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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • You don't have to take it to a dealer. Most any mechanic should be able to adjust your door. Make sure they look for rust where the door attaches to the body.

    If they are any good, the mechanic should charge you less than a half an hour labor. $35-$50

    Curious as to why you bought 5 door handles instead of fixing the door? Did you take it to the dealer? If you did, did you explain the hard to open door?

    If you had the same person/shop put the 5 door handles on, they are not very nice mechanics & should be avoided.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    You could be hearing noise from the catalytic converter as the hot engine and exhaust system cools down. Also, on cars with traction control, you will a click or a clunk from under the car after you engage Drive and go about 100 feet. That is the traction control system coming on.

    Anyone know of a good repair kit to fix a small gouge in the padded armrest? Is this leather or vinyl? The dealer says there is no armrest have to replace the entire door panel.

  • roseqroseq Posts: 2
    thanks for the suggestions. i didnt actually buy 5 handles. the first one i bought had a warranty, so i just kept stopping by the dealership and replacing the handles myself. it was a quick and easy solution while i was trying to figure out what to do about my door. and i didnt feel like spending the money quite yet. but now i think i'm just going to try and oil up the system myself and see what that does. thanks for your help!
  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    Thank you. I now remember seeing Clay Magic in the AutoSport catalog (or You spray on one product, then use the clay lump to remove surface trouble. I'll order some. Thanks for refreshing my memory.
  • It sounds like the door needs to be adjusted. I doubt oiling the door will help.

    It's not hitting the latch like it should. The door has dropped or sagged dragging on the latch area, or part of the mechanism that opens the latch is loose or bent.
  • jxs81jxs81 Posts: 26
    Today I accidently drove my 2001 Elantra into deep water. It's a part of the road I drove everyday, and I didn't think the water was deep. But before I knew it, water went a little bit over the front end of the hood already. Once I got out of the water, I heard some buzzing sound from the front of the car. It disappeared, but only to reappear when I arrived home(about 2 miles away). I looked at the air filter, it appeared to be dry, and there is no water in the box holding the filter. Can anyone tell me how I can make sure there is no damage done to my beloved Elantra? I begin to worry now. Thank you very much!

  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    The buzzing sound may have been the water clearing itself from the moving belts and pulleys. I suggest you do two things:

    1) Replace your oil and filter

    2) Replace your tranny fluid.

    These are the two fluids that are most affected by a deep water event. I've been told that the Elantra pulls air from an air pocket in the left front fender. This gives you a saftey margin in deep water before you hydraulic the engine (suck in water).
  • Hope someone can help me. I have a 2001 Elantra GLS and have been plagued with two problems since I got the car in May '01. I now have 75k miles on the vehicle and have replaced the low beam headlamps a total of nine times, 4 on driver's and 5 passenger's side. Nothing plausible from dealer to explain why. ?They did replace the alternator thinking that it might be spiking. Blew another bulb one week after it was installed. More difficult is the very serious brake vibration I have and have seen others describe exactly the same. I have replaced the wheels and tires (all properly balanced several times)had the disc brake rotors machined 3 times before replacing them completely along with the disc pads with Hyundai OEM parts just recently at 70K miles. Less than 5k miles later problem has returned worse than ever. Dealer states new problem is because I drive to fast on highway and have overheated the rotors. They could not explain original problem at all. Seems to me that if driving the same speed as everyone else on the highway is too fast I should expect the car to fall apart. I've been a loyal elantra owner (owned 4 since 1994) and have had 6 others in the family. Quality seems to be getting worse and have decided to look at other vehicle lines. More disturbing is the Hyundai Advantage warranty which doesn't seem to cover anything regardless of their marketing claims. You can state you cover problems longer than anyone but if you don't back it up, the warranty does not mean diddley. Guess it's goodbye to Hyundai after almost ten years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Have you tried other dealers? This one doesn't seem to have much on the ball. Have to talked to anyone "higher up" at Hyundai, starting with the dealer's customer service manager and moving on up to their zone rep, etc.? A bulb doesn't blow in one week by itself; there must be some kind of electrical system problem, which they should be able to diagnose if they took the time. If they tell you they can't find the problem, and the problem started before the car's warranty expired (hope hope), I'd ask them to take their car back. Same with the brake vibrations. It sounds like you don't do a lot of hard braking that could warp rotors (rotors are thinner these days and more subject to warping, even on non-Hyundais). Any chance the vibration is caused by the rear brakes? (You didn't say that those had been touched yet.)

