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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    This is not directly applicable, but I had a strange phone discussion with a service writer at my local Mazda dealer the other day. My son brought his school car (2000 626) in for an oil change (and that's ALL). The car had 105,000 miles. I knew exactly what they'd say, so I told the service writer when I made the appointment that the car is not on the normal service schedule, it had the 60k service including timing belt at 84k miles, and had the 15k service at 99k miles and an oil/filter change at 102k, so all it should need is an oil/filter change. So what happened? My son told me they tried to convince him the car needed a new timing belt. I called the service writer and asked why they recommended a timing belt replacement. Did they inspect the belt? No, she said 105,000 miles is the recommended change interval for that car. I told her that was odd, because I thought the interval was 60k miles and in fact when I negotiated to have the 60k service done (at another dealership) at 84k miles when I bought the car there a few years ago, they included the timing belt replacement. If the belt could go until 105k, why would that dealership change it, on their dime? :confuse:

    I have nearly 45k and 5.5 years now on my '04 Elantra. I plan to run it to 60k, which will be about 2.5 more years, before I replace the timing belt. I am sure the dealership will tell me when I bring the car in for its 45k service in a week or two that it needs a timing belt replacement "at five years or 60k, whichever is first." We'll see.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    If you're still covered by the 10/100 power train warranty, replacing the timing belt is required to maintain warranty coverage for that portion of the drive train that relates to the belt. If you fail to replace the belt on or about 60K (assuming non-CA) and it breaks before the warranty expires, Hyundai can and likely will deny warranty coverage of the repair. And since a broken belt will take a good chunk of the engine internals with it, that's a very expensive repair.

    Now, you don't need to replace it early, and can probably get away with waiting a thousand or two extra miles to get it done, but I'd advise you to have it replaced close to the schedule noted in your car's manual. To ensure you're getting a decent deal, call around to local places as well as the Hyundai dealer; any trained mechanic can do the work.

    Also, generally, unless the other belts have been replaced recently, pay the few extra bucks and have them done at the same time. Many places won't charge any extra for the labor (just for the parts) as they're in there already.

    After the warranty is up, do whatever you want. Stretch to 90K for replacements, for instance. But it's in your own best interest to maintain warranty coverage.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • jacktbjacktb Posts: 41
    Thanks for responding with these valid points. Responses to my original post are designed to give me data on it's realistic life span. Specifically, I would like to hear from someone that has had this part fail. I cannot find any of this information so it is assumed at this point that the belt is designed to go significantly past 60K.

    I'll probably follow yours and the manual's advice during the warranty period. The feedback will help me for the next time. Thanks again. --Jack
  • jacktbjacktb Posts: 41
    Backy: Thanks for the response. 84K is probably closer to the real life span than 60K. It will be interesting to hear from others, especially those that have had the part fail.

    I get the same over-maintenance pitch from the dealers also. That's why I also get the cars serviced instead of having the kids go. Was in the auto repair business very briefly in the 80's and one thing that stuck with me was the high emphasis on selling product and service. --Jack
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    If you do find some good data points on actual belt longevity, please share with the group. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how good the data would be unless it was broken down by usage conditions - harsh usage like extreme temps or long periods at high revs may be more of a strain than gentle highway cruising.

    If you're an "average" driver, you can probably exceed the recommended intervals by 20-30% with no undue harm. That should be within the manufacturer's tolerances/fudge factor. So maybe every 75K v. 60K. I don't know that I would push it to the 100K that the CA warranty provides as that interval is legislated & not necessarily based on manufacturer data.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I take the cars in myself whenever I can. This time I couldn't. But my 20-year-old son is very responsible, and I told him to call me if they tried to sell him anything other than an oil change. And he did.
  • jacktbjacktb Posts: 41
    I agree. That's the reason I am leaning towards 75K as it splits the difference. I will post all related data as it becomes available using "Timing Belt Replacement" as the title for easy search reference.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    On the Hyundai 2.0L, isn't there a cover that can be removed to check the belt for cracking? I seem to remember reading that somewhere.
  • jacktbjacktb Posts: 41
    I am not aware of any cover that would allow you to view the belt, but if there is that would be great. Especially since one look can tell a lot about it's condition.
  • Anyone know how to change the fog light bulb on an 07 Elantra? This is the second one to burn out, and I'm not paying the dealer another $21 to replace a $2 bulb.

  • Looks like a relatively simple do it yourself job, according to the illustration here:
  • Did my 09 Elantra's first oil change today - Just a word of warning... the factory applied oil filter must have been put on by the Korean weight lifting champ because it was pretty hard to get off. As a matter of fact, I actually damaged the oil filter (bent/crushed the canister in a couple of spots) getting it off. Natually, when I installed the new one - I hand tightened best I could and then tightened 1/4 turn more *only* by filter wrench - we'll see what next oil filter removal is like...
  • I have an elantra 2002 but I lost my key together with the remote for the security, how can I get a spare remote to work with the spare key?
  • I just bought an 05' Elantra. I took the car to my mechanic just to have him look over it. He noticed the tranny fluid was really dark and did a flush for me while adding an additive. (i don't remember what kind of additive i just know he had me look over the package to make sure it would work in a hyundai) I started having the check engine light pop on, i took it to the dealer once and they replaced a solonoid, then it came back on after only 20 miles of driving. So i took it back, they can't figure that out but in the mean time, i mentioned that i had had my transmission fluid flushed, the fella at the dealership tells me this
    " Do NOT put any additives in your transmission. What sort of transmission fluid did he use? Only use Hyundai specific transmission fluid! Have your mechanic flush it out again using hyundai atf. If you leave that additive in there, or use anything but hyundai atf, it will blow out your transmission and void your warranty."

