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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • Your question about why the news report is relevant here on a Hyundai discussion forum begs a response:

    First, the online version of the article eliminated the sidebars I made reference to. These sidebars contained problem summaries for every car in Hyundai's lineup. (It should be possible to get a copy of the print version at a public library.)

    Second, when engines & critical components are subject to sudden failures and an auto manufacturer does not report such problems once a pattern becomes evident, it is a violation of Federal law. The article makes a balanced attempt to point out that this isn't a Hyundai fault alone. Unfortunately, silence is not uncommon in the automotive industry. It's not good PR, after all, to make one's design flaws common knowledge.

    We should thank God that the media is the watchdog it is. People that don't read the newspaper, listen to or watch the news sometimes miss valuable and potentially lifesaving information. Weeks after the Firestone Wilderness tire story broke, for example, there were still people driving their Explorers in oblivion—and deaths and injuries continued. The public was put at risk because the manufacturer didn't contact Explorer owners until the problem had become epidemic and cost many lives. Even after the media flushed Ford out, there were people—I know one personally who is a college-educated professional—who were still unaware. This same friend just two months ago nearly lost her life on a busy Southern California freeway at rush hour when one of those same tires blew. I wished I would have been more assertive about warning her. But I assumed she would have been informed enough to insist that the dealer replace her Wilderness tires. I won't make that mistake again. So I am here, in a forum that addresses Hyundai owners who are experiencing problems, to provide information that is relevant to Hyundai owners who are experiencing problems. If this information helps one person, I've said enough.

    I hope this answer suffices!

    Now, anyone with some tips in response to my questions?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Actually, your response makes me wonder if you read my post. I did not say that your mentioning the news report was not relevant to this forum. I questioned why a story about defective side air bag sensors on the '01 Elantra, taken care of long ago by a recall, merits a warning like this:


    And I also wonder, if the media is such a watchdog, why did they report in January 2001 that Elantras have [sic] defective side air bag sensors, when that problem occurred in the fall of 2000 and was covered by a recall in October 2000? Is that news? Why did they not do a little more research, such as simply check, and determine that in fact the problem was covered by a recall? Is that an example of publishing "valuable information"?

    I don't like it when automakers cover up defects in cars, as in the Ford/Firestone case. But comparing the Santa Fe engine problem to the Ford/Firestone case is a little unfair IMO.
  • Hi Backy,

    I have to admit that when I posted the link to the news article regarding the Santa Fe, I didn’t expect to be hammered for it. Criticism of my attempt to relay the news and your call to defend my post not once but twice calls into question your motive. Nevertheless, I will try to assure you that this is relevant info. and that I did read your original response. This time, I hope you will understand my reasoning. You don’t have to agree with it, but please don't attempt to censure it either.

    The Orange County Register article regarding 300+ catastrophic engine failures, as indicated by the title, focuses on the Santa Fe. The sidebars, though not included in the online version, contain a run-down of known issues pertaining to other models. By definition, a sidebar is not the central focus of a news story. Likewise, my post was not about Elantra air bags per se. I mentioned the air bags only because it is an Elantra-specific issue and this is an Elantra-specific discussion forum!

    If you own a vehicle and you read an article that makes you question the safety or reliability of your particular make, you naturally want to know if anything similar has been reported with your own model. The news article I referred to answers the obvious response: "What about my Hyundai?"

    If the newspaper did not summarize this "old news” in the sidebar, people would call and ask for it, trust me. I used to work in the field. If there was a recall for the air bags as you mentioned, the sidebar should have said so. I do not disagree with you regarding that point.

    Bottom line: ANY problem that has the potential to put lives at risk is worth mentioning if a pattern of failure exists. The Ford Firestone case is an example of an issue being left untouched and unresolved for far too long. In sharp contrast, Santa Fe owners have the potential, thanks to the quick action of this newspaper, to remain light years ahead of the folks who learned too little too late about their Firestone tires. If this article constitutes disaster prevention or saves time, money, headache and hassle, I'd say that makes it important!

    As I noted in the first paragraph, you don't seem to appreciate the pains I've taken to post this FYI. I can only guess as to why the post bothers you:

    • You work for Hyundai and have a stake in promoting an untarnished image here on this forum. Response: This is a forum to share multiple viewpoints and experiences. It is not intended for a PR campaign. Only the moderator should critique the content and only when it's grossly inaccurate, obscene or libelous.

