Kia Sportage: Using four-wheel drive - Driving tips - Kia Sportage Owner's ManualKia Sportage: Using four-wheel drive

Driving on snow- or Ice-covered roads (“4WD LOCK” for full-time 4WD operation) • Use snow tires. See “Tires” in this section for more information. • Keep an adequate distance between yourself and other vehicles. • Avoid sudden braking, acceleration or steering. These actions can cause your vehicle to lose traction. Driving in sand or mud (“4WD LOCK” for full-time 4WD operation) • Avoid sudden braking, acceleration or steering. These actions can cause your vehicle to get stuck in the sand or mud. • Drive at low speeds whenever possible. • You may need to get out of your vehicle at times to check road conditions. • If you get stuck in the sand or mud, try placing stones, wood or other similar materials under the tires to get traction, or move forward and backward repeatedly to get unstuck.

WARNING - Traction Make sure that no one stands in front of or behind the tires when materials are placed under the tires to get more traction. The tires may cause loose materials to fly out from under the vehicle, potentially causing serious bodily injury or death.

NOTICE Prolonged rocking may cause engine damage, overheating, transaxle differential or transfer case damage or failure and tire damage.

Driving on a hill (“4WD LOCK” for full-time 4WD operation) • Use low gear when going uphill or downhill and avoid sudden braking. • Do not shift gears or use your clutch when going downhill. Do not coast downhill in Neutral. Crossing a ditch (“4WD LOCK” for full-time 4WD operation) • Avoid driving through ditches if possible, especially if there is water in the ditch.Your vehicle may stall if the electrical system gets wet. If you must cross a ditch, select 4WD LOCK mode. • Avoid driving where the water level is higher than the bottom of the wheel hub. If the water level rises above this mark, your vehicle will need to be serviced. • Tap lightly on the brake pedal during and after driving through water. This will help keep the brakes dry and in proper working order. • Do not shift gears while crossing a ditch. Tight corner brake effect

CAUTION - 4WD When turning sharply on a paved road at low speed while in four-wheel drive, steering control will be difficult.

This is called tight corner brake effect. Tight corner brake effect is a unique characteristic of four-wheel drive vehicles caused by the difference in tire rotation at the four wheels and the zero-degree alignment of the front wheels and suspension. Sharp turns at low speeds should be carried out with caution. Off-road driving with your four-wheel drive vehicle Off-road driving can be great fun. But it has definite hazards. The greatest of these is the terrain itself. “Off-roading” means you’ve left the paved road system behind. Traffic lanes are not marked. Curves are not banked. There are no carefully engineered road signs to warn you of dangerous conditions or to advise you of a safe speed. You have to assess the environment yourself. Surfaces can be slippery, rough, uphill or downhill. Off-road driving involves learning new skills. That’s why it’s important that you read and understand this section. You’ll find useful driving information and suggestions. These will help make your off-road driving safer and more enjoyable. Before you go off-roading There are some things to do before you leave the paved roads. Be sure to have all necessary maintenance and service work done beforehand. Be sure to read all the information about your four-wheel drive vehicle in this manual. Is there enough fuel? Is the spare tire fully inflated? Are the fluid levels at the proper levels? What are the local laws that apply to offroading where you’ll be driving? If you don’t know, you should check with law enforcement people in the area. Will you be on someone’s private land? If so, be sure to get the necessary permission. Loading your vehicle for off-road driving There are some important items to remember about how to properly load your vehicle. • The heaviest things should be in the cargo area and forward of your rear axle. Place heavier items as far forward as you can. • Be sure the load is properly secured, so driving over off-road terrain doesn’t shift your load or throw items toward the driver or passengers.

WARNING - Cargo • Cargo piled close to the height of (or higher than) the seat backs can be thrown forward during a sudden stop or on downhill slopes. You or your passengers could be severely injured. Keep cargo below the top of the seat backs and, if possible, do not pile separate items. • Unsecured cargo in the cargo area can be tossed about when driving on the highways or over rough terrain. You or your passengers can be struck by flying objects and severely injured. Secure the cargo properly. • Cargo should not be carried on the roof without a proper roof rack installed. The roof rack will hold a maximum of 45 kg (100 lbs.). Heavy loads in a roof rack raise the vehicle’s center of gravity, making it more likely to roll over. You can be seriously or fatally injured if the vehicle rolls over. Do not load cargo on the roof while driving off-road, if at all possible. Put heavy loads inside the cargo area, not on the roof or in a roof rack. Keep cargo in the cargo area as far forward and low as possible.

