2013 Hyundai Santa Fe - frustrated with engine life

I bought my 2013 IX35 Highlander for $38,000 which was a demonstrator model from a Hyundai dealer with only 1,600kms done. It has been regularly serviced by them by the handbook ever since and there’s been no issues with it.
Now at just over 130,000kms, we took it to them to fix a ‘rattling’ sound from the engine. They eventually removed the sump to inspect the timing chain and told us the ‘bearing was scraping in two spots and two connecting rods have cracks’.
Cost to rebuild is $9,000 !!! This is not a realistic life expectancy of a modern engine!!! It is my wife’s car, she doesn’t drive like Fangio and it’s never gone off-road.
I have other cars that have more than 220,000kms on them and I am disgusted with this diagnosis. if this is the quality of Hyundai cars, I’ll be letting rip at the dealer if they don’t provide some negotiating with this absurd result and not buying another Hyundai at all!

Are you fixing it? I would hesitate to spend $8-9k on new motor on any Hyundai. How about a used motor at another shop? What is dealers trade in offer?

I wouldn’t have it rebuilt, I’d have it replaced with a rebuilt engine, if the money made sense.

Was it maintained by the book? Oil checked?


… and I would add…
Was it ever run-low on oil?
If this vehicle logged very few miles over the past couple of years, was the oil changed on the basis of elapsed time, rather than on the basis of odometer mileage?

You’d think that, but my family has had several engines (mostly Fords with the transverse 3.8L) that never made it to the 3 year or 50k mile mark without some kind of failure. It happens. I would question the $9k to rebuild figure. You could likely get a new/remanufactured engine installed for that much.

The big question is how much oil was in the engine when the rattling started and the car was taken in?

You say this is your wife’s car. So which one of you, if either, is checking the oil level?

Almost all engine failures are due to neglect although the vehicle owners do not see it that way; or even want to.


Unless it’s a Hyundai. They seem to have issues.

Hyundai has had engine problems. The resolution was to put a lifetime 100,000 mile warranty on the engine. Check to see if your 2013 has this warranty.

IMO that’s a new engine cost since the estimate is from a dealer. I agree with @texases to look into a used engine then sell it. If the OP doesn’t make it a runner the sales price is reduced by the cost of another engine anyway.