    • You or someone you know drives or is about to purchase a Santa Fe. Response: I agree that it's not pleasant to imagine the sad fate some owners have experienced. If I were in that position, however, I'd focus on the message itself and what it might mean for my safety or finances rather than blaming my frustration or fear on the messenger.

    • The story makes Hyundai look bad. Response: Not necessarily. At this point, Hyundai is only guilty of trying to protect their image like every other auto manufacturer. Still, if there is a Law regarding personal safety that's in violation, this news warrants not only one article but a followup to see how the issue is resolved.

    • You have underestimated this article's potential to save owners from the hassle of a dealership saying "No, we haven't seen a problem like yours." Response: I’ve worked for car dealers. I know their game. They don’t tell customers, “Why yes, we’ve had 10 visits per day for the same repair in the past five months.” Just about any dealer anywhere will allow customers to think they have experienced an isolated problem. Reading the article/sidebar gives owners the confidence to say, “I know you know about this problem and I expect you to fix it without a fuss.”

    • The media can do no right. Response: There is no such thing as a perfect story and no such thing as a perfect audience. Whether newsmaker, news reporter or news watcher/reader, we all have our biases and flaws, some intentional, some not. If the media has failed to provide any valuable service at any time whatsoever, I am truly sorry.

    • You could care less if this information saves life and limb. Response: Flabbergasted. There is no suitable comeback to a disregard for the law, personal safety or attempts to downplay the significance of either.

    Last but not least, you implied that my title, "Important Info. for all Hyundai Owners" is inaccurate. To folks like me who didn't know about ANY of these problems, it’s nothing but relevant! My post—and the article it referred to—was for those who Did Not Know. People who may not be expected to know include prospective buyers and recent owners. That’s a significant chunk of people who are likely to agree that the article is newsworthy.

    Backy, let's call this discussion quits and let the readers decide for themselves whether or not it's relevant. There's no reason to quibble over it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    >>> Backy, let's call this discussion quits and let the readers decide for themselves whether or not it's relevant. There's no reason to quibble over it. <<<

    No, I don't think so--not when you take such great pains to attack me personally for disagreeing with one of your posts. I did not attack you for your post, I only disagreed with you. I also never challenged your right to post what you wish (that's not for me to decide, but for the Host), but I do have the right to disagree civilly with other posters, including you.

    FYI, none of the reasons--all of which are attacks on my integrity and/or intelligence--that you listed above is accurate. The reason I disagreed with your post is very simple. What I believed I saw was someone misrepresenting the facts, either by mistake or intentionally. Why you did it, I don't know, and since I can't read your mind I'll abstain from speculating as to your motives. And I'm not talking about the Santa Fe. You keep coming back to that, but my main disagreement is with your statements regarding the side airbag wiring problem on a few '01 Elantras, a problem that was fixed long ago and literally before cars got into the hands of owners. So please talk all you want about the Santa Fe problem and your opinion of it, but please try to stick to the facts, and maybe do a little research to back up your statements (e.g., that there was no recall on the Elantra when it takes two minutes to check to verify that). Also, I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from personal attacks on people because they happen to disagree with you.
  • wmoseswmoses Posts: 212
    I have web published a new website dedicated to the Elantra GT, and one of the features is a Garage Page.

    This page contains a listing of known and common problems and solutions, with pictures where possible. Check it out. The site is still under construction so check back often.

  • mxo11mxo11 Posts: 27
    I know this is an old story but has anybody come up with a good solution to the fuel door problem? I usually have to try the release button three or more times in order to get it open. I really don't know whether the spring is the culprit or not. Sometimes, the doors springs open so hardly that it slams shut itself right away.


  • i also had the fuel door problem . took it in for an oil change at 1k and they replaced the spring and the problem stoped . maybe that will help ya out .
  • I quess the tech's at the dealer don't know how much oil the engine takes either. Two changes, two overfills. I don't think I'll be going back there anymore.
  • Oh boy have I been "round the block" on this one. Your 2001 Elantra 2.0 liter vehicle takes 3.5 quarts of more,no less. At a minimum the Owner's Manual is misleading (4.5 quarts my azz!)...or just plain wrong. Stick to 3.5 qts and you'll be right on the money.
  • I've had my '01 Elantra since May 01 and now have more than 24K miles. This is my 4th Elantra since 1994. They've all been great although each having some quirks. I had the buzzing which sounded like the roof liner but actually discovered it was the passenger front door trim panel. The sound was traveling up up the door column. I had to have the wiring harness replaced in both front doors and mentioned the buzzing problem to the tech. I got the car back and they had tightened the panel on replacement. Buzzing is now gone.

