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Winter driving

Severe weather conditions in the winter result in greater wear and other problems.

To minimise the problems of winter driving, you should follow these suggestions:

Snowy or icy conditions

To drive your vehicle in deep snow, it may be necessary to use snow tyres or to install tyre chains on your tyres.

If snow tyres are needed, it is necessary to select tyres equivalent in size and type of the original equipment tyres. Failure to do so may adversely affect the safety and handling of your vehicle. Furthermore, speeding, rapid acceleration, sudden brake applications, and sharp turns are potentially very hazardous practices.

During deceleration, use vehicle braking to the fullest extent. Sudden brake applications on snowy or icy roads may cause skids to occur. You need to keep sufficient distance between the vehicle in operation in front of your vehicle. Also, apply the brake gently. It should be noted that installing tyre chains on the tyre will provide a greater driving force, but will not prevent side skids.

Tyre chains are not legal in all states. Check state laws before fitting tyre chains.

Snow tyres

If you mount snow tyres on your vehicle, make sure they are radial tyres of the same size and load range as the original tyres. Mount snow tyres on all four wheels to balance your vehicle's handling in all weather conditions. Keep in mind that the traction provided by snow tyres on dry roads may not be as high as your vehicle's original equipment tyres. You should drive cautiously even when the roads are clear. Check with the tyre dealer for maximum speed recommendations.

Do not install studded tyres without first checking local, state and municipal regulations for possible restrictions against their use.


Snow tyres should be equivalent in size and type to the vehicle's standard tyres. Otherwise, the safety and handling of your vehicle may be adversely affected.

Tyre chains

Since the sidewalls of radial tyres are thinner, they can be damaged by mounting some types of snow chains on them. Therefore, the use of snow tyres is recommended instead of snow chains. Do not mount tyre chains on vehicles equipped with aluminium wheels; snow chains may cause damage to the wheels. If snow chains must be used, use fabric-type chains or wire-type chains with a thickness of less than 15 mm (0.59 inches).

Damage to your vehicle caused by improper snow chain use is not covered by your vehicle manufacturers warranty.

When using tyre chains, attach them to the drive wheels as follows.

  • Front wheel drive vehicle moves the front wheel as a power source. Thus, snow chains must be mounted to front tyres.

  • After mounting snow chains, drive slowly. If you hear noise caused by chains contacting the body, slow down until the noise stops and remove the chain as soon as you begin driving on cleared roads to prevent damage.

  • Wrong size chains or improperly installed chains can damage your vehicle's brake lines, suspension, body and wheels. Therefore, when installing snow chain, follow the manufacturer's instructions and mount them as tightly possible. Drive slowly (less than 30 km/h (20 mph)) with chains installed.

  • Make sure the snow chains are the correct size and type for your tyres. Incorrect snow chains can cause damage to the vehicle body and suspension and may not be covered by your vehicle manufacturer warranty. Also, the snow chain connecting hooks may be damaged from contacting vehicle components causing the snow chains to come loose from the tyre. Make sure the snow chains are SAE class "S" certified.

  • Always check chain installation for proper mounting after driving approximately 0.5 to 1 km (0.3 to 0.6 miles) to ensure safe mounting. Retighten or remount the chains if they are loose.

Use high quality ethylene glycol coolant

Your vehicle is delivered with high quality ethylene glycol coolant in the cooling system. It is the only type of coolant that should be used because it helps prevent corrosion in the cooling system, lubricates the water pump and prevents freezing. Be sure to replace or replenish your coolant in accordance with the maintenance schedule in section 8.

Before winter, have your coolant tested to assure that its freezing point is sufficient for the temperatures anticipated during the winter.

Check battery and cables

Winter puts additional burdens on the battery system. Visually inspect the battery and cables as described in section 8. Have the level of charge in your battery checked by a professional workshop. Kia recommends to visit an authorised Kia dealer/service partner.

Change to "winter weight" oil if necessary

In some climates it is recommended that a lower viscosity "winter weight" oil be used during cold weather. See More Details. If you aren't sure what weight oil you should use, Kia recommends to consult an authorised Kia dealer/service partner.

Check spark plugs and ignition system

Inspect your spark plugs as described in More Details and replace them if necessary. Also check all ignition wiring and components to be sure they are not cracked, worn or damaged in any way.

To keep locks from freezing

To keep the locks from freezing, squirt an approved de-icer fluid or glycerine into the key opening. If a lock is covered with ice, squirt it with an approved de-icing fluid to remove the ice. If the lock is frozen internally, you may be able to thaw it out by using a heated key. Handle the heated key with care to avoid injury.

Use approved window washer anti-freeze in system

To keep the water in the window washer system from freezing, add an approved window washer anti-freeze solution in accordance with instructions on the container. Window washer anti-freeze is available from an authorised Kia dealer/service partner and most auto parts outlets. Do not use engine coolant or other types of anti-freeze as these may damage the paint finish.

Don't let your parking brake freeze

Under some conditions your parking brake can freeze in the engaged position. This is most likely to happen when there is an accumulation of snow or ice around or near the rear brakes or if the brakes are wet. If there is a risk the parking brake may freeze, temporarily apply it with the gear in P (Park). Also, block the rear wheels in advance, so the vehicle may not roll. Then release the parking brake.

Don't let ice and snow accumulate underneath

Under some conditions, snow and ice can build up under the fenders and interfere with the steering. When driving in severe winter conditions where this may happen, you should periodically check underneath the vehicle to be sure the movement of the front wheels and the steering components is not obstructed.

Carry emergency equipment

Depending on the severity of the weather, you should carry appropriate emergency equipment. Some of the items you may want to carry include tyre chains, tow straps or chains, flashlight, emergency flares, sand, shovel, jumper cables, window scraper, gloves, ground cloth, coveralls, blanket, etc.

Drive your vehicle when water vapour condenses and accumulates inside the exhaust pipes

When the vehicle is stopped for a long time in winter whilst the engine is running, water vapour may condense and accumulate inside the exhaust pipes.

Water in the exhaust pipes may cause noise, etc., but it is drained driving at medium to high speed.