Why does the dealer want $500 to replace the spark plugs in my 2006 Hyundai Azera V6 FWD?

The dealer here quoted me $497 to replace the spark plugs in my 06 Hyundai Azera …It has a V6 with FWD… I have a mechanic that I use… other than the Dealer… due to the price they charge for most repairs. …unless it is a very technical procedure. Would it be O.K.to use my mechanic …even though there may be some parts and hose removals necessary… to do the plug change?
Also the dealer wants $180 to replace an oozing oil pan gasket and tell me that they would have to keep the car overnight to let the glue dry … I would appreciate any thoughts on this… Thanks…
Jack R.

Hi, have you heard of Repair Pal? http://repairpal.com It attempts to give people an estimate of what a repair should cost. I’ve also called a few different mechanics to get estimates over the phone for standard maintenance things like replacing spark plugs. Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion.

Because that’s how much it should cost? 3 hours labor would be $300 or more. $20 each for spark plugs, some intake gaskets, maybe some coolant, and you’re there.

Resealing your oil pan uses either RTV or an anaerobic sealant that requires time to cure before being put back into service.


Go ahead and get a quote on the spark plug job from your mechanic. How can it hurt go get a quote?

On transverse mounted V-6 engines, it can be really hard to get to some of those spark plugs, especially the ones in the back. That is probably the reason for the high price for the job.

It’s times like these I’m glad my car has a four cylinder engine.


Them telling you that they need to keep the vehicle overnight for the sealant to cure is bogus…

Most sealants cure within an hour of application.

And the one I use cures in one minute after application.



“unless it is a very technical procedure”

Yes, it most like IS a very technical procedure

Translation . . . it’s a fair amount of work

On many transverse V6 engines, changing the plugs isn’t that easy. Getting to the plugs on the firewall side can be tricky, and in some cases, it’s actually necessary to remove the upper intake, because you literally can’t access them otherwise. And it’s only fair the shop charges the appropriate labor times.

Considering the dealer’s labor rate is probably north of $100 per billed hour, it’s quite fair, when you also figure in parts and tax

The quote for the oil pan reseal also sounds fair. They might charge 1 hour labor, plus sealant. And they’re probably going to do an oil and filter change, while they’re at it. Might as well.

The guy’s playing it safe, because he’s allowing time for the sealant to cure. Nothing wrong with that.

If you were to have that work done at an independent, I’d guess you would probably pay 2/3 or 3/4 of the cost of the dealer, since their parts costs and labor rate are slightly lower. Be aware they may use aftermarket parts. For instance, they may use Fel-pro intake gaskets versus Hyundai. And they might use Permatex sealant, versus the genuine Hyundai sealant. They should both work just fine, however, if the guy does the job properly.


I had a V6 FWD Ford Taurus with the DOHC SHO engine. Replacing spark plugs started with “remove the intake manifold” Which, at 60,000 miles included a timing belt cover, timing belt, valve adjustment, water pump and on and on at an enormous cost. Way more than your $500 plug change.

So yes, it can cost that much or much, much more!


Once the warranty is over, you NEVER go back to the dealer…

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I’m seeing 2.7 hour labor for this job on the V6-3.8L engine. That’s around $270 for the labor. Don’t know how much the spark plugs cost tho, but you can probably figure that out. So add it up, $270 plus the price of 6 plugs. I’m guessing parts and labor around $325-$350. I presume that’s all they’d be doing, right? Just changing the spark plugs? Sometimes they have a list of stuff they also do, so they charge for that. But if it is just the spark plugs only, $500 does seem a little on the high side. Your car is 10 years old. Suggest to not use the dealership shop for routine maintenance like this. That will probably save you a little money. If you have a good inde mechanic, who has expertise and tooled up to repair Hyudais, that’s probably your best bet. Dealers really focus on repairing the newer cars anyway, os the inde shops are better equipped many times for the 10 year old cars. Yes, that’s the ticket. Get a bid from your inde mechanic.

The spark plug price; fair enough.

As for the oil pan gasket which is described as “oozing” why not try cinching the pan bolts up a little and see if that stops it.

The gasket is shown to be a one piece composite so I don’t understand the need for any type of sealer on it.

Any Hyundai dealer mechanics on this website . . . ?!

Rockauto shows a lower oil pan gasket, and they show a cast aluminum upper pan, and a stamped steel lower pan

Exactly which one needs to be resealed?

