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I recently hit the 30,000 km mark, so I visited my local Kia dealer, where I had the fuse recall, oil change, and rear brake service done. They gave me 2 free oil changes when I bought it.

They recommended that I have the alignment checked, both filters, and a fuel system cleaning! I declined all.

In your experience, which of the"dealer services" are money well spent? My last car was an Elantra Touring which needed frequent attention to the brakes. This 2020 Sportage LX needed front rotors when I bought it at 18,000km, so the rear brake service made sense.

I plan to run full synthetic oil going forward, and Top Tier gas as much as possible.
 

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I recently hit the 30,000 km mark, so I visited my local Kia dealer, where I had the fuse recall, oil change, and rear brake service done. They gave me 2 free oil changes when I bought it.

They recommended that I have the alignment checked, both filters, and a fuel system cleaning! I declined all.

In your experience, which of the"dealer services" are money well spent? My last car was an Elantra Touring which needed frequent attention to the brakes. This 2020 Sportage LX needed front rotors when I bought it at 18,000km, so the rear brake service made sense.

I plan to run full synthetic oil going forward, and Top Tier gas as much as possible.
I decline all "dealer services" and change the air filters myself because it is so easy to do. So it's only a full synthetic oil change and oil filter most of the time. The dealer will "inspect" the car for no charge and tell you if there is a problem. In fact, when they attach the computer to your car, any problem or service codes will show up. As for alignment, if your tires are wearing evenly and you don't feel vibrations, that does not need to be checked. Rear brake service does not need to be done when the fronts are done as the front brakes takes most of the stopping power. Look in your user's manual for maintenance items that need to be done and don't listen to your dealer. Make sure you check the air in your tires at least once a month and your tires should be rotated when the fronts start showing more wear than the backs. If you use Top Tier gas, then you don't need any fuel additives or cleaning except for what is listed in the manual. Remember, there is a subnote in your manual that says if you use Top Tier gas you don't need fuel additives.
 

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I recently hit the 30,000 km mark, so I visited my local Kia dealer, where I had the fuse recall, oil change, and rear brake service done. They gave me 2 free oil changes when I bought it.

They recommended that I have the alignment checked, both filters, and a fuel system cleaning! I declined all.

In your experience, which of the"dealer services" are money well spent? My last car was an Elantra Touring which needed frequent attention to the brakes. This 2020 Sportage LX needed front rotors when I bought it at 18,000km, so the rear brake service made sense.

I plan to run full synthetic oil going forward, and Top Tier gas as much as possible.
I do most of my own work. rvoll is right about the fuel system. Good gas is all you need for a clean fuel system. However, these are direct injection engines. Rather than try to explain it there are tons of You Tube videos explaining the difference. I use CRC cleaner to keep the intake valves clean of carbon. Their You Tube video is good. I do this to both Sportages every 15,000 miles. There is a process to this, but it's easy. There is a reason they give you a couple free oil changes, and you now see why. It takes a couple minutes to change a engine & cabin air filter. A novice could do it at 1/3 the cost of a dealer. I never do alignments unless I notice a wear difference on the tires. Technically, every time you hit a bump in the road the alignment should be checked.
120010
Liquid Fluid Paint Drink Automotive tire
 

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2021 Sportage S 2.4 FWD
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Toptier fuel should be considered. If you do not use toptier fuel, then you should consider a PEA based FI cleaning product. Any brand will work fine. The owners manual in the US mentions Top Tier fuel and additive intervals. It does not say that you do not need an additive if you use top tier. Even top tier is not perfect.

In fact, we won't bother plugging in a computer to the car unless their is a customer complaint or a SES/CEL. Using a computer is not part of a meaningless tech 'check list'. Its only part of a diagnostic.

What is considered a rear brake service in Canada? In rustbelt areas, had to do a lot of disassembly/reassembly of brakes for cleaning/lubing... even though pads/rotors were perfect. In other rustfree areas, until the pads/rotors were worn, nothing was touched. So, the term service means what? new pads/rotors or a can of brake cleaner and if you're lucky some caliper pin grease?

CRC is just one of a dozen intake valve and intake port cleaners. I've seen Hyundai/Kia intake manifolds that couldn't be reused during engine replacement because they couldn't be cleaned effectively. I personally don't think intake cleaners are doing a good enough or thorough job, especially when a customer stated he used one every year for the past 5 years over 50k miles. Could just need a better interval depending on driving style.

