Kia Sorento EX Automatic Transmission Change - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Kia Sorento EX Automatic Transmission Change

Hello everybody,

I noticed a few post on how to change out the automatic transmission fluid on a 2011 Kia Sorento EX 2.4L, this job can be a hassle. I will explain what you need to do and the tools that will be required to properly change out the automatic transmission fluid.

Tools:
  • Phillips Head Screw Driver
  • 3/8" ratchet
  • 3/4" ratchet
  • 12mm socket
  • 23mm socket
  • 24mm socket
  • Universal Joint Socket Piece Swivel Set
  • 3/8" - 6 or 10" extension
  • 3/4" 10" extension
  • Long Transmission Funnel
  • Shop rags or Shop Towels
  • 1 ton jack
  • Car Ramps
  • 2 jack stands
  • Oil Pan Collector
  • Wheel Blocks(chucks)
  • ATF-SPV-IV Transmission Fluid, you will want 5 quarts on hand! You can buy Valvoline MaxLife Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid, 1 Gallon: This only contains 3-3/4 Quarts of ATF Fluid! it is best to go ahead and buy two of these bottles, Walmart sells this for the cheapest price around 18 bucks a gallon.

Procedure:
Wow! LOL After listing all the tools require, you can now only imagine the process and time this is going to take! If you are uncomfortable already, due to the share amount of equipment you need, I suggest, buying the ATF Transmission Oil as mentioned above, and going to your local trusted mechanic, to have them drop the oil and change it out. The cost can vary, and I cannot say how much for sure, but a quick google search says that its typically around $100 bucks. But, if you are in luck and have the tools and the DIY personality, then you should be fine.

Step 1:
Warm up the car, bring it to 140°F or atleast close, you should be able to touch the engine or the transmission without having to really take your hand off so quickly. You want a warm transmission.
Go ahead and place your Car Ramps if you have them, and ramp up the vehicle. Under neath the vehicle you will see the front under body armor. There are 4 screws that you will need to take out
that are located on the front of that body armor, remove them. Next you will have about 8 - 12mm size bolts holding on that plate cover, remove them with your 3/8" ratchet with a 6" extension and the 12mm socket. Remove all bolts and set aside.

Step 2:
This is the beginning of a task part lol. You will need to take your vehicle off the ramps, and have the car on leveled ground, with the car on leveled ground, block your back wheel tires with the chucks. Now open the hood to the car, you will now need to remove the air vent shroud that goes to the air filter. Their are 4 little black push lock screws that hold that in. Remove those screws. Take off the vent. Looking down were the battery is, you will see a black bolt on top of the transmission, this is a hard bolt to get to, this is why you want the extension and the swivel joint socket.
You can take notice of this bolt because their will be a small 1/4" tube connecting were that bolt is.

Take a 3/4" Ratchet a 3/4" extension a 3/4" swivel socket, and a 23 or 22 mm socket, I used a 23mm socket. First put the bolt with the extension on and put that on the bolt, than add your ratchet. Break this bolt, than unscrew by hand or just using the socket with extension. NOTE: Be careful, their is a copper washer that is on this bolt, sometimes it gets stuck to the surface, be sure to look for that and grab that bolt and washer. NOTE: This is were you will be refilling your new Transmission Fluid into.

Step 3:
Crawl back under the vehicle, look were the transmission is and on the drivers side, you will see a 24mm hex black looking bolt. This bolt is the Drain Bolt for the transmission fluid. Make sure you have your oil pan collector ready! I recommend having a clean new oil pan collector that has the measurements on the side that says how much fluid collected in the pan, this will help you to know how much fluid you have to add back in later.
Using your 3/4" ratchet and a 24mm socket, break this bolt and than unscrew by hand if can. NOTE: Their is a CRUSH washer on this bolt! Be sure that you collect this washer.
When you have the bolt out, this bolt is magnetic!!! you might see black particle on the bolt these are just metal shavings (normal) depending on how bad its covered with shavings. You will need to take your shop towel or rag and clean off this bolt.

