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30,000 Mile Service

Hyundai’s owners manual recommends a limited amount of service, but the dealers are pushing chaning radiator fluid, flushing transmission, fuel injector service and some other pricing things. Are these thing needed if not recommended by the manufacturer?

First, you need to realize that car manufacturers are in a virtual race to try to show how little maintenance is needed on their vehicles, as opposed to the competition. They do this because some magazines–Kiplinger’s comes to mind, but there are others–factor low maintenance costs into their vehicle recommendations.

The result is that most manufacturers have removed items from the maintenance list, including valve lash adjustment and transmission fluid changes. They are pushing coolant (radiator fluid) changes to something like 10 years. Many are now telling owners that it is fine to change motor oil at intervals as long as 12,000 miles in some cases.

Second, you need to realize that this type of deferred (or absent) maintenance is not likely to result in problems during the period of warranty coverage. However, after the mfr is off the hook for warranty-related repairs, car owners who actually believed in this “no-maintenance” approach will be the losers when they have to pony-up for repairs that can easily run into several thousand $$.

What is a car owner to do?
Think of it this way–If you are the type who trades in or sells his car every 3, 4, or 5 years, or if you are leasing the vehicle, then you can get away safely with this lack of maintenance. The second or third owner will be the one who has the “deferred maintenance time-bomb” explode in his wallet.

On the other hand, if you tend to keep your vehicles for 10 years or longer–as I do–you should adhere to traditional maintenance intervals. That would include changing ALL fluids and all filters every 30k miles. That includes your brake fluid, in case you might not have thought of it.

Change your oil according to the Severe Service maintenance schedule that is listed in your Owner’s Manual if your vehicle use is similar to what constitutes “severe service”. (Hint–the way that most cars are used actually falls into the “severe service” category unless they are used exclusively for long highway trips.)

Spark plugs do last longer than they used to, due to the use of metals such as platinum and iridium, but don’t push your luck. Make sure that they are changed at least as often as the maintenance schedule recommends, but sooner is better. Many spark plugs are claimed to last for 100k miles nowadays, but even if the plug is still good at 100k, it may actually be “frozen” into place, thus leading to damage to the cylinder heads when they are forcibly removed. Personally, I wouldn’t go longer than 60k miles on a set of spark plugs,

The only thing where I disagree with the dealership is on fuel injector service. If you use Top Tier gasoline (which has a much higher level of detergents), or if you use a can of a good injector cleaner like Chevron’s “Techron” injector cleaner once or twice a year, you don’t need the dealership’s overpriced injector cleaning. However, if your engine is idling roughly and/or if gas mileage and/or acceleration have decreased lately, you should consider having the injectors cleaned by the dealership, and then resolve to use a can of injector cleaner yourself at least once a year.

As to the transmission, unless the vehicle mfr specifically recommends a flush/fluid exchange, you should use the tried and true method of dropping the transmission pan, cleaning out the pan of debris, changing the trans filter, and refilling with the correct fluid.

I follow all of the above guidelines, and my cars run for at least 10 years with no engine or transmission problems whatsoever.

If the coolant and transmission fluid haven’t been changed, I would say by all means get them done. Drain and refill on the transmission, though - make sure their “flush” doesn’t force fluid through it. Some places will actually force flush the transmission, and that’s a bad idea. I’ve seen others, though, where they disconnect a line and let the transmission pull fresh fluid from a container until all the old fluid is out of the disconnected line. That method isn’t forcing fluid through - it’s letting the transmission do the work just like it does on the road… and THAT approach is a-ok in my opinion…

Skip the fuel injector service.

If the brake fluid hasn’t been changed, I’d get that done, too… same with the power steering fluid. Other than that, we’d need more details on the “other things” to be able to tell you if they’re worthwhile.


In addition to what @VDCdriver writes I will add I would also change the coolant, thermostat and radiator cap every 5 years.
There’s no need to do these things at the dealer. An independent non-chain shop might be a better deal.
Just make sure they use fluids specified by Hyundai, not some universal stuff.

“In addition to what @VDCdriver writes I will add you shouldn’t have the transmission flushed at 30k miles, just have the fluid drained and refilled and the filter changed if it has one.”

But…that is exactly what I did state in my earlier post.
Please re-read what I recommended.

The dealers often push unneeded services. From your list:

changing radiator fluid - When does your owners manual call for it? miles? months?
flushing transmission - no, but a drain and fill would be fine, you don’t have to get all the ‘old’ fluid out
fuel injector - definitely no
What other services are they pushing?

Please re-read what I recommended.

I admit, I started to skim about halfway through your post.
It wasn’t the first time things got repeated on this forum.

This 5th wheel says “so long”…

Hi ae4at. After reading the responses so far it may dawn on you that nobody really knows the answers. The dealership wants profits of course, and you are hearing advice from car buffs who are willing to overprotect their own cars.

There are those folk who over-maintain their cars and will boast of ten years of trouble-free service (casually forgetting their DIY repairs) and there are those owners who perform minimum maintenance and can make the same report. So who really knows?

Right now you may be no better placed then you were before you asked your question.

My own advice, no better than anyone else’s, is to go by your owner’s manual. Reject the dealer’s advice. Do not authorize any service not recommended by the manual. Extra services can’t hurt but they will surely lighten your wallet.

You may reconsider this advice at the 60,000-mile mark, but check back here again at that time. Good luck, bud.

Mostly no. How old is the car? If it is a 2005 then lots of stuff could need changing due to age. If it is a 2010 then most of the extra services are not needed if the car is running properly. I’d make an exception on the auto transmission, a fluid change at 30K miles is a good idea.

Hi, I always get confused by why the main dealers push for extras especially when they are not essential.

Because it’s high profit for them.

Sometimes extras are needed and justifiable. That all depends on a number of things so not everything, along with all dealers, should be painted with the same brush.
Some are sleazy flush operations, some are not, and some are in between.