Another thing . . . there are cases where the factory seals the pans(s) using rtv, yet there are aftermarket one-piece gaskets available. If that is the case, perhaps the mechanic at the dealer is using the factory rtv

A slightly off-topic example . . . the early Ford Focus used rtv from the factory, for the trans pan. Yet Wix later came out with a one-piece pan gasket, as part of their kit. Ford still does not sell an actual gasket. But you can also buy a genuine Motorcraft filter by itself. So if somebody wants to use the Motorcraft filter and rtv, does that mean they’re somehow “wrong” . . . ?

I think you will find the opposite to be true, the corner shop has probably never worked on a Hyundai Azera while replacing spark plugs on one at the dealer is routine.

Is the hourly labor rate that low in San Jose? Twenty five years ago I had some California customers that had their large repairs performed while visiting in Nevada because at that time we only charged $95/hour.

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No, it’s not that low. I have a friend who is a regional trainer for an aftermarket chain. He tells me Bay Area stores are billing labor at $160/hour.

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Many thanks to all who submitted their opinions on the spark plug and pan gasket replacements.

My local Mechanic is certified on Hyundai work and will do it for $300 or so. Also, I will ask him to retighten the pan bolts… I love this Azera, which purrs like a kitten and will burn rubber if I was foolish enough to try it and gets 29.9 mpg on the highway and 28 or so around town. It has electronic stability control …7 air bags… handles like a dream and is loaded with every electronic gadget available in the year it was built and is warranted for 10 years or 100 K miles.The dealer I bought it from provide lifetime maintenance (Oil & filter plus tire rotation and free wash jobs anytime). So I do go to them regularly.

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You know why they provide those percs don’t you? They get you in the service bay and find lots of things to sell you that you may or may not need. In this case, you need (maybe) spark plugs. Based on your description of the car, you may not need them. Rough running, hard starting, or decreased gas mileage would indicate that plugs need to be changed. Unless this is the first time the plugs were changed, you might not really need that work.

Thanks jtsanders…I have learned how to play that game…The dealer gives me a total inspection of the car every time He does the free service on the car… and I get a price from them on any repairs needed…then I take it to my favorite mechanic who usually does the work for about 1/2 of their cost or if it is about the same…I have the Dealer do it on my next visit. That way… I have a ton of ongoing reports on everything to show to any buyer …when I am ready to sell the car. ( I never trade it in.)

Jack R.

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I’m glad to hear you’re using the system to your advantage :slight_smile:

That said, the mechanics are “encouraged” to perform these multi-point inspections every time a car shows up in the shop

Unfortunately, the mechanics are often not compensated for their time. It’s only to their advantage if the customer actually agrees to some of the upsells

When I was at the dealership, I always said to myself “If I were the customer, I’d take this list of recommendations to a trusted and cheaper shop. And I’d ask them to go through it with me, deciding which repair should have the highest priority.”

You could call it shopping around

As far as that free inspection . . . the only loser in that scenario is the mechanic, because the shop doesn’t pay him for those multi-point inspections, and neither do you. And through no fault of his own. He isn’t exactly in a position to refuse to play ball. Or he’s out of a job, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out :frowning2:

Yes… it seems to be another sad situation for the workers… the businesses usually come out on top and the larger the business …the greater the disparity between the two. Just another reason to support the local small shop people.


Wonderful information in this thread.

Just got a spark plug job done on a 2003 Saturn Vue for $500 total (after labor and parts).

I was curious if the labor ended up being a bit high, but after reading some of the comments by other experienced posters, I’m not as concerned now. I imagine not all spark-plug jobs are the same, given the manufacturer of the vehicle…

I remember as a teenager changing my own plugs on a 1995 Dodge Neon but I had some mechanically minded folks around helping me through the process. Because of this single experience, I somewhat underestimated a job like this. (I am sure shops love to hear how 10 years ago “I changed it myself on a [insert-non-overly-computerized-car-here] and it didn’t cost that much!”)

This was an independent shop, and I’ve got another mechanic I go to for bigger / more complex jobs, but he’s a little more of a commute than this one and they’ve always treated me right. I suppose when getting car repairs, we have to ask too, is cheaper always better? Is an extra hour of labor, for a really well-done and thorough job, worth it?

Thanks for this thread and all the wonderful comments / ideas contributed by others – very helpful…


I offered tune-ups in my shop. 4cyl $29.95, 6cyl $39.95, 8cyl $49.95. I ended up with a mid 1970s Chevrolet van. It was a mechanic’s nightmare. I knew very well Chevrolet V8s were difficult with the distributer and spark plugs misplaced. The distributer was accessible and was not HEI so it must have been a 1974. I had to R&R the heat shields and access 2 rear spark plugs with a box end wrench from below. A $50 job with $60 unpaid extra labor. I have thankfully never had to replace plugs on a transverse V6.