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Kia Soul Maintenance 101: How to Keep Your Ride Healthy

BY: Larry Witherspoon Jr.
Guy driving a car and smiling

All vehicle owners need to make a concerted effort to handle maintenance tasks on their vehicles on a regular basis. However, all vehicles have types of maintenance that are specific to that vehicle only.

The Kia Soul is one of the most popular cars on the road today, so it is important to look at some of the most crucial maintenance tasks for this vehicle. Learn everything you need to know to keep your used or new Kia Soul functioning like you just drove it off the lot.

Understanding the Importance of Kia Soul Maintenance

Far too often, drivers brush maintenance tasks under the rug due to the perceived inconvenience of needing to take the vehicle into the shop. This mindset can lead to the rapid deterioration of your vehicle, though, as parts under the hood begin to degrade over time. Anything from checking up on tire pressure to refilling brake fluid is an important part of vehicle ownership.

Kia Souls, in particular, has its own maintenance schedule, which should be followed. Not following the outlined maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual can lead to serious issues under the hood, such as a faulty air filter, lack of coolant, countless warning lights, reduced efficacy of safety features, and much more. On top of this, small things, such as inclement driving conditions, can lead to serious problems that put your life in danger while driving.

The importance of maintenance on your Kia Soul to keep the vehicle high-quality can truly not be overstated. To that end, there are a number of primary categories to focus on when tackling your maintenance journey with the Kia Soul.

Regular Check-Ups and Service Intervals

First and foremost, you should return your vehicle to the Kia dealer for a tune-up at the predefined interval recommended by your Kia Motors dealership. In most owner handbooks, an outlined maintenance schedule covers the most important automotive tasks to handle and when to handle them. While this can change from vehicle to vehicle, a recommended maintenance schedule for the Kia Soul is as follows:

  • Replace the engine oil every six months or 7,500 miles
  • Replace fuel filters every five years or 60,000 miles
  • Replace the oil filter every six months or 7,500 miles
  • Replace the air filter every three years or 36,000 miles
  • Replace the coolant every five years or 60,000 miles
  • Replace spark plugs every five years or 60,000 miles
  • Replace brake fluid every five years or 60,000 miles

While all of the above maintenance tasks can certainly be handled sooner if you drive your Kia Soul harder than most, it’s a fair schedule to follow. In addition to the above, consider having seasonal check-ins between yourself and your Kia Soul, where you look at specific items that may be impacted by the changing seasons. For example, inspecting tired treads or washing built-up grime following the winter is a great preparation for the warmer months.

Keeping Up with Tire Health

The tires are among the most important when diving into more specific parts of your Kia Soul. Specifically, you should pay attention to a few parts of your tire: the air pressure, the tire treads, and the wheels themselves. Modern Kia Souls have automatic sensors that detect air pressure in the tires, thus keeping you apprised as you move down the road. However, watching the tire pressure yourself each time you step into your vehicle is always great, as the system can always have a glitch.

Going further, though, the treads on your Kia Soul are what keep your vehicle connected to the ground, with the depth of those treads directly impacting this level of traction. When the treads on your tire become “low,” sometimes referred to as ‘tires going bald,’ this traction is negatively impacted. It’s best practice every winter to look at the tread depth on your tires to ensure this doesn’t occur.

Finally, few drivers know that the wheels and tires on a vehicle are two different things. The tires are the actual rubber, whereas the wheels are the metal rims that the tires are attached to. As a best practice, it’s always a good idea to inspect your rims occasionally to ensure they haven’t been damaged or worn down. General best practices for the tires on your Kia Soul also include getting them balanced and rotated every six months.

How to Care for Your Engine and Transmission

The engine and transmission are extremely important to the overall function of your Kia Soul. While most drivers understand what the engine does, it’s worth covering the function of the transmission. Essentially, it ensures that the correct amount of engine power goes to the wheels as you drive down the road. Fortunately, taking care of your engine and transmission can be done with some quick hit tips:

  1. Ensure your transmission fluid is checked and changed at the proper interval.
  2. Have the cooling system on your car flushed on a regular basis.
  3. Allow your car to warm up for a period of time before you take it out onto the open road.
  4. Always use the correct type of transmission fluid.
  5. Get your transmission filter changed on a regular basis.
  6. Drive your Kia vehicle gently rather than roughly.
  7. Don’t delay replacing your spark plugs when they need to be changed.

5 Electronic and Battery Maintenance Tips

Going beyond the tires, engine, and transmission, your vehicle’s entire electrical system and battery matter quite a bit. Always watch for budding electrical issues on your vehicle, such as glitches in the technology or a rough start. Other signs include flickering headlights, switching on the battery light, burning smells, and more.