Traveling to remote areas It makes sense to plan your trip, especially when going to a remote area. Know the terrain and plan your route. You are much less likely to encounter unwanted surprises. Get accurate maps of trails. It’s also a good idea to travel with at least one other vehicle. If something happens to one of them, the other can quickly help. Getting familiar with off-road driving It’s necessary for you to practice in an area that’s safe and close to home before you begin serious offroad driving. Off-road driving requires new and different driving skills. You need to tune your senses to different kinds of signals. For example, constantly sweep the terrain with your eyes looking for unexpected obstacles. Listen for unusual tire, gear, or engine sounds. Feel and respond to the vibrations of the vehicle with your hands, feet, and body while still carefully controlling your vehicle. You’ll also need to adjust your expectations and greatly lower the number of miles you expect to cover in an hour or a day. Controlling your vehicle is the key to successful off-road driving. One of the best ways to control your vehicle is to control your speed. Here are some things to keep in mind when traveling at higher speeds: • You approach things faster and you have less time to scan the terrain for obstacles. • You have less time to react. • You have much more vehicle bounce when you drive over obstacles, giving you less vehicle control. • You’ll need more distance for braking, especially since you’re on an unpaved surface. Such terrain will always be more “slippery” than a paved road.

WARNING - Off road driving When you’re driving off-road, bouncing and quick changes in direction can easily throw you out of position in your seat. This could cause you to lose control of the vehicle and crash. Whether you are driving on or off the road, you and your passengers should always wear safety belts.

Scanning the terrain Off-road driving can take you over many different kinds of terrain. You need to be familiar with the terrain and its many different features. Here are some things to consider. Surface conditions Off-roading can take you over hardpacked dirt, gravel, rocks, grass, sand, mud, snow or ice. Each of these surfaces affects the steering, acceleration, and braking of your vehicle in different ways. Depending upon the kind of surface you are on, you may experience slipping, sliding, wheel spinning, delayed acceleration, poor traction, and longer braking distances. Surface obstacles Unseen or hidden obstacles can be hazardous. A rock, log, hole, rut, or bump can startle you if you’re not prepared. Often these obstacles are hidden by grass, bushes, snow or even the rise and fall of the terrain itself. Here are some things to constantly evaluate: • Is the path ahead clear? • Will the surface texture change ahead? • Does the path take you uphill or downhill? • Might you have to stop suddenly or change direction quickly? When you drive over obstacles or rough terrain, it is critical that you keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Ruts, troughs, or other surface features can force the wheel out of your hands if you’re not prepared. When you drive over bumps, rocks, or other obstacles, your wheels can leave the ground. If this happens, even with one or two wheels, you can’t control the vehicle as well or perhaps at all. Because you will be on an unpaved surface, it’s especially important to avoid sudden acceleration, sudden turns, or sudden braking. Any of these actions could cause the center of gravity of the vehicle to shift and destabilize the vehicle, leading to a collision or rollover accident. Off-road driving requires a different kind of alertness from driving on paved roads and highways. There are no road signs, posted speed limits or signal lights. You have to use your own judgment about what is safe and what isn’t. Bad judgment in this uncontrolled environment can be fatal.

WARNING - Drinking & driving Drinking and driving, or drug use and driving can be very dangerous on any road. This certainly remains true for offroad driving. At the very time you need special alertness and driving skills, your reflexes, perceptions and judgement can be affected by even a small amount of alcohol or drugs. You could have a serious - or even fatal - accident if you drink or take drugs and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking or taking drugs.

Driving on off-road hills Off-road driving often takes you up, down, or across a hill. Driving safely on hills requires excellent judgment and an understanding of what your vehicle can and can’t do. There are some hills that simply should not be driven.

WARNING - Driving on hills Many hills are simply too steep for any vehicle. If you drive up them, you will stall. If you drive down them, you can’t control your speed. In either case, you could flip over. If you drive across them, you will roll over. You could be seriously or fatally injured. If you have any doubt about the steepness, don’t drive up or down the hill, even if it means that you have to turn around and find another route. Re-tracking is a normal part of safe off-roading.

Approaching a hill When you approach a hill, you need to decide if it’s one of those hills that’s just too steep to climb, descend, or cross. Steepness can be difficult to judge. On a very small hill, for example, there may be a smooth, constant incline with only a small change in elevation where you can easily see all the way to the top. On a large hill, the incline may get steeper as you near the top, but you may not see this because the crest of the hill is hidden by bushes, grass, or shrubs. Here are some other things to consider as you approach a hill: • Is there a constant incline, or does the hill get sharply steeper in places? • Is there good traction on the hillside, or will the surface cause tire slipping? • Is there a straight path up or down the hill so you won’t have to make turning maneuvers? • Are there obstructions on the hill that can block your path (boulders, trees, logs or ruts)? • What’s beyond the hill? Is there a cliff, an embankment, a drop-off, or a fence? Get out of the vehicle and walk the hill if you are unsure. It’s the smart way to find out. • Is the hill simply too rough? Steep hills often have ruts, gullies, troughs, and exposed rocks because they are more susceptible to the effects of erosion. • How have weather conditions affected the terrain? Is there likely to be mud, snow or ice on the hill? • What time of day is it? Are temperatures dropping so that wet surfaces will start to freeze? Driving uphill Once you decide you can safely drive up the hill, you need to take some special steps. • Use a low gear and get a firm grip on the steering wheel. • Get a smooth start up the hill and try to maintain your speed. Don’t use more power than you need, because you don’t want your wheels to start spinning or sliding. • Try to drive straight up the hill, if at all possible. If the path twists and turns, you may have to find another route.

WARNING - Driving across hills Turning or driving across steep hills can be dangerous. You could lose traction, slide sideways, or just reach an area too steep to traverse. In any case, it could cause you to roll over.You could be seriously or fatally injured. When driving up hills, always try to go as straight up as possible.

• Slow down as you approach the top of the hill. • Attach a flag to the vehicle to make you more visible to approaching traffic on trails or hills. • Sound the horn as you approach the top of the hill to let opposing traffic know you’re there. • Use your headlights even during the day. They make you more visible to other drivers.

WARNING - Driving over hills Driving to the top (crest) of a hill at full speed can cause an accident and result in serious or fatal injury. There could be a drop-off, embankment, cliff, another vehicle or people sitting on the ground. As you near the top of a hill, slow down and stay alert.

Stalling while driving uphill What should I do if my vehicle stalls, or is about to stall, and I can’t make it up the hill? If your vehicle stalls, or is about to stall while driving uphill, there are some things you should do, and there are some things you must not do. First, here’s what you should do: • Push the brake pedal to stop the vehicle and keep it from rolling backwards. Also, apply the parking brake. • If your engine is still running, shift the transaxle into reverse, release the parking brake, and slowly back down the hill in reverse. • If your engine has stopped running, you’ll need to restart it. With the brake pedal depressed and the parking brake still applied, shift a manual transaxle to N (Neutral), or an automatic transaxle to P (Park) and restart the engine. Then, shift to reverse, release the parking brake, and slowly back down the hill in reverse. • As you are backing down the hill, put your left hand on the steering wheel at the 12 o’clock position. This way, you’ll be able to tell if your wheels are straight or turned to the left or right as you back down. Here are some things you must not do if you stall, or are about to stall, when going up a hill. • Never attempt to prevent a stall by depressing the clutch or shifting to N (Neutral) to “rev-up” the engine and regain forward momentum. This won’t work. Your vehicle will roll backwards very quickly and you could go out of control or roll over. Instead, apply the brake to stop the vehicle. Then apply the parking brake. Shift into reverse, release the parking brake, and slowly back down.

CAUTION - Stalling Never attempt to turn around if you are about to stall when going up a hill. If the hill is steep enough to stall your vehicle, it’s steep enough to cause you to roll over if you turn around. If you can’t make it up, you must back down the hill.

Stalled on a steep uphill If your vehicle stalls and you can’t back down the hill, try this: Set the parking brake, put your transaxle in 1 (First) gear or P (Park), and turn the engine off. Leave the vehicle and get some help. If your vehicle is at an angle to the slope of the hill, exit the vehicle on the uphill side and stay clear of the path the vehicle would take if it rolled downhill. Leave it in 1 (First) gear for manual transaxle or P (Park) for automatic transaxle.

WARNING - Exiting vehicle Getting out on the downhill (low) side of a vehicle stopped across an incline is dangerous. If the vehicle rolls over, you could be crushed or fatally injured. Always get out on the uphill (high) side of the vehicle and stay well clear of the rollover path.

