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Hyundai Elantra Cooling System Problem



  • How did it all go?
    I had a simmiliar experience. I had talked to a former Hyundai mechanic who worked at a dealership till his conscience got the better of him. He told me that my overheating was related to a manufactring defect. Radiators just don't break. And there are alot of things they (dealership) won't tell you.
    I will never buy another hyundai either. There is more that I wont say on here but there really should be an investigation as to why so many elantra have overheating issues. Something is definitely being covered up. And many other people have posted on many other forums about how hyundai denies many repairs even when they are within the 5 yr./60k miles warranty. I am looking into Subaru and toyota as they are more honorable warranty providers.
  • DO NOT BUY a HYUNDAI and here is why. Hyundai will not honor the warranty when something major happens to your car. I have a 2006 Elantra with 91,200 miles. This still falls under the Powertrain warranty that Hyundai is so proud to promote.
    In short, my engine seized due to overheating. The dealership in NJ told me it was my fault because they told me of a leak and I refused to have it fixed. Fact is they did not tell me that my cooling system was leaking or was in such bad shape that a leak was very possible. Based on the paperwork from the service visit(s), the only thing this dealership does is to add "recommended" services to the service sheet every time you service your car. In the past, they would make it very apparent when I should fix something because of possible failure. I would always agree or do the minor fixes myself.
    The District Service Parts Mgr (DSPM from Hyundai) denied my claim without having all the details. They refuse to talk with me even though they based the decision on incomplete facts. i've faxed over requested information but Hyundai does not return calls. This has gone on for weeks now. I also found others that have stated similar problems on

    How it happened:
    I was driving my car back home on Thursday, October 18th from a business trip in Atlantic City on the Garden State Parkway (G.S.P.) North Bound. I was just at or before mile marker 52 just before a bridge (being expanded) when I saw smoke/steam starting to come from under the hood.
    I immediately put my hazards on and looked for a safe place to pull off, since the traffic speed was in excess of 65 mph. At that point of the G.S.P., I was at the base of a bridge, (under construction), where cement barriers were in place on both the left and right sides, so I had no shoulder or other safe place to stop. I feared that if I just stopped in the lane, I would put myself and any other driver’s lives in danger because of the speed of traffic and my location. I knew I had to make it over that bridge or the first turnoff if available on the bridge. I pulled my car off at the bottom of the bridge at the first location I could stop safely. The engine was turned off and I lifted the hood. Then I called for help.
    I had the towing company tow me and my car back to my home town mechanic thinking it was just an overheating issue or belt issue. On Thursday, October 18th that mechanic looked at my car and diagnosed overheating and saw antifreeze in all four cylinders which all resulted in a seized engine.
    I then had my car towed to my Hyundai Dealership to fix it under warranty since I am under 100,000/10 years. Once the dealership mechanic looked at the car, I was called and told that this was all caused by a leak in the radiator hose and I was told of this by the dealer back in August (2012) that a leak was found and I should have them fix it.
    In fact, I was never told of a leak or any impending issue(s) with any hose or clamps. I have the paperwork printed from that August maintenance visit. No mention of a leak or any language stating a potential leak or hazard.
    The only thing stated is the Dealer’s normal/standard “Recommendations” list of items. I would have had them fix any leak or impending issue if they would have told me of such.
  • valorieovalorieo Posts: 1
    So it's been pretty sad to read about all these other Elantras having cooling issues ending up with their engines seizing. My 2012 Elantra has 15K miles on it. I've already replaced the thermostat on it at 12K miles but the symptoms have started up again so it's going back to the dealer. I bought the car new with fewer than 500 miles on it and all my repairs have been done at the dealer.

    I first noticed it in December 2012. The heat was on its warmest setting and the car was toasting nicely then the hot air turned cold. It felt like the AC was on. Eventually, I learned to turn the temp down to the midpoint for a moment and then turn it back up to get warm. I figured this wasn't an urgent problem but noted it to mention it at the next oil change. About 3 weeks later, I noticed that the engine temp had redlined but was then going back into normal territory. As I drove the car to a parking lot, the temp stayed fine. I figured I'd imagined it so continued driving and the temp remained fine for 30 minutes with me keeping a close eye on it. Next morning, I started the car, fought with the heater, and kept an eye on the temp gauge. The temp would be fine, then redline for 10 seconds, then go back to normal. I called the dealer and was told to drive it in.

    There was no coolant in the system so they refilled it. They also replaced the thermostat. They checked the system and proclaimed it fixed. I figured it was a strange event. If there was no coolant, the car should have redlined and stayed redlined so I didn't understand what was going on and the dealer decided I was a stupid woman who didn't deserve an explanation.

    Fast forward 3 months, and the heater started acting up. I immediately started keeping a close eye on the temp gauge but noticed nothing for about a week. Then it once again started to redline for 10 seconds then be fine for 30+ minutes. The car had an oil change two weeks prior and everything was topped up but when I brought the car in, there was again no coolant.