    My mechanic works in a shop that specializes in transmissions, he just used whatever transmission fluid they have in the pump...I'm sure i can get the additive flushed out but WHAT is this special hyundai transmission fluid i'm supposed to use? He said i can buy it from a dealer for like 7-8 bucks a qt... WHAT? i've researched a little bit and all i find is an atf plus 7176, that you can't buy anywhere but a hyundai or chrysler dealership. Should i seriously get my tranny flushed again or is this guy BSing me?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    He's not BSing you. Hyundais do use a specific transmission fluid, Hyundai (or Diamond) SP III. There are posts around the net on alternatives, but if it were me (and it is me as I have a '04 Elantra with AT) I'd be sure to use Hyundai fluid, because my car still has over 4 years of powertrain warranty left.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    What Backy said. Hyundai is very particular on this issue. And the fluid change is at 30K miles, too. The transmission does not use a filter, hence the shorter service interval.
  • I have a 2001 elantra whose mileage is 167K, I currently use 10w30 Castrol oil, I am starting to hear a little noise in the engine area. I live in NYC where the weather gets cold. My question is , has anyone put a heavier oil in their car with this type of minleage? if so what? can I use 20w50 or should I continue with the current oil? overall my car is running good, I change the every 3000 miles and the time is now. Please give me some information ASAP. When I brought the car the manual didn't come witht the car so I can't make refer to it. Much thanks :)
  • Looking for the service mileage times for O2 sensor if there are any?
    What about exhaust if any? thanks.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I do not believe there is a specified service interval for the O2 sensors. They are, however, one of the most often replaced items BY MISTAKE on a car. Many of the OBDII codes referrencing the sensor do not mean the sensor is bad, but that the sensor is correctly identifying that something has gone wrong causing a rich or lean fuel condition.
  • thanks backy, it was SP III we checked that first, so i think i'm in the clear. My mechanic actually works at a shop that specializes in transmissions, so i trust him. I just don't trust the dudes at the dealership, he said even transmission additives that say hyundai approved might mess with your transmission. i think he was just coming up with reasons to void my warranty
  • I read to different things on removing the read brake drum.

    One says you remove the grease cap and bearing
    the outer says the drum comes off without doing this
    If i display the brake drum on autozone for
    a 2005 elantra gls it looks like you take it out without
    touching the wheel bearing. confused. anyone done this before.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Drum comes off as a single unit, no need to mess with the bearing. If you are having trouble getting it off, take off the wheel and put WD40 on the studs. Let it soak for a while, then TAP, the drum using a sledge hammer. I said TAP, because you don't want to whail away on the drum with a sledge. The mass of the sledge hammer tap will jar the drum and break loose the corrosion causing it to stick.
  • A rubber hammer works as well, although you may have to really give it a whack at several places around the circumference. But, no chance in cracking the cast iron drum.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Best is a soft brass hammer, or a "dead" mallet. Those are the ones that are made of high impact plastic, and filled with BB's. You get the force, but with a softer material, and no bounce back at your face! :surprise:
  • New member here asking for guidance on repairing or replacing engine on my daughter's and my 2002 Elantra sedan with 51,00 miles. Does anyone know of cases similar to ours where an overheated and damaged engine was repaired and ran soundly beyond 80,000 miles or so? I like the apparent lower cost of engine repair v. a used, low miles engine replacement. My repair concerns are: 1) increased risks of premature engine failure that wouldn't be paid for by the repair's warranty and 2) replacing the head gasket, machining the head smooth, putting engine together and it still doesn't run.

    The 2002 (we're third owners) overheated on my daughter at 60 mph, lost power as dashboard red lights came on, and then she and her brother saw steam coming from under the hood. Radiator leaked in many places, engine wouldn't restart. Towed car to our regular, trustworthy garage. Manager diagnosed: "no start, engine turns over rapidly, removed timing cover, found engine to be in time, checked compression low, added oil to cyls to get compression to come up with no luck. Compression is at 30 psi. Found radiator tank split open at the top, possible compression in cooling system causing radiator to split. Recommend replacing engine and radiator." He estimated $3000 p/l for a used engine of 33K miles and new radiator. He thinks the head gasket may be blown and rings seized, yet will need more time to know. Temperature and oil pressure gauges okay. One CV joint boot is cracked, parts dry. Otherwise, car seems okay and has run well.

