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Hyundai Elantra 2001-2006



  • Hello! I bought a 2001 Elantra automatic with package 2 3 days ago. I have 250 miles on my car and i just brought in the car to service for a pulsating brake pedal, and the infamous wheel shimmy at 65 MPH...The shimmy was really pronounced until i switched the front tires with the rear tires and then the shimmy was less, but still there. The brake rotors were resurfaced and supposedly the 4 wheels rebalanced. The brakes are much better, but i still think the shimmy is still there.... At least i feel better knowing other people have the same problem and im not the "only one". If the shimmy continues, i will be back to service.
  • tb88tb88 Posts: 242
    Maybe the dealer knows something we don't, don't you think?
    He is unloading them in a hurry! I wonder why he is taking such a loss... unless he is going out of business or switching to another kind.

    The best price I could find for a GLS automatic + Package2 ($14,432) was $12,700 + tax and that includes the 500 rebate! And when I started finding about some of the problems and bad service, that acted as a cold shower!
    Intrepidspirit, would you please, list the dealer's name and phone number...I may give him a call to see if we can work out something for delivery? Thanks.
  • steveb70steveb70 Posts: 15
    I am not an owner of a 2001 Elantra, but I am looking at the car. Regarding the shimmy issue, what do the mechanics in the service departments typically diagnose the problem as? Are the cars out of alignment from the factory? Is it a stabilizer bar problem? A manufacturing defect?

    With that said, the brake issue concerns me even more than the shimmy problem...

    If these issues were happening to me, I'd be tempted to take the car in to my regular mechanic for a diagnosis. Have any of you with these problems done this (without having the mechanic fix anything)?

    Finally, is there any way to research different dealer service departments as to which are the best and which are the worse; as far as customer feedback?

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I took a car with slight hail damage (dentless, repaired) rather than another car with slight shimmy. Upon delivery I noticed a small paint imperfection about the size of a pin head on the roof, and a small white line (about like a 1/2 inch hair, only finer) on the hood. The detailler was able to rub much of the hood mark out with polishing compound.

    They gave me a loaner car for four days and completely repainted both panels. Above and beyond IMHO, since the imperfections were very small. I didn't ask them to do this, but was quite pleased as I had agonized on the effect of paintless dent removal on my clear coat in the future.

    St. Charles Hyundai-- Metro St. Louis.
  • jimarthjimarth Posts: 5
    Hi bri70, want to trade Elantras? Oh, and if you haven't purchased yet, have I got a deal for you!

    Csandste, good point. I also owe a word of thanks to the Cormier dealership in Long Beach CA for always being so easy to work with, listening to the issues, and for the great efforts to resolve those issues (that the problems are not resolved is a separate issue).

    Steveb70, I brought my car in to the Cormier dealership late in the day (300 miles on the car). The shimmy was really bad. The dealership went out of their way to take me in as a late appointment and attempted to balance the tires twice--unsuccessfully. The service manager said he *did not know* why they could not fix the problems, but wanted to investigate some possibilities, such as water inside the tires, etc. I was asked to leave the car with them the following day. They eliminated most of the shimmy, but some shimmy still remains. My shimmy is intermittent--sometimes it's there, and other times it's completely gone, same speeds, same road. The dealership never told me what caused the severe shimmy. As to my intermittent shimmy, I don't see how that can be resolved with tires, rims, or balancing--it's got to be something else.

    As a practice, I don't think service departments admit to chronic problems they see from a multitude of consumers--even if directly asked. (Ask your service department if they've seen the shimmy problem with other Elantras and they will most likely say no.) They could end up being called as a witness in arbitration (to testify to defects present in the overall population of cars) not to mention the backlash they would receive from the manufacturer ("... but the service manager said EVERYONE has this problem...").

    Tb88, a few years back, I either read or heard on TV, that manufacturers of cars try hard to get that great "door-closing sound." Manufacturers attempt to control the way the doors sound (marketing, to sell more cars) at the expense of better latching systems--point being the best designed doors will sound pretty crappy... and that's at odds with what consumers want. Now, I think everyone would agree that the Elantra, including my own, has an outstanding, solid sound to the doors when they close (I even read comments about the door sound in an editor's review). My doors sound fantastic but are very hard to close without slamming or rolling down the windows. That's why I strongly suspect the design of the latch is the culpret (to get that great sound) not the air-tightness of the vehicle (you can see my rather long rant about this problem at post # 1170).
  • steveb70steveb70 Posts: 15
    Sorry to hear you're having so much trouble with the car. Did you test drive this particular car before you purchased it? If so, did you take it out on a highway and approach 65-75 mph?

