First-time buyer

Ok. Here are the basics. I am a first time buyer, paid cash. Bought a 2004 Hyundai Tiburon. V6, 6-speed manual, 52K miles. What should I be aware of, beyond keeping up with regular maintenance?

Not knowing your level of mechanical knowledge I’m going to ask if you had a qualified mechanic/tech do a thorough inspection before you bought the vehicle?

Were you able to obtain a record of past history?
Service record, was it ever used for towing, what type of climate was the vehicle used in?

Was it used as a courier vehicle, used mostly in stop and go traffic or mostly highway driving?

If there is no record of servicing, change ALL the fluids. I recommend replacing ALL of them…engine oil, coolant, transmission, brake, power steering, etc.

Without doing that you have NO record to begin with and will never know if a certain fluid is contaminated.

What condition is the brake system in?

Keep in mind two things all the time: Think safety and make sure your regular maintenance is preventative. ( In other words, fix or replace something faulty before it leaves you in an collision or on the side of the road)

I would also recommend you purchase a Haynes repair manual for your vehicle. It will cover most all of it showing you illustrations and accompanying text to take you through different repairs.

Over the years I have bought one for every vehicle I’ve owned since the 80’s.
When I sell the vehicle I pass on the repair manual as well.

Doing this will let you drive your ‘new’ vehicle for a long time.

The most critical item IMHO is changing oil on a timely basis AND timing belt replacement if it has one. Some of those Hyundai’s have it changed really early at around 60k miles, check. Good luck and enjoy your new car.

I know a little. Basic and routine maintenance I can do. Being on where I am I have a decent DIY shop. All of the parts that might have given me issues are replaced (Rack-and-pinion, serpentine belt, and brakes, rotors, and bearings), all fluids, and the spare has been replaced with an acctual tire and rim.

I will look in to getting the manual. I have as best a maintenance record as i can get. It has a salvage title, but the owner that i bought it from had kept good record.

Thanks for the tips.

It has a salvage title?! Was it in a bad accident? If so, where was the damage?

In my state, it’s easier to start walking than to try registering a vehicle that has a salvage title. You wouldn’t believe the hoops the DMV makes you jump through…

If you want a laugh (or good cry), check this out:


No wreck that i can tell. The registration and all is already taken care of, the previous owner had it registered as well, but to get it registered he had to get a salvage title. Or at least that is my understanding of how it worked.