    They pressure checked the system, checked hoses, and couldn't figure out what was going on. So they filled the coolant and I drove the car for a week. No temp issues (or heater issues) but when I brought it back a week (and 500 miles) later, there was no coolant in the system.

    I'm taking the car back in tomorrow for them to do another round of testing/repairs but frankly, I don't trust the dealer to have a clue. Anybody have any ideas what kinds of things this could be? I buy new cars so I don't have to worry about these sorts of issues. If the car were older, not maintained, or had 60K+ miles, I could see this sort of major repair but in a 15 month old car with 15K miles? I don't know if I have a lemon or whether I just stumbled into a Hyundai known issue.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 160
    A friend from church called me last Wednesday and said his 2003 Elantra was overheating and would I be interested in taking a look at it. I've done auto repairs for myself and others for a long time. Well, this job was pretty cut and dried from the get-go. His radiator's top tank blew. Now this car has 155K on it and when I got to where the car was, he said he poured water into the rad and it just ran out. He did the same with me standing there and sure enough, out the water came. I removed the radiator from the car and saw that someone used what I'll call an epoxy-like sealant on that top tank in a effort to save it, but now it was definately shot.

    Turns out that my friend's father in law previously owned the car, and he and his wife has had it since last December, so they got 6 months out of it before the radiator was toast. So I put a new one from Auto Zone in ($116). Of course with this mileage I'm thinking that maybe the water pump or at least the thermostat should be changed as well, but we decided to take one thing at a time. But when I filled the rad with coolant and fired it up, it wasn't too long before the gauge went to the top, and you guessed it, the thermostat was stuck closed.

    I did this work in a church parking lot that had just had new seal coating put down the week before. My friend didn't want to make another mess, so he actually drove the car to his place later that evening and then over to my place this past Saturday with a new thermostat and gasket. This installation was a breeze and the problem with overheating are now a thing of the past. One thing I had asked him when he first called me was did you notice the car getting hotter with the A/C on? It's been hot and humid here in Pa. and I was wondering if he was using the AC, but he said no, it didn't work. Now of course we know the rad was shot, but while I was under the car at the church, I found out why the AC wasn't working, at least mechanically. The drive belt was gone! Only a few strands of what used to be a belt was left. No wonder it didn't work. This leads me to a mild chastisement to the powers that be at Hyundai. What genius or geniuses there decided that it would be BETTER to have 3 drive belts rather that one serpentine like most cars have had for a long time now? This is the first car I've worked on in a long time that DIDN'T have a serpentine belt. Just sayin'!

    I know I'm long-winded, but please bear with me. My friend also brought new oil and a filter over for me as I offered to do an oil change for him, the oil was rather dark. While I was looking for the owners manual in the glove box, lo and behold I come across a brand new drive belt that was marked AC! He figured his father in law got it and threw it in the glove box and never put or had it put on. I told him that I would do it but could not guarantee that the system was still charged and would work. He said lets try it. Now to put that belt on, you of course must remove the Alternator belt, the one in front. THIS belt was totally shot! I wouldn't doubt if it was an original belt. I called my friend yesterday(Sunday) and told him he needed to make one more trip to AutoZone for that belt. It was so worn out that you could see through it from the top!

    I'm coming to the great finish now, folks. On went the new AC belt, the new Alternator belt and I started the car and after checking how the belts were tracking, I had my wife hit the AC button. It worked! It got like a freezer in a matter of minutes. When I called my friend and told him, he was elated! Now there's a few other issues with this car, it's got a cracked windshield that he's gonna have to deal with before his next inspection, he may need front rotors and brakes, and a few minor things like that. But I think for being 10 years old with 155K on it, it's not a bad running car. I see some of the stories some of you have posted above, especially you, Ted2006. That's just a terrible thing to have happen and Hyundai wouldn't make good for it. But I have to say I like this Elantra GLS model and now that I have had some mechanical experience on it, I might be inclined to buy one some day. Thanks for reading this, folks, and have a great day!
  • tsnmomtsnmom Posts: 1
    Thank you Shopdog97! My daughter called to advise that her car started overheating and the a/c went out. I started to panic since money is tight. But, after reading your (very appreciated) long story, I have hope. I will check her fluids first, then move to belts etc. Who knew there was a third belt? I am wondering though, is it possible that one problem can cause the other problem? Thanks again for your informative input! :) Have a great day!
  • Hello. Are you a mechanic? I have a Hyundai with the same problem and several for some time now. It never used to act up and concerned about it's present care. If you are a mechanic, would you mind telling me if you're near the Florida area, etc.? If you're not, would you be able to recommend one? I ask because of your complete honesty in this forum. I look forward to your reply.
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