    Regarding the intermittent shimmy, it sounds like an alignment problem of some sort. I agree, I don't think it's the tires at this point. If I were you, and if you have a mechanic you trust, I'd take it in to him only for a diagnosis. I wouldn't have him replace anything though as to not void the warranty.

    I'd then take his diagnosis and tell the service department, "I'd like you to check the XYZ bar to see if that is what is causing the intermittent shimmy." I wouldn't tell them you had your mechanic give a diagnosis.

  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    There is a dealer in this area (Philly PA) that advertises Hyundai Elantras at substantial discounts (similar prices to those being mentioned by intrepidspirit). However, when you read the fine print or listen to the end of the radio ads, they state the prices include $2500-$3000 cash or trade. So when they are advertising a '01 Elantra GLS with air, automatic, blah, blah, blah for $9998 it is actually more like $12.5-$13K. That is what is going on in this area, anyway. Most Hyundai dealers are currently more concerned with sales volume, so deeply discounted prices are not uncommon. I am starting to read articles about how Hyundai automobiles are starting to become very chic so it wouldn't be surprising to see prices start to creep up and dealers become "snooty". Sales are way up, warranty claims are down more than 50%. Very similar to how Honda, Toyota, and Nissan started back in the 70's. I am waiting for the '02 Hyundai coupe...looks very promising.
  • Are Honda Elantras...well the NEW ones reliable and good freeway cars? to drive about 350 miles per week for 4 or 5 years without problems.? please tell us about yours. Oh , do they have good air conditioning? and is the power fast enough? i heard the Elantras are made extremelycheaply, but then i saw a newer one and thought it looked nice. thanks please help us out.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The Elantra is made by Hyundai and not Honda. Truck, I think you have insulted at least one of those companies, but not sure which. ; )
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Didn't you just buy a dark green '01 Civic? At any rate, the '01 Elantra is, IMO, one of the best if not the best highway cruisers in the compact class. The car is quiet (the automatic especially so), and has a smooth ride for a small car. Whether or not it will hold up for 4-5 years is the Big Question. It seems solidly built, but it is too new to have proven its long-term reliability. The a/c on my GLS is excellent, very cold; it took care of today's 98 temp and 108 heat index w/o problems, and it wasn't even on max. Usually I have to put it on setting 1 or it's too cold. The power is good for its class (13 more hp than the Civic EX), and is plenty peppy with the 5-speed (0-60 in 8.4 secs). The automatic is not quite as quick, as you'd expect, but not bad for a slushbox. The best way for you to see if it's a good highway cruiser is take it for a long test drive, and if you like it then rent one for a couple of days (Hertz carries them in some locations). That would allow you to see how it does on those long drives. I always ask for an Elantra when I rent from Hertz--otherwise I might get a Focus SE or Protege LX, or worse, an Escort.
  • The dealer is :

    Famous Ed's Hyundai (formerly Bendick Hyundai)
    3342 Santa Anita Ave.
    El Monte, CA
    Tel: 626-575-8200

    Portions of the ad read:

    "New 2001 Elantra GLS
    Auto, Air, Power Windows/Locks, Tilt, AM/FM Cass., Rear Defogger"

    MSRP $14,032
    Ed's Discount -3,544
    Sale Price 10,488
    Fact. Rebate -500
    Net Price $9,988

    "All in stock w/MRSP $14,032"
    "Prices exp C.O.B. 8/5/01"

    His main competition is Team Hyundai in Pasadena. The number is 1-888-396-4480 (don't know if that number is good out of state). They had a loss leader this weekend (1 only) @ $10,888 (MRSP $13,972).

    I don't know why he Ed is selling this low. Most car dealers in this area are "unloading" which is what you would expect at the end of a model year.

    I know from personal experience that the ads are honest (at least they were for mine @ $10,988). There was no attempt to switch me to higher models, etc. They simply sold me the car I wanted at the price they advertised!

    I spoke to Ed when I bought and he told me he bought the business from his former associate (Bendick) and planned to become the highest volume dealer in Southern California.

