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How to Change the Oil in Your Kia Soul

BY: Alex Perrone
Young woman looking through the Kia Soul window

Taking care of maintenance items on your vehicle is one of the most important tasks a Kia Soul driver – or any car owner – needs to remember. While maintenance can seem tedious, it’s crucial in preventing major repairs from being needed, which may come with astronomical repair costs.

One of the most essential of these maintenance tasks to remember is changing the oil in your Kia Soul. Engine oil is an often overlooked component under the hood despite being one of the most important items.

Learn everything you need to know about changing the oil in your Kia Soul to keep your vehicle operational on the road.

Regular Oil Changes and Kia Soul Reliability

As mentioned, an oil change is one of the most overlooked tasks for Kia Soul owners, even though the owner’s manual walks drivers through the process. However, understanding why oil changes are so important can help any driver remember to handle the job.

Motor oil is essential because it acts as the blood of your vehicle. Without oil, the machinery in your engine will fail to work properly, and major breakdowns can occur. Engine oil acts as a lubricant as it moves throughout the engine to reduce friction, cool the materials, and even clean dirt and grime.

Most Kia Soul models utilize synthetic oil, often containing key additives that help your engine maintain its performance over time. The specific amount of time that can go by before an oil change is recommended will vary depending on the year of your Kia Soul and other factors, but it’s generally recommended to change the oil level every 3,000 to 5,000 miles if you use conventional oil and every 7,500 miles if you use synthetic oil.

Tools and Materials Needed for an Oil Change

Believe it or not, you don’t need to take your vehicle to a dealership or repair shop for an oil change. Knowing how to change the oil on your own Kia Soul is a valuable skill, so take the opportunity to learn how to tackle the task on your own.

To begin, you will need to gather certain tools and materials to successfully complete this DIY job:

  • Ratchet and Socket Set: Removing your oil filter and draining the oil will likely be a greasy and slippery task, so having a specialized oil filter ratchet or socket can help you get a better grip.
  • Wrenches: Along the same line of thinking, wrenches will allow you to gain leverage if any bolts need to be loosened underneath the hood of your Kia Soul.
  • Maintenance Ramps: This is an optional tool but can be beneficial. Maintenance ramps are inclines placed in front of your vehicle, which you drive your front tires on and then park. Blocks are then placed behind your rear wheels for safety, allowing you to get under the front of your car more easily.
  • Hydraulic Floor Jack: An alternative to maintenance ramps can be using a hydraulic floor jack to lift up your vehicle for easy access to the bottom.
  • Safety Glasses and Gloves: Working with oil can be messy, and safety should always come first, so keeping your eyes protected is important. Oil may also get on your hands and into your eyes later if you don’t wear gloves, so be sure to keep your hands covered.
  • A Set of Rags: As mentioned, an oil change will get messy, especially if it’s your first time. Having a set of disposable rags handy can be extremely beneficial in cleaning up any mess that develops.
  • Funnel: When you add new oil to your automobile, you’ll find that the hole is tiny for simply aiming the bottle. Having a funnel will help ensure you don’t needlessly spill oil.
  • Drain Container: One of the most important tasks is draining the old oil out of your vehicle, which needs to go somewhere. This is exactly what an oil pan or a drain container is for.
  • Creeper: A creeper is a rolling board that you can lay on in order to make rolling underneath your vehicle easier, and it is highly recommended.

Safety Precautions Before Starting

Once you have gathered all of the above tools, it’s important to take a few safety precautions before diving into the job:

  • Park on level ground: To ensure all oil is drained properly, you should park your vehicle on level ground. For those who have conducted an oil change before, a jack or maintenance ramp can be used so long as you understand where the oil will be collected.
  • Allow the engine to cool: It’s a good idea to change your oil shortly after driving as it will be looser and drain easier. However, allow your engine to cool completely before you begin the process.
  • Wear your PPE: Don’t forget to wear your glasses and gloves before changing the oil on your Kia Soul. Oil is corrosive, and getting it on your skin or eyes is not ideal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Oil in a Kia Soul

With all your tools gathered and the above precautions, it’s finally time to dive into the oil change. Below are five steps to changing the oil in your Kia Soul quickly and efficiently:

1. Park the vehicle and set the brake.

The first step in the process will be getting your Kia Soul into the right position, whether on maintenance ramps, utilizing a jack, or just parking it on level ground in your garage. Pop the hood and prop it up, then ensure your parking brake is on so that you know your car isn’t going anywhere. Remember to use back wheel chocks on the rear tires for safety purposes.

