December 02, 2011
Southbay Hyundai paid a visit to the Edmunds offices to pick up our 2011 Hyundai Equus yesterday. The Hyundai "At Your Service" program was a bit shaky the first time we tried it. We were the first Equus owner to take advantage of it from Southbay Hyundai so the kinks were still being straightened.
Well, I'm here to tell you that they have figured it out. This service experience was incredibly easy. To go along with being exceptionally polite and communicative, these guys are now quite efficient. We scheduled the service 2 days in advance. The valet arrived within 20 minutes of the proposed time, which was forgivable. We signed some paperwork, he left us a loaner Genesis and he was off.
The valet returned 4 hours later, which was about 30 minutes sooner than promised. We were pleased with the timeliness. The service included an oil change, tire rotation and various inspections. All work was done free of charge. And there was a handwritten thank you card from the service manager on the seat. A nice touch.
Our first experience with At Your Service ranked a 7 out of 10. Average. This time I'd give it a 9, and that is primarily because there were no supermodels involved. Want a 10? Find a way to incorporate supermodels. Nevertheless, we will definitely use this dealership again.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 16,655 miles
October 17, 2011
I parked our 2011 Hyundai Equus for the past 48 hours. This morning I climbed in and pressed the start button just like I had anytime before. The engine sputtered to life, chugging and wheezing for 4-5 seconds, at which point it finally established a healthy idle. You may recall this happened once before.
Last time this occured I was parked on a slanted road in 90-degree temps. And last time the engine stalled completely following the sputter. This round, it did not stall, only stumbled. The Equus was parked on a perfectly flat surface. Temps were a cool 59-degrees. I don't have an explanation. I can only tell you it started just fine every attempt before and after this one.
What's with the picture, you ask? Well, I couldn't find my camera in time to photograph the flashing engine light, so this is what you get.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 14,242 miles
August 23, 2011
I checked the oil yesterday in our long-term 2011 Hyundai Equus, and the level was down at the low mark on the car's analog dipstick. However, that is absolutely *not* seen in this photo, because by the time I'd finneagled (phinaygulled?) My First DSLR into my other right hand while still holding the dipstick in my other left hand, gravity had caused the bead of oil to run down to the full mark (and I didn't notice until I pulled up the images on my computer). But trust me, it was at the "L" mark! Or don't trust me, because what do you care, you're never going to own this particular Equus.
So I needed to add oil. As usual, the iPad owners manual was not charged, so I reached for the analog version of the Equus manual, which includes two main volumes (one for the car, one for its cabin electronics), plus numerous supplements. Conveniently, the back of the main book tells you exactly which kinds of oil you can use and even refers you to the specific pages of the owners manual where you can go to get more information. This is incredibly handy.
July 14, 2011
Last week I parked our 2011 Hyundai Equus on this hill. The angle of the picture is not exaggerated, this was a steep one. The Equus sat for about an hour before I returned.
When I climbed inside and pressed the start button it fired up just like any other time. But an instant later it began to sputter. The coughing lasted 4-5 seconds at which point it stalled out completely. I pressed the button again and the Hyundai started right up, only this time it remained on.
Not another peep since.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 8,500 miles
July 06, 2011
When Mr. Oldham wrote about our Hyundai Equus not having a maintenance light, I was stunned. I know maintenance lights are relatively recent, but I knew of a 1994 Honda Accord that had one. It couldn't be that complicated to put one in an Equus, right?
Still in denial, I went down to the parking garage and tried to see if I could find a maintenance reminder buried somewhere in the car's menu or for a mention of it in the owner's manual. No such luck. More and more, it seemed true that the Equus does not have this basic feature.
Next, I began to look at the records of Hyundais we've had in our fleet (two Sonatas and a Genesis). It turns out that those didn't have maintenance lights either. Not having this valuable reminder had caused us to let service appointments slip past their due dates or-- worse -- miss them altogether. Failure to service your vehicle within the proper interval can sometimes have nasty warranty-voiding implications.
