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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    Yes, it's definitely a good idea. But not something to obsess over, IMO. Remember, the mechanic isn't actually going to change anything on the car... just look at it. Any experienced auto mechanic should be able to determine whether the car is ship-shape and what needs attention, assuming they can hook it up to their computer (heck, AutoZone can do that). 2004 Elantras are not that unique in design.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) Good luck!
  • Well, it looks I don't have much choice anyhow. I'll just have to take it to a non-Hyundai mechanic. I'm still stunned at how this can be such a huge difficulty. You'd think I'm asking for a recommendation for a good mechanic for an exotic Batmobile. Oh well. Thanks for the replies, Backy!
  • If you are so worried about buying used, why don't you run the vin# on carfax to see what was done on this car. If may not have everything done, but I was used car shopping and on a 2007 Malibu with 23,000 miles on it I discovered the same tie rod was repaired 4 times. So I went new with an Elantra. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    Carfax can help, but I've noticed during my recent used car shopping that the Carfax records are woefully incomplete when it comes to service records--so there's no way to tell if a car was properly maintained just by looking at Carfax. :(
  • "Carfax can help, but I've noticed during my recent used car shopping that the Carfax records are woefully incomplete when it comes to service records--so there's no way to tell if a car was properly maintained just by looking at Carfax."

    Very true as after my truck was taken by Toyota I saw there were things not listed I had done.

    But I found out when buying used you can call up the manufacturer too and they will tell you what was repaired/done.

    And Hyundai will tell you all. They want their cars sold and if there is something wrong with the used vehicle and it turns out to be a lemon, well..... I doubt they would not tell what was done on this Elantra. Especially now that some car sales are slacking.

    It would benefit Hyundai Motors to tell all they have on record for this vin# on this used car he is looking at I would think.

    And I don't know about anyone else, but I really think I will have all my maintenance done at Hyundai just in case they get a Tech Bulletin and they have to fix something. I usually don't do this, but I want to make sure with the PZEV engine I get all done that comes out about it. :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    Sure, a dealer can tell you the service history for any service done through Hyundai dealerships. But if someone did-it-themselves or went elsewhere for service, those won't show up in Hyundai's records. The seller should have those records, however. If not it's a red flag. (Also not a good idea to not keep ALL service records, in case of a warranty claim.)
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I got the CarFax report on a hard to find vehicle and it showed no problems, no wrecks. The car needed some sound system work which required the interior panels to be removed, revealing that the entire side of the car, from the top to the bottom, drivers door to tail lights, had been replaced. I would consider this to be "major body damage", yet there was no record of it. The selling dealer claimed no knowlege as the CarFax report was clear.

    In my personal opinion, a CarFax report is not worth the paper it is printed on.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    I took my '04 GT in for an oil change today and to adjust the parking brake. Service guy said the rear disc brakes were at 10%. I was a little surprised by that, since I'm easy on the brakes, but had the work done. Does that seem unusual to anyone else that the rear brake pads should need replacing so soon?

    At least the oil change was free. :) Also I had them check the hatch struts, which don't support the hatch nearly as well as they used to. They have ordered replacements, covered under warranty--which is up in 2 months. At least the powertrain warranty has another 5 years and 58k miles to go. Will take my son almost all the way through college.
  • I have a 2004 Elantra GLS, and was told that the rears are at 20%. One thing which people don't often realize is that your brake pad usage is impacted by how well your wheels are aligned. If your wheels are even slightly misaligned (very easy to happen on Elantras), the break pads will go down much faster due to pattern of use.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Backy, that is not unusual at all, actually pretty good. The rear pads are organic, ie not semi-metallic and wear faster. Coupled with the fact that they are really small, 35 to 40K is about all you can hope for.

    When I changed the rears on my '05, I tried to get semi-metallic but found that no one made anything but organic for that application.

    Side note: When changing the rear pads on these, the piston doesn't just push back in. You need a special tool (available at Harbor Freight for like $3) that attaches to a 3/8 ratchet and allows you to push while turning the piston. For want of a better term, they sort of screw back in.

