Kia Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, new issue now. I had tried engaging 4wd Hi and Lo modes when test driving this Sorento, both modes engaged fine, can hear the transfer case engaging in both modes.

But since I'd read that you shouldn't drive in 4wd with them on tar road, I didn't drive in either mode.

Today I went for a short drive in 4wd hi mode, just at slow speed 30kph in a straight line. Wouldn't have gone 500m before I smelled something cooking. Pulled over and could see smoke cominf from the engine bay. Not thick but noticable, like engine oil burning off a hot engine. Couldn't see where it was coming from under the hood but it seemed to be more to the passenger side of the underside of the engine, could have just been the wind blowing that direction though.

I turned off 4wd Hi and continued on in 2wd, smoke went away immediately.

After I returned home I checked that both 4wd modes are still engaging while stationary. Seems they still engage normally.

Any idea what could be causing this smoke? Obviously something with the front end is getting hot, maybe the transfer case?

As posted in another thread this morning, I'm getting a clunk on stop start which I suspect may be related to the transfer case. So I think the thing might be dry.. I think I will try to drain the fluid soon and replace it.

Any other suggestions would be appreciative though.
 

·
Registered
2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD
Joined
·
465 Posts
Change the gear oil in the transfer case. It costs about $10 and you'll know if there's a problem with it, because the drained oil will have metal shavings in it. If it does, probably time to get rid of it.. not worth fixing imo. Or maybe the gear oil has never been changed? That could certainly cause it to overheat after 16 years.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the smoke because it might just be condensation that's turning into steam because it's sitting on something very hot. If it only happens when you switch to 4wd, the transfer case is definitely the thing to focus on. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
But since I'd read that you shouldn't drive in 4wd with them on tar road, I didn't drive in either mode.

Today I went for a short drive in 4wd hi mode, just at slow speed 30kph in a straight line.
Not advised, no. However, I used to drive mine in 4Hi on wet Welsh hill roads with no issues. As you have EST (a non-tod) version there is not much in there to cause smoke, unless the internal oil pump has failed and bearings are cooked. By all means change the oil and see what you have. And invest in a magnetic drain plug (now standard replacement from Kia) if not already fitted.

Never heard anyone complain before about clutch and 4wd. (Although the dual mass flywheel is a bit rubbish and can be replaced with a standard type assembly if you look around).
 

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
clutch..reknowned 4 it..they don't like 4 wd..even new clutch i found they didn't like to be in 4wd
I should have mentioned that mine in an auto.

I will change the transfer case oil next week when I have some time and see what the oil looks like. Hoping it is just low on oil and that I don't find metal shaving in it =/

I don't think the smoke is steam either, it was a dry day, hadn't rained in a while, and definitely smelled like hot engine oil.. Is it possible that engaging 4wd is causing oil to leak from the transfer case (or somewhere else) on to the exhaust manifold, when it doesn't seem to leak at all in 2wd?

Another aside with this vehicle. I'm getting absolutely terrible fuel economy, like 20l/100km (city driving, but still). I've changed the oil (full synthetic, 5w30), air filter, checked tyre pressure (tyres are road tyres, not all terrains), given the engine a treatment with intake and valve cleaner, still doesn't seem to have helped much. I drive fairly conservatively, not full grandma but not a leadfoot either.

Is it possible that there are issues with the transfer case that would cause bad fuel economy?

I've read some places that these vehicles can try to automatically engage 4wd due to faults in sensors or issues with the transfer case, which might mean the car is actually sometimes running in 4wd mode if this is happening (although the light doesn't come on).

Does the EST version of the BL Sorento do this, or only the TOD?

I've heard that disconnecting the fuse for the transfer case can disable all 4wd capability, rendering it a 2wd only vehicle, but that might help identify any issues going on with the 4wd system. Thoughts?

Thanks for all your advice everyone =)
 

·
Registered
08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
I've read some places that these vehicles can try to automatically engage 4wd due to faults in sensors or issues with the transfer case, which might mean the car is actually sometimes running in 4wd mode if this is happening (although the light doesn't come on).

Does the EST version of the BL Sorento do this, or only the TOD?

I've heard that disconnecting the fuse for the transfer case can disable all 4wd capability, rendering it a 2wd only vehicle, but that might help identify any issues going on with the 4wd system. Thoughts?
Only the TOD. EST model is either on or off activated by a dog clutch in the transfer case. If you were ok in 2wd I don't think that removing the fuse (no 13 marked TCCS on prefacelift) will help much. You just would not be able to engage 4wd. The fuse trick is really only for TOD.

Re your fuel consumption: I would have thought closer to 10l/100km would be nearer the mark. (Unless its a gas V6.) I wonder if your front axle is engaging/disengaging correctly (It should be disengaged by default).
 

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Only the TOD. EST model is either on or off activated by a dog clutch in the transfer case. If you were ok in 2wd I don't think that removing the fuse (no 13 marked TCCS on prefacelift) will help much. You just would not be able to engage 4wd. The fuse trick is really only for TOD.

Re your fuel consumption: I would have thought closer to 10l/100km would be nearer the mark. (Unless its a gas V6.) I wonder if your front axle is engaging/disengaging correctly (It should be disengaged by default).
Good to know about the fuse trick not applying to the EST model, thanks.

