Last post on May 22, 2013 at 4:51 PM
You are in the Hyundai Elantra
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Hyundai Elantra, Hatchback, Sedan
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#3115 of 3419 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 17, 2009 (11:04 pm)
It seems very odd that Hyundai would change its suppliers for the 2005 MY Elantra, then apparently change them again for the 2006 MY (the scores improved for 2006).
Stats are useful, but can be misleading. We know, for example, that CR's reliability categories are based on numerical data. They don't publish their cutoffs for each category, but there must be cutooffs. So let's say for example the upper-end cutoff for Average is 55 and the lower end cutoff for Above Average is 56. Suppose also the 2004 Elantra scored a 56 and the 2005 a 55, and the 2006 scored 56. Numerically and statistically a very small difference. But it appears to be a big difference due to the categorization.
Also, in the 2008 CR Auto Issue, the 2003-5 Elantras were rated Above Average in predicted reliability. The 2002 was rated Average. The 2006 and 2007 Elantras were rated Much Better than Average. A consistent pattern, with improvement over time, but inconsistent with the data you posted, which I assume is more recent.
#3116 of 3419 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [lhy]
Feb 18, 2009 (4:25 am)
Thanks everybody for your opinions about this car.
BambuListener: your advice about the car was pretty spot on. I took a test drive of the car and it seemed to have significant transmission problems. I took it on the highway and it wouldn't go above 40 mph! It seems that the transmission couldn't shift into high gear. Also, I noticed that the tranny fluid was somewhat brownish.
-So in general, do people find Consumer Reports and JD Power reviews among the most reliable compared to other car review sites?
-And what are people's opinions about the repair costs for Hyundais in general?
I have gotten a lot of conflicting information. Some of the reviews I read online have said that Hyundais are expensive to repair, while other people have stated they are relatively cheap.
#3117 of 3419 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [lhy]
Feb 18, 2009 (3:14 pm)
re: reliability of CR and JD Power vs "other car review sites" - what do you mean by that? It's apples and oranges. Not many sites do what JD Powers does - which is a focus on systematic tracking of quality and reliability - yes, CR does that, but not many more. In that sense there is not much competition to CR and JD Power (though there is some, with somewhat differing focus and emphasis) *in that respect*. "Other review sites" mostly do test drives and pretty superficial "reviews" of initial quality (rarely very systematic) - and JD Power doesn't do test drives in that sense at all - so there is no overlap between what JD Power does and "other car review sites"... it's apples and oranges. However, CR does do test drives for consumers - and in general has a much more rigorous and systematic testing compared to most "other sites". So in that sense, I think CR is far, far, far more reliable - not to mention freer of bias, since they do not depend on advertising from car manufacturers like so many "other sites". Does that address your question?
re: costs of repairs of Hyundai. This is a very hard question to answer. For routine fixing of things like breaks, hoses, alternators and what have you - I don't think it's very expensive, since for the most part it doesn't require specifically trained Hyundai mechanics (the way some foreign cars do, like Volvos, or say VW), and the parts are not exorbitantly priced (unlike, f.ex. VW parts). On the other hand, every car has its pecularities where fixing *certain* things DOES require specialized training or familiarity by mechanics. Hyundai being a relatively smaller presence in the market (compared to, say, Toyotas, Hondas, Nissan etc.), you may have a hard time locating a Hyundai mechanic. In fact that's kind of disaster: look over threads here and pleas from people in as huge a car market as Los Angeles, for recommendations for Hyundai mechanics - only to be met with silence or derision... in other words, FAIL. That leaves you with Huyndai dealerships - which at least in the Los Angeles area have a *terrible* reputation. So if you should need to fix a more Hyundai specific or complex issue, you are going to be in trouble. Not good. You simply don't have the options a Toyota or even Volvo owners have. There are many, many, many, independent (i.e. not stealership) shops for Volvo/Saab, VW etc. - but not really Hyundai (at least in Los Angeles, which is a HUUUUUGE car market).
So bottom line, it depends on the kind of problem you have - if you have a simple problem that can be addressed by a generic car mechanic, it should be pretty cheap, considering the parts are not too expensive. But if you have a more complex Hyundai specific problem, you may be out of luck due to very, very, very miserable situation as far as the number of trained *Hyundai* mechanics... and off to a dealer you go - where you WILL be ripped off (at least in LA). So I think that accounts for why you get both opinions ("cheap" and "expensive") when it comes to cost of fixing. Again, that's speaking about used cars not under warranty.
#3118 of 3419 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 18, 2009 (5:14 pm)
What is a "Hyundai specific problem"?
