2012 Automatic Transmission Fluid Change - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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2012 Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

Hey all.

I own a 2012 Rio Sedan w/ 140,000 miles on her. She has been a GREAT CAR!

I recently started looking online and enquiring about these "Service Free, Lifetime" transmissions and see that it is possible to do a drain and fill on these "sealed" transmissions.

I have seen cars back in the day where if Transmission Fluid was neglected a change of fluid could cause problems due to the lack of clutch material suspended in the fluid...

Thoughts? She drives great and runs like new... BUT... I wanna hang on to her as long as I can...

140,000 miles... I'm the original owner and the only maintenance I have done to her is 2 sets of tires, 2 sets of brakes and rotors, and an oil change every 5000 miles...

Think I am asking for trouble if I go and do a Drain and Fill?

Also... Can anyone point me in the right direction of the fill hole? i'm sure if I get under the car the drain plug will be obvious.

Any assistance and opinions would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!



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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 06:10 PM
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I drain my fluid on all my vehicles regularly, starting at about 30K......to start now at 140K, from everything I have ever read, is very risky.

.........And don’t even consider a transmission flush : (

P.S. just did a little researching...I see one manufacturer doesn't call for transmission fluid changes until 100K and another one until 150K....

I guess I’d take a chance and drain it.

Last edited by Old n' slow; 12-21-2018 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Add information
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 07:04 PM
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The Type 4 (SPIV) fluid used in most of the newer Kia/Hyundai transmissions is far superior and much more durable than the SPIII fluid it replaced. I did my first (and so far only) drain-and-fill at 90k, and the old fluid looked (and smelled) like it could have lasted another 90K. IMO you'll have no issues with a D/F on your vehicle.

I don't know the specifics of your Rio, but the fill port should always be located on top of the tranny case. You might be able to get at it through the wires and hoses, but typically something easy to remove, such as part of the air intake gives full access to it. Plan to carefully measure what drains out, and refill that exact same amount. If something goes wrong with that (spillage, ...), then you will be stuck with performing the bizarre and convoluted Kia level check procedure. I refuse to do that idiotic piece of work, unless I'm forced to by a tranny repair.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:02 AM
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Regarding a drain and fill. If you were to use a non-Kia transmission fluid that would be compatible with the Type 4 Kia fluid, which non-Kia fluid would you use? Thanks for your help.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:31 PM
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Many of us use MaxLife and it's working great, make sure you get the one that lists your SP number on the back of the jug.
It should be p/n 773775 or 786953

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