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2016 Kia Sorento SX, 2017 Ford Fusion SE 2.0 Ecoboost, 2001 Ford Ranger 4.0, 2000 BMW Z3 2.3
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Discussion Starter #1
The transmission on our 2016 Sorento is not smooth at all. The best auto transmissions fade into the background and just do what you want them to do quietly and smoothly; our is harsh and indecisive and makes itself known. We have only put a couple of thousand miles on it since we purchased it right before the pandemic. I was able to confirm at the dealer that it has the newest shift software/logic.

I saw a Youtuber who did a DIY drain/refill specifically because he had a harsh 2-3 (IIRC) shift but he never provided an update on whether it helped at all.

Has anyone who has had a flush or drain/refill completed noticed any significant improvement in shift quality?
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 08 Harley Nightrain
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The transmission on our 2016 Sorento is not smooth at all. The best auto transmissions fade into the background and just do what you want them to do quietly and smoothly; our is harsh and indecisive and makes itself known. We have only put a couple of thousand miles on it since we purchased it right before the pandemic. I was able to confirm at the dealer that it has the newest shift software/logic.

I saw a Youtuber who did a DIY drain/refill specifically because he had a harsh 2-3 (IIRC) shift but he never provided an update on whether it helped at all.

Has anyone who has had a flush or drain/refill completed noticed any significant improvement in shift quality?
How many miles on it?

Drain and fill is good maintenance practice to keep the transmission running right, but not for correcting a faulty transmission.

You could get lucky if bad old oil is the only cause of the poor performance, so worth spending some money on the drain-fill.
 

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Sorento SX FWD 2015
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306 Posts
+1 unless your tranny fluid maintenance schedule has been seriously abused, it's a Hail Mary, maybe worth the effort. Also a single drain and fill doesn't do it, s/b 2-3 drain and fills to get the majority of the old stuff out. Read up on drain and fill verses full flush.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX, 2017 Ford Fusion SE 2.0 Ecoboost, 2001 Ford Ranger 4.0, 2000 BMW Z3 2.3
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Only 31k miles on the vehicle.

I remember an episode of wheeler dealers where a fluid change in a porsche boxster solved the tiptronic transmission issues it was having (at least for as long as they had the car).

I've been through all the internet forum arguments about transmission fluid changes vs flushes, whether to do them, when not to do them, etc...

I agree it is a bit of a hail mary but, anecdotally at least as stated above, I think it might help and likely won't hurt. Also, the drain/refill seems not terribly difficult. But, just curious if anyone else has gone down this road before. Gotta do something, my wife is getting really annoyed with this vehicle we just got.
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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Improved? Yes, in both my cars.
Significantly? No, but they shifted well to begin with.
 

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2016 Sorento SXL-Turbo
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How many miles on it?

Drain and fill is good maintenance practice to keep the transmission running right, but not for correcting a faulty transmission.

You could get lucky if bad old oil is the only cause of the poor performance, so worth spending some money on the drain-fill.
The transmission on our 2016 Sorento is not smooth at all. The best auto transmissions fade into the background and just do what you want them to do quietly and smoothly; our is harsh and indecisive and makes itself known. We have only put a couple of thousand miles on it since we purchased it right before the pandemic. I was able to confirm at the dealer that it has the newest shift software/logic.

I saw a Youtuber who did a DIY drain/refill specifically because he had a harsh 2-3 (IIRC) shift but he never provided an update on whether it helped at all.

Has anyone who has had a flush or drain/refill completed noticed any significant improvement in shift quality?
I changed mine @21,000 miles, noticed no change whatsoever with the transmission. Transmission was smooth as silk, as you say in the background no issues at all. I did it to ensure longevity. It is also such a easy service to perform, will be doing a second drain&fill.
 

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2016 Sorento EX V6 AWD FE (w/ EX Premium Package) & 2020 Soul EX (w/ EX Designer Collection Package)
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Only 31k miles on the vehicle.

