How To Install Roof Rails On Kia Sorento: Step-by-Step Guide

How To Install Roof Rails On Kia Sorento.

The Kia Sorento stands out as a popular mid-sized crossover SUV among many drivers.

For those seeking to enhance its versatility, adding roof rails becomes a priority.

Wondering how to go about installing roof rails on your Kia Sorento?

I’ve delved into the details to provide you with the solution.

How To Install Roof Rails On Kia Sorento: An image of a young man setting up the car roof
An image of a young man setting up the car roof. PHOTO: Freepik


Typically, installing roof rails on a Kia Sorento is a task well-suited for a do-it-yourself approach.

The typical steps to complete a Sorento roof rack setup include:

  • Take off the rail’s end caps.
  • Insert the mounting brackets into the rail.
  • Place the roof rails onto the roof of the car.
  • Adjust and secure the setup as needed.

Installing roof rails on a Kia Sorento might appear simple at first glance.

However, overlooking crucial details could lead to expensive errors.

Dive deeper into the assembly process with me as I explore this topic further.

Additionally, I’ll address pertinent subjects such as removing a roof rail setup from a Sorento.

Without delay, let’s delve into it.

Does The Kia Sorento Have Roof Rails?

Various individuals within the Kia community have discovered that specific Sorento models lack built-in roof rails.

Notably, the 2019 Sorento and the entire 2021 Sorento X line are devoid of roof racks.

However, owners of these vehicles have the option to purchase compatible roof rails from official or third-party sources.

Kia Sorento Roof Rail Installation

It’s important to remember that when it comes to installing a roof rack on a Kia car, especially the Sorento, the process should start right from the purchasing stage.

Shoppers ought to pay attention to various crucial elements, including:

  • Product quality.
  • Brand value.
  • Features.
  • Specifications.

Additionally, Sorento owners should be mindful of the maximum weight limit of their car’s roof.

For instance, the 2019 Kia Sorento is designed with a maximum weight limit of 165 pounds.

If equipped with an 11-pound roof rack, this leaves a capacity of 154 pounds available for items to be placed on the rack.

Make sure to consult the instruction manual for your roof rack before starting the installation.

This will help you confirm whether there are any specific steps required for your particular model that might differ from other roof rail setups.

Once you’ve bought a roof rack that fits your Kia Sorento and reviewed the product owner’s manual, you’re ready to proceed with the installation.

Just follow these steps:

  • Unlock the end cap located on one extremity of the rail.
  • Insert the bracket into the open side of the rail, making sure to maintain proper orientation when you’re doing this step.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other side of the rail.
  • Gently place the roof rail on top of the Sorento’s roof.
  • Adjust and secure the bar to the setup.
  • Repeat Steps 1-5 for the other rail.

Roof rails of superior quality should be provided as a comprehensive kit, ensuring that you won’t need to make additional purchases to finalize the assembly.

A standard, yet comprehensive roof rail kit ought to include the following components:

  • Hardware and accessories.
  • Mount.
  • Crossbars.

How Do You Remove A Kia Roof Rack?

Removing the roof rack from a Kia Sorento could be perfect if you’re aiming to switch to a different setup.

Just like when you installed it, make sure to refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Some roof rack models might require users to follow specific steps to properly remove the setup.

Here are the steps to follow;

  • Gently pry and remove the roof rail cover with a slender yet blunt tool.
  • Use the appropriate tools to take off the covering that shields the rail’s hardware, such as bolts, nuts, and screws.
  • Remove the rest of the rail and place it aside securely.

How To Remove Corrosion From Roof Rail On A Kia Sorento

Corrosion could potentially develop due to certain roof rail installations in vehicles such as the Kia Sorento.

This problem commonly arises with low-quality roof rail sets.

Additionally, the parking location of the vehicle can exacerbate the risk of corrosion appearing on the roof rails.

Please be aware that removing the rail from the Sorento’s roof may be necessary to achieve your desired results.

Once you’ve considered this information, proceed with the following guide:

  • What You’ll Need

  • Sandblasting kit.
  • Screwdriver.
  • Paint.

