Kia Cadenza Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Kia Cadenza, known for its comfort and reliability, has an equally impressive transmission system. This system plays a crucial role in providing a smooth and enjoyable driving experience. At the heart of the Cadenza’s transmission system is the transmission fluid, a vital element that ensures the seamless operation of the gears.

Transmission fluid maintenance is not something that should be overlooked. It keeps your car running smoothly and enhances its longevity. Proper fluid management can prevent most transmission problems, saving you from expensive repairs down the line.

Transmission fluid is a lubricant used in your car’s transmission system. Its primary role is to lubricate the various parts of the transmission system to reduce friction, clean and protect metal surfaces from wear, condition gaskets, enhance cooling function, and increase rotational speed and temperature range.

The type of transmission fluid used in your vehicle is crucial. Not all transmission fluids are the same, and using the wrong type can lead to issues such as erratic shifting, overheating, or even complete transmission failure.

2019 Kia Cadenza

Each vehicle, including the Kia Cadenza, requires a specific type of transmission fluid recommended by the manufacturer to ensure optimum performance and longevity. Always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to confirm the correct type of transmission fluid to use.

Kia Cadenza Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The transmission fluid capacity may vary slightly between different models and years of the Kia Cadenza.

2014-2016 Kia Cadenza Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The transmission fluid capacity for these models is around 8.2 quarts (7.8 liters).

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
6-speed automatic8.2 US qt. (7.8 L)ATF SP-4

For the first generation of the Kia Cadenza, it is recommended to use SP-IV automatic transmission fluid (ATF).

2017-2019 Kia Cadenza Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

Similar to the first generation, the second generation Cadenza also requires SP-IV ATF.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
8-speed automatic7.39 US qt. (7.0 liter)ATF SP-IV

For the second-generation models, the capacity is approximately 7.4 quarts (7 liters).

2020 Kia Cadenza Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The facelifted second-generation models have a similar capacity to the earlier second-generation models, around 7.6 quarts (7.2 liters).

These figures represent the total capacity of the transmission system. However, during regular maintenance, not all of the fluid is typically drained. Therefore, the amount needed for a fluid change may be less than the system’s total capacity.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
8-speed automatic7.39 US qt. (7.0 liter)ATF SP-IV

For the facelifted second-generation models, continue using SP-IV ATF.

2020 Kia Cadenza

Remember that while these are the recommended fluid types, always refer to your vehicle’s owner manual or consult with a professional mechanic to confirm the correct fluid type for your specific vehicle.

Using the wrong type of transmission fluid in your Kia Cadenza can have severe consequences. These could include the reduction in lubrication, leading to increased wear and tear on the transmission’s components, a decrease in fuel efficiency, or even complete transmission failure.

The fluid may not provide the necessary cooling, or it might react negatively with the transmission’s seals and gaskets, causing leaks. Therefore, it is critical to always use the correct type of transmission fluid to maintain the health and performance of your vehicle.

Changing Transmission Fluid

Knowing when to change your transmission fluid can significantly impact your Kia Cadenza’s performance and lifespan. Generally, the manufacturer recommends changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

However, this can depend on your driving habits and conditions. If you drive under more strenuous conditions, such as frequent stop-and-go traffic or towing, you might need to change it more frequently.

Here are the general steps involved in changing the transmission fluid in a Kia Cadenza:

  1. Prepare Your Vehicle: Start by gathering all the necessary tools and materials. You will need a wrench, drain pan, new transmission fluid, and potentially a new gasket for the transmission pan.
  2. Drain Old Fluid: Position your drain pan beneath the transmission fluid pan. Remove the drain plug with your wrench and let the old fluid flow out into the drain pan. Be careful, as the fluid may be hot.
  3. Remove and Clean the Pan: After draining, remove the pan entirely by unscrewing the bolts. Clean the pan thoroughly before reinstalling it. This is a good time to replace the gasket if needed.
  4. Replace the Filter: While the pan is removed, you will see the transmission fluid filter. Remove and replace this filter.
  5. Reinstall the Pan: After replacing the filter, reinstall the pan with the new gasket if you have one.
  6. Refill the Fluid: Locate the transmission fluid dipstick under your hood. Using a funnel, pour the new transmission fluid into the dipstick tube. Be sure not to overfill the system.
  7. Check the Fluid Level: Start your car and let it run for a few minutes to warm the fluid. With the engine still running, check the fluid level with the dipstick. Add more fluid if necessary until it is between the “MIN” and “MAX” marks on the dipstick.

