Downshifts with Cold start - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Downshifts with Cold start

Cold start; Frist 1 or 2 stops short distance from where I started; downshifts are noticeable. After that you can barely feel any downshift. The way it is?

2018 Kia Niro EX; Crimson Red
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 12:06 PM
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The clutch is a dry clutch, similar to most manual transmission cars. I don't remember any differences over the years between cold start clutching and after the engine has warmed up. While the Niro has a dry clutch, the mechanism is shifted with a hydraulic system. This could be sensitive to cold causing either slower than normal shifts, or more of a bang into gear. In my brand new Niro, all my shifts so far, cold or warm, are very smooth.

Most motorcycles on the other hand have wet clutches, usually a shared engine oil arrangement. This is true whether manual transmissions or DCT (not sure about other transmissions). Their action would be temperature dependent. Some cars may have a wet DCT as well. I believe the Honda Fit Hybrid (not sold in NA) has one.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I would bring this up again.....2018 Kia Niro EX.

I still continue to experience abrupt downshifts after vehicle sits unused for 2 to 3 days during my stops in my 1st 1/4 of travel. If I drive car daily, no issues. Its like, fluid pressure escapes (if in fact shifts are Hydraulic driven). Transmission is full per the reservoir. You wouldn't associate an issue like this from a bad part....it would happen if it where a part daily.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 06:56 PM
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The engine clutch is indeed hydraulic actuated. Requires fluid change at 22,500 miles. Very small capacity, so a small amount of contamination could cause lurching with inconsistent clutch application. Not sure why they didn't design it with a reservoir. If you look under the hood, you will find the fill tube.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Contacted the Service Mgr at the Kia Dealer to inquire if he had any knowledge of the Cold Downshift issue. He had not, he did mention the Shutter issue many owners of this model have reported, but not the Abrupt cold downshift issue I have been experiencing. He reviewed all Factory Bulletins, and just so happened the Kia Factory Agent was in the shop....and he hadn't heard anything either. The Service Mgr was prompted from Shp Forman....and had worked on Niro's. Speaking out loud he said, can't be Fluid (I thought the Canister you see was also the Fluid level for Transmission, its only for the Hybryd system)..and no way to visibly see Transmission Fluid level...without opening Transmission...but he said, if that were the cause, the Downshift would continue even after a few stops... He mentioned a Solenoid that I think he said controls Gears 1 and 3 shifts...but no explanation if that were so why after 2 or 3 Cold Downshifts, or, using the car everyday...the Cold downshift issue was not present. Again, if the car sits unused 2 to 3 days or more, the Cold Downshift, the last downshift before coming to a stop is very abrupt (Serviced Mgr said that was shift from 2 to 1). The Solenoid is Internal and means a Teardown... not sure I would opt for that...rather I would either make sure I drive car everyday, even if just around the Block, or just put up with the issue. I have not had good luck getting issues with cars resolved when a Major teardown...was required to fix an issue....even to the extent of making the issue worse, or, causing new issues. Other than this cold downshift issue, I really like the Niro...I average 48 MPG, its nice ride, well built vehicle. I just feel like this is the saying, let new technology have a few years to get out all the bugs before buying. I do Plan to trade in 3 yrs....so holding off any Major teardown.... I have 2 yrs to go.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 08:37 PM
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Jerky downshift when cold? My Niro does it too, and so do lots of other cars. Don't worry about it, not a defect.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Jerky downshift when cold? My Niro does it too, and so do lots of other cars. Don't worry about it, not a defect.
Yes, it's just the way it is. I'm used to it now. Goes away very fast.

Gene Daytona Beach Beach, Fl.
2018 Kia Niro LX 7/11/18-
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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When I start out cold from my garage, I have fairly short distances for my first few stops....so maybe 3 stops in 1/4 mile....than the shift is fine. Hearing that others are now experiencing this abrupt Downshift for few stops starting off cold....I wonder why Kia hasn't heard of this issue even to just say it is just the way it is. The Trany needs tweaking thats for sure; my other Hybryd links the engine with a CVT Trany...its as smooth as butter. So the plus is on the Dual Clutch; no Torque Convertor which will keep MPG down....or the Dual Clutch that has some strange shifts. Sometimes I feel like my Niro is looking for a shift and needs me to apply a little more speed to accomplish that shift.....the idea on Dual Clutch certainly is a Plus to increase Gas Mileage, but it needs to work and refinements. If I get any thing new from the Dealer I'll report back....not that it makes it better, but its always a little relief when you find out your not aslone, others are experiencing the same issue....

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Posting it is not a defect; because others have reported here, or, told so by a Kia Niro Service Tech?

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TeleRisk18 View Post
Posting it is not a defect; because others have reported here, or, told so by a Kia Niro Service Tech?
More likely because it's a not unexpected behavior. Hard shifting when cold is common for basically every type of transmission, manual, conventional automatic, dual clutch autos, you name it. In fact, I would expect DCTs would be particularly susceptible to this sort of thing since they are conventionally clutched (no torque converter to soak up shocks) and hydraulically operated making them strongly dependent on fluid temperature.

Jim
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