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I'm also going to play with my braking to see if it is the hill braking thing. I know my driving has adjusted a bit to make slow starts from stops when I first start driving, but sometimes I have short trips where I don't really have to stop until I get into a left-hand turn lane and don't think about it. If it is that hill assist thing, I want them to disable it.
This sure sounds like it, and it is normal and they will not disable it. The workaround when you are at a stop and know you will need a fast start is to release the brake slowly until it starts to creep and press the brake lightly to stop. Now you are ready to launch.

Hill hold only activates with a firm press on the brakes. So on stops where you only press lightly to stop, it will behave normally. That accounts for any variation in how it acts. It is completely repeatable in my car, and if you play with it at stops, I think it will be for you too. Then you can demonstrate it to the service department if you want (won't do any good).

Personally, I think it is unsafe as well. Before I figured out what was going on, I did another workaround: starting a half second or a full second before I would in a normal car. That's also scary and I don't do it anymore. And I've settled into hybrid style driving so occasions for a fast launch are seldom done by me anymore and this thread is the only time I think about it.
 

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See, I don’t actually think it’s the hill assist thing because it only does it on my first or second stop for the day. I have done light stops and it has still clunked and bucked.

I work at a facility with multiple gates to get into and out of the property. When I stop to scan and wait for the gate, it’s always a light stop because I’m being careful not to wing the scanner with my mirror, and creep up to the gate a bit after scanning. But since it’s possible that I press in hard while waiting for the gate to finish opening, I’m just going to play a bit and be more aware with what I’m doing with the brake pedal.

If it does turn out to be the hill assist for some reason, I think I’m still going to appeal to corporate to figure out a solution. I love my car but definitely don’t want to keep it for the next 5+ years if it’s going to be a problem the entire time.
 

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See, I don’t actually think it’s the hill assist thing because it only does it on my first or second stop for the day. I have done light stops and it has still clunked and bucked.

I work at a facility with multiple gates to get into and out of the property. When I stop to scan and wait for the gate, it’s always a light stop because I’m being careful not to wing the scanner with my mirror, and creep up to the gate a bit after scanning. But since it’s possible that I press in hard while waiting for the gate to finish opening, I’m just going to play a bit and be more aware with what I’m doing with the brake pedal.

If it does turn out to be the hill assist for some reason, I think I’m still going to appeal to corporate to figure out a solution. I love my car but definitely don’t want to keep it for the next 5+ years if it’s going to be a problem the entire time.
Sounds like the transmission since you're aware of the hill assist and adjusting, similar issues here though it's not always on the first few stops (but mine's the PHEV so often the engine doesn't run at all on shorter drives). But one way or another, definitely keep fighting the good fight to get this fixed, I'm hoping for a similar outcome as well.
 

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I was playing with hill assist yesterday in my 2018 PHEV. I was on a slight grade waiting at a stop light and I was in EV mode. I took my foot off the pedal and the car just sat there motionless for several seconds, and then it began to slowly creep forward. I touched the brakes very lightly to stop the car, took my foot off the pedal and it did the same thing: pause for several seconds and then creep forward. I tapped the brakes lightly again, but then the light turned green and I put my foot on the accelerator: there was maybe a few milliseconds of hesitation before the car started moving.
 

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I was playing with hill assist yesterday in my 2018 PHEV. I was on a slight grade waiting at a stop light and I was in EV mode. I took my foot off the pedal and the car just sat there motionless for several seconds, and then it began to slowly creep forward. I touched the brakes very lightly to stop the car, took my foot off the pedal and it did the same thing: pause for several seconds and then creep forward. I tapped the brakes lightly again, but then the light turned green and I put my foot on the accelerator: there was maybe a few milliseconds of hesitation before the car started moving.
This sounds like normal hill assist behavior here...

Got the car back from the dealer today-again CNR but they think it's time to take the matter to Kia USA soon if it continues. They reset the transmission again so we'll see how the next 1500 miles plays out.
 

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I've been told there is a new Technical Service Bulletin for the Kia Niro, at least for the 2019 Kia Niro, in my case.
The repair that will fix all this is.... a special type of transmision fluid !
The TSB is readily available through Kia Canada.
 

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I've been told there is a new Technical Service Bulletin for the Kia Niro, at least for the 2019 Kia Niro, in my case.
The repair that will fix all this is.... a special type of transmision fluid !
The TSB is readily available through Kia Canada.
Any chance you could link to the TSB? Not seeing it with some searching...
 

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There's a recent TSB about transmission fluid here https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/MC-10174520-0001.pdf but it doesn't say anything about it being related to this problem. It says the Niro requires "SAE 70W, API GL-4", which is consistent with my 2018 owner's manual. The only new information in this TSB seems to be the statement "A flush is required ONLY when a transmission is replaced", so I guess if you had your transmission replaced, they didn't flush it, and the problem returned, then maybe this TSB is relevant for that reason.

Or maybe there's a different TSB? The one I linked technically dates to April, but the nhtsa web site only started listing it recently: they typically lag a couple of of months I think.
 

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I've been told there is a new Technical Service Bulletin for the Kia Niro, at least for the 2019 Kia Niro, in my case.
The repair that will fix all this is.... a special type of transmision fluid !
The TSB is readily available through Kia Canada.
Thanks for the update Eric. Going into for my tune up mid august. I’ll keep you posted if they tell me anything else.
 

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When I hear a fluid fix for a transmission, I'm reminded of stuffing bananas into the tranny before you sell a car to quell sounds of distress. I don't know if that is an urban myth or not. But on a manual transmission (ok, automated manual), I wouldn't have thought the transmission fluid would be critical as it can be on a standard automatic transmission.
 

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If a fluid is too much fluid, it can become hot and can begin to boil so it loose it's lubricity ...
 

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I've been told there is a new Technical Service Bulletin for the Kia Niro, at least for the 2019 Kia Niro, in my case.
The repair that will fix all this is.... a special type of transmision fluid !
The TSB is readily available through Kia Canada.
I have talked to my contacts at Kia Canada, and the bulletin that came out is for certain DE HEV 2019 only (TRA05202001). I am talking to see if it can apply too DE PHEV 2019 that was produce from august to october of 2019 that has the same problem... You have all a PHEV ? who has the same problem with their HEV ?
 

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I also have a contact now that switched from Kia to hyundai and he said they are having the exact same problem with the new kona and ioniq as well. They have been replacing clutches, calibrations, resetting computers, and more. It’s a big problem that Kia and Hyundai both are fully aware of with so many people bringing back the cars to be fixed.
 
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