Hyundai Timing Belt

I have a 2003 Hyundai Elentra with 80,000 miles on it. My mom’s trusted mechanic informs me that the car is recommended to have the timing belt changed after something like 75,000 miles to avoid serious damage. My dad is CERTAIN the mechanic is taking us for a $600-$800 ride. People on the internet tend to agree that waiting until the belt is worn out will cost thousands of dollars. I do A LOT of long distance highway traveling because I’m in college only a few states away from home. Is this just a scare tactic or does my car need the belt inspected/changed?

Your car needs a new timing belt NOW. If the belt breaks, the damage can be catastrophic, as in a new engine. The cost for a new timing belt is nothing compared to the damage from not replacing the belt. Make an appointment TOMORROW.

Here’s the reason: If the belt timing breaks the valves and pistons inside your Elantra’s engine will collide, at high speed. This will result in significant internal damage to the engine.

If you think $600-800 is bad, double or treble those figures; that’s what it will cost you if the timing belt breaks.

Read the service requirements that came with your owner’s manual. Replace the belt NOW, and drive the car for another 80,000 miles. Otherwise, expect a HUGE repair bill soon.

The answer is simple-timing belts need to be replaced from wear and they do break. When they fail you’re left starnded on the side of the road, or even worse-in need of a new engine. The smart thing to do is shop around and get 3 price quotes for the job and make sure that the rate is reasonable your mechanic is quoting you. It does seem a bit high for a Hyundai, but then again I’ve never done a T-belt job on one.

Your car was due at 60k, and yes it is very important. You will need major engine repair if it fails, $1500+.

Anyone read the owners manual?? The change interval will be listed in the manual. Most vehicles the interval change around 100k miles. It does need to be changed, but check the owners manual when the interval is.

When I owned an 02 Accent, it required timing belt replacement at 60,000 miles (100,000km.) It cost me about $240 to have it done at a local independant shop… although the nearest Hyundai dealer quoted me a price only $5 more.

The mechanic is absolutely correct and your dad should get rid of that all too prevalent attitude that spending money on a vehicle automatically means ripped off.
What would your dad think if the belt broke (and it will be INSTANTLY when it does) and this led to the car stalling abruptly as you’re trying to get across an intersection quickly before 90,000 pounds of loaded Kenworth hits you?

Open the glove box. Remove owners manual. Read thoroughly, and not just the belt part of it. (Show to dad also)

It never ceases to amaze me that car maintenance seems to be such a mystery to so many people when the ultimate guide to that subject has been provided by the car’s manufacturer. As has been said, open up the glove compartment, take out the Hyundai Maintenance Schedule (contained either in the Owner’s Manual or in a separate booklet with an appropriate title), and read exactly what mileage/elapsed time factors are specified by the manufacturer for timing belt replacement. While you are at it, it is probably a good idea to see what other vital maintenance procedures have also been skipped over the years, since it is apparent that this maintenance schedule has never been consulted.

Kenzie–While I applaud you for trying to overcome your father’s self-defeating attitude toward car maintenance, I hope that your research efforts are more thorough on academic questions than they are in regard to automotive maintenance questions. In most cases, finding the answer to a question doesn’t get any easier than simply leaning a few feet to your right and opening your glove compartment!

I have seen one Hyundai survive a stripped belt. All others, dozens more, bent valves and on occasion broke pistons. The job should be done by a competant mechanic with Hyundai experience, in my opinion. The step-by-step procedure for aligning and pre-tensioning the belt and getting both balance shafts in time is critical.

No one has a good explanation why the pistons aren’t dimpled to eliminate the valve interference problem. It would be a great benefit to owners of this and similar models, many of whome believe in waiting for failure and then repairing as needed, i.e., “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT.”

The step-by-step procedure for aligning and pre-tensioning the belt and getting both balance shafts in time is critical.

The step-by-step procedures for aligning a timing belt or chain are not that much different from one car to the next. I’ve replaced belts on Honda’s, Nissan’s, Chevy’s, and Fords and they’re all pretty much the same.

No one has a good explanation why the pistons aren’t dimpled to eliminate the valve interference problem.

If you dimple the pistons then the compression won’t be what they want.

Most who read this forum are not professionals, Mike. Perhaps professionals take exception at my eforts at being concise and correct, but, Oh Well…

And as for the dimples, I would enjoy seeing the geometry on that loss of compression.

Yep, you need to change the belt YESTERDAY, but not for 7 or 8 hundred bucks.

Just had the second belt replaced on my 02 Sonata with 119K on it.

My friendly neighborhood Hyundai dealer did it for $369.