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Old 01-24-2022, 11:02 PM   #1
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Kia Toad Problem............ fixed?

Just want to document some negative experience with my 4-down toad. ….. for the archives, if nothing else.

I bought a 2016 Kia Soul (Base) new and self-installed (1) a Blu Ox baseplate and (2) a lighting/electrical harness from etrailer……then drove it from Denver to CA to pick up my new to me Class C. The whole towing setup worked flawlessly for about 20K miles; then the honeymoon ended. After warm up (about 15 miles or so) the 6-speed manual transmission (made by Mitsubishi for Kia I am told) would not shift from 1st to 2nd without grinding. A Kia tech from the dealership took it home over the weekend and verified the problem ……… new transmission needed. The car has been towed about 16K miles and actually "driven" only about 3 or 4K miles as I almost never use the car except as a toad ……… it just sits in its garage.

This "infant mortality" failure may have been a 1 in 10 thousand occurrence…..dunno; but, a member of the Kia Soul forum said a transmission specialist friend of his stated that even though that transmission is definitely considered towable 4-down, he would start up the engine at least every 200 miles and let it idle for a few minutes …… just to let a little more oil splash around to all the nooks and crannies in there. I plan to do that (or maybe just sell the car to Car Max while used car prices are crazy high and buy a different make of toad.)

BTW- The Kia 100K mile drive train warranty covered all the costs of transmission replacement and the car runs great and shifts "smooth as silk". It only took 2 days to get approval from Kia but almost a month wait for the new tranny to arrive and then almost a week for the dealer to get the work done. Just more of the supply chain problems we hear so much about, I reckon.

BTW-2 I have read in various RV forums where others pull this toad and none have reported a problem of any kind. This is just my 'sperience, FWIW. Safe travels, all.
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Old 01-25-2022, 12:32 AM   #2
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Do you know if the design of your transmission has the main shaft gears or the lay shaft gears dragging in the lubrication oil? It won't be both. If it's the main shaft then it's not really suitable for 4-down towing because the main shaft isn't rotating and transmitting lubricant to the lay shaft while the engine isn't turning it. Aside what Kia may say in their manual the above is still true. I'm not being critical, I'm just not familiar with that transmission. It sounds like a synchronizer was spun dry and wore out quickly. I almost bought the same car but the thought of teaching my wife to drive a manual was unthinkable!
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Old 01-25-2022, 01:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youracman View Post
Just want to document some negative experience with my 4-down toad. ….. for the archives, if nothing else.



I bought a 2016 Kia Soul (Base) new and self-installed (1) a Blu Ox baseplate and (2) a lighting/electrical harness from etrailer…….....
..........I plan to do that (or maybe just sell the car to Car Max while used car prices are crazy high and buy a different make of toad.)
The DW and I fulltime and have to go to laundromats on wash day. I was talking RVs with the owner of a laundromat and he mentioned he bought a new Kia Soul 1.6 liter 6 speed manual base model to tow 4 down behind his Class A coach. He liked his Soul but wasn't too fond of the manual transmission and the lackluster performance.
I told him we towed a 2013 Kia Soul Plus 2.0 liter automatic transmission with a 6 speed sport shifter on an American Car Dolly. That engine and transmission combination has plenty of grunt(torque) and plenty of giddyup(power.) It has no problem merging into traffic on the interstate at 75 mph, maintaining the speed limit climbing the Rockies and descending the Rockies without braking by easy downshifting.
I have owned muscle cars, sports cars and several rotary engine cars and a rotary pickup but this Kia has been the most fun, most versatile and most reliable. A trailer hitch on the back is invaluable for moving the tow dolly around whenever needed.
The next time I saw the laundromat owner he told me he sold the base Soul, bought a 2.0 liter 6 speed automatic Kia Soul + and a tow dolly and he and his DW both love it.
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Old 01-25-2022, 05:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonS View Post
Do you know if the design of your transmission has the main shaft gears or the lay shaft gears dragging in the lubrication oil? It won't be both. If it's the main shaft then it's not really suitable for 4-down towing because the main shaft isn't rotating and transmitting lubricant to the lay shaft while the engine isn't turning it. Aside what Kia may say in their manual the above is still true. I'm not being critical, I'm just not familiar with that transmission. It sounds like a synchronizer was spun dry and wore out quickly. I almost bought the same car but the thought of teaching my wife to drive a manual was unthinkable!
You're way above my pay grade re transmissions, Bon; but I "think" you may be onto something. When my salesman finished the paperwork, I went to another (mgr's) office to write the check for the Kia. He said " I just saw on the notes here that you are going to tow this Soul. Could you give me a few minutes while I make a call? I want to double check on the towability before you write the check." He came back in about 5 min and said "Yup! It's good to go." But who knows?

I couldn't get the repair folks to talk to me about what they found. I really believe they just threw the new xmission in and that was that. Maybe someone at the "Kia in the sky place" did a failure analysis but I will never hear back......they are pretty tight-lipped, actually. If they didn't do a failure analysis, I reckon it would be because they have seen it oft-times before.....hope not.

Thanks for the input. It parallels what the tranny specialist who was quoted on the Kia forum said. And maybe I will be fine if I do, in fact, let it idle for a few minutes at rest stops or gas fill ups. Anyway that's my plan .... unless I sell it. Shame.......it's a great ride for such a small car.

Best............. Ed S
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