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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did my second Transmission Drain and Fill and took some pics of the process for those who may be considering doing the same. 2011 Sonata 2.4L with 57k on the odometer.


Let's get the Legal stuff out of the way.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. I am not responsible for any incidental or consequential damages arising out of anyone attempting these actions.




Things you'll need:

A way to raise all 4 corners of vehicle simultaneously and to the same level. I used 4 jack stands with a hydraulic jack for lifting.

3/8" drive socket wrench.
15/16" socket for removing drain plug.
10mm socket for removing belly pan bolts.
Phillips head Screwdriver for belly pan screws.

5qts ATF. I chose Valvoline Import Multi-Vehicle Full Synthetic ATF Part #788699. $6.49/qt at Advance Auto Parts. Or $20/qt for SPH-IV at the stealership.

Some kind of apparatus for refilling the Tranny through the level check hole. I have previously used a 3ft length of clear hose connected to a funnel. This time i used a bag with tubing already attached and a clamp to stop fluid flow as needed.

Procedure:

1. Raise vehicle and support all 4 corners at same level.

2. Remove belly pans under driver side to access transaxle.





At this point it should go without saying, but i'll say it anyway. DO NOT REMOVE THE DRAIN PLUG UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU CAN OPEN THE FILL PLUG!!! For what should be obvious reasons...

3. To remove the fill plug, simply insert the 3/8" wrench driver head into the plug hole and turn anti-clockwise. Be gentle here, as this is a plastic plug.

Once you remove the fill plug, fluid will start to flow out so have a drain pan handy.

4. Remove drain plug and let fluid drain. Clean off magnet. Reinstall when complete. Find some way to measure how much fluid you drained out. I used an old 5qt motor oil jug with graduations on the side.

Your fluid will probably look much darker and less red than what came out here since this is my second drain and fill.






Pics of the plugs.







5. Add new fluid through the fill hole using whatever apparatus you've devised until fluid flows back out of the hole. Keeping track of how much fluid you've added.







6. Start vehicle and leave idling.

At this point we come to a dilemma. You can either add back in however much fluid you drained out and be done. Or you can aim to get the level correct.
My fluid level was low the first time i did this procedure as no fluid drained out of the tranny when i first opened the fill plug. I believe it was not properly filled at the stealership when they completed the TSB for a faulty shift solenoid that made the tranny drop from 6th to 4th while at freeway speeds. So i had to aim to get the level correct. Here's how:

With vehicle idling, continue to add fluid until it once again overflows. I used an infrared thermometer for this step but i've come to realize you don't really need it. Reason for the thermometer is because the fluid expands as it get hot and we want our level to be correct at the proper temp which per Hyundai is 122-140F. Both times when i have done this the correct temp was achieved when the cooling fans first turned on, so that is what i use as my guage.

Once this is achieved, reinstall the fill plug, and you're done.






A few things to nip any future questions in the bud because folks infinitely smarter than myself will post them:

Q. Hyundai states the fluid is a "lifetime" fluid and never needs to be changed, so why are you changing it?

Because it makes me sleep better at night. And because i have an understanding of how friction clutch based transaxles work, how fluids degrade over time with use, and how fluid contamination from suspended sheared off friction material can turn fluid into liquid sandpaper.

Also, i prefer synthetic lubricants. And "lifetime" is quite a subjective term. At best case it means lifetime of Hyundai's 100k powertrain warranty, which at 60k currently and 2 years into ownership i'm sure sure i'll exceed long before 10 years.

Q. Why didn't you use the fill hole on top of the tranny?

Cuz it's difficult to access without removing stuff. And i'm lazy...

Q. Won't you void your warranty since you didn't use OEM fluid.

No, if Hyundai requires me to use only their fluid, they must legally provide it to me at no cost. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Q. Hyundai engineers know best, they designed and built the tranny after all, why would you go against their recommendations?

First because there is no harm in it for my peace of mind. And secondly because most manufacturers' like to minimize cost of ownership to make the vehicles look better on paper, this is not a new concept. Ideally, parts would fail just out of warranty necessitating replacement of the part or the entire vehicle. They are in the business of selling cars after all...

I'm sure there will be more, but those are all i can think of right now.
 

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veil, I can't thank you enough for this! I've done fluid/filter service on my cars for almost 30 years, always GM transmissions, very easy. I hate the Hyundai "sealed" system and "lifetime" fluid, which it certainly is not. I'm at 43K miles after 15 months of ownership. I want to keep this car for about 225K miles as I have with my last 4 vehicles, so I will need to do the fluid change a number of times. I'm probably going to do 50K intervals.

Would you be able to post some pictures of where you put the jackstands? I have a horrid time jacking this car up. I use a pinch weld adapter on my jack, and that doesn't always work so well. I have no idea where I'd put jack stands.

So if I understand correctly, you have the engine running and the fill plug off. The car it hot, and you add fluid until it comes back out? Oh brother.

It looks challenging, mainly because of the need to lift it safely.
 

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More pictures of your filling contraption! :D

Did you build it or were you able to purchase it. Thats usually the biggest issue getting it NEATLY back in. Diameter of that hose looks to be perfect!
 

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Thanks for taking the time and effort to do the write-up and provide the pictures. I found it very informative and insightful.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
veil, I can't thank you enough for this! I've done fluid/filter service on my cars for almost 30 years, always GM transmissions, very easy. I hate the Hyundai "sealed" system and "lifetime" fluid, which it certainly is not. I'm at 43K miles after 15 months of ownership. I want to keep this car for about 225K miles as I have with my last 4 vehicles, so I will need to do the fluid change a number of times. I'm probably going to do 50K intervals.