    Very simple brake job, takes less than an hour for both sides.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    Thanks for the info. Since high temps are in the single digits F and my garage isn't heated (excuses excuses), I decided to let the dealer handle it. Anyway, it's been many years since I did any brake work and that was on drums. Hopefully that will be the only major thing it needs until the 60k service--which won't be for another 3 years at the rate we're going. Aside from a few small dings and a salty driver's floor mat, the car still looks (and drives) like new.
  • Well, it's been a few months, but I've finally discovered my problem. It was a common ground (makes sense, huh?) ... my headlamp assembly tended to fog up and it seems that the ground pin of the wiring block within the headlamp assembly had rusted away. I researched the proper part number (# 92150-2D500) , then installed the new wiring harness/block and I was back in business ... sort of. Hyundai's "Better Idea" was to use the same part on multiple vehicle/years (kudos for their foresight, especially if it's passed on to consumers in savings!). The problem is that the ground connection for the hi-beam lamp was not the right size! Hyundai must have gone smaller in newer models, so I had to cut the connector off and crimp on a new larger sized connection. Not a real biggie for me, fortunately, since I was at a shop with lots of supplies including a selection of crimp-on electrical connectors ... just forewarning you all ... check this out if you're expecting everything to snap right into place ... NOT on the 2002 Elantra! Great forum ... thanks again to Doohickie!
  • lhylhy Posts: 48
    I am thinking about buying a used 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan (automatic transmission). It has about 76K miles and is selling for $3200.

    I was wondering what people's opinions of this model are and how much repairs usually cost.

    I have read on reviews for this car on websites like or They seem to suggest that repairs are usually expensive and that the car has problems with the transmission and interior issues like the power windows not working.

    What are people's opinion on these things? te%20Party_Good.aspx?Mileage=76400
  • The sites you linked to give interesting feedback, but honestly, you need more extensive stats to draw any conclusions - and even then, exceptions always happen, so you should always examine the particular car carefully.

    For more extensive stats, you can look at Consumer Reports. I can't link to it, as it's for subscribers only, but I can summarize some of the findings for the Elantra 2000.

    CR rates things Better--->Above Average----->Average----->Below Average---->Worse

    For the Elantra 2000, it lists categories of:

    1)Engine Minor - Worse Than Average
    2)Engine Major - Better Than Average

    So it means, you'll have some minor engine problems, but no major engine problems - not good, IMHO.

    3)Transmission Major - Worse
    4)Transmission Minor - Worse Than Average

    This is bad - real bad. Transmissions are very, very expensive to fix. I'd stop considering the car just based on this, frankly.

    5)Drive System - Worse

    That's it, game over, IMHO.

    6)Fuel System - Average

    Also not good - you want better than average.

    Other problem areas: paint/trim, body hardware.

    Overall verdict - Average.

    Personally, I'd stay away. You want most of the categories Better or Better Than Average. Here, most are Average or Worse Than Average.

    You don't want an Average rating overall - you want Better Than Average.

    Just based on the transmission, I'd run. Sure you can get lucky and get a car that will never have a problem, but you gotta look at the numbers. There's no way to tell if a transmission will have a problem ahead of time (you can examine fluid, but a dealer will change the fluid so even that can't tell you much). If you know that the trannies on this model are bad - that's too big a risk. You won't fix it for much under $1000 should you develop a problem, more likely $1200-1400. Too risky.

    In summary, I'd look elsewhere. Of course, all IMHO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    A car that is 9 years old with 76k miles can have anything break at any time. KBB private-party value is about $3000, so there may be negotiating room on the car. If the car is in good condition and was well-maintained (all records, including for the important 60k service), and checks out OK when you take it to a mechanic for an inspection, it might be worth it. But for a few hundred bucks more you can get a much nicer car, with a better reliability record. The Elantra was redesigned for 2001 and that generation has a better reliability record. For example, CR recommends the 2003-6 Elantras as Good Choices in used cars, and has the 2001-6 Elantra as its Top Choice for small used cars. But on those cars, too, the maintenance history is important. The car does require a timing belt change every 60k miles. I owned a 2001 GLS for 5-1/2 years, sold it to my sister, and she still has it and except for some body damage (not the car's fault), it looks and drives great. My 2004 GT looks and runs like new except for a few dings and scratches. Both cars have been very reliable. So it they were well-maintained, these cars can be good bets as used cars.
  • If you go by Consumer Reports, you'll see something interesting. The overall score for the car as a used car doesn't go above average until year 2004. Then, the 2005 year actually goes down to average again (not good!), and picks up with 2006. Of course, 2006 forward is too short a track record for long term reliability to tell, so the real bottom line for Elantras is: buy 2004, avoid 2005, and hope for the best with 2006 and more recent.

    Interestingly, it's pretty much the same story if you look at J.D. Powers long term reliability too:

    On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being best, the Elantra 2004 stands out as the best bet for Long Term Dependability not falling below 2.5 on any score, with most in the 3-3.5 range. That's better than any other year Elantra, and the individual scores otherwise are VASTLY better than the 2005, which really falls down totally, with most scores at 2! Wow, that's one year to avoid! Meanwhile J.D. Powers doesnt' score Long Term Dependability for 2005 or more recent because not enough time elapsed to make a judgment.