Alignments depends on your roads. If you have plenty of pot holes, hit curbs, ..... then don't bother with a 'check'. You should just do the 4 wheel alignment. And, I consider alignment a must for suspension part replacements and new tires. Vibrations would usually be tire caused and solved by roadforce or diagnostic wheel balance and not alignment. By now, any quality shop should have a higher end wheel balancer.
 

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Toptier fuel should be considered. If you do not use toptier fuel, then you should consider a PEA based FI cleaning product. Any brand will work fine. The owners manual in the US mentions Top Tier fuel and additive intervals. It does not say that you do not need an additive if you use top tier. Even top tier is not perfect.

In fact, we won't bother plugging in a computer to the car unless their is a customer complaint or a SES/CEL. Using a computer is not part of a meaningless tech 'check list'. Its only part of a diagnostic.

What is considered a rear brake service in Canada? In rustbelt areas, had to do a lot of disassembly/reassembly of brakes for cleaning/lubing... even though pads/rotors were perfect. In other rustfree areas, until the pads/rotors were worn, nothing was touched. So, the term service means what? new pads/rotors or a can of brake cleaner and if you're lucky some caliper pin grease?

CRC is just one of a dozen intake valve and intake port cleaners. I've seen Hyundai/Kia intake manifolds that couldn't be reused during engine replacement because they couldn't be cleaned effectively. I personally don't think intake cleaners are doing a good enough or thorough job, especially when a customer stated he used one every year for the past 5 years over 50k miles. Could just need a better interval depending on driving style.

Alignments depends on your roads. If you have plenty of pot holes, hit curbs, ..... then don't bother with a 'check'. You should just do the 4 wheel alignment. And, I consider alignment a must for suspension part replacements and new tires. Vibrations would usually be tire caused and solved by roadforce or diagnostic wheel balance and not alignment. By now, any quality shop should have a higher end wheel balancer.
Actually the manual does say you don't need fuel additives with Top Tier fuels. In my manual, it's on page 1-4 in the introduction section. Read it..... This is a picture of deposit buildup with and without Top Tier gas....

120012
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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The pic above may be misleading as GDI engine has no gas 'washing' the valves during gas injection.
Still, top tier gas and somewhat frequent oil changes make very good sense. I change oil every 6K km in my cars.
 

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2020 Sportage lx
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do most of my own work. rvoll is right about the fuel system. Good gas is all you need for a clean fuel system. However, these are direct injection engines. Rather than try to explain it there are tons of You Tube videos explaining the difference. I use CRC cleaner to keep the intake valves clean of carbon. Their You Tube video is good. I do this to both Sportages every 15,000 miles. There is a process to this, but it's easy. There is a reason they give you a couple free oil changes, and you now see why. It takes a couple minutes to change a engine & cabin air filter. A novice could do it at 1/3 the cost of a dealer. I never do alignments unless I notice a wear difference on the tires. Technically, every time you hit a bump in the road the alignment should be checked. View attachment 120010 View attachment 120010
Toptier fuel should be considered. If you do not use toptier fuel, then you should consider a PEA based FI cleaning product. Any brand will work fine. The owners manual in the US mentions Top Tier fuel and additive intervals. It does not say that you do not need an additive if you use top tier. Even top tier is not perfect.

In fact, we won't bother plugging in a computer to the car unless their is a customer complaint or a SES/CEL. Using a computer is not part of a meaningless tech 'check list'. Its only part of a diagnostic.

What is considered a rear brake service in Canada? In rustbelt areas, had to do a lot of disassembly/reassembly of brakes for cleaning/lubing... even though pads/rotors were perfect. In other rustfree areas, until the pads/rotors were worn, nothing was touched. So, the term service means what? new pads/rotors or a can of brake cleaner and if you're lucky some caliper pin grease?

CRC is just one of a dozen intake valve and intake port cleaners. I've seen Hyundai/Kia intake manifolds that couldn't be reused during engine replacement because they couldn't be cleaned effectively. I personally don't think intake cleaners are doing a good enough or thorough job, especially when a customer stated he used one every year for the past 5 years over 50k miles. Could just need a better interval depending on driving style.

Alignments depends on your roads. If you have plenty of pot holes, hit curbs, ..... then don't bother with a 'check'. You should just do the 4 wheel alignment. And, I consider alignment a must for suspension part replacements and new tires. Vibrations would usually be tire caused and solved by roadforce or diagnostic wheel balance and not alignment. By now, any quality shop should have a higher end wheel balancer.
The rear brake service consisted of removing and lubing the calipers. Nothing else mentioned on the invoice. There is tons of winter salt on the roads here in southern Ontario. I'm aware of the GDI engine mechanics, so definately run top tier gas most of the time. I'm the only one ever to drive the car, so I know it hasn't bumped any curbs or unusual potholes. Thanks for your feedback.
 

