Kia Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can someone clarify how the 4 wheel drive should work on my 2008 Sorento. It has the knob that you select 2 wheel, 4 hi, 4 lo. Last winter we noticed that on snow and ice, if you hit the gas pedal, the rear wheels spun and the front wheels did nothing in 4 wheel mode. My dealer told me this is normal until it senses rear wheel spin and then shifts power to the front wheels. I was under the impression with this type of 4 wheel drive, once you put it in 4 wheel mode, it should work right away, not after sensing rear wheel spin.
 

·
Registered
2013 Kia Rio LX Sedan, 2004 Mitsubishi Montero Limited, 2008 Suzuki GSX650F, 1985 Kawasaki LTD 454
Joined
·
207 Posts
Hi there. Interesting question.

Up until the 2007 models, there were basically two 4WD systems available on the Sorento. The LX's had part-time 4WD (knob: 2WD, 4HI, 4LO). The EX's had full-time 4WD with Torque-on-Demand (knob: HI, LO). Torque-on-Demand pretty much means that 4WD will automatically be engaged when needed.

I think KIA came up with a 3rd system for the 2008 and 2009 models. The LX's still have the same part-time 4WD.

But the EX now comes standard with part-time 4WD Torque-on-Demand. An available option for the EX is full-time 4WD with Torque-on-Demand.

So if you have an EX, it is possible that you have the part-time 4WD with Torque-on-Demand. I am not sure what the benefit of this system is. Apparently you can select 4HI, but it has Torque-on-Demand so it will continue to operate in 2WD until the TOD thinks is needed to engage all 4 wheels? Weird.

But this would explain the "symptoms" you are experiencing. If you "floor" the gas and make your rear wheels spin on the snow, the TOD system can not engage the front wheels because of the speed difference (front wheel are practically at zero speed).

But you should experience way better handling in the snow when you have it in 4HI compared to 2HI. If that's the case, I think your 4WD is working.

I am still confused about this part-time TOD though. Basically, if you keep it in 4HI it works exactly like the full-time 4WD. So why ever upgade to the full-time 4WD available on the EX's? :confused:
If one system would have a benefit over the other, it would be the part-time TOD because you can manually disable 4WD, which you can not do on full-time 4WD. But in what scenario would you do that? Still confused :confused:

Maybe some 4WD experts here have an opinion?
 

·
Registered
2013 Kia Rio LX Sedan, 2004 Mitsubishi Montero Limited, 2008 Suzuki GSX650F, 1985 Kawasaki LTD 454
Joined
·
207 Posts
In that case, you must have the part-time 4WD.

This means that once you put it in 4HI (or 4LO), you do engage the front axle and you are in actual 4WD (4WD light should come on in your dial cluster). The dealer's story about the front wheels only working when the rear wheels spin is incorrect. That only applies to EX's with Torque-on-demand.

To get back to your initial question. Neither the front or the rear axles on the Sorento have a locking diff. Most Sorento's do have a limited slip diff (LSD) on the rear axle, but nothing at the front. So if one of your front wheels is in the air (or on a very slippery surface) all the power from the front axle is going to that wheel. The other front wheel that is still on the ground would do practically nothing. Maybe that is what you saw in the snow?

I have the part-time 4WD myself and it makes a huuuuge different in the snow.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top