Auto transmission dropping into a low gear

IronGiant

Moderator
More Sedona woes :) let the mockery recommence ;)
The engine has been fine since I got that fixed, but on returning from holiday yesterday, towing a caravan (more mockery) doing 60 up a barely perceptible incline I noticed the transmission unexpectedly dropping to a lower gear whereas on the outward trip on the dual carriageways we stayed mostly in 5th. Later on it dropped into and seemed to stick in a really low gear such that we were doing nearly 4000 rpm at (now) 45-50mph. As we were heading for the M1, I backed down to a crawl, changed route and crept along embarrassed like an archetypal caravanner at 40-45 mph until the gearbox started to respond properly, then joined the M40 where it was happy once more, although I stayed under 50mph. Today I drove it solo and gave it a good work out and everything seems fine, parked up and checked the fluid. It's got one of those dipsticks that seem to smear and make taking a reading nearly impossible. If anything it looks a bit high but no sign of foaming. Colour was still mostly pink.

Any ideas gearbox gurus?
 

car-man

Well-known Member
From a fellow caravanner :)

It's possible you may have had a slight overheating that sorted itself out.

Hopefully it was just a glitch but I usually advise a gearbox oil and filter change whenever an auto box starts messing about...most of the time that solves most issues but auto boxes are a specialist subject.
The DSG type gearboxes are a different subject altogether as the internal bits are a lot different.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
This is a good old fashioned auto box and I think your temporary "overheating" diagnosis is probably correct.
I might pop up to Kia and buy some "genuine" Kia fluid and give it a fluid change. The previous owner had it serviced at theiir local garage so I don't know when it was last changed nor what was used. Thanks.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
As above, fluid and filter change firstly.

Secondly, sell it :laugh:
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You could sell it to my mate Rob. He loves his Sedona and just like you he clogs up the roads towing his shed behind him.

I had the same problem when towing, not an auto though but a diesel. I was on the M50, revs just kept dropping away had to keep changing down barely crawling home towards Wales. Managed to get to the services at Ross so decided to give the engine a rest. It was then that I found out I was driving into one hell of a headwind. Must have been like towing a brick fitted with a sail.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I don't clog up the roads towing my shed, in fact it's normally some old man Sunday driver in a Golf GTD that holds me up ;)

On the extremely rare occasions that it's actually me rather than the myopic pensioner in front of me holding up traffic I always pull over and let traffic pass so :p
 

car-man

Well-known Member
This is a good old fashioned auto box and I think your temporary "overheating" diagnosis is probably correct.
I might pop up to Kia and buy some "genuine" Kia fluid and give it a fluid change. The previous owner had it serviced at theiir local garage so I don't know when it was last changed nor what was used. Thanks.
I think the genuine oil would be best...costs a bit more but it was made for the job.
Looking up a gearbox oil change on your car tells me they don't have a filter that you can replace unless the box is being reconditioned.
The drain plug is close to the subframe by all accounts so watch the oil for splashing about. Filling is through the dipstick hole.
Don't put the full amount in at first...run the gearbox through all the gear selections a few times before the final fill.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I don't clog up the roads towing my shed, in fact it's normally some old man Sunday driver in a Golf GTD that holds me up ;)

On the extremely rare occasions that it's actually me rather than the myopic pensioner in front of me holding up traffic I always pull over and let traffic pass so :p
Not yet. Still creating havoc in an Audi. I wish I could hold people up with a caravan. I really do miss it.:(
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Just to add the icing to the cake, I had a nice letter from Lincolnshire Police this morning telling me I was caught on camera doing 40mph in a 30mph stretch just minutes after leaving the caravan site on our way home. :facepalm: Stupid, stupid, stupid: guilty as charged, I forgot the 30mph sign was there. First ticket in 40 years :nono:
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Speeding? Towing a caravan? In a Kia Sedona?

:laugh:
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I know, I know... nothing you can say will shame me more than having done it... :laugh:
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
I know, I know... nothing you can say will shame me more than having done it... :laugh:
You'll be offered a speed awareness course. Prepare to be laughed at when it's your turn to speak about your speeding :)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
You'll be offered a speed awareness course. Prepare to be laughed at when it's your turn to speak about your speeding :)
Being serious for a second, I assume I can attend one local to me rather than where the offence was carried out?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I don't know if they should give you points or an achievement medal [emoji6]
Joking aside, I broke the law and will take my punishment meekly.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Being serious for a second, I assume I can attend one local to me rather than where the offence was carried out?
Yes. I was caught speeding several counties away, but attended a local course :smashin:
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Thanks, good to know. I snuck this in here hoping for some real advice along with the caravan/Sedona ridicule. "I got a speeding ticket" threads don't normally go well as there's usually an element of how do I get out of it. Whereas I'm clearly guilty.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
The GF says i have to stop laughing.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Just to add the icing to the cake, I had a nice letter from Lincolnshire Police this morning telling me I was caught on camera doing 40mph in a 30mph stretch just minutes after leaving the caravan site on our way home. :facepalm: Stupid, stupid, stupid: guilty as charged, I forgot the 30mph sign was there. First ticket in 40 years :nono:
In my defence m'lud the car was stuck in a low gear, it was downhill with a following wind. Besides that the guy in the caravan park said '40 mph towing with a Sedona.........never!. I rest my case.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
@car-man they could find nothing wrong with the box on normal driving, but when they dropped the pan to look for damage and obviously give it an oil change spotted that the earth return strap was severed. I have noticed this in the past and forgotten all about it as it never occurred to me the gearbox may need it's own earth. Any insight into why it was important?
 

gibbo52

Active Member
The earth strap is/was usually for any electrics on the engine or g/box, as they are on rubber mounts, the main item would be the starter motor.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
The earth strap is/was usually for any electrics on the engine or g/box, as they are on rubber mounts, the main item would be the starter motor.
Is kickdown electric on these? If so maybe that was changing it down a gear or two? (Assuming it has more than three forward gears of course! Maybe Kia save money by using a 1970s auto box :D)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
It's a 5 speed box :) (+ reverse) ;) and if you move the gear lever to the left it has a rudimentary "manual" function with up and down...
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
It's a 5 speed box :) (+ reverse) ;) and if you move the gear lever to the left it has a rudimentary "manual" function with up and down...
So to my point then - some electric gear change signals? Maybe the broken earth strap was causing issues? :)
 

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