The following procedure will guide you through changing the spark plugs on the 1995 - 2002 Sportage DOHC engine. It applies only to the DOHC engine and does not cover the 1995 SOHC engine. In order to successfully complete this operation it would be helpful if you had some prior automotive knowledge. While this is not a strict requirement it is helpful because changing the spark plugs on the DOHC engine is more complex than what is typically encountered. But if you follow this procedure step-by-step and use the proper tools there should little if any problems. Above all, TAKE YOUR TIME. Allow at least 3 hours minimum the first time you attempt the spark plug change.

Legal Disclaimer: The user assumes all risk and liability with regards to the use of this procedure. The writer of this procedure assumes no risk nor liability nor consequential damages associated with the application of this procedure.

NOTE: This procedure is specifically written and directed at left-hand drive 1995 - 2002 DOHC Sportages sold in the United States and Canada. Application to Sportages sold in other countries has not been proven nor tested. While it is assumed that the procedure is the same the user must be aware that there could be differences.


Four spark plugs - OEM application is Kia P/N 0K23A18110 (NGK). You may choose to use platinum plugs if you wish. Or even Bosch +4. The choice is yours. Insure you have the right spark plug for the DOHC engine. If you use OEM resistor plugs you must change them every 30,000 miles (48,000 km). Platinum plugs every 60,000 miles (96,000 km).

One intake pipe to throttle body gasket. Obtain the appropriate gasket for your year vehicle as shown:
1995 -1996 Kia P/N 0K01313235
1997 Kia P/N 0K01D13235
1998 - 2002 Kia P/N 0K08A13235A
Above applies to U.S./Canadian Sportages only. Other Countries check with dealer.

One valve cover gasket 1995 - 2002 Kia P/N 0K95510235B (See Step 10)

Two spark plug wires 1995 - 2002 Kia P/N 273503X100 and Kia P/N 273503X200
Required every 90,000 miles (145,000 km). (See Step 8 )

PCV Valve 1995 - 2002 Kia P/N KB60313890 Required every 60,000 miles (96,000 km). (See Step 5)


Metric combination wrenches in sizes from 8 mm to 14 mm.
3/8 inch drive ratchet with metric sockets from 8 mm to 14 mm.
inch or 3/8 inch drive ratchet with 5/8 inch spark plug socket.
inch or 3/8 inch drive ratchet extension with a minimum length of 10 inches (25 cm).
#2 Phillips screwdriver
One container of brush on anti-seize compound.
One spray can of carb and choke cleaner.
Torque wrench (recommended but not absolutely required)


NOTE 1: This procedure covers the spark plug, valve cover, and PCV valve change only. Other services may be required, such as the air filter. Refer to the owners manual or shop manual for details.
NOTE 2: Some 2000 and all 2001 - 2002 Sportages have a decorative plastic cover over the top of the engine. This cover must be removed prior to starting with Step 1.
NOTE 3: The engine has to be cold to do the spark plug change. If it's been running let it sit at minimum an hour (preferably more). Best to do the spark plugs after it's been sitting overnight. If you don't adhere to this you risk stripping the aluminum head.

1. Loosen the clamp that holds the rubber intake to the intake pipe. Loosen the clamp for the rubber intake at the mass airflow sensor. Remove the rubber intake and set it aside. Loosen the clamp to the rubber hose that attaches to the black airbox behind the intake pipe.. There's a few other smaller rubber lines that have to be removed from the intake pipe.

The following step is for 1997 - 2002 Sportages only. 1995 and 1996 continue to step 2A.

2. Remove the two screws securing the IAC (Idle Air Control) valve to the intake pipe. Carefully pull the IAC from the intake pipe, taking care not to rip the gasket. Do NOT remove the electrical connector from the IAC. While holding the IAC spray carb and choke cleaner into both holes in the IAC. Also spray cleaner into the 2 ports in the intake. Allow to dry several minutes then re-install the IAC.

2A. The IAC on 1995 and 1996 Sportages is located on the front of the intake manifold. (Large cylinder shaped unit). Remove the rubber air hoses and spray carb and choke cleaner into the IAC. Allow to dry several minutes then re-install the rubber hoses.