    The fuel filler door has been a problem from my first fillup. Now that the weather is cold, I have to pull the lever a dozen times or so to get it to pop open. The techs have supposedly done a number of things, but it'll be going back in again.

    I find that the car performs much better with a premium grade gasoline. It runs okay on 87 but I get better mpg and better start up with 93, so I alternate when filling up.
  • rs18rs18 Posts: 4
    Need some help guys. New Elantra GT. Engine pings when accelerating or climbing hills. It's not the gas, I've tried several brands and even premium gas.

    Also noticed that when the engine is idling and you open the hood, a loud hissing sound can be heard on the driver's side of the engine. Is this normal?
  • mike91326mike91326 SoCalPosts: 251
    It sounds like one of your vacuum hoses has come off. Take the car back to the dealer so they can find the leak.
  • Backy, I apologize if what I described only as a "guess" as to why you may have disagreed so strongly with the tag-on to post #60 offended you. Obviously, I feel the same way as you do when reading your responses. It seems you have repeatedly split hairs regarding my choice of words&#151;i.e. "important info. for All Hyundai owners."

    I've admitted outright that I didn't arrive at this forum knowing that there was a recall and neither did the writers of the newspaper article to which I linked. Is it not enough to be honest? I have given you credit where credit is due for bringing this news to my attention.

    In passing on the newspaper link, I said "as of this writing" there was no recall. If your statement implying that the problem is a thing of the past is true, than my original statement is accurate, assuming all 972 potentially affected Elantras, according to the NHTSA, were repaired prior to the date of post #60.

    Rather than taking issue with the facts of the article, as you now state is your point of contention, you gave the impression that you were taking issue with the overall relevance of the FYI, period. You implied that the airbag problem was uncommon, yet common knowledge insofar as it was old news. You countered that my FYI did not point to important info. for "all Hyundai owners," even though it linked to an article in which all recent models were addressed in one form or another.

    You called upon me to defend the entire article, even though I did not write or edit it nor are payed to critique it. You took issue with my simple attempt to relay info., even though I covered my bases by advising concerned Hyundai owners to "contact their dealer for more info." (To be brought up to date, to see if any of the newspaper article's info. applied to their car, if it the statements were accurate, All of the Above, etc.)

    There's not much more I can say except, &#147;What a way to be thanked for *Trying* to be Helpful!&#148;

    IMO, this is exchange feels like the cyber equivalent of a story I read in the paper this weekend wherein a man returning a purse he found at a park was shot by the owner of the purse as a "thank you" for his good deed. Now, I don't know what transpired there, but the fact was, he was trying to do something Right by taking action but in the end all the person on the receiving end saw was a Wrong. Makes one wonder what the world is coming to.
  • My Elantra GLS '01 engine sounds like it has a ping, tap or gravel-like sound upon acceleration, this is most apparent when the car is cold. I can hear the racket right through the rolled up windows, over the wind and above outside traffic noise. It pipes down after warm up but comes back after as little as 3 or 4 hours after it's parked. The dealer has kept it overnight a number of times since it is was initially only apparent while accelerating after a cold-start (early morning, late at night).

    The noise has gotten worse with time and I'm afraid it indicates abnormal wear on the engine. It was suggested that the oil may be too thin and is causing a knocking sound. The oil has only been changed once at the dealer with less than 3K. I'm thinking of going back for another oil change and would like to know what kind/weight may help.

    So far, I've been told it could be cold celinoids., the oil lifters or a loose exhaust shield. Nothing they've done has made a difference so far.

    I also note that the steering wheel appears misaligned as it points slightly to the right. On flat surfaces the car appears to hold okay except perhaps a bit to the left (hard to tell if it's the car or the road causing the stray).

    Is it possible for the steering wheel to be aligned or is it the car that needs alignment? (I've already had the right front strut replaced and the other removed and lubricated for an unrelated issue and the steering wheel is still angled to the right as beforehand.)

