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#4503107 - 08/31/17 08:42 AM MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra
smc733 Offline


Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 283
Loc: Massachusetts
Hi All,

Based on some great advice in my brakes thread, the Centric rotors and Posi-Quiet pads are doing very well! The pads have a nice feel, and are dead silent on the new rotors. The work to rehab my wife's somewhat neglected Elantra is now almost complete.

I want to do the transmission fluid at the 60k interval (along with M1 + OEM filter). I will not be doing this myself due to time and resource constraints, and I have two options:
-Dealer service - $189 using Hyundai OEM fluid
-NTB - $109 using MaxLife ATF

I've seen some posts where users feel MaxLife is actually a step up from a lot of OEM fluids, which is the main reason I want to ask. I'm not sensitive to price on this, since $80 is not much for this in the grand scheme of things. For all the concerns of national chains, there is an NTB near me where I have had some work done previously, and I know the store manager, they do good work at this one.


Edited by smc733 (08/31/17 08:43 AM)
_________________________
2016 Hyundai Sonata SE
2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS

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#4503120 - 08/31/17 08:54 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
PhillyJoe Offline


Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 656
Loc: PA
I have used Maxlife in the two Sonatas in our extended family. Make sure your estimates are apples to apples. Drain and fill or flush and fill?
A drain and fill might be 3-4 quarts and if you did that 3x at $25/gallon for the Maxlife, you are at $75 DIY. If the services are the same, I would choose the NTB if you are comfortable with the manager.

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#4503131 - 08/31/17 09:02 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: PhillyJoe]
smc733 Offline


Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 283
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: PhillyJoe
I have used Maxlife in the two Sonatas in our extended family. Make sure your estimates are apples to apples. Drain and fill or flush and fill?
A drain and fill might be 3-4 quarts and if you did that 3x at $25/gallon for the Maxlife, you are at $75 DIY. If the services are the same, I would choose the NTB if you are comfortable with the manager.


Good point on comparable services. I believe they are both flushes, but will confirm for sure. I've done two drain & fill on my Corolla (now at 95k), and that route has been fine there as well.
_________________________
2016 Hyundai Sonata SE
2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS

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#4503134 - 08/31/17 09:05 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
SevenBizzos Offline


Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 693
Loc: The IL
Used MaxLife on the old Elantra and our current Sonata. Worked great and no problems. Last I heard, Hyundai was still spewing "Hyundai fluid only", but I don't visit their dealerships anymore (because of this and other reasons).

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#4503141 - 08/31/17 09:11 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: PhillyJoe]
khittner Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 313
Loc: Michigan
Maxlife is fine; it's full-synthetic and I've used it for the last 150K miles in my '02 Camry that now has 263K miles on it---and it still shifts very smoothly and reliably. If your '11 Elantra's transmission is like my '10 Sonata's, the Hyundai transmission has no serviceable filter without transmission removal and disassembly--which your dealer isn't going to be doing for $189---so, there is no pan to drop or filter for the dealer to replace for his $189. More likely, they'll be hooking up their BG flush machine. I'm not a transmission flush fan; in a no-pan, no-filter transmission like these (we had a Honda with a tranny like this, too) just regular drain and fills are fine. I inherited Dad's '10 Sonata at 62K miles, and the transmission hadn't been serviced and fluid looked pretty black-ish. I did a couple of drain and fills, and the fluid looks much better and shifts fine at 86K miles. I'll do it another drain and fill at 90K miles, and then every 30K after that.

You should also check to see if there are any TSBs for your transmission; there was one for the '10 Sonata transmission that required a dealer reflash of the transmission software, and it completely resolved a hard 2-1 downshift that, early on, had me thinking that Dad's transmission was not long for the world. Works fine ever since the reflash.

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#4503148 - 08/31/17 09:15 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
pbm Offline


Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York
I am running Maxlife ATF in my daughters 08' Elantra without issues....in fact it runs excellent on it.
When you drop the fluid only about 2 quarts comes out so I do it every year (after doing it 2 or 3 times initially). It's easier than changing oil so I wouldn't pay somebody to do it.
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'Journalism is Dead'

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#4503164 - 08/31/17 09:31 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
Jimzz Offline


Registered: 10/03/14
Posts: 1147
Loc: NoVA
I have used maxlife in many newer and older Kias and Hyundais. No problems and works great.
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yup

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#4503192 - 08/31/17 10:10 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
smc733 Offline


Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 283
Loc: Massachusetts
Sounds like a lot of support for MaxLife + drain & fill in here so far! I'm hoping the fluid change helps the somewhat harsh (compared to my Corolla) shifting that occurs between 1-2-3, mostly when cold. I'll also check to see if there are any outsanding TSBs, though I did have the dealer do all outstanding ones last summer, and I don't recall either of the two being for the trasnmission.