    Bottom line: if you go by statistics, the Elantra to buy is 2004, with 2005 to avoid and more recent too recent to tell. Now, that's statistics FROM TWO DIFFERENT scoring agencies (CR and JD Powers) - not anecdotal stories from random people - and that means very, very reliable.

    Of course, again, the individual car is the most important factor - I'm sure there are very happy Elantra 2000, or 2005 owners, and very unhappy 2004 owners, but the statistics tell you what you can expect by the numbers.

    Cars get redesigned for big years (2001 and 2006 for the Elantra), but they also get tweaked a bit every year - mostly to improvement, sometimes not (2005 - boo!), but the stats is what counts - this is what large numbers of owners report.

    Personally, I'd avoid the year 2000 for an Elantra.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    To me, that casts doubt on JD Power's long-term reliability scores, since the 2004 Elantra was the mid-gen refresh car, while the 2005 and 2006 were 100% carryover from 2004: same powertrains, same interior, same body, same everything. So they should have very similar scores to the 2004, and if anything the 2004 should be lower because it was the first year of the refresh, and is older.

    As for CR's, all it takes is a fraction of a point either way to move a car from Above Average to Average, or vice-versa, so the variations between 2004-6 are explainable at least. To me, a car having an Average reliability score from CR is not a reason by itself to avoid it. If so, I suppose buyers would need to avoid buying new cars like the Camry and Altima, because CR says their predicted reliability is only Average. We are talking about very small differences in number of defects per car here.
  • Well, let's keep the big picture in mind. It doesn't matter *why* the stats for the 2005 went down. What matters is that they *did* go down. That's the only metric that matters, because that's what the bottom line describes: likelihood of failure. To say "well it's the exact same design therefore it can't have different stats in different years" is absurd. The facts are already there: the stats *are* different. As to why? Any million of explanations. You can have the exact same design but if your QC process is different (and worse) in 2005 vs 2004, you'll get worse outcome, period. In other words, design is not the *only* controlling factor. Or perhaps they changed suppliers for the (exact same) parts, and the new parts, while having the same design, don't have the same durability due to materials or process or QC or whatever, and you don't find that out until a year has passed and the parts fail. Etc., etc., etc. The *why* is upstream of the *what*. If you know the what, you can ask about the why, but that's a SECONDARY question. You may as well say: "well, the 2005 could not be worse than 2004 because those cars were prayed over". However, if the stats show that nonetheless the 2005 is worse, then you don't say "no they aren't" (since those are objective numbers), but you have to conclude that unfortunately, much as it pains you, you must admit that praying over the cars doesn't affect their quality. Tough. Same here: bottom line is that stats find 2005 worse than 2004 - so all that tells you is that apparently design is not the only controlling factor... which you can figure out with 10 seconds of thinking.

    As to CR - I don't know, not being privy to their numbers, if it's true that their stats are worthless due to statistical noise. I'd merely note, that I find that hard to believe - though not impossible - because these guys understand statistics, and would presumably account for elementary things like *margin of error*. I mean, a first year student of statistics gets that, so how can the CR folks miss that? Not likely. And what makes me even more suspicious, is that the findings dovetail with JD Powers. That's very, very telling. If two completely different surveys, using different methodology come to the same conclusions, odds are - they are measuring something real, and not statistical noise (which would be random).

    Regardless, you can always ignore all the data in favor of... I don't know what... speculation? Gut feel? Anecdotes? Uncle Charlie's musings?

    As politicians say: "whom are you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes?" Personally, I stick by the stats, even if partisans or fans of whatever try to convince me to forego solid evidence right in front of your eyes. But that's just me. Your milage may vary :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    It seems very odd that Hyundai would change its suppliers for the 2005 MY Elantra, then apparently change them again for the 2006 MY (the scores improved for 2006). :confuse:

    Stats are useful, but can be misleading. We know, for example, that CR's reliability categories are based on numerical data. They don't publish their cutoffs for each category, but there must be cutooffs. So let's say for example the upper-end cutoff for Average is 55 and the lower end cutoff for Above Average is 56. Suppose also the 2004 Elantra scored a 56 and the 2005 a 55, and the 2006 scored 56. Numerically and statistically a very small difference. But it appears to be a big difference due to the categorization.