I remember an episode of wheeler dealers where a fluid change in a porsche boxster solved the tiptronic transmission issues it was having (at least for as long as they had the car).

I've been through all the internet forum arguments about transmission fluid changes vs flushes, whether to do them, when not to do them, etc...

I agree it is a bit of a hail mary but, anecdotally at least as stated above, I think it might help and likely won't hurt. Also, the drain/refill seems not terribly difficult. But, just curious if anyone else has gone down this road before. Gotta do something, my wife is getting really annoyed with this vehicle we just got.
I’ve been drained and filled ATF on Hyundai & Kia vehicles (2011 Sonata 2.0T Limited, 2011 Tucson Limited, 2013 Elantra GT, and 2016 Sorento EX V6 AWD), all have 6 speed A/T (I believe the 8 speed A/T is similar to 6 speed A/T). I measure the drained ATF and fill the same amount through the ATF Injection hole (eyebolt)]. I have used Valvoline MaxLife™ Multi-Vehicle ATF (full synthetic) for a long time without any issues. However, latest drain & fill on my 2016 Sorento EX V6 AWD, I filled with Aisin ATF-SP4 (it’s a Hyundai & Kia vehicles’ only ATF, however the spec sheet doesn’t say it’s full synthetic). There are some differences right after performing a drain & fill.

Valvoline MaxLife™ Multi-Vehicle ATF: shifts smoother.
Aisin ATF-SP4 : shifts smoother (as similar as Valvoline MaxLife™ Multi-Vehicle ATF) and quicker.

FYI, from the beginning my 2016 Sorento EX V6 AWD (38,000 miles on the clock, bought it brand-new) has a shift shock (from 1st to 2nd gear) from a cold start (not every time though). ATF drain & fill didn’t fix it.

I hope it helps.

* if you do ATF drain & fill, you can remove the metal shavings on the drain plug.
114851
 

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2016 Kia Sorento V6
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Changed my fluid because I felt like it. I like preventative maintenance. It shifted fine before, shifts the same after, maybe a little better? 2016 v6 awd
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 08 Harley Nightrain
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Changed my fluid because I felt like it. It shifted fine before, shifts the same after, maybe a little better? 2016 v6 awd
With that approach it should keep doing that for a whole lot longer - periodic maintenance is always better than reactive maintenance.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX, 2017 Ford Fusion SE 2.0 Ecoboost, 2001 Ford Ranger 4.0, 2000 BMW Z3 2.3
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies, it does appear to be an easy DIY so I will likely still do it, but it has tempered my expectations.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX, 2017 Ford Fusion SE 2.0 Ecoboost, 2001 Ford Ranger 4.0, 2000 BMW Z3 2.3
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
well, i finally did a drain and refill using the following video as a guide:


it was way easier than the video. the top bolt is plastic and came right off, the drain bolt is only stuck on at 35 ft lbs and easily accessible, the fill level port is easily accessible as well. (our bottom shield is missing.) don't over think it and you can be done very quickly. i used almost a whole gallon of the ATF and it was only $18 at wal-mart. (i spilled a lot.)

so the results were very noticeable. i wasn't hoping for much but after 3k miles of ownership it is finally shifting appropriately. the transmission shifts more smoothly and the hard (very hard) clunks/shits that randomly occurred appear to be banished to the past. the delay between when you press the accelerator and the transmission decides to do something is gone.

my wife was ready to trade the vehicle in. the transmission made itself known every time she drove the vehicle and she was starting to hate it. she hasn't driven it yet but i took it out for a few trips and can't wait for her to experience the improvement. the transmission just quietly and smoothly does its job.

this new to us vehicle has had multiple issues with four or five warranty repairs. as long as the sticky steering doesn't return it looks like the vehicle may finally be sorted!!

(update)

wife drove it. said "huge difference, i don't have to curse at it anymore!"
 
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