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What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? #2502685 01/22/12 08:16 PM
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04SE Offline OP
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What is the best replacement for Kia/Hyundai/Mitsubishi SP3? Mobil 1 used to carry the "recommended for" verbiage and it has since been removed. Mobil has said a reformulation did not occur and internet lore says Mobil was threatened by Kia/Hyundai.

Do we know what makes SP3 so special that it does not have any approved aftermarket replacements?

I am wanting to use Mobil 1 in my 2010 Kia Optima. The car has a warranty until 60K and I have 42k now. I really am not overly worried about the warranty aspect.

I have read where Mercon V is the closest formula. Then I read where ATF +4 is the closest formula. Some people say that Valvoline Maxlife is the stuff to use.

The trans holds around 10 quarts and I have done two drain/fills (With SP3) which replaced about 9 quarts. I had planned to do yearly drain/fills but I have read so much that states SP3 is a poor fluid. Am I safe with yearly drain/fills or do I look for a synthetic replacement?


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502689 01/22/12 08:20 PM
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Amsoil's ATF works in your car. Use it. I used in the *gasp* Honda's for years without a single issue.


2005 Honda CR-V EX, 278k
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502697 01/22/12 08:31 PM
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earlyre Offline
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ok, pardon my inquisitiveness - it is your car,after all, to maintain as you wish - but why on gods green earth would you do annual drain/fills on your trans?????

surely they don't spec that often?

my last car was a 2000 Hyundai Sonata. 2.4l, auto trans. in the 8.5 yrs i had it(Aug'01-Feb'10), i only had it changed/flushed/filter changed, once. @ around 60k. Per manuf. specs.
sold it @ 105k mi, but probably would have done again @ 120k mi.

I do remember the local independent trans shop wouldn't do it, cuz he had done this on his personal car,only to have hyundai refuse to pay for a trans repair that popped up later,because"he didn't use their specific fluid", or something to that effect. I ended up taking to local Hyundai dealer.(This was back when i was afraid to mess with anything non-electrical under the hood)

Last edited by earlyre; 01/22/12 08:37 PM.

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Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502699 01/22/12 08:32 PM
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You are gonna love that transmission to death, the yearly drain and fills with the SPIII will be way more than enough to keep that tranny working well. Just stick with the Hyundai spec. fluid and you will be absolutely golden.


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Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: earlyre] #2502703 01/22/12 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted By: earlyre
ok, pardon my inquisitiveness - it is your car,after all, to maintain as you wish - but why on gods green earth would you do annual drain/fills on your trans?????

surely they don't spec that often?

my last car was a 2000 Hyundai Sonata. 2.4l, auto trans. in the 8.5 yrs i had it(Aug'01-Feb'10), i only had it changed/flushed/filter changed, once. @ around 60k. Per manuf. specs.
sold it @ 105k mi, but probably would have done again @ 120k mi.


It has an OEM drain plug. Why not do a yearly drain/fill? A drain/fill is rougly 4.25 quarts. Cheap/simple/easy maintenance.


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502711 01/22/12 08:39 PM
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earlyre Offline
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Originally Posted By: 04SE

It has an OEM drain plug. Why not do a yearly drain/fill? A drain/fill is rougly 4.25 quarts. Cheap/simple/easy maintenance.


i like that answer.

why do it? because i can.


Mine:
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Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502713 01/22/12 08:40 PM
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I've used Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF with no issues in my wife's 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor. And now Parts Plus synthetic ATF.


2001 Subaru Forester L
2003 Buick Park Avenue
2015 Ford Escape

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Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502716 01/22/12 08:43 PM
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For something that calls for SP-III, I recommend the Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle if you're trying to keep the price down also. Used this in one of my mitsubishi's and it actually helped my transmission with 176k miles shift smoother compared to when I've changed it with factory fluid. Never had any experience with the Amsoil stuff, I'm sure it would do great. What you hear about factory SP-III fluid is non sense. I have it in my 226k mile galant and it shifts fine. The one thing I like about my older mitsubishi transmissions is that they have a top, spin-on filter.