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The pic above may be misleading as GDI engine has no gas 'washing' the valves during gas injection.
Still, top tier gas and somewhat frequent oil changes make very good sense. I change oil every 6K km in my cars.
The picture is a representation of carbon build-up so it still applies. However, you are technically correct. However, frequent oil changes are just not needed anymore as they were in our older cars. I know as I've had my oil tested at 7500 miles during two of my oil changes and the oil was just fine. The first time was the oil that came with the car and the second time was full synthetic. Even with that first oil change, I still had a good level of additives although I doubt that I had another 2K miles. It wasn't even close with full synthetic. Because of the additives in modern oil, the oil gets dark very quickly with heat, so you can't use oil color as a way of determining when the oil should be changed as we did years ago. I suggest you use science/technology and have your oil tested if you don't believe me.... I always test the oil on every new car I buy at the first oil change because I'm an old guy who remembers the past. After doing this several times, I may not do this again on my next car....
 

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I do know that oil would still have life left as far as additives go but GDI engines contaminate it with abrasive material which is mostly carbon and that reduces life of main crankshaft but mostly rod bearings that can be span and engine will be basically a toast since repairing it at a shop's cost is cost prohibitive thus they replace engines. This is my opinion and I'd rather change oil more often and not have to deal with engine repair or replacement.
 

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I do know that oil would still have life left as far as additives go but GDI engines contaminate it with abrasive material which is mostly carbon and that reduces life of main crankshaft but mostly rod bearings that can be span and engine will be basically a toast since repairing it at a shop's cost is cost prohibitive thus they replace engines. This is my opinion and I'd rather change oil more often and not have to deal with engine repair or replacement.
Again, get your oil tested. After 7500 miles, there were minimal contaminants -- far below even the recommended minimum. Full synthetic oil at light weights produce far fewer contaminants than in the past. Technology changes as time progresses and sticking with old ideas only costs you more money and time. I hate doing completely unnecessary things....
 

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I do my oil changes at 5,000 miles, always with new filters and full synthetic.

I am 100% confident that the oil I drain has many more miles left in it, actually it probably hasn't even started degrading - at the price I pay for the oil, filter, DIY, I enjoy the confidence knowing that the oil changes are being done well in advance of the onset of degradation.

The Blackstone Lab cost for a standard analysis is only $30, so would agree that those that feel the need to extend their oil changes be guided by the analysis results, which would only need to be done once or twice to establish your max mileage between changes.

 

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I do my oil changes at 5,000 miles, always with new filters and full synthetic.

I am 100% confident that the oil I drain has many more miles left in it, actually it probably hasn't even started degrading - at the price I pay for the oil, filter, DIY, I enjoy the confidence knowing that the oil changes are being done well in advance of the onset of degradation.

The Blackstone Lab cost for a standard analysis is only $30, so would agree that those that feel the need to extend their oil changes be guided by the analysis results, which would only need to be done once or twice to establish your max mileage between changes.

That's my schedule, 5,000 miles with Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic. I save my old oil, as I am a proud owner of a 2010 Jeep JK with the notorious 3.8 V-6 engine. "At the gas station, you check the gas and fill it with oil".
 

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I do my oil changes at 5,000 miles, always with new filters and full synthetic.

I am 100% confident that the oil I drain has many more miles left in it, actually it probably hasn't even started degrading - at the price I pay for the oil, filter, DIY, I enjoy the confidence knowing that the oil changes are being done well in advance of the onset of degradation.

The Blackstone Lab cost for a standard analysis is only $30, so would agree that those that feel the need to extend their oil changes be guided by the analysis results, which would only need to be done once or twice to establish your max mileage between changes.

I used to do the same as you about 10 years ago. Then, as part of a car club event, I had the chance to speak with an engine designer who said that modern oils, especially full synthetics, have lives far beyond what is recommended by the manufacturer. He said the car companies know this, but want to support their dealers and shorter intervals equal more service profits. Full synthetics have lives beyond 10,000 miles and that has been proven by much testing. We've got to get over this mindset that the limits shown in the manual are extreme -- they are not -- they are extremely conservative because car companies don't want their warranties to cost a lot of money and some people put the cheapest oil possible and wait far beyond the intervals in the manual. This mindset comes from the olden days when we did oil changes every 3,000 miles, and a lot of us remember that. We used to have a lot of sludge and when the rings wore, there was blow-by and we would put in 40 or 50 weight oil just to keep the compression. Modern computer aided manufacturing and much thinner oils create much tighter tolerances and far less friction than in the past. So you don't have virtually any blow-by and ring wear is significantly less than in the past.

