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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair

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  • newsviewnewsview Posts: 33
    Just wondering if using an oil not mentioned in my owner's manual has done any damage to my car.

    I've gone a couple hundred miles since the car was filled with 5/20 (2.0L engine, which I believe uses the shims instead of hydraulic lifters).

    For the life of the car thus far I've primarily used 10-30 or 10-40, and most oil changes were done at the dealer so that I could have an OEM oil filter installed (that's another story). Both are the recommended viscosities for my '01 Elantra given the climate where I live.

    Upon calling consumer affairs for confirmation that I can safely ignore my owner's manual guidelines and leave the 5/20 in my engine over the summer, I am told that the issue has to be "researched" and no call is ever returned to let me know the outcome. The second person I spoke to implied that if the dealer did it, it must be okay — but he refused to send anything via email or in writing confirming that the owner's manual is wrong and the service manager is right. The next time around I spoke to a supervisor who was also going to research the issue. She read me something stating 5/20 was in the list, but I stated that if the owner's manual had a revision I would like a copy of the correction via email, and that's when the whole "researching" thing started over again.

    During one of those conversations a rep admitted that the 5/20 oil grade applied to 2007 and newer Hyundais, whereas the service manager, whom I made a point to contact first for clarification, stated that all Hyundais require 5/20 oil beginning in 2007 to address lifter noise from the oil taking too long to circulate up from the pan when the engine is cold. However, I haven't been able to find a TSB confirming any of this, either.

    In short, the stories are conflicting and I'm wondering who/what to believe. Does it sound as if they are circling the wagons or is it really okay to use an oil weight that doesn't appear in my owner's manual?

    Thanks.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    It will be interesting to hear what they say. In our locale, 5W20 would seem awfully light for summer as we routinely exceed 100F in the shade. In traffic on an afternoon commute, road temps can easily exceed 120F. As in you don't stand on the pavement for long!

    I have always used 10W30 for that reason, and with four different Hyundai from an '02 Elantra to a '10 Elantra have had no lifter noise, at startup or otherwise. I did note however that the dealer oil change on the wife's 2010 Tucson was performed with 5W20, so I will be talking to them about this.

    Our coldest winter temps rarely fall below 25F, and average in the upper 40's, so cold really isn't an issue either.
  • jacktbjacktb Posts: 41
    I have three Elantras--'05, '06 & '08. After my independent research with veteran mechanics as well as the personal experience of previously owning an auto service center for six years, I have arrived at the following maintenance conclusions for this car:

    1) Timing belt will go 90K plus. I will not change it before that as I did it at 67K on my '05 and the original looked like new.

    2) Use an independent shop and just get the fluid/filter replacements that you cannot do yourself. The 30K, 60K etc. recommended service at the dealer has a lot of add-on inspection fees.

    3) Inspect the alternator/water pump exterior belts yourself. If the look good, leave them alone. Every Hyundai dealer I've visited in the last five years has told me the belts need replacing when they did not.

    You can safely maintain these cars at a reasonable cost. The dealer makes the most money by charging inspection fees and changing parts, so beware.
  • newsviewnewsview Posts: 33
    The answer I was awaiting from Hyundai Corporate about the use of 5/20 oil in my car posed more contradictions than clarifications. By phone their Customer Affairs staff insisted that 5/20 was in the list for the 2001 Elantra, but by email their recommendation mirrored my owner's manual, which starts at 5/30 depending on climate (with recommended viscosities in the 10-30-10-50 range).

    It is summer here and I am in the same climate that the Hyundai Corporate offices are located in, so even 5/30 would not be appropriate per the season/area. The temperature cutoff for 5/30 in my owner's manual is 95F and it will meet or exceed those temps by the end of the summer. I am uncertain how much lower the temp cutoff is for 5/20 because that viscosity isn't even in the list.

    Just to be on the safe side, I went to another dealer with my own oil to have them drain out the 5/20 and replace it with what I am accustomed to using (10-40, which is in the "recommended range" according to my owner's manual).

    Well, get this:

    The service advisor checked my oil and said it was too clean to drain out. That's when I explained that I didn't want the 5/20 in my engine. He said that I should keep the 5/20 and that 10-30/10-40 was for cold climates. This is NOT what my owner's manual says at all, and he acknowledges that the owner's manual confuses customers. Finally, he stated that if I insisted on the 10-40 he would have to write it up to exclude them from responsibility for any damage to my engine. Mind you, a nine-year-old car engine with low miles and all dealer service.

    The summer weather here will be at or above 95 by August and I explained, again, that I sometimes travel to an adjacent state where it is 120F in the shade.

    No matter.

    Meanwhile, Hyundai Corporate is ignoring me. Their initial email was very generic, specifying 5/30 and above depending on climate, with a concluding paragraph that said that the dealer would "know best". The entire tone of the email called into question who answers to whom!

