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Discussion Starter #1
Little story for folks that might feel their AWD is acting weird.

Just got our 2012 SX back from the dealer. Noticed in the snow the other day that the AWD never kicked in and the 4WD warning came on. Drove it to the dealer to get it checked out.

At first the called telling me the AWD working fine. They had it on the lift and it was working. Had to convince them to take it for a test ride in the snow to test. Turns out it wasn't working. The front wheels would spin and the 4WD warning light would come on. The computer had no trace of any error ever occurring.

We had noticed early on (by now the car has 28K miles) that the car would spin really easy on gravel or when hitting the gas a bit to fast at a light or stop sign. Had put it off as the 4WD taking time to kick in and that we just had to live with it.

Turns out that the front tires treads were also really low. Had never rotated them. Dealer goes to explain that likely the difference in tread between the front and the back might have contributed to the 4WD failing. Anybody ever heard about that? I thought the moving parts of the 4WD only moved when the 4WD mode kicks in. I asked the Service Manager to confirm his tech's statement and he did.

They ended up finding metal shavings all over the transfer case and rear diff and replaced them under warranty.

Hope this might help someone with similar symptoms as neither the computer reading nor putting it on the lift showed any issues.

Lets hope we are done for a wile.
 

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10 Optima LX, 12 Sedona LX
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Thats why it is recommended to rotate frequently, and when replacing tires on a vehicle with full-time or auto 4WD , replace all 4 with the same size and brand.

There was actually a bulletin issued on the 1st generation Sorentos specifically about tire condition on the Auto 4WD models. They said that as little as 3/8" difference in circumference could cause problems. This equals less than about 1/8" of tread depth. I don't think the new Sorentos are this sensitive, but the same rules apply.
 

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2011 Sorento V6 AWD
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U had 28k on your tires and had never rotated them.:huh: It doesnt matter if you have awd if you dont have much tread left.
Im not suprised your vehicle has issues. If you fail to maintain it, it will fail eventually, usually sooner then later. You probably should not have posted this, as others will say the same thing.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, not sure what would make you think that the fact that I have not rotated the tires has me not taking care of my cars at all.
A part from rotating the tires which to me is the biggest PIA as you have to get the entire car up on stands I have always religiously done all fluid/filter/pad/rotor changes myself.

Sold my 2004 Escape for the Sorento with 170000 miles and had never any issues with it. My 2006 Civic has 135000 miles on it and, knock on wood, no issues so far.

Have I gone through more tires than I would if I rotated them more? Sure, but I have neither ever had an issue due to it nor ever heard of not rotating enough blowing a transmission after 28k miles.

My post was meant solely to help folks if they ever felt their AWD had a problem but their dealer telling them there was none after just checking the computer and putting it on the lift.

Rest assured that based on the nice feedback from spongebob I will start adding tire rotations to my regular maintenance program.....PIA or not.
 

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Transmission can't be very sophisticated if it will not deal with tyre wear. Looks like the transfer case isn't differential? No wonder the KIA dealer was evasive about 4WD characteristics when I queried the matter a couple of years ago.

Rotation less of a PIA if you use 2 jacks. I mostly rotate on the one side, not across.
 

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former owner of a 2016 Soul SX 2.0L - Caribbean Blue
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again, this proves that if you follow the Kia maintenance guide as they suggest, it prevents problems down the road. They provide the guide for a reason - as they say "the following lists are vehicle checks and inspections that should be performed by the owner or an authorized Kia dealer at the frequencies indicated to help ensure safe dependable operation of your vehicle."
 

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I don't buy it. Surely it should be able to handle tire wear. What happens if all tires wear evenly? Does it handle that properly?

I would be interested in an official statement from KIA about this that everyone can publicly reference.

Fyi, I do rotate religiously and have a tire mileage sheet that I use to track mileage for summer and winter tires. I also have the rims labeled so I don't get them mixed up. I rotate front to back and back to front. I leave out the spare.
 

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Rotating tires is a good idea since the fronts will bear the majority of tread loss due to doing most of the braking. That said if you don't rotate your tires that is not at all "not taking care of the vehicle". It means that you'll have one set of tires lose tread faster than the other. I hate rotating tires too. It still sucks even w/ two jacks. I only rotate them every 10Kish miles and I only rotate them front to back. The OEM tires on the Sorento are trash and won't make it past 30K anyways. I also don't buy their explanation. No way will a few /32" cause the system to self destruct. If you but different size tires on front/rear it will, but probably the vast majority of cars out there drive with at least 2-3 /32" difference front to back.
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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A manufacturer couldn't successfully bring a $25K (plus/minus) AWD to market with a well-publicized disclaimer that if you don't rotate your tires religiously, your AWD will self destruct in under 30,000 miles.

I'm with VIM and phillyguy ... I don't buy it.

And, ignore the snarky comment by 2011AWDV6 -- THANK YOU for taking the time to post your experience!
 

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2011 Sorento AWD V6 SX Cherry Black
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I don't know what guys are doing or not doing with your Sorento tires and your poor tire mileage. Mine have over 25K on them and they show little wear. Looks like 75K easy. I'm not exactly happy about that since I would like to get a set of Michs, but not going to throw my money away. You know the government required tread wear indicator is over 500 on these tires!!! That's why a little harder ride than you would expect. I also get my tires rotated for no charge from my KIA dealer when ever I take the vehicle in for it's filter and oil change. They also let me bring in my own synthetic oil ( I use the KIA filter to insure never a warranty problem). They charge me $19.95for all the services as well as wash the car before I leave.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Checking back in after getting the car back and driving it some.

Many quirks we felt from the start are gone which leads me to believe the car had this issue pretty much from day one. We used to get a noticeable "clunk" when shifting into reverse and sometimes into D. I had called the dealer back than and the message was "its normal for the Sorento". Can't really explain how this would be due to the AWD issue but that behavior seems definitely gone now.

I also noticed that the the gas mileage seems to have improved. Hard to compare but on my way to work I was able to get into low 20s average were before I would never make it much above 19 however hard I tried. Could also be due to the new tires though.

On another note, the car is back in the garage as I have, after many avoided ones, hit a deer head on. It jumped out so fast, my foot didn't even make it to the brake pedal. Front grill, bumper and lights shattered and the radiator got pushed in/bent. All coolant leaked out. Other than that it seems OK. There is quite some space between the radiator and the engine block.
 

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Deer are known for that. Glad to hear your problems are resolved! Where are you located?
 

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Wow, Ive seen personaly sorentos with near 80k and just now needing new tires, you think not rotating is no big deal. Maybe venture on the other side of the fence, how many problems are caused by not rotating, it would surprise you.

Im not saying I agree that that alone may have caused an issue, but certinly did not help anything. Glad you have it fixed and can enjoy it again.
 

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I test drove a 2014 Sorento in Sweden 2016. The AWD warning light came on when I drove on ice and only the front wheels where spinning. Ended up buying a 2011 Sorento instead. One year before warranty, same thing happened. AWD warning light all the time, even when standing still. Kia replaced the magnet coupling on the rear diff and replaced the transfer case.
 

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I test drove a 2014 Sorento in Sweden 2016. The AWD warning light came on when I drove on ice and only the front wheels where spinning. Ended up buying a 2011 Sorento instead. One year before warranty, same thing happened. AWD warning light all the time, even when standing still. Kia replaced the magnet coupling on the rear diff and replaced the transfer case.
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