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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone really hoping someone can help here. I have an issue with my AWD system. When I am stick in snow or on ice to the point where the front tires are spinning the back wheels do not engage and the AWD warning light comes on. The warning light only stays on momentary. A few times chugging up a steep dirt road and the warning light comes on and the back tires don't seem to be giving any power. I had someone take the wheel at one point and try to give it gas in snow with AWD lock on and I don't see any sign of power in the back wheels. I brought it to the dealership they claimed to have hooked it up to their reader and took it out on the road and confirmed there was power in the back wheels. They also said they had it on the hoist and confirmed the back is engaging. I am so frustrated with this as the dealer can't seem to find the issue. Any luck on here or anyone may have experienced this?? Thanks so much
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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502 Posts
Well, at this point in time, to stop the 'he said, she said' between yourself and the dealer, I recommend you make a short 30 second video with your smartphone repeating / duplicating what you said you did in your original post. If you go to the dealer and show them that video how can they deny your complaint? If they do deny your visual video claim, then its time for another dealership, which I know may not be convenient. (Just wondering, have you replaced the fluid in the rear coupling as recommended in the manual? How many miles on your vehicle?) Plus, you will have a video you can send to Kia Corporate Office once you contact them and get them interested in your issues! Please let us know how your fair! Good Luck!
 

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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, at this point in time, to stop the 'he said, she said' between yourself and the dealer, I recommend you make a short 30 second video with your smartphone repeating / duplicating what you said you did in your original post. If you go to the dealer and show them that video how can they deny your complaint? If they do deny your visual video claim, then its time for another dealership, which I know may not be convenient. (Just wondering, have you replaced the fluid in the rear coupling as recommended in the manual? How many miles on your vehicle?) Plus, you will have a video you can send to Kia Corporate Office once you contact them and get them interested in your issues! Please let us know how your fair! Good Luck!
Hi thanks for the reply! It's not a warranty issue I am completely willing to pay for the repairs the dealership just cannot figure out what is wrong with it. I am willing to take it to other mechanics as well but wondering if anyone had heard of a similar issue.
 

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Sorento 2015 LX 2.4 AWD, Suzuki 2011 SX4 AWD, ( 2000 KIA Sportage, junked)
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448 Posts
There is a temperature sensor in the coupler unit.. High coupler fluid temperature reading (real or false) will inhibit the coupler, hence no AWD. Traction control (not disabled by the stability control switch) is detrimental to AWD also as experienced on mine.
Rear axle oil change is for differential only. The coupler oil is sealed and a non maintenance item. From the shop manual:
113532
 

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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok interesting. I think I need them to inspect the coupler. I suspect it's bad. I had my wife in it this morning and put AWD lock on. I told her to give it gas and front wheels spin no movement in back. Has anyone had luck with a potential warranty claim? I am out of my warranty period but I suspect this could have been an issue before it was up and how would anyone even know if it was an issue during the warranty period unless they had gotten stuck and needed AWD. Any options people here are aware of?
 

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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #6
I am also really confused as to why none of these issue is setting off an error code.
 

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2015 Sorento EX 3.3 AWD, 2009 Kia Rondo EX
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If its the coupler, no extra warranrty coverage... And they apparently fail quite often.

Bought my Sorento in Sept at 115000km and the coupler was bad, it was repaired under warranty where i bought it from (30 day used vehicle warranty)... Bill came to $1100 plus taxes and labour... Thankfully no cost to me :)
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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538 Posts
There are post on the coupler and I did one long ago.

A simple test from lights at a stop. Doing a 90 curved turn with moderate power throughout the turn it will clunk. Either left or right turn. You can do it in a parking lot if you like. The codes and engagement is computer controlled. What is logged as a fault is predetermined by design.
 

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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #9
If its the coupler, no extra warranrty coverage... And they apparently fail quite often.

Bought my Sorento in Sept at 115000km and the coupler was bad, it was repaired under warranty where i bought it from (30 day used vehicle warranty)... Bill came to $1100 plus taxes and labour... Thankfully no cost to me :)
$1100 ain't bad i was thinking it would be like $2500 at least
 

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I had the same issue with my 2015 (late 2014), ended up taking it to them 3 times even with video proof that it wasn't working. they kept saying that the computer says its fine and I am just an internet mechanic. Finally took the service writer and lead tech into the back lot where there was some ice, locked the diff and showed them that the rears wherent spinning. Ended up that this internet mechanic and people of this forum were correct and it was the coupler. thankfully I was still under warranty then at 50000~ miles, and again at 80000~ miles. on my third coupler now hopefully this one last longer then the others or goes out before I hit 100000miles and lose my warranty!
 