    Hyundai Corporate, too, ignored the fact that I already told them in my initial inquiry, having spoke to three people including a supervisor, that I am in a climate that exceeds 90F in the summer and vacation sometimes in an area that gets even hotter. So I wrote back stating that I am aware that what the dealer using is in conflict with what is printed in my owner's manual and even in conflict with what they formerly used in my engine (10-30 "bulk oil"). After that, I received an auto response confirming that Hyundai Corporate received my reply, but there has been no follow up and it has been nearly two weeks.

    I believe Hyundai is hiding something because I can't get a straight answer as to why there is a contradiction. So I did the next best thing: I started doing my own homework, which led to an automotive website out of Denver. There it states that 1998-2004 Hyundais, among other makes/models, are prone to OIL SLUDGE.

    My miles are still very low and I am still under the 10 yr powertrain warranty.

    One of the symptoms of oil sludge buildup is lost mileage, and it so happened that I asked about that very problem at the dealer recently.

    Now I don't know IF my engine is showing signs of sludge or not. I DO suspect that the thinner-than-recommended oil would make *more sense* if the engine is prone to sludge and they have somehow concluded that thinner oil would help slow the problem down. If it is anything like clogged arteries, a "stopgap solution" is a blood thinner. If there is sludge in the engine, I imagine that thinner oil would also be a temporary stopgap to keep it flowing just long enough so that my engine survives the last year of my powertrain warranty.

    Apparently a seized engine is the end result of sludge buildup.

    The best theory I can come up with as to why they are using the wrong oil at the wrong time of year is that they anticipate a problem, and the thinner oil is the bandage rather than the actual fix.

    A less alarming explanation is that I don't have sludge but the dealer doesn't carry the appropriate weight oil for all cars they made and neither Hyundai Corporate nor the dealers are going to admit that they are using a "one size fits all" oil for all cars that come into their service bays regardless of whether or not the engine was built for that viscosity. They would have reason to keep that admission under wraps because it would mean they are prematurely wearing the engines of older cars that are getting 5/20 oil, regardless of climate or model year — instead of what these older Hyundais were designed to run on.

    Hmm… I guess it is time to see an independent mechanic who can tell me if my engine appears to be accumulating sludge. :confuse:
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    This is the first time I have ever heard of sludging in a Hyundai engine. I run 10W30 Castrol GTX in every Hyundai I have owned and have never had an issue. Our summers range from mid 70's at night to low 100's during the day. Our winters will rarely go below 30, and then never in the teens.

    Section 8, page 10, 2010 Elantra Touring Owners Manual:

    Recommended for maximum fuel economy, 5W20. "However, if the engine oil is not available in your country, select the proper engine oil using the engine oil viscosity chart."

    Which, in the chart just above that statement, call out 10W30 for temp ranges from 0 to 120+ degrees F, or 5W20 or 5W30 for temps ranging from -10 to 120+ degrees F.

    It was the same in my 2002 and 2005 Elantras. And the Hyundai Platinum Certified technician at my dealership stated that for our climate 10W30 is recommended, but 5W20 can be used. He was very clear about one thing, though: Castrol GTX or Valvoline only. Would not recommend any other brand.

    I figure it's Hyundai's owners manual publication, so if they say the 10W30 is good, that's what I will use. And I have used nothing but Castrol GTX since 1968 and have never, ever had and oil related engine failure nor sludging. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, lack thereof. :D
  • lathan2lathan2 Posts: 1
    how do i remove the side marker reflector on a 01 elantra to change the bulb?
  • deribas1deribas1 Posts: 1
    I have a 04 Elantra with 86K, recently I noticed on hot days if I park in the sun the MIL will come on with code P 1723 and P 1529, input/output speed sensor and auto trans relay switch. If I park in the shade or it's cool out the light won't come on. Anyone else experience this? I'm not sure where this relay switch is, but could it be something that is getting stuck with the heat and swelling? Thanks for any info.
  • akx7akx7 Posts: 2
    edited July 2010
    Our 2002 Elantra GLS with about 35,000 miles overheated while driving along, with no warning. Car was towed to the shop that maintained the car all through since '02. They replaced the radiator, but the car continued to overheat. Head gasket was replaced next, and now damage to the engine block is suspected to be the cause of the problem (head assembly checked out okay).

    Question is if it is worth spending the 3400 or so on the engine. Seems like the car is fragile enough that it would be a bad bet to sink more money into it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    edited July 2010
    If you have owned the car since new, it is still covered under the powertrain warranty. Check with Hyundai re coverage of the engine block. If that was the cause of the problem, you can make a claim on the warranty. But if the cause really is "damage", as you said, and not a defect, that would not be covered.