    How have the other 9 Elantras treated you and your family? If these are the only big problems in 10 years and 10 Elantras, that's not too bad in my book, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
  • mxo11mxo11 Posts: 27
    The "Check Engine" light on my GT came on a couple of days ago. Knowing that most likely it wasn't due to a loose gas cap, I took my GT to the dealer. (Other symptoms were high rpm's when idling and jerking while in first or third gear). The problem, according to the service manager, was a faulty throttle position sensor. Has anybody experienced something similar?
  • My Elantra 2002 Elantra I bought in April of 2002, had clicking in the brakes a few months after I Purchased it. They fixed it afterwards with no problem. Also my tires wore down after 30 miles. Now my car has recently started stalling when I try to drive off. Maybe it's because of the heat. Has anyone else had this problem.
  • i'm kinda dumb. please help me. how can tires be worn down after 30 miles? do you mean 30,000? i don't get it. USED tires last more than 30 miles. is it a typo?
  • Frank, yeah I did mean 30,000 miles. It was a major typo. Thanks
  • jprybajpryba Posts: 201
    30,000 miles on the original tires sounds about right. It might be a little low, but it's not that bad.

    I know that when I'll need new tires in the future, I'll probably check out Wal Mart or Discount Tire (and a few other similar tire shops). I see no reason at all to pay more than I have to for something decent.
  • ...just bought my new 5speed hatchback a couple days ago. sometimes i would hear some sound (as if the break pads are dirty) when i step on the breaks. also, everytime i release the gas pedal, i would feel a tension on the car like some mechanism is slowing it down automatically...not too much, but enough for me to feel it. it doesn't matter how fast i'm going. has anybody here experienced these same problems? or am i just being paranoid? is it because the car is new and still needs a break-in? i only have 115 miles on it so far. any advice or information will be greatly appreciated.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    Brakes: If you have what I think you have its the same as my brakes. On certain mornings (cool and damp) There is a moan coming from the brakes in the morning. I've been told the brakes need to be burnished in. The brake pads are chattering on the disc due to a build-up of pad material on the brake disc. You burnish them by doing about four hard stops from 80mph in a row. I did that and my sound is gone.

    Gas pedal: I had this problem also. Took the car to the dealer two times for it. First time they lubricated my accelerator cable. Second time they repositioned my accelerator cable. Both times when I left the dealer the problem was gone only to return in a couple of weeks. The gas pedal would feel snatchy and grabby. No smooth travel. Now this is MY fix:

      Get a can of your favorite lube (I used WD-40). On the accelerator cable there is a small black cap where the end of the cable is held on a flange. Pull the small black cap foward. Now the place where the cable exits the outer shield is exposed. Place the spray tip against this opening where the cable exits. Place a paper towel around the cable and the spray tip. Now while holding the towel and tip in one hand (tightly) and can in the other spray the lube into the cable for about a minute or longer. This will force the oil to travel the length of the cable. Replace the small black cap. Your done. clean the area (oil will have dripped out). Now step on your gas pedal and feel the Lexus like travel! I did this a few months ago and it still feels great.

    PS: Some dealers will replace your accel cable if you complain enough. The new one may end up feeling the same in time though. Hope this helps.
  • mike91326mike91326 SoCalPosts: 251
    I see that you have a 5-speed. Unlike an automatic, a manual transmission has a direct connection, through the clutch, to the engine so you don’t coast like you do with an automatic. When you take your foot off of the gas, you will feel the “braking effect” of the engine until you step on the clutch or put the stick in neutral. This “effect” is normal with a manual transmission.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    According to Hyundai, a few 02 and 03 Elantras are having a problem with stumbling and stalling for about 1-2 minutes after starting in hot weather, but the engine having been off overnight or all day. When the temp is cooler, the problem does not occur. It is under investigation, so tell your dealer to notify Hyundai. The problem is not isolated to any one assembly point or date.