Here are the steps to follow;

  • Gently detach the offending roof rail from its mounting bracket.
  • Remove the corrosion from the roof rail using sandblasting, but bear in mind that this process will also strip away the paint from that area.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the offending rail using the same color as the rest of the setup.
  • Allow the paint to dry and fully cure before reattaching the roof rail to the Kia Sorento’s roof.

You can gain further insight into this process by watching this video.

Can You Add A Roof Rack To Any Car?

Even if certain vehicle models lack built-in roof racks, it remains feasible to equip them with these kits on nearly any car.

Prospective buyers have a variety of official or third-party roof-mounting systems to select from, tailored to their vehicles.

These roof racks frequently arrive in various varieties, such as:

  • Fixed Points

A fixed installation that generally provides optimal flexibility in use.

  • Rain Gutters

Racks and rails that attach to vehicle rain gutters or drip rails.

  • Factory Tracks

Pre-assembled paths for car roof racks often provide swift and simple rail installation.

Should You Choose Steel Or Aluminum Roof Rails?

Numerous car roof rails are available in either steel or aluminum, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

It’s important to evaluate your particular needs before deciding between steel or aluminum roof rails.

Take a glance at the significant differences between steel and aluminum roof rails to assist you in making an informed purchasing choice.

  • Durability

Steel typically emerges victorious in the durability contest with aluminum.

For instance, standard-grade steel can withstand approximately 100,000 pounds per square inch, whereas typical aluminum can only endure between 10,000 to 75,000 pounds per square inch.

  • Price

Maybe the primary factor influencing potential buyers when deciding to purchase roof rails is the cost.

Steel models tend to come with lower price tags compared to their aluminum counterparts due to steel’s vulnerability to corrosion and rust.

Customers have the option to select stainless steel alternatives for their roof rails, albeit these kits may come with higher price points.

Aluminum roof rail kits typically come at a higher price point compared to their steel counterparts.

Aluminum boasts excellent resistance against corrosion and rust.

Furthermore, its lightweight nature and efficient electrical conductivity render it perfect for rails serving as conduits for wires and various automotive electronics.

  • Weight

An aluminum alloy roof rack set boasts a commendably light weight, with some models tipping the scales at under 10 pounds.

This makes installing an aluminum alloy roof rail a breeze, often manageable without assistance from another person.

In contrast, steel roof rails tend to carry more weight than their aluminum counterparts, with many kits exceeding 10 pounds.

However, the tradeoff for this added heft is the enhanced durability afforded by the steel material.

  • Magnetic Property

Certain manufacturers of roof rails incorporate magnets into these vehicle load-carrying systems to simplify the installation and removal processes for users beyond the typical ease of use.

Steel models frequently incorporate this characteristic due to the material’s inherent magnetism.

Conversely, aluminum typically lacks magnetic properties, necessitating conventional installation and removal procedures for roof rails crafted from this material.

Wrapping Up

Outfitting your Kia Sorento with roof rails is a practical endeavor for enhancing its versatility and cargo-carrying capacity.

While the installation process may seem straightforward, attention to detail is paramount to avoid costly mistakes.

From selecting the right roof rack to adhering to weight limits, thorough preparation ensures a seamless installation experience.

Additionally, understanding how to remove and maintain the roof rails is crucial for long-term satisfaction.

Whether opting for steel or aluminum rails, assessing durability, price, weight, and magnetic properties aids in making an informed decision.

Ultimately, equipping your Kia Sorento with roof rails not only expands its utility but also adds a touch of personalized functionality to your driving experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can I install roof rails myself?

A roof rack presents an excellent means to enhance your vehicle’s storage potential.

Once installed, it allows you to transport various items, thus liberating space in your trunk or cargo area.

The added bonus is that you can often undertake the installation yourself.

  • Can I put a roof rack on my Kia Sorento?

To discover the optimal rack for your Kia Sorento, select from the options below: Begin with the Rack Attack combined fit guide for a base roof rack (featuring two bars spanning door-to-door across your roof).

Consult the Thule Fit Guide for the most up-to-date fits from Thule, or explore the Yakima Fit Guide for the latest fits from Yakima.

ALSO READ: How Big is a Kia Sorento? Unveiling Its Impressive Dimensions

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