Own a Hyundai Santa Fe? Better mind the belt!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Crpdeth, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Chances are that one of my friends here happen to own or may soon purchase one of these popular midsized crossover SUVs, so with that in mind just a friendly warning... If you bought it new, the sales person likely mentioned that you needed to change the timing belt at 50k miles... If you are like a lot of people you were caught up in the excitement of buying a new ride and that information was pushed to the back of your mind.

    If you bothered to sit and read through your owners manual, again, there you will see the warning... IF you bothered...

    This is not optional, if you fail to do so, you will very likely wind up like a close family member of mine. At 67,000 mi the timing belt will break and destroy your engine without further warning, two hundred and fifty miles from home at Christmas. It will cost you 3700.00 dollars to fix, 300.00 for a rental car to get home, 100 dollars for a tow truck and another full day on the road to go pick it up.

    Hyundai Santa Fe covered their collective butts when they mentioned twice that a new belt is necessary, so it's real hard to point a finger in their face. Regular maintenance IS your responsibility.

    But My God! My freaking LAWN MOWER has a warning gauge that tells me if the water is getting low. My brothers Ford PU has a damn buzzer that comes on when his windshield wiper fluid is getting low... Windshield wiper fluid.

    How hard would it be to install a light, a buzzer, SOMETHING that says "Hey dummy, you are about to RUIN your engine"!

    Guess I'll climb down now, but things like this just tick me off to no end.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    This is one of the weak spots on the Hyundai. All models! The dealership will let you know when it's time to change the belt, that is if you use the dealership at all, and I do! I bought the Hyundai Accent because I wanted the gas milage, and I have not been disapointed in the least, 40+mpg on the highway!

  3. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central Florida
    The 4 cyl. Honda used to require timing belt replacement at 60-90K miles but as far as I know if it went, it didn't cause any major engine damage. I've known several people to have theirs go at hwy. speeds and just coast to a stop, have it towed in, replace the belt and go on their way. Higher end overhead cam engines use metal timing chains with automatic tensioners that never need replacement. The rubber belts are quieter but they do wear out. The main reason people fail to do the maintenance is because it's so labor intensive to replace. They ought to make it easier to change, like a fan belt then more would do it.
  4. Slabsides

    Slabsides Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Just about any modern engine with a timing belt is an interference engine. Meaning you WILL destroy numerous valves and damage pistons if the belt breaks. A close friend of mine ruined an otherwise perfect Nissan Pathfinder by letting the belt break.

    The maintenance schedule for any new vehicle is not a suggestion....it's mandatory. If you drive over any limits without getting required service performed, it's on you. This is no means a Hyundai thing. Check the warranty of ANY manufacturer. The $500 or so it will cost to get the belt replaced is cheap insurance compared to a valve job and damaged pistons.

    I have a 2008 SantaFe and Hyundai will be doing the belt before the required time. I could easily replace it myself, but if it breaks before the 100K/10yr warranty is up, then it's on me.

    I had 2 timing belt failures in my lifetime, one on a Chevette and one on a Subaru GL. Fortunately those are both non-interference engines and no damage resulted. I sold a Nissan 300ZX turbo years ago because I bought it used and did not know how old the timing belt was. I didn't have the $$$ to get the belt replaced and would have been SOL if it broke.

    If you have a vehicle with a belt, you had better know when the belt was done last.
  5. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    +1 I own a Kia and was clearly instructed of the need to change this belt or else the drive train warranty is voided. One nice thing about having the dealer perform all the service is that they remind you when it's time to do this. In addition to Kias great warranty, which is the same as Hyundai's, my dealer provides a lifetime warranty on the drivetrain as long as I follow scheduled maintenance. This could be the last car I ever buy. An auto company can't offer much more than that.
  6. shorter260513

    shorter260513 New Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    I had a Ford Contour that the timing belt broke and there is enough clearance in the cylinder that it wont do any dammage same with the Escort of my brothers that i fixed some engines are designed well and some are not.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  7. Slabsides

    Slabsides Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Absolutely. Does not matter who makes the car. Get yourself a brand new Mercedes, Lexus or whatever then do something as simple as miss an oil change. Should an engine part fail from improper lubrication, guess who's pocket it's coming out of?
  8. Slabsides

    Slabsides Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    It's not a matter of being designed well, it's a matter of how much power you want to extract from a small engine. Look at the engines that are interference vs the ones that are not. In many engines, to make decent power from a small engine, the valves will occupy the same space as the pistons, just at different times (hence "timing"). Belt breaks and simple physics comes into play: two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.....and you get bent valves and damaged pistons.

    A couple of quick examples that I have personal experience with: Acura Integra and Nissan 300ZX = interference engines. Chevy Chevette and Subaru GL = non interference. Two VERY different class of small engines.

    It's basically a tradeoff. Do you want basic and simple or do you want power? You generally cannot have both.
  9. Airdale

    Airdale Active Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    N.W. Arkansas
    How hard would it be to install a light, a buzzer, SOMETHING that says "Hey dummy, you are about to RUIN your engine"!


    I've bought 3 Hyundais two had timing belt warnings and at the time of purchase we even got paperwork warning us how much that service would cost when performed. I go to the dealer for all services so there can be no doubt that I haven't voided my warrenty. Regular service costs about the same as any quicky lube and I get free coffee and donuts plus a big screen tv in the waiting room plus they wash my car. Trust me, they wouldn't have let me miss the belt change. Wonder how much that warning light would raise the price of the car?
  10. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2009
    i have owned hyundai's and the accent i have now has 130,000 i know every 60,000 change belt and that if u change the oil use a hyundai oil filter my car runs as good today as when i bought it.
  11. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    There ya go! My other car is a '96 Ford Ranger with around 250,000 miles on it. Runs as good today as it did when I bought it! Regular maintenance is a must no matter what you drive.
  12. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Hopefully not four thousand dollars and a wrecked Christmas vacation...

    Am I blaming Hyundai? Not hardly, in fact I think I said "it's real hard to point a finger in their face. Regular maintenance IS your responsibility", albeit, people do get busy, they aren't perfect and sometimes they just forget... Ever forget? Happened to me once. I think somewhere along the way my desire to help others by creating this thread was lost on a few of ya, because of my total disbelief that a quality vehicle manufacturer wouldn't make a freaking warning light STANDARD on any car that needed attention at a certain mileage in order to keep from causing this much damage...

  13. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    This is an old thread, but I felt the need, after receiving a little more information about this story, to update it...

    The point was made about using the dealership to perform regular maintenance on the vehicle and it was a good point, but now I find that the owner lives 100 miles away from the closest dealer.

    That is an interesting thought, as I am sure there are many people in little podunk towns who travel around looking for the best deal, then have to rely on the little quick lube to do their maintenance.

    So anyway, like I said, ya cant blame Hyundai, but you better not forget!
  14. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    They could just stick a light on the dash that would come on when the vehicle reaches what ever mileage is required for this task. Might raise the cost of the vehicle $20!
  15. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Exactly my point... I mean I have a fuel gauge, but if I ignore it long enough I get another warning that lets me know that I'm about to be walking. Not that I'm about to destroy my engine, or anything inconvenient like that.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
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