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Hyundai Azera/Sonata Coolant Contamination Problem

acelinkacelink Posts: 106
I am not sure whether you guys know about this. But in Korea, a number of Sonata and Azera owners
have complained to Hyundai that the coolant in their cars are getting contaminated.

Some suspect that the coolant is being mixed up with oil or something.
Hyundai has denied nothing was wrong till this issue was recently covered by the media recently.
The funny thing is that Hyundai said they are not sure what is causing the problem and that they
looking for the causes. So far Hyundai has replaced coolant, and in some cases, replaced the radiators of those
who have complained vigorously, but the problem remains unfixed, and no official recall is being made.

Please check your coolant. I checked mine ('05 Sonata 2.4) last night and mine shows a light murky, brownish ring
towards the cap. Although not serious as the one shown below, definitely something is amiss.
Whatever the problem may be, I hope Hyundai fixes the problem before the warranty expires in Korea.

Comments

  • amp06amp06 Posts: 2
    Do you have a link to any articles on this story?

    My girlfriend suffered through multiple problems with her Chevy and its intake manifold gasket issues. (coolant leaked and also mixed internally with the oil).

    I just steered her towards a Hyundai Sonata as a replacement. If this starts happening again, she'll leave me! (though I never recommended her Chevy in the 1st place!).
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    Well, found a few sites. But, they are in Korean. In this particular article, this coolant issue was first brought up by the owners in North America.

    http://blog.naver.com/yohwoni?Redirect=Log&logNo=110017676731

    I took a picture of mine just now. It is not murky as the picture shown to a media coverage, but something else is definitely in there. This is quite disturbing.

    Lucky for you, Hyundai is known to use better quality parts for export vehicle, so your girlfriend's car may be problem free.

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  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    image

    Inside look of my coolant. The car is manufactured March '05 with 26,250 miles on it. I am positive I am seeing things that shouldn't be in there. Also, note the black paint or coating peeling. No wonder Hyundai's warranty is relative short in Korea compared to US. :(
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    So a few flecks of black paint inside the radiator filler neck are chipped off? How does this make you feel uncomfortable about Hyundai? And what does it have to do with the length of the US verses Korean warranty? Finally, if your picture is of the original coolant @26K miles it is OK. Do you think the countless trips through the entire cooling system over years and miles will leave coolant squeeky clean? Nope,it picks up bits of debris and this is normal and yours looks...normal.
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    Ever wondered how Hyundai can sell cars with so much standard features at dirt cheap price in the States? Korean buyers partially pay for your car (or rather it is Hyundai that reaps the vast portion of profit from the home market).

    Azera can be bought around $25K in the States. In Korea, the price starts at $40K. A Sontata V6 can be bought less than $20K in the States. In Korea, the price starts at $33K.

    I bought my 2.4 4cylinder Sonata for $25.6K (Would you buy a 4 cylinder Sonata at this price in the US?). For what I have overpaid, I expect parts to last for some time. Aside from you comforting words regarding the status of my coolant (thank you), the car is only 2 years old with 26K miles on it. Yet, the picture shows it is taken from a 10 year old car. No matter what, I don't think I should have protective paint or whatever peeling off and being mixed with the coolant.

    Btw, for my overpaid Sonata, warranty for powertrain is 5 years or 37.5K miles. Kinda compares big against the US Hyundai warranty offerings. And US tops that one with 24hrs/7days road service (and the US is about 50 times bigger?).

