Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Flat tire, grinding noise, sputtering while slowing down, hard shifting, burnt oil smell in car

So I have a 2000 Hyundai Accent that has been a relatively good car for the 11 years I’ve owened it. About 2 months ago I got a flat tire, which I didn’t notice until a passenger in another car told this while waiting at a stop light. I was so close to home (within a mile) that i decided to trek it slowly back. Made it back and a friend of mine helped me put a donut on and I had the two front tires replaced the next day.

Within a week of having the tire changed I noticed several issues with the car. First, it was starting to make a very loud, almost grinding sound. Looked into whether or not tires had anything to do with it since I just had them changed. I pretty much now think its a wheel bearing. It seems to be coming from the right front passenger side. It gets louder as I speed up and also especially loud during left curves and turns.

But all that is background for my real problem. In addition to the above the transmission started acting up. At first I though it was the engine because the problem was initially just sputtering whenever I would slow the car down to a stop. I changed the spark plugs and wires but that didn’t help. Then it started having problems shifting. Even going to 3rd now it can take a while, staying at a higher than normal rpm. And when it finally shifts it knocks hard. Only thing I did was have the transmission oil changed since it was about 40k miles past where Hyundai says it should have been done. That helped only slightly (maybe not at all). On top of that, there’s also has an engine smell (like hot burnt oil) inside the car when I drive it for an extended amount of time. This was happening before and after the transmission oil change.

These are the first major issues I’ve had with this car. The only exception is that I’ve had a failed oxygen sensor twice but that was cheap to have repaired and both times the check engine light was on. It has not turned on once since this started happening. I’ve stopped driving the car long distances and especially over hills. I go 5 miles between home and work with it now. I was starting to think about getting another car before this happenned but I’m still not ready to do that now. Any ideas would be appreciated.

I think you are very close to the point where the car just won’t go anywhere. All your symptoms point to a bad outer CV joint that is about to fail completely. When they reach this stage, even the shifting is affected, it feels like the syncros are going out in the transmission.

BTW, do not replace with reman axles, there are new axles manufactured in China that are almost as good as a factory axle, but far far superior to any reman at about the same cost as a reman. I once bought a reman for a car that gave me all these symptoms almost right after installing it. A couple of weeks later, it broke completely.