Hyundai Accent 2008 GS Hatchback Transmission Oil Question

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Nov 15, 2021
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Hi, I think this has been answered before but I got a little pickle here. The Transmision is running a little rough, I bought it on February, and had to do a transmision fluid change myself, being a beginner on how to do things on cars, I stepped up to the challenge. I was able to do things like engine oil change to transmision oil, and even change the alternator myself (biggest changelled until now).

One thing i looked up before was a replacement for the original Hyundai ATF SP-III transmission oil, and change it to a Dexron VI, since it was better as I understood than Dexron III (Difference I know it's the viscosity). However, I noticed I did overfilled and went to a mechanic and actually told me that was a bit under the level since the dipstick was splashed all over. However, after some months I checked myself and it was overfilled!. The mecanic was no longer in that address and the transmision oil seems a bit burned/dirty, apart from running rough.

Should I just drain and fill with the same Dexron VI Valvoline Multi-Vehicle (ATF) Full Synthetic Automatic to the correct level, or change it to the original Hyundai ATF SP-III or just change it to a Dexron III?

Any opinion or direction what to do would be highly appreciated.
 
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Do NOT use a Dextron 3 in that transmission. Use the Valvoline or the SP3 (or the SP4m since it's superseded SP3) Make sure you are checking that tranny with a warm engine, NOT a cold one.
 
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Welcome to BITOG 🎉

It's hard to tell the real level of ATF in a transmission, as most transmission dipsticks suck. Maxlife is a great choice :)
 
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Had a 2006 Hyundai Sonata and ran it for 145k miles. No issues at all and I changed the ATF 3 times using SP III. Transmissions can be finicky. I know there's a following for Maxlife and that's fine, but for Hyundai, I'd stick with OEM and change it every 30k miles or so. Had a 2008 Kia Sedona, 2012 Soul and now a 2021 Kia Niro and all had and will have OEM ATF fluid. No fluid related issues at all.
 

eduardo11791

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Welcome to BITOG 🎉

It's hard to tell the real level of ATF in a transmission, as most transmission dipsticks suck. Maxlife is a great choice :)
What I did to sort of overcome this was to leave it on the night and first thing in the morning all the oil would drain to the bottom so when I start up the car, the oil would be cold and I can check the level since it has 2 measurements for when its cold and hot. Thanks for the observation.
 

eduardo11791

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Do NOT use a Dextron 3 in that transmission. Use the Valvoline or the SP3 (or the SP4m since it's superseded SP3) Make sure you are checking that tranny with a warm engine, NOT a cold one.
Thanks, will make sure just to measure it when hot.
 

eduardo11791

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Had a 2006 Hyundai Sonata and ran it for 145k miles. No issues at all and I changed the ATF 3 times using SP III. Transmissions can be finicky. I know there's a following for Maxlife and that's fine, but for Hyundai, I'd stick with OEM and change it every 30k miles or so. Had a 2008 Kia Sedona, 2012 Soul and now a 2021 Kia Niro and all had and will have OEM ATF fluid. No fluid related issues at all.
I think you are right, I've shoulda just added some of the OEM fluid. But since It already has that oil, what I will do is to give it a chance with a proper change, and see how it goes. If the issue stays I will add the OEM SP III. How should I change the oil in it? Do I drain all the transmision oil and put in the SP III when changing different types of ATF?
 
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Hyundai has a TSB out saying SP-III and SP4-M are not interchangeable. Do not use SP4-M in a transmission that specs SP-III.


60BEA3F8-F9FF-43E7-9403-F3829200003A.jpeg
 
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I think you are right, I've shoulda just added some of the OEM fluid. But since It already has that oil, what I will do is to give it a chance with a proper change, and see how it goes. If the issue stays I will add the OEM SP III. How should I change the oil in it? Do I drain all the transmision oil and put in the SP III when changing different types of ATF?
Just do a simple D/R. If you did one D/R, then you only got, maybe, 1/3 - 1/2 fluid out. If you did more than one, I'd do 2 - 3 new D/R with SP III. Having a little Dex in there might not hurt anything. Unfortunately Hyundai and KIA don't have licensed fluid like GM and Ford do. Supertech has licensed Ford Mercon V and used to have dedicated licensed Dex VI. You'll hear a lot of about aftermarket ATF fluids and how many people had good experiences, but for me, ATF is not like oil where you can switch in the middle. And remember, there are millions of Toyotas and Hondas that have gone millions of miles using old specd Dex III on the original transmissions. High mileage 1998 Corollas and Civics/Accords that use Dex II or Dex III on the original trans that are still on the road? How can that be if they didn't use Maxlife? SPIII is still relatively inexpensive and doing a D/R ever 30k miles is easy. The best fluid is clean fluid. If you keep clean fluid in the trans and have a trans issue, I can almost gaurentee it's not fluid related. Probably a design flaw or low part quality that Maxlife would not have fixed anyway. You can call a local trans rebuilder and ask if you change your ATF every 30k miles, what are the chances of having a fluid related problem, and if any, what are those problems? Those guys are on the front line and see this stuff everyday. I had a 1992 Buick Park Avenue that had the trans remanufactured (180k miles) and they put in old style Dex III, not VI. He said drain it every 30k miles and change the filter every 60k and it'll last 250k miles using Dex III.
 

eduardo11791

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You need to measure it exactly how the manual tells you to measure it. Likely hot, but also whether the engine is running or not and exactly when.
Yes, that was the first thing I did when I wanted to measure it, it does says when its hot and cold too as it has the measurement holes in it for both, but for some reason the oil splashes a lot so it's kind of hard to see it with this thin oil.
 