Three years ago my wife had a run-in with a curb during a blizzard; the curb won. Somehow the car was still drivable even though one front alloy wheel was shredded, but it didn't steer right. Took it to the Hyundai dealer, since I knew I needed a new wheel. They could replace the wheel, but they said the car needed an alignment and some front-end work--which they couldn't do! So I took it to a local tire store to get four new tires (which cost less than 2 new OEM tires), and they referred me to a nearby repair shop that focuses on import cars--all import cars. They had no problem fixing the Elantra. I have a feeling (which I hope I never have to confirm) that they could do anything else needed on that car, even replacing a transmission or engine. I will probably check with them when it's time for the Elantra's 60k service, which is the most complex and costly servicing due to timing belt replacement etc.--see what they will charge vs. the dealer. I use the dealer for warranty work and oil changes, since they give me free oil changes, and to buy parts like light bulbs.
#3119 of 3419 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [backy]
Feb 18, 2009 (6:46 pm)
"What is a Hyundai specific problem?"
Gee, I don't know - I guess there's no reason then to have shops and mechanics who are dedicated to just Volvo/Saab or VW or whatever brand, huh? Wonder why they exist then Seriously though, that's silly. Every car brand has its pecularities, and a mechanic who is not specifically versed in that range of issues is not a good choice to have experiment on your vehicle. For standard stuff, yeah, but not once you hit the pecularity. For example, you have a 2002 Mazda RX 7 with a twin-rotor Wankel rotary engine. If you want to fix brakes on it - fine, go to any mechanic. But if you need work on the engine, you better go to a mechanic who has experience with Wankel engines or get ready for an epic FAIL. And so for every brand - there's a reason why for complex issues specific to a given brand you go to mechanics who have training and experience with that specific brand... for generic issues, generic mechanics are fine.
And getting back to the earlier issue of models 2004 vs 2005 etc. Yes, indeed, it happens pretty much 100% of the time that the manufacturer changes *some* suppliers from year to year even on exactly the same model (if for no other reason than that some suppliers may go out of business etc, etc. etc.). Only very small specialty brands (like f.ex. Ferrari) may pretty much recreate exactly the same cars from one year to the next. For large scale brands, that is almost NEVER the case. Not to mention that even staying with the same supplier doesn't guarantee the exact same result, since the supplier in turn may change processes the effect of which don't turn up until they're put into play for several months. There are always variations year to year whether in materials, suppliers, quality control or a million other issues. Same design - different manufacture variables from year to year (often on economic grounds), which can give you a different result on long term reliability stats. Elementary reality of manufacturing complex products I bet you don't have much experience with large scale manufacturing
#3120 of 3419 Re: Opinions of 2000 Hyundai Elantra GLS sedan [BambuListener]
Feb 18, 2009 (9:21 pm)
An Elantra isn't an RX-7, doesn't have a Wankel engine or warp drive with dilithium crystals, and is a pretty basic car. And there's detailed shop manuals for it, that any good mechanic should be able to follow. Because it has the usual OBD, the mechanic would need access to the diagnostic computer for some repairs, but that is very common nowadays.
I understand the elementary reality of manufacturing complex products. But you don't know for a fact which if any key components--the ones that affect reliability--were changed on the Elantra from 2004-5 and 2005-6, do you?
Anyway, if you look closely at the JD Power reliability scores that you posted the link to earlier, you will see how suspect they are. For example, notice that the Mechanical ratings, the ones that directly relate to reliability, are very close between 2004 and 2005. In fact, there is only one difference: 2004 has 4.0 on interior, and 2005 has 4.5. That difference could easily be explained by the problematic audio system used in the 2004 Elantra GT, and only in that year. That issue is reflected in CR's ratings also. But then notice the "Design" scores. The design of the 2004 and 2005 Elantra was the same. But the JD Power scores are different, on Interior design (and therefore overall as well). How can that be, when the design was the same for both model years? Then look at the Overall Performance and Design ratings. They are markedly different between 2004 and 2005, in all categories: Performance, Comfort, Features and Instrument Panel, and Style. We're not talking about component quality here, but performance, design, and style. And the 2004 and 2005 model years were the SAME in those regards. Same powertrains, same interiors, same exteriors. Yet the 2004 scored much higher there than the 2005. How can that be, if these ratings are objective? Well, it's because they aren't objective. In fact, the major difference in the JD Power IQS scores between the 2004 and 2005 Elantra are due to subjective measures, not on reliability considerations. Notice also how the design-related scores shot up for 2006--but it was the same car design as for 2005! And the subjective measures like performance and style changed for 2006 too. That's not surprising, since they are subjective.
Finally, keep in mind that the JD Power ratings for 2004-6 that you posted the link to are for initial quality, not long-term quality. That is, for the first 90 days of ownership. The only model from 2004-6 old enough to have JD Power Long-Term Reliability scores is the 2004.
