If you are having intermittent problems with your car starting, the problem is a faulty fuel pump. This was a common problem in 2001 Hyundai Elantras.
Also in this model car, if you are having transmission problems, it is usually the Input or Output (or both) sensor located on the top of the transmission. If these sensors keep going bad, you will have to change your car's computer located under the driver's side of the dash. I bought a used computer off of Ebay for fifty bucks. The Hyundai Technical service Bulletin number for this problem is 01-40-005. The car has not gave me any more problems concerning the transmission after this repair.
As far as changing the bulbs, you must wear gloves and apply DIELECTRIC grease before you put them in. This will give you longer bulb life. Make sure you take your car back to the dealer to confirm that all recalls have been repaired. They will not charge you for the repairs.
There is a recall on the ball joints and it states"
They actually sent me a check for 700.00 dollars because I had most of these repairs done before the recall.
In the 2001 Elantra, you may need to update your alternator from 80 amps to 90 amps. Be careful when buying a aftermarket alternator, because many of these will not work right in your vehicle (I know this from experience).
The last issue I will discuss is the electrical door connections located in the inner fender. Due to poor workmanship, water is able to enter the the inner fenders and corrode these electrical connectors, causing all kinds of electrical problems. The TSB number for this is 03-90-009. If you have an 2001 Elantra, I suggest you seal panel yourself. The TSB for this procedure is 06-900-008. The sealant part number is PN-051135-08405 and it is called 3M flexiclear body seam sealer.
I have had my Elantra over 10 years now, and it has 155000 miles on it. I still believe they are better than American cars for the price, but it hasn't held up as well as my Honda.
I suggest anyone in the market for a Hyundai stick to the later models, 2004 and up, for the best reliability.
Almost forgot, be careful not to overtighten your oil drain plug. If you do, this will cause you to have a oil leak. Hyundai oil filters come with a "crush ring" to prevent this from happening. If you are like me and have already stripped your oil pan, you can either buy a new oil pan (expensive) or go to the parts store and get an "oversized" oil pan. I have been using one for 6 years now, and it has prevented the leak.
I have a 2001 Elantra that we purchased new in 2001 just before our wedding. Surprising to say, our marriage has gone well, but the car is showing wear. :) It's got almost 120K on it, and is starting to chug a bit at 60mph (and occasionally at 30mph). Check engine light just came on, so I'm here reading. I'm off to have my codes checked, will report back if I get to the bottom of it.
A few observations...
1. Check engine light just came on? First thing is to be sure you tighten the fuel cap. At least 6 "clicks" with good firm pressure. We live near a state where they pump the gas for you... it's oh so fun to explain this to them! If you suspect this may be the case, re-tighten it and then disconnect your battery for a few minutes. The code will reset. Reconnect battery and continue use. I'm told if the code was for a different issue, that one will of course re-surface later. You can always go to your parts store and have your codes read for free to point you in the right direction.
2. Headlights on these things can pop all the time. I think I've found a fix, read on. Yes, it takes small hands to change them, but I like the idea someone earlier mentioned... take out the whole assembly and then replace the bulb. Should make fussing with that tiny wire retainer a bit easier. But here's the trick that FIXED the problem for me. When you shut your car off, turn off the headlights at the switch. After you start the car, turn the lights back on. It seems there is a voltage spike when you start the car that is killing the bulbs. I was popping them constantly, regardless of brand (which is what the dealer told me was the cause) until I started the above procedure. It's been about 2 years since my last bulb popped! Of course, I found this solution after I purchased a stock-pile of bulbs, so if the world runs out of Elantra bulbs, hit me up!
3. Here is a link to a great tutorial for replacing the fuel filter by yourself. Apparently, a great number of symptoms can be solved with this procedure. http://www.elantraxd.com/forums/showthread.php?17699-DIY-Fuel-Filter-Replacement. It's supposed to be replaced every 50K if I remember correctly. Certainly not a convenient location for such a frequent change!
4. Car intermittently won't start? I've had no such problem, but I have an automatic version. Maybe there's something to that. If you have the manual transmission, check the switch on the clutch (or have your dealer look there first). If it's not the switch, or you have an automatic... suspect the fuel pump. You can change it yourself while you replace the filter in the link above!
5. Do your regular maintenance. It's in your manual, and is not just a suggestion. The warranty is great, but the regular maintenance is what takes you past the 100k mark reliably! Yes, fluid flushes are expensive... but not compared to new radiators and transmissions!
6. Oh almost forgot. The fogging headlight covers. They are plastic and prone to oxidation. I do agree that it's a safety concern if they get too fogged. Mine got pretty bad before I found a decent solution. Simply sand off the surface of the lenses with a very fine wet-sand paper. You can get it at home stores, automotive paint stores, and some auto parts stores. It's usually black grit, and the kind you want will barely feel gritty, if at all. If I could remember the grit I used, I'd tell you, but just experiment. If there are too many scratches simply go to a finer grit. After the oxidation was removed, I went ahead and applied a wax right over the top... I figure it will help cut down on the oxidation and boy did it help wipe out any remaining haze left by the sanding! There are "Kits" at the parts stores to do this, but I found them way too expensive. To each his own.
That's all for now, but will report back if I find a solution to my problem! Otherwise, I may just go trade this one in on a newer Hyundai!
Same guy as above, back again with a report. Here were my symptoms... at first, the car was "chugging" at or around 60mph. This progressed into a "stalling", in which the car would seem to die for an instant, then come back. I could help it recover by feathering the gas pedal somewhat, and these symptoms seemed particularly bad when going up a gentle incline. I could easily rev the motor past this trouble spot at first, but as the symptoms progressed, the car seemed to widen its range of troubles to include pretty much anything under load. This is when the engine kicked the check engine light. Autozone scanned and showed a map sensor issue. After checking for vacuum leaks and after trying to clean the old map sensor, I finally resorted to replacing said sensor. The car ran much better, but shifted strangely at first. After a few starts and stops on the highway, the car ironed itself out. I figure it was the computer adjusting to the poor sensor, and then having to readjust to the new one. I've been 2 weeks post-replacement with several longer trips, and so far the car is driving like a champ again.
Anyway, there is a great site over here http://www.elantraxd.com/forums/ that has a great bunch of people who seem to have already investigated every possible problem. Have your car's computer scanned for the code, then search this site for clues. But definitely suspect a sensor first... there's lots of them on these little cars. Then, get it fixed before that little sensor wrecks the engine or the transmission.
Good luck, and enjoy your poor man's Toyota, I know I am! :)