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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to do the transmission fluid on my 2010 Kia Forte Ex. I have found many different things about fluid levels and how to change the fluid, etc.

I am going to drain the fluid, drop the pan, change the filter, bolt it back together, and fill the fluid.

Does anyone know torque specs for the bolts?

How much fluid does it take?

Can I just drain and fill?

TYIA!
 

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I am looking to do the transmission fluid on my 2010 Kia Forte Ex. I have found many different things about fluid levels and how to change the fluid, etc.

I am going to drain the fluid, drop the pan, change the filter, bolt it back together, and fill the fluid.

Does anyone know torque specs for the bolts?

How much fluid does it take?

Can I just drain and fill?

TYIA!
Not with this transmission.
The design of the transmission does not allow for the fluid to pool so that you can drain enough of it to change the fluid properly. Only about 3 quarts will drain. The way the service manual describes changing the fluid is by running the engine after disconnecting the cooling lines from the radiator. It's messy - so I recommend having a shop do it. To check for proper amount of fluid also requires that the tranny be AT OPERATING TEMPERATURE, engine running, then removing the check plug, and filling it until the fluid just runs out...

Correction: the 2010 has a dipstick...I keep getting the different year's Forte's anomalies mixed up...:oops: But the fluid change procedures are correct...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don’t need an external pump right? I can do a “transfer” the lines. From my understanding, with the car in neutral idling, and parking brake pulled. Just transfer till the old fluid stops pouring?
However again, I’m doing the transmission filter.

I may have it done at the shop, but I want a full understanding of how to do it.

And yes it has a dipstick

Thank you for your reply!
 

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No external pump...usually the shop has new fluid going into the "in" cooling line and dumps the old fluid from the "out" fluid line while the engine is running.

Which ever way you go keep safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No external pump...usually the shop has new fluid going into the "in" cooling line and dumps the old fluid from the "out" fluid line while the engine is running.

Which ever way you go keep safe!
Makes enough sense. Will do a bit more research and probably diy.
Thank you for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Huh okay makes even more sense now. However I think that sx has a different transmission? Mine has a filter I’m pretty sure, at least I bought one that says it fits the 2.0L EX, along with a gasket for it. This write up calls for flushing it THREE times with a gallon of new fluid. The fluid it calls for is $50 a gallon!
 

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I have a 2016 with 69,000 miles now. I don't believe in "filled for life" (such as A/T fluid).
Local indy mechanic said, yes only about 3 or 4 qts comes out if you drain it.

He said, he would drain into a measured pot, then add new fluid the same amount. Drive it. Repeat. A couple of times.

That's how I changed the power steering fluid in my Saturn. Soon you will get most of the old fluid out.

The big problem is where to get the fluid. Kia owner's manual lists a specific fluid and I don't know if you can get it at Walmart or a parts store.
 

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I have a 2016 with 69,000 miles now. I don't believe in "filled for life" (such as A/T fluid).
Local indy mechanic said, yes only about 3 or 4 qts comes out if you drain it.

He said, he would drain into a measured pot, then add new fluid the same amount. Drive it. Repeat. A couple of times.

That's how I changed the power steering fluid in my Saturn. Soon you will get most of the old fluid out.

The big problem is where to get the fluid. Kia owner's manual lists a specific fluid and I don't know if you can get it at Walmart or a parts store.
When I changed the fluid in my daughter's 2010 Forte EX I picked up a box of tranny fluid from the dealer. If memory is right it was 9 quarts in the box - and I did it the way you described just to make it red again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a 2016 with 69,000 miles now. I don't believe in "filled for life" (such as A/T fluid).
Local indy mechanic said, yes only about 3 or 4 qts comes out if you drain it.

He said, he would drain into a measured pot, then add new fluid the same amount. Drive it. Repeat. A couple of times.

That's how I changed the power steering fluid in my Saturn. Soon you will get most of the old fluid out.

The big problem is where to get the fluid. Kia owner's manual lists a specific fluid and I don't know if you can get it at Walmart or a parts store.
Diamond SP-III rated fluid. I went for valvoline max life full synthetic ATF. Rated for Kia on the bottle and recommend by my mechanic.