    Also, in the 2008 CR Auto Issue, the 2003-5 Elantras were rated Above Average in predicted reliability. The 2002 was rated Average. The 2006 and 2007 Elantras were rated Much Better than Average. A consistent pattern, with improvement over time, but inconsistent with the data you posted, which I assume is more recent.
  • lhylhy Posts: 48
    Thanks everybody for your opinions about this car.

    BambuListener: your advice about the car was pretty spot on. I took a test drive of the car and it seemed to have significant transmission problems. I took it on the highway and it wouldn't go above 40 mph! It seems that the transmission couldn't shift into high gear. Also, I noticed that the tranny fluid was somewhat brownish.

    -So in general, do people find Consumer Reports and JD Power reviews among the most reliable compared to other car review sites?

    -And what are people's opinions about the repair costs for Hyundais in general?

    I have gotten a lot of conflicting information. Some of the reviews I read online have said that Hyundais are expensive to repair, while other people have stated they are relatively cheap.
  • re: reliability of CR and JD Power vs "other car review sites" - what do you mean by that? It's apples and oranges. Not many sites do what JD Powers does - which is a focus on systematic tracking of quality and reliability - yes, CR does that, but not many more. In that sense there is not much competition to CR and JD Power (though there is some, with somewhat differing focus and emphasis) *in that respect*. "Other review sites" mostly do test drives and pretty superficial "reviews" of initial quality (rarely very systematic) - and JD Power doesn't do test drives in that sense at all - so there is no overlap between what JD Power does and "other car review sites"... it's apples and oranges. However, CR does do test drives for consumers - and in general has a much more rigorous and systematic testing compared to most "other sites". So in that sense, I think CR is far, far, far more reliable - not to mention freer of bias, since they do not depend on advertising from car manufacturers like so many "other sites". Does that address your question?

    re: costs of repairs of Hyundai. This is a very hard question to answer. For routine fixing of things like breaks, hoses, alternators and what have you - I don't think it's very expensive, since for the most part it doesn't require specifically trained Hyundai mechanics (the way some foreign cars do, like Volvos, or say VW), and the parts are not exorbitantly priced (unlike, f.ex. VW parts). On the other hand, every car has its pecularities where fixing *certain* things DOES require specialized training or familiarity by mechanics. Hyundai being a relatively smaller presence in the market (compared to, say, Toyotas, Hondas, Nissan etc.), you may have a hard time locating a Hyundai mechanic. In fact that's kind of disaster: look over threads here and pleas from people in as huge a car market as Los Angeles, for recommendations for Hyundai mechanics - only to be met with silence or derision... in other words, FAIL. That leaves you with Huyndai dealerships - which at least in the Los Angeles area have a *terrible* reputation. So if you should need to fix a more Hyundai specific or complex issue, you are going to be in trouble. Not good. You simply don't have the options a Toyota or even Volvo owners have. There are many, many, many, independent (i.e. not stealership) shops for Volvo/Saab, VW etc. - but not really Hyundai (at least in Los Angeles, which is a HUUUUUGE car market).

    So bottom line, it depends on the kind of problem you have - if you have a simple problem that can be addressed by a generic car mechanic, it should be pretty cheap, considering the parts are not too expensive. But if you have a more complex Hyundai specific problem, you may be out of luck due to very, very, very miserable situation as far as the number of trained *Hyundai* mechanics... and off to a dealer you go - where you WILL be ripped off (at least in LA). So I think that accounts for why you get both opinions ("cheap" and "expensive") when it comes to cost of fixing. Again, that's speaking about used cars not under warranty.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    What is a "Hyundai specific problem"?

    Three years ago my wife had a run-in with a curb during a blizzard; the curb won. Somehow the car was still drivable even though one front alloy wheel was shredded, but it didn't steer right. Took it to the Hyundai dealer, since I knew I needed a new wheel. They could replace the wheel, but they said the car needed an alignment and some front-end work--which they couldn't do! So I took it to a local tire store to get four new tires (which cost less than 2 new OEM tires), and they referred me to a nearby repair shop that focuses on import cars--all import cars. They had no problem fixing the Elantra. I have a feeling (which I hope I never have to confirm) that they could do anything else needed on that car, even replacing a transmission or engine. I will probably check with them when it's time for the Elantra's 60k service, which is the most complex and costly servicing due to timing belt replacement etc.--see what they will charge vs. the dealer. I use the dealer for warranty work and oil changes, since they give me free oil changes, and to buy parts like light bulbs.
  • "What is a Hyundai specific problem?"

