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Kia Optima 2.4L I4 Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and replace the filter in a 4th generation 2016 to 2020 Kia Optima with the 2.4L I4.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2019 Optima 2.4L I4
Oil Filler Cap
Twist Off Oil Cap
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 model years) Kia Optima sedan in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter on the Theta II 2.4 liter GDI inline four cylinder motor. (The procedure should be the same or very similar for the Theta II 2.0L Turbo GDI I4 engine.)

Owners of other Kia, Hyundai or Genesis vehicles such as the Niro, Sportage, Sedona, Telluride, Sorento, Rio, Forte, Soul, K900, Cadenza, K5, Stinger, Tucson, Santa Fe, Kona, Palisade, Elantra, Sonata, Accent, Veloster, Ioniq, Nexo, Venue, G70, G80 and G90 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement oil filters for the Theta II 2.4L GDI I4 engine with their part numbers include the following: Bosch 3312, Wix 51334XP, Fram TG9688, Mobil 1 M1-104, ACDelco PF1127, Purolator PL14459 and Kia 26300-35504.

(According to the Amazon Part Finder website, the filters above are also compatible with the Theta II T-GDI 2.0L I4 engine and the Gamma G4FJ Turbo GDI I4 engine.)

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack with two jack stands or a set of automotive ramps, a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet, a 17mm socket with a 3/8" or 1/2" drive ratchet, a used oil catch container, a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench (optional) and an automotive funnel.

The oil capacity specification in the owner's manual for the Theta II 2.4L GDI I4 engine for an oil change with a filter replacement is 5.07 U.S. quarts (or 4.8 liters). So you'll need to buy 6 U.S. quarts of new SAE 5W-20 oil to complete the oil change. A viscosity of 5W-20 is recommended for most climates. If you live in a very cold or extremely hot climate, check the owner's manual for the recommended oil type.

The first steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes, drive the car on to a level surface, turn off the ignition and shift the transmission into "Park".

Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and also allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then open the hood, twist off the oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction and partially remove the dipstick an inch or two. Removing the oil filler cap and partially removing the dipstick will help prevent a vacuum from forming and also allow the old oil to drain out more quickly. Set the oil fill cap aside in a safe place.


Partially Remove Dipstick
Under Engine Cover
Remove Black Metal Bolts
For easier access to the underside of the engine, I recommend raising the car either with a jack stand and two floor jacks or use automotive ramps.

Please do not solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle. If you use a floor jack to raise the car, use two jack stands placed under the frame rails to securely support it.

Slide under the engine bay of the vehicle with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Locate the service access panel situated closer to the passenger side of the under engine cover.

2016-2020-Kia-Optima-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-007 2016-2020-Kia-Optima-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-008 2016-2020-Kia-Optima-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-009
Loosen the black metal bolts that secure the service access panel to the under engine cover by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet or a 10mm wrench.
Loosen Counterclockwise
2016-2020-Kia-Optima-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-011 2016-2020-Kia-Optima-Engine-Oil-Change-Filter-Replacement-Guide-012
Seven Bolts Removed
Set the seven bolts aside in a safe place.
Service Access Cover
Oil Pan & Old Oil Filter
Oil Drain Bolt
Carefully pull the service panel out of the under engine cover or "splash guard".

Once the service panel is out of the way, you'll be able to see the black metal oil pan and the old oil filter location.

The black metal oil drain bolt is situated on the rear edge of the oil pan with the bolt head facing the back of the vehicle.

Old Oil Filter Location
Used Oil Catch Container
Loosen Counterclockwise
Slide the used oil catch basin to just below the oil drain bolt.

Loosen the oil drain bolt by rotating it in the counterclockwise direction with the 17mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Be careful when you remove the drain bolt. The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your skin depending on how long you warmed up the engine.

Spin out the drain bolt the last few turns by hand.

Drain Out Old Oil
Replace Oil Drain Bolt
Slide Basin Forward
Allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows down to just an occasional drip.

Inspect the metal washer or "gasket" on the oil drain bolt. If necessary, replace the washer with a new washer which is genuine Kia / Hyundai part number 21513-23001.

