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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2003 Kia Sorento LX.

When I shift it into N and turn the knob to 4 wheel drive low, the dash indicator light does not come on, and there is no sound of it engaging into 4 wheel low, like it used to do.

I just had the 4 wheel drive actuator motor replace but that didn't solve the issue.

Do you know what else could be causing the 4 wheel drive low to not engage?

Thanks.
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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So do you have 4Hi?
Did you have 4Hi before you replaced the 4wd motor?
This motor you replaced also controls 4Hi, 4Low and 2wd, so if 4Hi was working should be no reason to replace it.
When in 4Hi does the dash light come on representing 4wd?

Have you tried replacing the 4wd/low/2wd switch (the one on the dash that you switch to change). The switch area that touches when 4low should be engaged might not be providing and resistance (or electrical flow)

I inserted two pics of the switch opened up. It has 3 contact point to represent the 3 modes of operation, and they area
RWD: Contact point 1 and 2
4 Hi: Contact Point 1 and 3
4 low: Contact point 1 and 4
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So do you have 4Hi?

No, just a switch for Auto and 4LO. (See attached picture.)

Did you have 4Hi before you replaced the 4wd motor?

The mechanic said on the lift the Kia is shifting into 2HI and all wheel drive. He replaced the 4 wheel drive actuator motor because he thought that is what was causing the problem and because it is usually that part that goes bad. But as we see it didn't fix 4LO.

When in 4Hi does the dash light come on representing 4wd?

Only have auto and 4LO switch.

Have you tried replacing the 4wd/low/2wd switch

No he hasn't tried that yet. What causes that to go bad?

 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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This motor you replaced also controls 4Hi, 4Low and 2wd, so if 4Hi was working should be no reason to replace it.

This is not quite true, the motor only controls high and low range engagement, the 4WD in and out is by an electromagnetic clutch inside the case.
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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It seems you may have the TOD (torque on Demand) system.
It freely changes between 2hi and 4hi as its required i believe.
The TOD models were never release here in Aus, so dont know much about them.

I have also managed to get some documentation showing that the shift motor also controls 4Hi. (in non-TOD applications at least from my understanding)
The size of the file is a little bigger than the max allowed attachment size, so i will see if i can split it up and attach it.

Regarding the switch and what causes it to go bad - it seems its a contact issue of some sort, something to do with the electrical connection. Mine was having intermittent issues (non TOD) where i would get both low range and 4wd Hi dash lights light up indicating that there is an issue (both are not supposed to be on at once).
I would get both lights coming on, for about 1 hour then going off intermittently. So i sprayed some electrical contact cleaner in the back of the switch (your picture) with out taking the switch backing off, and no issues for about 1 month.
Then issues start again, more contact cleaner, good for 1 month.

So i took the switch apart, there was some old hardened grease in there.
Someone advised me to get some electrical contact grease and put it on, so i cleaned the old grease, and re-greased it, that was about 3 weeks ago now, and no issues.
So from what i can tell if you look at the photo of the open switch it seems it relies on the contact points touching and shorting/opening or providing the correct resistance. It seems with the old grease, it wasnt achieving the correct voltage so registering a fault (as displayed by the two dash lights) and not allowing me to shift into 4hi or 4 low.

The new grease seems to have sorted it for the time being.
It has seemed to work in my case, and posted on another forum
4WD & Low range lights intermittent issue - Terracan Technical - Australia4WD Forum - Page 2

Contact grease:
Buy Contact Treatment Contact,treatment product,grease,35ml syringe RS ERGX35ML online from RS for next day delivery.

I will continue to post on that other forum with my issue.

Im not exactly sure how the TOD works, but i assume the switch system will be similar...

Cant seem to be able to upload the PDF, please feel free to pm me with your email address, and i can send it to you
 

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I managed to split the PDF into two files.
On page 37 of the first half you will see the positions of the shift motor that show 4Hi, 4Low and 2Hi.

This is where i got my info from when i wrote that comment, please feel free to advise if you believe this is wrong..
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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Looking at those diagrams

Then in a TOD transfer case:

In Hi range drive to the front wheels is by increasing clamping pressure of a multiplate clutch caused by 3 steel balls running in inclined tracks in response to varying current applied to an electromagnet.
Clamping force (and thus torque split) is directly proportional to the current applied to the EM coil, and this is dictated by the computer program, in response to input from various sensors inside the box and on the engine.

Low range is performed by the shift motor which moves a shift fork via a spiral ramp to engage or disengage a planetary cluster on the input shaft.

Therefore in a TOD case the shift motor does not control 4WD high except to the extent that it must work, to allow the assembly to return to the home position, to allow low range to be released.


In a part time case.

Drive to the front wheels is by electromagnetic clutch alone in 4Hi.

