Elantra ATF Change - Question for Hyundaitech

Discussion in 'Hyundai Elantra / Lantra' started by dsallen69, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. dsallen69

    dsallen69 Guest

    Our local Hyundai dealer uses a exchange system for changing the ATF.
    This is effectively a power flush system I believe, and they also
    mentioned that they use "SPIII-approved synthetic ATF" instead of the
    OEM Hyundai or Mitsubishi SPIII ATF. Of course, the exchange system
    flushes the old ATF from not only the sump, but the torque converter,
    and cooler/lines.

    I have two worries here: 1). I've been told that power flushing an
    automatic transmission can be harmful to the transmission, however,
    the Service Advisor at the Hyundai dealership told me that there is no
    worry . . .? and 2). I'm concerned that they're using an "SPIII-
    approved synthetic ATF" rather than the Hyundai spec OEM SPIII. I
    have no qualms or arguments, per se, against synthetic lubricants, as
    I use Mobil 1 for the engine. However, the "SPIII-approved" worries
    me.

    One would think that they should know what they're doing, but you
    never know, as I don't want to cause a problem with a perfectly
    operating transmission in our 2006 Elantra. The Maintenance Schedule
    calls for "service service" replacement of the ATF at 30K miles or 24
    months. The car is 24 months old, but only has 13K miles on the
    clock. It does see mostly in town, stop and go driving, which
    certainly qualifies as severe service. I want to adhere to not only
    the intent, but the letter, of Hyundai's preventive maintenance
    schedule, so that down the road there is absolutly no question
    regarding proper and timely preventive maintenance should a warranty
    repair question arise.

    Any thoughts on this would be certainly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Don
     
    dsallen69, Jan 5, 2008
    #1
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  2. dsallen69

    dsallen69 Guest

    I apologize for the typo in the 4th line of the 3rd paragraph.
    Obviously, I meant to type "severe service."
     
    dsallen69, Jan 5, 2008
    #2
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  3. That certainly beats the dealership near me, who said they use Dexron/
    Mercon. I'm never going back to them.
     
    Matthew Fedder, Jan 5, 2008
    #3
  4. I guess I am as curious as you are, as I am not aware of a synthetic out
    there (at least yet) that specifically lists "SP-III" as one of the fluids
    approved for use.

    In fact, only recently, and for the first time, have I seen a fluid that
    actually lists SP-III by name. You can get it from AutoZone, and it is
    called, "Import Multi-Vehicle ATF." Haven't used it, so I currently have no
    comment on it.

    I have used ATF+4 (Chrysler) in one vehicle, without any problems. But
    bluntly, if the synthetic still seems to be a "Dexron-Mercon" based fluid, I
    would avoid it. That is one fluid, synthetic or not, that apparently can
    cause problems.
     
    Rev. Tom Wenndt, Jan 6, 2008
    #4
  5. dsallen69

    Don Guest

    Although I made an appointment for later this week to have the ATF
    changed by this dealer, I'm going to cancel the appointment. I don't
    feel comfortable with their assertion that the synthetic ATF is "SP-
    III-approved." I would rather have them use genuine SP-III. If I
    can't find a dealer who will use what's specified by Hyundai, then I
    will drain and refill the transmission myself. I know this method
    doesn't drain the fluid from the toque converter, cooler, and lines,
    but if I were to perform a simple drain and refill with SP-III every
    year, I would think that this process should provide benefits in the
    long-term.

    I guess I'm confused why an authorized Hyundai dealer doesn't use the
    fluids specified by the manufacturer! This is exactly why I've become
    so paranoid with some dealer's service departments, and perform most
    of the maintenance on my cars myself.
     
    Don, Jan 6, 2008
    #5
  6. dsallen69

    nick Guest


    Most people would think that this is the case. However unless it
    states it in the dealers contract that they must use OEM fluid and
    parts, they can use whatever they want. Even the parts don't have to
    be Hyundai OEM although most dealers do it as they can mark them up
    substantially.