Step 4:
Allow the fluid to drain out as much as it can, it should be like a drip when its done, as soon as you see it dripping, go ahead and put your drain bolt back in, and torque to 32 ft lbs.

Step 5:
Its time to break out the Jack Stands and the Jack Lift.
Raise the front of the car as high as you can get it on both sides! This is important because you will need the car slanted in order to refill the transmission fluid back up.
Once you have the car lifted and on jack stands, you will need to go back under the vehicle, their is a Check Oil Fluid Hole, this is on the cover plate assembly on the transmission, if you look right up were the drain bolt is, towards the front of the transmission you will see a black cover that is the assembly cover, and on the front bottom side, you will see a 24mm bolt size.

You will have to brake this bolt, and remove it by unscrewing by hand! Be very careful here, their is another small crush washer on this bolt! This Washer is a pain and likes to catch on the bolt threads!

Step 6:
Take a close look at how much fluid came out of the transmission you collected in your pan, when I did mine, about 4 + quarts of oil came out.
With the Fill Check Oil Bolt Removed, crawl out from the bottom of the car and go back to were you removed the Eyelight Bolt (Refill Bolt) you took out from the top. Go ahead and squeeze down your funnel into the refill hole.
NOTE: You will want to take some shop towels or shop rags and put them around the funnel and other areas, because this transmission fluid that comes out of the bottle doesn't pour worth a darn.

Now its time to start adding back your ATF oil back into the transmission, go ahead and very carefully! POUR THIS FLUID SLOWLY! I Mean SLOW! Do like a half a quart a Time!

Keep filling your ATF oil in, watch down below were the check fluid level oil hole bolt is! When you start to see transmission fluid coming down in a stream! the transmission fluid is filled up.

When you see that stream coming out, go ahead and grab your Check Level Fluid Bolt and hand screw that bolt back in, and torque to about 30 ft lbs max.

Go Back to the top and take your funnel out of the refill hole, and put your Refill bolt back in, and clean up and rags, than go ahead put your air vent back on.

Step 7:
Now we have to take the car and lower off the jacks and get it leveled back on the ground. Go ahead and do this, and remove all equipment around the vehicle and remove the wheel chucks(blocks) from the back end of the tires.

Step 8:

This is the important step, you need to warm up the transmission again, and bring it back to that 140°F, clean your self up a bit before getting in the car , and start the engine. The specs for this is to run each gear for 3 seconds.
So from Park hold in gear for 3 seconds, move to N - 3 Seconds, R - 3 Seconds, D-3 Seconds. Than Reverse this step backwards. your in Drive mode now. So R- 3 seconds, N - 3 Seconds, and P - seconds.

Allow the car to idle to the temperature of 140°F, typically if the engine is cold this could be like 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 9:
Here we are coming to the end, but this time it will be easier, you can now just use your Car Ramps and ramp up the vehicle. This puts it at its max slant position. Turn off the car, crawl back under the vehicle, and have your catch pan ready. Remove the Check Fluid Oil Bolt! Unscrew the rest by hand.

Take Special Note Here: If you Don't see Transmission Fluid coming out in a small stream! Your Transmission needs more fluid. You will have to repeat Step 6:
Just unbolt the refill hole, and begin adding more transmission fluid until you see that stream coming out from the fill check level hole.
Once you see that happening, replace your Check Level Hole Bolt and tighten to specs. Than tighten your Refill hole. and Start the vehicle and take it off the ramps. Repeat the last steps covered in Step 8: Shifting through the gears and let idle.

Step 10:
The Final Check.
Put the Car back on ramps, and check the fluid level check bolt (with the engine off!), you should be getting a small stream of oil coming out, if you see this, you have successfully changed out your transmission fluid. If not, add more fluid and check again.

If you have your fluid coming out when its on the ramps, close up the fill hole check bolt, and take the car off the ramps, and go back to the refill hole plug, remove the plug and run the car at idle! The reason you want to do this is because you will have to run the car with the refill hole plug out, to push out any air in the car, this should only take a couple of minutes and it wont hurt anything, I did this for 1 minute and that was fine.
Replace your refill bolt.

