Steering Locking up


I'm sure this is touched on in several posts but the ones I've found don't seem to quite answer it.

I've got a 95 Sportrak

When in 2WD I can put full lock on and drive forwards or backwards without problems
(or round and round if you want to be pedantic)

When I hit 4WD and do the same, it locks up at the front, almost as if the brakes are on on the front wheels only.

If I hit 2WD it returns to normal.

It has Auto Locking hubs.

Is this in any way normal?

If not, what could be wrong?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Has the vehicle always done t

Has the vehicle always done this since u owned it..or is it a recent phenomenon Unknw

Try this ..jack up front of car..with both wheels off the ground.

Lock your hubs ..try turning the the wheels by hand in 2wd.

If they turn freely then the problem does not lie with the hubs.

I would then suspect a problem with the front differential.

Check the obvious first..i.e. is there oil in it Unknw

Undo the diff casing nut and fill till oil overflows.

If problem persists then you could disconnect the rear prop (only 4 bolts to undo) and engage 4wd...then try the test as above again ...if the wheels are locked as u describe you have a problem with the diff.


I've had it around a month now, I got it from a small local garage so I don't know how long it's been like this.

When I complained about it they said they'd service it, turned out they just lubed it up, and told me to use it in 4wd for a short while.

It hasn't eased it at all, they then said a friendly daihatsu mechanic told them they all do this and it's 'designed' that way, to scrub off the excess wheel travel on bends....!

It is fine in a straight line, and also fine in 2wd.

I will try the tests mentioned if I can get a jack to lift the whole front off the ground.

The garage is talking cack !!

The garage is talking cack !!!

You should be able to drive the thing in any direction in 4WD.

OK when in 4WD you would proceed much slower than when in 2WD and you would only use 4WD on slippy,grassy,muddy,sandy conditions..never on the road. These vehicles are not like permanent 4WD vehicles.There is something wrong with it...take it back to the garage and kick up stink..threaten them with consumer rights etc etc.
They are takin the p...s..dont let em get away with it m8

Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the input guys.

Now I can take it back up with the garage.

You know how it is, if you don't know for sure, you don't push for action.

Thanks again.

take it back

yep sounds as the garage you got it from may hav had probs with it with another customer before and ar just happy to be rid of it ...dont let them blank you out... tell them you want it put right
or ure money back or get advice from ur local citizens advice burough thay mite be able to help you out. hope everything turns out allright for you m8


is it ok in a staight line or just when u turn maybe someone has welded up the front diff but not the rear as for driving on tarmac
not sure just a thought to try an help you out a bit

wheels locking

Hi there,

Are both front wheels actually locking up, or is it that they slip/scrabble as you turn on full lock? If you try driving on a hard (i.e- non-slippy) surface with full lock in 4wd, they will scrabble because they all try turning at the same speed but obviously cant when going round a corner.

If this is what is happening, then the garage would be right, they are designed like that, its a 'feature' of part-time 4wd cars.

Good luck,

RE: locking up

This is quite normal on a part time 4 wheel drive system with no centre differential. The Daihatsu system is unlike the Range Rover or other permanent 4x4s because they have a centre differential which can be locked as and when required. Because there is no centre diff on the Daihatsu, it behaves as if there were one but permantly locked (when in 4 wheel drive).

I suspect that this problem only happens when you are driving on a hard surface with plenty of grip. What is happening is the front and rear axles are both being driven at the same speed but the front wheels are following a wider arc than the rears. This causes something called transmission wind up which results in the locking up you are experiencing. It is nothing to do with the front diff or locking hubs. Try the same test on grass or mud or loose gravel or any other surface where the wheels can slip little and the problem shouldn't happen. These vehicles were never designed to be driven in 4 wheel drive on the road.