    Gee, I don't know - I guess there's no reason then to have shops and mechanics who are dedicated to just Volvo/Saab or VW or whatever brand, huh? Wonder why they exist then :) Seriously though, that's silly. Every car brand has its pecularities, and a mechanic who is not specifically versed in that range of issues is not a good choice to have experiment on your vehicle. For standard stuff, yeah, but not once you hit the pecularity. For example, you have a 2002 Mazda RX 7 with a twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine. If you want to fix brakes on it - fine, go to any mechanic. But if you need work on the engine, you better go to a mechanic who has experience with Wankel engines or get ready for an epic FAIL. And so for every brand - there's a reason why for complex issues specific to a given brand you go to mechanics who have training and experience with that specific brand... for generic issues, generic mechanics are fine.

    And getting back to the earlier issue of models 2004 vs 2005 etc. Yes, indeed, it happens pretty much 100% of the time that the manufacturer changes *some* suppliers from year to year even on exactly the same model (if for no other reason than that some suppliers may go out of business etc, etc. etc.). Only very small specialty brands (like f.ex. Ferrari) may pretty much recreate exactly the same cars from one year to the next. For large scale brands, that is almost NEVER the case. Not to mention that even staying with the same supplier doesn't guarantee the exact same result, since the supplier in turn may change processes the effect of which don't turn up until they're put into play for several months. There are always variations year to year whether in materials, suppliers, quality control or a million other issues. Same design - different manufacture variables from year to year (often on economic grounds), which can give you a different result on long term reliability stats. Elementary reality of manufacturing complex products :) I bet you don't have much experience with large scale manufacturing :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    An Elantra isn't an RX-7, doesn't have a Wankel engine or warp drive with dilithium crystals, and is a pretty basic car. And there's detailed shop manuals for it, that any good mechanic should be able to follow. Because it has the usual OBD, the mechanic would need access to the diagnostic computer for some repairs, but that is very common nowadays.

    I understand the elementary reality of manufacturing complex products. But you don't know for a fact which if any key components--the ones that affect reliability--were changed on the Elantra from 2004-5 and 2005-6, do you?

    Anyway, if you look closely at the JD Power reliability scores that you posted the link to earlier, you will see how suspect they are. For example, notice that the Mechanical ratings, the ones that directly relate to reliability, are very close between 2004 and 2005. In fact, there is only one difference: 2004 has 4.0 on interior, and 2005 has 4.5. That difference could easily be explained by the problematic audio system used in the 2004 Elantra GT, and only in that year. That issue is reflected in CR's ratings also. But then notice the "Design" scores. The design of the 2004 and 2005 Elantra was the same. But the JD Power scores are different, on Interior design (and therefore overall as well). How can that be, when the design was the same for both model years? Then look at the Overall Performance and Design ratings. They are markedly different between 2004 and 2005, in all categories: Performance, Comfort, Features and Instrument Panel, and Style. We're not talking about component quality here, but performance, design, and style. And the 2004 and 2005 model years were the SAME in those regards. Same powertrains, same interiors, same exteriors. Yet the 2004 scored much higher there than the 2005. How can that be, if these ratings are objective? Well, it's because they aren't objective. In fact, the major difference in the JD Power IQS scores between the 2004 and 2005 Elantra are due to subjective measures, not on reliability considerations. Notice also how the design-related scores shot up for 2006--but it was the same car design as for 2005! And the subjective measures like performance and style changed for 2006 too. That's not surprising, since they are subjective.

    Finally, keep in mind that the JD Power ratings for 2004-6 that you posted the link to are for initial quality, not long-term quality. That is, for the first 90 days of ownership. The only model from 2004-6 old enough to have JD Power Long-Term Reliability scores is the 2004.
  • Of course an Elantra is not an RX-7 - that's what an analogy is. Analogy doesn't mean "identical". By definition. What the analogy does do however, is points out that every car brand has something specific and unique to it. No need to resort to dilithium crystals or kryptonium. Works for other cars, doesn't it? Otherwise it wouldn't be a different brand, if everything was identical. Pretty logical, no? And there are manuals for RX-7 as well. Or for any car. That still doesn't remove the need for mechanics trained in that particular brand. Because, odd as it may seem, manuals are not enough. Weird, huh?

    As to whether I know "for a fact" which if any key components were changed on the Elantra - of course I don't. However, neither do you - see how that works? Only here's the difference: the burden of proof is on you, not me. The reason is because *you* made a claim that 2004 and 2005 being the same design, must mean that JD Power stats are invalid. I merely reported the stats. You made a claim. I pointed out that the fact of the same design in 2004 and 2005 does NOT by that fact alone guarantee that the reliability would be identical, and I cited some examples of how that is possible (different suppliers, different QC practices etc.). I pointed out ways of how your argument doesn't hold water. But that does not alter the fact, that it is YOU who has to show how the same design MUST result in the same stats. I showed how that's not necessarily right - gaping holes in your argument. Stats are there from JD Powers. You have to show why they are wrong - and the argument you made ("same design") doesn't hold water. The burden of proof is on you. Until then, the stats stand presumed valid, absent proof to the contrary.

