Front wheel drive problem?


Asked by Jan 30, 2014 at 11:15 AM about the 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Front wheel drive problem? Thought it was the tires, they were checked, and fine. I sat on flat ground this morning with 3 inches of snow spinning wheels while cars of the same size drove around me. I tried turning off the traction control off, and that just made it worse. I have been hearing more road noise for several months, slipping on barely wet pavement. Could the front wheel drive system be bad? (I don't know what else to call it!) thank you for any help.

16 Answers


could be a build up of snow and ice in the tread of the tires. Also it is difficult sometimes to get a vehicle moving in the packed snow. There could have also potentially been packed ice under the snow keeping the car from getting enough initial traction to move.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

You must be hitting the accelerator too much, feather the pedal to maintain traction and try pulling away from a stop in second gear vs first.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

So I shouldn't bare down on the accelerator? :) I did try going slowly, but again, other cars the same size didn't seem to have issues. The slipping and traction control kick in at the slighest bit of wetness on the road, which leads me to think that something more is going on with the front end. I had no problems going in reverse on the snow, but there were too many cars around to get out of where I was for me to do that all the way down the side street.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The type of tire can make all the difference in the world. If you have the OEM Kumho Solus on your vehicle, although it may be rated as all season, it's probably not much of a snow tire. I purchased a dedicated set of 4 snow tires, mounted on steel rims, for my wife's Mazda 626, and it does quite well in the snow. They are Firestone Winterforce tires. I swap them out, depending on the season.

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I also have experience with the Firestone Winterforce tires and can confirm, they are excellent in the snow.

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If this is the tire I suspect you have (Kumho Solus, see picture), my personal experience with them, was not good. Traction was only good on a dry warm day. They also wore out quickly. I replaced them with B.F. Goodrich Advantage T/A tires. They are much better than the Kumho, but I still mount the Firestones for the Winter, since I already had them when the car had the Kumho tires on.

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And no tire, unless you have studs or chains, will be good on ice. Slow down. A good tire will help you get moving, and offer more control, but ultimately, it's the driver that needs to know the limitations of his/her vehicle. Practice in a remote area away from traffic, pedestrians, and obstacles.

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Thank you all for your answers! Sorry for the sarcasm, but I was going slow, I was going nowhere! I had the car at the dealer yesterday to check the tires (I thought that the front may be more worn than the back, and wanted to see if just rotating would help AT ALL) and they said the tread is fine, should last another 10-15K miles, the wear was fairly even between all 4. They are the stock tires that came with the car - Goodwrench707 you are probably right with which type they were. I guess the performance just dropped dramatically last fall when I started noticing the road noise. This is the 3rd winter I have had them, and haven't experienced getting stuck like this before. So, maybe it is just the tires. I am trying to prevent buying new ones, as I am leasing, but with the winter we are having in MN this year, I may have to. Thanks to all for your input! One last thing - why didn't it get stuck going in reverse?

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Here is one comparison: Take a garbage can lid, place it on a snow covered incline, and sit on it. No traction, and go sliding down the hill. Now take the wire grate out of your oven, and do the same thing (You're not getting very far). That's because the grate has too many grooves/holes, and it digs into the snow. For a tire to be good in snow, it needs more grooves going across the tire. In the picture of the Kumho tire above, there is no place for the snow to push-out sideways. Instead of digging into the snow, you are riding/sliding on top of it.

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"One last thing - why didn't it get stuck going in reverse?" Front wheel drive is good in snow because the weight of the engine is over the tires. When you accelerate in reverse, you are shifting the weight of the rest of the vehicle towards the drive wheels. Example: "Why a dragster lifts it's front wheels off the ground". That's a bit exaggerated, but the small weight shift in your car helps.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If I am reading that right - even though it is called "front wheel drive", the "drive wheels" are really the rear ones? Or, you mean that the weight is going towards the front, and therefore the back end is lighter and easier to get it going while in reverse? (Are you rolling your eyes yet?) I had a '98 Cadillac Catera rear wheel drive (one of the first models, that was smaller than they are now) - the one with a "German engine" - and it was so awful to drive in the winter, even with great tires. But, it was fun in the summer! Thanks for all your help, I am so grateful to have found this forum!!!

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It's the latter. Weight is going towards the front.

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My eyes never left their sockets, I just blinked more than I usually do. ;-)

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Your welcome.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

This might be late but I have the same problem in our drive. this car will not go. It is not very Much snow at all. My 05 Dodge stratus drives right through it. Our sonata just sinks in the snow. I am not a car person but this does not make since to me.


Lucas - please read all the prior answers if you can. (Not sure if you can view them all?) I'm fairly certain the tires were the problem, it got a little better when I replaced the tires with used ones of the exact same type as I had, but had less wear on them. AND, try turning off the ABS in any depth of snow. Good luck! I turned in my Sonata in November, really liked it but haven't replaced it yet. Looking for something that has tired that will last more than 2 years!

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