Fixing an oil leak on a Kia Sportage can be an extremely difficult job or a fairly easy one, depending on where the leak is located. Knowing some of the basics of how to change and replace gaskets and seals will help save you time and money. It is important to keep the oil in your Sportage at the appropriate level to keep your engine running smoothly and increase its lifespan.
Drive your SUV around the block and let it warm up to operating temperature. This will thin out the oil, making it easier to drain. Place a catch pan underneath the oil pan plug. Unscrew the oil plug and use an oil filter wrench to unscrew the oil filter. Wait for the oil to drain then reinsert the oil plug and screw on a new oil filter. Open the cap on the valve cover and use a funnel to pour in oil with a thicker grade to help reduce leaks.
Open the oil cap and pour in an oil-thickening additive. Do not exceed the capacity of your Sportage's oil system, which will result in more leaking oil. Many oil additives help to thicken the oil, reducing and eliminating leaks while protecting the engine's components and parts.
Raise your Sportage off the ground by driving the vehicle up onto car ramps. Pop the bonnet and use a flashlight, shining it from above and on the bottom side of the engine to look for signs of oil leaks. One of the more common gaskets that need to be fixed is the valve cover gasket.
Remove the mounting bolts for the valve cover with a socket or torque wrench then remove the top valve cover. Peel out the gasket from the valve cover with your hands or use a flat head screwdriver. Use a shop rag, a plastic brush and degreaser to clean the inside of the gasket cover housing.
Install the new gasket into the valve cover's grooves then run a small bead of silicone on the outer edge of the gasket where it meets the lower portion of the valve cover.
For other oil leaks, the gasket replacement process will be the same although you will need to remove a variety of other components and parts prior to reaching the leaky gasket.