How to Fix Transmission Problems in a Kia? (5 Risky Models)

In this brief guide, we are going to provide you with the common Kia cars with transmission problems and why you should avoid buying these cars before they cost you.

Kia mostly has an automatic transmission and does not require any manual input to shift gears while driving as most of the cars have automatic transmission. Various sensors and mechatronic systems work in coordination to shift gears automatically. 

Automatic transmissions have a global reputation for quality, reliability and durability. However, there are many Kia cars with automatic transmissions and we’ll tell you why and how you can solve them.

What common Kia models have transmission problems?

Most of the common Kia cars with  transmission problems are:

  • Sportage
  • Forte
  • Rio
  • Picanto
  • Sorento

Why is the Sportage transmission a problem?

Kia Sportage transmission can cause problems such as shifting delays, jumping or grinding during acceleration, a feeling of shakiness, or whistling noises and a burning smell coming from under the hood.

What common signs of problem are shown by this  transmission?

Common signs will be shuddering and jerking as well as no response when accelerated also there will be overheating signs from the Kia transmission.

How to fix this transmission problem?

Visiting the nearest service center or your trusted mechanic would be the only way to solve this problem because this might be a serious  problem you are facing. 

Why is the Forte transmission a problem?

Forte transmission may give a delay between when pressing the throttle pedal and the vehicle accelerating forward.

What common signs of problem are shown by this Kia transmission?

This malfunction can cause your car to erratic downshift either while driving or when you are at a full stop.

How to fix this Kia transmission problem?

Replacing the solenoids would work and you would not get the sign but if there is a problem with the mechanical component then it is better if you would visit a mechanic or service station. 

Why is Rio transmission a problem?

Rio transmission causes problems such as gear slippage and erratic shifts, No reverse, Missing gears or harsh gearshifts. 

What common signs of problem are shown by this  transmission?

Grinding or shaking is one of the common signs with the Rio transmission and if you need to find the exact cause then you might need to visit a mechanic.

How to fix this  transmission problem?

To fix it you need to visit an authorized dealership to essentially solve the common problems you are facing with the transmission.

Why is Picanto transmission a problem?

Shuddering, Shaking and Bumps as well as slippage while shifting are some of the problems with the Picanto transmission and that is why this Kia transmission is a problem.

What common signs of problem are shown by this  transmission?

Two of the most common signs are stalling or sluggish acceleration and the second one is shuddering and vibrations.

How to fix this  transmission problem?

Usually clutches are worn out and need to be replaced to solve this problem. Also in other cases it has been seen that clutch assemblies can be removed and rebuilt to solve this issue. 

Why is Sorento transmission a problem?

Sorento transmission overheats and causes the  transmission to function ineffectively and also causes a lot of internal friction between the belts and pulleys while engaging and disengaging.

What common signs of problem are shown by this  transmission?

A few common signs are slow response while accelerating and not getting the desired drive when needed. Also, you could see some sort of malfunction sign on the dashboard. 

How to fix this  transmission problem?

Check the transmission oil and its level. If it is too low then fill the required amount of oil in the transmission. If it is too dirty, then drain the entire oil from the transmission and fill it again.

How to diagnose these common  transmission problems precisely?

If you need to precisely diagnose these common problems then you need to use a diagnostic tool which is software based and can be connected to the vehicle electronic system as Kia transmission fully electronically controlled automatic transmission.

As nowadays, cars and their major systems are controlled electronically with various mechatronic and processors working together. That is why it is possible to use these software diagnostic tools and find the help of the error code received, find the cause and solution to the problem.

Also, there is a failsafe mode that the car companies have fitted to prevent further damage to the vehicle transmission. The causes related to these malfunctioning could range from mechanical to electrical or fluid pressure inside the gearbox. 

How to prevent getting these problems in the first place?

The best way to prevent these problems is to avoid buying these cars in the first place as these cars are known to have  transmission problems. 

If you have already bought one then the most important thing you can do is to first keep the  transmission fluids up to the required levels. Also, maintaining the quality of the transmission fluid is also equally important to prevent getting these major  transmission problems in the first place.

Driving style also has a huge impact on the transmission life and its usability. Anticipatory driving will result in smooth gearshifts and prevent premature damage. Also, braking has an influence on transmission as the clutch might damage if you press your accelerator and do not release the brakes.

FAQs: Kia transmission problems

Do Kias have bad transmissions?

Overall, Kia transmissions are quite reliable. Most Kia transmission problems such as transmission won’t engage, transition slips, delayed shifting, transmission bangs into gear, no drive or reverse gears, stuck in limp mode are often caused by low transmission fluid.

Do Kia Seltos have transmission problems?

Yes, Kia Seltos has its own problems.  But the amount of problems currently reported is low, so there seems to be a low risk of engine or transmission problems.


In this brief guide, we provided you with the common Kia transmission problems and why you should avoid buying these cars to save yourself future trouble.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.