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2013 Rio LX 4-Door
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just completed my final drain & fill of the transmission fluid. I used the fluid level adjustment procedure as described here: Kia Rio: Fluid Service Adjustment Procedure - Hydraulic System - Automatic Transaxle System - Kia Rio UB 2012-2019 Service Manual

It's a very subjective procedure. Why? For two reasons:

(1) The instructions state that "the vehicle must be at a level state." This begs the question: Level based on what? If I use a under-tire lift to raise the vehicle, is it "level?" What about using a under-frame lift to raise the vehicle... is this "level?" What does Kia objectively consider "level" to be?

(2) The instructions state that "a thin steady stream means the fluid level is correct," "a thick stream means there is too much fluid," and "no fluid flowing out means there is a shortage of fluid." Believe me, once you remove the fluid level check plug, it's going to be your best-guess as to what's "thin" vs. what's "thick." What does Kia objectively consider "thin" and "thick" to be?
 

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2014 Kia Rio
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82 Posts
Since the the transmission holds close to 8 quarts I think a difference of up to 3/4 of quart would probably not affect the function of the transmission. Most likely why there is no very accurate way to check the level. On another note most people will probably never do any type of service on the transmission so no reason to have an accurate means of measuring transmission fluid level.
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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209 Posts
The safest thing you can do is to keep and measure the amount of old fluid removed.
If you took our 7.5 qts you should add 7.5 qts.
That will eliminate the issue with the subjective measurement, which you hit the nail on the head with.
I'm not thrilled they took away the dipstick. All the major manufacturers have (mostly) eliminated it.
It was not that much of a cost savings, and creates issues such as your having right now......
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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516 Posts
Replacing ATF with same volume while both are at same temp is just fine. Don't need to be 'level' for that either.
I followed level check procedure with Sportage once and it took 200ml less than factory fill and transmission acted up a bit after. Added 200ml and it was back to normal.
 

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Rio 2014 LX
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9 Posts
Just change it with the vehicle relatively level and pour ATF in there until it starts coming out. As long as you get the plug in there before it stops coming out you are fine. It isn't that critical as long as you are not massively high or low so don't overthink it.
 

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Premium Member
2019 KIA Sorento SX 3.3L GDi V6 - AWD
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734 Posts
Just make sure to do the final level check with the engine running at idle.

Otherwise the level will end up being on the low side (almost half a quart lower in my transmission).

Richard
 
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