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Hyundai has a TSB out saying SP-III and SP4-M are not interchangeable. Do not use SP4-M in a transmission that specs SP-III.


View attachment 78131
SP3 and SP4(M) ARE interchangeable. What is NOT interchangeable is sp3/sp4(m) and SPH-4. Sp3 cannot be used in a transmission that originally came with SP4, but SP4 CAN be used as replacement for SP3 (in other words, cannot use the older fluid in a newer tranny, but you can use the newer fluid in an older tranny. But you cannot mix Sp3/SP4 with SPH). When Hyundai upgraded the transmissions in their vehicles, they went to SP4 (then to SP4m). Most dealers will not even sell Sp3 anymore. But if you are hard set on SP3, Ravenol makes a good one.
 
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SP3 and SP4(M) ARE interchangeable. What is NOT interchangeable is sp3/sp4(m) and SPH-4. Sp3 cannot be used in a transmission that originally came with SP4, but SP4 CAN be used as replacement for SP3 (in other words, cannot use the older fluid in a newer tranny, but you can use the newer fluid in an older tranny. But you cannot mix Sp3/SP4 with SPH). When Hyundai upgraded the transmissions in their vehicles, they went to SP4 (then to SP4m). Most dealers will not even sell Sp3 anymore. But if you are hard set on SP3, Ravenol makes a good one.

Thanks for the clarification, I must have misunderstood the notice on the TSB.

I have only owned 2 automatic Hyundai’s (the rest were manual) and they used SP-3 and that’s all I ever put in it. I don’t have any experience with the newer stuff.

The notice makes it sound like they are not interchangeable, at least that’s how I interpreted it. “SP-III, SP4-M and SPH-IV-RR are not interchangeable”. SP4-M supersedes SPH-IV.
 
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Sp4 is the 'upgraded' formula for sp3. The sp4-M is a lower viscosity version of SP4. It should say "SP3 and SP4m are not compatible with SPH4-RR." This is also why Maxlife will work with both SP3 and SP4. I have personally used SP4 in drain-and-fills of SP3 trannies many times. You just can't go backwards with the fluids, as in using SP3 in an made-for-SP4 tranny. Now, pretty much all the dealers will have on board for a Hyundai or Kia is the SP4M. The oddball sph4-RR was used in some Genesis vehicles in the 8 speed tranny.
 

eduardo11791

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Just do a simple D/R. If you did one D/R, then you only got, maybe, 1/3 - 1/2 fluid out. If you did more than one, I'd do 2 - 3 new D/R with SP III. Having a little Dex in there might not hurt anything. Unfortunately Hyundai and KIA don't have licensed fluid like GM and Ford do. Supertech has licensed Ford Mercon V and used to have dedicated licensed Dex VI. You'll hear a lot of about aftermarket ATF fluids and how many people had good experiences, but for me, ATF is not like oil where you can switch in the middle. And remember, there are millions of Toyotas and Hondas that have gone millions of miles using old specd Dex III on the original transmissions. High mileage 1998 Corollas and Civics/Accords that use Dex II or Dex III on the original trans that are still on the road? How can that be if they didn't use Maxlife? SPIII is still relatively inexpensive and doing a D/R ever 30k miles is easy. The best fluid is clean fluid. If you keep clean fluid in the trans and have a trans issue, I can almost gaurentee it's not fluid related. Probably a design flaw or low part quality that Maxlife would not have fixed anyway. You can call a local trans rebuilder and ask if you change your ATF every 30k miles, what are the chances of having a fluid related problem, and if any, what are those problems? Those guys are on the front line and see this stuff everyday. I had a 1992 Buick Park Avenue that had the trans remanufactured (180k miles) and they put in old style Dex III, not VI. He said drain it every 30k miles and change the filter every 60k and it'll last 250k miles using Dex III.
Thanks for the information. I will do an couple of Extra D/R and update later in a month to see how it goes. Thanks again for the help.
 

pbm

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I have a 2008 Elantra and I've ran Valvoline Import ATF and Maxlife without any issue. It drains only about 2 quarts from the drain plug so I did a few D&R's about 2k apart after purchasing it with 28K. I went to doing 20K changes after doing those 3 short changes. The A/T shifts great.
I've used Castrol Import MV in my brothers 2008 Sonata with equally good results.
My point is that I don't think this generation of Hyundais are too fussy about which ATF to use (as long as the ATF maker recommends it for Hyundai).
 
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