In 4Lo the shift motor moves the shift fork to engafe the planetary cluster on the input shaft, but also moves a fork to positively lock the clutch in the 4WD position. Presumeably this is because it might slip under the added torque, or if the car stalled on say a steep incline, the clutch would otherwise drop out, and leave you with no 4WD in a possibly precarious spot.

However once again the shift motor does not control 4 WD Hi engagement, but must work correctly to allow a system to return to 4Hi or 2WD.

TOD in particular just looks like something designed to wear out, although this system appears indentical to the one used in Ford Explorers. It worries me a little that Kia specify that the oil is "no change" I think the assembly would last a lot longer if you did.

I hate these electronics, what is wrong with a simple lever. In the past I've owned both a Ford Bronco and a Nissan Pathfinder, these could be manually shifted into 4H on the fly under 80 KM/H. So what have we gained?
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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cmar, looks like you have a better understanding from those diagrams than i do.
I dont get 100%, but understand the basics.

As you say, they have unnecessarily complicated a reasonably simple task of shifting into 4wd with all these added electrics.
With the manual way of doing it, you could trust it to work, and not move a switch and hope for the best (listen for a clunk).

I know i have had may issues with it and all ready and only owned the car for 4 months or so.
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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My fater was a mechanical engineer and I grew up with this stuff even though I don't actually do it for a living.

Yes mate couldn't agree more. Still I've had very little problems with mine so fingers crossed! In any case you have no choice these days even the ones that still look like a transfer lever nowadays just engage the switch !
My father owned a Holden Rodeo for a while and it had the exact same transfer case. I'm pretty much happy with my Sorento, where else could you buy a low mileage unmarked, v6, mid sized wagon for $13,500. A Prado of similar vintage would cost twice that, or a Pathfinder half as much again, and I'm not convinced that they are that much better. The only one that comes close in price secondhand would be a Pajero, and then you have to deal with a unibody and all round IS.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@ RandomBob - Hey, I wanted to make sure I say thanks for uploading the PDF files. They're a big help.

@ Cmar -- To answer your question... First let me preface by saying I'm not a mechanic, but it appears to me from the information in the PDF file on the 2nd upload pages 13-14 it explains the advantages of the Torque on Demand. The system automatically senses road and/or driving conditions and switches between 2 wheel and 4 wheel, detecting wheel slippage. I've read on other diagrams of the system that the computer does this 200 time per second in order to keep the car stable when driving, steering and braking, without any driver input what so ever. Yes I agree it is a sophisticated system but actually I think it's kinda cool. It's more than just being able to let's say manually switch your transmission from 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive. TOD actually changes torque to the front and back wheels in specific ratios as needed. It's interesting how it can switch from lets say 50:50, 30:70, 60:40.. and do this super fast as specific condition present etc... as needed without the driver having to worry about. it. Apparently it also works in conjuction with steering and ABS braking abilities, improving them.
 

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Oh please don't get me wrong, I think it is a very clever system and for use in icy roads and snow (such as the car was designed for in Europe and North America) it is probably a much better choice than a system that you would have to continually switch in and out according to road conditions. Obviously Ford thought so too, as they used as far as I can see the exact same system in the Explorer.

It's just that over here where we only get winter snow in two very small parts of the country for about 3 months of the year, it doesn't offer such a great advantage, and being used to 4WD probably just prefer to control things myself. The TOD box is rare on Kia's in Australia I think primarily because Hyundai released it first on the Hyundai Terracan and there was a lot of problems with them and tyre sizing so that may have influenced things?

I just had reservations about the durability of a system that involved the use of a continuously slipping clutch assembly but I guess in reality that is not much different to a modern auto transmission torque converter lockup.

Also when performing river crossings or deep mud I just worry about the reliability of electrics. Several vehicle makes sold here use the same BW transfer case as Kia uses so it can't be a bad box! :)
 

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Haha, cmar looks like we both like the old simple tech.

In Australia, kia never released the TOD box btw.
I also like the old less complex systems. The only reason is that you trust when you shove a stick it moves things in the transfer case. But now we rely on a lot of electrical connections/switches which although makes it easier, also has the potential to introduce more complexity and electrical issues on what is essentially a mechanical system.

And when your off road, you want a 4wd system that you can trust rather one that is a little simpler to put into 4wd mode.

But that is my opinion, and everyone like different things...
 

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Indeed Random Bob, I was over on the Aust $WD Action forum yesterday and someone had posted very upset (and rightly so) because VW were not going to cover the complete failure of his common rail diesel injection system on his VW Amarock ute AFTER THE FOURTH TANK OF FUEL! claiming that it was the fourth tank of fuel that destroyed the system not faulty parts.

