ATF Drain & Fill - 2016 Hyundai Elantra 6-Speed Auto

Joined
Jun 9, 2014
Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Been a busy month. I finally got around to changing the ATF at 79K. I decided Hyundai's method was too much hassle, so I did it my way (I didn't bother verifying the level with the check plug, *which isn't technically the right way* but I didn't want to figure out how to get access to a lift or hassle with a jack and stands to properly verify the level). So for my 1000th post, I figured I'd do a how-to for those who may be intimidated. I'm not advising anyone to not verify the fluid level properly. I just used common sense and decided to take the risk, as I had no problems prior. This *should* apply to 2011-2016 models with the 6-speed auto. You'll need 4 quarts of fluid (3.9 to be exact in my case). Hyundai specs SP-IV in the owner's manual. SP4-M is the newer spec fluid, and supersedes SP-IV, so I searched for SP4-M. Due to the price, I ended up using "KIA Type 4 (M)" trans fluid. It's literally the exact same fluid based on info I found on this site, just much cheaper. My KIA dealer discounted it to $12.50/qt (from $13.xx/qt) versus $18+/qt for Hyundai SP4-M, which was also cheaper than anywhere online. FWIW, I expected the fluid to be pretty bad at 79K, assuming it's the factory fill. I was pleasantly surprised. No burnt smell. It was slightly dark when draining, but when I took a shop towel and dabbed a few drops on it, it was actually very light. Looked pretty good. I guess SP-IV is pretty good stuff. I started by getting the car up on my Rhino ramps. Make sure the car is completely at ambient temperature to ensure there isn't a discrepancy with the volume of fluid being measured. Take the air filter & box out, and disconnect any attached hoses. Now you can see the top of the transmission. Then remove the skid plate underneath. There should be 4 bolts, and several philips screw-rivets. These won't just unscrew normally. You have to unscrew them 3-6 turns, then pull straight down/out. If you've changed the oil before, you already know this. Before draining the trans fluid, I made sure the fill plug on top could be removed. Once it was removed it stayed out until finished, and I removed the check plug on the front side. It drooled just a tiny bit and stopped quickly, so I *assumed* fluid was reaching it prior to going on the ramps, giving me the impression the level was correct. I replaced it prior to draining. Now it's finally time to drain. If you're draining it my way, it is critically important to measure every drop that comes out. On my ramps, it was the perfect height to slide a clean empty Valvoline 5 quart jug with a wide mouth (easy pour) under it. I checked the level after 1 hour, marked it, then left it overnight. To my surprise, the level didn't change at all, so 1 hour is all that is needed. Replace the drain plug *after* cleaning all the sludge off of the magnet. I had to fish my plug out of the 5 quart jug duh, small price to pay to ensure I measured every drop. Once the drain plug is back on, go topside. This I feel is the most important part. Thanks to user dubber09 for this tip thumbsup. There are 2 hoses on the right/driver's side of the transmission, 1 marked with red paint, 1 marked with yellow. Disconnect the red hose. This allows the trans fluid to pour much faster into the transmission, and makes zero mess. Once the hose is removed, pour 1 quart in using a long funnel. As long as you don't aggressively pour, it will be perfectly fine. Basically pour at a rate that doesn't;t gurgle out of the bottle. No need to go painstakingly slow like you would without removing the hose. Once that quart is empty use that quart to measure the old fluid. This way there's no discrepancy in the measurement. I found there was almost a half quart difference between what the Valvoline 5 quart bottle measured and what the KIA 1 quart bottle measured. I measured 3.9 qts by the KIA quart. 1 quart = 946mL. Once measured, pour in the remainder needed. Once you've added the correct amount, put the fill plug back on, reconnect the red hose, put all of the air filter parts back on, and re-install the skid plate. Done. It was MUCH easier than I thought it would be (mostly thanks to disconnecting the red hose). Just be sure to start it, and slowly shift between P-R-N-D-N-R-P once before driving to allow the fluid to get where it needs to be. About a week after I changed the fluid, I drove it 1240 miles round trip, and it drove perfectly. I'll definitely DIY again, probably every 30-50K. Hopefully this helps someone like me who was searching the net debating whether to do it or not. $50-70 and two hours of time sure beats $200+ (and probably still 2 hours of time) at the stealership to do a "flush" (which Hyundai supposedly doesn't do), which still leaves behind the crud on the magnet, and potentially introduces an improper fluid into your transmission (one dealer said they only carry "O'Reilly Premium ATF", and several others only use BG). Well worth it IMO.

