Transmission Fluid Level | Very Subjective - Kia Forum

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Old 06-23-2019, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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Transmission Fluid Level | Very Subjective

I just completed my final drain & fill of the transmission fluid. I used the fluid level adjustment procedure as described here: Kia Rio: Fluid Service Adjustment Procedure - Hydraulic System - Automatic Transaxle System - Kia Rio UB 2012-2019 Service Manual

It's a very subjective procedure. Why? For two reasons:

(1) The instructions state that "the vehicle must be at a level state." This begs the question: Level based on what? If I use a under-tire lift to raise the vehicle, is it "level?" What about using a under-frame lift to raise the vehicle... is this "level?" What does Kia objectively consider "level" to be?

(2) The instructions state that "a thin steady stream means the fluid level is correct," "a thick stream means there is too much fluid," and "no fluid flowing out means there is a shortage of fluid." Believe me, once you remove the fluid level check plug, it's going to be your best-guess as to what's "thin" vs. what's "thick." What does Kia objectively consider "thin" and "thick" to be?

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Old 06-23-2019, 08:23 AM
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Since the the transmission holds close to 8 quarts I think a difference of up to 3/4 of quart would probably not affect the function of the transmission. Most likely why there is no very accurate way to check the level. On another note most people will probably never do any type of service on the transmission so no reason to have an accurate means of measuring transmission fluid level.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:24 AM
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The safest thing you can do is to keep and measure the amount of old fluid removed.
If you took our 7.5 qts you should add 7.5 qts.
That will eliminate the issue with the subjective measurement, which you hit the nail on the head with.
I'm not thrilled they took away the dipstick. All the major manufacturers have (mostly) eliminated it.
It was not that much of a cost savings, and creates issues such as your having right now......
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:30 PM
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Replacing ATF with same volume while both are at same temp is just fine. Don't need to be 'level' for that either.
I followed level check procedure with Sportage once and it took 200ml less than factory fill and transmission acted up a bit after. Added 200ml and it was back to normal.
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