Whilst we all know that Australian diesel is absolutely crappy quality, this is pretty poor support. (although seeminglt par for the course for CRDi)
As you say this is not the sort of thing that you want to happen in the middle of the Simpson desert, up Cape York or somewhere up in the far North West. I don't think that many of our US and Europen friends appreciate that "isolated" in Australia can literally mean hundreds of kilometres for ANY form of civilisation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes with that situation I can defently see your point. If I lived in or was going into a remote location by myself with no other vehicles to help me out, I would probably feel much more safer with a manual (old school) 4X4 system.

Even here in the USA there are plenty of, what may seem like innocent situations, can turn into trouble if electronics fail. Oh wow that's a good segway into a story.... Let me tell you what happened..

So... It was I think the second year of ownership. I decided to take a weekend trip to the high mountains of Northern California in the national forest campground. So, after hours of twisting roads I finally made it to this campsite. It was way out in nowhere, nobody around. But it was cool though.. beautiful, peaceful.

So anyway.. It's late Saturday morning, like 1AM or something... I'm sleeping in my the back of my kia with the sunroof open...

Then all of a sudden I hear this sound... Wooooosh...Pssssss... and then my kia lifts up and slams back down with a... Wooomph! Bang!

Needless to say I was a little freaked out! Here I am in no-mans land it's late, I didn't bring a gun or anything.

At first I thought it was a bear...

I finally went back to sleep (although not completely).... The next morning, no bear tracks, no signs of any animals, no damage to my vehicle.

So what could have cause my car to do that?

To this day I still do not know. Kinda a freaky mystery I'll never know.

Unless someone here knows....

So to your point... I left the next day because I realized I was just a helpless soul driving a mechanical device that could fail at any time and it wasn't a good idea to be so far out without anyone around or with me.

So yeah, I can see your point, these sophisticated Kias are great, but I wouldn't rely on them for solitary, remote situations.
 

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I was trying to post a new thread, but did not know how, so, I am just replying..
So, the case is with my 07 sorento 4x4 3.8. I loved the car structure cuz of the separate strong frame and the rear wheel drive system which I think is more durable and reliable than the FWD. Anyways, I bought it 4 months ago with everything working except for few issues:
1- Oil leak from the engine's rear seal (the one between the engine and the trans).
2- No alarm system.
3- No stereo / CD system (stolen) and the AC blowers on the sides of the cd system were broken to.
4- A knock on the differential side when engaging the D or the R (I think it is the joint on the diff).
These are the only issues.

So, to make it short. The 4x4 stopped working. Prior to this, I have seen or done the following:

1-I had the ABS light on one day. Replaced it and it is fine.
2- Replaced the engine rear seal and pressure washed the bottom of the car to clean the oil on the bottom.
3- Installed an after market alarm system.
4- Installed a touch screen cd, fm, mp3 system.

The 4x4 is not working. I used some advice from this forum to check the air pump beside the battery and to check the pressure on the wheels, everything was ok.

- Unplugged the alarm system, the 4x4 still doesnt work.
- The scanner tech told me 4x4 would not work unless you replace the ABS sensor, I did, nothing happened.
- Unplugged I think all the wiring under the car that connect the transmission and cleaned every connection. I just thought maybe there is still water or (diesel) left from the cleaning of the bottom of the car.
- Unplugged the 4x4 Hi and L knob on the dashboard and tried another one. It was fine.

What else??? Yes, I only have to check if the small engine on the transmission receives enough power to make sure that it is a wiring problem or a mechanical problem.

By the way, and this is the last thing I have: When I turn the knob on 4 Hi or L, the light of 4x4 or L4wd flashes but you hear no klink or anything else. All you see is the light of ESC. It comes on for 5 seconds and then it goes away. That is the last thing so far. So, let me say that again, you turn the knob to any position other than 2wd, and the ESC light comes on for 5 seconds. That is it.

Your opinion!
 

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Sorry, i can't help with that one. I dont have esc on mine.
But i would say get a scanner on there to see what codes are thrown when you try and engage 4wd. Hopefully the ESC might throw a code.

To me it sounds like the problem in this case is the esc not allowing it to engage into 4wd.

After fixing the esc, was the fault code reset by a scanner?

you say
"When I turn the knob on 4 Hi or L, the light of 4x4 or L4wd flashes but you hear no klink or anything else."

So the 4wd light flashes as if to indicate its engaging, and then goes off. Stops flashing, and no lights?
 

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I have a 2003 Kia Sorento LX.

When I shift it into N and turn the knob to 4 wheel drive low, the dash indicator light does not come on, and there is no sound of it engaging into 4 wheel low, like it used to do.

I just had the 4 wheel drive actuator motor replace but that didn't solve the issue.

Do you know what else could be causing the 4 wheel drive low to not engage?

Thanks.
There is a fuse for this in the footwell fusebox. Mine did the same the first time I tried it and after a few minutes reading the book and swearing, I looked in the fusebox and there was NO FUSE.. Might be worth a check to see if its blown :)
 
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