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Thread: Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

  1. #1
    Old_Timer
    Guest Old_Timer's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    >Hi, Hyundai Tech,
    >
    >I have a 2006 Santa Fe. my local shop found that my transmission fluid is
    >in dark brown color and had burn smell though there is only 15k miles,
    >then they changed the transmission fluid 3 days ago, but they used ATF+4,
    >they said it is compatible with SPIII.
    >
    >After search this forum, I am concerned about it, Some recommend to use
    >OEM type fluid, while others said it is okay to use ATF+4 which is a more
    >advanced product.
    >
    >In your opinion, is it okay? or should I have it re-flushed with SPIII?


    I had a very similar experience. I was at an independent auto shop
    getting their "free-checkup" . They told me that the traniie fluid
    was too dark and needed to be changed. I asked them what kind of
    fluid they would put in. They said a regular off-the-shelf fluid that
    had some special additive that made it suitable for the Hyundai
    trannie.

    I reminded them what my owners manual stated in regard to SP-III.
    They told me that was it was a violation of the Moss-Magnusan Act for
    Hyundai to tell the owners that they cannot use the fluid they wanted
    to put in.

    I left that shop and went to the Hyundai dealer parts department and
    purchased 5 quarts of SP-III. Brought it home, put a pan under the
    trannie, pulled the plug, drained the fluid. and put the 5 quarts back
    in.

    That has been quite some time ago. More recently I was in the
    mountains and the trannie appeared to get overheated while going up
    some very steep upgrades. I let it cool down and after I got home I
    once again drained and added the 5 quarts of SP-III.
    Trannies are too expensive to be careless with their care.

    Old_Timer

  2. #2
    Old_Timer
    Guest Old_Timer's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    >I was told that ATF+4 meets the SP III specifications, but Hyundai dealer
    >and Consumer Affair said it is not compatible with ATF+4. They told me
    >that the only compatible ones are those listed on the user's manual, that
    >is their best knowledge.
    >
    >Old Timer, how often you change your fluid? based on miles or months? Did
    >you ever do a complete flush ever?


    I have 64000 miles on the car and have doen the drain five and add
    five 3 times. The last time ws solely becuase of overheating the
    trannis onthe mountain road climb. I could probalby avoided the
    overheat situtaion if I had put it into 2nd gear for the climb,

    Old_Timer

  3. #3
    B Crawford
    Guest B Crawford's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    Hi Group,
    I have the XG300 (2001) with 122,000 km (about 80,000 mi) & I too have
    changed fluid 3 times, the last being fairly recent. I do the change per HMA
    directions for this model (i.e. take off the tranny return line & crank it
    at the end until it bubbles -takes 7 + litres this way). That said I drive
    quite steep mountain roads (10% grades) all the time & sometimes pull a
    small trailer. The new fluid may stay the same colour for quite a while &
    suddenly go dark. Like Hyundaitech says this is not necessarily something to
    worry about unless it's burnt -should have an odour to it then. I suspect
    that heat is what darkens the fluid especially on a hot summer day when
    you're cranking up those kind of grades. I have always used the Hyundai auto
    tranny fluid which used to be SPII but is now SPIII. Unless I get a burned
    odour I plan to keep that fluid for about 60,000 km. One other thing I have
    done to reassure me all is well is to pull the drain plug when cold, hold my
    finger over the drain & examine how much metallic debris is attached to said
    magnetic plug. First time there was an amount about equal to the end of my
    thumb (from the bottom of the thumbnail). Last time quite a bit less, so I
    think I'll monitor it once a year like this b/c I don't even loose a 1/4 L
    with this check. Any feed back on checking this way?
    BCinBC
    <Old_Timer> wrote in message
    news:9d6et39v21s3n4t38a2pt0pglaosdds9c7@...........
    > On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 16:39:13 -0500, "ghe" <hexx0045..........m> wrote:
    >
    >>I was told that ATF+4 meets the SP III specifications, but Hyundai dealer
    >>and Consumer Affair said it is not compatible with ATF+4. They told me
    >>that the only compatible ones are those listed on the user's manual, that
    >>is their best knowledge.
    >>
    >>Old Timer, how often you change your fluid? based on miles or months? Did
    >>you ever do a complete flush ever?