Would you be able to post some pictures of where you put the jackstands? I have a horrid time jacking this car up. I use a pinch weld adapter on my jack, and that doesn't always work so well. I have no idea where I'd put jack stands.

So if I understand correctly, you have the engine running and the fill plug off. The car it hot, and you add fluid until it comes back out? Oh brother.

It looks challenging, mainly because of the need to lift it safely.
The jackstands were placed under the factory pinchweld jack points. One could go to the extent of trying to protect the welds but in my experience they will inevitable become bent so i don't bother, they just aren't that important to me.

It isn't my preference to lift this way but hyundai left me no option really as there is not IMO a suitable central jacking point for the front or rear of the vehicle central to the axles like on most of my previous vehicles. I used the hydraulic jack to life one side of the car at a time. If you look under the driver door about a foot beyond the pinchweld indentations you will see a half moon indention in the plastic trim along the pinchweld. Place the hydraulic jack here and the vehicle will lift evenly on that side. Place jack stands that are equal in height under the factory jackpoints.

As far as filling it goes. Once removed, the fill plug is not placed back on until we're done. On most vehicles with tranny dipsticks, the level is checked with the fluid at operating temp and the vehicle running. No different here, except for the lack of a dipstick. We just have a hole for determining proper level. When fluid flow out of the hole slows to a trickle or drop, the level is correct.

Be careful though to not start the vehicle until you have done the initial fill of the sump as you don't want the pump to suck air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
More pictures of your filling contraption! :D

Did you build it or were you able to purchase it. Thats usually the biggest issue getting it NEATLY back in. Diameter of that hose looks to be perfect!
LOL. yea i figured this would come up at some point. I have to preface my answer with the fact that i work in healthcare.

That being said. The device used was an enema set, new and unused of course. It was hung on a clothes hanger which was hung off the hood latch loop and a funnel was stuck into the top to make filling easier.

My first time doing this i used a small funnel stuck into some clear plastic tubing i had laying around and hung that off the hood latch loop with string. The fill hole isn't too large so i would probably guess 1/4" or 3/8"OD clear tubing would work.

Alternately one could use a fluid transfer pump like the one below, but like i said, i'm lazy so i'd rather sip on some iced tea and watch gravity do the work for me.

Custom Accessories 36670 Pennzoil Fluid Transfer Pump - Quart : Amazon.com : Automotive
 

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Instead of jacking the whole car, couldn't you raise the car, pull the fill cap and drain plug, lower the car back down to drain like an oil change. Then insert the fill hose and lower the car back down to the ground and fill with a catch pan under the hole so you don't make a mess. When the fluid comes out of the hole (while level on the ground), shut the car off and jack it up so the fill hole side is up so fluid doesn't spill out, cap it and lower it back down? This way you're not raising the whole car off the ground?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Instead of jacking the whole car, couldn't you raise the car, pull the fill cap and drain plug, lower the car back down to drain like an oil change. Then insert the fill hose and lower the car back down to the ground and fill with a catch pan under the hole so you don't make a mess. When the fluid comes out of the hole (while level on the ground), shut the car off and jack it up so the fill hole side is up so fluid doesn't spill out, cap it and lower it back down? This way you're not raising the whole car off the ground?
yup, you could probably do this whole procedure by just lifting and lowering the driver's side front.
 

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It sucks that Hyundai has made this much more complicated than it needs to be.

Does anyone know, does the volume of the fluid expand when it's hot, or is it the other way around?
 

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ATF expands when hot. That's why a dip stick is handy...so you don't burn yourself trying to check hot fluid under that car at operating temp. This is one area I believe Hyundai failed with the YF redesign. The NF was much easier to maintain when it came to ATF & brakes. Not to mention the new 2 part plastic engine bay shield on the YF. WTF Hyundai??
 

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I recently sold my 04 Mercedes C230 Kompressor which back when new Mercedes claims lifetime fluid too. After many Transmission issues, mercedes pulled their statement about lifetime ATF. 2008 Mercedes C250-C350 comes with a new sealed transmission but states a required 60k Auto drain. You would think manufactures would be wiser about what they put out there about their own lines. Thing is like stated, the fluid breaks down over time of usage and the fluid then becomes liquid sand paper. This is some good DIY op.
 

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I'm glad to know we have a magnet in our trans fluid. Knowing there is one on the drain plug makes me feel better. I was going to get the magnetic trans cooler line filter but now I guess I don't need it.

Thanks!
 

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Good Job! :)
I changed my tranny fluid last year at 80K miles and caught "flak" here for changing the "lifetime" fluid.

My fluid did come out dark, and that magnetic drain plug had a lot of stuff clinging to it.

I agree with your reasons for doing it; they are sound.

The only things I did different was:
  1. Removed the air filter housing and battery, to get to the tranny fill plug. But your way is defintely easier.
  2. Used Hyundai tranny fluid ($20 per quart, five quarts).
 

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I think I am ready to try the fluid change. Since there's no way I can raise the car in my garage like the OP, I had to come up with an alternative. Thankfully I have an incline on my driveway. Using a level, I was able to find a place where I can drive it up on ramps, and the car is perfectly level.


Next, I stopped in my local Advance Auto to get some Valvoline Long-life fluid, which I confirmed is SP-IV spec, and I found this little gem:


It screws on to a quart container, and looks perfect to refill the trans from underneath.

Now all I need is a the gumption and some nice weather.
 
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