    An area Hyundai service manager, without seeing the car, thinks the diagnosis is right except that engine may be repairable for about $1500 p/l and with a new
    radiator...nearing $2000. "A faulty thermostat likely started the're daughter had anywhere from a few seconds to a minute to react, good that she got off the road." "This is basically a sound little engine. I've seen a number of cases like what you've described, and your mechanic, and we open up the engine,
    replace the head gasket, machine smooth, put it back together and it starts up and runs fine. And at this point, with just a basic diagnosis and I haven't seen the car, he has, we can't be sure that the engine really has no compression, because of the order in which the cylinders fire and no one has opened it up yet." And "if you decide to tow the car up here, I'll be glad to pay for finding out what the problem is, but we're not responsible for the costs of repairs (out of warranties)."

    He agreed to call Hyundai of America district manager about any "goodwill discount" since the second owner, my mother, had thermostat replaced and a gallon of coolant added there at 36K miles along with a new timing belt, drive belts, engine flush, power steering flush, induction service, brakes checked...her complaint coming in was A/C was cool but not cold. She had AT fluid flushed there at 34K after buying the car. So when I hear back on goodwill discount yes or no, then we decide on repairing or replacing the engine, and at which location.

    I happily drive an '05 Elantra hatchback at 47K miles bought in April from original owner. The community comments I've read so far on overheated Elantras have been helpful. Thanks for your reading and comments to come.
  • Wow '57, that's sounds horrible! We've got the same '05 GT hatch as you but we're at 134,000 or so without a hitch thus far KNOCK ON WOOD (after reading your post!). Now admittedly, we drive 'er easy during the week across an interstate for commuting purposes and only drag race the Mustangs on Saturday nights, but the 2.0 Beta engine blowin' at 51k, sheesh! My buddy has the same '02 GLS that you speak of and he's at 175,000 on the odometer, again, without a hitch (Con't to knock on wood). He's one of the reasons we bought our Elantra in the first place. His lil' Elantra seemed to run really well and these things were several grand cheaper at purchase than the traditional [non-permissible content removed] entries in this segment. But my head spins...blown engine and a tried and true engine at 51,000 miles? Geez! Are the rest of you on here hearing similar cases like this one and how does one avoid this? Only reason I ask, we just bought an '09 SE (same lil' engine that could) to add to our fleet and I sure DON'T want this happening to this car!

    TIA 'backy and the rest of you edmunds Hyundai experts.
  • I have a 2002 Elantra GT hatch and experienced a faulty thermostat somewhere in the neighborhood of 65,000 miles, got it replaced for around $100, and no problems since *knock on wood as well*. I'm sitting at around 125,000 miles now and mainly using the littler feller as a commuting car to/from work.

    Not sure if this helps at all, but wanted to add my $0.02
  • OK... you have me worried now. Because of your car overheating at such a low mileage. My Toyota Tacoma didn't overheat until 120,000 miles and my stupid husband drove it with the thermostat shot. And I just ended up paying $800 at Midas for a new themostat, new water pump and a new radiator.

    What you are describing I never heard of. My husband has an 18 wheeler and he had over 900,000 miles before he had to have engine work done with blown head gaskets. And he paid 4 grand to have a used engine put in and all the head gaskets pulled and stuff. But his truck didn't overheat.

    My husband and I both have 2008 Elantras now. And I know we have the 100,000 mile 10 yr warranty. And we are the original owners but I sure hope this is not an Elantra thing.

    Backy...where are you to post to this? I know you know a lot about Elantras. Am I going to be sorry I bought one now?

    And to let everyone know. I have a silver Elantra. And my paint started peeling on the passenger side under the door. Right now it's being repainted. Be careful of your paint. I had a rock hit me too and it chipped off a chunk of paint which within 30 days started to rust on the side of the car over the summer. That's being fixed too with the peeling paint. :shades:
  • I need to replace the thermostat on my Elantra, but the wires to the coolant temperature sensor and to the sensor on the air filter box are in the way. I tried to disconnect those sensors, but I don't know how to unlock the connection. Do I need a special tool? or is there a "trick" to get them separated? Thanks in advance. :confuse:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Don't worry. From what I've seen (e.g. in recent movies), the world will end in 2012, so any problems with our Elantras will seem pretty minor in comparison.

    Sorry, but let's maintain perspective here, OK? Cars do fail sometimes. What you have to look at is, how often does a particular model fail? The Elantra would not have racked up high marks in, for example, CR's reliability survey if it has major problems affecting a large percentage of vehicles. I've seen some pretty nasty reports on problems with the Civic. Does that mean it's an unreliable car, in general? No. But say if 1/2 of 1% of Elantras had a significant problem, that would still affect approximately 5,000 of the 2001+ Elantras sold in the US (assuming an average annual sales of 100k). That's a lot of posts on forums like this.

    Now, if the radiator+++ problem had happened to my Elantra and it had 51k miles on it and was well maintained (preferably by the dealer, so they could see I was a loyal customer) and still under the powertrain warranty, I would work for the repair to be covered--or at least a significant part of it. Technically it would not be covered under the powertrain warranty, but there is an implied warranty here that such a thing should not happen to a well-maintained car with so few miles on it. That is the point I would take up the chain with Hyundai.
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