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Ask George H. Your Own Question
George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 18389
Experience:  Hyundai Certified and 15+ years as an ASE Maser Tech
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check and fill the automatic transmission fluid in a 2012 Optima?

Customer Question

How do you check and fill the automatic transmission fluid in a 2012 Optima?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Kia
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

Hello I will help you with your question,

 

Drained the trans while trying to change the engine oil?

 

This is common, I will pull the procedure for you to check and fill the trans, please give me a couple of minutes.

 

Thanks

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
well this moron did not let all the trans fluid out. i put the plug back in, but can't tell how much i lost
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

Not a moron, you would be surprised how much company you have.

 

The procedure is below, look it over and let me know what questions you have about what it describes.

 

Click here for procedure

 

Thank you

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't see the 'eyebolt' on my car as shown in step 2. The diagram sent does not match my car. Is it the plug down low near the firewall?
Step 4 - what is 'the GDS.' (oil temp)
step 6 - do I need to remove the black plastic shroud under the car to get to the 'oil level plug'

I don't have a lift (have ramps / jack stands and a hyd. jack) If I can't get the car level ... am i wasting my time trying to check this? Or am i better off just draining all the trans fluid out and refilling with the 7.5 qts. (7.1 liters) detailed in my owners manual? (the procedure sent says 5 liters.)
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

I just lost my previous answer due to a site error I will repost, please be patient.

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
OK
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

The eyebolt/banjo/cooler line bolt that you remove to fill through is on top of the transmission below the air intake. Remove the intake and follow the cooler line to the bolt.

 

The manual specs 7.5 quarts for a dry fill, you can only drain 5 quarts from this transmission. I add 4 quarts and check it but I have it on a lift so I can check and add at the same time. You do need the vehicle level so if you can get close you can have a shop adjust the level on a lift. Use Hyundai/KIA fluid only, anything else will cause shifting issues down the road.

 

The GDS is the HYUNDAI/KIA scantool that allows you to read the oil temp for proper level as the fluid expands.

 

You do need to remove the undercover to check the level.

 

Let me know what I can do to help you with this

 

Thank you

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
looks like I would need to take out the air filter box as well to get to the filler bolt?
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

Yes you need to remove the air intake.

 

If you are unsure of the location have a helper shift the transmission, the triangular lever shown under the A is connected to the shift cable and it will move.

 

Let me know what I can do to help

 

Thanks

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I took off the air scoop that is attached to the front of the engine compartment (two bolts to the right of the hood latch). If the air filter box removal exposes the filler port than I should be OK. Will I be able to get Kia factory fluid at an auto parts store?
Could I drive the car at all? ... I'm guessing I would be down 1 to 2 qts of trans fluid. The dealer is about 20 miles away.
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

You can only get KIA trans fluid at a dealer, the autoparts store "compatible" fluids are not. They will cause a problem down the road.

 

Being down that much I would not drive it, if the clutches do not hold due to low pressure you can spin then (slipping) and damage them pretty quickly from overheating or glazing. Play it safe or you could damage this and need it replaced.

 

If you can get the fluid to run out the check plug you should be safe to drive it to get it checked or put it up on ramps to check the level and adjust as necessary. I would get at least a quart back in before I tried that though.

 

You may find the battery tray to be in your way, I work around it but the tray and the air cleaner box are held with a couple of bolts and do come out easialy.

 

Let me know what I can do to help

 

Thanks

 

 

George H. and other Kia Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks George.
Expert:  George H. replied 4 years ago.

Glad to help, please let me know if you have further questions

 

Thanks