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how to engage 4 wheel drive

02-15-2007, 01:58 PM
Hi everyone!
I have a 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4. Can someone tell me how to engage the 4-wheel drive?? The manual that came with it doesn't say how to put it in 4-wheel drive. We here in Indiana got 14 inches of snow and I can't get my car out ! Thanx!!! janet

02-15-2007, 03:57 PM
Well you have that small lever in the middle beetween seats that says 2H, 4H on the left, then 4L on the right (if a manual, you have also N on the right).
While you are stopped, just move the lever from 2H to 4H position, period..... the little green light will light up and say 4X4...
Ideally, you will be out of the snow bank right away.....
....but.....since all of that was quite easy and you came with the question...maybe there is more to the story...
Now the question is: will the front hubs engage? (did you buy it new or second hand?) As a 2001, if you have original equipment, you have vacuum hubs on the front wheels, and at that age, there is a great doubt as to their may be you will not be in 4WD after all...but there is nothing you can do about it as is: may be they will engage, maybe not..
If hubs have been changed and you have manual hubs, then you must also turn the dial on each wheel (if you do not see it, then that is not the case).
If the hubs have been changed for mechanical auto-lockers, then you are OK.
Any questions? just come back.

PA Mom
02-16-2007, 07:27 PM
:frown: I have a 98 Sportage and was wondering the same thing.
I have moved the lever as you said, the little light comes on, but the only wheel that turns is the rear right.
I bought it used 2+ years ago. At the first inspection, the guy said he thought the front hubs were "loose" and tightened them up for me. I had never used the 4wd before, so I can't say if it worked before he tightened it up. But 9 months later when we had snow, the darn thing was stuck in the drive way and wouldn't move! The 4wd light was on but the front wheels did not turn. I just assumed it worked. Did the mechanic mess it up?
Or will the Kia shop have to fix it??

02-17-2007, 06:33 AM
OK ("tightening" refers only to front bearing spindle nut relation with hubs... )
Original vacuum hubs are flawed. THey are the most convenient when they are new, but it does not last long.
THe 4WD light just tells you have pushed the transfer case into does not tell if the front hubs are engaged, which is required for 4WD.
Hubs must be changed for Warn:
Manual locking hubs are P/N 60247
Auto locking hubs are P/N 61918 (complete kit required: hubs, cam assembly, spindle nut, locking pin)
If you lke convenience, the best is to change for Warn auto mechanical: they are AVAILABLE ( on the web (under 200$), and the installation instructions are here:
THose in seek of more "hands on" action would buy the manual hubs...but you have to go out to turn them ON and OFF..of course they can be left ON but there is a drag penalty when on 2WD and I,ve experienced this drag on the front wheel can be a safety issue when you run on 2WD on slippery road...and running always in 4WD is a NO-NO on this type of 4x4.

Mark Allen
03-30-2007, 10:58 AM
I have a 95 Sportage and just went through this as well. Never used the 4wd very much till I decided to start exploring the Utah back country.... Mine still had the original factory cam-lock KIA hubs... oddly they were made by WARN for KIA as the WARN name is on the die cast hub out on the edge as well as the KIA name painted on in the center. I went for the manual locking hubs since it is obvious that even the cam lock WARN's are not holding up either. Installation was a snap taking about 45 min to do both sides total. I just wish WARN sold the special nut wrench for their replacement spindle nut that only has two notches in it!!! I couldn't locate one any place and ended up tapping the nuts home with a screw driver and small hammer. The KIA is alot more fun to drive in 4WD and I've left some full size pickups behind on old mining roads that full size trucks couldn't begin to fit down without being damaged.

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