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We need to put a 2" receiver hitch on our 2012 Sedona. I did this myself on our 2006 Honda CR-V and it wasn't a big deal (just had to "unhang" the muffler so I could get to the frame on that side to bolt it on).

Just wondering if anyone else here has installed one yourself. Pretty straightforward? Any gotchas?

We eventually need to install a wiring harness for trailer lights...and I don't know whether that's pretty straightforward---or difficult? (For now, we don't need that because we mainly use the hitch for a bike rack.)

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Installation is not usually a terribly big deal, but whenever you're towing don't forget about the transmission. A cooler is a good idea if you're going to tow higher weights or frequently.

The "sealed" transmission of the 2011 and 2012's makes me a bit nervous as it is.
 

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Do the 2011-12 models not come with a stock transmission cooler? I know that the 2006-10 models come with one, I realize the engine displacement is different, but the tow rating is the same.....
 

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Do the 2011-12 models not come with a stock transmission cooler? I know that the 2006-10 models come with one, I realize the engine displacement is different, but the tow rating is the same.....
Well I will certainly check for a cooler! I hope it does have one would make me feel a lot better about the lifetime transmission fluid.

I had an 99 Astro Van for 12 years, I wasn't clever enough to change the fluid but I was smart enough to put a cooler on the tranny less than a year after I bought it. Never had the slightest trouble out of the tranny in spite of the fluid never being changed, and that was over 120k on Dexron, so I'm a big believer in tranny coolers. Fluid still even looked half decent when I sold it.

Put one on my Jeep as soon as I bought it also.

The sealed unit tranny on the new KIA makes me a bit nervous so if it has a cooler that makes sense and I will definitely sleep better for it!
 

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UPDATE: Posted for postierity or future searchers:

The 2012 Sedona does indeed have a factroy transmission cooler. It is located in front of the radiator on the passenger side, at the lowest air intake point under the grill.

Good news, and good job KIA I feel much better about the "sealed" lifetime transmission fluid now.

I imagine the 2011 is the same way as well.
 

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UPDATE: Posted for postierity or future searchers:

The 2012 Sedona does indeed have a factroy transmission cooler. It is located in front of the radiator on the passenger side, at the lowest air intake point under the grill.

Good news, and good job KIA I feel much better about the "sealed" lifetime transmission fluid now.

I imagine the 2011 is the same way as well.
Keep in mind most manufacturers "size" coolers for the AVERAGE user. The van itself is pretty heavy, so unless you have the van totally empty... don't count on the STOCK cooler.

Upgrade the cooler. / add a additional cooler.

Thank me later.



PS: Hitch is a bolt on 15-20mins. Before installing chase /clean the threads.

Biggest PIA is removing screw that holds lower splash trim piece on muffler side when doing the wiring.

BTW: Get the FACTORY wiring harness if you can...

.
 

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Already covered the OE part :D
-
I wouldn't worry about upgrading the transmission cooler. To be honest, even pulling pretty significant loads, the tranny fluid temperature doesn't rise that much. Instead of adding another cooler, I would just recommend replacing the fluid more often. Every 30k or so.
That is my normal standard operating procedure, I'm a maintenance nut and I like to take care of my tranny's for sure.

I've not done any real research, but what I've learned so far is apparently the 2011 and 2012 Sedona's have a "sealed lifetime" transmission.:( Glad it has a cooler, but I'd much rather just keep fresh fluid in it.
 

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There is still a drain and fill procedure outlined on Kia Tech Info for the new transmissions. You can check your manual, but I think under "Severe Maintenance", it calls for transmission fluid changes. I could be wrong though.
 

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Excellent, thank you.

Someone said they had a conversation with a dealer that went something like this:

Dealer: You need to change your transmission fluid.

Customer: I thought it had a lifetime transmission fluid?

Dealer: It does, but the lifetime will be a lot longer if you change it!


Anyway I'm a maintenance goofy I'd much rather just change it at some point, about 60k maybe.
 

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That's very true.
Be wary of buying into "Lifetime" anything. May not be who's or what's lifetime that you are lead to think it means.
 

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That's very true.
Be wary of buying into "Lifetime" anything. May not be who's or what's lifetime that you are lead to think it means.
Lifetime to Kia (and other mfgs as well, but especially relevant when pricing is what, 20-30% less than competitors.)

Their main concern is if the car makes it thru the warranty without bleeding THEM dry, weighing "How cheap can we make it, with How many warranty claims will be made.

It's a numbers game.

"Lifetime to them= Last time I checked:
1 yr on A/C charge (Wow! -they have alot of confidence in A/C system!)
3yrs on radio/dvd/paint?
5yrs /60k miles on most non-wear items on the car.
7yrs rust thru?
10yr /100,000 miles on internally lubricated Powertrain components.

******************

So far as the trans, not fond of cars in which you can't change the trans filter...


PS: Always go by the "Severe Maintenance" schedule, unless it's highway miles. If you tow, drag race, abuse cut that in half. Cheaper to change the fluid than to buy a trans.

Best scenario would be to change the fluid (and filter) on a new car at about 2-3 thousand miles or so, THEN go by the "Severe Maintenance" schedule if you plan on retaining the car beyond the warranty period IMO as someone who worked on cars professionally for many years.


.
 

