This price sounds a bit high?


#1

Recently I took my 2008 Hyundai Elantra SE (34500mi) into the dealer for a warranty service. They took care of it and also checked it out and came back with a list of things that I should attend to.
Replace the fuel tank air filter $159.00
Replace the cabin/HEPA filter $49.00
Replace the air filter element $39.95
AT fluid exchange $189.95
Brake Fluid Exchange $109.95

I’m going to see if I can replace the filters (except fuel tank) and I’m not worried about the brake fluid at this point. Normally I take my car to another place for oil changes and transmission fluid changes. I thought $190.00 dollars sounded pretty steep for a transmission fluid exchange, even if they do get every drop of the old stuff out. The very friendly service associate explained to me that the northeast is considered a severe area for transmissions and that my owner’s manual recommends changing it at 105k for normal driving areas and 30k for severe. Also, only Hyundai has the correct AT fluid (s3?) for my car and that the other shops do not and therefore I would run the risk of would ruining my transmission. While I believe the dealership may be high priced, I certainly would not want to bet my transmission on it to save $100. So I thought I’d ask people in the know. Is it necessary to change my AT fluid more often because I live in the northeast? I’m not plowing or pulling trailers with my car, that USED to be the classification for severe driving conditions. If so, do other places have the exclusive Hyundai transmission fluid? With all the Hyundai’s on the road, I find it a little hard to believe that no one else carries it. Should it really cost almost $200?


#2

Dealerships always tend to be more expensive than independents. Most of us would bypass the dealer altogether. Just visit another shop and ask for their estimate.


#3

Brake fluid should be changed every three years or so.

As to the fuel tank air filter, I think that is just a charcoal canister on most cars, and you don’t replace it unless it malfunctions.

Changing the ATF every 30,000 miles is a good idea, but that price seems high. They are probably pricing an ATF flush, which you don’t need. You should just get a drain-and-refill.

If the cabin air filter needs replacing, you might be able to determine that for yourself and do the change yourself. The same goes for the engine air filter.


#4

The dealership claims that no one else has the same fluid that they use and that using someone else’s fluid, (quick lube place) even if they claim to be compatible, will ruin my transmission.


#5

The dealership is not exactly correct. The transmission fluid must meet Mitsubushi/Hyundai SP III specs. Sometimes the ATF at the dealership is not that much more than at an autoparts store. Remember that all types of oil are getting expensive everywhere now so $8-9/qt would not be out of line, but you might find it at $4.50-$5 in a discount house.

I would be very careful about selecting a place to do the transmission ATF change to make sure they use the right stuff.

A cabin air filter runs $17-20 at Walmart, but it is as easy to change as opening your glove box. See your owners manual. BTW, these filters are waaayyy overpriced in my opinion, they should not cost over $3, but there aren’t enough filter manufacturers in the game yet.

Check your owners manual for the service schedule to see if there is even an air filter for the fuel tank. Are you sure they didn’t say fuel filter? I would ignore that anyway, a fuel filter is good for 100k at least unless you get some bad gas, then it’s good for about 0 miles. You will find out quick enough if you actually need one, and getting a new one today does not guarantee that you won’t need another new one right after your next fillup.

Air filter, yes, and the price doesn’t look way to high, but they certainly proud of it. Brake fluid, yes, but this price again reflects pride.


#6

“The dealership claims that no one else has the same fluid that they use and that using someone else’s fluid, (quick lube place) even if they claim to be compatible, will ruin my transmission.”

All dealerships say that. It’s usually BS, but in this case, I might buy the fluid at the dealership and do a drain-and-refill myself.

Check to see if your transmission has a drain plug. If it does, and you are capable of changing your own oil, you should be able to do this job, just be careful not to overfill the transmission.


#7

Thanks a bunch everyone. I appreciate your insight.


#8

Designer transmission fluid is the latest profit center, behind air conditioning service…They have you over a barrel…Use the “wrong” fluid and your warranty is void…