    If that doesn't apply, you could look for a salvage engine. The car isn't worth much more than $3400.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    There was an issue several years ago with thermostats in some Elantras. Upon failure, the engine would suffer sudden and extreme overheating. These were covered by Hyundai under the 10/100K warranty to the original owner.

    I would strongly suggest you get the dealer involved right away. There will likely be an issue with reimbursement since the original diagnosis and repair was not performed by a dealer. I assume the shop you mentioned was not a Hyundai dealer as they would have known immediately that the thermostat should be investigated.

    Regarding the fragility of the '02 Elantra, no. The little buggers are tough, but I know of several that suffered blown head gaskets due to the thermostat issue. The 2.0L engine that Hyundai uses (and still uses in the 2010, but with CVVT) is very durable.
  • perno13perno13 Posts: 6
    I have a 2002 Elantra GT and as jlflemmons mentioned, I had a thermostat problem that caused the car to overheat quickly back around 2006 or so. Got the thermostat replaced for about $100 and it's ran perfectly since then. I'm starting to have some leaking from the engine block maybe (I'm not a car guy, not sure if I'm using the right term), but I'm told that's a pretty simple fix (another $100) to replace a gasket.

    I'm loving this little bugger, I'm around 136k miles, about to replace my timing belt for the 2nd time since I did it so early the first time (around 55k miles, guy talked me into it).
  • akx7akx7 Posts: 2
    The shop (not Hyundai dealer) checked this, and in this case the thermostat was okay. Hyundai did refuse coverage under the warranty claiming that the problem was caused due to damage. Seems kind of unreasonable since no warning lights or indications of a problem were seen before this incident.
  • with 167 pages, I just don't have the heart to go back 10 years!!! LOL!

    I have a 2005 Elantra that I love, and the husband that I loved recently passed away, leaving me to take care of lots of things that I never took care of before, including the car. Recently, as I get the car to 60, it starts to vibrate, for lack of a better word. The steering wheel vibrates as if I'm on a road that needs some repair.

    Before I take it in to be looked at...any thoughts about what I should be listening to the dealer say?

    I live in MA where we are in the midst of a "discussion" about who should be doing repair and warranty work, so I definitely have to take it to the dealer to at least get an "opinion" and am happy to take it somewhere else for a second opinion.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Lika
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    The good news is, this could be an easy and cheap problem to fix. The 2001-6 Elantras are very sensitive to wheel balance. If they are not balanced carefully, you can get exactly the symptoms you described. What I recommend is, take the car to a good tire shop that has a Hunter wheel balancing machine. (Your Hyundai dealer may not have this, but you can ask them.) They seem to do the best job correcting this issue on the Elantra. Then be sure to test-drive the car after the wheels are balanced, and bring it back right away if the "shimmy" (as it's called) is still there.

    On my 2004 Elantra, the current tires are not great quality and it takes some care to balance them. The shop where I got the tires, Discount Tire (a chain), sometimes takes 2 tries to get the balance just right. They have the Hunter machine. But they did eliminate the shimmy that appeared when I put this 2nd set of tires on four years ago, and since then.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Lika, first and foremost, I am sorry for your loss.

    Secondly, backy is right on about the balance. The little Elantra's are wonderful cars, but they do like to have their tires balanced just so. If your dealer thinks they can balance the tires, you might let them try. Or just ask them where they send their "trouble cars" than need special attention for wheel balance.

    Let us know how it turns out.

    Jim
  • thanks so much for your answer. i think we have a discount tire (i'll consult the internet) so i will try that first (thanks to backy, too).

    i will let you both know how it turns out.

    ah, so tough to be so young, so beautiful, and so dumb about my car! LOL! only one of those is true!

    lika.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Well, you were smart enough to ask us for help, so we will go with beautiful.

    ;)
  • jayessjayess Posts: 59
    Can anyone recommend a source for replacement glass for GLS and best way to install? The glass cracked when my daughter 'got too close to...something'. The heating element, back and wiring appear to be intact and I've put clear packing tape over the glass to keep it from falling out and pushed it back into place on the black placstic base on the housing. It's working so far. Dealer wants $82something plus tax, Advance Auto has a special order for $160, hundai parts on line and jc whitney don't seem to have just the glass - any suggestions would be welcome.
  • i have a 2001 hyundai elantra, and i have a shimmy problem. when i do around 70-80 mph on the high way it has a good vibration to it. i have changed the tires, the cvs joint, the bearings, both rodors, ball joints, and had them balanced and alliened. also i found out that it shakes with the tires off. I jack the car up and took the tires off and ran it and it still had a shimmy with the front end. Im starting to think that its internal, not with the tires something to do with the front end.. any ideas on what else could be the problem
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Check with some of the automotive windshield outfits in your area. Several around here will also do mirrors, and may actually come out cheaper that doing it yourself.
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