Finally I contacted a Hyundai spokesperson and asked why the automaker didn't provide maintenance lights in their vehicles. This is was Hyundai's response:
"Our new Blue Link telematics system, introduced on 2012 Sonata, Hybrid, and this fall on Veloster, has a maintenance alert function for owners. This system will alert customers of any maintenance needs in a number of ways, depending on customer preference: in-car notification, email alert, text alert, or via the customer's account on myhyundai.com. Blue Link is rolling out on all Hyundai models on a progressive basis, as soon as telematics integration for the specific vehicle program allows the upgrades. For Equus, due to its unique electronics and telematics development program, Blue Link will be added in early 2013. Many other Hyundai models will receive Blue Link during 2011 and 2012, as soon as possible."
OK, so rather than install a simple mileage-based maintenance light, Hyundai instead chose to go the subscription-based-service route, like OnStar. A key difference between those two is that GM cars still have an oil life monitoring system, regardless of whether you've kept up your OnStar subscription.
Hyundai Blue Link has three tiers. According to the Web site, the "Maintenance Alert" is available on the mid-tier "Essentials" package. New cars will come with a three-month complimentary trial period. But what happens after that? If you want to continue to get the in-car maintenance alerts, you'll have to renew your Blue Link subscription at a cost of $179 for one year, $315 for two years, or $448 for three years.
To be fair, the Blue Link Essentials package is more than just a maintenance alert. The Essentials package also has features such as a stolen vehicle recovery and slowdown, recall advisor, remote vehicle start and voice text messaging. But if your main concern was the maintenance alert, it is going to cost you.
July 05, 2011
Now for the final chapter of the 2011 Hyundai Equus service trilogy. If you recall, our first roadblock was the iPad app glitch. Our second was an unreturned phone call. In the end Hyundai's "At Your Service" program redeemed itself, more or less...
July 01, 2011
When we last visited the subject, our 2011 Hyundai Equus was still due for service. We tried using the iPad app but it didn't work out for us. So we picked up the phone.
Even though the app didn't list Cormier as an option, our first call was to Cormier Hyundai since we've had good experience there in the past. "Sorry, sir. We aren't a certified Equus dealership yet. Would you like the phone numbers for certified dealers in your area?"
Cormier directed us to Southbay Hyundai. "My service manager handles all Equus matters and he is currently out of the office," the service rep on the phone began. "Can he call you back this afternoon?" Southbay didn't return our call. But we gave them one more chance with a follow up call the next morning...
The service manager at Southbay picked up this time. He was extremely courteous, "When would you like us to pick up your vehicle? Yes sir, whenever is most convenient for you. Ok, we can pick it up tomorrow morning. When would you like it returned? I ask that you please allow us about 3 hours to service, wash and vacuum your vehicle. Great, see you then. Is it ok for me to call you later this afternoon to confirm pick up details? My valet will deliver a Genesis for you to drive while we have your car. Will that be acceptable?"
Later that afternoon the phone rang as promised. This service experience started out shaky. But it is moving in the right direction now. Let's hope it continues that way.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 8,431 miles
June 30, 2011
Scott reminded us last week that our 2011 Hyundai Equus doesn't have a warning light for scheduled maintenance. So we know it's time for service. And Caroline outlined the Hyundai "At Your Service" maintenance program awhile back. So we know that we don't even need to step foot in the dealership to have the service completed.
But so far, the process of scheduling an appointment isn't as easy as the advertisements suggest.
According to the ad, we can download the Equus Owner Experience App to our Equus iPad, use it to find our nearest authorized Equus dealer and schedule an appointment with our fingertips. Not quite. Here is a quick screen-by-screen tour of the process:
June 27, 2011
This weekend I realized two things about our long-term 2011 Hyunday Equus.
1) It has no scheduled maintenance light, which is odd and a bit disappointing considering this sedan's price point.
April 07, 2011
At 4,000 miles, we haven't had to take our 2011 Hyundai Equus in for service yet but check it out. We wouldn't have to as Hyundai offers a complimentary valet delivery service where the service department will pick up your Equus for warranty, maintenance and service repairs, for 5 years/60,000 miles. So contact them through your fancy iPad app and they'll swing by to pick up your car and drop off a courtesy car, probably a Genesis.