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I'm experiencing intermittent harder than normal upshifts/downshifts on my 2011 SX hatch. These are not extremely hard shifts, but they are definitely noticeable and no the norm from the past few years. The car has about 65,000 miles on it, and I had the 60,000 mile service done a few months ago (which supposedly included a transmission fluid exchange). It seems to happen more often at slow speeds (speeding up from a stoplight or slowing down to stop, from what I've noticed). I tried to check the transmission fluid level, and then realized that there is no dipstick or anything to do it in this particular car.

I took it to the dealership today to try to have them diagnose the issue, and the service writer told me that they were unable to replicate the problem when the technician drove it. I tried not to be overly frustrated (since I know it is intermittent), but I'm trying to get a handle on what this could be and was hoping they would have some insight...

Any ideas what I should do in this situation? My current leaning is to drive it tomorrow and see if I still have the issue, and then take it back to the dealership early next week for further diagnosis. I guess I could try driving the technician around for a bit and see if the problem occurs. Any thoughts on what kind of issue this could represent?
 

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I'm experiencing intermittent harder than normal upshifts/downshifts on my 2011 SX hatch. These are not extremely hard shifts, but they are definitely noticeable and no the norm from the past few years. The car has about 65,000 miles on it, and I had the 60,000 mile service done a few months ago (which supposedly included a transmission fluid exchange). It seems to happen more often at slow speeds (speeding up from a stoplight or slowing down to stop, from what I've noticed).
Can't say I've run into that one before. I wonder if the transmission service was just a fluid swap? Could be an intermittent connection in the wiring maybe?

I tried to check the transmission fluid level, and then realized that there is no dipstick or anything to do it in this particular car.
I hate that these are sealed. I am a big fan of filter/fluid changes.

I guess I could try driving the technician around for a bit and see if the problem occurs.
That's a great idea - once you convince the service manager to go for it. Sometimes it's easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can't say I've run into that one before. I wonder if the transmission service was just a fluid swap? Could be an intermittent connection in the wiring maybe?
When you say "just a fluid swap", what does that mean? I guess what I'm asking is if there was something else I should have had done by now with regards to preventative maintenance? I have all my records on a Google Drive spreadsheet, and for that particular service (60,000 mile maintenance), the line item listed "Transmission Fluid Exchange".

I hate that I couldn't just check the trans fluid as well; I'm not really a car guy per se, but I know enough that it would have been nice to easily cross fluid level off the list of possible root causes.

Thanks for your help!
 

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"Transmission Fluid Exchange" is a transmission"flush" using their flush machine. Never been a big fan of this. See my comment on the "trans service at 30k" thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for clearing that up for me. I'm going to do some reading tonight about this and keep an eye on how the vehicle drives the next couple of days. I'll keep this thread updated if/when new developments occur.
 

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Alright, so I wanted to update this thread in hopes that this information will be useful to anyone in the future.

Continued having the transmission shifting issues for a few more months. It was especially pronounced when shifting from Park to Reverse when first starting up the car, and then again from Reverse to Park. It would also intermittently hard shift at random times while driving (usually on a few upshifts, and then a few downshifts after that).

A few days ago, the check engine light came on, so I took it back to the shop. Code it threw off was P0711, which is apparently for the transmission temperature sensor (Googling this showed that some Optima drivers have had similar issues, hard shifts and all). The car has ~68,000 miles on it, so I asked whether this repair was covered by the powertrain warranty (it is not, apparently). Repair cost right around $300, and the transmission has not hard-shifted since then (been about 4 days now). I'll update again if there are any further developments.
 

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I believe in cause and effect a lot more than in coincidence. So I suspect that your current problem was caused by something they did on the fluid job. How many tranny temp sensors are going bad in Fortes with 65K miles?

