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Oil change frequency owner's manual recommendation

My 2017 Hyundai Sonata’a owner’s manual says the first oil change should be done at 3000 miles or 6 months. After that. every 5000 miles or 6 months. Oil change places always recommend every 3000 miles or 3 months. Is it safe to follow the owner’s manual?

Yes. Hyundai built your car. Oil change places are just in it for the money. Besides…many oil change places are terrible when it comes to maintenance…even something as simple as changing oil.

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There’s more to it than miles or time. There’s also environmental conditions such as humidity and dust along with thing such as fuel quality and the type of drivng you do.

In some cases a 3k miles or 3 month change is necessary. This is from my neck of the woods. While extreme, the dust is a constant factor along with the usually present high humidity. Consider the effect on engine oil; which is far cheaper than an engine. Or possible oil consumption issues…

When in doubt… follow the manual!

And stay away from the quickie oil change places. Many are incompetent and some are criminal.

Establish a relationship with a good local independent shop and have your changes done there. It may cost a small amount more, but the relationship will pay dividends down the road when its time for maintenance. It also allows you to asses the honesty of the shop you’ve chosen long before you need them.

Hyundai is the best place to get maintenance information. You should have a maintenance book that shows what is due at each interval. Follow that, including any modifications Hyundai tells you in either manual about sever service. Severe service is a lot of short drives, severe heat, or dusty conditions as shown above.

Quick oil change shops can be either good or bad, just like any shop. They are more likely to make mistakes because this is often the first job for a mechanic. If the quickie shop has a foreman that inspects all work, the shop can provide adequate service. I use one that does just that. They’ve even stopped trying to upsell me since they discovered I do my own work other than oil changes.

When I look at the 2017 Sonata maintenance schedule at, it says you only need to change the oil and filter every 7500 miles.

And according to Hyundai on that site, if your driving is considered “Severe”, which falls into the following:

• For repeated short distances.
• In dusty or sandy areas, in areas where salt or other corrosive materials are used.
• On rough or muddy roads.
• In mountainous areas.
• For extended periods of idling or low speed operation.
• For prolonged periods in cold or extremely humid climates.
• More than 50% of driving in heavy city traffic in temperatures above 90°F.
• If using brakes extensively.

then change the oil every 3750 miles.

Opinions will differ on how to interpret auto manufactures’ “Normal vs Severe” recommendations. Some feel the majority of drivers operate under severe conditions. Others feel the majority of drivers operate under normal conditions. I fall into the latter camp.

If you really want to know whether you’re normal or severe, get an oil analysis.

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The last item caught my eye ‘if using brakes extensively’…hmmm

If, and this can be a big if, your dealer has an honest service department use them especially while under warranty.
Having said that, more frequent oil changes do not hurt anything but your wallet.

Trucking companies tried that a while ago. Tbey had a “drip system” that would drip oil into the fuel system to extend time between oil changes, hence keeping trucks rolling longer. When they started realizing the costs of the oil analysis, they abandoned the idea and decided a couple hours on a PM was a more cost effective option. After all, a hundred grease fittings still needed that greasy stuff. Anyway, I have a 2016 Kia Sedona (Hyundai insignia everywhere on it) and I still stick to changing mine every 3000. If you ever take off an oil pan and see the sludge that builds up from not changing the oil enough, it’ll make you think changing the oil every 10 miles is worth it! Oil breaks down in heat, and is designed to hold a certain amount of contaminates. So, yeah, they may say that, but if it the unit catastrophically fails 10 days after you make the last payment…

Just wanted to add to my original post that this car is a lease. So I am mostly interested in whether I am misreading the owner’s manual, since 3000 miles is the standard advice for regular, not synthetic, oil. I just want to be sure if I stick to 5000 miles/6 months I am not violating any warranty conditions,

If you are leasing, you need to read the lease maintenance requirements and obey them. End of discussion, for all practical purposes.

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Leased, therefore have the oil changes done by the manual schedule at the dealer and it will be documented. Problem solved.

Hi jpiquette:
Where are you seeing 3000 or 5000 miles for changes?
The factory maintenance schedule for your car calls for 7500 miles, unless your daily driving habits call for severe service.

The 7500 miles is listed in the manual as the first required service. But there is an asterisk by the oil change, which is explained at the end of the section on required services. The asterisk says the first oil change should be done at 3000 miles or 6 months, then 5000 miles or 6 months after that.

Where are you seeing this asterisk and the mention of 3000 miles, etc?

Are you seeing it in the Hyundai factory maintenance schedule?

Or are you seeing this in something given to you by the dealership you leased the car from?

The asterisk is on p 7-10 of the owner’s manual. The explanation of the asterisk is on p 7-15 of the ownwer’s manual. Here is an image from p. 7-15.

What is “TGDI”? Is yours a turbo? This might be the difference.

Not sure what the letters mean, and not sure if it is a turbo. But it is the Limited model.

The Sonata Limited come with the 2.4 liter engine, foot note #3 does not apply.

The Sonata Limited 2.0T comes with the 2.0 TGDI engine, foot note #3 does apply.

So, after doing a VIN number lookup, it seems I have the 2.4 liter engine. So the footnote does not apply. Does that really mean the owner’s manual is really recommending that oil has to be changed only every 7500 miles? Using ordinary, not synthetic, oil?