Most problems with the electrical system on your Kia Soul will likely stem from the battery under the hood. A three to five-year timeframe is recommended for battery replacements on the Kia Soul, depending on how often your car is driven, the climate, and other factors. However, batteries can always have issues, so if you suspect the battery causes electrical issues, test it with a voltage reader. With the engine off, the battery should read a voltage of 12.6.

To ensure your battery lasts as long as possible if you do have to replace it, consider some of the following tips:

  1. Avoid letting your Kia Soul sit for too long without use.
  2. Turn off accessories that are not needed while driving around.
  3. Avoid frequent short trips that do not allow your battery to recharge.
  4. Ensure your battery is tightly secured within its compartment.
  5. Clean your battery if it has been exposed to dirt, grime, or other contaminants.

Assuming you have tested your battery and it is in working order, the electrical issues on your Kia Soul could be caused by other components within the electrical system. Allowing a professional worker to inspect the drive belt under the hood and test the alternator is a great way to handle maintenance on the electrical system.

Handling Common Kia Soul Issues

While all of the above maintenance tasks have been generalized, a few notable issues with Kia Souls are worth looking at specifically. Overall, the Kia Soul is a fairly reliable vehicle with an average annual maintenance repair cost of only $437 on average. The two most commonly reported problems with the Kia Soul are sound not playing from the speakers and difficulty shifting into first gear.

The issue with the lack of sound can be solved by simply disconnecting the battery, specifically the negative terminal, and then waiting around 15 minutes before reconnecting it. The second issue with shifting will require a replacement part to be installed at a service center, which will solve the issue.

While those are two of the most commonly reported issues with the Kia Soul as of the most recent model, some historical issues to consider include:

  • Head gasket replacement
  • Brake booster replacement
  • Headlight alignment adjustment
  • Engine coolant temperature sensor replacement
  • Tire pressure monitor lamp diagnosis

Fortunately, there are not many issues reported with the Kia Soul regarding major factors such as fuel efficiency (also known as fuel economy), the brake system, or even windshield wipers.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips for Your Kia

As mentioned earlier, some seasonal maintenance tips are worth keeping in mind as you think about ensuring the longevity of your Kia Soul:


  • Consider putting winter tires on your vehicle to enhance traction
  • Test the battery to ensure it is at the proper voltage
  • Install new windshield wipers to be certain they work properly
  • Test your turn signals to be certain they are working properly
  • Pack an emergency vehicle into your car
  • Consider changing your oil
  • Check your heating system


  • Double-check that your brake pedal and brakes are in working order
  • Inspect the air filters under the hood
  • Consider tuning the air conditioning ahead of the warmer months
  • Check the tire treads on the all-weather tires you put on your vehicle
  • Take your vehicle to the car wash to get the grime from the winter off


  • Take a look at the belts and hoses on your car to ensure no chipping or issues are present
  • Look into your tire pressure to be sure the air is at adequate levels
  • Park your car in the shade to avoid sun damage
  • Measure the level of your battery once again to test the voltage


  • Replace the windshield wiper blades if necessary
  • Put the winter emergency kit back into your vehicle
  • Rotate your tires ahead of the winter weather
  • Have the brakes on your vehicle professionally inspected

Best Practices for Long-Term Vehicle Health

Preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle stays in good condition for years. However, no matter how much maintenance you perform on your vehicle there will always be the risk of something going wrong or breaking. That’s why investing in an extended warranty can be an excellent choice. Unlike car insurance, an extended warranty offers protection against covered mechanical breakdowns and will pay some or all of the cost to repair those issues.

Certain extended warranty contracts will even pay for maintenance items such as getting an oil change, replacing washer fluid, etc. A vehicle service contract, better known as an extended warranty, can protect your vehicle for years while ensuring you keep money in your pocket and avoid paying for costly repairs.

Keep Your Kia Soul in Top Shape With Endurance

While maintenance issues may not seem like a major concern, especially if your car is currently in working order, they can quickly become a nuisance. The costs associated with vehicle repairs and the time it takes to make them can lead to a headache. That’s why adding an extended warranty to your used or new vehicle, which also provides some maintenance benefits, is important.

Endurance Warranty offers customizable auto protection plans that vary in coverage levels – from stated coverage for only the most important components to near bumper-to-bumper coverage. For perspective, our Superior plan offers coverage for vital components such as the engine, fuel system, electrical system, and more, whereas the Supreme plan goes above and beyond by offering all of the above in addition to coverage for smaller parts such as seals and gaskets.

Each plan also comes with 24/7 roadside assistance (including towing and lockout services), rental car coverage, and trip interruption reimbursement. You can also access a year of our Elite Benefits for a small activation fee, offering bonus perks such as up to $1,000 in total loss protection, tire reimbursements for up to four tires per year, and more.

To learn more about how Endurance can help keep your Kia Soul protected on the road, call our award-winning customer service team at (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote. Alternatively, you can simply shop online to see your price now.

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