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we have 94,000 on ours and have not done anything to the transmission...shifts just fine. I was always taught that if you have a properly working higher mileage automatic transmission that has never had the fluid changed...to just leave it along or you'll cause problems by changing the fluid.
Yes, I've heard that wisdom as well, but relating more to like 150,000-200,000 miles. At 100k I'd still give it a shot.
 

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2011 Kia Sorento EX AWD
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39 Posts
This procedure omits draining of the torque converter which leaves all of the old fluid in there and you don't want to skip that. There oil cooler lines are located right beneath the battery tray and easily accessible from the top. Looking down from the top the left line is the outlet so if you wish to flush the oil cooler as well disconnect the right hose and guide it to a drain pan. You also will want to connect another hose from the metal line to the drain pan because a small amount of ATF will flow from there as well.
I just did mine a few days ago with 88k on the odometer and the fluid was dark as night. Definitely would suggest changing fluid at 60k the most.


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2011 Kia Sorento EX, 2004 Acura MDX Touring
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I just bought a used 2011 Sorento. They followed the manual. I wish they had serviced that transmission once or twice before they sold it to me with 113,500 miles. I'd have a better piece of mind about that transmission. Now, I'm told to leave it alone. Maintenence is the life of your vehicle. The suggested 30,000 mile interval for ATF change was sound advice unless you don't mean to keep the car much more than 100,000 miles.
 

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2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD
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I just bought a used 2011 Sorento. They followed the manual. I wish they had serviced that transmission once or twice before they sold it to me with 113,500 miles. I'd have a better piece of mind about that transmission. Now, I'm told to leave it alone. Maintenence is the life of your vehicle. The suggested 30,000 mile interval for ATF change was sound advice unless you don't mean to keep the car much more than 100,000 miles.
I agree, and it's a bit shady of Kia (though every manufacturer practically does this) to say the fluid is "lifetime".. but they don't really define how long that is.
 

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2017 Sorento SXL
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88 Posts
trust me it's a good thing you did it anyways. it's good practice to drain and fill the factory fluid anyways. I did both my Sorentors. one was at 21k miles and another at 40k miles. these cars get garbage fluid in at the factory in korea. good idea to change your transmission and awd fluids way before recommended interval
 

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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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trust me it's a good thing you did it anyways. it's good practice to drain and fill the factory fluid anyways. I did both my Sorentors. one was at 21k miles and another at 40k miles. these cars get garbage fluid in at the factory in korea. good idea to change your transmission and awd fluids way before recommended interval
The fluids might not be the highest grade on the market, but 'garbage" fluids would become a warranty nightmare - no different to any other manufacturer.

For the latest Sorento's that would be USA.

113032
 

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White 2012 SX AWD
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684 Posts
Actually, I think it's the opposite. A lot of times when I replace items, such as bulbs or brake pads and rotors, they don't perform as well as items from the factory. I think this applies for all car manufacturers.

However, I also think it varies, though, for different items...for example batteries. Aftermarket batteries seem to usually be better than manufacturer batteries.

Warranty is definitely one reason but I think it's also reputation. If manufacturer items are not quality, they would quickly gain a poor reputation and then sales would drop off quickly.

As for the transmission fluid changes, even though they say no maintenance required, I believe changes are good. I think 30,000 mile intervals are overkill...maybe every 60,000 miles. All fluid changes are cheap preventive measures to keep things running well.
 

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2013 Sorento Ex V6
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281 Posts
Tinted said:


".. these cars get garbage fluid in at the factory in korea. good idea to change your transmission and awd fluids way before recommended int"

My Sorento was made in Ga. USA 👀.
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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511 Posts
It's not just the fluid you are replacing, you will drain abrasive material suspended in the fluid as well thus removing particles causing transmission wear.
MaxLife ATF has been great in my 2 cars, I did full ATF replacement at 20K miles in Sportage and 30K miles in Forte and doing drain/fill every 30K miles since.
Diff and TX case fluid were also replaced in Sportage and they were dirty. On same schedule with those now too - every 30K miles.
 
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