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Periodic maintenance

Hello. I have a Hyundai hatchback and it doesn’t get used much. Between every 6 monthly service, I do around 1200 to 1500 miles. For the last two services, I received a whopping amount on my invoices. The following items were common in the invoices. Do all of these need to be done so frequently? What will happen to my car if I stop them from doing all these? Also, is it necessary for me to get my car serviced every six months given that it doesn’t get used that much?

Items on invoices
Wheel balancing
Wheel alignment
Throttle body cleaning
Fuel injector cleaning
Engine oil
Battery water
Wheel weight
Filter Assy - Engine oil
Brake shoe cleaning
Caliper pin greasing
Engine flushing

Any help to understand this will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

What year is it, and how many miles does it have on it?
Are they doing these “services” every six months?
At how many miles was each of these “services” performed?

Thanks for responding.

It has around 28000 miles on it.
Yes, they insist the services be done every 6 months. The owner’s manual recommends it and they send me a couple of reminders when it’s due.
At the moment, I only have records of the last two services with me. They are:

  1. Serviced on May 15, 2011: 26164 miles
  2. Serviced on November 11, 2011: 27289 miles

They are wrong, not all these services are needed every 6 months - are you SURE the owners manual lists them all?

Wheel balancing - only with new tires
Wheel alignment - only when needed, some do with new tires
Throttle body cleaning - only if there’s a driveability problem
Fuel injector cleaning - only if there’s a driveability problem
Engine oil - yes
Battery water - should be free
Wheel weight - see 'wheel balancing’
Filter Assy - Engine oil - yes
Brake shoe cleaning - never needed
Caliper pin greasing - when brake job done
Engine flushing - NEVER needed

You are being scammed, it seems to me.

Break down your service invoices over the cost per mile and you are spending more for service and maintenance than fuel. You are getting major league ripped off by this dealer. I don’t think you needed any of these services except an oil change and filter.

They are taking advantage of you - big time. The owner’s manual would not recommend these services this frequently. Find yourself a good independent shop and stop using this dealer. Read the maintenance section of your owner’s manual. Based on low miles your car qualifies for the severe servicing recommendations.

How do you add battery water to a maintenance free battery? Is there any car out there anymore with a battery that takes water? My golf cart battery needs water, but a car battery - I doubt it. Ask the dealer to show you where they added the battery water?

Uncle T took the words out of my mouth. This dealership is “taking you to the cleaners”.

Texases pprovided a good list as usual. The only change I’d make is to suggest that the coolant be drained and replaced every 5 years. No chemicals should be used to “flush” the system, but flushing it with hose water is okay although IMHO not necessary.

Who is doing all those services? It sure sounds like they are scamming you for all they can.

The owner’s manual should give you a list of maintenance items you should be doing on a regular schedule. Are you sure that “Owner’s Manual” you are looking at is the one provided by the manufacturer and not something a dealer has cooked up to scam you. Have you carefully read that manual?

What you are getting now should be against the law.

I suggest you find a local INDEPENDENT (not the dealer and not a chain outfit like the quick oil change outfits) that has been recommended by someone you trust, like a neighbor, co-worker etc.

However don’t let this event cause you to stop doing needed work.

Thanks! You guys are wonderful. :slight_smile:

May I mention some of the other things that are listed in the invoices which are not common but it would help to know if these are required as well.

  1. Super charge
  2. O-ring
  3. Engine decarbonizer: they insist on this with every scheduled service
  4. Differential and trans treatment
  5. Gasket oil plug
  6. Plug-oil drain

Also, I should clarify. The owner’s manual does not say that these particular services should be performed every 6 months. The manual only states that the time interval between two services should not exceed six months. The dealer is the one who has been carrying out these services each time I go to them. Since my car gets used so less, do I really have to get it serviced every 6 months?

  1. Super charge - ?? Unless that’s referring to the ‘super $$ charge’ they’re giving you!
  2. O-ring - maybe, for the filter
  3. Engine decarbonizer: they insist on this with every scheduled service - NEVER!!!
  4. Differential and trans treatment - should only be to check the level, should be cheap/free
  5. Gasket oil plug - yes
  6. Plug-oil drain - ???

Click on ‘Mechanics Files’ at the top of this page and find a good independent mechanic near you. Or ask around. Yes, you should get your oil changed every 6 months or so, but NEVER go to this dealer again for any regular maintenance, they are scammers.

I’m sorry to say that these guys are screwing you big time.

  1. What the heck is a “super charge”?
  2. What O-ring?
  3. Engine decarbonization only needs to be done on a car that’s having operating problems, generally a high mileage vehicle.
  4. Differential and trans treatment? Every six months? They have GOT to be kidding! Check you owner’s manual. It’ll probably say to service the tranny every 30,000 or 60,000 miles.
  5. unless your oil plug uses a nylon gasket, you should not have to routinely replace it. If it does, the new gasket should cost less than $1.
  6. Your drain plug should NEVER have to be replaced. There should be absolutely no drain plug charge on your servicing bill.

These guys should be ashamed of themselves.

If you’re only doing about 1500 miles every 6 months then this place is taking you to the cleaners and in a big way.
Your next step should be to avoid these people at all costs.

What this sounds like to me is a case of Service Writers Gone Wild.