Also, I’m probably going to do the drain, fill, drain, fill method as it seems a lot safer.

Even if Kia Tech recommends draining from the return line, I’m not keen on running it nearly dry.
 

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All you have to do is drain 3 and add 3, THREE times, and you've essentially changed all of the fluid! They have calculators regarding this, it's a huge discussion. Change once, drive for 100 miles or so, and then do that two more times.

IMO if you are over 50k miles and have NEVER changed transmission fluid and it is still on the factory fill, you are playing russian roulette.

It has to be done early on, regularly, or not at all and you shouldn't touch it. Once you get above a certain mileage, you are risking killing the transmission with fresh fluid. There are different opinions on how long the length is, IMO it is 50k miles. After that, I would not touch it. Drive until you want to replace transmission.

And, of course, with these modern transmissions, never flush. Do not ever have a shop flush and stick their dirty flush hose into your transmission with gunk on it from hundreds of vehicles. It stirs up metal particles and can kill these sensitive trannies.

Flush is not necessary (there are very few instances where it is REALLY needed, such as when customer accidentally fills transmission with wrong fluid, and we can try our best to save it). It is much gentler and easier to drain three, add three, three times on a healthy transmission. You do not need a flush machine. But you MUST do everything properly.

If you use non-oem fluid (other than perhaps ravenol) in these Hyundai transmissions, get the amount off by even a little bit, or make any other major mistakes, you are looking at a dead or damaged transmission. This is one of the most sensitive major components of the vehicle.

Everyone has their own opinions about all this, not sure where they are getting them, but I've seen enough high-mileage customers pull into the shop and insist on transmission fluid change (against our advice), only to not be able to pull out! Transmission rebuild/replace incoming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All you have to do is drain 3 and add 3, THREE times, and you've essentially changed all of the fluid! They have calculators regarding this, it's a huge discussion. Change once, drive for 100 miles or so, and then do that two more times.

IMO if you are over 50k miles and have NEVER changed transmission fluid and it is still on the factory fill, you are playing russian roulette.

It has to be done early on, regularly, or not at all and you shouldn't touch it. Once you get above a certain mileage, you are risking killing the transmission with fresh fluid. There are different opinions on how long the length is, IMO it is 50k miles. After that, I would not touch it. Drive until you want to replace transmission.

And, of course, with these modern transmissions, never flush. Do not ever have a shop flush and stick their dirty flush hose into your transmission with gunk on it from hundreds of vehicles. It stirs up metal particles and can kill these sensitive trannies.

Flush is not necessary (there are very few instances where it is REALLY needed, such as when customer accidentally fills transmission with wrong fluid, and we can try our best to save it). It is much gentler and easier to drain three, add three, three times on a healthy transmission. You do not need a flush machine. But you MUST do everything properly.

If you use non-oem fluid (other than perhaps ravenol) in these Hyundai transmissions, get the amount off by even a little bit, or make any other major mistakes, you are looking at a dead or damaged transmission. This is one of the most sensitive major components of the vehicle.

Everyone has their own opinions about all this, not sure where they are getting them, but I've seen enough high-mileage customers pull into the shop and insist on transmission fluid change (against our advice), only to not be able to pull out! Transmission rebuild/replace incoming!
Okay, so I have the carfax up to when I bought it so I will double check when it was last done. I'm not sure if it has ever been done and I'm almost at 160,000 miles. If it's never been done should I do it at all? Why would adding new fluid damage the transmission past a certain mileage? I was planning NOT to flush at this point because it seems too much a hassle. I was recommended by a transmission shop to do the fluid and filter, with the fluid I mentioned above. They want me to do it myself and learn how to do it. They are family, and want to hire me after I finish my college courses for my Associates In Automotive Technology, and my ASE certs.

I'm fairly adept at working on most cars, but these automatics, and Kia's in general, are a whole new world.
 

