Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Replaced only 1 tire in AWD vehicle.

asked by on

We replaced only one tire in our AWD vehicle. We have been hearing a noise (almost like driving on a flat tire) for the last couple of months and were just told that we were supposed to replace all tires. It will cost us 800 to do so and to drain the gears etc. We planned on trading our car in within the next few months. Is there anything we can do to prolong having to replace all 4 tires? Maybe draining and refilling the gears? Thanks in advance.

My car has 61000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It is recommended on any vehicle with AWD (...

It is recommended on any vehicle with AWD (all-wheel-drive) to replace all four tires at the same time. The reason behind this need is due to the computer on the vehicle constantly monitoring the speed of each wheel. The computer makes corrections by applying the brakes or directing power to a particular wheel and it can sense if one or more tires rotating at a different speed. When you replace one tire, that brand new tire has a wider diameter than the other three tires. So when all four tires rotate, the tire with the bigger diameter will rotate slightly slower than the other three tires causing the computer to constantly make corrections.

If the noise you're experiencing appeared immediately after replacing the one tire, it is likely that that they are tied together. However, I want to note that without seeing the vehicle in person and driving it myself, I cannot give an accurate diagnosis. With your Kia being only around 3 to 4 years old and having low mileage at 61k, it is unlikely for the fluid/oil in your differential, transmission, and transfer case to be bad and it likely won't need to be replaced.

The best advice I can give to you is to have one of our ASE certified technicians come over and inspect your Kia Sorento. They will perform a test drive so they can confirm the noise in question, and then perform a thorough inspection to determine why this noise is present.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My battery light is on.

The problem is not the battery, but the charging system is not keeping the battery recharged. The alternator is the most common cause of this, though failing battery cables can also be a cause. I would recommend having the battery...

Q: What is the correct tire pressure?

The correct tire pressure for your vehicle can be found on the tire and information loading placard. This placard is located on the B-pillar, on the driver’s side, right next to the driver’s side door latch. It contains all the...

Q: What kind of oil change do I need?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to offer some insight about these services for you. It's usually a matter of personal preference and driving style. Synthetic oil is designed primarily for high mileage and high performance engines...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...