Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

What are symptons of automatic transmission issues


I just did a ATF change on my Hyundai Tucson 2006 which had ~ 195 000KM. The fluid was a tad dark and smelled a bit. I read at first if the fluid was in this condition changing it (as in draining only from pan, not flushing it) wouldn’t cause much issues.

But reading more info I’m getting more and more paranoid and also on the type of fluid used to. Manual calls for SP-III. Visited dealer since couldn’t find anything near me, they assured me PENNZOIL PLATINUM LV MULTI-VEHICLE ATF should be fine to use and mix. It’s what they have at the dealer and sold me and they told me because they are switching suppliers for their oil and stuff that there isn’t an Official Hyundai bottle and label.

So I just want to know, if it turned out to cause an issue, what would be symptoms that I should probably drain it out and get it checked. I drove it a bit hard and all and didn’t really hear any grinding or odd noises and the car moved as before. The only thing is shifting from Park to Drive car has a small clunk noise but I believe it was like this before.

How often has the trans fluid been changed?

Good Greif, are you just trying to worry yourself to death? I think your parents gave you this vehicle after something happened to yours. Just drive it like a normal person, keep oil changes and service done and relax.

I’ll go off-topic . . .

It’s very disappointing to hear that Hyundai dealer doesn’t stock their own brand of atf

what the heck . . . ?

I wonder if this is some kind of a scam . . . customer’s transmission gets serviced with Pennzoil multi-vehicle atf, but gets charged for (possibly) more expensive genuine Hyundai SP-III . . . ?!

Sometimes I’ve had a little warning and other times I haven’t. When there has been a little warning its been slipping clutches. When there hasn’t been any warning, it just won’t go into gear. In all but one case it was overhaul time. I dd have the Olds go into default though and only had 2nd gear and that was just the shift solenoids. Other than that its prevention prevention prevention.

1 Like

…what? :thinking:

I know right? They had some SP-IV but told me it isn’t backwards compatible for SP-III and that Penzoil is the new provider thus why they don’t have the Hyundai bottles yet and that will be the ATF for SP-III.

Owners manual shows it should be changed every 165K KM and I don’t believe it was done before.

Yeah, heh heh heh. A lot of the manuals say its lifetime fluid but I change every 30,000.


Yeah I read that to!

I was surprised when comparing my owners manual to others they were much lower intervals. And then the new ones are 'lifetime".

Yeah, I’d start changing it (drain and refill) every year until it comes out looking like new, then every 50K KM.

The main symptom the tranny’s acting up is it slips a little when changing gears. Like when upshifting during acceleration (on its own) from 2nd to third, you’ll hear the engine very noticeably speed up in between. Rather than the normal pffft-shift sound, you’ll hear a pfft-engine reving very fast-then-shift sound. When things begin to get really bad, when you shift from neutral to D, nothing at all will happen. It will act like it is still in neutral. At first this only happens when the engine is cold, or on a cold day. And you can get it to go eventually. But at some point you won’t be able to engage D at all. That’s my experience with the Ford C4 automatic transmission anyway.

Just b/c a car owner experiences any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean the problem is the tranny fluid, but since changing the fluid and replacing the filter is usually relatively inexpensive, and needs to be done anyway as part of routine maintenance, it’s often the common sense first thing to try.

I have to say it seems very odd the dealership doesn’t stock the exact fluid the owner’s manual specs. I guess it is possible they might not stock it for an older car. But then the specs on the suggested replacement should match the specs in the owner’s manual. Usually there’s some numbers – which presumably refer to a Hyundai document – which represent the specs the fluid must match. My truck uses Ford type F fluid, and I have some bottles of Valvoline type-F on hand, but on the Valvoline Type F bottle are the fluid spec numbers, and those numbers match the owner’s manual to a T. And those same numbers appear on the transmission dipstick.