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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    Forgive me for asking, but why do you drive with lights on at all times? I understand the reasoning behind DRL (safety), but my guess would be that a car is indeed running when I see it moving.
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    Ohiohobo - you may just be suffering from bad luck in getting defective bulbs, but there are a couple of things that could make the bulbs burn out early. First, check that both of the headlight assemblies are bolted to the car securely. If they are rattling, the vibration could cause premature light failure. Second, check the voltage regulator. If your voltage is too high, it could shorten the life of the bulbs. (The headlight sure do burn brighter in the meantime, though!).

    As for driving with your lights on during the day, I'm right there with you. I've been in two severe accidents where drivers turned in front of me because they didn't see me coming, and I figure that the extra visibility afforded by having the lights on is worth it.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    The last car I had with one was a '64 VW Bug.
    Drive with my lights on......Hell yhea.... too many old people around here that seem to look through you. The lights seem to catch there attention! I'm so glad these cars turn the lights off for you, though. I've needed a jump more than once in other's that don't!
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    Joffficer - I'd be amazed if the GT's regulator was adjustable. My best guess is that it's incorporated into the alternator like most other cars nowadays. I'll take a look at my factory manual at home tonight and see what the check procedure is for it.

    Not to pick on old folks, (but I'm gonna do it anyway), the second of my two not-seen accidents was an 83 year old lady hanging a left in front of my motorcycle. I flew over her hood and landed on my head, helmeted of course. A cop later told me "She was so high on her medication that she literally didn't know she'd been in an accident. She'da kept right on going if your bike wasn't jammed under her bumper!"

    Yup. Headlights all the time now.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    This past Easter I was doing some planting in my garden. I have a car I keep parked on the road (older toyota), and have become accustomed to dings. I heard the smack of another car hitting my bumper, and ran to see what happened. A lady (had to be 80) was trying to leave......hit and run! Luckily I had my phone and called the police. She later told me her foot slipped off the brake. It looked more like she didn't know where she was on the road! Luckily there was no major damage.
    If this had been my new Hyundai I would have been VERY angry.
    There should be a MANDATORY retest for driving after age 55. I know this would be a pain for many, but it sure would help. I gave up my motorcycle after three very close calls in one week (all having to do with old people)!
    This would be a great Edmunds Townhall discussion, but it would probably be squashed.
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    Sure enough, the voltage regulator is integrated into the alternator. With the engine running, the voltage across the battery should be between 14 and 14.7 volts. More than that and you probably need to get the regulator changed out.
  • chaimestchaimest Posts: 6
    I bought my Elantra GLS in the beginning of January and have also noticed the annoying whistle whenever the A/C is on. I notice it mostly while accelerating or braking. Does anyone know anything more about this?
    Also, I sometimes hear a rattle coming from the dashboard, sounds like it's coming from the speedometer area. Any ideas?
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    The noise you are describing is so commonly reported by Elantra owners that I'm half convinced that it's normal. (See posts 99-104 on this board.) The air in my '02 GT makes the same noise that you're describing, but it happens for about 3-4 seconds at intervals of about 30 seconds to a minute. In my case, braking and accelerating don't seem to have any affect on it. I seem to recall that an owner in one of the Elantra forums got it fixed with the dealer's replacement of some sort of valve. My admittedly uneducated guess is that it's the whistle of coolant being pumped through a valve into the evaporator coils when the compressor cycles on. I'm going to let mine go as is, and see if it gets worse. If it does, that'll be when Hyundai's warranty comes in handy.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    Let it go until it gets louder, or stops working (within the warranty). I did tell the Hyundai tech about it (while it was in for the transmission TBS), and he tightened the belt. Of course that didn't change anything.... hope he didn't go to tight!
  • I posted message #99. Trust me, you will get no satisfaction from Hyundai about this noise. There is no fix. They attempted to fix it five times. They replaced my evaporator and my expansion valve, moved it, rotated it, and shifted it a hundred different ways. An engineer gave his opinion that the design of the valve is flawed (too small or the shape is wrong). A mechanic wrote that Hyundai tried to unsuccessfully change the design. The Hyundai Tech Line said there was no fix. Someone from my dealership finally admitted that to me as well. So Hyundai simply minimizes the problem. I have filed a Lemon Law claim and am going to the Better Business Bureau shortly for arbitration. They do not dispute the noise. They simply (and arrogantly) say that the noise wouldn't bother them and I'm oversensitive. If I win, this means it will be easier for other people to win a case so that they won't have to put up with having to spend their hard-earned money and have a painfully distracting noise THAT HYUNDAI KNEW WAS A PROBLEM for the next several years. And maybe Hyundai will finally fix this problem in their cars. If anyone would be willing to speak with me about their problem too, please write me at This noise is not just an annoyance to me. It is painful, and is a substantial impairment to the use, value, and safety of the car. NO ONE would buy that car who heard that incessant squeal. Any of those criteria are what one has to meet for a Lemon Law claim. Thanks, Susan
  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    I have a friend who immediately takes any problem he has with goods or services straight to the top. Even though you are having difficulty down the Hyundai food chain, maybe a letter to Finnbar O'Neill (Hyundai USA CEO) would shift results in your favor. A New York Times article on him painted a portrait of a man very interested in customer satisfaction. Worth a shot!
  • wmoseswmoses Posts: 212
    Susan and others --

