Kia Soul Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Kia Soul is a standout vehicle in the compact crossover segment, known for its unique design and commendable performance. Key to its driving dynamics is the transmission system, an intricate part that plays a pivotal role in controlling the delivery of power from the engine to the wheels.

As the Soul has evolved over the years, so too have its transmission systems, ranging from manual transmissions to the more recent Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) found in the 3rd Gen models.

A significant component of the Soul’s transmission system is the transmission fluid. This specialized lubricant is designed to reduce friction among moving parts, aid in shifting gears, and prevent transmission from overheating. Maintaining the appropriate type and level of transmission fluid is crucial.

2023 Kia Soul

It not only ensures optimal performance but also extends the lifespan of the transmission system, saving you from expensive repairs down the line.

Understanding Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is a special kind of lubricant formulated for use in a vehicle’s transmission. It serves a number of vital roles in keeping the transmission running smoothly and efficiently. It lubricates the moving parts within the transmission, reduces heat generated from friction, provides hydraulic pressure for shifting gears, and helps prevent a build-up of sludge and other debris.

Transmission fluids are not one-size-fits-all. They come in various types, such as Dexron/Mercon, Hypoid, Type F, and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) fluid, each with its unique properties to suit specific transmission designs.

Using the correct transmission fluid for your Kia Soul is critical. Each fluid type has specific properties, including viscosity and additives, tailored to match a particular transmission design.

Using the wrong fluid can result in ineffective lubrication, inadequate cooling, poor shifting performance, and potentially, premature wear and tear or even severe damage to your transmission.

To maintain the performance and longevity of your Kia Soul, it’s essential to use the right type of transmission fluid and to keep it well-maintained.

Kia Soul Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

Transmission fluid capacity is the total volume of transmission fluid your Kia Soul’s transmission system can hold. This information can generally be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

2010-2013 Kia Soul Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The transmission fluid capacity for these models is typically around 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters) for a full transmission fluid change. For a simple drain and refill, you’re likely to replace about 2 quarts (1.8 liters).

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
5-speed manual1.9 L (2.01 US qt.)API Service GL-4 (SAE 75W-85)
1.6 6-speed manual1.8~1.9 l (1.9~2.0 US qt.)API Service GL-4 (SAE 75W-85)
2.0 6-speed manual1.9~2.0 l (2.0~2.11 US qt.)API Service GL-4 (SAE 75W-85)
1.6 4-speed automatic6.8 L (7.19 US qt.)ATF SP-III
2.0 4-speed automatic6.6 L (6.97 US qt.)ATF SP-III
1.6 6-speed automatic7.3 L (7.71 US qt.)ATF SP-IV
2.0 6-speed automatic7.1 L (7.5 US qt.)ATF SP-IV
2012 Kia Soul transmission fluid capacities

These models, whether equipped with a manual or automatic transmission, typically use SP-III automatic transmission fluid.

2014-2019 Kia Soul Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

These models usually have a transmission fluid capacity of around 7.7 quarts (7.3 liters) for a full transmission fluid change and about 3.5-4 quarts (3.3-3.8 liters) for a drain and refill.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
1.6 6-speed manual1.8~1.9 l (1.9~2.0 US qt.)API Service GL-4 (SAE 75W-85)
2.0 6-speed manual1.9~2.0 l (2.0~2.11 US qt.)API Service GL-4 (SAE 75W-85)
1.6 6-speed automatic7.3 L (7.71 US qt.)ATF SP-IV
2.0 6-speed automatic7.3 L (7.71 US qt.)ATF SP-IV
7-speed automatic6.7 L (7.1 US qt.)ATF SP-IV

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

2020-Now Kia Soul Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

The latest Kia Soul generations with an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) typically have a total transmission fluid capacity of approximately 7.5 quarts (7.1 liters), with a drain and refill replacing around 4 quarts (3.8 liters).