WARNING - Leaving vehicle If you are going to leave your vehicle, set the parking brake and shift a manual transaxle to 1(First), or an automatic transaxle to P (Park).

Driving downhill Going downhill can be considerably more dangerous than driving uphill. When off-roading takes you downhill, you’ll want to consider many of the same things you thought about before you went uphill. As a brief reminder, those include: • How steep is the downhill? Will I be able to maintain vehicle control? • What’s the surface like? Smooth? Rough? Slippery? Hard-packed dirt? Gravel? • Are there hidden surface obstacles? Ruts? Logs? Boulders? • What’s at the bottom of the hill? Is there a hidden creek bank or even a river bottom with large rocks? • Have changes in the weather conditions and their effect on the terrain since you went uphill made your task more difficult? Once you have decided that you can go down a hill safely, try to keep your vehicle headed straight down, and use a low gear. This way, engine braking can help your brakes so they won’t have to do all the work. Descend slowly, keeping your vehicle under control at all times.

CAUTION - Downhill Before beginning to go downhill, it is critical that you ensure that no cargo can shift forward while you are heading downhill. Such shifting could either endanger you and your occupants, or interfere with your ability to control the vehicle.

WARNING - Braking Heavy braking when going down a hill can cause your brakes to overheat and fade. This could cause loss of control and a serious accident. Apply the brakes lightly when descending a hill and use a low gear to keep vehicle speed under control.

Avoid turns that take you across the incline of the hill. A hill that’s not too steep to drive down may be too steep to drive across. You could roll over if you don’t drive straight down. Never go downhill with the clutch pedal depressed. This is called “freewheeling.” Your brakes will have to do all the work and could overheat and fade.

CAUTION - Wheel locking Avoid braking so hard that you lock the wheels when going downhill. If your front wheels are locked, you can’t steer your vehicle.

If your wheels lock up during downhill braking, you may feel the vehicle starting to slide sideways. To regain your direction, just ease off the brakes and steer to keep the front of the vehicle pointing straight downhill. Stalling downhill Stalling is much more likely to happen going uphill. But if it happens going downhill, here’s what to do. • Stop your vehicle by applying the brakes. Then apply the parking brake. • Move the shift lever to P (Park) in automatic transaxle or shift to N (Neutral) in manual transaxle and, while still braking, restart the engine. • Shift back to a low gear, release the parking brake, and drive straight down. • If the engine won’t start, get out and seek help. Exit on the uphill side of the vehicle and stay clear of the path the vehicle would take if it rolled downhill. Driving across an incline Sooner or later, an off-road trail will probably go across the incline of a hill. If this happens, you have to decide whether or not to try to drive across the incline. Here are some things to consider: • A hill that can be driven straight up or down may be too steep to drive across. When you go straight up or down a hill, the length of the wheel base (the distance from the front wheels to the rear wheels) reduces the likelihood the vehicle will tumble end over end. But when you drive across an incline, the much narrower track width (the distance between the left and right wheels) may not prevent the vehicle from tilting and rolling over. Also, driving across an incline puts more weight on the downhill wheels. This could cause a downhill slide or a rollover. • Surface conditions can be a problem when you drive across a hill. Loose gravel, muddy spots, or even wet grass can cause your tires to slip sideways. If the vehicle slips sideways, it can hit something that will tip it (a rock, a rut, etc.) and cause it to roll over. • Hidden obstacles can make the steepness of the incline even worse. If you drive across a rock with the uphill wheels, or if the downhill wheels drop into a rut or depression, your vehicle can tilt even more. For reasons like these, you need to decide carefully whether or not to try to drive across an incline. Just because the trail goes across the incline doesn’t mean you have to drive it.

WARNING - Roll over Driving across an incline that’s too steep will make your vehicle roll over.You could be seriously or fatally injured. If you have any doubt about the steepness of the incline, don’t drive across it. Find another route instead.

If your vehicle slides downhill If you feel your vehicle starting to slide sideways, turn downhill immediately. This should help straighten out the vehicle and prevent the side slipping. However, a much better way to prevent this is to get out and “walk the course” first so you know what the surface is like before you drive it. Stalling while crossing an incline If your vehicle stalls when you’re crossing an incline, be sure you (and your passengers) get out on the uphill side, even if that door is harder to open. If you get out on the downhill side and the vehicle starts to roll over, you’ll be in its path. If you have to walk down the slope, stay out of the path the vehicle will take if it does roll over.

