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Hyundai Elantra Maintenance and Repair



  • 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).
  • 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: 18,911
    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: 18,911
    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: 18,911
    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: 18,911
    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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