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Tinkhamtown

Timing belt and Trans fluid

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Just brought in wife’s 2003 Kia Sorrento 3.5L V6 with 63000 miles for a wheel alignment after putting on new Michelins. Dealer service department suggested replacing the timing belt ($400.00) plus the transmission fluid ($???). How important is it to have these done? Will changing the transmission fluid have any effect on the automatic 4 wheel drive system in her Sorrento?

PS: Every year we like our Sorrento more. Plowed snow with the front bumper and it has never been stuck, parking a smaller SUV is easy, and 3.5L V6 has enough power for pulling boat, ATV, and snowmobile trailer.

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The trans service if it hasnt been done in awhile should be done. As for the timing belt, it is due for a maint replacement at 60k, so yes it is due. Do these things have to be done now, probably not. But maint is cheeper then failure due to lack of maint! If money is tight, start with the trans, then next month do the belt!

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If the timing belts breaks the engine stops running. Some engines are considered interference engines (if the belt breaks it will bend valves) and the others are non interference engines(if the belt breaks there is likely to be no internal damage to the engine). I don't recall if the 3.5 is interference or not but consider the hassle of breaking down, Paying for a tow and waiting for the repair to be done.

Hyundai maintenance schedules lost all credibility with me the other day. A customer brought his in at 30k for the scheduled transmission service and "fuel tank air filter" otherwise known as the purge solenoid assembly. Sounds like a great way not to have to warranty an axillary emissions part. Not that they ever go bad but they can!

In my opinion based on the lack of maintenance on most vehicles I see get the timing belt done first. Besides that clean trans fluid will do you no good if the engine will not start!

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The reason I recommended trans first is because he brought up that he pulls with it, and if it hasnt been done yet at 60k, it is well past service time. Although I can honestly say I have no knowledge of these vehicles so if Airjer recommends timing belt at 60 first, he may havce seen issues with them!

But to answer your original question, yes get them done!

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Many of these do not receive "scheduled" maintenance until the fluid is literally black. To date I can count the number of Hyundai transmissions I have replaced on one finger. The trannys are pretty tough and rarely have issues.

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