Step 11:

Its time to DRIVE! DONT GO NUTS HERE! Take your equipment you used set it to the side, and begin to start the vehicle up, go ahead and put it through each gear slowly till you hit drive and slowly drive the car up for about 10 seconds, and put the car in reverse and drive back for 10 seconds, and than park, than drive the vehicle around and reverse.

Just make sure you go through each gear, and that the transmission is making no noises.

Note: It is typically to hear a little noise after replacing the fluid, when you replace the fluid you have to shift through the gears so the new oil can go through the transmission. Dont be scared like I was it worked out.

That's it, I hope you all found this helpful and have a great day.

Pretender and 2011 KIA Owner like this.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 05:48 PM
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The trans fluid change isn't really as complicated or intimidating as the previous post suggests.

I've just done mine and all you need to do is warm it up, drain the fluid, measure what came out, pour the same quantity back in.
The procedure outlined in the manual of adding 700ml and going through the 3 second shift changes is only in the case where there are signs that the trans has been leaking.

You don't need to keep the fluid level plug open when you add the fluid. You can reach that plug without lifting the car and simply turn it anti-clockwise with a 3/8" square drive. If the level is good, it will leak slightly when undone without removing it completely so you can close it straight up.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 07:06 PM
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Actually, it's even easier than that. Just carefully measure the amount that drains out, and refill with the EXACT same amount of fluid. The old and new fluids will be at the same ambient temp by not warming it up, and also storing the new fluid close to the vehicle for a few hours. Take care to not spill any old or new fluid, otherwise you will be forced to use that idiotic Kia fluid level check procedure.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiaguy002 View Post
Actually, it's even easier than that. Just carefully measure the amount that drains out, and refill with the EXACT same amount of fluid. The old and new fluids will be at the same ambient temp by not warming it up, and also storing the new fluid close to the vehicle for a few hours. Take care to not spill any old or new fluid, otherwise you will be forced to use that idiotic Kia fluid level check procedure.
Isn’t that what I wrote?
“measure what came out, pour the same quantity back in”
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFF45 View Post
Isn’t that what I wrote?
“measure what came out, pour the same quantity back in”
Yes, but you also wrote this:

Quote:
....
You don't need to keep the fluid level plug open when you add the fluid. You can reach that plug without lifting the car and simply turn it anti-clockwise with a 3/8" square drive. If the level is good, it will leak slightly when undone without removing it completely so you can close it straight up.
And so my post is saying that the level check is not necessary, and the level fluid plug doesn't need to get touched at all. This is the way I did my drain-and-fill 50K miles ago, so this is first-hand information. Not trying to tell anyone else to do it that way, only that it's a possible alternative.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 09:45 AM
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How often should this be done?

Eh!

2012 KIA Sorento EX-V6 Luxury
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeksrus View Post
How often should this be done?
I did my first drain-and-fill at 80K miles but that's just me, and others here use a different interval.

Kia was just as stupid about the change schedule as the level check procedure, so basically it's up to you to decide how often to change the A/T fluid.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiaguy002 View Post
Yes, but you also wrote this:
And so my post is saying that the level check is not necessary, and the level fluid plug doesn't need to get touched at all. This is the way I did my drain-and-fill 50K miles ago, so this is first-hand information. Not trying to tell anyone else to do it that way, only that it's a possible alternative.
That was simply additional info for anyone who wanted to check their level anyway.

It's kind of logical that, if you put back in the same quantity that came out, the level shouldn't need checking... once you know that the level was good when you started..

I checked mine because I'd just bought the car and it had been steam cleaned underneath before sale so not easy to determine if there had been a leak.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeksrus View Post
How often should this be done?
As Kia rightly suggest, it depends on how you use/treat your vehicle. I did mine because it had never been done and had been towing a 1600 kg van quite often.
I also wanted synthetic fluid in it but I'll need to change it a couple more times to get most of the original fluid out.
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