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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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Well the Toyota Highlander I had was also lifetime and used WS ATF fluid. Its not full synthetic!!
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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Not 'full' synthetic? So partial synthetic? ;)

Anyway, next time I change my ATF, I will make sure I get full synthetic.
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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The dealer should be able to tell you what fluid it uses. Then you can determine what it is. The only one which maybe full synthetic is a common SPIV used by Valvoline if this is the same spec in the 8 speed I don't know. Mine was changed at my request upon my purchase agreement. They won't use anything other than what Kia specifies I am sure. Getting drain and fills more often is the other solution for heavy duty towers. Mine is less than an hour drive with speed no more than 90km/hr or 50mph to where I launch my side by side ATV vehicle for riding. No big deal for me. My weight is maybe half at max of the rating. I don't care about tongue weight. It has to handle it as other vehicle I've had have!!!
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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I just called my local dealership's parts department and asked exactly what kind of ATF to use for my Sorento. He said type 4... however, he's unsure whether if it's conventional or synthetic..., but a quick google revealed that ATF 4 are indeed synthetic. It's backwards compatible with conventional ATF as well so it's okay to mix and match I think?

Anyway, so I'm all out of options to keep my tranny cooler now... just have to live with it and pull over to let it cool or divert some wiper fluid to mist cool... and to perhaps cut some vent holes on my hood! :p
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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Well currently I using my son's 09 Explorer Ltd AWD w/ V8 4.6L engine. Its built to haul and can handle 5000lbs uphill all day long. LOL

He's taken my Highlander so I am selling this Explorer for him. Its heavy duty on frame design using the HD truck transmission. Full time AWD as well all wheel working the load. 500lbs on the tongue and it wouldn't blink.

Once sold I'll put the work onto the Sorento which is ready now.
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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I do believe US SUVs are definitely more tow capable, but they just don't feel as refined as these asian manufacturers. Hyundai and Kia particularly gave customers a lot of high end luxurious features compared to Toyota and Honda. Latest Korean manufacturers also probably hired better designers... which resulted in better looking vehicles too! Plus, the powertrain warranty just cannot be beat!

If only Kia could give us beefier tranny and a more reasonable tongue weight limit...

Anyway, recently purchased additional window washer sprayers and tubes. Will attempt to divert some water to cool the ATF cooler further. If I have anything good to report, I'll post that here. :p
 

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I wouldnt pay too much attention to the temperature. Just focusing on avoiding unecessary shifts. At higher speeds there is more chance to be hunting for a gear with slopes, and when using cruise control as well.
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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There is NO WARNING at the rear for those who install a hitch. All we're informed its that its had 5000lb tow rating. Any hitch shop advice gives the same tongue weight recommendation 10 to15% on the ball. This loss of control due to trailer swinging/whipping left to right which is very serious if you've experienced it. The hitches available for this are all rated at least 500lbs up to 750lbs for the Sorento.

Also I bet no more than 1% of owners read their owners manual in or close to entirety. Stickers are normally found in various places for critical notes! As earlier this weight is added to the in vehicle weight capacity so less is transported inside or fewer people. Knowone tows with 7 inside. LOL
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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I wouldnt pay too much attention to the temperature. Just focusing on avoiding unecessary shifts. At higher speeds there is more chance to be hunting for a gear with slopes, and when using cruise control as well.
I don't understand, isn't heat the main cause of tranny failures? I certainly don't want to cause any damages to my transmission that's why I monitor it to make sure I won't over cook the fluid. It is because I monitored it that's how I know that I need an ATF cooler. ATF cooler is doing its job somewhat, but I just wish I could cool it a bit more.

Sorento also has manual shift mode, so I'm not too worried about unnecessary shifts.

I bought some generic wiper sprayer along with some tubing on Amazon for $5 and diverted some windshield water to the front grill. Looks like I could do this... now I just need some actual test runs to find out if it's really effective! :D Will keep you guys posted!
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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There is NO WARNING at the rear for those who install a hitch. All we're informed its that its had 5000lb tow rating. Any hitch shop advice gives the same tongue weight recommendation 10 to15% on the ball. This loss of control due to trailer swinging/whipping left to right which is very serious if you've experienced it. The hitches available for this are all rated at least 500lbs up to 750lbs for the Sorento.

