Guidance on Car Maintenance (Kia Sportage 2015)

Hello everyone, I need some guidance on how to maintain my Kia Sportage 2015 to make sure it will last me for a long time.

What things should I be considering when maintaining the car? Should I take it to a place like "mycar" or a garage and pay them to do everything, or learn to do a few things myself? I'm not on a tight budget, but don't want to overspend or be scammed.

What things should i be looking out for when checking my car? I was wondering how often and how should I pay attention to things like oil changes, brake fluid, brake wear, tyre wear, anti freezing fluid in the radiator, radiator water level, suspension, etc. Anything else i should be checking and how often?

A friend told me that I shouldn't worry about these things and that the car will alert me whenever something needs changing, but my gut tells me that i should still be doing a general check now and then.

I bought it a year and a half ago, just after arriving in Australia and don't really know how to maintain a car over here (overseas I would take to a friend who was a mechanic and he would take care of everything).

If this is not the place to ask, any tips on where to ask or look for this information would be really appreciated.

Cheers

Comments

  • +6 votes

    Step 1: Read the manual.

    It will include basic service guidance for your particular model, usage, climate etc.
    Than you can choose to take it to a mechanic or go the DIY path.

    •  

      Thanks, will give it a proper look. I skimmed through it a few days ago and got a little overwhelmed by the amount of pages and information.

  • +2 votes

    I take my Sportage 2017 QL to the Kia dealer that sold it to me. That's in part to keep the warranty, I do this to ensure there is no argy bargy IF there it happened to have a warranty issue. Believe me, I worked for one of the major 3 manufacturers for 33 years, and I know mine and other manufacturers / importers will grasp on any off standard service parts used like oil filters in the case of claims. I understand L*****Rov** were quite adept at this tactic.

    Returning to Kia, i do very few Kms per year, on my diesel unit the service cost can be quite high for certain services, IF you find the right service advisor you can often negotiate a much lower service cost, and agree the scope of such a service.

    •  

      Thanks, i checked the service manual/book and the previous owener took it to Kmart Tyre & Auto (which is now mycar tyre & auto i think) so i think the warranty might have already been voided. I could take it to kia to get at least one proper inspection and servicing, and then might continue down the kmart/mycar route.

      • +2 votes

        Warranty isn't voided if you don't take it back to Kia for servicing, as long as you go to a proper mechanic and they didn't screw it up (like using an incompatible oil). Going back to the brand's service center may make a warranty claim easier as they can't argue that your mechanic did something wrong (given that they ARE the mechanic). That being said, your 2015 Sportage probably only has around a year of warranty left given Kia has 7 years warranty.

        •  

          Thanks! yes, i think the manual said it has 7 years warranty, so will check with Kia first and continue doing the check with a proper mechanic

      • +1 vote

        The warranty should still be valid if the owner asked Kmart to do the required log book servicing. You don't have to take your car to Kia for the services to have been recognised for warranty purposes - any licensed mechanic can service your car.

    • -1 vote

      L*****Rov**

      Legend Rover?

  • +2 votes

    For maintainence, actively check that fluid levels are topped up. Listen for weird noises, sounds, and vibrations while driving which would indicate another problem.

    For oil changes, use recommended viscosity found in car manual and follow service interval. Brake fluid, flush according to service interval (generally every two years). Brake wear, take off wheel and measure inner and outer pads. Radiator, make sure topped up and flush according to service interval. Suspension (and other signs of wear), you'll hear or feel something and then you can investigate from there.

    Oil changes are easiest as you just have to remove oil drain plug and replace filter and check correct amount of oil has been used. Brake pad changes are easy too - take off wheel, take off caliper, replace brake pad. Brake and fluid flushes - just need to locate bleeding points - and can get a little messy. If you get it wrong you'll have to rebleed the whole system. Things like brake fluid/coolant fluid degrade over time and nothing 'dramatic' will happen if it still looks OK and you leave it in for longer, however it's good to flush these out periodically.

    I am a beginner in car DIY too, I think the actual procedures aren't too hard, but the knowledge surrounding each procedure is what's important. E.g. replacing brake pads are easy, but ideally you'd clean and relube slider pins, check caliper and brake assembly for wear (also clean), check tyres for uneven wear, check rotor thickness and not just wear, torque wheel nuts to spec. It would be also a convenient time to rotate wheels, bleed brake system, check cv boots at this point if needed. More experienced people will pick up on other issues and will have a good idea of what to check first if something isn't working as it should.

  •  

    If someone properly trained would run a TAFE type course over 4 Saturdays or similar on basic car maintenance it would be a massive winner I reckon…

    • +2 votes

      Not necessary nowadays. Read the manual, it tells you what maintenance is recommended by the manufacturer. YouTube will show you how to do each step - you will need to watch more than one video on each topic.

      • +2 votes

        Most people aren't gonna feel comfortable taking up car maintenance from scratch just because of YouTube.

        • +2 votes

          You might be surprised. Anyone with a modicum of hands on ability can change oil. It’s not hard, but it helps to have some sort of mechanical aptitude, or some friends who do. Sometimes all you need is to be shown once or twice what to look for.