    One other person reporting this problem here said their dealer said this is "normal." To me, it sounds as if Hyundai's manufacturing plant ran the affected cars through an assembly machine that was calibrated a few centimeters off here or there. Thoughts?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    A mis-aligned steering wheel is NOT normal. If it points right no matter what road you drive on, there's a problem somewhere. The car veering left on flat roads is another indication of a problem. Take it back to the dealer and tell them to fix it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    This will be the last post I will make on this subject because it is clear to me that you love to play with words and twist them to your own devices, to wit:

    >>> In passing on the newspaper link, I said "as of this writing" there was no recall. If your statement implying that the problem is a thing of the past is true, than my original statement is accurate, assuming all 972 potentially affected Elantras, according to the NHTSA, were repaired prior to the date of post #60. <<<

    How can your statement that there was no recall possibly be accurate when in fact there was a recall months earlier?? The possibility that all cars affected by the recall may have been repaired by the time you made your comment in no way changes the fact that there was a recall. So go ahead and continue to rant if you wish; I know it is impossible to have a dialogue with people like you.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I don't know who suggested slightly bending the tab on the fuel filler door but it works. (I mean very slight pressure). Haven't had a sticky door since I did it almost a month ago.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I haven't tried the bending trick yet but I noticed when I started lifting the release lever slowwwwly as was suggested awhile back, it pops open the first time every time.
  • brio3brio3 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Hyundai Elantra that I bought brand new with 300 miles on it now I have 90,000 miles on it knock on wood I've had no major problems.

    I just have two minor problems, first is if I pump gas in the car fast it backsplashes, when the car was under warranty the dealership said nothing could be done just pump your gas slower. The second thing is my low fuel light never comes on if it does it just comes on for a second then goes back out, that in its self isn't a big deal except its supposed to work.

    Just wondered if anyone else has had these problems.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    First I have to say this car is a very nice surprise! I was looking for something new, inexpensive and useful. This fit the bill perfectly!
    My only problem (with 1000 miles) is the fuel gauge/trip computer. On my third fill-up (ten dollars worth) I noticed the gauge only read 1/4. It should be at least 3/4. Later I noticed the miles-until-gas computer was reading 180... then started to climb to 201 miles as I drove. The gauge was reading just under 1/2 at that time. I read (msg #26) someone else had a very similar problem, but haven't come across the outcome. Any help would be great.
  • yardbirdyardbird Posts: 30
    Sounds similar to my problem all right. Along with what I previously stated here's a tip or two:
    1) reset your trip calculator and MPG display everytime you fill up. After the fill-up see how much gas was used by dividing the replaced amount into the trip-calculator-distance travelled. This will give you the most accurate mpg range(get familiar with this). Check the mpg readout on the computer at this time and I think you'll find both very similar.
    Over time you'll know what the overall range of travel is on a full tank of gas. Try to become less dependant on the fuel gauge/trip computer.This will make the screwy readings less bothersome, and frankly,less important of a feature.
    2)Don't run your take on empty,but try a few fill-ups when you're down to 1-2 gallons. Sometimes this will "float" the sensor to a more appropiate and logical reading.
    3) After numerous fill-ups (I now have over 18,000 miles driven)I have found that my readings fluxuate still. For the most part upon fill-ups my FULL indicator is right on or a little off(to the right...@ 3/4). The "miles-until-gas" display will always be in flux. If your MPG display is high(@ 30mpg or +)you'll find the 'miles-until-gas' display adjusting to your average mpg! When your driving habits promote poor mpg, the 'miles-until-gas' will show a crappy range.
    4) the fuel gauge/trip computer is a so-so amenity for me. If it really bugs you...TAKE IT IN UNDER THE WARRANTY and get it replaced.
    Just remember: the odometer is written in stone,no variables. The trip indicator(x2) display can be reset to fit any distance travelled, pretty straightforward. The MPG display changes while you drive and can be reset as you learn your city/hwy driving style. It seems that the 'miles-until-gas' display sometimes is in parity with the fuel gauge display,sometimes not...this is the only potential bug-a-boo for me because if I don't know my FULL TANK range I risk running out of gas. At 18,000 miles every fill-up has indicated 30mpg (+ or -) and I use 400-425 as my overall potential before a mandatory gas stop.
    5) Figure out how much gas you got left when your fuel gauge low fuel indicator goes on...btw, when you get REALLY REALLY low, the 'miles-until-gas' icon will also flash, and the 'miles-until-gas' numerical amount disappears from the display.
    6) Though it seems like a hassle, fussing with this 'fuel gauge/trip computer' has actually been quite the learning experience. At some point I might have my warranty replace it...the hassle is minimal now.
  • I had a 98 Elantra with the same problem. I believe there was a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) put out by Hyundai to the dealers, but I am not sure if there was a fix. I drove mine 125K and then traded it. Had the problem til the day the car went.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395

