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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • This morning one of the heating fans on the passenger side of the car starting clicking. Sounded like it was right behind the glove box. It didnt click until I was driving aobut 10 minutes. My first thought is to tear into it to see what could be wrong. Any experience on how to get to the fan or possible reasons for the clicking?

  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Could be something fell into the vents and got into the blower.
  • The lights by the heater, blower and air direction setting knobs do not work anymore. Any advise?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    If fuse is good, likely it's the light itself. In that case, hopefully the car has some of the bumper-to-bumper warranty left, or you might need to do your own minor surgery on the center console panel or pay someone else to do it.
  • Thanks, I will try the fuse first. No more warranty left.
  • Hello,
    Have you had any success here? I have an 03 Elantra and have had it in the shop 3 times. They changed timing belt preventively, changed damaged water pump and thermostat. Still no heat at idle. Once driving, very warm and up to temp. Mechanics scratching their head and don't know what else to do...
  • ok here it is. the tranny was stuck in 3rd and i had it looked at, i was told something was broke so i had it rebuilt. i installed it and it is shifting hard and wont down shift. anyway i was wondering if a 2000 elantra tranny would work because i found one with only 52,000 miles on it. do i need to swap the computer also? if you can help i would appreciate it.Thanx
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Did you do the rebuild, or someone else? If someone else, did the shop that rebuilt the tranny give you any kind of warranty on their work? Usually there is some kind of guarantee, even if only 30 days (dealers typically warrant their repair work for 1 year/12k miles).

    1999 and 2000 Elantras were the same car, no changes, so the 2000 tranny should work, but you could confirm that with a call to your local Hyundai dealer's service department.

    I also found this note that might be of interest:

    Transmission problems: If transmission sticks in 3rd, shifts poorly, or has harsh 1-2 shift, the pulse generator may need to be replaced. (1996-2000)
  • I'm about to buy a 2004 Elantra, with 62,000 miles. However, I'd like to have a mechanic inspect it first. The dealer from whom I'm buying will allow me to take it to a mechanic to have it checked out. Unfortunately, I don't know any Hyundai mechanics!

    Can anybody recommend a good shop/mechanic who could inspect the Elantra and do a good job of it to uncover any possible problems? I'm in the Los Angeles area (West Side, but will travel anywhere within LA county). If the place is open Saturday, that's a big plus! Thank you in advance!

    Also, aren't you supposed to change the timing belt on an Elantra at 60K miles? Since the car has 62K, should I have it done as soon as I buy it? Thanks!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Most any shop that handles foreign cars should be able to do the check, also any Hyundai (or Kia?) dealer. The timing belt is supposed to be changed at 60k but I think (CA residents check me on this) in CA it's different, a longer change interval as in 105k miles?? However, you will want to verify that the 60k service was done as it's expensive even w/o the timing belt--can be a negotiating point if not done.
  • Thanks, Backy. I would definitely feel better though, if specifically a Hyundai mechanic looked over the car, than a generic "foreign car" mechanic. An experienced Hyundai mechanic certainly will know the kinds of vulnerabilities too look for specifically in this car, as opposed to "any" car. So... still lookin' for those recommendations!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    So... why not just take the car to a Hyundai mechanic at a Hyundai dealer? :confuse:
  • If you look through the various threads all over the web, they are full of horror stories about Hyundai dealers and their service. So, *just* being a Hyundai mechanic at a dealer is definitely not qualification enough for this task. Just as *just* being a foreign car (or indeed any kind of car) mechanic is *by itself* not qualification enough. That was indeed the whole point of my asking for recommendations for a good Hyundai mechanic. Otherwise, indeed, I can go to a random dealer or random "foreign car" mechanic - which is no better than flipping a coin. So, that's the context of my query: it needs 3 conditions to be fulfilled simultaneously (1) good mechanic (2) Hyundai mechanic, and (3) located in the Los Angeles area.

    I hope the logic behind my requirements and plea for recommendations is obvious :)

    And what better place to ask for recommendations for good Hyundai mechanics than the largest message board dedicated to Hyundai cars? Logical, or not? It seems a lot of users, and some at least must be satisfied with their dedicated mechanic in one of the largest metropolitan areas on the planet :) Am I making sense, or does my approach seem bizarre and incomprehensible?

    Thanks in advance, and again, thank you Backy for your input! Still looking for recommendations!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    You may not be aware that there are different classifications of service techs at Hyundai dealers. Some dealers have "master" techs, who earn that distinction by demonstrating their skills to certain criterion. So one logical approach is to check with the Hyundai dealers located in the Los Angeles area to see which ones have master Hyundai mechanics. They might be good enough for what you need, which is someone to inspect a car you want to purchase.