          I regularly extend my skill set by getting on the internet before attempting something new. Started out with the basics taught by my father. It helps that I enjoy trying new things and have an aversion to paying for things I can attempt myself.

          •  

            @Euphemistic: Modicum of hands on ability is a high bar. Most people would stay far away from anything like this, and would really need their hand held the first time before they can feel comfortable. Shown once or twice, as you say.

            I'm doing some minor repairs on my car at the moment, like fixing power windows. Easy stuff but has taken a while for parts to arrive and I've had the door trim off so it's very visibly in progress. And the first thing I get asked when I explain it to anyone is, why not just take it to a mechanic?

            •  

              @crentist:

              And the first thing I get asked when I explain it to anyone is, why not just take it to a mechanic?

              Is that because they don’t have the time or desire to do it? When they ask me I just tell them I love doing it.

              If I think about the people I know, I would definitely say the vast majority could do it if they had time and desire. Very few would Have. I clue and possibly stuff it up. I base that on what I know they’ve done in other DIY aspects

              Maybe it depends on the circles you move in, perhaps your cultural background. If you only know white collar workers, the proportion of people willing to DIY will be less than if you know tradies.

              • +1 vote

                @Euphemistic:

                If you only know white collar workers, the proportion of people willing to DIY will be less than if you know tradies.

                True, I've mixed and even worked with both. The blue collars make it easy to think anyone can handle anything with ease, but a lot of the white collars are scared because they've barely touched a screwdriver in their life. But at least they'd be willing to learn, especially as they start buying homes.

                But every now and then I'll hear about someone calling an electrician to change a light bulb or something lame and wonder how they survive at all

    • +1 vote

      I recently learned that an old childhood neighbor did mechanic training with TAFE for free, because they wanted to get more women doing hands on work. There's even a big picture of her holding a wrench, in an old newspaper article about it.

      I guess it worked because she was a single mum who handled heaps of DIY herself. Even now she's like 70 and doing massive renovations on her own

  • +2 votes

    Read the manual. Do what the manual says.

    Find a local reputable mechanic, keep going to them if you don’t want to diy.

    I alternate diy and mechanic service. Saves $, expert looks over the cars as well. Can do my own work pretty much, but don’t always pick up things that are worn or damaged such as suspension components. My cars are out of warranty.

    •  

      Thanks for the info, that is kind of what i am aiming for, a mix between mechanic and diy. I would like to save some money and learn a few stuff about the car (which i think should be a basic skill anyone should have) but i do reckon that a mechanic will pick up more thing than i will and of course will have the expertise and tools to do some of those.

  • +1 vote

    Honestly found the Kia service centre to be pretty good. Capped price servicing, they send a video of the service, maintain warranty. Their suggestions where spot on when things needed attention and didnt replaced stuff I replaced myself. I did the costings for their service vs DIY, parts alone was 70%, so save 30% and considering the time and mess, was happy for them to do it.

    Only thing I disagreed with was transmission oil being done at 100k, I asked to be done at 50k.

    •  

      Thanks, will contact them to check their prices and services :)

      • +1 vote

        https://www.kia.com/au/owners/capped-price-service/all-kia-m...

        pricing, if you want to save a bit of coin can supply your own oil.

        •  

          This is great, you saved me a lot of time! thank you very very much!

        • +1 vote

          Hey, just wanted to say thanks for this, I called them and compared the price in other places, and it definitely is cheaper and i feel more comfortable doing it with Kia directly! Thanks!

          •  

            @gonzule: Happy to help!

            I was surprised with Kia pricing too, I'm use to be ripped by dealerships

    •  

      I asked to be done at 50k.

      Why? Do you tow a lot? Do you live in an extreme environment?

      •  

        The manufacturer doesn’t know what they are doing. 100,000 is much too long?

      • +1 vote

        Its a little turbo manual hatch, no towing but I can tell when gear oil is off. Shifts feel "notchy", harder to shift and I will mis-shift. Felt way smoother with new oil and no mis shifts, much "happier".

        with my old WRX I would change the oil at 40,000km, expensive gear oil would come out like water, whatever the brand. So cant see how some OE oil would last 100,000km when performance "long lasting" ones can barely pass 40K. Though WRX gearbox have two diffs sharing the transmission oil.

        $130 worth doing, I would DIY it but wasn't 100% about which was the drain bolt lol

        • +1 vote

          Draining the gearbox is generally the easy part. Refilling them can be a b!&çh.

  • +1 vote

    If you can get the dealer to service for under $400 then just pay them the money. Once a year hassle free cost. For diesels some cars with DPFs need special low ash oils. Given that DPF blockages are somewhat common issues for all diesels then probably worth getting the genuine stuff. DPF problems can cost thousands to fix.

    •  

      Thanks. So, if i call the dealer, is it likely i'll be bale to negotiate the price of the service, or are they always fixed?

      • +1 vote

        Call a few dealers asking for a quote and go with the cheapest

      • +2 votes

        You’ll be unlikely to get negotiation from a dealer on a service. It’s where they make their money. It might even be a set price by Hyundai so standard across all dealers. No harm in asking though.

        An independent mechanic might be able to go cheaper and is much more likely to negotiate - but by dropping their price, they might be takin shortcuts on the service.