    >
    > I have 64000 miles on the car and have doen the drain five and add
    > five 3 times. The last time ws solely becuase of overheating the
    > trannis onthe mountain road climb. I could probalby avoided the
    > overheat situtaion if I had put it into 2nd gear for the climb,
    >
    > Old_Timer

  4. #4
    Ellouise
    Guest Ellouise's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    >>
    >>>I was told that ATF+4 meets the SP III specifications, but Hyundai dealer
    >>>and Consumer Affair said it is not compatible with ATF+4. They told me
    >>>that the only compatible ones are those listed on the user's manual, that
    >>>is their best knowledge.
    >>>
    >>>Old Timer, how often you change your fluid? based on miles or months? Did
    >>>you ever do a complete flush ever?

    >>
    >> I have 64000 miles on the car and have doen the drain five and add
    >> five 3 times. The last time ws solely becuase of overheating the
    >> trannis onthe mountain road climb. I could probalby avoided the
    >> overheat situtaion if I had put it into 2nd gear for the climb,
    >>
    >> Old_Timer [/color]
    >[/color]

  5. #5
    Dan K
    Guest Dan K's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    > Hi Group,
    > I have the XG300 (2001) with 122,000 km (about 80,000 mi) & I too have
    > changed fluid 3 times, the last being fairly recent. I do the change per
    > HMA directions for this model (i.e. take off the tranny return line &
    > crank it at the end until it bubbles -takes 7 + litres this way). That
    > said I drive quite steep mountain roads (10% grades) all the time &
    > sometimes pull a small trailer. The new fluid may stay the same colour for
    > quite a while & suddenly go dark. Like Hyundaitech says this is not
    > necessarily something to worry about unless it's burnt -should have an
    > odour to it then. I suspect that heat is what darkens the fluid especially
    > on a hot summer day when you're cranking up those kind of grades. I have
    > always used the Hyundai auto tranny fluid which used to be SPII but is now
    > SPIII. Unless I get a burned odour I plan to keep that fluid for about
    > 60,000 km. One other thing I have done to reassure me all is well is to
    > pull the drain plug when cold, hold my finger over the drain & examine how
    > much metallic debris is attached to said magnetic plug. First time there
    > was an amount about equal to the end of my thumb (from the bottom of the
    > thumbnail). Last time quite a bit less, so I think I'll monitor it once a
    > year like this b/c I don't even loose a 1/4 L with this check. Any feed
    > back on checking this way?
    > BCinBC


    I had to replace the compression washer after about the 3rd drain and fill.
    No big deal, but a little panic mode adrenalin rush when I saw the pool of
    tranny fluid on the garage floor the next day. Just pick one up and be
    ready.

    Dan

  6. #6
    Mike
    Guest Mike's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    I've been using Amsoil's full synthetic for some time now. It's also
    Hyundia SPIII approved. I'm much more satisfied with it than the OEM
    fluid.

  7. #7
    Edwin Pawlowski
    Guest Edwin Pawlowski's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    >
    >
    > I've been using Amsoil's full synthetic for some time now. It's also
    > Hyundia SPIII approved. I'm much more satisfied with it than the OEM
    > fluid.


    What does it do that makes you more satisfied? How can you tell the
    difference?

  8. #8
    nick
    Guest nick's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    >Hi, Hyundai Tech,
    >
    >I have a 2006 Santa Fe. my local shop found that my transmission fluid is
    >in dark brown color and had burn smell though there is only 15k miles,
    >then they changed the transmission fluid 3 days ago, but they used ATF+4,
    >they said it is compatible with SPIII.
    >
    >After search this forum, I am concerned about it, Some recommend to use
    >OEM type fluid, while others said it is okay to use ATF+4 which is a more
    >advanced product.
    >
    >In your opinion, is it okay? or should I have it re-flushed with SPIII?