The Kia "book" method of checking the fluid level is totally convoluted - pour some extra fluid into one hole, and watch how fast it run out of another hole. Please, can someone get me a dip stick? It's easy to imagine someone getting this wrong, especially when coupled with a flush. Did it end up a quart or 2 low - it might have if the tech forgot to watch the fluid "run out". Or who knows what else they might have messed up.

This is all very much JMHO - probably no possible way to prove anything, and unfortunately you're stuck with the outcome, regardless of the reason. But your experience just reinforces once again the bottom line for me which is never go to a dealer for anything except warranty repair (and I even get queasy about that).

When I begin swapping tranny fluid in the near future, I'll drain from the bottom hole, carefully measure what comes out, and then add that exact same amount of new fluid down the top hole. No fluid "transfer", thank you.
Didn't plan to turn this into a rant, but I get pi$$ed-off when people get taken for a ride by shops, especially dealers.
 

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I have an EX and have had the same story. Hard shifting, it behaved at the dealership - but the mechanic said he's seen it frequently and said the same thing about the transmission temp sensor. Said they wouldnt do anything until the sensor completely fails. 15K miles later, im getting the light and hard shifting for a day and then it goes away. Im going to try to buy the sensor and change it myself. Thanks to this thread I feel confident that this may do the trick.
 

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I have an EX and have had the same story. Hard shifting, it behaved at the dealership - but the mechanic said he's seen it frequently and said the same thing about the transmission temp sensor. Said they wouldnt do anything until the sensor completely fails. 15K miles later, im getting the light and hard shifting for a day and then it goes away. Im going to try to buy the sensor and change it myself. Thanks to this thread I feel confident that this may do the trick.
Well, based on multiple sources, it does look like this early failing AT transaxle temp sensor is a systemic issue on various KIA and HUNDAI models, and there is a TSB for it as well. The sensor costs around $20, but you're aware that fluid needs to be draind and the valve body cover removed in order to swap out the temp sensor, correct? And the cover gets reinstalled with liquid gasket maker. I'd prefer a solid rubber or composite gasket, but there doesn't appear to be any choice with this one. I'm seeing that the OE temp sensor 46386 3B000 has been replaced by 46386 3B900, so it looks like maybe they figured out what's going bad with the original one. Unfortunately a bit late for all of us who have the time bomb sensor ticking away in our Fortes.
 

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2011 Forte six speed auto trans. where is the top plug located to check fluid level. What size wrench ?
The plug to 'check' the fluid level is near the bottom on the front of the tranny valve body cover. KIA removed the transmission dipstick and replaced it with a convoluted and subjective 'level check' procedure which has more holes in it than swiss cheese. It's unbelievably stupid, and you will not want to do this unless there is something wrong with your tranny and you have no other choice. Trust me on that.
 

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kiaguy007

Thanks for the reply. This is a Canadian car, 32000kms manual says trans fluid change at 4 years.
Working fine, but wanted to check level and smell.
Also I keep m cars for at least 10 years, so maintenance is important to me.

I would like to clean the dead insects and dirt out of between the rear window glass and stop light, and can't figure out how to take out rear seat and package shelf to get access to the bottom of the rear glass. Any thoughts?
 

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... manual says trans fluid change at 4 years. ...
Well that's different than KIAs here in the USA, which specify 'lifetime' tranny fluid for non-severe usage. (I have a bridge to sell to anyone who believes in lifetime fluid). Do you DIY your own maintenance, such as oil changes? If so, and you want to also do the tranny fluid, you'll need to find out if doing so affects the warranty. If the dealership insists the warranty is void unless they do the tranny fluid, then you're between a rock and a hard place. But if they're ok with you doing the fluid, you could do a partial swap via the drain plug. I periodically drain everything that comes out via the bottom plug and refill the same amount of new fluid via the top (eyebolt) port. With the exact same amount of fluid being exchanged there is no need to be concerned about the level checking, since fluid is not 'used up' as engine oil is. I don't like fluid 'flushes' using an external pump, and believe this partial drain/fill maintains good fluid quality.
 
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