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Hyundai Transmission Fluid Change: When and How to Do It?

  • Auto Refinance
  • Natasha Young
  • 6 minutes

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If you want your Hyundai engine to last 200,000 miles or more, you must follow Hyundai’s recommendations and regularly change your car fluids. If you don’t change your oil and filter regularly, it can harm your engine’s overall health in the long run. One fine day, your car might not even start because you completely ignored your car’s transmission fluid issues, so if your car is dropping hints that it’s time for your Hyundai transmission fluid change, you better not stall it.  

What Is a Transmission Fluid? 

Your car’s transmission fluid is a type of lubricant that helps to keep the various components of an automatic transmission working smoothly. The fluid is typically composed of mineral oil or a synthetic blend. It also has additives that help prevent corrosion and oxidation. Automatic transmissions shift gears automatically as you accelerate or decelerate, and the fluid ensures that the shifting process is seamless. 

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Why Do I Need to Change the Transmission Fluid on My Hyundai?  

If you have a car, it’s important to prioritize your transmission and make sure it gets regular professional servicing. One of the simplest ways to increase the lifespan of your car is by regularly changing the transmission fluid.  

Your car requires a transmission fluid flush for preventive maintenance. The main reason to change it is to ensure that your transmission functions optimally. Like engine oil, transmission fluid also loses effectiveness as time goes on.  

Driving in stop-and-go traffic, towing heavy loads, or subjecting the vehicle to other high-stress conditions can further reduce its lifespan. Transmission fluid serves a dual purpose. It lubricates the transmission parts and functions as a hydraulic fluid. This helps in maintaining the transmission’s temperature and facilitates smooth gear shifts. 

Performing preventive maintenance on your transmission is crucial for financial reasons. While a transmission fluid flush may cost a few hundred dollars, replacing the entire transmission can cost thousands.  

In short, here are the benefits of changing your Hyundai’s transmission fluid: 

  • Better fuel economy 
  • No engine lock-up 
  • It saves you money in the long run 
  • The car runs better and has a longer lifespan. 


How Do You Know If You Need to Change the Transmission Fluid on Your Hyundai? 

Here are some instances that make it clear that it’s time for your Hyundai’s transmission fluid change: 

  • Suppose you struggle with shifting gears, especially when going from lower to higher gear and you notice that your transmission is jerking or shifting loudly. It means that your car’s transmission fluid is not doing what it’s supposed to do. 
  • If your transmission is slipping out of gear while driving or takes a long time to engage, it could be due to low transmission fluid. 
  • Whenever your transmission temperature gauge is steady in the center, your transmission fluid is not effectively cooling the transmission. 
  • If you inspect the dipstick and notice that the fluid is dark or has a burnt smell, your Hyundai needs a transmission fluid change ASAP. 
  • If you see fluid leaking under your car while it’s parked, it could be coming from the transmission. Make sure to have it checked before the reservoir level becomes too low. 
  • If you’re experiencing poor fuel economy, it could be a sign that your transmission is malfunctioning. Several factors affect your gas mileage, but changing your fluids could improve your car’s performance. 

Also read: How to Read Engine Oil Dipstick Level 

How Do You Check the Transmission Fluid on Your Hyundai?   

The first step is to determine if you can check the fluid. Some recent Hyundai releases do not have a dipstick to check the transmission fluid. If so, you need a professional to help you out. Else, here’s how you can check the transmission fluid on your Hyundai: 

If your car has a dipstick, you can start by thoroughly going through your Hyundai owner’s manual. Determine whether to check the transmission fluid with the engine running or turned off. Be cautious while the engine is on. 

Park your vehicle on a level surface and then engage the parking brake.  

To locate the transmission dipstick, look for a brightly colored dipstick positioned towards the rear of the engine. If you own a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, the dipstick is usually located in the engine bay, either on top or side of the transmission. 

While removing the dipstick, be cautious and avoid any spills or drips of fluid. Then, clean the dipstick using a clean rag. 

To check the fluid level, reinsert the dipstick and remove it. When you need to fill up your transmission fluid, use the fluid recommended for your Hyundai.   

If you own a 2012 Hyundai Elantra, 2013 Hyundai Elantra, 2014 Hyundai Elantra, or 2015 Hyundai Elantra, for transmission fluid change, you will need FRAM – Full Synthetic Dexron VI Automatic Transmission Fluid. 

If the fluid level is very low, there could be a leak that needs professional attention. Reinstall the dipstick after confirming that the transmission fluid is at the right level. Then you are good to go! 

Also read: How Much Transmission Fluid Should I Add to My Car? 

How Long Does a Transmission Fluid Change Take for a Hyundai? 

The time it takes to change the transmission fluid on your Hyundai will depend on the vehicle’s age and the process’s complexity. Typically, a Hyundai service center will take approximately an hour to refill your transmission fluid. However, it may take a bit longer if they are also flushing out the old fluid and removing any residue or contaminants. 

How Often Do You Need to Change the Transmission Fluid on Your Hyundai? 

Generally, most manufacturers recommend a transmission fluid change every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.  

But with automatic transmissions, figuring out when you need a change can be more challenging. In that case, don’t wait for leaks. According to Hyundai, your car’s transmission may slip if you don’t frequently check your fluids at least every 30,000 miles or so.  

If you ignore the much-needed maintenance, it will burn a hole in your pocket. If you require a Hyundai transmission rebuild, it can cost you around $6,000 or even more. And a Hyundai transmission fluid change typically costs between $200 and $300


Tips on Transmission Fluid Maintenance 

If you have a new vehicle or one with service records indicating regular transmission fluid changes, follow the recommended fluid and filter changes mentioned in your Hyundai’s owner’s manual.  

To properly maintain the health of your transmission fluid, you need to flush and refill it. A 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe and a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe need approximately 10 quarts of fluid to thoroughly clean and flush the system. So, getting a professional to do it for you would be wise. 

To prevent clogging and fluid starvation, make it a routine to change the filter at regular intervals. 

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