Rear wheel drive or AWD


Asked by Oct 22, 2016 at 07:32 PM about the 2005 Kia Sorento EX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2005 KIA Sorento EX. It drives
horribly on the slightest slippery road. The
4wd selector only has 4Low. The 4wd
doesn't seem to be working properly as
the tires begin to spin as soon as it is
engaged without giving any gas and gives
no better traction whatsoever. (The light
comes on and you can hear it engage). My
question is, does this model have AWD
that is possibly not working properly or is it
just rear wheel drive? I replaced all 4 tires
thinking that was the problem but didn't

14 Answers


Make sure you read the owners manual for instructions on using 4wd. If you don't have the right tires 4wd has limited value. For slippery roads make sure your tires are rated for snow and ice. What tires are spinning? All four or just the rear tires?


I doubt that you have manually locking hubs but if you do then the 4wd will not work until you get out of the car and turn the hub locks.


I did read the manual. It doesn't say anything about manually locking hubs. It does have to be stopped and in Neutral to engage which I did. I can't remember as it's been since last winter but I believe it was just the rear tires spinning. I thought it was very unusual for the tires to spin without giving it any gas. The 4wd is not my main concern though since it only has 4Low. My question is does this model have AWD that possibly isn't working right or at all. It feels like it's only rear wheel. I can spin the back tires on wet pavement without even trying. Tires are brand new. I can't afford to take it to a KIA dealer and I've had it in 2 different shops a total of 3 times and been told different things every time. I feel like nobody knows anything about this car.


I can guarantee that if your car is 4wd that is also has a 4-high range. It is possible that your front wheels are not locking in due to a defective transfer case or a problem with the actuator that locks the hubs in for you. If you have to stop and put the car in neutral then I can say for certain that you have a real 4wd, not an AWD car. Maybe this forum will help you ----- engage.html


This is a more technical explanation of your cars 4wd system -----

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

If you can spin the tires on wet pavement without trying then I suspect you have summer tires, not mud and snow tires. Look for the little snow flake symbol on the side wall. What tires do you have exactly?


The knob reads 4low and auto. So you're saying when in auto the 4wd should engage automatically when a tire slips?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I don't have a copy of your owners manual to read so I suggest you re-read the section on 4wd carefully. I do suspect your car has a problem with the 4wd actuator which I believe is vacuum operated. If the knob has an "auto" function then it should lock in 4wd when the tires spin. In 4wd low it should be in 4wd all the time.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The tires are Dextero DHT2. Says they are all season. I looked at the manual again and there are 2 models. One with part-time 4wd and 1 with full-time 4wd which is what mine is.


I guess I need to find a 3rd mechanic:/


The tires are probably OK so you should have your mechanic check the actuator that locks in the front axles/4wd. Good luck.


Ok thanks for your help!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

That your car drives horribly on wet roads is evidence that you need better tires. Your tires are a cheap WalMart brand so you may want to also buy some quality tires rated for good wet traction. The tires and the 4wd are two separate issues though. Good luck again!


I would not be critical of WalMart, they sell the same tires as the other dealers, they just have less markup

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Sorento in your area?

CarGurus has 33,224 nationwide Sorento listings starting at $2,155.


Kia Sorento Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Tom Demyan
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Hyundai Santa Fe
188 Great Deals out of 16,305 listings starting at $1,900
Used Kia Sportage
182 Great Deals out of 18,382 listings starting at $1,550
Used Toyota Highlander
443 Great Deals out of 44,503 listings starting at $1,750
Used Honda Pilot
452 Great Deals out of 39,064 listings starting at $999
Used Ford Explorer
832 Great Deals out of 64,080 listings starting at $2,000
Used Honda CR-V
541 Great Deals out of 67,089 listings starting at $1,800
Used Chevrolet Equinox
795 Great Deals out of 75,386 listings starting at $1,500
Used Nissan Pathfinder
305 Great Deals out of 22,132 listings starting at $1,495
Used Toyota RAV4
483 Great Deals out of 67,002 listings starting at $1,995
Used Kia Sedona
75 Great Deals out of 7,389 listings starting at $500
Used Ford Escape
912 Great Deals out of 105,387 listings starting at $550

Used Cars For Sale

2016 Kia Sorento EX For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 166 listings starting at $14,620
2015 Kia Sorento EX For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 129 listings starting at $14,773
2014 Kia Sorento EX For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 77 listings starting at $12,900

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.