    I am not an expert in Elantras. Maybe there were tiny differences between the interior design of the 2004 and 2005 which affected "comfort" etc. For example, the 2000 has massive power window problems, which would not be externally visible, and a change would fix it - also not visible. So it might look like the same design but there may be tiny changes which impact operation, even if not visually.

    But even if there weren't, even if they were identical, there's still the stats from CR regarding problem areas (and indeed in my previous posts I pointed out that JD Powers hasn't yet done a long term reliability for 2005 and up). They are all mechanical, and all devastating for 2005 compared to 2004. The burden of proof of why they are wrong - CR with their teams of experienced testers vs "backy". The burden of proof is on "backy". I like and trust "backy", but I trust CR more, absent direct proof to the contrary. That's the rational attitude, no? Otherwise we're at the mercy of anyone's anecdote. That's the whole point of the existence of testing from independent consumer organizations like CR. No?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    If you don't see, from inspection of the JD Powers survey results that you posted, that there are inconsistencies in how identical characteristics (e.g. performance, styling, features) of two model years score, then it's not something that is worth my time to continue discussing (or "proving", in your terms). Anyway, it's not directly related to the Maintenance and Repair topic, and our Host has been patient with us so far so it's best not to push that forebearance.

    FWIW, I know the Gen 3 Elantra (2001-6) extremely well, at least wrt design, having owned two of them and driven samples from every model year.
  • No, what I see is that there are complexities in the scores. We don't know the methodology. We don't know if there weren't changes made that are not visible, but do impact operation. So until we have some kind of informed proof that they are wrong, I'll trust the qualified test people rather than an individual and his/her anecdotal experience. And what you are ignoring 100% is the CR results (as opposed to the JD Power), which focus very sharply on mechanical quality of 2004 and 2005 - and that is directly relevant to the maintenance and repair topic... as the OP had a chance to find out when he took the 2000 for a ride, and the tranny which was lambasted by CR gave out - bingo! I ask a simple question - what is a better guide... the experienced independent CR test teams, or someone on the web and their individual anecdotal feedback?

    And I am not an Elantra specialist. I own a 2004 which I purchased used. And I've driven 2007 and 2008 Elantras, but by no means do I consider myself qualified to speak authoritatively on these cars (though I do have my opinions). What I try to do is be an informed consumer, that's all. And when looking for data, I try to look for data that is reliable. JD Power and CR may not be the Platonic ideal - nothing is. But it is a lot better than one random person's opinion. Just the facts, ma'am.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    I talked about the CR survey results previously. Go back and take a look.

    You seem to be putting great emphasis on the individual anecdotal feedback of one person who drove an Elantra with a bad tranny. :confuse:

    I agree surveys like CR's are valuable. But I think they need to be seen for what they are, e.g. JD Power's IQS is a reflection on short-term reliability plus other factors, including what owners think of the car's design, its performance, its style, its features---attributes that have nothing to do with reliability. In other words, it's largely an opinion poll.
  • I only spoke of the one person's experience as it relates to how useful it might be to pay attention to surveys and studies. And even if we disregard JD Powers totally, that still leaves us with the CR surveys, which are a ton more statistically valid than one person's feedback. The methodology for the CR surveys was not the same as JD Power's, it's a simple statistical survey. People's experiences. In aggregate - which is always better and more predictive than a one person data point. And those surveys tell us clearly that there was a catastrophic deterioration from 2004 to 2005. No real way to ignore that - and if someone has better data, let's see it, in black and white. We're waiting. Until then, the CR results stand. And the CR results are still more valid than one person's anecdotal feedback.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    The methodology for the CR surveys was not the same as JD Power's, it's a simple statistical survey.

    Actually, it's not. Have you taken the CR reliability survey before? I have. It requires each respondee to make a value judgement, i.e. it asks them to note problems that in their opinion were signficant. What is signficant to you or me may not be significant to someone else. Because of the large sample size of CR's survey, I think the results are still useful, but it's in no way a "simple statistical survey."

    It seems you are putting a lot of faith into two surveys in which you have no idea what methodology is used to obtain the results.

    It's also interesting to me that you have no problem backing your opinion with one person's anecdotal experience, but dismiss other anecdotal experience that is contrary to your opinion.

