2012 Kia Sorento stutters intermittently as I am driving down the road - still looking for insight!

My vehicle will stutter as I am driving down the road but if/when I stop and drive again it goes away. I have had it to the dealer but they cannot duplicate the problem so they sent the vehicle home without an answer. It almost feels like the tires are out of balance when it stutters. I have recently had the following done to my vehicle; brakes and rotors on front and back, oil change, air filter changed, tires rotated and balanced, replaced spark plugs. The problem does not occur every day or any particular time of the day or evening. I will be driving to Myrtle Beach soon and I am completely frustrated that they are unable to find a problem. They cannot find any codes and the check engine light does not come on when the problem occurs. The vehicle does not seem to lose any power.

Is the stutter a miss in the engine or is it caused by the transmission?

I cannot pinpoint where it is coming from

At what speed does the “stutter” occur?
How long does it last?

It is possible that you have a problem with the torque converter lock-up mechanism, but until we know the answers to my questions, this is only a WAG.

Have the engine codes read at a large auto parts store. Cross your fingers that there is something stored in the computer. Post the results here and we may be able to help you.

The “stutter” can happen at any speed, 40 on a local road or at 60 on the interstate. It will last until I stop at a red light or pull off the road and drive away.
The dealer tried to pull the codes but it was not showing anything.

Does your car have a switch to turn the OD (overdrive) off? If it does then try driving with the overdrive off and see if the stuttering goes away. If it does…the problem is in the transmission…most likely the torque converter lock-up as VDCdriver has already mentioned.

Thank you!! I was just thinking it may have something to do with the AWD. I will try this and talk to the dealer when I drop it off tomorrow.

Thank you both!!!

The saga continues - the dealer had my car for an entire day…still cannot replicate issue. Driving to work this morning started shaking. Not sure why they cannot duplicate the issue but it seems to be happening more frequently now. I contacted Kia customer care and escalated my issue and was told I would be contacted in 2-3 business days. I am dropping the car off again for another day and half (third times a charm hopefully). I also scheduled an appointment at the bigger Kia dealer (which is where I bought the vehicle but is farther away). The entire situation is frustrating to say the least. Of course when I talk with the mechanics they seem to think I have two heads as I am a single mom and am concerned about driving my two kids on vacation in a few weeks (driving 600 miles) and not wanting to be stuck on the side of the road or having to stop on the side of the road just so the shaking will discontinue.

Here’s a similar case where one of the two front axles was popping out of the transmission and causing intermittent vibration in the drive train: (see post #4)

Thank you. I did see that about the front axles. I have mentioned it to the dealer but of course was told, they can’t go by what is found on the internet and in my opinion the way I am treated… I am a woman and do not know what I am talking about. I am so totally frustrated with the whole process. They just keep telling me they cannot not do anything until they can duplicate the problem.

Sorry for your troubles. Yes, unfortunately I believe women are treated as though they don’t know anything. But even men sometimes get the same treatment, so try not to take it personally. :wink:

I do believe it’s something mechanical in the drivetrain, since you say you aren’t losing power and there are no trouble codes. Just be patient. Ask if you can leave your Sorento there for a few days and borrow a loaner so they can drive the Sorento for a few days until they can get the problem to show up again. Or if you bought the car there, you could try being a little more forceful and demand to leave the car with them and not take it back until they find the problem.

Thank you… I am just very frustrated. I am again leaving my vehicle today and tomorrow for them to drive. I also have an appointment next week with the bigger dealer that I actually purchased the vehicle with. My biggest issue is that I have had to scramble to locate a vehicle to drive for vacation since I am leaving in 13 days just in case the issue is not found in time or fixed. I am not driving an unsafe, unreliable vehicle on vacation.
Believe me I am being forceful at this point…and have contacted a lemon law attorney (I’ve gone through the lemon law years ago with a different vehicle and I am a Paralegal)
I am seriously thinking of taking an auto mechanic class.

Good for you. Be persistent and you’ll find someone who can diagnosis it correctly. You might also try elevating the issue by writing a letter to the Kia regional manager.

I also highly recommend taking a class. The more you know, the less you get jerked around, and this is true for both women and men.

The saga continues…I now have the Sorento with a bigger dealer (the one I bought it from) they are now going to put a flight recorder on my vehicle which means another trip to the dealer again tomorrow. I sure hope they can find the problem. I did record the issue on my phone when it happened the other day and sent it to them so they could see the mileage/rpms and hear the sound…So very frustrating!!!

Don’t give up and don’t let them run over you because you’re a woman. My wife will stay on them to they get it right. She used to be meek and mild, but now she doesn’t let men run all over her. I try to stay on her good side.

Thank you…I have been very persistent as I am leaving for vacation in a week and would like my vehicle fixed.

My question is; is a flight recorder more sensitive to pick things up since my check engine light does not come on and they have not been able to pull any codes yet.

Update for anyone having this problem - finally after taking my vehicle to another dealer attempt number five they found the problem to be the front axle which is covered under warrantee!!!

Congratulations on sticking with it and finally getting the problem diagnosed and addressed. It appears in retrospect that you may have found the problem yourself, and asked the shops if it was in fact it was a problem w/the front axels as mentioned in the post above. I guess this is like when you go to the doctor. If you tell the doctor what problem you think you have, you’ll never get them to give you that diagnosis. They’ll start you on some other track. Why? Probably b/c – after years of study – they don’t like being reminded that folks w/an internet connection can sometimes do the same thing in a few minutes!!