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Hyundai Sonata 6 cylinders or 4?

24

Comments

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Certainly I can say, "100K Warranty" (and it's, indeed, OK!) ;). Now, can you say,
    "WHAT IS NOT COVERED (taken from my '03 Sonata's warranty supplement booklet on page 17)
    * Normal maintenance services (yada-yada-yada)

    * Normal maintenance items (yada-yada-yada)

    * Normal deterioration or wear of any [emphasis mine] part (yada-yada-yada - my personal favorite, catch-all gotcha ;))

    Not saying you're wrong - just don't make automatic assumptions that an owner would have the automaker by the short hairs.

    What Hyundai marketing giveth, Hyundai legal may taketh away if it'th tho inclined. Just because Hyundai advertises it has "America's best warranty" Hyundai didn't spell out for whom it's best...
  • miamixtmiamixt Posts: 600
    I do agree with what you just wrote. I also agree with what "unknown" writes. He is highly intelligent, and always speaks his mind.

    I have no idea why the system sometimes does that to me, eh I mean to him :P

    MiamiXT
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yeah, we're trying to figure out why the system does that to some at certain times, too. :sick:

    It's not your problem, and I am told a fix is in the works. Sorry 'bout that.
  • Something to consider as well is that the 4 has a timing belt that needs to be changed at a hefty cost where as the V6 has a timing chain with an automatic chain tensioner that should never need to be changed. Overall, V6 engine maintenance should be less that the 4 and the power of the 6 is well...WOW!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "WOW!" is right - the persistant urban myth of timing chain indestructability... Reality check - what you posted does not reflect the current status of the latest generation Sonata (and Azera) engines according to the 2006 Sonata (and Azera) shop manuals. The 2.4L I4 used in the latest generation Sonata does not have a timing belt. This engine carries no less than three chains - a main timing chain from the crankshaft up to one of the camshafts, a secondary timing chain interconnecting the two camshafts, and a balance shaft chain. If you believe that routine servicing of the V6 engine will be less costly than that for the I4, you apparently have not had the pleasure of attempting to change the firewall bank of spark plugs on Hyundai V6 engines in front-wheel drive vehicles. The intake manifold ram-induction runners and plenum chamber are smack-dab in the way. ;) I recently read that the average life of a timing chain is in the neighborhood of 165,000 miles - though some have been known to go 300,000+ miles while some have failed in as little as 100,000 miles. While it's true that timing chains are generally longer lived than belts, timing chains can and do break with equally disastrous results to that which occurs when a timing belt snaps. Even if the vehicle owner is fortunate enough not to break pistons or bend valve stems due to open valves interfering with piston travel, a broken chain thrashing around in the confined space between the engine block and the engine's aluminum front cover casting will show no mercy - often with a good chance of breaking the front cover casting and possibly rendering the engine block useless from internal cracking in the web area of the front main bearing support. In addition to the expense of the chain itself, a stretched chain that requires replacement will often mandate changing out the chain guides, sprockets*, and auto-tensioner. Since none of the latest Sonata engines use hydraulic or manually adjustable tappets any longer, the solid tappets now used need to be checked at 60,000 mile intervals for excess valve lash. Should the measured valve lash be in excess of permissable limits, the timing chains will have to be removed along with the camshaft(s) in order to substitute the proper length replacement tappet(s) (available in 41 service sizes). When buttoning everything back up, the engine will have to be re-timed even if the chains and associated guide and tensioning paraphenalia are still in acceptable condition. The labor charges involved will surely be every bit as, if not more, significant than that for replacing a timing belt.

    *When chains wear and stretch, they also cause excessive sprocket wear.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Ray - you're exactly correct as to timing chains. Properly maintained, excluding any fluke breakage or separation, there is really nothing wrong with a well-designed timing belt configuration. I've been saying this for a long time on various forums. Plus, they're external to the engine and typically much more readily accessible. Timing chains are fine, as I have them in my classic SAAB 900's, but repair can be costly. One of the funny things about timing belts is the initial reason(s) for implementation in an OHC design was: more quiet operation over a typical chain, and ease of replacement and repair. I guess we've come full circle.

    The more I study and mull-over the Lamba V6 design, and the new 2.4L I4 design for that matter, I start thinking about possibly not buying a Sonata. Maintenance on this design "could" become quite expensive over time, and I keep my cars for a long time.