    My personal experience with our old 99 Elantra was that the fluid
    turned brown within a few thousand miles of use. Most shops that don't
    know any better will tell you that the fluid is bad even though it is
    perfectly normal on Hyundai's. Each manufacture's formula is
    different. On our Honda's even after 30k miles the fluid is usually
    the same color as the new fluid I put in it (red).

    Hopefully you charged your service instead of paying cash. Go back to
    them and demand that they drain and fill the fluid with Hyundai OEM
    fluid. If you get any pushback call your credit card company and
    dispute the charge. Make sure you have information on hand and if you
    can get any word from Hyundai to back up your claim the better.

    Worse case, take it to your dealer and explain to them what the other
    shop did. You'll probably need to do a drain and fill 3 times to
    ensure you get most of the fluid out since a drain and fill only
    drains a partial amount of fluid from the transmission.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Rev. Tom Wenndt
    Guest Rev. Tom Wenndt's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    Agree that within a few thousand miles, the fluid in these Hyundais and Kias
    does seem to turn brown.

    I have not seen that with any other transmission fluid except for the
    Diamond ATF SPIII.

    I also agree that it does not necessarily mean there is a problem, but is
    not the red coloring supposed to always keep it looking separate from engine
    oil?

    I just did a drain and refill on my son's '02 Elantra after puttting 31,000
    miles on the current fluid. The old fluid looked a LOT like engine oil
    coming out.

    <nick@nowhere.com> wrote in message
    news:r7tvt3tn4qkd5vl1vn0g7o28mvtge1svui@...........
    > On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 09:26:05 -0500, "ghe" <hexx0045..........m> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi, Hyundai Tech,
    >>
    >>I have a 2006 Santa Fe. my local shop found that my transmission fluid is
    >>in dark brown color and had burn smell though there is only 15k miles,
    >>then they changed the transmission fluid 3 days ago, but they used ATF+4,
    >>they said it is compatible with SPIII.
    >>
    >>After search this forum, I am concerned about it, Some recommend to use
    >>OEM type fluid, while others said it is okay to use ATF+4 which is a more
    >>advanced product.
    >>
    >>In your opinion, is it okay? or should I have it re-flushed with SPIII?

    >
    >
    >
    > My personal experience with our old 99 Elantra was that the fluid
    > turned brown within a few thousand miles of use. Most shops that don't
    > know any better will tell you that the fluid is bad even though it is
    > perfectly normal on Hyundai's. Each manufacture's formula is
    > different. On our Honda's even after 30k miles the fluid is usually
    > the same color as the new fluid I put in it (red).
    >
    > Hopefully you charged your service instead of paying cash. Go back to
    > them and demand that they drain and fill the fluid with Hyundai OEM
    > fluid. If you get any pushback call your credit card company and
    > dispute the charge. Make sure you have information on hand and if you
    > can get any word from Hyundai to back up your claim the better.
    >
    > Worse case, take it to your dealer and explain to them what the other
    > shop did. You'll probably need to do a drain and fill 3 times to
    > ensure you get most of the fluid out since a drain and fill only
    > drains a partial amount of fluid from the transmission.
    >
    > Good Luck
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

  10. #10
    Mike
    Guest Mike's Avatar

    Default Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Fluid

    > What does it do that makes you more satisfied? How can you tell the
    > difference?


    I had a problem with the OEM fluid burning. The Amsoil seems to have a
    higher operating temperature. ]I was having to change the OEM fluid
    twice a year. There is no transmission cooler on my 02 Accent, my commute
    is 150 miles round trip. The OEM fluid would get hot, turn brown, and
    smell burnt. The full synthetic Amsoil does not do any of these things.

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