Also I bet no more than 1% of owners read their owners manual in or close to entirety. Stickers are normally found in various places for critical notes! As earlier this weight is added to the in vehicle weight capacity so less is transported inside or fewer people. Knowone tows with 7 inside. LOL
Yeah, it's really weird... as if Kia is deliberately hiding this 350lb TW info...

All I can say is that structurally, 500 lbs TW is fine. I measured my hitch height before and after each test run... and so far my unloaded hitch returned to the same height every time. So structurally I know I'm not yielding anything. If I could detect permanent deformations and yielding the structure, then I'd know Kia is probably right about that 350 lbs... and I probably shouldn't be pulling my TT. I was also a bit worried about WD hitch causing problems structurally because Sorento is a unibody not a steel truck frame..., but again, no permanent deformations yet...

Tongue weight will be counted as part of Sorento's payload. My payload capacity is a bit over 1100 lbs... so if we take away 500, I have only 600 left. However many people you try to fit in there, just make sure you don't go over 600 lbs!

Safest approach is to just weight the whole thing on a scale. With everyone everything on it... and make sure you don't go over the limit.

I'm just glad I haven't experienced any sway at all even before I installed sway control. Not sure if it's because Sorento's AWD is very stable or perhaps my tandem axle trailer is pretty stable too. I purposely allow big rigs to pass me by... and absolutely no sway! Anyway, sway control is pretty cheap, so I installed one anyway, just in case.
 

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Sorento SX AWD 2015
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I have no doubt it is (structurally fine, as above). I was looking a might which is parked by my deck and I notice the wheels do fill the cavity pretty good. There is not a lot of room for wheel/suspension arm travel. The suspension has to be pretty tight for that and somewhat confirmed when my body stood on the hitch's ball. Not much movement as was also on the 2015.

I did not see any indication of mode specified for towing by Kia in the manual. I know historically a lower gear under harder conditions is much better on the transmission and heat management. EG 8 not as good as 6 or 7 if using the select shift feature and watch the Tach. Normal highway is around 2000RPM here and under load may down shift automatically to what 7 or whatever which will ultimately depend a lot on what Mode you're using. EG Comfort, Sport, ECO (never this one), SMART. The later seems like its more capable from what the manual says. I don't know if any dealers are smart enough to advise or just guess which works best towing. Experimentation maybe necessary when traffic allow you to ticker and observe the dash etc. Keeping RPM no more than 3500RPM would also be best for the majority of situation as there is fairly good power even there. Hard steep hills I don't know as experience is lacking for me. But I am saying for education in making the right selections and not running in 8 gear while towing is most likely the best as in the old days you didn't use Overdrive either.

Watch your tach and feel the load factor. Relatively flat terrain hwy drive won't be a big challenge at all. Mountain passes east or west coast are different. It all depends on a lot. But not the V6 is bread for 5000lbs and it can do it for all but the hardest mountain goat highway. Adjust speed and gear down for power to get through and over it is what I'd do. I am never likely to tow that load now as when I was younger. But say you're at 3500lbs which is a class II hitch max your vehicle has a big buffer for the weight and cooling. Thats still as substantial trailer.
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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Okay, preliminary test run of my ATF cooler sprayer... I warmed the car up to have both the coolant and ATF equalized and steady at about 186F while driving on the road... and then I sprayed the sucker for 5 seconds!

The temperature dropped like a whopping 1.5 degrees!

Not really all that significant of a drop..., but not bad for a $5 mod. :p

Hopefully when it's a lot hotter during towing, it'll cool down more? We'll see...
 

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Sorento SX FWD 2015
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Billi, you said earlier there is no room for a fan cooled system upfront. Most fan cooled units are 3.5 inches thick, that's 2 3/4 inches more than your current cooler. R U sure you can't get something thicker up front. B&M is the brand I use
they are higher priced than the average setup. Note it this model has automatic turn on/off at 175* F, so it will not over cool in cold weather ( I notice you are in LA, so that may not be a problem). Only draws 6 amps. They are a few bucks cheaper on Amazon .
B&M 70297 B&M Hi-Tek SuperCooler with Fan - Large . Here is a lower cost unit similar to what you have w/a fan added. Mishimoto Heavy-Duty Transmission Cooler with Electric Fan .

Just for drill have you verified your installer put the cooler on the tranny warmer/cooler output line , not the input ? . see pic attached.

