27th Jul 2009, 19:22

Thanks for the thorough, and thoughtful review -- VERY helpful!

5th Aug 2009, 11:41

I am the original poster of the review... I'm glad some of y'all find it helpful. Want to give an update since it's been two years.

The car is still trucking along. I'm at 126k miles.. Although a few months ago both my front interior door handles snapped off while trying to open the door normally (no force). That was a shock, to say the least. That was the last straw so I took it in and fixed those as well as all the door locks and windows at a shop a few months ago, it was about $350 all said and done.

The paint has deteriorated badly. There are huge oxidized spots on my hood, roof, and trunk now... the body is still in good shape, but the paint has definitely seen better days. Nothing has rusted though, beyond the original things I reported (metal strips on the back windows).

Nothing else has broken on the interior. Cruise control I have still not fixed, I have also not fixed the center console lid.

The transmission is still in the same shape more or less - performs perfectly well on a day to day basis and I actually have not encountered the problem with 2nd gear disappearing since posting the review.

Brake problems were resolved by replacing some sort of spring in one of the rear brake shoes (cheap repair... $75ish)... car brakes excellent now. I've been on the same pads and shoes for a couple years now and still have over 80% tread left.

The weird chugging/hesitation problem on cold starts is still an issue but not as much as it was. A fuel line was replaced about a year ago (cost less than $100) and that fixed it almost completely.. it doesn't happen often anymore but I assume it's something related to the fuel system if the fuel line replacement lessened it.

Still get great gas mileage... 32mpg highway, 27-28 in the city.

All that has gone wrong in the two years since the review, aside from the worsening paint oxidization and the snapping door handles (and another window motor going out) are two things:

1. The clock spring went out in my steering wheel assembly when I was cut off by a large truck and had to brake hard... I honked rather uh, vigorously and my airbag light came on. I took it in and they said the spring broke in the steering wheel. Repair is estimated at $400... they said it's not uncommon for the spring to become brittle in older vehicles but until I fix it the airbag system is completely disabled. That's a significant issue, but I maintain that it was mostly my fault for leaning on the horn as long and hard as I did.

2. The exhaust manifold cracked. That cost $300 to replace.

Overall I'm still pleased with the car... I've had it four years now and still, it has never broken down on me or been "unreliable". It's still mostly just been those little issues (interior, exterior), and mechanically I've had relatively few complaints. Most repairs I've done have been age appropriate, but I am to the point where I could go either way with this car... I might sell it and buy a newer vehicle if anything significant goes wrong (tranny goes out completely, etc.)

27th Aug 2009, 12:47

I just want to add another comment. I have a 2000 Hyundai Elantra as well. I bought mine in 2006 with 116,000 miles on it. (I'm a college student with little money) and I still have to this day, though, I'm graduated and thinking of buying a new car... hence why I'm on this website.

Now, the car has close to 160,000 miles on it. I have only had a couple issues where it was "unreliable". These issues were just normal issues that you'd get with any car. Like, the battery and not changing the timing belt on time. Other than that, there was one time when my car refused to start. This happened to be bad gas. I bought some dry gas and everything was fine. I live in Maine, so it gets cold cold cold in the winter and hot hot hot in the summer. The paint issue is the same for me. It has taken over the car. It's all over the roof and hood. not so much on the trunk, but I have a spoiler, so I'm thinking that might shade most of the trunk.

The issue you had with your passenger side console falling off, I have too. No issue with the handle falling off, though. Another funny thing is that when I bought the car the black paint on the window buttons has worn off and are almost completely white, as well.

To add to your post, the bottom half of my rear defroster is broken so only the top half melts the ice and I need to scrape the bottom. Which isn't too bad, because it works really well on the top half, almost well enough to melt the bottom portion that doesn't work. I've had issues with the CV joint (I think that's what it's called) I had an issue with it on both sides, twice.

Now, the shocks need to be replaced and I'm currently living with a jiggling sound coming from my car when I go over bumps. BUT, I'm selling the car/getting rid of it, and moving up, so I've put off fixing that.

What else?