    I know on Hondas the only thing the dealer is required to change with
    OEM is the oil filter. Putting on anything else violates the dealer
    agreement with Honda. They can however use the cheapest crud of oil
    they can find. That's why I change all my fluids. This way I know
    what's in my car.
     
    nick, Jan 6, 2008
    #6
  7. dsallen69

    hyundaitech Guest

    You're correct to have great concern. There's no way I would have this
    service performed at this dealer at this mileage.

    First, there's no real reason to change the fluid other than the fact that
    the manual has a time requirement. Transmission fluid doesn't
    significantly degrade over time. Mileage is the key component. Also
    check the definition of severe service in your manual. While I'm not
    familiar with your driving, I feel safe in saying that few people who
    drive 6500 miles a year would qualify for the severe service conditions
    for transmission fluid change. Under normal driving, fluid change is
    required every 105,000 miles, although the fluid must be checked every
    30,000 and changed at that time if the condition warrants. (There are
    also what I consider irrelevant time intervals equal to 15k/year).

    Furthermore, the service the manual is talking about is draining and
    refilling your transmission. There's absolutely no need to flush a
    transmission at 30k miles. Even on the severe service schedule, using the
    time interval rather than mileage, you're meeting guidelines if you pull
    the plug from the bottom of the transmission and refill (about 5 quarts).
    Like you, I'd find this favorable to a flush with questionable fluid.
    Purchase 5 quarts of fluid and a drain plug washer from the dealer of your
    choice. If you've got a funnel, a drain pan, and a 24mm socket or wrench,
    this job is a snap.
     
    hyundaitech, Jan 6, 2008
    #7
  8. dsallen69

    Don Guest

    Thanks Hyundaitech . . . According to the owner's manual maintenance
    schedule, the specified service for the automatic transmission at 30K
    miles or 24 months is "inspection of the ATF" under normal service,
    and "replacement of the ATF" under severe service. Severe service is
    defined in the owner's manual as: repeatedly driving short distances
    of less than 5 miles in normal temperatures or less than 10 miles in
    freezing temperatures (my wife drives 4 miles to work one way each day
    in the city, and we live in central Illinois where temps were 0
    degrees a few days ago), frequent stop-and-go conditions (this is
    again the case with my wife driving to work in the city) - these are
    but two of the severe service conditions the car experiences, hence my
    desire to adhere to the severe service maintenance schedule.

    I will follow your recommendation, and only drain the fluid from the
    transmission's pan, and refill with SP-III. Since the 2006 Elantra
    only has around 12,800 miles, and averaging around 6,500 miles a year,
    I would think that draining the fluid every 24 months with a refill
    with Hyundai SP-III should be sufficient to maintain Hyundai's
    powertrain warranty. I am very fastidious on maintaining not only the
    online Hyundai service log, but the maintenance log that came with the
    Elantra, my own service log, and filing all receipts for all self-
    performed work in a file. Hopefully, this will be sufficient data
    should a warranty claim ever be required.

    I'm really mystified why a Hyundai dealer would use anything else but
    SP-III ATF, especially with all of the reported failures of Hyundai,
    Kia, and Mitsu automatic transmissions due to the use of incompatible
    ATF.
     
    Don, Jan 6, 2008
    #8
  9. Don't forget that KIA dealers sell genuine SP-III as well - often for
    much less than the Hyundai dealers.
     
    Matthew Fedder, Jan 6, 2008
    #9
  10. dsallen69

    Don Guest

    Thanks Matthew. The local Hyundai dealer is also the local Kia
    dealer. This dealer has a brand new mega-store complex with over
    1,500 vehicles in stock that has Toyota, Scion, Mazda, VW, Hyundai,
    Kia, Mitsubishi, and Chrysler franchises. Toyota/Scion has a
    standalone building and service center (a franchise requirement), as
    does VW. Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Chrysler share the same
    huge showroom building, and a separate super-service center. The
    super-service center is gorgeous with a stone interior, restrooms that
    would make a nice hotel jealous, plasma TVs, free Wi-Fi, free designer
    coffee and munchies, and leather seating. All of these amenities are
    moot if they don't use the correct ATF for my Elantra!
     
