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posted: 7/6/2014 12:01 AM

No harm in changing fluids early

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Q. I have a 2012 Hyundai Sonata with the 2.0-Turbo engine. Current mileage is 34,000. My Hyundai dealer is recommending I have the following service done:

• Transmission flush (exchange)

• Coolant flush

• Fuel system flush

I checked the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual, which states these items don't need attention with 34,000 miles. The dealer says the owner's manual is written for several models and that the engineers recommend these items be done now. Is he correct?

A. While I don't necessarily agree with the dealer's comment about the manual not being specifically for your car, I do think that performing those recommendations at 30,000 miles is a good idea.

You did not indicate whether you have a manual or an automatic transmission but I will assume automatic. According to the data we have on your car, the manufacturer requires you to change the transmission fluid and the coolant at 60,000 miles. While changing it at the 60,000 mile mark will protect your warranty status, I think it's in your best interest to change it now.

It is the desire of the manufacturer to get the car comfortably through the warranty period. However, I would guess, like most of us, you would like to drive this car for more miles than that. Keeping all the fluids in the car clean and well maintained is the best way to ward off major component failure and reduce the cost of ownership.

• Douglas Automotive is at 417 W. Main St., Barrington, (847) 381-0454, and 123 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0440. For information, visit Send questions to

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