First post onto this forum.

We have a 2012 Hyundai SantaFe with a 3.6 Super charged petrol engine.

Recently we spent some time visiting the local mountains, and I needed to use the auto box in a low gear for both ascent and descent, switching between 2nd and 3rd on the tiptronic as needed.

I've noticed that since the reverse gear doesn't seem to engage in the same manner as previously.

Explanation: When you engage the 'D' in the auto the car will naturally 'creep' under it's own power. Previously it would do something similar with the reverse gear, but requiring a very light touch on the loud pedal to get the vehicle moving (after which it would creep again... but slower than in 'D').

I've noticed that I now need considerably more power to get any movement when in reverse, and the movement feels 'lumpy', and like it is 'jumping'. I can get the normal sensation back if I reverse with the brake pedal down, which gives a more control over the 'jumpiness'.

Have I inadvertently killed my auto transmission (would seem odd for a 4*4 to not be able to hande a few hours of engine braking), or could it be something else, maybe just a replace the fluid.

Any advice so as when I take it too the shop I don't get screwed for a new uneeded transmission.

Also note that the forward gears are as smooth as ever.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Edit : As I mentioned in response to a comment, the handbook for the car states that there is no service schedule for the auto transmission. I descovered this after I couldn't find the dipstick for the Auto Transmission fluid, or a filling point. Also this engine seems unusual in it being supercharged (seems to be UAE specification ?), and the supercharger unit certainly takes up a LOT of space in the engine bay, and could be hiding the dipstick ?


  • What you've described shouldn't have had an affect on transmission operation, especially not the reverse gear. In most autos, the reverse gear rides on a completely separate engagement band than the rest of the transmission. Doesn't even get touched when the tranny is in the forward gears. If you're not feeling any difference in the forward gears, I have no clue why you'd be feeling anything different while in reverse. This is JMHO, as I don't have the experience with Hyundai auto tranny design, so leaving this as a comment. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 2 '17 at 11:30
  • What is the trans fluid level and condition (smell)? When was the last time the filter and fluid were changed? – CharlieRB Mar 2 '17 at 12:48
  • @CharlieRB there inlies the problem, I can't find the dipstick for the transmission fluid, or any location for doing a top up. I've looked through the owners manual and it states that is 'doesn't need to be done' at any of the service points. – DaveM Mar 2 '17 at 13:12
  • That is interesting. You might want to add those details into your question. – CharlieRB Mar 2 '17 at 15:15
  • Did you smoke your brakes on that trip? Maybe the brakes are sticking... – cory Mar 2 '17 at 17:51

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