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Okay, so I have the carfax up to when I bought it so I will double check when it was last done. I'm not sure if it has ever been done and I'm almost at 160,000 miles. If it's never been done should I do it at all? Why would adding new fluid damage the transmission past a certain mileage? I was planning NOT to flush at this point because it seems too much a hassle. I was recommended by a transmission shop to do the fluid and filter, with the fluid I mentioned above. They want me to do it myself and learn how to do it. They are family, and want to hire me after I finish my college courses for my Associates In Automotive Technology, and my ASE certs.

I'm fairly adept at working on most cars, but these automatics, and Kia's in general, are a whole new world.
So here's how it works:

When you have a factory fill on a stepped automatic transmission (non-CVT, eg. 6-speed, 8-speed, 10-speed, etc.), the transmission operates as usual. The transmission works by using what are called "clutch packs", which are friction discs. They sort of look like, and essentially function similar to a regular clutch disc on a manual transmission vehicle. But there is a bunch of them, and they are smaller and thinner, so they do not last as long as a manual's clutch. They look like this (one example):

82929


Now, these are part of the "soft parts" of a stepped automatic transmission. These are parts that wear out. Including other soft parts such as seals, gaskets, solenoids/valves, and more. But while other "soft" parts are more auxiliary, like, a gasket or seal would just prevent a leak, these friction discs are 100% primary to the function of the transmission. When these soft parts wear out, we can "rebuild" a transmission, which is why rebuild kits come with all soft parts, and you will see these rings.

When you press the pedal on your car, throttle increases, RPMs go up, and then a computer inside the car (one of many microprocessors, likely the transmission control module speaking to the engine control module) notices that we've hit a certain RPM, and it's time to shift into second. To shift, these friction discs, using computer-controlled hydraulic pressure, squeeze together. Basically, when you are in a gear, your entire axle, torque, the movement of your car, the reason you "Go", is all weighing on the friction of these discs at that moment in time.

The primary reason that transmissions wear out is that these rings lose their friction material over time. Eventually, when they squeeze together, there isn't enough material left, they've worn out. And you can't get into second, or third, or whatever. And you "slip". You press the pedal, RPMs go up, but a shift doesn't happen, or, (how it usually starts) a shift is lazy, or long, or sounds weird. This is why that is happening.

So to your question. When you are on a factory fill, and you've never changed the fluid, you have 160,000 miles of wearing out brand new friction discs. Where does the worn material go? Into the fluid. And believe it or not, many transmissions go 10's of thousands of miles (maybe many more) on worn friction discs BUT, believe it or not, this friction-disc-filled fluid is enough to allow for just enough grip for regular operation. No disc slippage, gears shift as normal.

Now, if all of a sudden, you drain that factory fill, and 160,000 miles of friction-disc-filled fluid comes out of the transmission, and you fill it with clean, slippery transmission fluid, you are shocking the system. IF in fact the discs are worn enough and were relying on the friction-filled fluid, you now only have worn discs, and clean fluid to make shifts, and it might not be enough.

I will call it right now, if something happens from changing transmission fluid at 160k miles, it will be slipping, or inability to get into gear.

The Transmission Control Module, also, is shocked, because millisecond-timings are off, things are so different, it can act up as well. The transmission's computers are saying: "What the hell just happened"? They can do odd things, making the problem worse.

You press the pedal, RPMs go up, the ECM tells the TCM to shift, the TCM tells a hydraulic valve to engage a clutch pack, the clutch pack squeezes together AND.....there isn't enough friction! All of the friction was disposed of in the old fluid!

Off of the discs, into the fluid (over 160k miles), and now OUT of the transmission and into the garbage when you changed fluid!

If there is one fact, it's that these transmissions in the 21st century are very, very sensitive. They are not like they once were.

If you do gentle changes over time, you are not likely to have such a surprise as this.

If you are ready for a learning experience, which may include transmission work, I would say you can certainly go for it, and I would love to be proven wrong truthfully because there are a lot of people who want to change fluid on higher mileage vehicles, but, I really, really would not if this is a vehicle you need to get to and from work, or medical appointments, etc.

What's interesting to me is the common opinions on this topic when it comes to the following question:

"How often should you change your transmission fluid?"

Many OEMs/Automakers these days: "Never/100,000 miles" (absolutely incorrect).