Feb 19, 2009 (3:06 pm)
Of course an Elantra is not an RX-7 - that's what an analogy is. Analogy doesn't mean "identical". By definition. What the analogy does do however, is points out that every car brand has something specific and unique to it. No need to resort to dilithium crystals or kryptonium. Works for other cars, doesn't it? Otherwise it wouldn't be a different brand, if everything was identical. Pretty logical, no? And there are manuals for RX-7 as well. Or for any car. That still doesn't remove the need for mechanics trained in that particular brand. Because, odd as it may seem, manuals are not enough. Weird, huh?
As to whether I know "for a fact" which if any key components were changed on the Elantra - of course I don't. However, neither do you - see how that works? Only here's the difference: the burden of proof is on you, not me. The reason is because *you* made a claim that 2004 and 2005 being the same design, must mean that JD Power stats are invalid. I merely reported the stats. You made a claim. I pointed out that the fact of the same design in 2004 and 2005 does NOT by that fact alone guarantee that the reliability would be identical, and I cited some examples of how that is possible (different suppliers, different QC practices etc.). I pointed out ways of how your argument doesn't hold water. But that does not alter the fact, that it is YOU who has to show how the same design MUST result in the same stats. I showed how that's not necessarily right - gaping holes in your argument. Stats are there from JD Powers. You have to show why they are wrong - and the argument you made ("same design") doesn't hold water. The burden of proof is on you. Until then, the stats stand presumed valid, absent proof to the contrary.
I am not an expert in Elantras. Maybe there were tiny differences between the interior design of the 2004 and 2005 which affected "comfort" etc. For example, the 2000 has massive power window problems, which would not be externally visible, and a change would fix it - also not visible. So it might look like the same design but there may be tiny changes which impact operation, even if not visually.
But even if there weren't, even if they were identical, there's still the stats from CR regarding problem areas (and indeed in my previous posts I pointed out that JD Powers hasn't yet done a long term reliability for 2005 and up). They are all mechanical, and all devastating for 2005 compared to 2004. The burden of proof of why they are wrong - CR with their teams of experienced testers vs "backy". The burden of proof is on "backy". I like and trust "backy", but I trust CR more, absent direct proof to the contrary. That's the rational attitude, no? Otherwise we're at the mercy of anyone's anecdote. That's the whole point of the existence of testing from independent consumer organizations like CR. No?
#3122 of 3419 Re: [BambuListener]
Feb 19, 2009 (3:24 pm)
If you don't see, from inspection of the JD Powers survey results that you posted, that there are inconsistencies in how identical characteristics (e.g. performance, styling, features) of two model years score, then it's not something that is worth my time to continue discussing (or "proving", in your terms). Anyway, it's not directly related to the Maintenance and Repair topic, and our Host has been patient with us so far so it's best not to push that forebearance.
FWIW, I know the Gen 3 Elantra (2001-6) extremely well, at least wrt design, having owned two of them and driven samples from every model year.
Feb 19, 2009 (4:01 pm)
No, what I see is that there are complexities in the scores. We don't know the methodology. We don't know if there weren't changes made that are not visible, but do impact operation. So until we have some kind of informed proof that they are wrong, I'll trust the qualified test people rather than an individual and his/her anecdotal experience. And what you are ignoring 100% is the CR results (as opposed to the JD Power), which focus very sharply on mechanical quality of 2004 and 2005 - and that is directly relevant to the maintenance and repair topic... as the OP had a chance to find out when he took the 2000 for a ride, and the tranny which was lambasted by CR gave out - bingo! I ask a simple question - what is a better guide... the experienced independent CR test teams, or someone on the web and their individual anecdotal feedback?
And I am not an Elantra specialist. I own a 2004 which I purchased used. And I've driven 2007 and 2008 Elantras, but by no means do I consider myself qualified to speak authoritatively on these cars (though I do have my opinions). What I try to do is be an informed consumer, that's all. And when looking for data, I try to look for data that is reliable. JD Power and CR may not be the Platonic ideal - nothing is. But it is a lot better than one random person's opinion. Just the facts, ma'am.
#3124 of 3419 Re: [BambuListener]
Feb 19, 2009 (4:20 pm)
I talked about the CR survey results previously. Go back and take a look.
You seem to be putting great emphasis on the individual anecdotal feedback of one person who drove an Elantra with a bad tranny.
I agree surveys like CR's are valuable. But I think they need to be seen for what they are, e.g. JD Power's IQS is a reflection on short-term reliability plus other factors, including what owners think of the car's design, its performance, its style, its features---attributes that have nothing to do with reliability. In other words, it's largely an opinion poll.