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In this step-by-step guide, you will find instructions on how to change engine oil on most Kia four-cylinder engines. 

Table of Contents

This oil change tutorial was written to assist Kia owners with four-cylinder engines (Theta II)—installed on many models, including Kia Rondo, Forte, Optima, Sportage, Sorento.


  • Warm up the engine for two to three minutes, then turn it off. It will help with the suspended contaminations remix with the oil and drain out with the old oil.
  • Park the car on level ground.

What you will need


Open Hood

Start by ensuring that the emergency brakes have been set. Next, locate the hood release found in the interior of the car. Pull the hood release until you hear the hood pop up. Move to the front of the vehicle and release the latch, then lift the hood.

Raise vehicle

Using ramps makes changing the oil a much easier job and safer. If you plan on changing the oil regularly, you may want to consider investing in a set of ramps. Jack up the front of the Kia using the jack that came with your car or an aluminum jack. 

Secure Vehicle

Secure the vehicle with jack stands. Block the rear wheels. 

Remove Drain Plug & Drain Oilkia optima oil change

The early Kias had an access hole where you could drain the oil and remove the filter. Specific Kia models don't have access holes, so you will need to remove the 10 mm bolts and pull down the skid panel to remove the oil filter and drain plug.

Watch the following video on how to remove the engine skid plate from a 2016 Kia Optima.

Loosen oil drain bolt

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Locate the drain plug and remove the bolt. Use a 17 mm socket to remove this bolt by turning it counterclockwise. Once you break the bolt loose, you can use your hands to remove the bolt. Make sure to have the oil pan under the oil drain hole.

Remove and replace the oil filter.

kia diy oil change 2.4 2.0 l engine guide

Locate the oil filter. In the following picture, the oil filter stands out as it is red. The filter can be removed by twisting it counterclockwise. Use oil filter pliers to remove the old oil filter. Oil may still be in the filter, so be careful as you remove the old filter to avoid spilling oil on your oil filter oil type for kia optima sorento gdi

Clean the surface where the oil filter will be installed.

Oil filter gasket

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Apply engine oil to the gasket on the new oil filter.

Screw the new oil filter in and tighten it by hand. If you prefer to use a torque wrench, tighten the filter to 11.5 ft-lb.

Add Engine Oil

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Remove the oil filler cap on top of the engine. The oil filter cap should be labeled and usually has the recommended oil type stamped on it. Remove the cap by unscrewing it counterclockwise. Insert a funnel into the oil filler hole.

Slowly pour the oil into the engine. Add the required quarts as indicated in your owner's manual. Once you add the recommended amount of engine oil, reinstall the filler cap.

Check Engine Oil Level

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Now we need to start the engine. Before you do that, you should always check the engine oil level. Make sure the oil is below the FULL mark but above the LOW.

Reset Oil Service Interval

Once you make sure the oil level is right, you can now start the engine. Don't forget to reset the oil service reminder. In your Kia dashboard menu, look for the Distance to Service reminder.

The following are instructions on how to reset the Distance Reminder on Kia Optima. These instructions may vary on different Kia models.

  1. Press and hold the RESET button until the instrument cluster displays Engine Oil Service Reminder
  2. Scroll down using the TRIP button and select the Maintenace menu.
  3. Select an item. Press the RESET button again.
  4. Select the maintenance schedule. Note that this will depend on the oil and filter that you used. If you used conventional oil, you would need to change your oil in 3000 miles. Some synthetic oils protect up to 15,000 miles.


  • Be careful when draining the oil. If the engine hasn't cooled down, the oil may be hot and cause burning. Allow at least five minutes for the old oil to drain. If time allows, let the oil drain for at least fifteen minutes or more.
  • Clean the drain plug and the oil bolt using a clean, dry cloth. Reinstall the drain bolt using your hand first. This will ensure that the bolt starts to go smoothly and no threads get damaged. If you have a new washer for the drain bolt, make sure to install it.
  • Tighten the oil drain plug by hand until it stops. Then tighten the bolt to 25 ft-lbs.


Follow the instructions to learn how easy it is to change the engine oil on Kia models.

Theta/Theta-II Engine - 2.0L (G4KA, G4KD, G4KF, G4KH)

  • Kia Rondo (2007-)

  • Kia Forte 2.0 (2009-2013)

  • Kia Optima GDI 2.0 Turbocharged (2011-)

  • Kia Sportage GDI 2.0 Turbocharged (2011-)

  • Kia Sorento GDI 2.0 Turbocharged (2016-)

Theta/Theta-II Engine - 2.4L (2359cc) (G4KC, G4KE, G4KG, G4KJ)

  • Kia Optima (2006-2010)

  • Kia Optima GDI (2011-)

  • Kia Rondo (2007-)

  • Kia Cadenza GDI (2011-)

  • Kia Sportage (2011-)

  • Kia Sorento (2011-)

  • Kia Forte (2010-2013)