    For those who have reported this noise, I empathize. However, I do not feel that it is characteristic of the Hyundai AC system. I have not heard any noise from my AC system and I use it pretty much all the time in Houston.

    In my 1989 Sonata I did have a noisy compressor clutch that used to "clack" every time it engaged, but no whine.

    I suspect that it must be a problem with select cars as opposed to across the line.

    Nevertheless, they should be able to fix it.
  • denrob50denrob50 Posts: 1
    I've had my Elantra 2000 GLS for 28 months. I've put 48,000 miles on it with a lot of high speed, long distance driving.

    I usually get about 30 mph (at 65 to 75 mph). I upgraded to the CD, six speaker sound system.. what a smart move on my part. I'd go for more braking power and a bigger engine, but I've really enjoyed my car; no noises or rattles.

    Recently, the trans started to slip or stall in gear. Sometimes it would seem to hang up in a gear, then go into gear and surge forward. I put two quarts of trans fluid in it, and that seemed to correct the problem... for a while. The slippage is just now starting to reoccur (three months). My new mechanic said that he had heard that some of the Hyundai trans had been installed too tightly at the factory. This was causing the seals to break down and allowing the fluid to weep out. I'm getting set to make an appointment with the dealership for repairs or replacement.

    This is really a hassle for me because I can't be withot a car. I've read some of the posted notes and there was mention of a "loner car". Who do I ask about that? Or a cheap rental? Will I get a hassle from the service department on the repairs?

    Any advice is better than were I am now. I havn't dealt with a dealership service department in over 20 years. My long time mechanic (30 years) recently died, so I am forced to use a new mechanic. He suggested I use the dealership because of the warranty. Thanks for any help.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    My understanding of the loaner policy is that it depends on the dealer. I checked, and it says "Free loan car transportation up to 5 days on warranty or campaign / recall services." It also says, "at participating dealers only." When I bought my Elantra, the dealer made a big deal out of their policy to provide a free loaner (Neon or similar) if they must keep the car overnight. So be sure to check on your dealer's policy. Even if they don't provide a free loaner, they may have an arrangement with a rental company to provide loaners at a low rate.
  • colcaycolcay Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Elantra GLS automatic. I love my car, but when I first drive it after it's been sitting and the engine is cold, it shifts like crap. The shifts range from jerky to shift flares. This is only when the car is cold, after 10 minutes or so and the engine has warmed up, it shifts fine.