    The CR survey results I looked at, from the 2008 Auto Issue, do not show any sort of "catastrophic deterioration" in the Elantra's reliability from 2004 to 2005, and in fact as I noted previously, the predicted reliability for both years was the same: Above Average.

    But you know what, there's an entire discussion in Town Hall on the JD Power and CR surveys, so if you want to continue this thread, I suggest we take it there.
  • Whether a problem is "minor" or "major" may be subject to opinion. What is not, is that there is a problem in the first place - whether it's major or minor is secondary. As such, if I see very few complaints about problems for brand X, but a lot of complaints about brand Y, then that's all I need to know... a dispute may break out about how much of the brand Y problems are "minor" vs "major", but I'd rather stick with NO problems, and so plump for brand X. So the overall number is what matters. Now, CR does break down problems into major and into minor - fine, let's disregard that. What we can't disregard is that there IS a problem (major or minor).

    As to the overall verdict of 2004 vs 2005 - I don't know about the 2008 Auto issue. I'm going by what's on their website right now - and anyone who has access to CR online is welcome to verify it. And there it is: on the overall verdict, which they call "Used Car Verdicts", it shows 2004 as "better than average" (red half circle), and for 2005 it shows "average" (plain black circle). Here a link, but you may have to be a subscriber: htm

    Thus there is deterioration from 2004 to 2005 (then picks up again for 2006) - according to CR. I'm just reporting on what I'm seeing.

    As to the one person's experience with the tranny - the only reason I cited it, is not to say "that proves that 2000 trannys are bad", rather "that's why it can be useful to see what is being said by surveys", because in *this case* it mirrors the findings. And that's a fact - the mirroring; now what that implies is up to your choice as a consumer. I'm merely reporting on the FACT that this particular experience *mirrored* the survey finding, which is an objective fact (after all, it did).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
  • Looking for some advice...I have a 2005 Elantra GLS A/T with about 35000 miles on it. I'm coming up on 4 years with the car, and my service advisor recently informed me that the manual suggests timing belt replacement at 60000 miles or 4 years, whichever comes first. 4 years will be here in about a month, but I'm still about 25000 miles under the mileage requirement. He quoted me $550 to replace the timing belt. My questions: 1) should I get this done now, at this mileage? 2) should they also replace the water pump and/or the accessory belts? So far, this car has been great - no major problems. I I can understand the need, but 4 years with that low of mileage, it just seems a bit absurd to need to change it out. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I believe the prescribed interval was 5 years, 60K miles. Except in California where the same belt is recommended for a 100K change. Something about their warranty laws there or something.
  • Where are you located? For example in CA, it's every 90K miles, not 60K. And the water pump etc. is a question of taking a chance. The major cost of changing the belt is labor, as it takes a lot of time to pull out the engine and get at the timing belt - the parts themselves are trivial in cost. So happens that the water pump is also located there - so as long as you're paying for all the labor, may as well change the pump (for an additional approx $100 - $150 in costs for the part). If your water pump never goes bad, you just spent $100-$150 unnecessarily. However, if you don't do that, and the pump goes bad, you have to pay for all the labor on top of the part for some $400 or so. So, if you pay the extra $100-$150 for the pump, you just saved yourself $300-$400 in labor costs should the pump ever go bad. As far as the timing belt - don't you have a manual? It should specify if it's every 60K miles or 4 years whichever comes first - then you can make your decision. And $550 sounds about right - if he also replaces the water pump, otherwise, it's a bit high.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You can look up the manufacturer's recommendations here: Maintenance Schedules.

    Hope this helps!
  • Thanks for the response. I am in Central Illinois (no Blagojevich jokes, please!). I do have a manual, and it does indeed say 60,000 miles or 4 yrs. It just seems a little unreal to be contemplating changing a timing belt with only 35,000 miles on it. I wrote this hoping to see if anyone else has a similar situation with low miles after 4 yrs and what they chose to do. I thought the $550 sounded a little high. I don't know how much an OEM timing belt for an Elantra is, but I can't imagine it being over $100. That would make the labor (at $72/hr hereabouts) be for 6.25 hrs. Surely this job wouldn't take a mechanic with all the right tools and experience THAT long to do. Now I imagine there could be some other miscellaneous parts to change out (idler pulley, etc.), so maybe that's why, I just don't know.
  • Thanks for posting this Pat (it never ceases to amaze me how much information Edmunds has!). The schedules are helpful, but they don't seem to mention timeframes, only miles. This indicates changing the timing belt at 60K miles. No mention of the 4 years, though. :confuse:
  • Another interesting thing is that when I get the oil changed (at the dealership), the mechanic always writes the mileage for the next one on the windshield sticker, but never the 3 month date. I asked someone about it last time I was in, and he said I was probably fine just going by the mileage for oil changes. I go (miles-wise) about 4-5 months between oil changes. I guess now that I see it in writing it doesn't sound too far off from the every 3 months.

