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#3251 of 3420 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine?
Nov 18, 2009 (9:52 pm)
New member here asking for guidance on repairing or replacing engine on my daughter's and my 2002 Elantra sedan with 51,00 miles. Does anyone know of cases similar to ours where an overheated and damaged engine was repaired and ran soundly beyond 80,000 miles or so? I like the apparent lower cost of engine repair v. a used, low miles engine replacement. My repair concerns are: 1) increased risks of premature engine failure that wouldn't be paid for by the repair's warranty and 2) replacing the head gasket, machining the head smooth, putting engine together and it still doesn't run.
The 2002 (we're third owners) overheated on my daughter at 60 mph, lost power as dashboard red lights came on, and then she and her brother saw steam coming from under the hood. Radiator leaked in many places, engine wouldn't restart. Towed car to our regular, trustworthy garage. Manager diagnosed: "no start, engine turns over rapidly, removed timing cover, found engine to be in time, checked compression low, added oil to cyls to get compression to come up with no luck. Compression is at 30 psi. Found radiator tank split open at the top, possible compression in cooling system causing radiator to split. Recommend replacing engine and radiator." He estimated $3000 p/l for a used engine of 33K miles and new radiator. He thinks the head gasket may be blown and rings seized, yet will need more time to know. Temperature and oil pressure gauges okay. One CV joint boot is cracked, parts dry. Otherwise, car seems okay and has run well.
An area Hyundai service manager, without seeing the car, thinks the diagnosis is right except that engine may be repairable for about $1500 p/l and with a new
radiator...nearing $2000. "A faulty thermostat likely started the problems...you're daughter had anywhere from a few seconds to a minute to react, good that she got off the road." "This is basically a sound little engine. I've seen a number of cases like what you've described, and your mechanic, and we open up the engine,
replace the head gasket, machine smooth, put it back together and it starts up and runs fine. And at this point, with just a basic diagnosis and I haven't seen the car, he has, we can't be sure that the engine really has no compression, because of the order in which the cylinders fire and no one has opened it up yet." And "if you decide to tow the car up here, I'll be glad to pay for finding out what the problem is, but we're not responsible for the costs of repairs (out of warranties)."
He agreed to call Hyundai of America district manager about any "goodwill discount" since the second owner, my mother, had thermostat replaced and a gallon of coolant added there at 36K miles along with a new timing belt, drive belts, engine flush, power steering flush, induction service, brakes checked...her complaint coming in was A/C was cool but not cold. She had AT fluid flushed there at 34K after buying the car. So when I hear back on goodwill discount yes or no, then we decide on repairing or replacing the engine, and at which location.
I happily drive an '05 Elantra hatchback at 47K miles bought in April from original owner. The community comments I've read so far on overheated Elantras have been helpful. Thanks for your reading and comments to come.
#3252 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [57manassas]
Nov 19, 2009 (2:23 am)
Wow '57, that's sounds horrible! We've got the same '05 GT hatch as you but we're at 134,000 or so without a hitch thus far KNOCK ON WOOD (after reading your post!). Now admittedly, we drive 'er easy during the week across an interstate for commuting purposes and only drag race the Mustangs on Saturday nights, but the 2.0 Beta engine blowin' at 51k, sheesh! My buddy has the same '02 GLS that you speak of and he's at 175,000 on the odometer, again, without a hitch (Con't to knock on wood). He's one of the reasons we bought our Elantra in the first place. His lil' Elantra seemed to run really well and these things were several grand cheaper at purchase than the traditional Jap entries in this segment. But my head spins...blown engine and a tried and true engine at that...at 51,000 miles? Geez! Are the rest of you on here hearing similar cases like this one and how does one avoid this? Only reason I ask, we just bought an '09 SE (same lil' engine that could) to add to our fleet and I sure DON'T want this happening to this car!
TIA 'backy and the rest of you edmunds Hyundai experts.
#3253 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [57manassas]
Nov 19, 2009 (5:53 am)
I have a 2002 Elantra GT hatch and experienced a faulty thermostat somewhere in the neighborhood of 65,000 miles, got it replaced for around $100, and no problems since *knock on wood as well*. I'm sitting at around 125,000 miles now and mainly using the littler feller as a commuting car to/from work.
Not sure if this helps at all, but wanted to add my $0.02
#3254 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [57manassas]
Nov 19, 2009 (7:01 am)
OK... you have me worried now. Because of your car overheating at such a low mileage. My Toyota Tacoma didn't overheat until 120,000 miles and my stupid husband drove it with the thermostat shot. And I just ended up paying $800 at Midas for a new themostat, new water pump and a new radiator.
What you are describing I never heard of. My husband has an 18 wheeler and he had over 900,000 miles before he had to have engine work done with blown head gaskets. And he paid 4 grand to have a used engine put in and all the head gaskets pulled and stuff. But his truck didn't overheat.