WARNING - Exiting vehicle Getting out on the downhill (low) side of a vehicle stopped across an incline is dangerous. If the vehicle rolls over, you could be crushed or fatally injured. Always get out on the uphill (high) side of the vehicle and stay well clear of the rollover path.

Driving in mud, sand, snow, or ice When you drive in mud, sand, snow, or ice, your wheels won’t get good traction. You can’t accelerate as quickly, turning is more difficult, and you’ll need longer braking distances. It’s best to use a low gear when you’re in mud, the deeper the mud, the lower the gear. In extremely deep mud, the idea is to keep your vehicle moving so you don’t get stuck. When you drive on sand, you’ll sense a change in wheel traction. But it will depend upon how loosely packed the sand is. On loosely packed sand (as on beaches or sand dunes) your tires will tend to sink into the sand. This has an effect on steering, accelerating, and braking. You may want to reduce the air pressure in your tires slightly when driving on sand. This will improve traction. Remember to re-inflate them the first chance that you have after you leave the loosely packed sand.

NOTICE • In case of loss of traction in mud, loose soil, or sand, turn the steering wheel rapidly from side-toside. This can help generate additional traction. • Do not gun the engine. This will cause the tires to spin and dig down, not forward, and could bury the vehicle to the frame. Smooth, easy power is better than too much power.

Hard-packed snow and ice offer the worst tire traction. On these surfaces, it’s very easy to lose control. On wet ice, for example, the traction is so poor that you will even have difficulty accelerating. And if you do get moving, poor steering and difficult braking can easily cause you to slide out of control.

WARNING - Frozen surfaces Driving on frozen lakes, ponds or rivers can be dangerous. Underwater springs, currents under the ice, or sudden thaws can weaken the ice.Your vehicle could fall through the ice and you and your passengers could drown. Drive your vehicle on safe surfaces only.

Driving in water Light rain causes no special off-road driving problems. However, heavy rain can cause flash flooding, and flood waters demand extreme caution. Find out how deep the water is before you drive through it. If it’s deep enough to cover your wheel bearing hubs, axles, or exhaust pipe, don’t try it, You probably won’t get through. Also, water that deep can damage your axle and other vehicle parts. If the water isn’t too deep, then drive through slowly. At fast speeds, water can splash on your ignition system and your vehicle can stall. Stalling can also occur if your tailpipe goes underwater. As long as your tailpipe is underwater, you will not be able to start your engine. When you go through water, remember that it may take you longer to stop when your brakes are wet. If you have driven through water that was deep enough to cover your wheel bearing hubs, it may be a good idea to have an Authorized Kia dealer or other competent service center repack your front wheel bearings and examine your rear-end fluid for evidence of water.

WARNING - Water Driving through rushing water can be dangerous. Deep water can sweep your vehicle downstream and you and your passengers could drown. If it’s only inches deep, it can still wash away the ground from under your tires, and you could lose traction and roll the vehicle. Never drive through rushing water.

After off-road driving Remove any brush or debris that has collected on the underbody, chassis or under the hood. These accumulations can be a fire hazard. After driving in mud or sand, clean and check the brake linings. Accumulation of mud or sand can cause glazing and uneven braking. Check the body structure, steering, suspension, wheels, tires, and exhaust system for damage. Also, check the fuel lines and cooling system for any leakage.Your vehicle will also require more frequent service due to off-road use.

    Special driving conditions
    Hazardous driving conditions When hazardous driving conditions are encountered such as water, snow, ice, mud, sand, or similar hazards, follow these suggestions: • Drive cautiously and allow ext ...

    Weight of the vehicle
    This section will guide you in the proper loading of your vehicle and/or trailer, to keep your loaded vehicle weight within its design rating capability, with or without a trailer. Properly loadin ...

    See also:

    Front Fog Lamp
    1. Open the hood. 2. Reach behind the headlamp housing to access the bulb. 3. Rotate the bulb’s socket counterclockwise, and remove the bulb and socket assembly from the fog lamp housing. 4. ...

    Engine oil
    With the engine at operating temperature and turned off, check the oil level on the dipstick. ■ Checking the engine oil 1 Park the vehicle on level ground. After warming up the engine and tu ...

    Registering from call history
    1. Select the “CALL HISTORY” menu. 2. Select “OUTGOING” or “INCOMING” by operating the “TUNE/TRACK/CH” dial. 3. Select the phone number by operating the “TUNE/TRACK/CH” dial. ...