2. Remove the oil drain plug.

The 2014-2019 Kia Soul models had an easy access hole to drain the oil and remove the filter, making the task a breeze for people with those models. However, newer Kia Souls and certain models require removing 10mm bolts and a skid panel to expose the oil filter and drain plug.

Once this is exposed, use a 17mm socket (adjust depending on your Kia Soul) to remove the drain plug bolt. Ensure your drain pan or oil pan is underneath the hole at this point. Once the bolt is loose, continue to loosen it with your hands. Allow the oil to drain.

3. Replace the oil filter.

There will also be an oil filter underneath the hood of your Kia Soul near the drain. This should twist with a pull of your hand and be a quick replacement job. Pliers may be needed to remove it for the filter change, but be cautious as some oil may still be in the filter. Screw in the new oil filter after you have removed the old one.

4. Secure the drain and filter.

Once all the oil has completely finished draining and your filter has been replaced, reverse the prior two steps to secure the pieces back under the hood on your Kia Soul.

5. Add engine oil.

With everything secured, get your new engine oil and unscrew the cap. Insert your funnel into the oil filler hole under the hood. Slowly begin to pour the oil into your engine and add as much as the owner’s manual tells you to. Once you have finished, check the engine oil level to ensure it is below the full mark but above the low mark.

Tips for Disposing of Used Oil Responsibly

One of the biggest issues Kia Soul drivers, and all drivers in general, have regarding completing an oil change by themselves is getting rid of the old oil. Remember that, regardless of the type of oil, it’s important to dispose of it adequately. Since engine oil is considered hazardous waste, the easiest way to eliminate it is to take it to a household hazardous waste collection facility or a used oil collection site.

Assuming no recycling site is in your immediate area, auto parts stores such as AutoZone, Walmart, and others may accept the oil. Refer to signs within your local shops to determine whether your oil can be taken here. Under no circumstances should oil simply be dumped out, and it’s actually illegal to dispose of it incorrectly, so be sure to take the aforementioned steps.

Advantages of Regular Maintenance for Vehicle Longevity

The above DIY oil change outline shows that vehicle maintenance is extremely important. These tasks matter so much because smaller maintenance items keep major parts under the hood in working order. When maintenance tasks are overlooked, a greater strain is placed on those major parts (such as the engine or transmission).

Unfortunately, for many drivers who overlook these tasks, those major parts break down faster and come with a higher cost. While paying for maintenance tasks such as tire rotations or replacements, coolant changes, filter replacements, and more may seem tedious, it’s a nominal price compared to the thousands of dollars often required to repair something such as the engine of your Kia Soul.

For perspective, the average annual maintenance cost on a Kia Soul is only $437, which isn’t expensive compared to the potential cost you may face by neglecting crucial tasks.

A Kia Soul oil change is just the beginning regarding taking care of your vehicle. Every vehicle has different recommended maintenance tasks, so take the time to refer to your owner’s manual to see the recommended maintenance schedule. Even something as simple as remembering to change your spark plugs can keep your Kia Soul engine in working order.

Protecting Your Vehicle with Endurance

Oil changes are just the tip of the iceberg regarding maintenance tasks that should be handled on your Kia Soul. However, even the most dedicated driver performing maintenance at every proper interval can run into problems.

After all, a vehicle is still a piece of machinery that can easily break. Ensuring you have a comprehensive extended warranty (more accurately called a vehicle service contract) tied to your vehicle, especially one that offers coverage for maintenance items, can save you both time and money.

Endurance Warranty offers numerous auto protection plans for drivers, each with varying levels of protection to suit your needs and are customizable. The most popular Supreme plan offers the closest level of protection to a manufacturer’s warranty, with major components such as the engine, transmission, and fuel system, along with minor components such as gaskets, seals, and more all covered.

Those seeking lighter protection or specific protection may prefer the Superior and Secure Plus plans, which offer protection for the most common parts and older vehicles, respectively.

In addition to the protection featured above in each package, Endurance offers Elite Benefits for a small activation fee. These benefits provide contract holders with bonus perks such as reimbursements for up to four tires per year due to road hazards, 24/7 roadside assistance, up to $1,000 in total loss protection, and much more.

Endurance has paid hundreds of millions in claims over the years, so take the time to reach out and learn how we can protect your vehicle. Call us at (800) 253-8203 or request a FREE quote online.

Read about everything automotive, including extended car warranty comparisons, DIY tips, and more, over on the Endurance blog.

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