Tranny Cooler.JPG
 

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The temperature dropped like a whopping 1.5 degrees!

Not really all that significant of a drop..., but not bad for a $5 mod. :p

Hopefully when it's a lot hotter during towing, it'll cool down more? We'll see...
I wouldn't hold out much hope for that. Honestly, I'm really surprised you got 1.5F.
Although water does have a pretty amazing heat capacity, the volume of water you're going to be able to throw at the problem isn't nearly enough to make up for the amount of heat being generated. Then there's the inefficiency of the method being used, etc. You'd need a garden hose a few miles long to get that far at much lower temperatures.
 

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Air flow through the cooler is the go to way always as it increases with speed. Hence you need to capture Ram air to cool the cooler fins of an Aux cooler which I believe you're using. Skirting water is pointless. You'll run out in no time.
 

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2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Turbo, 2002 Honda S2000
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I think my installer perhaps didn't try hard enough to fit a fan version in? They positioned the atf cooler near the bottom portion of the radiator... so half of the AFT cooler is actually behind the bumper. I reached in and felt there is a bar protruding out behind the bumper... so yeah, I don't think there's more than 2" gap between my ATF cooler and that part of the front bumper.

However, if they installed that ATF cooler right behind the upper front grill, then perhaps there'd be enough room.

Per your suggestion, I also sneak peek into that atf warmer connection... I think they have the cooler feed into the input line... that will introduce some inefficiency, right? Since my cooler will cool it and then radiator will warm it back up?

However, once the ATF got much hotter than the coolant, now the factory warmer becomes a cooler though right? Radiator should also work together to cool the ATF? But anyway, I can see that your way is probably better.

I will go talk to my mechanic and see if he's willing to switch it up for me...
 

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Air flow through the cooler is the go to way always as it increases with speed. Hence you need to capture Ram air to cool the cooler fins of an Aux cooler which I believe you're using. Skirting water is pointless. You'll run out in no time.
I agree. However, given that the mechanic said I have no room to put a fan, I just thought I will explore other options! ;)

ecanderson's suggestion makes sense. ATF cooled by the cooler should not be returned back to that factory 'warmer' again... Will talk to my mechanic, but I'm not optimistic that he will switch things up for me for free... considering there'll probably be a lot of labor to remove things given how tightly packed everything is in the engine compartment...

Anyway, we'll see. If he's going to charge me extra, maybe also ask him to reposition my cooler to a spot where we could fit a fan.
 

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Sorento SX FWD 2015
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Radiator should also work together to cool the ATF?
No, the stock transmission warmer/cooler does not use coolant from the radiator. The input water hose to stock warmer/cooler comes from the engine block and water exit hose goes to the heater core for cabin heat. Therefore you are always cooling the transmission with engine temperature coolant from the block and that runs 180-200* F. The engineers designed it that way so we have to assume they felt 200* F water is ample to maintain the tranny.

If I were modifying this I would just invest an hour or two and remove the grill and front bumper cover to open up the complete front radiator area. That way I could fabricate a structurally more efficient cooler setup. However that's not a typical DIY project, If your not comfortable with that extent of work and do not have the tools and work area it would take a custom shop for that type of work.

**** GET the hoses straightened out, if what you said is correct you are feeding the tranny fluid cooled by your aux cooler back into the stock 180- 200* F engine water heat exchanger where it is re-heated. Probably loosing 20+ * F.
 

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I appear this design would not gain a lot by using a Aux cooler especially when the output is not going directly to the transmission inlet.
 

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Just letting the car idle or cruise steadily for a while, coolant and atf will end up equalizing at the same temperature. However, if climbing, or towing or accelerating, atf temp will always end up hotter than coolant…, so regardless of how the hoses are attached, if atf temp will become a lot hotter than coolant under load, then heat will get transferred to coolant and out the radiator eventually. This atf warmer will end up becoming a cooler, right?

inefficiency only comes if atf is only slightly hotter and the atf cooler was able to cool it down below the coolant temp…then we probably don’t want to warm it back up with this factory warmer…

Anyway, will consult with my mechanic. Hope he knew what he was doing and I’m the one seeing it wrong…

if those hose situation could buy me another 20 degrees then I’m set! However, kinda doubt I can see that much improvement. I am already seeing 20~30 deg improvement as is.
 
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