Make sure that the old drain bolt washer is not still attached to the oil pan.

Spin in the drain bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the oil drain bolt with the 17mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet in the clockwise direction to a small fraction of a turn just past hand tight.

If you have a torque wrench, the specifications in the service manual for the oil drain bolt is a range of 25.3 to 32.5 lb-ft (34.3 to 44.1 Nm) of torque.

Carefully slide the used oil catch basin forward to just below the old oil filter.

Spin Off Old Oil Filter
Lisle Oil Filter Wrench
Remove Stuck Oil Filter
Twist off the old oil filter by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

If you have trouble removing a stubborn or stuck old oil filter that was over tightened at the factory or at a quick lube oil change shop, I highly recommend using the Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench.

Allow the old oil to drain out from the filter and the filter receptacle for at least a few minutes.

Discard the old oil filter.

Check to make sure the old o-ring gasket from the old oil filter is not still attached to the engine.

Dip Finger In New Oil
Lubricate Rubber O-Ring
Twist On New Oil Filter
Dip your finger into some new oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

Lubricating the gasket will help the new filter form a better seal, prevent oil leaks and also make it much easier to remove during the next oil change.

Twist on the new oil filter in the clockwise direction.

Tighten the new filter to about 1/4 to 1/3 of a turn past finger tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the new filter to prevent from damaging the rubber o-ring gasket which could lead to an oil leak.

The oil filter torque specification in the service manual is 8.7 to 11.6 lb-ft (or 11.8 to 15.7 Nm).

Double check that the oil drain bolt and the new oil filter are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Line Up Service Cover
Slide In Front Edge
Access Cover In Place
Slide the service panel back into place on the under engine cover.
Spin In Black Bolts
Tighten Bolts Clockwise
Service Cover Secured
Replace the seven bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Double check that the service access panel is securely installed.

Lower Car From Stands
Insert Automotive Funnel
Pour In New Oil
Carefully lower the car from the jack stands by using the floor jack, or drive the car off the automotive ramps.

The car should be on a level surface in order to obtain an accurate oil level reading from the dipstick.

It is much better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to run an engine that has been overfilled. Running an engine that has been overfilled may lead to sluggish performance and damage to seals, gaskets or other components.

I recommend at first only pouring in about 4.5 U.S. quarts of new SAE 5W-20 oil of the engine's 5.07 U.S. quarts (or 4.8L) total oil capacity for an oil change with a filter replacement.

Replace Oil Fill Cap
Push Down Oil Dipstick
Check Oil Level
Then temporarily replace the oil filter cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction and push the dipstick down into place.

Start the engine and allow it to warm up for a few minutes.

Turn off the ignition and allow the new oil to drain back down to the oil pan for at least 5 to 10 minutes or longer.

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, fully re-insert it and then pull it out again to check the oil level.

Top Dimple "F" = Full
Replace Oil Dipstick
Oil Change Complete
If necessary, slowly pour in more oil and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches the upper dimple by the letter "F" which indicates the "Full" or "Maximum" level.

You may not need to pour in the entire 5.07 U.S. quarts of new oil in order for the level on the dipstick to reach the "Full" mark.

Push the dipstick back into place and make sure the oil fill cap is tight.

To reset the oil life meter and turn off the "Service Required" or "Service Required Soon" message on the LCD display in the gauge cluster, follow these steps: 1. Use the up and down buttons to display the "Service Required" message on the screen. 2. Press and hold the "OK" button for a few seconds until the message disappears. 3. Turn the ignition to the "OFF" position and back to "ON" to check if the oil life system service interval reminder has been reset.

Be sure to record the oil change in your vehicle's service records.

(The service interval specification in the owner's manual for changing the oil and filter is every 7,500 miles, 12,000 KM or at least once a year.)

I'd also recommend checking your driveway, garage or parking spot for drops of fresh oil over the next few days to make sure there isn't a leak from the drain bolt or the new filter.

Please check out all of my 2016-2020 Kia Optima DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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