    Hmmm . . . easy spark plug replacement and long-term, and relatively cheap lifter replacement, makes me want to consider a longitudinal domestic V6 design with good-old hydraulic lifters - if there are any left. I guess I'd have to consider a RWD vehicle! Not many choices there! Of course, there will be those who point out that the spark plugs commonly used today with the HEI ignitions typically last 100K, but still . . . I know what you mean trying to change plugs in a transverse V6.
  • Ray, interesting in that my comment stemmed from a conversation I had with the dealership before purchasing the car. I was torn between the 4 and the 6...the mileage versus acceleration dilemma. I decided to go with the 6 since the rebates brought it down to about the price of a 4. The dealer said good choice since the 4's have timing belts that can break and need to be replaced every 60K miles. The 6's on the other hand have chains and never need to be replaced.

    This was the basis for my posting so, as we all do, live and learn and never take as gospel what is said to you by a car dealer ;)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Cableguy06 - The old 4's did have timing belt, but the new 2.4L 4 used in the Sonata has a timing chain as per Ray.

    If the salesperson you worked with was relatively new, he or she may still have been on "the learning curve." As customers, we generally are very informed on the specific vehicle we're considering, but the sales staff must know the specifics on all of the vehicles they sell, and this is not necessarily an easy task, especially for a new salesperson and with new models appearing on the lot. Their knowledge, or lack thereof, is totally dependent upon the dealership's training program. However, they should "check their data" before giving you the info.

    Interestingly, the Service Manager and Service Advisor at our local Hyundai dealership also recommends the V6 over the 4. It begs the question if their recommendation is based upon fuel mileage differentials, reliability and/or overall satisfaction, or the benefits "they" may receive on increased service costs over the long-term. I don't know, as only time will tell.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Here's the link to the archived online shop manuals at HMAService. Registration is required, but is FREE. You'll need Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Once connected, check the "Site Requirements" button - even if you're already running Reader or Acrobat, you may still need to install some Adobe plugins to access the diagrams. The plugins are set up to automatically connect to Adobe's website, download, and install painlessly. Good reference material to have at hand for Hyundai owners as well as independent service techs.
  • mort6mort6 Posts: 11
    I am getting ready to purchase a 2007 Sonata I4. I am concerned about the most recent discussion concerning the solid lifters used by Hyundai. Keep in mind i do about 30K per year and plan to keep my care until it dies.

    Should i be concerned. what other mid size vehicles use the hydraulic type lifters. Thanks in advance for your replies
  • I'm 55 years old and have owned nothing but manual transmissions since I started driving. In all of the cars I've owned I've never had to replace a clutch and some of my cars have had 100,000 miles plus. I never had to replace a clutch until my 2003 Sonata. It first went at 28,000 miles and dealership said "Too bad, not covered" so almost $1800 later new hyundai clutch. That clutch lasted approx 14,000 miles. Dealer said too bad and held hand out for what he thought was going to be another $1800 of my hard earned money. Had my car towed to reputable transmission shop in the area demanded a non-hyundai clutch be installed, cost $750. NEVER EVER buy a manual transmission from hyundai. BTW other than clutch prob the car is fantastic with absolutely no other problems encountered
  • My first Sonata was a '95 with 2.0 litre 4 cyl and 5-speed manual, a similar powertrain to the 01-06 Elantra. I put 130,000 miles on that car, with a new clutch at 97,000. I paid $450 for the clutch, installed in Vermont (the clutch went on a camping trip near Rutland). That car was virtually trouble free, and I awaited the '06 5-speed as I liked the styling on the new car.

    I ended up with the 4-cylinder AT because I felt the clutch on the 06 was too heavy, and didn't like the feel of the manual with the 06 seat (too soft). If you do get the 5-speed, they have a package now with 17" wheels, firmer power seat and moonroof all for an MSRP of $19,600...the same MSRP of my 06 automatic. Just make sure you test drive the car fully. And plan on winter tires if you live in the snow belt, as the 17's are useless in winter. The alternative is the base 5-speed with 16" wheels and all- season tires. The ride is better, and these tires are OK in winter. Again, test drive fully as this seat is not power.
  • flc2006flc2006 Posts: 81
    I prefer the v6 because of the smoothness and quietness than 4 cylinders are kinda buzzy, my car runs as smooth as a car costing twice as much, i had a 4 cylinder which used about the same fuel consumption as my current V6, in real world driving terms you only loose about 2 mpg which is not noticeable.
  • If you are looking for mileage, get a I4. If you want power, get a V6. They are both great engines and I did not find the I4 to be "buzzy" at all...actually very peppy.

    I bought an 07 V6 and it's smooth with a ton of power! Getting combined mileage around 25 :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    If you're going to only keep the car a few years - say less than the 10 year powertrain warranty period - I would say go for the Lambda V6. But, if you intend to keep the car longer, I would strongly suggest you consider the Theta Inline 4 cylinder.

