Hyundai Dealer VS The Corner Mechanic, who is the best?

I'm so glad this group is here! My 2004 Elantra is running wonderful, the whine noise was the air conditioner fan belt. Now that the dealer replaced it, no whines any more! ($139.00!)
My car has 44,000 miles and I've never had a problem. Last week the temperatures dipped to below zero and it started right up! It does run like a gem and, it's my second Hyundai because I've had so much success with the Hyundai brand, I love it.
My issue: for various reasons since I bought the car, I became unemployed and was unable to keep up with the suggested maintenance, (except being faithful with oil changes) now I've finally gotten a good job and want to do some of the maintenance on the car, is it really so important that the dealer does the tune up? I called and they want $479.00 for the 30,000 maintenance. My trusted, friendly mechanic across the street from where I work can do the same thing for half the price. Is it so critically important that Hyundai do the work? Will it damage the car in any way to have "non Hyundai parts installed"? Do I really need to change spark plugs if the engine purrs and doesn't skip a beat? HELP! You guys are great! I read every word since I joined this list and truly appreciate the responses from you all.
Andrea
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Good luck with the new job.
You will get lots of opinions on this, but here is mine.
Dealers will have some special tools, the latest service bulletins, genuine parts. There are times they are the best source. That said, I've not used a dealer for service (aside from warranty) but maybe twice in 40+ years of driving.
Spark plugs at 30,000 miles? What does the book say? Most cars today are good for at least 50, often 100,000 miles. If they are running good, go by the book, not the dealer. Even then, if it is running OK, more miles is OK. I change mine at 120,000 and it made no difference at all in how the car runs.
Often, the non-branded parts come from the same factory as the originals. Not all do, and there are some that are not as good. The good mechanics u se parts that are equal or better to factory specifications. Talk to your mechanic about that. A few months back, I called a machine company too ask about a replacement part. They wanted $50 for it. I called a distributor and bought the same part, in the same factory box for $5. This type of markup is common.
Dealers are only as good as the mechanics that work for them. In both dealerships and independent garages, you will find some that are fantastic, you will find some that should be flipping burgers, not fixing cars. Another thing that drives up prices not only in dealerships, but in some of the major chains is their policy on how to do certain service. Your local shop may put in new brake pads when they are worn. The dealer sill put in new pads, turn the rotors, rebuild the calipers, etc. As a matter of policy, they don't want complaints later that something screwed up, They know it was allreplaced.
I like my independent guy. Much more sensible prices.
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wrote in message

FWIW, I completely agree with Edwin here. I have a guy where I work who is a ASE certified mechanic. He only works on company vehicles during the day, but he does side jobs at night. Now, I do most of my own work myself, but I let him do the work either I don't feel like doing, or might be a little out of my league. Although I admit he doesn't charge me for labor (I do computer work for him in exchange) even if he charged me his going rate, he would be less than half the price of the dealer. And that would be with me getting the Hyundai parts myself.
I use the dealer for warranty/recalls and that's about it.
Eric
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Check to see whats included in the 30k service and then check your manual to see how much of it is needed.
First off, you shouldnt need to replace your spark plugs. The recommended maintenance interval is four years/60k miles and theyre warranted until that time.
Heres what Id consider doing: -- Replace the coolant if it hasnt already been done. Its recommended every two years. -- Change the oil and filter if due. -- Rotate the tires if youve been doing that routinely. If not, rotate them if the fronts are significantly more worn than the rear. -- Clean and adjust rear drum brakes. Inspect disc brakes for wear. A good shop will inspect your brakes every oil change. Theyll want to make the money off replacing them. and the brakes are easy to look at while the car is in the air. -- Replace the air filter. -- Check the transmission fluid. Replace if in poor condition, or just replace it on general principle. -- Check the vehicle to make sure lights and other systems are in good operating order.
Make sure whoever does the maintenance uses only SP-III transmission fluid. Hyundai spark plugs are either Champion or NGK. Theres no need to purchase spark plugs at the dealer. You can get the same spark plugs for a much cheaper price at your local parts store.
Whos better? That depends on the dealer and the corner garage. Only experience will tell. Check the local word-of-mouth.
"glassfern53" wrote: > I'm so glad this group is here! My 2004 Elantra is running > wonderful, > the whine noise was the air conditioner fan belt. Now that the > dealer > replaced it, no whines any more! ($139.00!) > > My car has 44,000 miles and I've never had a problem. Last > week the > temperatures dipped to below zero and it started right up! It > does > run like a gem and, it's my second Hyundai because I've had so > much > success with the Hyundai brand, I love it. > > My issue: for various reasons since I bought the car, I became > unemployed and was unable to keep up with the suggested > maintenance, > (except being faithful with oil changes) now I've finally > gotten a > good job and want to do some of the maintenance on the car, is > it > really so important that the dealer does the tune up? I called > and > they want $479.00 for the 30,000 maintenance. My trusted, > friendly > mechanic across the street from where I work can do the same > thing for > half the price. Is it so critically important that Hyundai do > the > work? Will it damage the car in any way to have "non Hyundai > parts > installed"? Do I really need to change spark plugs if the > engine purrs > and doesn't skip a beat? HELP! You guys are great! I read > every word > since I joined this list and truly appreciate the responses > from you > all. > > Andrea
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Hyundaitech wrote:

That's assuming that the car has an automatic transmission. If it's a manual, no maintenance is required, but changing the oil won't hurt, as long as you use a GL-4 oil only, not GL-5 or "universal" oil.
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And aside from the "goofy" tranny fluid these Hyundais use, the only other part I've heard one may want to get from the dealer (whether the dealer installs it or not) is the timing belt, which you won't need for a while yet.
Everything else should be able to be accesssed at your local parts store.
Tom Wenndt

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Hi Andrea
Whatever you do, please do not buy spark plugs from the dealer. You can find them on the net for less than 1/2 price.
Here is what NGK recommends for your vehicle: ===2004 HYUNDAI ELANTRA GLS 2.0 L4 FI DOHC Spark Plug     Part No.     Stock No.     Plug Gap     Photo Standard     BKR5ES-11     2382     .044 V-Power     BKR5E-11     6953     .044 G-Power     BKR5EGP     7090     .044 Laser Platinum     PFR5N-11 * #     5838     .044 OE Laser Iridium     IFR5E11 ^     7994     .044 Iridium IX     BKR5EIX-11     5464     .044 * "Laser Series" Platinum center electrode, and Platinum pad ground electrode # Original Equipment Manufacturer, and/or Original Equipment Service Part ^ "Laser Series" Iridium center electrode, and Platinum pad ground electrode
Oxygen Sensor     Part No.     Location     Note     Photo Oxygen Sensor     25606     Upstream     ULEV     n/a Oxygen Sensor     24588     Downstream     ULEV     n/a Oxygen Sensor     24588     Downstream     SULEV     n/a Oxygen Sensor     24304     Upstream     SULEV     n/a
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The point about the dealer having the latest TSB's, etc is well taken. For important stuff I go to the dealer, else I try to do it myself.
Just recently took a Ford Escort, 98 to a local well reputed garage for a timing belt change . . . too cold to do it myself in Buffalo. I've done them before with no problem.
They assumed the belt cover screws were the same length . . several days later and a lot of noise I had to drop it off to get they to put it back right. Wasted time, etc. Glad they didn't screw it up more. Local garages are generalists. All the dealer mechanics work on one manufacturers car, correct tools, etc.
Also, take the maintenance book out, you will find a difference between what the dealer proposes to do and what Hyundai recommends. Most dealers add somewhat useless additional "maintenance items". . . if you go to the dealer, just tell them to do what Hyundai recommends, if you have to, show them the book.
Good luck.
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Sorry about your problem, Diarmud. But your problem doesnt illustrate a problem with non-dealer repair shops in general. Your problem was that the mechanic who worked on your car didnt pay enough attention. This can happen anywhere.
"Diarmud387" wrote: > The point about the dealer having the latest TSB's, etc is > well > taken. For important stuff I go to the dealer, else I try to > do it > myself. > > Just recently took a Ford Escort, 98 to a local well reputed > garage > for a timing belt change . . . too cold to do it myself in > Buffalo. > I've done them before with no problem. > > They assumed the belt cover screws were the same length . . > several > days later and a lot of noise I had to drop it off to get they > to put > it back right. Wasted time, etc. Glad they didn't screw it > up more. > Local garages are generalists. All the dealer mechanics work > on one > manufacturers car, correct tools, etc. > > Also, take the maintenance book out, you will find a > difference > between what the dealer proposes to do and what Hyundai > recommends. > Most dealers add somewhat useless additional "maintenance > items". . . > if you go to the dealer, just tell them to do what Hyundai > recommends, > if you have to, show them the book. > > Good luck.
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