    Don, Jan 7, 2008
    #10
  11. dsallen69

    southluke Guest

    Not sure if the Elantra is the same as 02 Sonata, bu
    the factory service manual has instructions for replacing th
    transmission fluid which go beyond just draining and refill

    1. Disconnect hose that goes between transmission and radiator.
    took it off at the radiator
    2. Start engine in neutral and run one minute
    3. Remove plug on transmission and drain fluid
    4. Replace drain plug and fill with fluid
    5. Start engine and run one minute
    6. Reconnect hose removed in step 1
    7. Fill with fluid and you're good to go

    I did this and it took around 8.5 quarts of fluid at $5.50 per quart.
    The transmission holds a little over 8 quarts. With 70,000 miles o
    the car, the fluid ws not very dirty but it is done. The Hyunda
    fluid turns brown pretty quickly compared to normal transmissio
    fluids so this may not be a good indicator of condition
     
    southluke, Jan 7, 2008
    #11
  12. A question for you, Mr. HyundaiTech about changing the fluid. You
    recommended a new drain plug washer. But on both of my older Kia Sedonas
    (2002 and 2004), the drain plug dropped right onto a frame rail. You had to
    keep the pan pretty close to that frame rail to keep the fluid from
    splattering all over everywhere.

    There was no way, from what I could tell, to get that drain plug completely
    off to change that washer, thanks to that frame rail. When the fluid was
    all drained out, I just made sure it was significantly re-tightened with the
    same washer. To my knowledge, it never leaked.

    Did I miss something? Is there a way to get that off to change that washer?

    One more question. My son has an '02 Elantra that is about due for the
    drain and refill. Would that also be about 5 quarts?

    Thanks for your help.
     
    Rev. Tom Wenndt, Jan 7, 2008
    #12
  13. dsallen69

    hyundaitech Guest

    I'm not sure I've ever done this on a Sedona. If I recall correctly, I
    left the Kia dealer in 2003, about two years after the Sedona was
    introduced. If I've done it, I've never had the "stopped by the frame"
    issue you describe. I'd remember something like that. It's possible that
    the plug needed to be cocked to the side a little to bypass the frame.
    That I wouldn't remember.

    And in regard to the Elantra, yes, about 5 quarts.
     
    hyundaitech, Jan 9, 2008
    #13
  14. dsallen69

    Don Allen Guest

    FWIW, I'm losing faith and confidence in my local Hyundai dealer,
    although the very few times I've required warranty service, they've
    been very responsive and good. In my earlier posts, I mentioned
    their plan to use "SP-III-approved synthetic" ATF, of which we all now
    know there is no such beast, in a routine service of my 2006 Elantra's
    automatic transmission. Here's my last experience this morning. I
    went to their Parts Department and asked for a drain plug washer for
    the automatic transmission sump, and they had none. It is a non-
    stocked part at this dealership - interesting.

    But, what's even more interesting, is their price for Hyundai SP-III
    ATF. I've noted a number of price complaints on SP-III ATF here on
    Usenet groups, and on Edmunds.com. The generally accepted price is
    somewhere around $6.50 per quart, sometime a bit higher. This dealer
    sells the 00230-11000 Hyundai SP-III ATF for $10.09 per quart!
    Another Hyundai dealer 30 miles east sells it for $6.51 per quart. I
    know dealers can set their prices anywhere they wish, but this is
    somewhat ridiculous.