    I am satisfied with the Hyundai mechanics at my local Hyundai dealer, but that is about 2000 miles by car from L.A. so that won't help you.

    Unfortunately, Hyundais are not that popular in SoCal, so it could be difficult finding an expert Hyundai mechanic outside of a Hyundai dealership. If it were me, I'd be more concerned about how good a mechanic he/she is vs. whether they are a "Hyundai" mechanic or not. Case in point: I took my old 626 into a local mechanic awhile back because of a noise in the rear end; shop was recommended to me by a friend. The shop doesn't specialize in Mazdas or even in foreign cars. The mechanic (who admitted he didn't know Mazdas that well) pinpointed the problem quickly and accurately. Earlier, a dedicated "Mazda mechanic" had given me an incorrect diagnosis.

    Good luck in your search for a good Hyundai not-at-a-dealer mechanic in L.A.
  • Thank you Backy, very informative. I have learned something - indeed, I had no idea about "master" mechanics as a special certification. Interesting.

    Again, I'm not bent on avoiding dealer mechanics, I just want a good Hyundai mechanic in the Los Angeles area - dealer or not, independent or not, etc.

    This however, gives me some ideas - perhaps I can call around the various Hyundai dealers - maybe here in Korea Town - and asking if they have "master mechanics", and then just taking a chance on one... since it sadly seems no specific recommendations will be forthcoming on this board at this time :(

    Quite a bizarre situation, lol! I was sure that this would be a breeze and recommendations would be pouring in, given how big a subject "good mechanics" are, and how large LA is. Guess not! Live and learn. It looks like it'll be an adventure, ha, ha! Nothing's been easy with this car purchase. Hmm. Perhaps a Toyota is a safer choice after all... there's got to be a reason for everything, including popularity - I mean, if you can't even get mechanic recommendations for your brand of car, perhaps that's a warning signal of things to come and a very solid reason why Toyotas are so popular?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Why would you need a mechanic recommendation for a Toyota? They never need fixing or repairing, do they? ;)
  • "Why would you need a mechanic recommendation for a Toyota? They never need fixing or repairing, do they?"

    Hahahah Backy...thats a good one. They don't need repairing. They just get taken off the road and junked for safety purposes. Thats why I went with Hyundai. And bought my Elantra.

    A better vehicle and from what I have read I won't have to worry about 10 yrs from now losing my vehicle to the Car Maker in a buyout to scrap my vehicle liike what happened to me this summer. :blush:
  • To be fair, numbers don't lie. Take the Corolla versus the Elantra (about equivalent class of vehicles). There is no doubt that both initial quality ratings as well as long term reliability show Corolla to be a clear winner. Take the 2004 year Elantra I'm looking to buy - here are the sorry numbers on that car:

    And here are the numbers on the 2004 Corolla:

    Now, if what is important to you is "long term dependability" - and if buying used, this is the most important statistic, then the Corolla blows the Elantra out of the water. It's not even close.

    I've always owned Toyotas and Hondas. The only reason I'm even considering an Elantra is that my wife needs a second car, and we took a cross country trip in 2007 in a new Elantra 2007 (rented) and we LOVED that car - absolutely LOVED it. We drove 4000 miles and it took us 3 weeks with frequent stops for sightseeing. The Elantra was fantastic - the ergonomics, the performance, the thoughtful design and bulletproof reliability. So, that lead me to even look at Hyundais in the first place. That's why I'm thinking of buying this Elantra.

    Anyhow, with such relatively poor reliability (though much better than a Nissan!), it is much more important for there to be plenty of good Hyundai mechanics, rather than Toyota which is much more reliable. Instead, the opposite is the case seemingly. Oh well.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    I think you should buy a Corolla then.

    FWIW, I own a 2004 Elantra and the worst problem it's had in nearly five years is I had to replace each low-beam bulb once--under warranty of course.
  • The problem with buying a used Corolla is that they are way overpriced for the reliability advantage they do offer. Yes, they are better, but not 30% better - so the price is not worth it (used Hondas are the worst in this respect - insanely overpriced). The opposite is true of the Elantra - it is underpriced for the value. That is one reason I'm looking at the Elantra - excellent value. The other reason is that I like the ergonomics better than the Corolla.