Remember, this is a simplified version of the process, and the exact steps can vary depending on the specific model and year of your vehicle. If you don’t have experience with car maintenance, it’s always best to take your Kia Cadenza to a professional mechanic for a transmission fluid change.


Q: How do I know if my transmission fluid is bad?

Recognizing the signs of degraded transmission fluid can help prevent potential damage to your Kia Cadenza’s transmission system. Some indications that your transmission fluid may need a change include:

  • Color Change: New transmission fluid typically has a transparent pinkish-red hue. Over time, as the fluid degrades, it can turn a darker brown color. If it appears black or has a burnt smell, it’s a clear sign that it needs immediate replacement.
  • Unusual Noises: If you hear grinding or other unusual sounds when your vehicle is in neutral, it might be due to poor-quality or low transmission fluid.
  • Delayed or Rough Shifting: If your car hesitates or jerks when shifting gears, it might be due to old or insufficient transmission fluid.

Regularly checking the fluid level and quality can help in preventing transmission issues and maintaining the overall health of your vehicle.

Q: Can I mix transmission fluids?

It’s generally not recommended to mix different types or brands of transmission fluids. While some fluids might be compatible, others can react negatively when mixed, leading to decreased performance, potential chemical reactions, or damage to your transmission system.

For Kia Cadenza, the recommended fluid type is SP-IV ATF. If you’re adding or replacing fluid, it’s best to use the same brand and type that’s already in the system. If you’re unsure, it’s always a safe bet to do a complete fluid change or consult with a professional mechanic.

Q: What happens if I use too much transmission fluid?

Overfilling your transmission can have several adverse effects on your vehicle:

  • Foaming: Too much fluid can cause it to foam, which reduces its lubricating properties, leading to increased wear and tear on your transmission’s components.
  • High Pressure: Overfill can result in excessive pressure inside the transmission. This increased pressure can lead to leaks as the fluid might force its way out through seals and gaskets.
  • Overheating: Due to reduced lubrication from foaming, the transmission can overheat, leading to decreased efficiency and potential damage.

If you suspect you’ve overfilled your transmission fluid, it’s best to address it immediately. Check the levels and drain the excess to ensure optimal operation.

Benefits of Regular Transmission Maintenance for Kia Cadenza

Maintaining the heart and soul of your Kia Cadenza, which is its transmission, is more than just a routine task. It’s an investment in the longevity and performance of your vehicle. Let’s explore the myriad benefits of regular transmission check-ups.

Improved Fuel Efficiency:

  • How It Helps: Clean and adequately filled transmission fluid ensures that the moving parts within the transmission function smoothly without excess friction. When the transmission operates seamlessly, the engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which in turn, improves fuel consumption.
  • Your Gain: Over the course of a year, better fuel efficiency can translate to significant savings at the pump. Moreover, it’s an eco-friendly bonus, reducing your carbon footprint.

Extended Vehicle Lifespan:

  • How It Helps: Just as our bodies need proper nutrition to function optimally, vehicles need regular maintenance to ensure they run efficiently. Transmission fluid acts as a lubricant, coolant, and cleaner for the transmission system. When it’s clean and at the appropriate level, it prevents wear and tear of gears and other components.
  • Your Gain: Regular maintenance can add years to your Kia Cadenza’s life. An efficiently running vehicle will also have a higher resale value should you choose to part with it down the line.

Prevention of Costly Repairs:

  • How It Helps: Early detection is the best prevention. Regular transmission check-ups can identify minor issues before they escalate into significant, more costly problems. This includes spotting leaks, assessing the quality of the transmission fluid, or detecting abnormal noises.
  • Your Gain: Addressing minor issues early on prevents major breakdowns which can lead to expensive repairs or replacements. Think of regular maintenance as a proactive investment, saving you from potential hefty bills in the future.


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