I have 18,000 miles on my 2012 Hyundai Elantra and the Dealer Service Rep says it’s time to replace my Climate Control Air Filter, but it’s going to cost about $100. Is it really necessary, and can I do it myself easily and cheaper?
Yes and yes. I bought several filters from Rock Auto for a fraction of the dealer cost. See if the instructions on replacement are in your owners manual, or find an Elantra forum and ask there. It’s usually pretty easy.
On most late-model cars, replacing the cabin air filter involves merely removing the glove box (which is far easier than it sounds, and requires no tools), and then flipping open or removing a small plastic cover over the filter.
I would be very surprised if the Hyundai Owner’s Manual didn’t include the instructions, but in case the instructions are missing from the manual, a Hyundai-specific internet forum will allow you to get the directions from other owners who have already done this simple task.
And, the filter can most likely be found at a local auto parts store for…maybe…$15. That outlay of cash + a few minutes of the OP’s time will yield the desired results.
$100 to replace the cabin air filter is one of those things that give dealer service departments a bad name. So yes and yes. Personally, I would remove the filter and inspect it before even buying a new one. As @VDCdriver noted, it should be as east as this:
Wow! Thanks so much! I had a feeling the guy was just trying to increase his commission. He also said you need to balance the tires when they are rotated. I’ve never heard of that before.
If the tires were properly balanced when installed then you never need to balance them again - unless you start to get symptoms that suggest something has changed - the symptoms would involve vibration/shimmy, often at higher speeds. However, suggesting a check of balance while rotating is not an unusual thing for a shop to do. IMHO it’s less out of line than asking $100 to change a cabin air filter.
While $100 is steep, it’s pretty typical of what dealers ask…
He also said you need to balance the tires when they are rotated.
I hope you stared incredulously at him until he looked down in shame…
Right up there with the service writer who told me my manual transmission needed flushing, even though I drained & refilled 2200 miles earlier.
I asked him why the owner’s manual never mentioned balancing the tires, he said Hyundai recommends that dealerships suggest it to customers. Oh sure, I smirked.
Thanks for the great comments folks. Much appreciated.
“it’s still pretty typical of what dealers ask” @texases
Unfortunately that’s too often the case. The Toyota dealer here charges about $35 which is still too much but with three independents and 4 auto parts stores less then half a mile away, he has little choice on items that everyone knows are cheap but to be competitive. That doesn’t seem to be the case where you are. I always wondered why this being the only new car dealer in this local town, surrounded by independents and auto parts stores is fairly reasonable in a lot of it’s services, till started counting.
I think $35 is ok. The place has to make some money. But $100 - I don’t care if it’s “typical” - it’s what gives dealer service depts a bad name. That, and telling someone they have to balance whenever they rotate. It all harkens back to this other thread about “selling”…
$35 is ok but just ok when there are several places nearby that will sell mine for under $25. They are hoping that the extra $10 won’t seem too bad, especially considering most people don’t open their manual in the glove compartment and realize they have done much of their cabin filter installation work already just opening the glove box to get the manual out. Scary isn’t it ?
Besides, it’s much easier to live with a cheap cabin filter then a cheaper engine air or oil filter as most of we car guys value our motors more then we do our lungs…another scary thought !
Well, I figure $25 for the $10 filter, and $10 to install it. 10 minutes (generously), so that’s actually a relatively cheap $60/hr labor rate. It sounds to me like $100 is $50 for a $10 filter and $50 for the 10 mins to install, so about $300/hr.
10 minutes to install it ? Does that include the complementary wash job that our dealership gives…to go along with the complementary (…) job on their customers ? Plus, just this past year they have failed to use a new transmission plug gasket causing a leak, and lost one of my hub caps ( by putting it on too loose). I did rip them until they gave me another…but they still owe ME.
I got a sense of distrust so I went to my alternate a “Trusted Independent.” he charged me more for an oil charge and forgot to put the oil filler cap back on. Honest stuff. Lucky, the noise made me look under the hood and I found it on the intake manifold, 10 miles away. Everyone skews you.
Now, I caught all the mistakes but look at the guy who would have lost his transmission in one place and damaged his motor in another.
“failed to use a new transmission plug gasket causing a leak, and lost one of my hub caps ( by putting it on too loose).”
Two examples of the kinds of reasons that I am a DIY’er. I long ago realized that I’m pretty much the only one who gives a rat tail about my cars. And every time I had to get something done I had to spend all this money - just to go back spend more time and money to fix things that someone else screwed up. Now I just screw it up my darned self.
I do much myself, but mostly when it’s warm and I don’t have too many golf tourneys and sailing races to go to. A man needs his priorities. Besides, I have lost count of the other ICE motors I have to maintain. Besides, the waiting room at the dealer has a wifi I use to badger you guys while they screw up my car. What a world we live in. I do check everyone’s work on my car !
Gurantee your screw ups are a lot fewer then any other paid to play mechanic.
RockAuto has them listed for $6 to $14, depending on brand. Easy DIY job.
I’m glad you wrote in. It saddens me to think of how many people routinely get screwed at some dealerships.
Some year back, when my car was newer, my sliding roof started to whistle, to not close tightly. It was past the warranty. I went to the dealer service manager (NOT the service consultant) seeking a solution. He told me, and I quote, “we’ve seen this on these cars… it’s because you’re using it (the sliding roof) too much. We’ll have to replace the entire unit for $4,000”. Smelling a BS artist, I said “say what?” thinking I must have heard him incorrectly. He repeated his BS. I shook my head, drove away, and did some research. Turns out, Toyota had an “initialization procedure” to reset the roof’s program in the BCU. It required opening the roof fully, closing the roof completely, and pushing the button again and holding it for 90 seconds. It’s supposed to be done as part of each vehicle’s delivery prep. 180 seconds later and a few button pushes, my roof was fixed. I’ve never returned to that dealership and never will. But I wonder how many people got screwed.