I also have an issue with the car in the winter time skipping 2nd gear. I have a remote starter, though, so I found starting it for a few minutes before leaving definitely helps warm up the gears, and the skipping doesn't happen much anymore.. it just needs to warm up.

The A/C works WONDERFUL and I've never had an issue! that's one great positive for me. Works better than any other car I've been in. Cools off very quickly, and warms up quickly as well.

Like, I said above, I'm a poor college student and this has gotten me to and from classes in negative degrees and also 100+ temps. No real issues, at all. Just mainly cosmetic. If you're looking for a car that can get you where you want, and you don't care about a little cosmetic problems, I would say go for it!

21st Jan 2011, 10:43

Unfortunately; I have had many more problems with my car. It's a 2001 Elantra VE and I've owned it since new! I bought the car with 3KM on it, and it now has about about 250KM on it. This is an estimate because in 2004, the speedometer went and I didn't fix it for two years.

Within the first couple of months; the headlights blew out and I found the dealer headlights to be very unreliable. Also the original rims kept flattening my tires. The lug nuts keep breaking and have replaced them numerous times (very easy though).

The air bag system stopped working within the first year and I've never fixed it. The windshield is very thin, and so I've ended up replacing that about three times.

It's not worth running the car on synthetic oil; it doesn't make that much of a difference; just costs more.

The hub caps broke within 2 years and replaced them once, but not again.

The clutch has been replaced 6 times ($1200 each), plus the slave cylinder 6-10 times because the shop decided to use used parts. The transmission was replaced in 2005. It seems okay for now.

The wiper arm broke due to cold weather (cost $200). Wiper motors replaced as well (cost $200).

Both drive axles have been replaced. CV joints and ball joints, and also the control arm. (The control arm is a recall item).

Brakes are a definite problem. I have the same horrible braking that you guys mentioned, but the emergency brake doesn't work at all, even though I've fixed it and had it fixed dozens of times.

The exhaust system is pretty good, but it rusted out directly under the engine block (about $50 bucks) two times.

Electrical system is kinda wacky. None of the interior dash lights work, cigarette lighter doesn't work. Automatic mirrors don't work. Front Passenger window switches don't work. Back windows don't work at all (they are locked in place) The driver window is a slow roll down and sometimes jams up.

The center console has multiple fractures, but that is my fault (after a fell on top of it). The center console lid however is also shattered because of getting in and out of the car.

About the airbag: The control module for the airbag is directly under the cup holders. Mine's fried. I would suggest anyone buying this car, to remove the console and check to see if the control module has a plastic cover, and if not, have the dealer install one (this is also a recall).

Over 10 years driving in it, and now it's showing its exterior wear. All the plastic under the engine is long gone, so water hitting the engine is a big problem. The body under the doors is completely rusted (so much so that I can't use jacks or jackstands to lift it). All the weather stripping around the doors, windows and trunk had to be glued in.

The cruise controls don't work, and I had to replace the windshield wiper switch in 2006. The driver seat has been welded once, and the last time it broke; it remained broken.

The gearshift cables have been replaced. Radiator replaced twice. Regular wear and tear items like the belts, hoses and thermostat are done almost every year. The battery seems to go quite regularly. The alternator has been replaced three times and the starter once.

In the last 3 years, the car has become very unreliable. Stalling and not restarting again for half an hour or all day. It gets a tow about 4 times a year. Oh, the oil pan leaked out all over the ground once, and we had a new drain plug welded onto the pan (cost $80), instead of replacing the oil pan, which would have cost ($400).

It actually just broke down today on the way to an appointment. First time ever getting stuck in the center lane on the highway. It stalled and would not start. I got the car towed, and half an hour later it started right up and drove no problem. So $67 bucks later for what?

Anyway, the car is fast, and I put it through quite a bit. I would recommend this car if you are looking for something a little faster than other similar makes. I would also recommend not keeping it for very long. Maybe 3-4 years max.

Overall, I have spent well over $21,000 in shop repairs, tows and parts and hundreds of hours not driving it while the car was in the shop for this that or the other thing.

Next Stop: A new car - probably a Toyota or a GM Sierra Pickup 2500.