    But you seem so negative on the Elantra, I don't know why you would buy one at any price! If you are that skeptical, you probably will never be happy with the car...I think everyone should feel good about what they buy!
  • tb88tb88 Posts: 242
    >>...But you seem so negative on the Elantra, I don't know why you would buy one at any price! If you are that skeptical, you probably will never be happy with the car...<<

    Sorry about that, but after reading some of the problems of unhappy owners, I felt that something is terribly wrong with the service after sale and the warranty in general... but then again, I looked at other boards and found similar complaints about different problems!
    I guess in order to get total satisfaction, one must deal with BMW/mercedes and the like!
    I wish I could live somewhere where cars are not needed!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    No car is perfect, and even well-engineered cars can be sloppily assembled, so the real answer is making sure you have access to a good dealership service department. We've had more niggling problems with our Focus ZX3 than I'm comfortable with, but the service folks at my dealership really try hard to make things right. Everyone has different tolerances for problems, so figure out where you stand and shop accordingly.
  • No offence -- I just hope you can find a car that you'll be happy with!

    I got a great deal on the Elantra and when I get a great deal I am much more tolerant of imperfections. When I pay a premium price for a car (or anything else) I expect perfection and I am always disappointed. It depends upon your point of view.

    Most of today's cars are well-engineered and the gap between manufacturers' quality is narrowing. Perceived reliability and reputation carry a premium price tag. In my opinion, from all the reviews I have read, Hyundai's reliability has improved dramatically, but the marketplace hasn't caught up with it yet; therefore the lower pricing. This provides a unique opportunity to take advantage of lower prices.

    Take a look at Edmund's long term base Elantra GLS reviews. They have only had it 3 months but each month's review confirms they love it. They don't even miss the Bimmer it replaced!

    I'm not an expert on cars, so I rely heavily on reviews from people who do this for a living. All reviews I have seen have been excellent compact car with many standard features and a great value compared to the competition. Being value-conscious, this is what attracted me to the car...and after driving it I was sold!
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I have the new GT. The A/C is the best and coldest I have ever experienced. I drive long distances every weekend. Great road car and over 32 mpgs with an automatic. 4,600 far so good. Go for it!
  • Thanks for the link! This certainly reinforces everything I've heard about the Elantra! Although they aren't specific about the "attributes" used in their research, I would be surprised if "total value" was not one of them...
  • It's been quite a while since I've read about any electrical problems (last I remember, someone had to have their entire harness rewired due to water damage) and am curious to know how everyone else is faring. No big crisis here yet, but our clock now refuses to stay lit, and the driver's side door light stopped working a month after we got the car. I'm beginning to worry. I'm loathe to bring it to our local dealer; they have a sterling reputation for making things worse. Anyone else experiencing any petty little electrical annoyances?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I urge you to take your Elantra in right away to get the electrical problem checked out. Sure, the current problem is an annoyance, but there are other electrical systems, like those that control air bags and headlights, that are critical to safe operation of the car. Yes, there's always the chance that the dealer will make things worse, but better to get it checked and fixed now before it gets worse. My Elantra, a Sept. '00 unit, had the side airbag wiring harness problem of the early models (a recall). It was fixed before delivery. It took the dealer 10 days to get the parts (few Elantras on shore back then, let alone spare parts) but they fixed it right the first time. Give 'em a chance; at least they've had almost a year of experience working on these.

    P.S. did you check the fuses?
  • My sister wants to buy a 2001 automatic Elantra and has these questions:
    1) Will she save money by buying a 2001 as opposed to a 2002?
    2) What is a good price for an auto 2001?
    3) What is the availability of an Elantra in the pewter color? Will this be easy to find?
    4) And most important, would you recommend this car? She now has a 2000 Civic EX and the household needs a second car to be driven to work and school.
    Thanks in advance for all replies (
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Yes to the car. Leftovers should be deeply discounted, depending on the packages. Package 5 cars with ABS and traction control will be harder to find and harder to get at rock bottom prices. Some dealers are selling automatics for well under $10k. The color should not be too much of a problem. Dealers can search other locations. The Elantra is a nice riding car with good sound insulation and an outstanding level of standard equipment. I drove several Civics and as far as driver comfort, it was no contest. Honda has a better reputation and much higher resale value....but they cost more too.
  • tb88tb88 Posts: 242
    >> What is a good price for an auto 2001? <<

    It depends where you live and on the competition!
    I had quotes from 3 different dealers in MI, and none would go below $12,700 including Rebate(500)+ Taxes (MSRP: 14,332)+ Taxes for a 2001 Elantra with automatic and Package2 ($400).
    I would have bought one in spite of some reservations about the service after sale; if I had found a price around $10,000.

