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:confused::confused::confused:I have a 2004 Hyundai Elantra. It has 78,400 miles on it. It has had a few high dollar services recently in the past couple of years one was a timing belt service, the other two, were over 1,000 - 1,500 services of hoses, oil leaking, etc. The last one was was in the past 3 weeks. I want to keep my car for another 4 years or so, at least while I put money away for a new car. I know that I need to get it regularly maintenance, but when the services are well over 1,000 or even 500.00 for a service, this can really add up. It causes me to have panic and anxiety attacks when I go in to get my car serviced now and has over the last couple of years. I don't make a lot of money to afford such high $ service repairs. Is there any creative way, I can get my car serviced and have it be not so high. I don't do my own repairs. I was thinking if I go in and have it serviced every 1 to 2 months, then maybe it wouldn't be so high. I know to check my maintenance book, but that still seems to have had me come out spending over $1,000 the past few visits. Please help me come up with a plan that I can work to maintain my car and not have it be so high in service costs.

My other question, is that they injected dye when I was in there, a few weeks ago. They said I could drive around with it, and when I come in again, to have my next oil change, they would be able to see the leak. How long should I give it before I go in?

I get my car serviced at AAA
 

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Regarding the unexpected repairs: All I can suggest is to set yourself a budget to save up an emergency car repair fund. Figuring that a new car payment is upwards of $300 a month, start making such a payment into a savings account for emergencies.

Regarding the dye: I assume you're talking about in your air-conditioning system. If you have a slow leak, give it a week or two, then have them take a look. If nothing yet and it's still cooling give it a few more weeks.
Most leaks are either at the compressor shaft seal, a faulty service port or hose connection.
 

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30, 60, 90k miles are usually the service intervals that really hit the wallet. Most of the other regular scheduled services are just inspections, oil changes and tire rotations. Use your car's maintenance schedule and use your voice. If the shop's trying to sell you something expensive that the manual doesn't list, say "Why?" say "No." If you're not sure about something they recommend hold off on it and come ask here on the forums. Your regular scheduled service, oil change, tire rotation, look-see for leaks, etc. shouldn't cost you more than $100 tops.
 

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agree with voivod. know your OM well and stick with it. the timing belt is the big one, and really that car is young still :) the elantras hold up well.

the best way to save money on your car is do your own repairs...but i understand that's not for everyone. also the initial investment for tools can be quite large. it will pay off rather quickly though.

would like to know what the suspected leak is. fluid dropping somewhere?

there really is no magic for maintenance. all i can suggest is being extra vigilant in anything abnormal. question any noise, check engine light, fluid loss, etc.

depending on where you live undercoating is a good idea to slow down the rot.

but honestly, you'll do fine. that's not a lot of miles to any car.
 
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