Are you saying they’re making up stuff too?! Oh boy! I’m feeling more and more depressed with each comment. I’ve been throwing away so much money for the past 6 years! I could’ve bought myself another car with it.

Thanks texases for pointing me to Mechanic Files. Unfortunately I’m not in the US but in India, so can’t use them. Will have to go the asking around route. Come to think of it, does higher level of pollution, bad/bumpy roads and heat make any difference to the kind of servicing needs?

Doesn’t supercharger have something to do with cars? I was reading about it the other day, but it was too technical for me. And maybe by plug-oil drain they mean oil drain plug. Does that mean anything?

You are correct that hot and dusty conditions along with rough roads does create a need for additional maintenance and I’d be the first to say so.
However, I think that list of things they’re doing is a bit overboard.

I live in Oklahoma here in the states and the conditions here are very dusty and very hot in the summer. There would be no need here for doing all of the things on that list based on the low miles your car sees every 6 months.

Champak, the “super charge” the OP listed has no relation at all to the thread discussing superchargers vs. turbochargers. I have no idea what the “super charge” is on your bill.

The other thread was a discussion on the good and bad of superchargesr vs. turbochargers. When a “naturally aspirated” engine runs, the air is drawn in by the piston being drawn down the cylinder with the intake valve open. The amount of air drawn in is a result of the cylinder size, the stroke length, and the ability of the engine to breath in, the ability of air to pass freely by the valve and all the intake parts. The power the cylinder can make largely depends on how much air (with fuel) can be drawn in and compressed. Superchargers and turbochargers pump air into the cylinder, so that more air & fuel gets in there than the piston would otherwise draw in. Then, when the mix is combusted, there’s more power. The only difference between a supercharger and turbocharger is how the pump is drive. A supercharger is driven by a belt off the crankshaft, a turbocharger is driven by the exhaust gasses. Each method is better in some ways than the other and worse in some ways than the other.

Hyundaes don’t have superchergers. I have no idea what you’re getting charged for.

And, yeah, it sounds to me like they’re charging you for an oil plug every time they change the oil.

I caught that you said you’re in India. Is it possible for you to learn to do your own maintenance, with us to guide you? Do you have auto parts stores near you that might sell Maintenance Manuals in English?

Maybe they should have named it a “very nice charge” instead.
“Super” almost seems like they are bragging about hosing the OP.

I have no idea what the supercharge is but could it possibly be a marketing gimmick for a fuel or even A/C additive?

Someone there must be working for an early retirement… :slight_smile:

Thanks The Same Mountainbike. I appreciate your offer and would like to take you up on it. But I have to warn you that we don’t have a DIY culture here, we always have to hire someone to fix stuff for us! So I will need a lot of hand-holding. Having said that, I would really like to give this a shot. So, if you could first help me out with a few basic queries it’ll be wonderful.

  1. How much time will the maintenance take?
  2. How much space will I need? I don’t have access to a garage or even an underground parking where I can spread out.
  3. Will I need to buy any tools? Right now I just have the tyre changing kit and a spanner that I’ve never used.
  4. Will there be any other costs involved besides procuring the oil etc.?
  5. Is the maintenance manual the same as the service/workshop/repair manual? Apparently, here the companies don’t let go of those very easily. But I’m sure I can find a way of getting it.
  6. My car’s called Hyundai Santro Xing in India and the model is XE. Here’s the wikipedia link to it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyundai_Atos. Is it enough to get a Santro Xing maintenance manual or do I need the specific XE one?

Thanks again TSM.

You have to tell us the name of this wonderfull dealership… I never ask this, but in this case… FLAME ON… This guys is a crook and a rip off… The type of dealer who gives all dealers a bad name… As I read this post, I get P O ED BIG TIME !!! On a car driven like yours, oil changes once a year (6 months is fine and cheap for peace of mind)… At that time it would be nice of them to check your tire pressure, and other fluids… THAT IS ALL that your car should need, barring any known problems. Once every few years you should do a trans pan drop, and radiator fluid flush and fill. Honestly it should cost almost nothing in maintenance to keep this car going.

I’ll be happy to.
You’d need to start

  1. a basic repair manual or a subscription to a repair database like Alldata
  2. a basic metric socket set
  3. a basic set of metric box/open end wrenches
  4. a “stubby” set of metric box/open wrenches
  5. a good set of ramps.
  6. a drainpan (I use turkey roaster pans and throw them away after)
  7. a way to properly dispose of the oil
  8. screwdrivers
  9. a crescent wrench (a GOOD one)

Time will vary. II can do an oil change in 20 minutes. With my old pickup and my '91 Camry I could do it even faster. I didn’t need the ramps!

Things like air filters and lightbulbs can vary widely. Miine can all be chenged in a few minutes. My daughters headlights were a bear to change. My old pickup took the better part of an hour. Changing things like coolant can be done on your own, and it’ll take an hour, but that doesn;t need doing that often. Check your owner’s manual schedule. Brake fluid flushing might be best left to a shop until you get comfortable with doing your own maintenance, but again it does not need to be done that often. Check your manual.

For space, you need a level area large enough to have your legs sticking out from under the vehicle without danger of getting run over.
And you always need to be sure the vehicle is off and safely prevented from rolling (safety brakes and wheel chocks) befor getting under it.

Others here will add to the list I’m sure, but this is a beginning.