2002 Hyundai Elantra GT 2.0

Summary:

Great vehicle, questionable service

Faults:

I got this car in excellent condition. Everything worked except the windshield fluid pump.

Great, but one serious problem. The car would stall in any condition. High speed in full throttle, coasting with no load, air on, air off etc. It didn't matter, it would stall when it stalled. Very dangerous to say the least. Without going into a lot of detail, I had to take it to a Hyundai dealer for logistical reasons. I am sorry to say that I was disrespected from the get go. I think maybe they thought it was crazy to sink money into this old car.

A long story short, I got soaked for a new fuel pump (600.00), and a new alternator (700.00), but it continued to stall. The dealer acted like he did me a favor by not charging me for my third callback. It was a 16.00 fuel pump relay. No apology. I know intermittent problems are difficult to find, but this was ridiculous.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2017

5th Nov 2017, 10:31

That's terrible - writing in from outside America, here the dealers should be happy when owners of old cars come back to them for anything past the warranty period. From what you describe, I have a sneaking suspicion that the fault is electrical, since things are so intermittent. I would seek the help of an independent good mechanic or auto electrician. Thing is, dealer mechanics often deal with cars only while they are within the warranty period, so faults that commonly occur long after this, usually presented to non-dealer independents, are not familiar at all to them. The independents are the ones who end up having to deal with these, and would likely be the ones observing the frequency and types of problems from some makes of cars, or also common within groups of cars of a certain age or using similar componentry.

Good luck, and please keep us informed.

6th Nov 2017, 14:06

The dealer told you a new alternator would be $700?

And you agreed to this?

That's a big part of your problem right there.

2002 Hyundai Elantra GT 2.0

Summary:

If they still made its equivalent, it would be on the short list to replace it

Faults:

This car eats rear wheel bearings. The first 3 were replaced under warranty. When I brought it in for the first one, the dealer was shocked "Everyone knows that it's the front bearings that are trash". Replaced 5 (3 left, 2 right) in the first 70,000 miles. The last set is holding so far. Oh, and replaced both front wheel bearings between 80 and 90,000.

It also has a hankering for brake parts. New pads every 20,000 miles, new rotors at the same time more often than not.

The front sub frame rusted out, resulting in the left front wheel coming off (fortunately while backing out of a parking space, so essentially at 0 speed when it happened) at about 110K miles. The dealer fixed it for free and in a timely manner, as it was a recall item.

General Comments:

I like the car a lot. When we needed a 4 door hatch/small wagon, it was the only car on the market in that price range we could find with a manual transmission and ABS brakes. When my wife saw the leather interior she snorted "Who puts leather in a tin can!". Now we're spoiled, having had the leather, and nothing in our price class currently does.

The leather interior has held up fantastically. I just cleaned it up for the trade, and while the plastic parts have some scratches and rubbed in dirt, the seats still look like new. Also, many people (including me) can't stand the new car plastic smell that Hyundai's have, but it was never an issue with this car.

It has not been trouble free, but it only stranded me once (broken sub frame), and has been relatively easy to work on. For cost of repairs and level of aggravation with them, it was probably a wash for savings on the initial purchase price. But again in January of 2002, there was no equivalent car in that size/price class.

It is not a sports car, but can get out of its own way. For the performance, I feel it should get better mileage, but over the life of the car, the average is just under 30 miles/US gallon. Not bad, since I live where you get winter blend gas 5-6 months a year.

I think it could get well over 160,000 miles if I put some work into it (wheel well corrosion, rear brake calipers, 1 rear strut), but I've gotten too good an offer to trade it in to make it worth the effort.

Roomy enough, that for the last 4 years I've been running a landscape gardening business out of it, hauling all my tools in the car as well as towing a trailer with up to a ton of mulch, soil, or tractor on it, as with trailer brakes, it will tow 3500 pounds.

If you find one with little/no rust, it's definitely worth a serious look.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2011