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2013 Hyundai Azera- Engine Sludge

Long story short. I have a 2013 Hyundai Azera with 49k miles. I brought the car to the dealer for a few reasons. 1.) The check engine light came on even though the car was running perfectly (Never has a check engine light or oil light come on). 2.) I wanted an oil change, and because the lease is up in 2 months I was there to explore my options (Turn it in and buy or lease a new one vs buying this car at lease end). So it turns out the engine is sludged & not enough 3,700 mi oil change documentation for the warranty. Needs a new long block (6.5k). Is the dealer the place to fix it? Fix the car to give it back? Fix it and do the buyout? I have really liked the car but feel I am in a no win situation and Hyundai Corporate or the dealership are not being very helpful.

Just turn the vehicle in when lease is over and see what happens then. It sounds like you also will pay a mileage penalty. Leasing is only good for companies or people who want to drive more vehicle than they can afford.

Car is currently at the dealer with the valve cover off. Car was a dealer demo with 7k on it. 3 year lease with 15k a year so close on miles. I leased because it usually makes it easier to get into a new car every 3 years, try a car to see if you like it without the long term commitment, and buying and selling cars can be time consuming. This is only my second lease I have bought quite a few new ones over the years.

What do you mean by “not enough documentation”? Were the oil changes actually done on schedule or not?

The only thing I have now is if you lease again have all service done at the dealer ( including oil changes ) by the schedule so you will have documentation.

I would want to know what codes were stored that led them to start tearing it apart and then declare it is so sludged up it needs a new long-block.

You say there is no noticeable drivability issue so it seems a stretch they claim the engine is so far gone it needs to be replaced (on your dime).

Where do you get the odd mileage number of 3700 mi oil change?

Did you exceed the MANUFACTURER recommended mileage for oil changes? I make the distinction because dealerships often recommend more frequent changes than specified in the manual.

Is this a tubro charged engine. If it is normally aspirated, it should not be sludged up unless you simply didn’t do any oil changes.

Look in the owners manual and see what the oil change interval is in the maintenance schedule. If you have had oil changes in accordance with this schedule and have used only oil that meets the manufacturers specifications (it does not have to be a specific brand), then the dealer cannot deny warranty coverage.

You really need to take this to another mechanic for a second opinion, and the dealer has to put the valve cover back on and make the vehicle drivable for you at no cost to you unless you authorized the removal of the valve cover.

Also, when you are at the dealer, ask/demand the actual code for the check engine light. It will be in a letter and 4 number format, i.e. P0456. Post that here and we can help you more.

If you can prove you met the maintenance requirements for this car, it should be handled under the drive train warranty.


Can’t speak to the current problem, but sludge buildup even when you are changing the oil and filter on schedule can be caused by a faulty PCV system. Going forward w/your next car version, ask your shop to verify that’s working as part of your routine servicing. It’s usually a 5-15 minute test is all.

You might ask if you could take pictures of the exposed valve train (and post a few here). This will put them on notice that you’re documenting the problem for the (possible) fight over if it’s really a fatal problem or who pays.

So exactly how many documents do you actually have showing the oil was changed?

Not meaning to sound too crass here but I’ve heard the song about changing the oil regularly when the reality was that the oil was seldom changed at all; and in some cases never.

Without documentation this is going to be on you.

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The Hyundai oil change requirement is 7500 miles, half of that for severe service. If you had the oil changed and lost the receipts, whoever changed the oil may be able to provide you with documentation.

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I would try and get all the oil change documentations you have and fight this. For one, if Hyundai sold the car to you with 7K miles on it, the carfax or the dealer should have documentation of oil change before you taking delivery of the car. Also, the 3700 mile interval is for severe driving condition. That is something YOU decide not Hyundai, in other words you can say all your miles were easy freeway miles in clean air and Hyundai should take your word for it.

If you have any proof of oil changes done at certain interval, I will fight this maybe even in small claims court. Sometimes you have to go up the corporate ladder to get what you want.

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That’s why doing dealer maintainance on a car under warranty is nice. First off, there shouldn’t be much other than oil changes. And than u have proof in the system of the work. Waiting for OP to prove oil change evidence.

Still attempting to track down the missing receipts of changes not done at the dealer. 7,500 miles is for normal driving, not severe driving, which is what a majority of drivers in the United States do. Lesson learned. Do not count on the warranty unless you do changes at the dealer every 3k to 4k. I went and looked at the dealers used and certified cars carfaxes and almost all did not have adequate history. Call Hyundai and deal with their Finance Dept or Corporate. Not stellar. Customer Complaints for them on various websites speaks volumes. I loved the car.

Why are you blaming Hyundai for the fact that you didn’t keep your receipts?

Chances are you can’t get the advice you want from here but would you answer a few questions.
What caused the sludge issue when you went for the oil change?
Why would the finance dept be involved in a warranty claim?
Can you just have them put the valve cover back on and drive it until lease end and turn it in at any Hyundia dealer?