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2008 Hyundai elantra - timing belt?

I have a 2008 Elantra with about 44k miles on it. I always get my oil changed at a dealership. Last time I went in, they told me that I need a new timing belt. I don’t know a lot about cars but I know that’s early for a timing belt replacement. When I asked about this, I was told the recommendation was 60k miles or 4 years. I was then told that I didn’t need to get it done right away but that I should get it done within the next 4-6 months. This seemed kind of fishy to me given that that would be exactly the time my car was 4 years old (I bought it at the end of Feb 2009).

I’m overdue for an oil change now and need to figure out what to do. I googled timing belt stuff a bit and now have a few questions:

1. Is it standard to check a timing belt on an oil change? I thought this part was something that was hard to get at so why would they be checking it so early?

2. Should I get a second opinion? If so should I go to a dealership or an independent garage? Should I tell them I’ve been told I need a timing belt or just see if they tell me I do?

3. Would something like this be covered by the warranty if I need it done so early? Could I get it done by the warranty if I do it before its technically 4 years old?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • 1) I doubt they actually inspected it-they just went off time. Check your owner's manual. does it say 60k or 4 yrs on the timing belt?

    2) Only second opinion you need is from the owner's manual.

    3) No warranty-it's a wear item, like tires or brake pads. I'd recommend having the job done at an independent mechanic to save money though. find out when you need to do it first. (See #1 and #2),
  • That seems kind of early for a timing belt replacement IMHO. No way they "checked" the timing belt they are simply following the manufacturers guidelines. It's probably a $600-$700 job on that car so I'd think twice about having it done quite this soon
  • If the manual states something similar to "100K miles or 10 years" or similar, I would consider finding another place to work on your car. It sounds like they are milking you for cash. Getting the timing belt changed before the required interval is a good idea, but that sounds way early to me.
  • The recommended mileage is 60,000. I didn't see any time interval; I checked Gates. They accurately stated timing belt replacement on my Honda at 105,000 miles, so the recommendation for your car seems legitimate. This would be equivalent to 15,000 miles per year. Check your owner's manual. 15,000 miles in 4 years equals 50,000 miles, so the 4 year interval may be reasonable.
  • Seems on the early side to me. Me, I'd wait until it hit 60K if that's what the owner's manual says. But before you think I know what I'm talking about, consider that on my early 90's Corolla, the owner's manual said 60k and I changed it at 100K, and that was when the belt (and the car) was10 years old. The existing belt that I changed out still had a lot of wear left in it, at least 25K more I'd guess. But that's me, w/ a Corolla, driven gently, in a mild climate. Your car and situation are different. It's best to follow the owner's manual. Do what it says. If the timing belt breaks it can produce a very expensive repair bill.
  • This argument has led to the fact that manufacturers today seldom use timing belts any more. Back to steel chains running in an oil bath..
  • @bhbh I just looked on the Hyundai technical information website. Unfortunately, I can't post the maintenance schedule.

    For normal service:
    Inspect the timing belt at 60K/48 months.
    Replace the timing belt at 90K/72 months.

    Unless they physically inspected the timing belt (which I SERIOUSLY doubt) and can prove it's bad, I would be tempted to hold out until 72 months.

    Here's a question.
    When you go the Hyundai dealer for a scheduled service, do you receive a printed sheet which the mechanic has to check off? If you do, perhaps there is a box that says "remove valve cover and inspect timing belt). Unless that is the case, I suspect the valve cover has never been removed.

    Your call.
    IMO I believe the dealership's trying to drum up business.
  • Thanks for the replies. It sounds like this is something that I can hold off on for a bit. Here's another question though - lets lust say they were actually right about this and there is some big disaster and the timing belt fails (not sure what that would even mean except a big bill)......would that be covered by the warranty? thanks.
  • Hyundais are notorious for trashing valves when the belt fails and the cost to repair the damage is somewhat expensive at best but if pistons get broken the cost is somewhat outrageous. I have replaced more Hyundai timing belts than I can count, several with over 100,000 miles that were running fine pre and post replacement but on the other hand I have had several show up with stripped belts and all had internal engine damage. One was hauled off for scrap because the repair estimate was far beyond the value of the car. If mostly driven in stop and go traffic it would be advisable to play it safe. If the mileage is mostly commuting the belts have a greater life expectancy but if the dealer recommends immediate replacement and the belt fails there may be no warranty.
  • @bhbh ... If concerned, suggest you ask the dealership this question.
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