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2011 Kia Sorento LX V6
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 Kia Sorento, I just bought. Looks like I got burned. The AWD warning light comes in when it detects slippage. The rear wheel drive doesn't work even when locked. We cleared all codes, none of which were transmission related. Before clearing the codes the AWD light went off idling in the parking lot. We then tried on an ice parking lot. Still no rear wheel drive, but no warning light. And the same in 4 wheel drive locked. Any idea what it is? Also when I left the front tire spun (wet tire) again no light. I'm going to do more testing tomorrow. Any ideal what's going on? I've read the posts on the coupler issues. Do they trip a warming light or set codes? This seems more like sensor issue. (I hope)
 

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2011 Hyundai ix35 AWD CRDi
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99 Posts
I'd confirm the tailshaft is being driven first, it should rotate when ever the car is moving as it's driven straight off the front diff. If you can reach under there and rotate the shaft by hand with the car is stopped then the splines could be stripped where box and transfer case couple together. Otherwise if you can get the codes for the fault but I'd be suspecting coupler.
 

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2011 Kia Sorento LX V6
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Discussion Starter #3
We got no transmission codes. Only code was for vapour leaks from gas tank. I'm going to check fuse 13 and see if it is good and has power, if that's good check for power to the coupler. Truck has 165k on it. if it's the coupler why is it clearing itself sitting idling? The computer is seeing its stopped slipping because it not moving? It does clear the light by shutting it off and restarting it. And when I cleared the codes it still slips but doesn't trip the AWD light. That's what confuses me. Oh 1 more thing, is it suppose to lock the front tires when it slips because both front ones spun trying to climb the snowy driveway, nothing from the rear, it almost felt like the rear brakes were on. And now that I think about it in the garage packing lot on ice in 4 wheel drive locked it seemed like the rear brakes were dragging.
 

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White 2012 SX AWD
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787 Posts
I don't think the AWD light comes on when it detects slippage. I think it means it has detected some kind of fault...maybe a sensor failure or some inconsistent / invalid values somewhere.

What are the codes that were stored? There shouldn't be any codes.

The AWD is usually FWD. Don't know what triggers AWD...maybe front wheel slipping.

The AWD lock button turns on AWD at below 40 km/h, I believe. So, if you're going faster, the rear wheels may not be engaged / driven as part of the AWD.

From owner's manual: "WARNING If the 4WD system warning light ( ) illuminates, this indicates that there is a malfunction in the 4WD system..."
 

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2011 Kia Sorento LX V6
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yaa When it came on, after I bought it, I googled it. I also texted the guy I bought it from and he says oh ya it comes on, but goes out after you restart it. I looked on ebay and theres half a dozen complete, for roughly $600 C, so once I get a confirmation from Kia, that's what I'm buying. My buddy who has a 2009, says it should come on when it slips and goes off when it stops. Not sure why it clears itself after sitting at the garage. Going out today to see what the light does when you make it slip and see if it locks.$600 is way better then $2300 for new.
 

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2011 Kia Sorento LX V6
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well, looks like we have a solution. Theres no drive through the transfer case, which means it's either the out put shaft of the tranny or input shaft on the transfer case. Solution. Pull the transfer case far enough to see which had failed. Maybe both. Used tranny $600, used transfer case $450. 3 hours labour for transfer case, 8 hours for tranny. Both are 45 minutes away. So a day with out a car. Mechanic said he's only seen this 2 times in his life, the first one was his neighbors. The neighbour unfortunately replaced 2 couplers and a tranny before figuring it out. He did the work himself. Hope this helps. I'll be back Monday with the findings.
 

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2011 Kia Sorento LX V6
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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, it was the transfer case shaft that broke. Got a used one at a wreckers, $460 all in. Posted a picture of the out put shaft. I'll
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post a picture of the old one tomorrow.
 

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2011 Kia Sorento LX V6
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Discussion Starter #9
I would have taken a pic, but it would have involved taking the transfer case apart, but it was a broken gear that caused the issue. Road test next.
 
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