2010 Hyundai Elantra (Battery condition, replace transmission)

batteries
transmissions

#1

Hello Car Talk community
I have a 2010 Elantra and I have been having problems accelerating in the last couple of months. Took it to a mechanic and they said it’s definitely my transmission. I am at 51,118 miles and so I am still under warranty. The Hyundai dealership said the transmission needs to be completely replaced. How does this happen to a car that isn’t that old and doesn’t have many miles on it? A factory defect?

The dealership, being a dealership tried to get me to do a bunch of other stuff to my car and I wanted to ask all of you about one of them. They said my battery is going to die soon. I guess it’s at 236 (amps?) and should be at 550 (according to the dealership, that’s where it should be). Is that right? I don’t know enough about cars to know whether this is right and don’t tend to trust dealerships. Your advise would be much appreciated!


#2

Factory defect ? Not necessarily , mechanical things do fail. The battery if original is five years old, just replace it and eliminate the chance it won’t start your car in a lousy part of town.


#3

My 74 Olds needed a transmission repair at 20,000 miles. Not a full replacement but a part was cracked that required disassembly. Stuff happens. Yeah batteries get old.


#4

It Is Probably Time To Replace An Original Equipment Battery. You Can Have The Dealer Do It Or Somebody Else.

Your car was manufactured 5+ to 6+ years ago. Batteries often become unreliable at that age. According to The Laws of Murphy, that battery will fail when you are the greatest distance from home, late at night, when help or replacement is difficult, and the weather conditions are at the worst.

I always replace batteries at age six, good or bad.

That battery doesn’t owe you anything if it came with the car.

CSA


#5

Let me see if I understand this issue correctly…

The dealership is not trying to fight you regarding free replacement of the transmission under the terms of the warranty, but…You are questioning their honesty when they recommend that you replace a 5-6 year old battery?

Really?

My advice is to cordially accept the free transmission replacement and to heed their advice regarding the battery. My instinct would be to allow the dealership to make a few bucks via the battery replacement, but if you want to save some money you could go to Wal-Mart or Auto Zone or Advance Auto for the battery replacement. Your only mistake would be ignoring their advice regarding the battery.


#6

“The Hyundai dealership said the transmission needs to be completely replaced. How does this happen to a car that isn’t that old and doesn’t have many miles on it? A factory defect?”

That is very likely a factory defect. Manufacturers want to be sure the transmissions last nearly the life-time of the vehicles and definitely the life-time of the warranty.
Since a mechanic said it’s a transmission problem and the dealer then said the car needs a complete transmission, that leads me to think the dealer must have diagnosed the problem, probably by disassembling the transmission. It is not the policy of car manufacturers to replace repairable transmissions. Under warranty they will opt for the least expensive proper repair.

Why not ask the dealer why the transmission failed and see if they can point to defective parts or manufacturing procedures?

To me, the only way they would replace the transmission, rather than repairing it, without specifically seeing the extent of internal damage, would be if they knew that certain transmissions were defective as built.

CSA


#7

Thank you, common sense answer (and everyone else for that matter) for your reply. I agree - I will ask the dealership what was wrong with the transmission. I don’t know a lot about cars and learning about this can only help me understand this stuff a bit better. I am really grateful that this issue happened just before the warranty runs out (12/31/2015)!!


#8

@ZBC
You’re Welcome!

Please come back here, find this discussion, and let us know how it all works out for you. We’d like to hear about it.

It sounds like you haven’t had many problems/repairs concerning this car, up to now. I realize it is a low-mileage vehicle, but age also plays a part in the maintenance and repairs, too.
Hopefully, you’ll get the car back and have many more years and miles of nearly trouble-free driving. I wouldn’t let the transmission or battery problem keep you from enjoying it.

CSA


#9

Whoa, Nellie!
"…that leads me to think the dealer must have diagnosed the problem, probably by disassembling the transmission. It is not the policy of car manufacturers to replace repairable transmissions. Under warranty they will opt for the least expensive proper repair."

I’m quoting myself to point out I may have been only partly correct (I’ve only been wrong, once. That was when I thought I was wrong, but I found out I wasn’t.)

I see that Hyundai dealers, for purpose of diagnosing transmission problems, are to use a flow-chart, involving drivability concerns, diagnostic trouble codes, and inspection.

However, there are only a small handful of a transmission’s hundreds of parts that they are supposed to replace when working under warranty. Looks like a 2010 Elantra can receive solenoids, axle seals, an inhibitor switch, pump seal, input & output speed sensors, and an oil temp sensor.

Other than that, Hyundai specifies a cooler flush and that a Hyundai remanufactured transmission be installed.

So, it’s possible the dealer diagnosed the transmission without disassembly and without actually knowing what failed!

CSA


#10

You are right OP, transmissions, even automatics, don’t normally fail at 50K miles. But some do. That’s not normal, but I guess yours is one of them. I presume you’ve followed the manufacturer’s routine transmission maintenance requirements as stated in the owner’s manual, otherwise they would probably balk at replacing the transmission under warranty. So your situation is just a bit of bad luck is all.

I think what they mean by our battery only have 230 amps vs the required 550 amps is a term called "cold cranking’ amps. They determine this by disconnecting the battery from the car and using a special gadget they have in their shop to determine the maximum amount of current it is able to deliver. As batteries age with use that parameter goes down. A new one might start at 800 amps. Eventually it will go down to 100 amps or less. The car owner might not notice this happening until one abnormally cold day the car simply won’t start. If this happened on a 18 month old battery, I’d question it. But on a 5 year old one, well, that is about how long batteries last. So it is best to replace the battery as the dealership says. If you think the dealership is just trying to sell you a battery, no harm done to take the car to an inde shop and have them test the battery for you. Or just replace it, but from the source you chose rather than from the dealership. I have good luck with Costco batteries myself.


#11

“You are right OP, transmissions, even automatics, don’t normally fail at 50K miles. But some do.”

Yes they do. I rented a brand new '82 Pontiac Firebird (model year change) for a vacation trip because I was thinking of buying a new vehicle. Less than 50 miles down the road…the transmission spewed parts and fluid all over the place. The rental car company sent another new Firebird and picked up the damaged one in about an hour. I put 1,000 miles on the replacement without a hiccup. Luck of the draw.


#12

Why not just let them put the battery in while they have the car. It will be done correctly and let them make a little money because the warranty work pay might not even cover their time.