Sealed Transmission Boxes

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:03
ThreadID: 76219 Views:6534 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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According to Hyundai Santa Fe, their gear/transmission boxes are sealed. I understand after reading countless articles on auto's that the gear oil needs to be changed after certain kilometres, 50,000 0r 100,000 klms

How can Santa Fe have a sealed unit? And Hyundai says it will last for the life of the vehicle, what-ever that means. Does not gear oil break down over a given time?

May have to go back to manual gear box.
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Reply By: qubert - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:08

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:08
probably synthetic. can get double the life from the oil. but if you out bush and have a trans leak. dunno how you going to fill it.
AnswerID: 405264

Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:34

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:34
Have you asked Hyundai the next obvious question?

What in their opinion is the life of the vehicle?

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AnswerID: 405270

Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:48

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:48
The answer is simple:
When they say the oil will last the life of the transmission, it means that when the gearbox is stuffed (for whatever reason), that's the end of its life!

AnswerID: 405275

Reply By: dbish - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:51

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:51
Most auto transmissions now use synthetic trans fluid about $80 per liter. There is no adjustments at all inthem at all. A service is only fluid change & internal filter replacement. Daryl
AnswerID: 405278

Reply By: happytravelers - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:59

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:59
Many manufacturers use sealed trans. including Mercedes Benz, certain Jeep models and several others. They use a very high quality synthetic fluid which they do not consider reqiures changing unless the tran. has a failure and is rebuilt. Like you I like to be able to replace oils as part of servicing, but this seems to be the way things are going nowdays.

AnswerID: 405279

Reply By: The Boss - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 22:57

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 22:57
The new Holden SS is the same. Sealed unit.

Had me stumped when it was time to check the trans fluid. Must of taken me 20 minutes to convince myself there was no dipstick.

Autos must have come along way. Pity the manuals havent.
AnswerID: 405288

Reply By: Road Warrior - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 23:29

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 23:29
"Sealed for life" is a load of automotive marketing crap designed to make the punters think that the ownership/servicing costs are lower and henceforth a more attractive purchasing proposition. And some manufacturers got sick of warranty claims from autos being blown up by people filling the trans up until the dipstick was overflowing.

You will note that there is no dipstick to check the fluid levels yourself; you can still check the level, and they aren't sealed, just that you will have to put the car up on a hoist or 4 axle stands and shimmy under to where the plughole is and check the level that way.

Whilst there have been advances in synthetic oil quality and the design tolerances of modern autos, at the end of the day it is still a complex mechanical component being subjected to heat and torque stresses that no oil can manage for 100,000klm and still keep it in good shape inside. Personally I would leave it no later than 50,000klm at the most. Especially if you're towing regularly.

But of course, after 100,000klm the car makers couldn't give a stuff if your trans fails, because most of them will be out of warranty by then anyway! So it becomes your very expensive problem.
AnswerID: 405298

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:00

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:00
The Hyundai that we're talking about comes with 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty.
FollowupID: 675019

Reply By: DIO - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 08:11

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 08:11
Absolutely no reason why you can't (and should - if you are frequently towing) go to an Auto Transmission Service Centre and have the fluid/oil drained, filter replaced and perfromance/functionality checked. Most manufacturers will recommend (see your Owners Handbook) more frequent servicing of a vehicle if it is used for prolonged heavy driving/towing. This would include the transmission. p.s. an external/additional transmission cooler will also assist in prolonging the life of the transmission - helps to prevent overheating - a sure way of 'killing' them.
AnswerID: 405316

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:07

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:07
An "auto transmission service centre" would know nothing about the auto trans in a new Santa Fe. Get them to touch it (they'll probably tell you they won't) and they can trash it with the wrong fluid and void the warranty.
FollowupID: 675020

Follow Up By: The Boss - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:58

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:58
Why is that Phil?
FollowupID: 675030

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 12:21

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 12:21
Be careful with some of the advise given : IE crawl under and check the fluid level /condition via the plug , make sure you have a fill plug and NOT just a drain plug , as for service intervals you really need to talk to Hyundai ,not just on here . Had the thought that the Auto box in my Rodeo was due for a service , went to the Holden dealer mechanics to order the gasket and filter , was asked what do want that for ? Derrrr ? This dealer mech w/shop had NEVER changed an Auto transmission oil and filter in a holden rodeo , the hand book /service book for the Rodeo states 40 thou for the g/box. Dont assume the service work has been done even though the service book 'box' has been ticked.
AnswerID: 405380

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 15:04

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 15:04
Why do you even have to think about changing the oil. Have you ever had an auto transmission oil temperature warning light come on ? If there is no contamination I would not even think about changing the oil. Unless you know that the oil is burnt or one of the clutches is worn out and you need some repairs don't worry about it.

AnswerID: 405406

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