Kia Sorento Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Kia Sorento, known for its reliable performance and versatility, incorporates a complex transmission system that significantly contributes to its impressive driving dynamics. Over the years, Sorento has used several types of transmissions based on the generation, including 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 8-speed automatic, and even an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission in some recent models.

The transmission system in your Kia Sorento plays a crucial role in controlling power delivery from the engine to the wheels. A key component of this system is the transmission fluid, a special kind of lubricant that serves various purposes.

Maintaining the correct type and level of transmission fluid in your Kia Sorento is paramount. It ensures optimal vehicle performance, prolongs the lifespan of the transmission system, and helps avoid unnecessary and costly repairs. Proper maintenance includes regular checks and timely replacement of the transmission fluid.

Transmission fluid is a specially formulated lubricant designed for transmission systems in vehicles. It has several critical roles, including cooling and lubricating the moving parts within the transmission, preventing wear and tear, maintaining hydraulic pressure, and facilitating smooth gear shifts.

2018 Kia Sorento

Transmission fluids come in various types, including Dexron/Mercon, Hypoid, Type F, and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) fluid. Each type has unique properties, designed to work best with a specific transmission design.

The correct transmission fluid type is of great importance for the smooth operation and longevity of your vehicle’s transmission. Each fluid type has specific properties like viscosity and additives, engineered to match a particular transmission design.

Using the wrong transmission fluid may lead to ineffective lubrication, inadequate cooling, and insufficient cleaning, which can result in premature wear and tear of transmission parts. It may also affect gear shifting quality, leading to a less comfortable and less efficient drive.

In severe cases, incorrect fluid can cause serious damage to the transmission, leading to expensive repairs or the need for a complete transmission replacement.

So, always make sure you’re using the correct transmission fluid type for your Kia Sorento, and maintain it effectively for the best performance and longevity of your vehicle.

Kia Sorento Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The transmission fluid capacity is the total amount of fluid your Kia Sorento’s transmission system can hold. This information is typically listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

2003-2009 Kia Sorento Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

For these models, the transmission fluid capacity typically ranges between 12.2 quarts (11.6 liters) for a complete overhaul. For a simple drain and refill, you’re likely to replace around 7 quarts (6.6 liters).

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
4-speed automaticTotal fill 12.2 quarts (11.6 liters)Dexron-II
5-speed automaticTotal fill 11 quarts (10.6 liters)APOLLOIL ATF RED-1K
2WD manual3.5 quarts (3.2 liters)API GL-4 SAE 75W-90
4WD manual2.9 quarts (2.7 liters)API GL-4 SAE 75W-90

These models typically use Dexron III/Mercon or Dexron VI automatic transmission fluid.

2011-2015 Kia Sorento Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The transmission fluid capacity for these models is generally around 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters) for a complete overhaul and about 4-5 quarts (3.8-4.7 liters) for a drain and refill.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
6-speed automaticTotal fill 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters)ATF SP-IV
3.5L automaticTotal fill 8.2 quarts (7.8 liters)ATF SP-IV
6-speed manual1.9 quarts (1.8 liters)API GL-4 75W-85

For these models, Kia typically recommends SP-IV automatic transmission fluid.

2016-2020 Kia Sorento Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

For these Sorento models, the total capacity is typically around 8 quarts (7.6 liters), and a drain and refill will usually replace about 5 quarts (4.7 liters).

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
6-speed automaticTotal fill 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters)ATF SP-IV
8-speed automaticTotal fill 8.2 quarts (7.8 liters)ATF SP-IV

These Sorentos usually require SP-IV or SP-IV RR automatic transmission fluid.

2021-2024 Kia Sorento Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

For the latest Sorento generations, the typical total transmission fluid capacity is about 9 quarts (8.5 liters), with a drain and refill replacing around 5 quarts (4.7 liters).

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
Smartstream G2.5 MPI automaticTotal fill 7 quarts (6.7 liters)ATF SP4-M1
Smartstream G3.5 MPI automaticTotal fill 7.4 quarts (7 liters)ATF SP4-M1
Dual-clutch transmission (DCT)Gear oil – 3.6 quarts (3.4 liters)
Control oil – 2.7 quarts (2.5 liters)
WET DCTF 75W and WET DCT hydraulic oil

The latest generations of the Sorento typically require SP-IV RR automatic transmission fluid.

