How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a Kia Sportage

Written by grace mclain
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How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a Kia Sportage
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

The automatic transmission fluid inside the Kia Sportage keeps all of the transmission's internal moving parts lubricated. The transmission fluid also conditions the seals to prevent cracking and leaking. When the transmission on the Kia Sportage is engaged, the transmission fluid is pumped out of the transmission pan and into the transmission. The fluid then bonds to all of the gears and seals to prevent heat friction and cracking. Change the transmission fluid between 50,000 and 75,000 miles to keep the fluid from breaking down.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Jack
  • Safety stands
  • Dripping pan
  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet
  • 24mm socket
  • Long neck funnel
  • SP-3 automatic transmission fluid

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  1. 1

    Park the Kia Sportage on a level surface and set the parking brake.

  2. 2

    Position the jack under the front of the Kia Sportage and jack it up from the cross frame under the engine. Once the vehicle is high enough, place a safety stand under the frame on both sides of the Sportage. Slowly lower the Sportage to the top of the safety stands and leave the jack in the up position.

  3. 3

    Slide under the driver side of the Kia Sportage near the driver-side door and locate the transmission drain plug on the bottom of the transmission pan. The drain plug requires a 24mm socket to remove and tighten it.

  4. 4

    Position the dripping pan under the area of the of the drain plug. Loosen and remove the drain plug with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and the 24mm socket. Once all of the transmission fluid has drained into the dripping pan, screw the drain plug back in and tighten down tight with the ratchet and socket.

  5. 5

    Pull the dripping pan out from under the Kia Sportage. Open the bonnet and remove the transmission dipstick from the dipstick tube. The transmission dipstick has the words "transmission" or "ATF" on the handle of the dipstick.

  6. 6

    Slide the long neck funnel into the dipstick tube. Pour 3 qts. of the SP-3 automatic transmission fluid into the dipstick tube. Remove the funnel and slide the dipstick into the tube.

  7. 7

    Crank the Kia Sportage and hold the brake pedal down. Shift the gear selector lever through all of the gears two or three times. Then, put the lever back into park. Let the engine run for about two minutes before checking the fluid level on the dipstick.

  8. 8

    Pull the dipstick out with the engine still running. Check the fluid level on the dipstick. Three quarts of the transmission fluid should put the fluid level on the full mark on the dipstick. Slide the dipstick back into the tube and close the bonnet.

  9. 9

    Turn the engine off. Jack the front of the Kia Sportage back up and remove the safety stands. Lower the Sprtage to the ground and remove the jack.

Tips and warnings

  • KIA recommends using the SP-3 automatic transmission fluid inside of the transmission but there are also other replacement fluids for the SP-3. Ask any technician at any auto-parts store for the correct replacement fluid for the SP-3 automatic transmission fluid.
  • Use extreme caution when working under any vehicle that is jacked up and on jack stands.

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