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Joined
Jan 21, 2017
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Worst Case, Ontario
Nice catch on the discrepancy between the two containers. I have an oil burning car so I have plenty of empty gallon containers around so I use a Rubbermaid bucket with internal graduations. Drain it, measure it then empty and clean the bucket. Then use it for the clean fluid. It's nice to see FF trans fluid that isn't toast at 81k. Why manufacturers use conventional fluids in lifetime fluid transmissions must be planned obsolescence.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
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Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
Nice job! From the looks of it, these two hoses are for the cooler lines. If so, I would've done a full cooler line exchange and be done with it. My Grand Caravan has cooler lines in similar location. I did the full exchange in about 20 minutes without even lifting the vehicle up.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
137
Location
TX
I'll look for that hose next time because it was slow pouring for me on the fill. I was off warranty and went with Maxlife ATF. Smooth as can be.
 
Joined
May 17, 2019
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Location
Far East Side
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Nice job! From the looks of it, these two hoses are for the cooler lines. If so, I would've done a full cooler line exchange and be done with it.
I'm with you there. Those are the transmission lines. Only question is, which one is the cooling line & which one is the return line? If I were to guess, I would say that red = hot, so that must be the cooling line. But that may not be the case at all. With the vehicle up at an angle, with the front end on ramps, does that allow for the fluid in the sump to drain completely? What about the fluid in the torque converter? Tony1679, High 5. Nice job. Good photos.......this will help someone with a Hyundai.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
25,216
Location
CA
Fluid flows out of the metal pipe with the red marking. I just replaced the trans oil temp harness on a 2013. This required valve body removal. Between the drain plug and removing the valve body, 4.5 qt was drained. I ended up doing a flush with 10qt of SP4M since it had been 60k since the last one.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
3,248
Location
GA.
I have a 2017 Sonata 2.4L 6 speed which I am looking to do similar with . Unfortunately local Hyundai or Kia dealers want $20 per qrt. of SP4-M so I will use SP4-M rated Maxlife ATF instead . With other vehicles I let the vehicle sit in the garage over night with the ATF I plan to use sitting right next to it (to be exact same temp) and measure carefully as the OP stated .
 

JC1

Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
6,541
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
I wonder if the bottle of KIA ATF is 1 l , instead of 1 qt ?
That's a great point. I bet most people don't check the label carefully as to the total volume being in quarts or liters.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 9, 2014
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Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
I wonder if the bottle of KIA ATF is 1 l , instead of 1 qt ?
Nope, 946mL. 1 quart. But good thought!
 

tony1679

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 9, 2014
Messages
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Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted by ChrisD46
I have a 2017 Sonata 2.4L 6 speed which I am looking to do similar with . Unfortunately local Hyundai or Kia dealers want $20 per qrt. of SP4-M so I will use SP4-M rated Maxlife ATF instead . With other vehicles I let the vehicle sit in the garage over night with the ATF I plan to use sitting right next to it (to be exact same temp) and measure carefully as the OP stated .
I thought about it, but there is a difference. That's why I went with the KIA fluid. Much cheaper than $18+
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
11
Location
IL, USA
Originally Posted by tony1679
Hopefully this helps someone like me who was searching the net debating whether to do it or not.
Thank you, this was helpful. Just finished up my 2013 Elantra. 130K miles on the factory fill. Initial level check looked good, ended up with exactly 3 quarts drained. Obviously used, but not used up. I think a shorter OCI would have been a waste. 3 quarts of Hyundai SP4-M back in. I used a modified garden pressure sprayer to refill, didn't even need a rag for the job. I'll do it once again in few thousand miles. Should be good for another 7 years.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
1
When checking the fluid level after the refill at the sight plug, should the engine be running or not when checking the oil level? Can't seem to find info on it. I have seen info that the engine should be running. Concerned after putting in that expensive oil, it will come gushing out if engine is running. Can someone help?
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
1,360
Location
ottawa
Running and a specific ATF temp.
Not sure what it is though.
Our mazda 6 is 50celcius. Hyundai is 72c.
 
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