My husband and I both have 2008 Elantras now. And I know we have the 100,000 mile 10 yr warranty. And we are the original owners but I sure hope this is not an Elantra thing.
Backy...where are you to post to this? I know you know a lot about Elantras. Am I going to be sorry I bought one now?
And to let everyone know. I have a silver Elantra. And my paint started peeling on the passenger side under the door. Right now it's being repainted. Be careful of your paint. I had a rock hit me too and it chipped off a chunk of paint which within 30 days started to rust on the side of the car over the summer. That's being fixed too with the peeling paint.
#3255 of 3420 How do you disconnect a sensor?
Nov 19, 2009 (8:05 am)
I need to replace the thermostat on my Elantra, but the wires to the coolant temperature sensor and to the sensor on the air filter box are in the way. I tried to disconnect those sensors, but I don't know how to unlock the connection. Do I need a special tool? or is there a "trick" to get them separated? Thanks in advance.
#3256 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [schukanuoslady]
Nov 19, 2009 (8:37 am)
Don't worry. From what I've seen (e.g. in recent movies), the world will end in 2012, so any problems with our Elantras will seem pretty minor in comparison.
Sorry, but let's maintain perspective here, OK? Cars do fail sometimes. What you have to look at is, how often does a particular model fail? The Elantra would not have racked up high marks in, for example, CR's reliability survey if it has major problems affecting a large percentage of vehicles. I've seen some pretty nasty reports on problems with the Civic. Does that mean it's an unreliable car, in general? No. But say if 1/2 of 1% of Elantras had a significant problem, that would still affect approximately 5,000 of the 2001+ Elantras sold in the US (assuming an average annual sales of 100k). That's a lot of posts on forums like this.
Now, if the radiator+++ problem had happened to my Elantra and it had 51k miles on it and was well maintained (preferably by the dealer, so they could see I was a loyal customer) and still under the powertrain warranty, I would work for the repair to be covered--or at least a significant part of it. Technically it would not be covered under the powertrain warranty, but there is an implied warranty here that such a thing should not happen to a well-maintained car with so few miles on it. That is the point I would take up the chain with Hyundai.
#3257 of 3420 Overheating
Nov 19, 2009 (10:09 am)
The reservoir in My 2000 Elantra recently dumped a lot of coolant when I pulled into my driveway. I replenished the coolant (50/50), and took it Meineke for oil change and check-up. The shop didn't find a problem, saying the pressure was fine, and there was no leak, but by the time I got home (5 miles), all the coolant was gone, and the engine was getting hot. Then I took it to a Napa Auto Care center, and within few minutes, they said the termostat was stuck, and needed to be replaced, ($165 charge). My first question is how can they be sure of the cause? Because I don't think they could have removed the cover to check that fast. My second question is should I attemt to do it myself, as I understand the thermostat is not that expensive?
#3258 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [57manassas]
Nov 19, 2009 (10:29 am)
57, sounds like you ran hot for what ever reason and blew a head gasket. If your car engine is in time and still will not starting up you probably do not have enough compression to run the engine. Based on the information you have posted and if it were my vehicle, I would pull the engine head, have it checked and resurfaced and replace the head gasket. You could do this yourself for a very small fraction of what a professional mechanic would charge you. You must determine if your car is worth the repair cost. Sounds to me like it probably is worth repairing.
#3259 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [57manassas]
Nov 19, 2009 (10:56 am)
I would stay in contact with the Hyundai guy. There were several incidents regarding thermostat failure on Elantra's of this generation, and many were warranteed by Hyundai. Especially since your engine is still under 60K miles, you may have a strong argument.
And the failure is just as you and others here have described. Cruising along without a care in the world, and the thermostat breaks and blocks all coolant flow. When this happens on a fully warm engine at highway speeds, you have seconds to react before things get ugly. Sad fact of aluminum heads, they don't like heat, and they heat up fast.
#3260 of 3420 Re: 2002 Elantra overheated: repair or replace engine? [jlflemmons]
Nov 23, 2009 (8:34 am)
Thanks all for comments on 2002 Elantra overheated engine at 51,000 miles, repair or replace engine? Two local, independent shops recommend installing a low miles used engine, not repairing engine. One said: "He got only 30 p.s.i. after
adding oil to cylinder? I know that shop. That means bottom-of-the-engine damage, more than a blown head gasket... you're better off with a used engine." Hyundai Wash. D.C. area district manager hasn't yet called back the service manager where 36K service was done for second owner about any "goodwill" costs coverage for this out-of-warranties car. I'll work up the line with HOA for covering some costs, have a used engine with warranty put in by our usual shop. A nearby dealer wants $400 to tear down and diagnose and also favors used engine v. repair. Most important part here is my daughter and son weren't injured. Secondly, Elantras are usually reliablep; this car's condition makes it worth repairing v. salvaging. A good Thanksgiving to all. Stay tuned. '57.