Last edited by BrownBox88; 01/22/12 08:44 PM.

1999 Mitsu Galant ES-V6 339k

Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502724 01/22/12 08:47 PM
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I've used MaxLife in my girlfriend's XG350. It currently has around 15k on the Maxlife ATF and has exhibited zero issues.


06 Subaru Impreza WRX - Sold. The only mechanical thing I'll ever love.
07 Toyota Prius - Cheap synthetic and PureOne filters.
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502809 01/22/12 10:20 PM
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Rand Online Content
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I would just use SPIII its around 6$ if you shop around at dealers.

If you want to use other fluid at least use one that lists as "suitable for" such as maxlife or castrol import.


mercon V doesnt have the right FM's .. spIII is more friction modified than mercon V



To summarize.. if it was me I'd use the factory fluid esp with warranty. Kia and hyundai at least around here are notorious for flaking with warranty repairs and doing fluid sampling for any trans failure (spIII has specific markers they test for)

Last edited by Rand; 01/22/12 10:20 PM.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
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Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502852 01/22/12 11:44 PM
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2x drain/fill on the wife's '10 Sportage with MaxLife ATF. Great stuff. The Kia fluid was a little dark for my liking, but still looked serviceable. Figure I'll just do one drain/fill @ every 15k since there isn't a serviceable filter. The ML really smoothed out the hard shifts under load and the "auto stick" feedback seems better.


08 Maxima SE 67k M1 0w40 BD+ 3323 - Traded

10 Kia Sportage LX AWD 44K QSUD 5w30 P1 - SOLD!

12 CR-V - EX AWD 6300mi FF (gasp!)

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Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2502916 01/23/12 06:28 AM
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wait till all of have to pay for the SP-IV fluid for our 6 spds...it's rather high :-(


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'03 Honda SuperHawk VTR1000 M115W50 ST
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'84 S10 V8 M1HM M1
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2503004 01/23/12 09:26 AM
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Dealers around me price the fluid WAY too high, but I've always paid it. I have about 145K on my 2003 Santa Fe and have always stuck with Hyundai SPIII. I do a drain/fill every 30K. Is is super easy.

I'm almost due for another and I'm going to buy a case of fluid online. If you check ebay you can find it much cheaper than at the dealer as long as you don't mind buying a case of 12 quarts.


02 Tacoma 3.4L, 233K, Hav ProDS 10W30 (me)
12 Highlander 3.5L, 115K, Napa Syn 0W20 (wife)
17 Escape 2.0L, 48K, Hav ProDS 5W30 (son)
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2503018 01/23/12 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: 04SE
What is the best replacement for Kia/Hyundai/Mitsubishi SP3?


Valvoline Maxlife ATF has proven over and over to be a perfect replacement. I know I've used it in Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Ford products with no issues.

It spec's it's "suitable for use" right on the bottle, costs less than dealer juice, is the easiest and cheapest to source and is a synthetic (blend?) product.

How can you go wrong?

Joel


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: What to replace Kia/Hyundai SPIII with? [Re: 04SE] #2503416 01/23/12 04:01 PM
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I emailed Mobil about using their Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF and they said "Mobil does not produce a suitable replacement."

However, directly from the Mobil website:


Question:
Can Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF Replace Toyota and Hyundai Branded ATFs?
I have a 2004 Toyota Sequoia 4.0 V8, and a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon GT 2.7 V6. Both these manufacturers stress to use their branded ATF. Toyota is Type IV and Hyundai is SP3. On your label it says your products can be used to replace both of these OEM ATFs. Question: Are they direct replacements with no chance of damage to the tranny? The Hyundai Tiburon forums are full of stories of wrong fluids causing damage. I put Mobil 1 synthetic oil in all my cars and put the synthetic ATF in my son's Mustang. Works great. Thanks, ML
-- Marlon Lee, Phoenix, AZ
Answer:
Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF would work for both your engines.


Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
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