In our culture, there seems to be a hesitancy to trust science and technology even with testing results. So I push this issue not because you and other may be wasting some money -- oil changes don't cost that much -- but because I think it is important to try to understand the science and technology and know that we should be open to their advances. We see these anti-science views in vaccine hesitancy today. It's a constant battle, especially as we get older (and I'm a really old fart), to keep up with and be excited about technological advances.

I know that you and others do what you do because you think there is significant risk in doing what the manual says. Obviously, if you felt that there was little or no risk, you wouldn't do it. Sometimes, when you are a car nut, like most of us, you remember the past and related concerns. That said, the vast majority of people, who aren't car nuts, just follow the manual. Younger car owners who are familiar with technology, also just follow the manual. I was worried enough about this issue to get my oil tested several times I guess because I had a science background and do trust test results. I've done enough testing to know that the oil change intervals, especially with full synthetics, are extremely conservative and safe. I'm finally over this issue and will no longer do oil tests....
 
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I don't trust science 100% but it's a good indicator. I have the dealer change my oil at 6000 miles or 6 months. It's cheap peace of mind.
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I don't trust science 100% but it's a good indicator. I have the dealer change my oil at 6000 miles or 6 months. It's cheap peace of mind.
View attachment 120043
That's not science, that's advertising. Please don't confuse the two. Science depends on data and utilizing the scientific method. None of those examples ask the question of whether using those products is good for your health. That's what a true scientist would ask. Advertising (and I was in marketing and advertising for Fortune 100 companies for half of my career) asks whether a specific advertising statement is true given market (not scientific) research. If we take the pandemic, for example, at the beginning all a scientist could do was analyze the data they had. When more data comes in, many times conclusions for the scientists change. The change is based on data and research, not political views.

As a person trained in science (chemistry was one of my majors), I cringe at the statement that someone doesn't trust science. It is not something you either trust or not trust -- it is about data and objective analysis. When a new piece of data comes in, that has to be reconciled with former conclusions. Theories need to be tested. So if you have a question about the quality of your oil, you test it. You then get results. If the testing methodology is sound, then you need to accept the results.

MOD note: you know the rules regarding politics.
 

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I could show many more examples that have nothing to do with health (not the point of my post) at all, but will not pursue it. Science is not infallible.
 

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I could show many more examples that have nothing to do with health (not the point of my post) at all, but will not pursue it. Science is not infallible.
You know as well as I that this is not scientific theory -- it is testing results that has been done for decades. The companies that do the testing are well respected by everyone. Are you saying the tests are questionable? Can you show me examples in scientific papers and not ads? There are charlatans who sell snake oil using pseudo scientific pronouncements. We see this all of the time in the auto industry.

Consumer Reports actually did a test of oil used for 3,000 miles and 6,000 miles and found practically no difference in additive or contamination levels. And this was regular oil and not synthetics. They started to find a significant drop at 9,000 miles with regular oil, however. Today's synthetics have been tested beyond 20,000 and 30,000 miles and were still functional after that time. There is no risk in going the full period in the manual with synthetics -- none at all. If there weren't a warranty, I would go 10,000 miles based on the testing with full synthetics. Honda recommends 7500 miles like my EX. Audi recommends 10,000 miles. BMW now recommends 15,000 miles between changes with full synthetics. The only reason lower cost cars have lower mileage recommendations is more money for dealers service departments.

You can live in the past, or understand that oil now is much better than the oil you used 10 years ago... And engines have much better tolerances.

This is from the Mobil 1 website:

"Mobil 1™ Annual Protection motor oil has been tested and proven to provide outstanding performance and engine protection for one year or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, to help ensure continuation of your manufacturer’s new car warranty while using Mobil 1 Annual Protection motor oil, we recommend the following:
  • If your vehicle is covered by a warranty, follow the vehicle’s oil life monitor or the oil change interval recommended in your owner’s manual to avoid a disruption in your vehicle warranty.
  • Follow the oil change interval in your owner’s manual if your vehicle is operated in any of these severe service conditions: racing or commercial applications including taxis, limousines, etc.; frequent towing or hauling; extremely dusty or dirty conditions; or under excessive idling conditions."
I have yet to find any reputable car manufacturer, car organization or car magazine or even Consumer Reports that officially recommends more oil changes than you find in the manual. And yet, so many "knowledgeable" car geeks won't listen to any of them. I just don't understand that line of thinking where people trust Joe Blow on a blog more than they do anyone else.... Oh, well....
 
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