Question about 1998 Kia Sportage

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4 whell drive doesn't seem to engage

When I engage the 4 wheel drive of my 1998 Kia sportage the dash indicator light says that it is in but it doesn't act like it is in. What could be the problem? Could there be a vacum hose that has come loose?

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  • Warrensov Mar 04, 2009

    I own an 2002 kia sportage and i have the same problem it has somethng to do with the vacume lines for the 4x4 . Kia = Junk no doubt.

  • satan42069us Mar 06, 2009

    i have the same problem 4 high don't work i put in 4 low it jumps hard but just two wheels work but light is on and i have missing vacum hoses

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  • 22 Answers

It is the vacuum hubs they plain and simple ****...replace the lines. or get manual hubs from warn. the manual hubs are your best bet and only cost around 130 for something you know will work

Posted on Mar 18, 2009

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2002 Kia Sportage 4X4 Just purchased. First big snow it seems the 4 Hi and 4 Low are not working as the front axle spins but the front wheels don't when I am stuck. Also is this vehicle rear wheel drive...


Best and cheapest to fix is to replace vacuum lockers with manual lockers. It is easy to do. Only 6 bolts per front wheel. This is the most trusted way of 100% engagement.

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I found the same problem on my sportage, it was the vacuum tubes behind the wheels that were split. Put the car on full lock and jackit up and you should see the tubes.A simple job to do, just get some silicon vacuum tube off ebay (I think it was 6mm bore but it is not critical as long as you can fit it over the connecting tubes.

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That light sounds like a differential lock or 4-wheel drive. This is usually found in 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. Being the light is "GREEN" and not amber or red tells me that it's not an abnormal problem.

Look around your dashboard or gearshifter for a button labeled 4x4 HI, 4x4 LO, 4x2 HI. sport/off road button, or a second, smaller shifter. Switch them around a little, and if it is a 4x4 selector, be sure when you drive on paved roads to have it set to 4x2 HI. 4x4 HI should only be used if you get stuck to help you get out (snow/mud) and 4x4 LO is only for off road driving (trail blazing/rock climbing/4-wheeling/mud bogging,etc.)

Also, check for any switches labled "DIFF LOCK" or 'AXLE LOCK". In most cars a green light is normal operations.

I hope I could help you find a solution to your problem.

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