2000 Hyundai Elantra, Loudest Engine Ever Heard

Hello there - hoping you can give me a clue as to what is going on. My 2000 Hyundai Elantra with about 130,000 miles has possibly the loudest engine imaginable. It seems fine at start-up but really starts to rumble around 35mph. Once I get to 60+mph, I’m getting hearing damage, and there’s enough shaking to make it difficult to see what’s in my mirrors.

Oddly enough, the engine clams down when I turn the wheel around a curve on the highway. No idea why. As soon as I’m driving straight again, it’s loud and shaky. In addition, the gauge next to my speedometer, (which I believe is 1st, 2nd, 3rd gear, etc, right?), the needle fluctuates significantly and bounces around violently between 2 and 3. The check engine light will come on and stay on for a week, then shut off for another week. It has turned on and then off several times now.

Would you say this is a simple oil issue? I just got it changed not too long ago. And it only started when it started to get really cold here in MA. Could just be a coincidence though. I don’t want to pay a lot to fix anything, I only need to get this car to last 6 more months til I can get something new. Any small steps you think I could take to decrease the shaking and noise?


It is not related to the oil change. But there are numerous possibilities, including but not limited to ones such as a cracked exhaust manifold or rotted exhaust that could be deadly to your health. I strongly recommend you get this looked at immediately, even if you limit the shop’s authority to diagnosis only. If you have an exhaust leak, it could put you to sleep while you’re driving and you could wake up dead.

Please get this looked at.

Hmmm well firstly, thanks for your quick response. I’m not really very concerned with waking up dead though. Still open to suggestions though!

If you’re looking for a specific response, check your exhaust out first. That’s the most likely source of the high noise level you describe.

+1 for @mountainbike. I have also seen a loose exhaust connection do this.

I would have someone competent check your motor mounts and suspension ASAP. Wild vibrations, gear selection indicator bouncing around, speed related…those combined point to something serious wrong in the driveline not just an exhaust leak. Estimates don’t cost much and are sometimes free. To me, this sounds serious enough you shouldn’t procrastinate. Ignoring it could be a fatal mistake. Seriously.

I’m with @TwinTurbo - by what you described, I’d not be surprised if the noise had nothing to do with the engine and everything to do with the vibrations possibly caused by serious steering and suspension issues. It sounds to me like this car is not safe to drive right now.

I agree with the others that something serious could be going on and that you need to get this diagnosed immediately.

You say that you don’t want to spend a lot to fix this problem. However, if you sell the car with this problem, you’ll be selling it for a lot less money, so you’ll effectively be paying for it either way. You’re better off just fixing it now.

Some people won’t go to a mechanic no matter what their car is doing. I wonder why they want advice? He is obviously not going to spend a penny to fix anything.

Oddly enough, the engine clams down when I turn the wheel around a curve on the highway.

This indicates to me you have a really bad wheel bearing and/or CV joint. But the check engine light and fluctuating tachometer indicates you have something going on with the motor also.