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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Vibration? What kind of vibration?

    In my '01 GLS 5-speed, I regularly got upper 30s (regular oil) if I kept it under 70, with a sweet spot at 55-60 mph where it would do over 40 mpg. :)
  • Vibration? What kind of vibration?

    Are you kidding me? Over 70 MPH in an Elantra 5-speed produces revs in excess of 3K. At that speed I can barely hear myself think or as C & D described it in the new Elantra, "Maddening."

    In 50/50 driving with the A/C on continuously (this is sunny FL), I average around 25-26 MPG. HYW speeds average 70MPH and City about 35-40MPH. A few of my friends report about the same average with their Elantras.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I was asking someone else what kind of vibration he was experiencing in his Elantra over 3000 rpm, per his post, because I hadn't noticed any exceptional vibration at that point. As for noise, I've found it comparable to other small cars with revs in the same range. Any boominess didn't show up for me until over 4000 rpm (which I almost never hit), because there's a valve in the exhaust system that opens at that point for more power. I didn't find the 5-speed Elantra to be so noisy that I couldn't carry on a conversation or hear myself think at 70--that's as fast as the roads in my part of the country go. Replacing the OEM Michelins, which are noisy tires, with Kumhos helped the noise level on the highway. Also I've found the automatic is quieter, probably because it revs about 10% lower than the stick.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Ah. In my 2k5 Elantra automatic, I don't notice any vibration or noise like that at all. And it hums along nicely at 3000 RPM at 80mph. It must be a manual issue.

    Someday I'll have to try that "average of 70mph" thing and see how that improves my gas milage. But highway driving at around 80mph average gets about 31-32 mpg for me.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Yup, the fuel economy starts dropping off pretty fast over 65 mph I've found. 31-32 at 80 sounds about right.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    It's a small amount of vibration you can feel in the steering wheel along with the engine starting to growl above 3,000 RPM as you push 75mph.

    It's not enough to hinder conversation, but you can tell the car is working hard and not geared to run all day at 75.

    By the way, what RPM does an automatic run at 70mph?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    So it looks like you have a trace of the wheel shimmy. Have you tried having the tires balanced at a tire specialty shop on a Hunter machine?

    I am trying to recall the rpms for the automatic at 70 mph; I don't have it up there very often. But there's about a 10% difference from the 5-speed. For example, at 60 mph my five-speed would run about 2500 rpm and the automatic runs at about 2250.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    3000 RPM at 80mph in an auto? I find that hard to believe.
    I wonder why your gas mileage is so crummy compared to a stick if your eng is not working so hard.
    You should be running 2400 RPM at
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    No, I haven't had the tires balanced on a Hunter machine.

    So far I've blamed the slight vibration on the eng as it starts to growl above 3000 RPM.

    But I'll see if anything improves with any tire work.
    I currently have 14000 miles on it.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    we have a 05 elantra gt with over 40,000 miles on it. when we have the tires rotated and they are not balanced correctly we get a vibration when we go over 60. If they are properly balanced and that is with a hunter machine there is no vibration. we get our tires rotated and balanced every 7,000 miles
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    It's definitely NOT the engine--unless perhaps you have a defective motor mount.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I checked the revs on my 2004 Elantra automatic at 70 mph and they are about 2550. It appears the 2007 Elantra AT runs at even lower revs; a review in CanadianDriver noted the revs were 2500 at 120 kph, or nearly 75 mph.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    If that's the case. There is a lot of slippage in the auto trans to get less mpg than the stick.

    I'll run a check to see if I feel vibration above 3000 rpm in 3rd and 4th gear. Which would rule out tire balance.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    Adding 10 or 60 cents could be a problem. I did that in Houston and got a check eng light soon after.
    On the plus side, it went out on the trip back after 600 miles in Tenn.

    Plus, a check eng light is covered free in the 5 yr 60,000 mile warranty, unlike the GM 3yr 36,000 mile plan.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    It's been consistent that way for over 10k miles now.

    I'll try to take a picture for you if you don't believe me - when the road ahead of me is completely empty.

    (And no, I don't have to use the viewfinder to get the picture. I've gotten pretty good at blind pictures with my point and shoot.)
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I've heard that the vibration goes away with a balance on a Hunter machine, I've also heard that replacing the brake rotors can help. If they are not balanced, all the wheel balancing in the world is not gonna help you.
  • This should probably be in the Elantra problems forum but i'll add my 2c.

    I've had my tires/wheels Hunter balanced 2 times, replaced all 4 rims and 2 tires, turned rotors, and still have awful vibration. Hyundai refuses to fix the problem. Unfortunately, from what i've learn from users on is that this is a design problem that plagues many (but not all) 2001-2006 Elantras. Some have suggested it is a drive shaft issue while others have claimed is a flaw in the front end. Either way, for many people (like myself), there really is no "fix" per se as the problem will keep reacurring.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    If it were a design flaw, it would affect all 2001-2006 Elantras. It's quite possible that the vast majority of wheel shimmy problems on the Elantra are caused by routine stuff like out-of-balance tires, while a few cases (like yours) are caused by something else, related to a parts defect (e.g. bad driveshaft).