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tranny fluid change is recommended for severe use

The owners manual for my 2012 Sedona says to change the transaxle fluid at 96,000 KM (59,651 Miles) if the vehicle is operated under any one of the severe usage conditions (i.e. towing).

Does anyone know for sure if the Sedona does come from the factory with the auxiliary transmission cooler? And how can I verify this? I've been looking but I sure don't see one on mine. It is supposed be located sandwiched in between the radiator and the A/C condenser coil. I know that the little cooler visible thru the front grill, low on the passenger side, is for the power steering.

Thanks
Pope52
 

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Hitch and harness installation

I recently installed a Reese 2" hitch, model # 44537, on my 2014 Sedona. Mounting the hitch itself was child's play: It took about 20 minutes, though I did have the benefit of a rolling jack to help hold it in place.

The wiring was a different matter.

I bought a Curt 55503 "plug and play" harness, and it did indeed plug into the existing taillights and wiring harness. That part was easy. Feeding the new harness down from the taillight wells to underneath the car was a bit of a pain, even using fishing wire, but OK. The Curt harness module lives inside the left taillight well, and the kit comes with a piece of double-sided adhesive foam to hold it in place. I chose instead to use 3M Dual Lock fastener (a kind of genderless super Velcro) and was glad I did, because I had to reposition the module a couple of times to find just the right spot that would allow the taillight to seat properly.

The onerous part was running the power wire underneath the car from the hitch to the battery.

First I set the parking brake, chocked the passenger's side tires, and for good measure held the service brake pedal with a length of 2x4. Then I jacked the car up on the driver's side, placing jack stands under fore and aft "frame" members for safety. Next I took the supplied power wire and ran it through 1/4" split wire loom to give it added resistance to chafing.

The instructions say to route the wire so as to avoid moving or hot parts (the exhaust pipe is on the passenger's side, no worry about the latter), but they don't offer a specific routing plan. Leaving the fuse out of its holder, I started at the battery end.

The inner diameter of the wire lug that came with the kit was was too big for the bolt that tightens the battery clamp. That bolt also doesn't have a lot of extra threads past its nut, so I couldn't just use a pair of washers to secure the lug to the bolt. I had another appropriate crimp lug with a smaller inner diameter on hand, so used that. I also needed to cut a notch into the plastic that covers the positive post and its associated connectors, to allow the cover to snap into place with the fuse holder wire exiting beneath it.

I secured the wire/loom along the frame with zip ties, avoiding front suspension and steering parts, then pretty much followed the fuel line and solid brake line (I had to remove and reinstall a plastic cover about halfway back) until the brake line ended near the rear wheel. Then I ran the wire along the inside of the rear wheel well, where I found some screws holding the plastic garnish in place. I used those, plus a couple of extra sheet metal screws, to attach cable clamps, through which I ran the wire.

The kit came with 20 feet of wire, and with all the snaking around to keep the wire/loom tight against the body, I ran out and had to add about another 3 feet of wire and loom to finish the job. Fortunately I had enough heavy gauge wire, extra loom, and a proper butt connector (and shrink tubing) on hand to finish the job. The 20 feet of wire in the kit is probably sufficient for those who don't mind running the wire in more of a straight line, but that would leave lengths of wire exposed to being snagged, or else being tied to the parking brake cable, which sways as the car moves. The kit came with eight medium zip ties and one long one; in my installation I used more than 40 medium ties and a half dozen or so long ones.

The moral of the story is, if you want to do it right, be prepared to use more material than supplied. Also if you're not comfortable with this sort of work, take it to a shop. Having the car up on a lift will make the job a whole lot easier.

Oh, one more note: The anchors that hold the plastic garnish to the bumper appear to have slotted screw heads, but they're not screws at all. Pry the center button out, then pull the anchor.

Ramblerdan
 

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Lifetime to Kia (and other mfgs as well, but especially relevant when pricing is what, 20-30% less than competitors.)

Their main concern is if the car makes it thru the warranty without bleeding THEM dry, weighing "How cheap can we make it, with How many warranty claims will be made.

It's a numbers game.

"Lifetime to them= Last time I checked:
1 yr on A/C charge (Wow! -they have alot of confidence in A/C system!)
3yrs on radio/dvd/paint?
5yrs /60k miles on most non-wear items on the car.
7yrs rust thru?
10yr /100,000 miles on internally lubricated Powertrain components.

******************

So far as the trans, not fond of cars in which you can't change the trans filter...


PS: Always go by the "Severe Maintenance" schedule, unless it's highway miles. If you tow, drag race, abuse cut that in half. Cheaper to change the fluid than to buy a trans.

Best scenario would be to change the fluid (and filter) on a new car at about 2-3 thousand miles or so, THEN go by the "Severe Maintenance" schedule if you plan on retaining the car beyond the warranty period IMO as someone who worked on cars professionally for many years.


.

I tend to agree. The filter isn't that important though. In 99% of cars and pickups the "filter" is actually a screen. If your transmission is wearing as it should the wear particles from the clutches will be so small they will pass through the screen. If your clutches are through off pieces in chunks - the transmission is probably on its way out. Changing the fluid often (at least at "severe maintenance schedule") is the best thing you could do for your transmission - along with a cooler.

As for the tow hitch - there is just something about using a FWD car or van for towing that seems wrong to me.
 
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