Hyundai Elantra 60K Service Cost - I'm amazed at what people on the show think is "expensive"

I live in CT and every car repair I need seems to be twice as expensive as I would anticipate. My latest need is the 60K mile service for my 2003 Hyundai Elantra. I contacted an independent garage first, and was quoted $1150 (including tax). I then contacted my local Hyundai dealer, and was quoted nearly the exact same price, $1165.

Here are the services that would be performed:

  • Timing belt change
  • Spark plug replacement (platinum coated)
  • Oil Change
  • Engine Coolant Replacement
  • Transmission Fluid Replacement
  • Air filter
  • Cabin air filter
  • Other drive belt replacements
  • Rotate and speed balance the tires
  • Replace water pump assembly

Does that seem reasonable? I’ve Googled “Elantra 60K service cost” and seen many prices, but not a single one as expensive as mine.

The price for all these services is about right. The timing belt change with tensioner is about $850 by itself, including the water pump…

I’m not sure why you need new spark plugs at 60,000 miles, but if the book calls for it then it must be right.

If you had an old style car and lived in the early 80s, you would have needed:

  1. Three sets of spark plugs
  2. Two sets of brakes
  3. Three radiator flushes
  4. Three drive belts
  5. 20 oil and filter changes

and so on. Today’s cars need less maintenance and the cost of individual services may seem high, but on a per 10,000 mile basis it’s a lot cheaper. And components last a lot longer.

After this service you basically have oil and filter changes for many miles to come. Enjoy your car and thank those smart Korean engineers for providing you with better than Mercedes reliability at a fraction of the cost.

If you want to feel good seek out the owners of Jaguars, Mercedeses, MBWs and land Rovers and ask them about their maintenance costs.

Not a bad price at all. It’s similar to what I paid for everything, and I replaced my air filters and spark plugs myself on an Accord.

And, it seems, most customers through the shop door are in no way prepared for what vehicle repairs cost.
99% of them seem aghast at the price.
Something wrong with the car ? don’t even roll through the door without a hundred dollar bill.
Diesel pickup ? make that a thousand.

$850 for just the timing belt, idlers, and water pump, and changing the coolant is reasonable. I doubt you’d be able to find a shop willing to do it for much less. No harm asking around though. The timing belt, it’s a fairly time consuming job is why. Mechanics have to pay their rent and food just like anybody else, so they need to charge enough per hour to make it worth their while. Car buyers are shying away from timing-belt equipped cars for this very reason, the high price to replace the timing belt. To save money on the bill, maybe only do the timing belt and water pump. If you feel lucky, just do the timing belt and leave the water pump as is, save even more. The water pump on my early 90’s Corolla at 200 K is original to the car.

Need to save more money? The other stuff, some can probably be deferred, the oil change can be done by Jiffy Lube for $30, the engine air filter and cabin filter can usually be done by the owner without much difficulty, the other drive belts probably don’t need to be replaced yet, and the tires are probably ok as-is. And are you certain the timing belt needs to be changed? Maybe you are doing that too soon. A lot of timing belts now-a-days are spec’d at 100K or more. What does your owner’s manual say is the timing belt service interval for your car?

OP’s timing belt is 10 years old.

There is a always a mileage limit AND a time limit, whichever comes first

As far as show prices go, keep in mind that the shows playing now are almost 20 years old.

The price sounds very fair considering the timing belt is involved. The engine is interference fit; meaning that if the belt snaps engine damage will occur and repair costs will be much higher; assuming a repair is even feasible. You’ve been lucky up to this point.

The 4-cylinder Hyundai engines are tough on timing belts. Hyundai says to replace them every 60K miles. Some don’t make it that long, and many others are noticeably “chewed/frayed” when replaced at 60K.
The 6-cyl engine is much easier on belts.

Thank you! Thank all of you for your amazing replies. You really helped me feel better about this costly service. I really appreciate it.

That price is reasonable to cheap for all that work.