the GDS tool would be to use an oscilloscope, which should the show exact same waveform graph that the GDS does. Any good independent shop should have that tool, or perhaps you can rent or borrow one and do the diagnosis. yourself.
 
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