    Also, when I first turn over the engine, it revs to about 1500 rpm and stays there a few seconds, slowly working it's way down to normal idle speed. But sometimes it'll rev to 1500 rpm, and immediately drop down to normal idle speed. Is this normal as well? And why isn't it consistent?

    This is my first automatic car and I wasn't sure if these are common traits. Thanks for any comments.
  • On my Elantra GT I just noticed that the little cargo space cover (that rises and falls with the hatchback door) is slightly malformed. It's a little twisted to the right, so it doesn't go down all the way without serious effort. In fact, since I didn't notice it right away, it looks like it's created a slight a abrasion on the plastic molding that's beside it. Has anyone else seen this? Is this covered under warranty (the car is 3 days old!)?
  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    If you have a good dealer (as I do), they will simply order you a new cover. My GLS had a slight flaw in the fabric door insert and they replaced the entire panel.
  • Hello,
    I am seriously thinking about buying an Alantra mostly because Hyndai offers such a great warrenty. What I want to know is if it is a dependable car that would last until or past its warrenty, also if delerships are good about fixing the car and the problems are minimal. So far I see that there could be problems with the transmission and air conditioning, but overall is the car good quality...would you recommend buying one.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    It depends on what you're looking for. If you want a solid, comfortable compact sedan and would rather not pay the premium for a car like the Corolla or Civic, then it's a great buy. Will it last for 10 years? If you don't abuse it and do scheduled maintenance, especially oil changes, there's no reason why any car today shouldn't last for 10 years or more. At least you know that there is a 10-year powertrain warranty. Are Hyundai dealerships good at fixing problems? Well, mine is OK, but dealerships vary--with Hyundai just as with most other makes. If you want a great dealer, buy a Saturn, Jaguar, Saab, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti, MB, Volvo, or Buick--those were the top ten rated automakers for dealer experience in Consumer Reports. Hyundai was near the bottom, but with a wide range--so there are some good dealers. If you let us know your geographical area you might get some recommendations from owners about good dealerships (or not so good dealerships) in your area.

    What transmission problems were you referring to? The "flare" problem? That is easily correctable with a software update. With the A/C problem mentioned by some owners, you can help avoid that by running the A/C on your (long) test drive and listen for any odd noises. But it's hard to avoid all problems in a car--your safest bet there would be Toyota, Infiniti, or Subaru. Check out the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla boards and see the problems reported by those owners--radios winking out and lots of squeaks/rattles on the Civic, and vague-bordering-on-unsafe steering on the Corolla (problem or feature?). Elantra has its share of problems, but so do competing cars.
  • ipse_dixitipse_dixit Posts: 24
    Edmunds has had an Elantra GLS in its long-term test fleet for 12 months now with no mention of any A/C noise. Why not ask them ( if they have experienced similar noises?
  • ctranterctranter Posts: 4
    I noticed getting out of my 2002 GLS (2000 miles) this morning that there was what appeared to be a scratch on the drivers door jam right next to the window seal. Upon closer inspection I noticed that it looks like tape bent in half and stuck to itself so that it creates about a 2 inch bubble right on the jamb. Upon closer inspection around the inside corners of the jamb it looks like all the window frames are covered with tape. Anyone else seen this "bunching" problem yet? What did you do?
  • tnjackietnjackie Posts: 19
    Does anyone have the downshifting problem that I do on my 2002 Elantra with 2800 miles on it? I am not getting the gas mileage I should because whenever I come to a small hill or incline the car downshifts. Am I the only one with the shift flare problem and the downshift problem? I had a 1987 Celica with 15 less horsepower and it never did this. Please respond. Thanks.
  • ross2764ross2764 Posts: 3
    I had the same issues reported in post 136. I brought the car to the dealer and they had to update the software for the transmission. The existing version of the software was corrupt and Hyundai issued a TSB regarding this issue. The fix took about one hour and now the vehicle shifts great. The update made a huge difference.
  • suet5suet5 Posts: 2
    I've had a 2002 elantra GT for about four months, and it has around 2000 miles. I have a 5- speed manual transmission. When I come to a stop and depress the clutch pedal, the engine races up to 1500, and then slows to normal idle as described in message number 85. The car does another unnerving thing, though not consistently. I find if I remove my feet from clutch, gas & brake, the car zips right along at 5-10 mph in 1st, and accelerates to 20 mph in 2nd gear! It goes even faster in 3rd, but then stalls. Finally parallel parking in the Hyundai requires strenuous effort. The car tends to stall in reverse unless I gun the motor, and then jerks of course when I release the clutch. What gives? Any ideas? I would like to go to the dealer prepared with a suggestion.
  • wmoseswmoses Posts: 212
    suet5 --