    Remember the Hyundai Parts Website that was recently taken offline? I
    used it a few times to purchase parts, and it was easy to use, and a
    real time saver. There were some later discussions on why Hyundai
    took the website down for use by owners. The general consensus was
    that some dealers may have complained since the website allowed owners
    to purchase parts at the real MSRP price of the part, accessory, etc.
    There is no doubt in my mind now that this was, and is, the case.
    Simply, some dealers are simply overcharging. Caveat Emptor - let the
    buyer beware was never more applicable than in this case.

    I think I will take my business elsewhere whenever I need OEM parts,
    accessories, or fluids for my Elantra.
     
    Don Allen, Jan 9, 2008
    #14
  15. Hey, Don, don't ever feel a conscience over doing something like that.

    I have two Hyundia/Kia dealers in the area (and actually a third one within
    50 miles - no experience with them). One is a peach, has sold me all my
    vehicles, and has been magnificent with service. Their parts department
    even gives me all the drain plug washers (oil, not transmission fluid) that
    I need free of charge.

    The other one is a blemish to the names of Hyundai and Kia. Their
    salespeople are underhanded and very disreputable, and their service
    department has one of the worst reputations of any dealer in the area (and
    there are a lot of area dealerships). But, for whatever reason, their
    parts, especially their SP-III tranny fluid, are priced a little cheaper
    than the other dealer. Since they are a little closer, and I am in that
    neighborhood a bit, I do buy parts from them, even if that is all they will
    EVER get from me.
     
    Rev. Tom Wenndt, Jan 9, 2008
    #15
  16. Trouble is, Mr. HyundaiTech, no matter how much you twist or turn it, it
    can't come out. The transmission drain plug is just plain too long, and the
    rail is just plain too close to the opening..

    But if your dealership is Hyundai only, and not Hyundai/Kia (as all of my
    area dealerships are), I will apologize to all for bringing this onto a
    Hyundai chat group.
     
    Rev. Tom Wenndt, Jan 9, 2008
    #16
  17. Does anyone know of a website where we can share this kind of
    information with others? I feel like naming names..
     
    Matthew Fedder, Jan 10, 2008
    #17
  18. dsallen69

    Flashgordon8753

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    You do not have to change the transmission fluid after only 12,000 miles , just check it make sure its full with car running and hot , Sounds wrong but that's how you check auto trans fluid also you can get sp-2/sp-3 at wall-mart and ts perfectly safe to use..yes you should use Sp-3 but it does not have to be dealer brand..thats only a way to get you to pay more money making you think you cant go wrong if its from dealer..I have seen so many people waist so much money because they are scared to use anything but dealer items..the dealer does not make it..it all come from the same oil company and just labeled different..as a example my brother wife had a 2000 Hyundia accent the dealer told her it needed a new O2 sensor the bill was just over 500.00 I flipped out being a mechanic myself i went back got the service manager and asked him to come outside to her car , then i opened the hood and the 02 sensor is rite there .nothing in the way and they screw in like a spark plug , even easier on accents , i asked were is 500.00 worth of work ? i showed him it took me less then 2 minutes to remove it plus they cost only 20 to 40 bucks to start he tried to say well a computer comes up with the price Blah Blah Blah ..after a few minutes he agreed and gave her back 450.00 ...People please do not think the dealers have better stuff or do better work..all dealers charge way to much they pray on people who think if the bought brand X they better go to that dealer ..yes there are some bad mechanics out there but do your homework and first ask for a price from dealer then maybe 2 other mechanics then look up the parts online to double check the prices ..you will find that anybody who knows anything about fixing cars knows the dealer is the last place to buy from..only go there for stuff covered under warranty...i have seen 25 dollar jobs turned into 600.00 jobs at dealerships ..so as far as Sp-2 or Sp-3 look up the difference there the same sp-3 and any brand that says its sp-2 or sp-3 is the exact same..just 100s cheaper then buying from dealer whos only difference is a lable
    ..Take care and i hope this helps...Dont just give away huge amounts of money ..
     
    Flashgordon8753, Aug 22, 2018
    #18
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