    Lastly, when Hyundai luanches completely new products in the US, go ahead and purchase them right away. No need to have concerns like avoid buying first year production. We, Korean buyers, do that for you at least 6 months earlier. Genesis, rear wheel driven sedan, shall be launched first in Korea this coming December.
  • floridabob1floridabob1 Posts: 1,190
    RE: 8
    Almost every foreign sold in the US is more expensive in the home country.
    Volvo, I am told, is twice the price in Sweden.
  • grayfoxgrayfox Posts: 166
    acelink, I would like to correspond with you privately. How can I do this?
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    You can email me at popyoureyesout@yahoo.com
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I have read your reply and a few items jump to the forefront.
    1 Korean buyers pay more..yes home country buyers frequently pay more. There are quite a few European brands whose vehicles sell for more in the home market due to taxes, more standard features, currency exchange differences etc etc.
    2. You would expect parts to last for some time. Well, that radiator filler neck will last for one hell of a long time and still be functional with or without the black paint. It will be the last part on the radiator to fail.
    3. A ten year car will probably NOT have that nice green coolant and probably WILL have more debris in the system due to circulation as I previously said. This is,in part, why manufacturers state the coolant should be changed every X amount of years or X amount of time. Check your owners manual to see what the time frame is for your Sonata and change it on schedule. If the state of your coolant bothers you (although it shouldn't if that photo is of your actual car) have it changed.
    4. I cannot help what Hyundai decides is a proper warranty in Korea OR the USA. I CAN understand why it is longer in the USA however. Hyundai wanted to shed their previous poor reputation for building unreliable cars in the early days and adding a long warranty was one part of their strategy..actually building better cars was another.
    5.finally, someone has to be first and buyers in the home market get new releases first (usually). Again nothing new here but thank you Korean buyers for finding all the bugs so we don't have to.
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    Guess what? I received a phone call from Hyundai yesterday. Told me to come in for a service on June 4th.
    What they will do, they won't tell me. Told me to leave the car in the morning and pick it up late afternoon. Guess something is wrong with the coolant or whatever afterall. Also, similar service notices have been sent to Azera forum members in Korea but no other info. is given by Hyundai as of this date.

    And checking for the service interval for the coolant, it is stated: The first coolant change should be performed at 5 years or 62,500 miles, whichever comes first. Thanks god, I checked the coolant recently. Had I performed the coolant service according to whats written in the manual, my warranty would have expired.

    Also, you should see how BMW and other European brands price their cars in Korea before the Korean taxes are levied. Quite outrageous pricing indeed. As much as I would like to believe that Korean buyers enjoy more standard features, I can assure you that you are not missing much. Most notable feature missing from Azera sold in the States is the navigation system offered in Korea. In Korea, this is a pricey option costing around $3,000.

    Summing up, we may have more gadgets to fool around, but they aren't free. Every one of them is being paid for. However, I can't help but notice that side airbags are standard safety equipments offered by Hyundai in the States. In Korea, if you want the side airbags, you can only get them by purchasing the most expensive trim level. The side airbags aren't even offered as an option on lesser models. Airbags save lives. I would like to hear Hyundai executives explain why the side airbags is not offered even as an option in Korea. I guess we, Koreans are tough as nails and therefore more resilient to side impacts than American consumers.
  • dborthdborth Posts: 474
    RE 13: Airbags save lives. I would like to hear Hyundai executives explain why the side airbags is not offered even as an option in Korea. I guess we, Koreans are tough as nails and therefore more resilient to side impacts than American consumers.

    Lee Iacocca early 1960's "Americans don't want seat belts"
    Lee Iacocca early 1980's "Americans don't want airbags"
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    On June 4th, Hyundai replaced the radiator and power handle component FOC on my car. Regarding the coolant contamination, they say it was due to contaminated(?) water supply at one of their plants in Korea. I will check the coolant again on a later date to see everything is ok.

    As for the power handle component change, it was making mosquito sound at low speed manuevers. They greased it previously, which didn't last. This time, they had an entire lower part replaced which solved my problem for good. An added bonus that came with the new component is that the steering is now firmer at high speed driving,
    making the car feel more secure.

    For now, I am satisfied with the fixes. I hope I don't have to waste my time fixing what Hyundai should have done right in the first place.
  • lynn97lynn97 Posts: 2
    My husband and I recently purchased an 06 Azera from a local dealer.
    We found that the A/C was not working while we were driving home.
    The dealer cant get the car in for service for almost a week. There is also
    a whining noise coming from the engine. Maybe a compressor perhaps?
  • richardcotrichardcot Posts: 39
    A whining noise could indicate a bad bearing, possibly in one of the components connected to the serpentine belt.
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