T Nation

Car Dealership Ripping Me Off?


I'll kick off this thread by admitting that I really don't know dick about cars.
With that in mind I went to the dealership to get my 30K service done on my 2003 Hyundai Sonata (in addition to tire rotation/balance, oil/filter change). The only real thing that the 30K mark mandates is a transmission fluid change and coolant flush in addition to inspecting various systems.

Anyway, these assholes wanted $600 for their standard service and when I said I only wanted to do the maintenance in the manual their prices were still steep (in my admittedly ignorant opinion): 190 for transmission flush, 110 for coolant flush, 120 for induction service (my idle has been a little rough, so I do want this service done).

Anyway, any mechanically inclined people out there think these prices are too much? Also is a transmission flush even necessary? They claim it is, but I thought simpy replacing it is preferable.

All advice is appreciated.


Sounds like typical dealership pricing to me.

It is expensive as hell but they should know what they are doing.

You can go to a private mechanic for less and hope he knows what he is doing.


Make sure whoever you go with satisfies your warranty's requirements.


Oil changes can be done by anyone.

Radiator flush and fill is a pretty easy job. Have them test it first. You may not need it replaced after only 30K.

A transmission flush and replacement of all the fluid, not just a partial should add longevity to your transmission. Are you going to keep it past 100K miles. If so get it done.

I go to a local place for basic maitenance. Dealer only for warranty work. If you do all the basic maitenance I find my trucks last a lot longer then most.

Those prices are dealer prices. Dealers are always very high.


I was a service manager for years in a new car dealership. Depending on how long you are going to keep the car would depend on whether I would do the service or not. You of course should check and make sure that if you aren't going to do the service that it won't void any of your warranty.

If you are keeping the car then definitely do it, it will pay off in the long run.



By the way nothing on your list will affect you idle in anyway. Take it to jiffy lube and save your self a few hundred bucks. Stealerships suck, only use a dealership for warranty work.


Check your owner's manual. It'll give you the recommended intervals for fluid changes. 30K sounds excessive for coolant and tranny fluid. But if that's what the manufacturer says then it'll have to be done to keep the warranty intact. Although, it is NOT necessary for the work to be done by the dealer. The "induction service" sounds like a rip. That'll be someone spraying some carb cleaner into the throttle body, and maybe doing a little scrubbing with an old toothbrush. If it's idling rough that should be covered under warranty.


If the car has a drain plug on the torque converter (I'll assume it's an auto), then a flush isn't really necessary. Draining the torque converter and tranny will get enough of the fluid out.


the induction system cleaning could do wonders for his rough idle, depends on whats causing it. If your not getting enough air bypassing the throttle plate your obviously not going to have enough power to maintain a good idle.


all of those fluid flushing at 30k seems a bit much. a tranny flush on an auto with those few miles is ridiculous, same with a rad flush. some cars require "specialized tranny fluid, which can cost a few bucks, others simply use gear oil which can add to the cost. the manufacture suggests having these done, but they are not really necessary. i have an 85 BMW 528 with 288k miles...no flushing ever on any system...still runs like a champ.

the biggest problem i would have with a dealership doing these is if they are really flushing the system, or just simply draining and refilling