Please note that the fluid type can also depend on whether you have a manual or automatic transmission. Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to confirm the correct transmission fluid type.

2021 Kia Sorento transmission fluid capacity

How to Check Transmission Fluid Levels

To ensure the longevity of your vehicle’s transmission, it’s important to regularly check the transmission fluid level. Here are the general steps:

  1. Warm up the Vehicle: Start your vehicle and let it run for a few minutes to warm up the transmission fluid.
  2. Locate the Dipstick: The transmission dipstick is typically located towards the back of the engine. It’s usually labeled and/or colored differently from the oil dipstick for easy identification.
  3. Check the Fluid Level: Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, then reinsert it fully. Pull it out again to check the fluid level. The fluid should be between the two notches or the “H” and “L” marks. If it’s below the “L” mark, you’ll need to add more fluid.
  4. Check the Fluid Condition: The fluid should be a clear red color and not have a burnt smell. If it’s dark or smells burnt, it’s likely time for a change.

Maintaining the correct level of transmission fluid is crucial. Both overfilling and underfilling can cause issues with your transmission’s performance and could lead to premature wear or damage.

Consequences of Using Incorrect Fluid Type

Using the incorrect transmission fluid type can have several detrimental consequences:

  • Performance Issues: The wrong type of fluid can lead to harder shifts, increased transmission noise, decreased fuel efficiency, and a generally less comfortable driving experience.
  • Premature Wear and Tear: Incorrect fluid can result in inadequate lubrication, leading to premature wear and tear of transmission components.
  • Transmission Damage: In severe cases, using the wrong fluid can cause significant damage to your transmission, potentially necessitating costly repairs or even a complete transmission replacement.

Always ensure to use the correct transmission fluid type for your specific Kia Sorento model to maintain optimal performance and longevity of your transmission system.

When to Change Transmission Fluid

The interval at which you should change your transmission fluid can depend on several factors, including your driving habits, the conditions in which you drive, and whether your Kia Sorento has been used for towing or other heavy-duty use.

As a general guideline, many manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, newer synthetic fluids can last up to 100,000 miles before needing a change.

If you notice that your transmission fluid is dark, smells burnt, or if you see particles or debris in the fluid, you should consider changing it, even if you haven’t reached the recommended mileage.

Steps to Change Transmission Fluid in a Kia Sorento

Changing the transmission fluid is a complex task that requires some mechanical knowledge and the right tools. If you’re not comfortable performing this service yourself, it’s best to have it done by a professional. However, if you’re up for the task, here’s a general guide:

  1. Gather Your Materials: You’ll need new transmission fluid (appropriate for your Sorento’s specific generation), a new transmission fluid filter, a drain pan, a funnel, and the necessary hand tools to remove the drain plug and pan.
  2. Warm Up the Vehicle: Start your Sorento and let it run for a few minutes. This will warm up the transmission fluid, making it thinner and easier to drain.
  3. Locate and Remove the Drain Plug: With your vehicle safely elevated, find the transmission drain plug and remove it, allowing the fluid to drain into your pan.
  4. Remove the Transmission Pan: After the fluid has drained, remove the bolts that secure the transmission pan. Be cautious, as there may still be fluid left in the pan.
  5. Replace the Filter: Remove the old transmission filter and replace it with a new one. This component collects debris and particles and should be changed regularly to keep your transmission functioning smoothly.
  6. Reinstall the Pan and Drain Plug: Clean the transmission pan and reinstall it with a new gasket if necessary. Then, reinstall the drain plug.
  7. Add the New Fluid: Using your funnel, add the new transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. Be careful not to overfill.
  8. Check the Fluid Level: Start your Sorento and let it run for a few minutes. Then, with the engine still running, check the transmission fluid level on the dipstick and add more fluid if necessary.

Remember, each vehicle is different, so this guide is a general reference. Always refer to your Sorento’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and requirements. For the best results and to avoid damaging your vehicle, consider seeking professional help if you’re unsure about any step in this process.


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