    That being said, I have been in the engineering end of electronics for over 25 years, and have a lot of automotive electronics experience. I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that this is going to turn out to be a case of tolerance build up. Put the temp sensor at one extreme of the acceptable tolerance and some other sensor (map, tps, O2)at the other end and the ECM will not see a problem. This particular problem has been showing up at ~18K to 22K miles. My '02 is a stick, so if I have to go in a hurry, I just feather the clutch.

    Accelerator cable: Make them change it. The cable can have a burr inside the housing and will not bind unless it is actually pulling on the throttle body. If you disconnect it to test it, there will never be any binding. Lube or realignment will only mask the problem.

    Brakes: Very common. During break in the rear drums dump a lot of dust into the adjustment mechanism. Shoes don't adjust up and start rattling under braking. Dealer will pull drums, wash out the dust with cleaner, adjust up the slack, and the problem will not come back. At least, mine did it at 5K, and with 21K has not done it again.

    y'all have a good evening.

  • 5port5port Posts: 395

         Looks like I misread his post the first time and went off on a tangent about a fix. I reread his post and your advice is right on. Sorry about that.


         The original poster has a GT hatchback. Therefore he has rear disc brakes.
  • Thanks for the response about my two issues, lights and brakes. I have tried to work thru several different dealers regarding the brake problem and get the same answer at each. Just yesterday spoke with Hyundai regional rep. He is willing to cover the cost of the diagnostic to determine the brake vibration problem but it more than likely will be warped rotors which are not considered a manufacturing defect. I will have to pay the cost of machining the rotors anyway. That would not be an issue if it resolved the vibrations, but as you can see from my other note, I did that numerous times on the originals and will probably have to continue doing it with the OEM replacements. My concern is that the OEM disc rotors just can't take the heat. I drive about 110 miles per day back and forth to work, mostly highway, and have done so through all four elantras I've owned. Did not have this kind of problem until they changed the design on the 2001. My other elantras each had their own "unique" problems but Hyundai was always willing to work them through. That seems to have changed when they went to their new "Advantage" warranty. My wife had a '96 Elantra followed by a 2000 Sonata. She had a few issues with the '96 which were addressed and resolved. Went to the Sonata with a supposedly better warranty She developed an engine performance issue in the Sonata. Attempted numberous times to diagnose and resolve with dealers to eliminate the stalling issue. They could never find nor duplicate the problem (a common theme)resulting in a car accident that could have been far worse had she not been a good driver. She is now in a Toyota and loving its absolute perfect running order.