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
Dual clutch transmission2.01 ~ 2.11 US qt. (1.9 L ~ 2.0 L)DCTF 70W
Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)7.1 US qt. (6.7 L)Kia Genuine SP-CVT1
2022 Kia Soul

The latest generation of the Soul, featuring an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), typically requires SP-IV-RR automatic transmission fluid.

How to Check Transmission Fluid Levels

Maintaining the correct level of transmission fluid is essential to your vehicle’s performance and the health of the transmission system. Here are the general steps to check your transmission fluid level:

  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 marked and/or colored differently from the oil dipstick for easy identification.
  3. Check the Fluid Level: Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, then reinsert it fully. Pull it out again to check the fluid level. The fluid should ideally 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 ideally be a clear red color and should not have a burnt smell. If it’s dark, cloudy, or smells burnt, it’s likely time for a change.

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

Consequences of Using Incorrect Fluid Type

Using the incorrect type of transmission fluid can lead to several detrimental effects:

  • Performance Issues: Wrong fluid types can result in harder shifts, increased transmission noise, decreased fuel efficiency, and an overall less smooth driving experience.
  • Premature Wear and Tear: If your transmission isn’t adequately lubricated, it can lead to premature wear and tear on the transmission’s internal components.
  • Transmission Damage: In severe cases, using the wrong type of fluid can cause significant damage to your transmission, potentially leading to costly repairs or even a complete transmission replacement.

Ensuring the correct transmission fluid type for your Kia Soul model is crucial to maintaining optimal performance and longevity of your transmission system.

When to Change Transmission Fluid

The interval at which you should change your transmission fluid depends on various factors, including your driving habits, the conditions in which you drive, and the specific recommendations from Kia for your Soul model.

In general, many manufacturers suggest changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, newer synthetic fluids may last up to 100,000 miles before needing a change. Always refer to your Soul’s owner’s manual for the most accurate recommendation.

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

Steps to Change Transmission Fluid in a Kia Soul

Changing the transmission fluid can be a complex task that requires mechanical knowledge and the correct tools. If you’re not comfortable performing this service yourself, consider having it done by a professional. However, if you feel confident, here’s a general guide:

  1. Gather Your Materials: You’ll need new transmission fluid (the right type for your Soul’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 Soul and let it run for a few minutes. This warms up the transmission fluid, making it 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 Soul 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 Soul’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and requirements. If you’re unsure about any step in this process, it’s best to seek professional help to avoid damaging your vehicle.

Symptoms of Transmission Issues

Just like any other component of your vehicle, your transmission system can show signs when it’s not functioning correctly. Early detection of these issues can often save you from costly repairs down the line. Here are some common symptoms of transmission problems:

  1. Difficulty in Shifting Gears: If you’re experiencing issues while shifting gears, such as delays in the vehicle’s response or if the car isn’t going into gear smoothly, this could be a sign of transmission trouble.
  2. Unusual Noises: If you hear grinding or humming noises when you’re in neutral, this could suggest a problem with your transmission.
  3. Slipping Gears: If your vehicle is unpredictably shifting gears without any input from you or if it feels like it’s struggling to stay in gear, this is a serious indication of transmission trouble.
  4. Transmission Fluid Leaks: Transmission fluid is crucial for the function of the transmission system, and a leak could lead to significant damage. If you notice a leak or a pool of red fluid under your vehicle, get it inspected as soon as possible.

FAQs About Transmission Fluid

  1. Can I mix different types of transmission fluid?
    It’s generally not recommended to mix different types of transmission fluid as it can affect the performance of your transmission system. Always use the type of fluid specified in your Kia Soul owner’s manual.
  2. What happens if I overfill my transmission fluid?
    Overfilling your transmission fluid could lead to erratic shifting, oil starvation, and transmission damage. It’s essential to fill the transmission fluid up to the specified level, and no more.
  3. Is it normal for transmission fluid to change color over time?
    Yes, it is normal for the fluid to darken over time due to heat and the collection of debris. If your fluid becomes black or smells burnt, it’s time to change it.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *