January 10, 2004 - Day 5 without my 2000 Hyundai Sonata (purchase new) since the following:
1 week right out of the dealership parking lot. The brakes are squealing. Take into dealership. No problem. They got wet. (it is 2004, and they still do it)
1 ½ Check engine light comes on. Take to the dealership. Nothing wrong. This occurs 100s of times since purchase of my new 2000 Hyundai Sonata.
Driver side window no longer working – 9 months after purchase. Took to Hyundai dealer (not the same one purchased from, have since relocated to another city). In shop for 4 days. Working fine. Service Manager was very pleasant. However the car was still under warranty.
1 year into my new Sonata, OK, maybe not so new now, hey, but still under the 60,000 mile warranty. The Sun roof motor gears break. Take it back to the dealership (remember not the same one in with purchased at). 5 Days at the shop.
Purchased new set of tires. Are they suppose to go that quick?
How is a person supposed to get back and forth to work?
In Louisiana just few days before Christmas 2002, visiting some family members, then heading to Chicago to visit the children. 45,000 Miles my Sonata starts acting funny. Like shaking and stalling all the time. Call the roadside assistance, they tell me the nearest Dealer in 300 miles away and closed for the Holidays. So I take it to the closes place that I can drive it into. New spark plug, wire, etc. You name it. But since there is no place open, and these are just normal wear and tear items, the cost is out of my pocket. No big deal.
67,000 miles replace again another set of tires.
67,000 miles the Crank Sensor goes out as I am turning the corner from my house. Thank God I was close to home!
Take the car to a well respected Auto Mechanic and Honest (yes, they do exists) to get the job done. Which by the way was $500.00 cheaper in the end. He informs me that the Maintenance requires a new Timing Belt at 60,000 and since he was in the general area replacing the Crank Sensor, if I wanted it changed along with the Balance belt. It would save me some money as far as Labor cost. Sure I said. Not a problem. He had a point. Why not do it while he is in there and save me some money?
With Timing belt, Crank Sensor, Balance belt and a new set of tires all replaced. I head off to Chicago, which is 2100 miles from home. Round trip of course.
Nice drive from Texas to Arkansas. Hey, I trusted the Mechanic. My son and I, all of a sudden start to hear a Thud sound with every rotation of the back passenger tire. Huh, must be a bad tire. We are at 67,500 miles at this point. I pull off the road and check the tire. All looks good to me. But I drive carefully. My son and I safely make it to Chicago in one piece. I ask my Son-In-Law, who by the way is a Mechanic to drive the car and tell what that awful noise is coming from the rear. He informs me that the Wheel bearing was going out. Thank God the Hyundai Sonata is front wheel drive and not rear end. The only thing I will lose is a tire as I am driving down the interstates.
Return home to Texas. Long drive by myself. But I made it. Of course I had to turn the radio up loud, so the thud sound would not drive me insane. But you can only drown out so much with only 3 speakers working.
Take it back to the Mechanic to inquire about the Wheel bearing. Yep, sure is the wheel bearing. I ask “how can that be?” Poor guy had to explain to me. One would think that this would be a recall, considering that it would put people in serious harms way. Nope, never received a recall to this date. Too bad it is over the 60,000 mile warranty.
2 days after returning back to Home (Texas), the Air bag sensor comes on. What is this? The Check engine light blew out or something. Now that I think about it, it’s not been on for the past few days. Must be time for a different light to burn bright.
Could the “Air bag sensor” be a recall on my Sonata in which I had not been informed about? They know how to contact me, I have been in their computer system often enough. I’m sure we all have though.
This is just minor stuff that has occurred over the past 3 ½ years since purchasing my brand spanking new Sonata. This is what has lead up to here now.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 at 77,100 mile I get in my car to go home from work. What’s this? Shake, Rattle, Bing and a Bang and a Boom! I am thinking, Must be the timing belt that nice honest Mechanic changed. So I call him up, tell him what happened, he sends out a tow truck.
There goes my Sonata, with only 6 months left to pay on my 4 year loan!
The Mechanic takes it apart. What’s this? The timing belt tension barring melted. The pistons are gone. I need a new engine. Of course, if the Mechanic did it right 10,000 mile back, this would not had happened (being a smart butt here) or better yet, if I had only taken it to a Hyundai Dealer to get the timing belt changed. Do I get brownie points for using original Hyundai PARTS that are warranty for up to 12,000 miles or 1 year?
I think somewhere in one of these reviews I read where the Mechanic from the Dealership told them that if the timing belt broke, after the 60,000 mile warranty, the 100,000 mile power train warranty would cover it. I could be wrong.
What exactly is covered under the 100,00 mile power train warranty? One would think that a Timing Belt Tension Baring (not part of being maintained like other parts) would be considering such. The engine will not run or turn over without it. Won’t even crank! That would seem to be a major engine part. Why did it melt though? Just from starting it up? How lucky I am that the engine just did not bust into flames!
So here I sit. After my second call to roadside assistance to get the car towed. Oops, that Wrecker Company never received their fax to pick it up. Good thing I inquired 2 hours after placing the call to them.
It sits at a Hyundai dealership. I think? (Maybe I should go and check) Perhaps that nice assistant service guy will see and understand things my way and honor the warranty that Hyundai puts out with every new car. Hopefully, they won’t charge me too much for the labor in replacing my engine that is supposed to be covered my Hyundai Warranty. Hey, since when do you pay for Labor on service that is supposed to still be under Warranty?
How much is a rental car for then next 4 weeks?
I always carefully pick and choose my battles. This is one battle that I will win!