    As to anecdotes - yes, of course, you'll always find someone whose experience is this that or the other. Heck, I'm sure there are super-happy Yugo and Pinto owners. That's why we go by statistical studies - because they are more valid than anecdotes. That said, I'm glad you're happy with your Elantra, and if I buy one, I hope to have a good experience too. And I don't think I'm asking too much to want to have it checked by a *good* *Hyundai* mechanic in my area - before I buy. Gee, I'd think it's a sensible and modest wish.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Yes, it's definitely a good idea. But not something to obsess over, IMO. Remember, the mechanic isn't actually going to change anything on the car... just look at it. Any experienced auto mechanic should be able to determine whether the car is ship-shape and what needs attention, assuming they can hook it up to their computer (heck, AutoZone can do that). 2004 Elantras are not that unique in design.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) Good luck!
  • Well, it looks I don't have much choice anyhow. I'll just have to take it to a non-Hyundai mechanic. I'm still stunned at how this can be such a huge difficulty. You'd think I'm asking for a recommendation for a good mechanic for an exotic Batmobile. Oh well. Thanks for the replies, Backy!
  • If you are so worried about buying used, why don't you run the vin# on carfax to see what was done on this car. If may not have everything done, but I was used car shopping and on a 2007 Malibu with 23,000 miles on it I discovered the same tie rod was repaired 4 times. So I went new with an Elantra. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Carfax can help, but I've noticed during my recent used car shopping that the Carfax records are woefully incomplete when it comes to service records--so there's no way to tell if a car was properly maintained just by looking at Carfax. :(
  • "Carfax can help, but I've noticed during my recent used car shopping that the Carfax records are woefully incomplete when it comes to service records--so there's no way to tell if a car was properly maintained just by looking at Carfax."

    Very true as after my truck was taken by Toyota I saw there were things not listed I had done.

    But I found out when buying used you can call up the manufacturer too and they will tell you what was repaired/done.

    And Hyundai will tell you all. They want their cars sold and if there is something wrong with the used vehicle and it turns out to be a lemon, well..... I doubt they would not tell what was done on this Elantra. Especially now that some car sales are slacking.

    It would benefit Hyundai Motors to tell all they have on record for this vin# on this used car he is looking at I would think.

    And I don't know about anyone else, but I really think I will have all my maintenance done at Hyundai just in case they get a Tech Bulletin and they have to fix something. I usually don't do this, but I want to make sure with the PZEV engine I get all done that comes out about it. :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Sure, a dealer can tell you the service history for any service done through Hyundai dealerships. But if someone did-it-themselves or went elsewhere for service, those won't show up in Hyundai's records. The seller should have those records, however. If not it's a red flag. (Also not a good idea to not keep ALL service records, in case of a warranty claim.)
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I got the CarFax report on a hard to find vehicle and it showed no problems, no wrecks. The car needed some sound system work which required the interior panels to be removed, revealing that the entire side of the car, from the top to the bottom, drivers door to tail lights, had been replaced. I would consider this to be "major body damage", yet there was no record of it. The selling dealer claimed no knowlege as the CarFax report was clear.

    In my personal opinion, a CarFax report is not worth the paper it is printed on.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    I took my '04 GT in for an oil change today and to adjust the parking brake. Service guy said the rear disc brakes were at 10%. I was a little surprised by that, since I'm easy on the brakes, but had the work done. Does that seem unusual to anyone else that the rear brake pads should need replacing so soon?

    At least the oil change was free. :) Also I had them check the hatch struts, which don't support the hatch nearly as well as they used to. They have ordered replacements, covered under warranty--which is up in 2 months. At least the powertrain warranty has another 5 years and 58k miles to go. Will take my son almost all the way through college.
  • I have a 2004 Elantra GLS, and was told that the rears are at 20%. One thing which people don't often realize is that your brake pad usage is impacted by how well your wheels are aligned. If your wheels are even slightly misaligned (very easy to happen on Elantras), the break pads will go down much faster due to pattern of use.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Backy, that is not unusual at all, actually pretty good. The rear pads are organic, ie not semi-metallic and wear faster. Coupled with the fact that they are really small, 35 to 40K is about all you can hope for.

    When I changed the rears on my '05, I tried to get semi-metallic but found that no one made anything but organic for that application.

    Side note: When changing the rear pads on these, the piston doesn't just push back in. You need a special tool (available at Harbor Freight for like $3) that attaches to a 3/8 ratchet and allows you to push while turning the piston. For want of a better term, they sort of screw back in.

    Very simple brake job, takes less than an hour for both sides.
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