Average of most experienced mechanics: "30,000-50,000 miles"

Average of most transmission experts: "25,000-30,000 miles"

Crazy D.I.Y.ers out there: "I change my transmission fluid ever 15,000 miles!"


While I don't think every 15k miles is necessary by any means, I find it interesting that OEMs (who's technicians seem to become less and less experienced every day as they lose all of the good ones by underpaying them) would give such an astronomical number. What is their interest? Wanting to sell you another vehicle.

Mechanics I can trust a little more, but it is the transmission specialists who I trust the most, and I can find website after website of transmission shops with this or a very similar opinion. These are the only people on that list who are working on specifically and only transmissions, day in and day out, and no other part of the car. Rebuilding them, working on them, knowing their in's and outs. Therefore, I truly believe that 25,000 to 30,000 miles is the perfect amount of time to be doing a "full change", e.g., 3 drain and fills.

Interestingly enough, if you DIG in the Honda Civic manual (my wife has a Honda Civic 2017), you can find that lo and behold, they recommend changing fluid ever 25,000 miles in the transmission! This is of course only for more "demanding use", but you may find, like many others, that if you look at what the manual considers "demanding use", including even just, a lot of city driving (what many people do!), you probably fall under "demanding use". Most people don't just drive on the highway, and only the highway, on flat ground, all day.

If your specialist says to go for it, they may know better than I do. I hope that you trust them. After all, you may be totally fine changing the fluid, it is russian roulette after all, and sometimes you luck out.

But if you experience slipping and malfunctions with fresh fluid, you know what the root causes are now. You may be ok. But I would get the shop to promise you that if it messes up, that they will offer to fix it, which I don't believe at all they would ever do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So here's how it works:

When you have a factory fill on a stepped automatic transmission (non-CVT, eg. 6-speed, 8-speed, 10-speed, etc.), the transmission operates as usual. The transmission works by using what are called "clutch packs", which are friction discs. They sort of look like, and essentially function similar to a regular clutch disc on a manual transmission vehicle. But there is a bunch of them, and they are smaller and thinner, so they do not last as long as a manual's clutch. They look like this (one example):

View attachment 82929

Now, these are part of the "soft parts" of a stepped automatic transmission. These are parts that wear out. Including other soft parts such as seals, gaskets, solenoids/valves, and more. But while other "soft" parts are more auxiliary, like, a gasket or seal would just prevent a leak, these friction discs are 100% primary to the function of the transmission. When these soft parts wear out, we can "rebuild" a transmission, which is why rebuild kits come with all soft parts, and you will see these rings.

When you press the pedal on your car, throttle increases, RPMs go up, and then a computer inside the car (one of many microprocessors, likely the transmission control module speaking to the engine control module) notices that we've hit a certain RPM, and it's time to shift into second. To shift, these friction discs, using computer-controlled hydraulic pressure, squeeze together. Basically, when you are in a gear, your entire axle, torque, the movement of your car, the reason you "Go", is all weighing on the friction of these discs at that moment in time.

The primary reason that transmissions wear out is that these rings lose their friction material over time. Eventually, when they squeeze together, there isn't enough material left, they've worn out. And you can't get into second, or third, or whatever. And you "slip". You press the pedal, RPMs go up, but a shift doesn't happen, or, (how it usually starts) a shift is lazy, or long, or sounds weird. This is why that is happening.

So to your question. When you are on a factory fill, and you've never changed the fluid, you have 160,000 miles of wearing out brand new friction discs. Where does the worn material go? Into the fluid. And believe it or not, many transmissions go 10's of thousands of miles (maybe many more) on worn friction discs BUT, believe it or not, this friction-disc-filled fluid is enough to allow for just enough grip for regular operation. No disc slippage, gears shift as normal.

Now, if all of a sudden, you drain that factory fill, and 160,000 miles of friction-disc-filled fluid comes out of the transmission, and you fill it with clean, slippery transmission fluid, you are shocking the system. IF in fact the discs are worn enough and were relying on the friction-filled fluid, you now only have worn discs, and clean fluid to make shifts, and it might not be enough.