    Although I dont have this problem on my GT I have read on the message boards that if you fill-up with the ignition on it cures this problem. Engine does not have to be running.
  • jimpimmsjimpimms Pittsfield MAPosts: 81
    I just had a 7,500 mi. service on my GT 5-speed. Within the past week, the engine had been racing at 2,000 rpm or better when I braked to a stop; then, after a couple of seconds, would return to normal idle. The dealer's service dept. adjusted or replaced the throttle sensor assembly, which fixed my immediate problem. In addition, they performed an ECM (Electronic Control Module) update, per Service Bulletin 01-36-025. It seems to have cured the lag in second gear, around 40 mph, that many of you have noticed. This fix should hold true for the GLS as well. I hope this helps.
  • yardbirdyardbird Posts: 30
    jofficer- I've tried leaving the ignition on while filling-up and it did'nt work for me. Also I was told it's not a good idea in general to have the ignition on at all during fill-ups.
  • ghenrylghenryl Posts: 2
    We have a black 2000 elantra that has started to peel. Went to the dealer we purchased it from.(The proper vernacular per the dealer is "spotting on all top surfaces") The car has 33000 mi. on it.(paint warranty is 3yr./36000) Dealer says he cant warrant it and Hyundai rep most likely will not. dealer says Hyundai will most likely claim it is caused by acid rain etc. and will not repair. Am waiting to meet with rep (4-6 week wait). Has anyone else had a problem beside pam 49? If pam is still available I would like to hear more of your experience. Thanks
  • wmoseswmoses Posts: 212
    ghenryl said --

    "We have a black 2000 elantra that has started to peel. Went to the dealer we purchased it from.(The proper vernacular per the dealer is "spotting on all top surfaces") The car has 33000 mi. on it.(paint warranty is 3yr./36000) Dealer says he cant warrant it and Hyundai rep most likely will not. dealer says Hyundai will most likely claim it is caused by acid rain etc. and will not repair."

    I think that you should stick to your complaint, and make sure that you have a well documented account of how this has happened. Including pictures.

    Paint peeling, in my opinion, should not be caused by acid rain. Paint peeling is caused by poor paint adhesion to surfaces underneath. If this is factory paint then it is a manfacturing defect. I would also not consider going back to that dealership if they keep pedding this nonsense to the public, in the hopes that people would back off and drop the issue.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I've seen a lot of Ford, GM and Chrysler products with lousy paint. Some look like the paint is coming off in sheets! I knew some people that got their cars repainted (warranty) and other that didn't.I agree with wmoses about the acid rain... that should have nothing to do with paint coming off. It would take a hell of a lot of acid to remove paint on such a new car. There would be a lot of dead lawns around your house!
    I paint Aircraft for a living (as well as other A/C stuff), and the prep before painting is very important! Without a clean sturdy base the top coat won't hold for very long. Stick to your guns, and keep making noise at the dealer/representative level.... or higher if you can get the numbers.
  • jhnep1jhnep1 Posts: 9
    I bought a 2002 elantra automatic new in nov 2001.My daughter is the primary user taking it to college in Dekalb Illinois. This is the wind capital for the state of illinois. When driving into the wind a very loud howl comes from under the hood and it vibrates slightly Took it to the dealer yesterday for an oil change( said to use 5w30 all year) and they said 1 other owner had complained about the wind noise. Hyundai had no response. They had not heard of the problem. Also right hand wiper blade bows with ice and snow on it making it useless even after clearing snow and ice The dealer put a refill in the right hand blade. Any one had a problem with either the windshields wiper blade or the wind noise?
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I tried to post this one a day or two ago so I hope it's not a repeat....

    The other day I took my 2002 GT in for it's first oil change, but that's another story. The other thing I wanted done was to have the door panels tightened. Or at least make the faint buzzing noise go away. The tech there (Hyundai city) told me there was nothing he could do...." it'll go away in the summer". I'm not driving this with that noise for 4-5 months. Not to mention that's a lame excuse, and what ever he did made the noise louder.
    My question is this: The rear of the panel (where the noise seems to come from) is held on with two plastic rivets. How can I tighten them, or get them off? I really don't feel like drilling into them without knowing what's behind them. It seems to me screws would be a better choice.
    Any help would be great!
    ps. They did tell me the "Rep" will be here in a couple weeks, but I'd rather make the noise go away first.
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