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Kia Sportage: Maintenance when trailer towing

Kia Sportage - Fifth generation (NQ5) - (2022-2024) - Owner's Manual / Driving your vehicle / Trailer towing / Maintenance when trailer towing

Your vehicle will need service more often when you regularly pull a trailer.

Important items to pay particular attention to include engine oil, axle lubricant and cooling system fluid. Brake condition is another important item to frequently check. Each item is covered in this manual, and the Index will help you find them quickly. If you're trailering, it's a good idea to review these sections before you start your trip.

Don't forget to also maintain your trailer and hitch. Follow the maintenance schedule that accompanied your trailer and check it periodically. Preferably, conduct the check at the start of each day's driving. Most importantly, all hitch nuts and bolts should be tight.

CAUTION

  • Due to higher load during trailer usage, overheating might occur in hot days or during uphill driving. If the coolant gauge indicates overheating, switch off the A/C and stop the vehicle in a safe area to cool down the engine.
  • When towing, check the transmission fluid more frequently.
  • If your vehicle is not equipped with an air conditioner, you should install a condenser fan to improve engine performance when towing a trailer.

If you do decide to pull a trailer

Here are some important points if you decide to pull a trailer:

  • Consider using a sway control. You can ask a hitch dealer about sway control.
  • Do not do any towing with your vehicle during its first 1,200 miles (2,000 km) in order to allow the engine to properly break in. Failure to heed this caution may result in serious engine or transmission damage.
  • When towing a trailer, consult an authorized Kia dealer on additional requirements such as a towing kit, etc.
  • Always drive your vehicle at a moderate speed (less than 60 mph (100 km/ h)).
  • On a long uphill grade, do not exceed 45 mph (70 km/h) or the posted towing speed limit, whichever is lower.
  • The chart contains important considerations that have to do with weight:

If you do decide to pull a trailer

Weight of the trailer

Weight of the trailer

  1. Tongue Load
  2. Total Trailer Weight

What is the maximum safe weight of a trailer? It should never weigh more than the maximum trailer weight with trailer brakes. But even that can be too heavy.

It depends on how you plan to use your trailer. For example, speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature and how often your vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. The ideal trailer weight can also depend on any special equipment that you have on your vehicle.

Weight of the trailer tongue

Weight of the trailer tongue

  1. Gross Axle Weight
  2. Gross Vehicle Weight

The tongue load of any trailer is an important weight to measure because it affects the total gross vehicle weight (GVW) of your vehicle. This weight includes the curb weight of the vehicle, any cargo you may carry in it, and the people who will be riding in the vehicle.

And if you tow a trailer, you must add the tongue load to the GVW because your vehicle will also be carrying that weight.

The trailer tongue should weigh a maximum of 10 % of the total loaded trailer weight, within the limits of the maximum trailer tongue load permissible.

After you've loaded your trailer, weigh the trailer and then the tongue, separately, to see if the weights are proper. If they aren't, you may be able to correct them simply by moving some items around in the trailer.

WARNING

Trailer

  • Never load a trailer with more weight in the rear than in the front. The front should be loaded with approximately 60% of the total trailer load; the rear should be loaded with approximately 40% of the total trailer load.
  • Never exceed the maximum weight limits of the trailer or trailer towing equipment. Improper loading can result in damage to your vehicle and/ or personal injury. Check weights and loading at a commercial scale or highway patrol office equipped with scales.
  • An improperly loaded trailer can cause loss of vehicle control.

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