Transmission Damage Due to Low and/or Incorrect Fluid on Kia Optima

Make sure the transmission is filled with Kia-approved transmission fluid and at the correct level. Our technicians tell using incorrect transmission fluid or operating the transmission when it is low on fluid can result in internal transmission damage.

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Average mileage: 86,108 (40,000–166,000)
10 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
16 people reported this problem
3 people shared problem details
2003 Kia Optima125,000
Mine has been on & off for 2-3 years.
2004 Kia Optima166,000
Transmission slips and have to give it gas to get to go into gear, especially when it has been sitting. No power at times, check engine light comes on.9
2009 Kia Optima64,000
Car started hard enough to throw people forward when slowing to a stop. Took car to KIA dealer for diagnosis. First KIA claimed it needed an adjustment. A day later, KIA sells us a new transmission because they claim the fluid was low. I still can't figure out how you can have a low fluid condition with no sign of a leak.
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Took it to a garage, not sure they filled with Kia specific fluid!

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