3. The intake pipe is held on by 5 bolts. 2 hold it to the valve cover and 3 where it meets the throttle body. 2 of the bolts on the intake are easy to see, the third is down and behind. Note that this bolt is much longer than the other two. You need to remember this for re-assembly. When the intake pipe is free carefully pull it from the throttle body and the airbox. Do NOT remove the electrical connectors from the IAC (1997 - 2002 only) or TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). Carefully lay the intake pipe to the left and make sure there is no stress on the electrical wiring or connectors.

4. Inspect the gasket between the intake pipe and throttle body. If the gasket is fiber it should be changed. If it is stuck to either the intake pipe or throttle body it must be completely removed and the sealing surface cleaned. If the gasket is steel it can be re-used and the gasket you purchased will function as a spare.

5. The PCV valve on the left side of the valve cover is now accessible and can be changed if required.

6. Open the throttle body plates with the bellcrank (where the gas pedal linkage joins) and spray carb and choke cleaner behind the plates. Allow the plates to close. Wipe up any drips.

7. Remove the black airbox back against the firewall. Remove the 2 bolts that hold the gas pedal linkage to the valve cover. Remove the plastic cover that runs down the center of the engine.

8. Now you'll see the coil assemblies and spark plug wires. There is a coil on cylinder 4 with a plug wire to cylinder 1. Another coil on cylinder 2 with a plug wire to cylinder 3. Unplug the primary wiring from each coil (Kia P/N 0K01318100) at the connector. Remove the 2 screws each holding the coils in place and set them aside. Carefully pull up each coil and it's associated plug wire as one unit. NOTE: The spark plug wires should be changed every 90,000 miles (145,000 km). Inspect the coils. The coils do not need to be replaced unless they fail, have damage, or have excess oil on them. A small hole towards the top of the spark plug attachment is normal and does not indicate a defect. If the coil has a small amount of oil wipe it clean (See Note in Step 9).

9. The spark plugs can now be removed. Do one spark plug at a time. Remove the spark plug from cylinder 1. Take a new spark plug and insure the gap is 1.0 - 1.1 mm. Apply a liberal coat of anti-seize compound with a brush on the threads and then wipe with a paper towel. Insure the thread grooves are completely coated. DO NOT skip the anti-seize compound. If you fail to use the anti-seize the next time you remove the spark plugs you may strip the aluminum head. Start the new spark plug into cylinder 1 BY HAND with the long extension until it seats. Then use your ratchet to snug the spark plug and tighten approx one quarter to one half turn. If a torque wrench is available torque the spark plug to 11-17 ft/lb (15-23 nm). Repeat step 9 for each spark plug until the remaining 3 are changed. NOTE: If any spark plug or coil has oil on it the valve cover is leaking and should be replaced. If you discover oil continue to Step 10. If no oil is found continue to Step 12.

10. Remove the PCV valve from the valve cover. There may be some other rubber hoses that must be removed. Remove the 15 bolts securing the valve cover to the head. 9 bolts are located around the perimeter of the cover. 6 are located around the spark plugs. Carefully pry the valve cover from the head. (NOTE: If you work carefully and slowly it is NOT necessary to disconnect the throttle linkage from the throttle body) Remove the old gasket from the valve cover. COMPLETELY clean the sealing surface on the both the valve cover and head of gasket residue or sealer. Install the new gasket into the channel on the valve cover.

11. Carefully lay the valve cover onto the head. Insure that the gasket is not pinched or has moved out of position. Initially install the 15 bolts by hand. Snug the 9 bolts around the perimeter in a cross-wise fashion. Then snug the inner 6 bolts in a cross-wise fashion. Repeat the 9 bolts again cross-wise. Repeat the 6 bolts again cross-wise. The torque spec is 35-52 in/lb (4-6 nm). Final torque repeating in cross-wise fashion as described above. Install PCV valve and any rubber hoses removed in step 10.

12. Install a coil into cylinder 4 with the long spark plug wire to cylinder 1. Insure the spark plug wire is installed on the left side and down against the valve cover. Plug in the primary wiring for coil 4. Install a coil into cylinder 2 with a plug wire to cylinder 3. Plug in the primary wiring for coil 2. Install the plastic cover, the gas pedal linkage, and the black airbox that were all removed in step 7.

13. Install the intake pipe that was removed in step 3. Insure that a gasket is used between the intake pipe and throttle body. Install all the rubber hoses that were removed in step 1.

14. Insure all clamps to the airbox and intake pipe and the flex hose to the mass airflow sensor are tight.

1998 Sportage - Gone.
2004 Honda Civic Coupe.
2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara - She got it.