    I believe that the throttle position sensor might be defective or might need adjusting. This problem does sound related to the problem jimpimms had in msg 85.

    I also noticed the engine *sometimes* racing up in speed after coming to a stop and depress the clutch pedal. It also motors along quite nicely in 1st gear after coming to an almost complete stop, pressing the clutch and then smoothly letting it back out. I never tried seeing what it would do in second gear. No reverse problems here.

    I went to the dealer and naturally they could not reproduce the problem. The service "adviser" said that it was behaving as it should and that the EC (computer) was doing a heel-and-toe for me. Well, I thought that it was a pile of crap at the time but I did not have time to argue.

    Now that you mention this problem, it seems as though I am not the only one with this experience. Please let me/us know what happens at the dealership. Mine will be due for a service soon and I will insist this time that they fix my TPS. My email is
  • generategenerate Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Elantra wagon That I purchased new. It normally runs perfectly. Intermitently the engine will die when I brake. Mechanics have had the car for over a week and cannot duplicate the problem. It will run without any problem from a few miles to several hundred. The car only has 23,000 miles on it. My impression is that it seems to become starved for gas. When the problem occurs, the engine also runs rough for a while. It has always restarted after dying. Has anyone else had this problem.
  • jhnep1jhnep1 Posts: 9
    I am the only person that owns an 02 Elantra that has had persistent wind noise and hood vibration while driving. Do you all work for Hyundai? Hyundai says they have never had a complaint about it and gave me a case number to give to the dealer. They want the dealer to simulate the noise and come up with a fix for it. The dealer has had one other complaint about the howling the wind makes under the hood when driving into the wind. I posted on March 14th and NO ONE HAS HAD THIS PROBLEM?
  • wmoseswmoses Posts: 212
    jhnep1 said --

    "I am the only person that owns an 02 Elantra that has had persistent wind noise and hood vibration while driving."

    I have had 4 Hyundais (earliest neing a 1989 Sonata) and have never had any wind noise problem -- from under the hood or elsewhere.

    This is not a fault of the make of car, and maybe the lack of response would serve to indicate that your problem is a "one-off".

    The hood vibration can be easily cured by tightening the hood when it is closed. There are usually adjustable bumpers that will allow this to happen.

    As for the wind noise -- I am at a loss to know how you could hear this from under the hood while driving, over and above the noise of the engine. Nevertheless, I am sure that of you use a piece of cardboard and a wind baffle in different places under the hood, you could more accurately diagnose what is causing the problem, and then know how to fix it. The dealer might be glad to have that information.

    As for the windshield wiper blade bowing under snow and ice ... use a winter blade with a rubber boot over it. That is what I did when I lived in Canada for 20 years. Never a problem with wiper blades in winter.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I've owned a '01 GLS for 19 months and have driven several other GLSes from the '00-'02 model years as rentals. I also drove a GT once. No wind noise or hood vibration in any of them, even in strong winds. But it sounds like Hyundai is at least taking you seriously and trying to find a fix. You might ask the dealer to please loan you another car (an XG350, say ;-) ) while they diagnose and fix the problem on yours.
  • gmcbride73gmcbride73 Posts: 6
    Three Hyundais, Two Elantras and NO wind or hood problems. Sorry your having problems.
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