In-depth Look at Kia Six-Speed Service

Nov. 12, 2021

This bulletin applies to servicing the damper clutch solenoid on Kia six-speed automatic transaxles.

This bulletin applies to servicing the damper clutch solenoid on Kia six-speed automatic transaxles, with Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0741 active or in history. Instead of removing the transaxle, this procedure can be performed with the transaxle installed in the vehicle.

Affected models include 2011 and later Optima with 2.0 or 2.4L Theta II engine, 2011 and later Sorento with 2.4L Theta II, 3.5L Lambda II or 3.3L Lambda GDI, 2012 and later Soul with 1.6L Gamma GDI or 2.0L Nu engine, 2011 and later Sportage with 2.0L Theta II or 2.4L Theta II, 2011 Sedona with 2.0L Theta II, 2.4L Theta II or 3.5L Lambda II, and 2011 and later Forte with 2.0L Theta II or 2.4L Theta II engine.

Using global distribution system (GDS), check for DTCs in the Automatic Transaxle menu. Record the DTC then clear the DTC. 

From GDS, select Vehicle and A/T menu > Actuation Test. Press the Start button and check the “Result” box for a message indicating “Success.”

If the test results show “Success,” the GDS requested the TCM to activate the solenoids. Repeat while using chassis ears to listen for solenoid operation. If the solenoids are audible, the harness currently has no open/short circuit.  Proceed to Step 5. If the test results show “Failure,” the GDS did not request the TCM to activate the solenoids. Proceed to Step 4.

Visually check the wiring harness between the PCM and transmission for a damaged wire or short circuit to ground. Check for a damaged pin or pin not fully inserted into the connector. Repair if needed.

Refer to KGIS for solenoid pack removal and reinstallation for the specific year and model vehicle. 

Once solenoid replacement is complete, refill the transmission with applicable ATF.

Note: If equipped with a steel oil pan, apply Kia RTV silicone gasket maker to the pan for installation. If equipped with a plastic oil pan, install a new gasket.

Attach the GDS to the DLC and select vehicle > A/T menu > Current Data > Oil Temperature Sensor. With the transmission in “P”, start the engine and remove the level checking plug when the ATF reaches 122 – 140 degrees F. The level is correct when oil flows out of the checking plug in a steady stream. Clear any codes and test drive the vehicle for two driving cycles (two ley-on to key off cycles), including 1-2-3-4-5-6 upshifts and 6-5-4-3-2-1 downshifts. 

Example of six-speed A/T solenoid pack. This image is for reference purposes only, and the location of D/C solenoid will vary by model.

Filling and checking ATF level is done through the valve body side cover.

About the Author

Information courtesy of Mitchell 1

Information for Technical Service Bulletins comes from ProDemand, Mitchell 1's auto repair information software for domestic and import vehicles. Headquartered in San Diego, Mitchell 1 has provided quality repair information solutions to the automotive industry since 1918.

About the Author

Mike Mavrigian | Motor Age Editor

Mike Mavrigian has written thousands of automotive technical magazine articles involving a variety of  specialties, from engine building to wheel alignment, and has authored more than a dozen books that crisscross the automotive spectrum. Mike operates Birchwood Automotive, an Ohio shop that builds custom engines and performs vintage vehicle restorations. The shop also features a professional photo studio to document projects and to create images for articles and books.

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