CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2008 Hyundai Elantra Fuel Additive Recommended?

My '08 Elantra has ~27000 miles and I recently stopped by a local dealership near my residence in Folsom,Ca. to ask if there has been any manufacturer’s fix for making it easier to check and add air to tires with low pressure detection system. The answer was no and during the conversation I mentioned a rather noticeable hesitation when accelerating from a stopped position. The car was purchased new in Texas,moved to Pennsylvania for 16 months and now lives in California as I have stated above. The service advisor said Hyundai recommends adding a fuel additive every 15000 miles,at least here in California, due to the detergents etc. in California gas. I only use 87 octane and never anything over a 10% ethanol content if the pump display is to be believed.

Any thoughts on whether the additive is in fact needed are appreciated.

Thanks

Did he recommend a specific additive or a generic bottle of “fuel system cleaner”?

These can’t hurt but rarely help–I believe that whatever is in these bottles is added to gasoline anyway. Can you describe the conditions and severity of this “hesitation”?

Unless it’s spelled out in the Owner’s Manual, take what the service advisor/writer says with a grain of salt.

However adding a bottle of Chevron Techron or Seafoam once a year or so wouldn’t do any harm and might help. I do this with all my cars.

When was the last time the air and gas (if equipped) filters were changed? I change the air filter on my vehicles every 20-30k miles (gas filter every 30k). Is the Check Engine light on?

Ed B.

I’m puzzled by the tire pressure question. The only way to check tire pressure is to bend over (much to my back’s dismay) and check it with a gage. Adding pressure is as simple as it gets. How can it get any easier?

What does the fact that the car has a low pressure warning system have to do with it?

The newer Elantras (2012 on) use an advanced engine that improves both mpg and hp but tends to from carbon deposits unless the owner uses Top Tier fuel. Therefore the owner’s manual states that if Top Tier fuel is not available, the owner should add some of Hyundai’s special fuel additive at each service interval.

The Hyundai mechanics are now accustomed to making this recommendation automatically to every customer who brings in his car for service. This advice does not apply to your 2008 model but they do it anyway.

As others have said, fuel additive can’t hurt but probably won’t help.

Has Hyundai replaced your fuel pump under this recall?

You can do a fuel additive, many people don’t. Does it help? Possibly but there is not a clear answer. The most prescribed additions would be SeaFoam and Tecron. I do not skip Sea Foam for my boat, and once a year do a Sea Foam treatment for our cars. I think it may be psychological, kind of like I do you right and you do me right kind of thing, but has worked as far as not having injector or problems etc. and do proper maintenance. If you don’t mind throwing a few bucks towards good karma do it.

There are a number of things that can cause a hesitation but you should have the pump Recall done as mentioned. This is free of charge if it has not been done and if the car falls within the range of affected vehicles so take advantage of any freebie.

The service advisor can recommend an additive but cannot remember a pump Recall? That’s not surprising.

I will echo what others said regarding a fuel system cleaner.
Using a good-quality product like Chevron’s Techron once a year is definitely a good idea, but it can’t undo poor maintenance habits. The OP should really share the car’s maintenance history with us, so that we have some idea about whether it is in need of maintenance.

And, like mountainbike, I am puzzled by the OP’s question regarding checking and correcting tire pressure. Can the OP explain exactly what he/she meant by asking about, “any manufacturer’s fix for making it easier to check and add air to tires with low pressure detection system”?

This is somewhat late to my original posting regarding dealer recommending I add fuel additive and my discussion about adding/checking tire pressure.

I am the original owner,the car has ~27400 miles on it,the air filter was changed in 2010 even though the original looked clean at the time and neither the fuel pump or fuel filter have ever been replaced. I have always used recommended 87 octane unleaded fuel with maximum 10% ethanol content(never used E85). I have followed a 3000 mile oil/filter change interval as more miles driven are city versus highway.The hesitation is quite noticeable when accelerating from a complete stop or from slowing down to make turn etc…

My post about the difficulty checking/adding air to the tires is related to how recessed the valve stems are on the stock rims. Unlike on my daughter’s '05 Focus wagon or my wife’s '04 Toyota Sienna where the entire stem is easily accessible,the end of the stems on this car barely clear the edge of the rim. The reply from the same mountain bike sort of missed my point. I am well aware that I need to bend over and use a gauge.

I have not received any recall notice regarding the fuel pump but will call the dealer and see if my VIN is included in the recall mentioned by jesmed.

Thanks for all of the answers.

As for your problem with adding air to your tires, this may be an easy solution: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Slime-4-pcs-1-1-4-in-metal-valve-extender//N-25cj?itemIdentifier=542360_0_0 Just use one of them whenever you need to check or add air to the tires. Do not install them and leave them on because they can corrode on the inside and leak, leaving you with a flat tire. I learned that the hard way.

As for your hesitation issue, I would definitely get the fuel pump recall taken care of and try to always get gas at one of these retailers: http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html