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I bought a 2015 KIA Optima with 52k. I took my car in for an oil change and to inquire about the 60k check up. Well first off the car is no longer under warranty, and I'm concerned about ruining the transmission. Milage now is 63k. I've never owned a car with a sealed transmission and I just need some good realiable info on servicing my car, and I simply love my this car NO PROBLEMS So far
 

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2021 Sorento EX T-GDI
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You wont ruin it. What does your manual say? Some others consider sealed transmissions "maintenance free" aka never change fluid. I don't like that idea myself but I guess just do whatever the manual tells you to do.
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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These transmissions are pretty robust, and yes a sealed trans, but if it makes one feel better, can never hurt to do just a drain and refill @ 60-70000 miles, as long as it's done correctly.
 

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2013 Ebony SXL Turbo: Original Everything @ about 189K with Drag wheels.
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What is 'sealed' about it? It has drain and fill plugs. Sure no dipstick but most everything since mid-2000s does not either. Manual calls for 60k drain-fills, if under 'severe' duty.

Definition of 'severe' per Kia and drain procedure: Kia Optima: Replacement - Fluid. Repair procedures - Hydraulic System - Automatic Transaxle System - Kia Optima TF 2011-2021 Service Manual

Fill & Check level procedure: Kia Optima: Service Adjustment Procedure - Fluid. Repair procedures - Hydraulic System - Automatic Transaxle System - Kia Optima TF 2011-2021 Service Manual
 

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Being awesome every day!
2021 Sorento EX T-GDI
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What is 'sealed' about it? It has drain and fill plugs. Sure no dipstick but most everything since mid-2000s does not either. Manual calls for 60k drain-fills, if under 'severe' duty.

Definition of 'severe' per Kia and drain procedure: Kia Optima: Replacement - Fluid. Repair procedures - Hydraulic System - Automatic Transaxle System - Kia Optima TF 2011-2021 Service Manual

Fill & Check level procedure: Kia Optima: Service Adjustment Procedure - Fluid. Repair procedures - Hydraulic System - Automatic Transaxle System - Kia Optima TF 2011-2021 Service Manual
Sealed as in customer doesnt touch anything. No dipstick. No way for you to add any fluid. Shouldn't lose fluid either. You essentially need a fancy machine to hook up to the transmission to make sure you cycle out all the old fluid and replace with new.
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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What is 'sealed' about it? It has drain and fill plugs. Sure no dipstick but most everything since mid-2000s does not either. Manual calls for 60k drain-fills, if under 'severe' duty.
Guess I'd better explain, a sealed transmission, which is what they are called, doesn't mean an inaccessible transmission, contrary to above.
Now there are sealed transmission in other power equipment that is just that, sealed.
 

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Changing the trans fluid is easy. Just make sure the car is level. Filling the trans is an exercise in patience. Aso remember that doing a drain and fill only removes up to 50% so you have to do it three times to get most of it out. I only have 1 arm and did it in about 1 hr. The hardest part is removing the undershields which is not hard at all. You ne a 22 mm, 24 mm and a 10mm socker an extensio and a ratchet. A 1/4 in electric impact driver really helps to remove the undershiels fasterers but is required.
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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Remove check level plug when filling this way you won’t get the “burp” and oil everywhere.


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I did mine at 100K. Yes, that's way over recommend. I'm now at 125K (2012 SX purchased new) without issue. I would imagine you'll be fine.
 

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2013 Ebony SXL Turbo: Original Everything @ about 189K with Drag wheels.
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...need a fancy machine to hook up to the transmission to make sure you cycle out all the old fluid and replace with new.
This is incorrect. It is Drain and Fill. See the attachments I placed above. They are service technicians how to drain and fill. Its really rather easy DIY.

Only sealed trans I've come across is my old sears riding mower, no drain, no fill. There is one hole up top, so you'd have to turn the mower upside down to drain, next to impossible.
 
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Or you could just keep pushing it off like me and next thing you know you're at 212k miles with no issues. I'm on engine number 2, but still the original trans. My manual lists it as non serviceable, but I believe they updated the suggested change out at some point in the 20teens.
 

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So many vehicle owners misunderstand several things. First when you read your owners manual read the defenition of severe service. Most vehicles fall under this service schedule. There is no such thing as a lifetime fluid, the "lifetime" is the warranty period, after 100K you are on your own. Change your ATF at 60K or whatever mileage is listed on the severe maintenance schedule. If you want it done at you KIA dealer take the manual with you if they say it doesn't need it. Service writers are not techs and have very limited automotive knowledge. I'd rather spend $100 bucks in fluid and a few hours than buying a new trans when it fails at 120K.
 

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Dealer near me said no need till 100k
Dealers can say anything they want until they put it in writing. The owners manual has a maintenance section for a reason. Read it. Im sure the manufacturer knows a little bit more than the dealer. Look at it this way, lets say your trans lets go at 80000 miles, and KIA denies your warranty because you fall into the severe service category, so you decide to sue, what statement do you think holds more water. A) My dealer told me that it needed to be changed at 100K not 60K. Or B) My trans let go at 80K and I had the fluid chaged at 60K per the written severe service schedule.
 

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2015 Kia Optima
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I’ve had two Optimas over the past years, both bought brand new and traded when they were 5-6 years old. A 2011 LX and a 2015 SXL. Never had a lick of trouble with either one. No transmission problems at all. I recently traded my SXL in and bought a Stinger. Don’t sweat the tranny.
 

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2012 Black SX Prem. & Tech.
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read your owners manual read the defenition of severe service. Most vehicles fall under this service schedule
But isn't it possible to never fall under the definition of severe service? That's what confuses me. If you don't qualify for severe service, doesn't that mean you never change the trans fluid, at least according to the manual?

I would think that even if you are not severe service, you would still eventually need to change the fluid. But the manual suggests, no, you never change it?
 

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But isn't it possible to never fall under the definition of severe service? That's what confuses me. If you don't qualify for severe service, doesn't that mean you never change the trans fluid, at least according to the manual?

I would think that even if you are not severe service, you would still eventually need to change the fluid. But the manual suggests, no, you never change it?
Well that depends who you ask. Ask that question on bob is the oil guy, and you'll get a million answers. But over there the have guys doing 3K synthetic oil changes, used oil analysis, cutting oil filters etc. But there are several tribologists and atf fluid experts that say no atf is lifetime. Will your trans last 100K propbably will it last over that? Who knows. If you plan of trading in the car every few years then don't worry about it. If you car has over 100K and you are going to keep it for a while then consider it. Regular maintenance helps keep a car running at its best, cars (new and used) are expensive especially after the pandemic. I for one keep cars a long time, so to me regular maintenance is justified especially since I do all of it myself, your case may be different.
 
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