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Q: 4 wheel drive not really working

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I am pretty disappointed with the 4-wheel drive in my 2009 Kia Sorento. I drive in bad weather a lot, so rain or snow is common. This car has 24k miles on the clock and it seems like the car can’t sense when to send power out to all four wheels. I’ll be driving along in wet conditions and it’ll intermittently change what wheels are driving and the ride will be noticeably more jerky. This is a fairly new car, but could this be a defect? Am I just stuck with this kind of performance until I sell the thing?

A: Greetings and thank you for writing in with...

Greetings and thank you for writing in with this question! The all-wheel drive system on the 2009 Sorento is a front-biased system that automatically sends power to the rear wheels depending on driving conditions. There is a 4-wheel drive “low” mode that can be engaged to assist in poor driving conditions like snow or ice. If the 4-wheel drive indicator illuminates on the dash and does not flash, there is not likely a problem with the 4-wheel drive system. However, there could be problem with a wheel speed sensor, the transfer case clutch or motor, or the prop shaft. A certified mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) can scan the vehicle’s computer for any 4-wheel drive codes and perform a thorough vehicle systems inspection that will reveal any mechanical or electrical faults.

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