    At any rate, this is something that should be in the Elantra 2001-2006 Problems discussion.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    A lot of people have reported this issue on models from 01 thru 06. Anyway ,this is what I have from my own experience with 01 and 05 Elantras I have owned.

    1. 01 Elantra GLS did have the vibration around 65 to 70 mph. It was slight and sometimes annoying. I had the car until 35K miles and traded it in for a Suzuki Aerio SX. Anyway, I just learned to live with it and never had it balanced
    2. In January of 05 I bought an 05 Elantra GT. As I recall I noticed a very small vibration similiar to my 01 GLS but it less intrusive (ever so slight). I went to 17" rims after about 1500 miles and have not ever experience the vibration again. Current ODO is 32K miles
    3. In July of 05 I bought a Kia Spectra EX (shares near identical platform to 01-06 Elantra). This car does not exhibit any vibration what so ever with stock alloys. Have never balanced or rotated the tires yet. Current ODO is 23K miles.

    It could be a design issue that is compensated by having a very balanced set of rims/tires or it could be a large set of crappy rims and tires that is causing this whole issue.

    I have owned a lot of cars and the 01-06 Elantra generation is the first I have ever experienced this.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I wonder if this is more prevelant in Elantras with the steel wheel/hubcaps, or the Elantras with the aluminum alloys, or if it makes a difference???
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    My '04 GT has factory alloys and it developed wheel shimmy after I replaced the factory tires with other tires. The shimmy went away after the tires were balanced properly.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    Maybe steel wheels exacerbate the problem more. Steel wheels are heavier than the alloys on the GT. Thus, there is much more unsprung weight on the car. But my 17" rims are not the lightest in the world either. Heavier than the 15" alloys.

    Its seems this is either a design issue or manufacturing quality issue. However, I just can't see that the result of unproper balancing of the wheels for that many Elantra's sold in NA could be the primary factor.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "But my 17" rims are not the lightest in the world either. Heavier than the 15" alloys"

    You may be surprised. If you did a regular +2 wheel upgrade (increased the rim size by 2", and decreased the tire's side wall height by 2"), your 17" wheel/tire combo may not weigh any more than your original 15" wheel/tire combo. Of course, that depends a lot of the design of the new wheels that you picked out. I know this sounds crazy, but a friend of mine recently did a +2 upgrade on a car, and the wheel/tire package weight was barely any different from his original tire/wheel package.

    But (to stay on topic), have you noticed any change in fuel mileage with the larger wheels/tires?
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    When I went looking at rims I really didn't take weight into all that much consideration. I put mostly style into the equation. Anyway, I know you can get 17" rims that are lighter than the stock alloys but mine just don't seem lighter. Frankly, I did't weigh the rims and this is only by lifting them. My tires I believe are heavier since they are 215-45-R17 compared to the stock 195-60-HR15

    I haven't noticed any decrease in mileage. If anything maybe the car is slightly more sluggish at take off. My mileage hasn't been that great with or without the new rims. I have an 05 auto GT with sunroof. My mileage is around 25 to 28 mpg with about 80% highway. This is comparable to my 01 GLS when I had that car.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    I forgot to add this. The car does corner quite a bit better than the stock rimas and tires. This is with the standard springs and rims.
  • first tank: 28 mpg with average speed of 27 mph.
    2nd tank: 27 mpg with average speed of 28 mph.

    I little worse than I had expected (I expect 30). The car is 650 miles now. Maybe after a few thousand miles, it'll get better?
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "The car does corner quite a bit better than the stock rimas and tires"

    That would be expected...with the decrease in rubber (sidewall), and the increase in metal (rim), metal flexes less than rubber. However, it would be over rough (washboard) surfaces that the ride quality would deteriorate.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    The Beta engine is well-known for improved mpg with some miles on it. The fuel economy of my '01 Elantra was about 15% better at 15,000 miles than when new. It got even better with age. On the last long road trip I took with it, I got over 40 mpg on the highway at moderate speeds (around 60 mph). My sister, who bought it from me, reported low 40s on a similar trip that she took soon after she bought it. You didn't say how much stop-and-go and idling you have done, but your relatively low average speed indicates there has probably been some of that, which kills fuel economy. Also short trips will get you poor fuel economy, especially in winter.

    When my '01 Elantra 5-speed was new in October 2000, I initally got around 24-25 mpg around town. After about a year I was getting upper 20s around town. So the fact you are getting upper 20s right now bodes well for the future I think.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "The Beta engine is well-known for improved mpg with some miles on it"

    I will second that. The last highway trip I took in my '02, the car had 68,000 miles on it, and I got 39mpg on the interstate, going through the mountains. I never saw mileage like that when the car was new. I currently get 31mpg just commuting to work - 25 miles 1-way, stop and go, 2 lane back roads, with 83,000 miles on it.
  • Thanks. that's good to know. I have been using the car for a 12-mile (one way) commute to work. No interstate, just local roads with 30-50mph speed limits.
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