    I am hesitant to continue with the Elantras since I believe the brake design has remained the same from '01 thru to present. The bad low beam problem I believe is a design flaw in the lamp moounting design and from what I have heard has plagued many other people. I am not sure if Hyundai has addressed this problem. I seemed to have resolved it for myself by ensuring that the dealer installs the bulb with the tab in the correct position. I've also added a piece of electrical tape across the back of the wire harness to improve the bulbs "stability. Seems to be working.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I sympathize with your troubles on the Elantra, but I don't understand how you can call either the brake problem or headlight problem a design problem. If they were design problems, they should affect most owners. For example, I should have a similar brake problem on my '01 GLS because I use the brakes a lot, doing mostly in-town driving, about half on freeways, with a lot of stop-and-go. I've had no brake problems in the nearly 3 years I've owned the car. We should also expect to see this problem pop up more on boards like this, if it were a design problem. Same with the headlights. There are some reports here of headlights burning out prematurely. But you need to balance that against the hundreds of thousands of Elantra owners whose headlights are just fine. If this were a design flaw, it too should pop up more often. IMO the brake issue is due more to a combination of your driving pattern (e.g. do you need to make frequent hard stops from highway speeds during your commute?) plus the thinner rotors that are common on cars today. As I noted earlier, because of the thinner rotors (due to cost cutting and weight savings), people have more trouble with warped rotors these days. I see this complaint frequently on other boards. It could be that the Elantra's rotors just can't stand up to the kind of driving you do, and you'd be better off in a car that can. You might ask the senior tech at your dealership if there has been a design change in the rotors since the '00 model year, i.e. did they get thinner? If so, perhaps they could recommend some beefier third-party rotors. The headlight problem seems like it could be due to "human error" rather than a design flaw, i.e. improper installation of the bulbs (you said you resolved it by ensuring the tab is in the correct position).
  • Yes, mxo11, my GT's TPS failed just 1 week after the 18K service was done. The dealer's comment: "Well it's just a coincidence. This thing happens sometimes with these cars." More often than I would've thought, as I discovered when I searched the boards here. Why wouldn't Hyundai take some preemptive action, if they know "it happens with these cars"?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    What kind of preemptive action would you suggest that Hyundai take on the TPSes?
  • I have a 2001 Elantra with approx. 90,000 Miles on it. Just the other day, my A/C suddenly stopped working. The weird thing is that when the engine is completely cold (like after being parked overnight) the A/C comes on and operates normally. As soon as the engine warms up, it suddenly stops putting out cold air, and instead I get hot, moist air. Help?
  • 90K?? That is alot of miles on a 2001. I thought mine was high at 34K (not that I worry -- I want to see this car achieve very high mileage). Is this the first trouble you have had in all these miles? I would be very interested to hear. Thanks.
  • Yep, this is the first problem I've ever had with it. The only things I've replaced to this point is tires and brakes. Until yesterday anyway, yesterday my thermostat went out, so I had to replace it ($10, and about 45 mins.) I couldn't be happier with the Elantra.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    but then there are those critics of Hyundais who want to see Elantras with 185,000 miles before they will believe Hyundais are reliable. Looks like Drew will be one of the first Elantra owners to achieve that mark, and soon!
  • I'm not sure if you heard, but I got this today from Automotive News.

    "In another recall, Hyundai Motor America is fixing fluid tubes for rear brakes on 312,000 Elantras and Tiburons. The affected models are 2001-03 Elantras and 2002-03 Tiburons. NHTSA says the brake tubes come in contact with steering gearbox mounting brackets and could leak. Dealers will reposition the lines, install clips to secure them and apply anti-corrosive material where contact may have occurred."

  • My 2003 Elantra has 20,000 miles on it and since day one I haven't been getting close to the gas mileage that was on the sticker. I contacted the dealer and they told be that it was the time of year that the gas is more oxygenated in the winter than in the summer. I don't think this is correct. I drive the car on only highways and 100 miles a day. The best mileage I have gotten is 29. The reason I purchased the car was because the sticker said it would get 34 on highway.
    Problem 2: The trans is acting weird. By that I mean when I am in first, second, or third and step on the gas and take the car over 3000 RPM's it hesitates and then catches up. Has anyone seen this problem and if so have you had if corrected?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Your dealer is correct. Oxygenated gas is used in many areas (including mine) in the winter months to reduce emissions, and it does slightly reduce gas mileage. I've noticed that my 5-speed Elantra's mpg is about 2-3 mpg lower in winter than in summer, but that could be due to a number of factors including oxygenated gas, more idling time (for warmup in real cold weather), lower tire air pressures (if I don't keep close tabs on it), etc. 29 seems a little low, but I average 28-29 mpg in the summer driving mostly on urban freeways (some rush hour stop-and-go), and I usually have a light foot on the gas. I have achieved 35 mpg on a couple of long trips with the a/c on, and a trip-best 40 mpg under ideal conditions once. Depending on how fast you drive, 29 mpg may not be all that unusual. But the transmission behavior you noted does seem weird--how noticable is the hesitation? Just a little, or a big lurch, or what?
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