    Any thoughts on the timing belt, Backy?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    I go by mileage for servicing on my 2004 Elantra (sort of--see below). Five years ago I asked the service manager at the Hyundai dealership where I bought it about service intervals, and he said going by mileage is fine. (Should have gotten that in writing I guess!) It's at almost 42k miles and my current rate is about 7k a year. The way I figure it, the timing belt gets zero wear when the car is not running. I do change the oil every 3500 miles or so because that's the interval that my local dealership gives me free oil changes for (actually 3750 but they aren't too picky), and 6 months is as long as I'd want to go on dino oil (oil does break down with time).

    Of course, if the timing belt breaks after 5 years and before I change it at 60k miles, Hyundai could deny a warranty claim. So there is some risk there. You have to decide if you are willing to accept that risk.
  • I have a 2007 Hyundai Elantra with 34,000 miles that needs new transmission. It stared with the car shuttering between 35-40 mph then sometimes it would be like it missed a gear around 35-40mph. Took it to the dealer they said transmission fluid need changed. Had it done. Put 400miles on it. went back to the dealer still doing same thing. Now they say it needs a new transmission. It will be replaced under warranty.
    I was wondering if any one else is having this kind of trouble with this model or maybe this is just a rarer occurrence for this model.
  • Hi everyone,

    We have a 2007 Elantra Limited which is great - there are only three small problems. One of them is making me question my memory.

    If I recall, when the car was new, the dome light would come on after withdrawing the key from the ignition. Now it does not. The light still works and is set to the same position (door). I cannot find any mention of the courtesy light in the owner's manual, so now I am thinking "was that feature always there, or did I imagine it for the past two years?"

    I just want to know if this feature exists before I ask the dealer to fix it.

    Thanks so much!
  • Are mudguards covered under the bumper to bumper warranty for the Elantra? I have one which is cracked and needs to be replaced.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    If they were on the car when the dealer sold it to you, they should be. I've had other cosmetic stuff on the exterior (e.g. black tape on window frame) repaired under warranty. I suppose the question of whether the mud flap was subject to abnormal wear could be brought up (as if they could prove it), but if you know the service writers at the dealership at all, they will probably take care of you.
  • Did you see my post (3137) about the dome light? I figure if anyone knows the answer to this, it is you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    I don't own that generation of Elantra so I don't think I can help you on the dome light. You've already checked the dome light switch. Just have the dealer take a look at it next time you are there for an oil change etc.
  • PatMatHatPatMatHat Posts: 15
    The OEM battery on my 2004 Elantra is failing. Can I change it myself, or do I have to go to a dealer? Reason I ask, is that I read somewhere that Hyundai has some peculiar design which allows only a very limited number of batteries. What size/type/code battery do I need, and where can I buy it? And can I install it myself without some outlandish tools? Thank you!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,941
    I got a replacement for the battery in my 2001 Elantra (same basic design as 2004) at Sears a few years ago. There must be places besides Sears that offer batteries that fit the Elantra. Make a few calls or do some searching on the Web. Any good battery shop will be able to tell you what battery fits your Elantra. You could probably install it yourself if you are handy with tools, but in my experience the installation charge for a battery is pretty reasonable. When you have the shop install it, they can also dispose of the old one for you--one more job you don't have to do.
  • PatMatHatPatMatHat Posts: 15
    Thanks, Backy. A web search turned up nothing for me, no info anywhere regarding the specific battery, except a rant about how hard it is to get it changed: nd-outside-of-dealers-where-they-are-expensive-and-special-1297801.html

    So that's a bust. Looks like I'm out of luck - the mysterious super complicated Hyundai battery :) Anyhow, it looks like I'm better off not trying to do anything as fancy-pants as changing a battery on a Hyundai Elantra, and I'd better sheepishly turn up begging at a dealership. I'm very grateful that info on putting gas in this vehicle is readily available - at least *something* is userfriendly here :)
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Do you have an Autozone or similar near you? I just checked their website and they list a DuraLast battery, 24F-7H-DL, for your 2004 Elantra. It goes for $79.99 and $12 core charge. It has a 7yr warranty too! Check out NTB also. They list one for it.

    FYI, they are the only one that lists one for that vintage Elantra. I checked Advance, Napa, and Interstate, so it is a difficult to find battery.
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