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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #11
I had the same issue with my 2015 (late 2014), ended up taking it to them 3 times even with video proof that it wasn't working. they kept saying that the computer says its fine and I am just an internet mechanic. Finally took the service writer and lead tech into the back lot where there was some ice, locked the diff and showed them that the rears wherent spinning. Ended up that this internet mechanic and people of this forum were correct and it was the coupler. thankfully I was still under warranty then at 50000~ miles, and again at 80000~ miles. on my third coupler now hopefully this one last longer then the others or goes out before I hit 100000miles and lose my warranty!
Wow it went twice? Jesus I'm starting to think the coupler is my issue for sure. I am bringing it into a new mechanic on Monday. It's just frustrating the kia repair shop isn't smart enough to figure it out. Oh well.
 

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Sorento 2015 LX 2.4 AWD, Suzuki 2011 SX4 AWD, ( 2000 KIA Sportage, junked)
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448 Posts
Wow it went twice? Jesus I'm starting to think the coupler is my issue for sure.
It seems this problem goes with the V6....I cannot remember reports of coupler failures with the 2.4 , seemingly telling that the coupler is not strong enough to handle the extra power of the V6.
I have the 2.4 engine but as a precaution, I have installed a switch to totally disable AWD unless I need it, meaning that most of the time, I run a FWD, just as most people with FWD cars do. I hope this would save the coupler.....of course, the dealer here says it has NEVER heard of problems with the coupler.....:sneaky:
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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538 Posts
It could be the extra power. I am not hard on the throttle taking off when the wheels are turned as it a left or right turn at lights etc. I know the coupler engages pushing the rear through the turn. I currently wait until my wheels become straight to remove some of the slipping stress it has to handle before really accelerating. IMO the 2.4L is not sufficient for this vehicle once loaded near design capacity. Either occupants and/or contents in the back.

A local dealer I talked to while considering trading in my Highlander for a 2nd Sorento claimed the same thing. No issues... LOL Well with that I changed my mind and stickling with what I have. No coupler in the highlander 4WD powertrain A model I looked at still have RED back lighting. OMG I cannot tolerate it either.
 

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2015 Sorento EX V6 AWD Ebony Black
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Change your back lighting with the little button in the console in the back of the coin holder. Red-Green-Blue!
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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538 Posts
In the center console area under that arm rest?
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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538 Posts
I looked around and the 2 x 2 coin box behind the shifter and 3 button setup of Eco, P On, AC 115 there is nothing. I felt around for a dimple as its all black and hard to see.

If this is fact then you're the only one who know of it. Night driving is tough if I need to look for a button when its red backlighting. Oh well worth the look, even again.
 

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2015 Sorento EX V6 AWD Ebony Black
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Change your back lighting with the little button in the console in the back of the coin holder. Red-Green-Blue!
In the center console area under that arm rest?
No, You have 2 cup holders, and a little coin type holder on the console near the driver seat, inside that on the back of it is a little button to press for Red/Blue/Green interior lighting. Unless maybe mine has an extra lighting pkg. ?
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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538 Posts
Yeah, its smooth on the back side and I can see that fine. Unless under the bottom rubber bottom which I could not pop out due to the cold. This is an SX which should have it all. US build different than CND build?

I am going to have a look again and see if I can pop out the bottom with a small screw driver if its hidden underneath.

EDIT: Nothing, looked with a bright flashlight and under the tray bottom which came out. Nothing whatsoever!!! You must have custom build !!!!
Bummer, its not there.
 

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2015 Sorento EX V6 AWD Ebony Black
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Sorry, it must be only on a lighting pkge, I happen to have! I think it only the changes the footwell lighting anyway!
 

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2014 Kia Sorento LX v6 AWD
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Discussion Starter #20
Update so brought the car into a differential repair specialist, they confirmed it was definitely damaged. Well I told them to check the coupler and what did they do, change the computer, didn't fix anything. Finally they checked the coupler and low and behold it was burnt out. $1500 CDN not as bad as I thought it would be.
 
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