So this dog clutch in the transfer case, If it hasn't been activated in a long while could it be seized (or very tight) and hence overheat when engaged, especially if the transfer case is low on oil? I suspect the previous owner of this vehicle has not used 4wd in a very long while, and I also suspect that nothing but the engine oil has been checked or changed in a long time, possibly ever..

I wish I had time today to look into this further, but I'm off for the Easter long weekend (not driving this car, thankfully).

I haven't heard of anyone getting 10l/100km on the 3.5l V6 petrol Sorento, but I have read reports of being able to get around 15l/100km if everything is working correctly with somewhat conservative driving.
 

·
Registered
I now drive a 2003 S-10 Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
Joined
·
2,365 Posts
My 03 Sorrie w/3.5 gas got 23 MPG on the highway on long trips.
70 MPH was the norm. Without causing a big ruckus I used the mid grade gas.
 

·
Registered
2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD
Joined
·
465 Posts
If you smelled burnt oil and it happened after switching to 4wd, I'd say that's the gear oil.

Regarding the poor gas mileage, check your brakes. You might have a siezed pad or a caliper piston has rusted to the point where it's constantly applying some braking pressure.
 

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
By gear oil, do you mean transfer case oil?

I thought it could be the brakes as well, so I have serviced the brakes recently. The rear calipers were a bit tight initially and hard to press out, but I think they are OK now. Maybe I'll take another look at them. The rear pads are due to be replaced soon anyway.
 

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
What kind of mileage did you get on short trips with lots of stop-start driving?

I'm yet to take it on a long trip of highway driving, so I couldn't say yet what kind of efficiency I'm getting on the highway. But on city streets it is pretty damn bad..
 

·
Registered
08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
So this dog clutch in the transfer case, If it hasn't been activated in a long while could it be seized (or very tight) and hence overheat when engaged, especially if the transfer case is low on oil? I suspect the previous owner of this vehicle has not used 4wd in a very long while, and I also suspect that nothing but the engine oil has been checked or changed in a long time, possibly ever..

I wish I had time today to look into this further, but I'm off for the Easter long weekend (not driving this car, thankfully).

I haven't heard of anyone getting 10l/100km on the 3.5l V6 petrol Sorento, but I have read reports of being able to get around 15l/100km if everything is working correctly with somewhat conservative driving.
Dog Clutch is not a friction clutch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_clutch

Fuel Consumption: Sorry, given your location I presumed diesel. My V6 returned 22 mpg (Imperial) over 50k miles.
 

·
Registered
2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD
Joined
·
465 Posts
By gear oil, do you mean transfer case oil?

I thought it could be the brakes as well, so I have serviced the brakes recently. The rear calipers were a bit tight initially and hard to press out, but I think they are OK now. Maybe I'll take another look at them. The rear pads are due to be replaced soon anyway.
Yeah, the gear oil is in the transfer case and the rear differential. I would change both if they've never been changed. Then see where you're at.

If the calipers were hard to press, that means they're rusting out and they're going to get worse. It might not be your efficiency issue, but if they're hard to move like that, I would replace them soon.
 

·
Registered
I now drive a 2003 S-10 Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
Joined
·
2,365 Posts
What kind of mileage did you get on short trips with lots of stop-start driving?

I'm yet to take it on a long trip of highway driving, so I couldn't say yet what kind of efficiency I'm getting on the highway. But on city streets it is pretty damn bad..
I will presume you are talking to me. Around town I would get 15-18 MPG. The 3.5 had plenty of get up and go and I would use it sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I will presume you are talking to me. Around town I would get 15-18 MPG. The 3.5 had plenty of get up and go and I would use it sometimes.
Well I'm definitely not getting close to that. I'm only getting around 12-13 MPG (18-10L /100km) at the moment.

I'm going to replace the rear brake calipers as I suspect it is actually those that are causing the issue. Since suggested in this thread I have noticed that I think I can feel something 'holding the vehicle back' slightly at times. Eg. it will decelerate more quickly than I feel it should a lot of the time, and conversely sometimes when rolling down a hill it will feel like it 'lets go' and the vehicle will start to roll at a higher speed.. Or it's all in my head, who knows.

I'm also going to replace the transfer case fluid and the fluid in both difs. On that note, can anyone link me where to find the torque specs on the drain plugs for these?
 

·
Registered
Sorento 2003
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Alrighty, so I replaced the rear calipers. The old ones were definitely a lot tighter than I originally thought.

Driving straight after replacing them and the car feels better in general, it doesn't seem to want to 'grab' on take-off.

I also found the source of the smoke when driving in 4wd. I had recently greased the front prop shaft and had left a bit too much external grease in the U joints. When engaging 4wd it must've spun some grease onto the exhaust, causing it to smoke. I've cleaned it off now, so I would assume that is going to fix the issue one the residual grease burns off the exhaust.

I also change the transfer case oil. Although the oil that came out was pretty dark, I put a magnet in the removed oil and found no metal shavings in there, so fingers crossed that means the transfer case is OK!

Now I just need to change the diff oils and the transmission oils. But that is a job for another day..
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top