I will call it right now, if something happens from changing transmission fluid at 160k miles, it will be slipping, or inability to get into gear.

The Transmission Control Module, also, is shocked, because millisecond-timings are off, things are so different, it can act up as well. The transmission's computers are saying: "What the hell just happened"? They can do odd things, making the problem worse.

You press the pedal, RPMs go up, the ECM tells the TCM to shift, the TCM tells a hydraulic valve to engage a clutch pack, the clutch pack squeezes together AND.....there isn't enough friction! All of the friction was disposed of in the old fluid!

Off of the discs, into the fluid (over 160k miles), and now OUT of the transmission and into the garbage when you changed fluid!

If there is one fact, it's that these transmissions in the 21st century are very, very sensitive. They are not like they once were.

If you do gentle changes over time, you are not likely to have such a surprise as this.

If you are ready for a learning experience, which may include transmission work, I would say you can certainly go for it, and I would love to be proven wrong truthfully because there are a lot of people who want to change fluid on higher mileage vehicles, but, I really, really would not if this is a vehicle you need to get to and from work, or medical appointments, etc.

What's interesting to me is the common opinions on this topic when it comes to the following question:

"How often should you change your transmission fluid?"

Many OEMs/Automakers these days: "Never/100,000 miles" (absolutely incorrect).

Average of most experienced mechanics: "30,000-50,000 miles"

Average of most transmission experts: "25,000-30,000 miles"

Crazy D.I.Y.ers out there: "I change my transmission fluid ever 15,000 miles!"


While I don't think every 15k miles is necessary by any means, I find it interesting that OEMs (who's technicians seem to become less and less experienced every day as they lose all of the good ones by underpaying them) would give such an astronomical number. What is their interest? Wanting to sell you another vehicle.

Mechanics I can trust a little more, but it is the transmission specialists who I trust the most, and I can find website after website of transmission shops with this or a very similar opinion. These are the only people on that list who are working on specifically and only transmissions, day in and day out, and no other part of the car. Rebuilding them, working on them, knowing their in's and outs. Therefore, I truly believe that 25,000 to 30,000 miles is the perfect amount of time to be doing a "full change", e.g., 3 drain and fills.

Interestingly enough, if you DIG in the Honda Civic manual (my wife has a Honda Civic 2017), you can find that lo and behold, they recommend changing fluid ever 25,000 miles in the transmission! This is of course only for more "demanding use", but you may find, like many others, that if you look at what the manual considers "demanding use", including even just, a lot of city driving (what many people do!), you probably fall under "demanding use". Most people don't just drive on the highway, and only the highway, on flat ground, all day.

If your specialist says to go for it, they may know better than I do. I hope that you trust them. After all, you may be totally fine changing the fluid, it is russian roulette after all, and sometimes you luck out.

But if you experience slipping and malfunctions with fresh fluid, you know what the root causes are now. You may be ok. But I would get the shop to promise you that if it messes up, that they will offer to fix it, which I don't believe at all they would ever do!
This is the best damn explanation on any forum I have ever gotten. I really appreciate your help. This is my main vehicle but I have a spare that’s reliable; So I’m not adverse to trying things out. I understand now the 100 miles in between drain and fill to get it adjusted slowly. I may do this once I figure out the last it was done, but I don’t feel like rebuilding a transmission anytime soon. I read this before about how old fluid can be better because of the particles floating in it and now this makes sense. I bet this is what happened to another vehicle I owned and replaced the transmission on. Should be a good learning experience either way! Thank you so much!
 

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This is the best damn explanation on any forum I have ever gotten. I really appreciate your help. This is my main vehicle but I have a spare that’s reliable; So I’m not adverse to trying things out. I understand now the 100 miles in between drain and fill to get it adjusted slowly. I may do this once I figure out the last it was done, but I don’t feel like rebuilding a transmission anytime soon. I read this before about how old fluid can be better because of the particles floating in it and now this makes sense. I bet this is what happened to another vehicle I owned and replaced the transmission on. Should be a good learning experience either way! Thank you so much!
You may be ok. Please post the results if you decide to do the fluid change!
 
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