  • baberbaber Posts: 96
    The problem with some comment boards is that people who have problems are much more vocal then those who have had a good experience. My Wife and I bought two Hyundais in late 1999, a 99 Elantra and a 99 Accent. Both cars have been very reliable. The Elantra has 25,000 miles and has never been back to the dealer we bought it from. I have done the service myself. It has been trouble free. Our 99 has the automatic and the 140 hp engine. It is very good on the highway. It will cruise at a comfortable 75mph all day with the excellent cruise control. I have had it up to 100 with no problems at all. The AC is very strong on both cars, even here in Florida it keeps us cool with no problem. Our 99 Accent is a sedan with an automatic. It has had only two problems, a noisy bearing in the power steering pump and a radio that was damaged by a lightning strike. Both of these problems were fixed under warranty for free. I have 57,000 miles on my Accent and I still love the car. My Wife locked herself out of her Elantra a few months ago and found out the roadside assistance works as advertised. The road service guy even refused a $5 tip, he said "evreything is covered by Hyundai". I can reccomend Hyundais with no reservations at all. Since we bought our cars Hyundai has done much to improve the Elantra and Accent. In a few years we might trade up.
  • You won't get an automatic with package 2 under $10,000. As you know prices are $900 - $1,300 higher in the eastern U.S. than in Southern California. If you could get one for $11,500 you would have an excellent deal!

    Did you call "Famous Ed's?" Just curious...
  • tb88tb88 Posts: 242
    >... If you could get one for $11,500 you would have an excellent deal!...<

    I know...I made a 12,222 offer and it was rejected. Made another offer for 12,500 : that one too, was rejected.
    I am not in a hurry, I can wait for the new 2002 and see what they have different.
    I was told by a salesman that they will raise the price by 6% and will not offer a rebate for 3 months... I don't know how true that is... if it is; I will get the 2001 (it will probably get a little cheaper... all dealers are well stocked ...I don't think there will be any shortage soon... One dealer even has so many santa fe in stock which makes me think, that those are not much in demand around here either).

    No, I didn't call "Famous Ed's" yet! because the ad you mentioned, expired before your post. I will try this week though, and see...

  • If you can still get a 2001 in September/October/November, you should be able to get a great deal!

    I'm sure Ed will have another ad on Saturday. This is a link to his website.

  • jxs81jxs81 Posts: 26
    last weekend, I have to make a 350-mile trip with my elantra(with 450 miles then). I kept the speed between 50 to 60 mph all the way, mostly around 55 mph. However, some friends told me since I couldn't vary the speed much during the farely long trip, it would hurt the car.

    Can someone tell me what damage it could do to the car, if any? Is there anything I can do during the rest of the break in period to "correct" for it? Thanks a lot.
  • tb88tb88 Posts: 242
    Most new cars need a break in period (the first 1000-2000 miles... see manual). As its name implies, it is to let all moving parts (internal as well as external parts), to adjust and work smoothly with each other...

    Not doing it may result in:

    - Poor gas mileage
    - Some parts wearing out prematurely
    - Nothing at all.

    But 1 and 2 are very likely!

    Just vary your driving speed every few (2-3) miles (30/50/40/55/35...) with some stop and go... for the next 1,000 miles... and not exceed the maximun speed recommended by Hyundai during the break-in period.

  • gator_28gator_28 Posts: 14
    Just curious, but how often or how many miles inbetween does the elantra need a tune-up? I have a 2000 elantra with 14500 miles and all i've done so far is oil changes on it plus maybe rotated the tires a couple of times. the car runs great right now but i want to get some input from other owners out there on when this car needs a tune-up. My other car is a 97 nissan sentra and it seems to need a tune-up about every 20000 miles before it starts running sluggish. any input would be appreciated.....
    thanks, gator
  • rbeaudinrbeaudin Posts: 14
    FYI, nice front page article about the 2001 Elantra in the New York Times, Sunday, August 5th. Conclusion, "inexpensive, but not cheap."
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