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Subaru & Soul
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Discussion Starter #1
Just took my KIA Soul 2011 in for it's 30K check up and all is well however the service manager recommended that I change the automation transmission fluid in it.

Cost would be $200 USD.

Does this seem like a lot of dollars and is 30K about right for a fluid change?

What is you opinion guys? Thanks
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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1,236 Posts
Usual advice is that fluid is there for the life of the car. Maybe 100,000k change under severe conditions. $200 seems a lot.
 

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former owner of a 2016 Soul SX 2.0L - Caribbean Blue
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8,532 Posts
go off what it tells you in your owners manual with regards service, where it states normal maintenance - inspect every 40k or 48 months, if you think you come under "maintenance under severe usage" then replace every 60k.

You do not have to have it done at a dealership, get quotes from other places and compare, just make sure they are all doing exactly the same thing.
 

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Part of the problem is the "normal maintenance" versus "severe usage" which is hilarious to read because, unless you live in a dreamworld where the weather is perfect and all your driving is like Goldilocks (not too far, not too short, not too fast, not too slow), then you might get into a warranty issue if there was a transmission problem. I think the recommendation above is a good one, and make sure whoever does the flush uses ATF that covers the specs in your manual. Probably says SP-IV. A lot of high quality brands will cover SP-III and SP-IV but make sure. Most transmission flushes in the US cost about $150, and if you are going to mess with it, get a flush so you are replacing all of the fluid. Just draining and re-filling the fluid only gets out about 2-3rds of the old fluid (long story) so I would recommend a full flush.
 

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2017 AWD Sorento, 2011 Kia Soul
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88 Posts
Please take a look at and print out a copy of TSB 058 and take it to the dealer if they try to sell you on the severe service stuff. It may come as a shock to the dealership but I think you will be happy.

The title of the bulletin is Services and Products not Recommended by Kia and just one sentence of many is "The "Normal" maintenance schedule is applicable to most Kia vehicles in use in the United States".
 

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2020 Hyundai Palisades
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2,967 Posts
IMO I would change it at 60k if you have seen the fluid at 100k its almost like a brown syrup. I would recommend a fluid exchange as it gets 100% of the fluid and not a flush as it will send contaminants thru the transmission . this should be done for normal service but at 30k severe service if done early so what call it preventive maintenance and why take it to the limit its the life blood of the transmission.
 

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2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD; 2016 Kia Forte5 SX 1.6T A/T
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6,805 Posts
it is speculation... do it or not.

Simple, pull a sample of the ATF.

Drive the car for good 20 miles to get ATF hot. Get a syringe with long tube and pull about 20 mL of ATF to a clear vial.

Check its color, smell.

Let it sit overnight and see if any sediment is found.

If it is brownish, smelly, and you can't see though, plus you find particles collected on the bottom - change it.

Compare it to the new oil.


I did mine at 35k miles (thanks Mark for taking care of it) and I do NOT regret.
Now ATF (after about another 20k miles) looks much cleaner than the original.
 

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2014 Soul Base, Standard
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15 Posts
ATF fluid should be fairly clean and clear. If you take a small sample out and its dark red (assuming that the ATF is red to start with) you probably have some time before it really needs to be done. If it's brown, get it changed.

The kicker comes with the transmission itself. I have a standard transmission, so I don't have the dip stick to check it. When it comes time, I'll end up having to take it to the dealer. Most places I have taken previous cars with a closed transmission wont touch it.

I'm not sure about the automatics, but I assume they have the dipstick.
 

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former owner of a 2016 Soul SX 2.0L - Caribbean Blue
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ATF fluid should be fairly clean and clear. If you take a small sample out and its dark red (assuming that the ATF is red to start with) you probably have some time before it really needs to be done. If it's brown, get it changed.

The kicker comes with the transmission itself. I have a standard transmission, so I don't have the dip stick to check it. When it comes time, I'll end up having to take it to the dealer. Most places I have taken previous cars with a closed transmission wont touch it.

I'm not sure about the automatics, but I assume they have the dipstick.
no. :) It's sealed and doesn't need checking or servicing, unless your driving is under the Severe Usage conditions (page 7/22) in which case you should change it at 60k for auto or 80k for manual.

Also in the manual it states:
automatic transaxle fluid color is basically red. As the vehicle is driven, the automatic transaxle fluid will begin to look darker. Is is the normal condition and you should not judge the need to replace the fluid based upon the changed color.
 
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