The plan is to regular D&F every 30k from here out, along with the 7,500 OCI.


Edited by smc733 (08/31/17 10:10 AM)
_________________________
2016 Hyundai Sonata SE
2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS

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#4503200 - 08/31/17 10:25 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6220
Loc: MI
$189 seems too cheap for a fluid exchange with SP4-M. Dealers in my area are charging $18 per quart for it. When I investigated this in my area this past spring, I found out that service advisors were not well informed on transmission fluid changes. What really shocked me is that ALL (8) dealers in my area use BG ATF fluids, even during warranty periods. One Jeep dealer used Maxlife. Nothing wrong with BG fluid, but it really puts a damper on the notion that a person should only use OEM ATF fluids.

Be wary that service advisors may not be giving out accurate estimates.

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#4503202 - 08/31/17 10:30 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: doitmyself]
smc733 Offline


Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 283
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
$189 seems too cheap for a fluid exchange with SP4-M. Dealers in my area are charging $18 per quart for it. When I investigated this in my area this past spring, I found out that service advisors were not well informed on transmission fluid changes. What really shocked me is that ALL (8) dealers in my area use BG ATF fluids, even during warranty periods. One Jeep dealer used Maxlife. Nothing wrong with BG fluid, but it really puts a damper on the notion that a person should only use OEM ATF fluids. Be wary that service advisors may not be giving out accurate estimates.


Hmm, I'll give the dealer a call shortly to find out. What's so strange is a drain and fill in my Corolla was $99 using Toyota WS ATF. If the dealer isn't going to use SP4-M, anyway, then there's really no point in going to them. If this car wasn't so picky about oil filters, I wouldn't take it there for oil changes either. Hyundai dealers are generally a notch below Toyota/Honda in terms of service and quality, in my experience. Unfortunately, I am growing to like Hyundai cars much more these days.
_________________________
2016 Hyundai Sonata SE
2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS

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#4503228 - 08/31/17 11:09 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2230
Loc: The Northeast
IMO, if ML can be used in your application, you're good to go. Just remember that ML may cause different shift characteristics (not necessarily better or worse - just different). With a flush, the tranny will be all ML, making those characteristics more pronounced versus if you just did a drain & fill.

FWIW, I just did a ML D&F in my Honda and am pleased. When I gun it, the shifts are a little firmer but I don't mind.
_________________________
2018 Hyundai Elantra VE -- 3K
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD -- 55K
2002 Honda Accord EX-L -- 210K


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#4503232 - 08/31/17 11:12 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10172
Loc: OH
Originally Posted By: smc733
Hmm, I'll give the dealer a call shortly to find out. What's so strange is a drain and fill in my Corolla was $99 using Toyota WS ATF. If the dealer isn't going to use SP4-M, anyway, then there's really no point in going to them. If this car wasn't so picky about oil filters, I wouldn't take it there for oil changes either. Hyundai dealers are generally a notch below Toyota/Honda in terms of service and quality, in my experience. Unfortunately, I am growing to like Hyundai cars much more these days.


For $20 plus the cost of fluid ~ $20 = $40 you could have an ASE Master mechanic do the fluid change for you. Look on CL and type in the words "ASE Master". Not sure where you're located in Mass but in Boston you would have these options to choose from:

https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/aos/d/must-see-brakes-and-much-more/6287779652.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/search/nos/aos?query=ase+master

Not that it's a for sure thing but it sure weeds out a lot of bad ones for a very simple service.


Edited by SatinSilver (08/31/17 11:15 AM)

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#4503294 - 08/31/17 11:58 AM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
smc733 Offline


Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 283
Loc: Massachusetts
Update on pricing and services:

The $109 at NTB is a flush w/MaxLife, $89 for D&F. The $189 at the $tealer is a drain & fill only, though with OEM fluid. Seems like letting NTB do the flush is the way to go.
_________________________
2016 Hyundai Sonata SE
2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS

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#4503585 - 08/31/17 05:05 PM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
slacktide_bitog Offline


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6172
Loc: USA
Don't flush an automatic transmission. Especially one so new. Just get the drain and fill at NTB with Maxlife.

And like others have said, there's no guarantee that the dealer will use OEM dealer ATF, and the Hyundai OEM ATF isn't anything special anyway smile

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#4503650 - 08/31/17 06:06 PM Re: MaxLife or Hyundai ATF for 2011 Elantra [Re: smc733]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6220
Loc: MI
Actually, the SP4-M has been discussed here as a very high quality synthetic fluid. And, today's fluid exchange machines to replace most of the fluid are no more harmful than any of us doing a cooler line exchange. I think it would be best to get as much of the original wear matter out of the tranny as possible.

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