    When maintenance is required, it will cost much more on the V6, as any transverse V6 is simply much harder to work on than a transverse Inline 4. I will use a non-Hyundai situation as an example. Our 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan ES 3.3L V6 with 160K miles recently developed a head gasket leak. The quote for repair was $2,500. I personally completed the repair with all OEM parts, and some machine shop work on the heads, for a total cost of less than $250. How many hours did I spending doing this - too many to count - and, not including the scratches and bloody knuckles! Plus, this was on a pushrod V6, one of the easier transverse V6 engine installations to work on. Transverse V6's, especially the DOHC variety on the Sonata, are not known for their labor-friendliness. Try changing the rear plugs on a transverse V6, and you will understand what I mean.

    If you trade cars often, buy the V6. But, if you keep your car a long time, seriously consider the Inline 4. For me personally, I love the Lambda V6's smoothness and power, but I won't buy one. Rather, I will go with the Inline 4. No more transverse V6 engines for me . . .
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Just bought it and have it at the dealers getting leather.

    I find the four to be better than the Optima six, which is the last gen. Sonata 2.7 engine. Plus you get a five speed rather than four speed transmission.

    If I was going with a V-6 I definitely would have taken the Sonata.

    The Edmunds maintenance page has a 105,000 mile change for the timing belt. I'm a bit confused about the 60K change and the discussion about timing chains on this engine.

    BTW-- The Hyundai/Kia four seems a lot smoother than the Chrysler version of the same (almost) engine. To me it also seems smoother than the 2.7 liter V-6 but not the new, improved Sonata model.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "...the Optima six, which is the last gen. Sonata 2.7 engine. ... The Edmunds maintenance page has a 105,000 mile change for the timing belt. I'm a bit confused about the 60K change and the discussion about timing chains on this engine." ((

    True of the lower end, only. The heads (where kickapoo joy juice is converted to git-up-'n-go) have been completely revised and now include CVVT technology - good for an additional 15 hp. (185 vs. 170 - that's the motor the previous generation Sonata really needed all along for its V6 option, along with the 5-sp automatic. [sigh]). As to the discussion about "chains on this engine", which engine? If you're referring to the KIA's 2.7L mu V6 with CVVT heads, it still uses a timing belt from the crankshaft up to the heads just as Hyundai's prior generation 2.7L delta V6 did. And, being a belt, it must be replaced periodically since these motors are "interference"* designs. (The latest generation Hyundai 3.3L and 3.8L lambda V6 engines use a roller-link chain from the crankshaft up to the heads.)

    *"interference" designates that the pistons will occupy the same space as open valves - but hopefully not simultaneously. All bets are off, though, if the timing belt breaks. (An engine is a terrible thing to waste...)
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    Just wondering if you have read anything, or heard anything, about the real- world `fuel economy ` difference between the new 2.7 mu v6 and its predecessor, the 2.7 delta v6 ? I find it very difficult to get any real world numbers for the newer mu engine ( except for a very few, statistically insignificant, posters ) who claim this engine really guzzles the fuel, with economy nowwhere near EPA numbers! Can you offer any perspective or insight ? Thanks .
  • It is widely known that epa numbers are at best, quite flawed...hence for 08 model year new formulas will be in place. Depending on car type, engine type etc., the new epa ratings {which will be more "real world"} will be 8 to 30 percent less than the current joke ratings. If people would read the sticker on epa ratings, you will notice that these are just estimates and will not and do not reflect what you will achieve. The real original purpose was to be a crude comparison between cars. :mad:
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    hotrod54's points above are well taken, but I also believe a few people reporting disappointing fuel economy are the victims of Hyundai's tight engines that take a good bit longer to finalize run-in and loosen up than they're used to dealing with. My '03 Sonata's (2.7L delta V6) fuel economy was abysmal - rated 19/27 and the best I could do (grampa driving, no less) was 17/25, initially. By 5,000 miles it had "improved" to 20/26. Now at 24,000 miles, I typically see 23/30+ (the latter at 75-80 mph - now grampa moves his bloody [non-permissible content removed] on the open road!). Unless Hyundai's had a major change in new milled engine part clearances, the company's still recommending a 2K-4K engine operating rpm range and 55 mph top vehicle speed during their suggested 1,200 mile run-in. Another part of the "problem" is that modern motor oils (even conventional mineral oils) are blended with much improved anti-wear additives (often soluble molybdenum compounds and pricey borate esters these days) that prolong initial run-in but compensate with lower wear rates once run-in is completed. Hopefully that translates to increased engine life.
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