Hyundai Won't Honor Their Warranty on Theta II Engine


Here’s an extra idea: even if OP doesn’t have receipts, oil and filter from an auto parts store might have included use of a ‘rewards card’ number, and that can be used to track and document the past purchases from the store.

(those card numbers seem to remember everything)


I just have one loose leaf book with sections in it for each car. The receipts are just stuck in the divider. When I get too many, I just purge them to an envelope and put it in a file folder for that car. I just enter on the page the date and miles and what was done and the cost. In that book I also have everything else that I need to keep track of like the house (paint info), yard, snow blower, lawn mower etc. Owners manuals etc. I keep in a file in about 5 accordion folders by major subject. I used to use just an old calendar book but had to expand to an old Wordperfect binder. Gotta use them for something. Really handy. Just have one book to go to for most everything. Before I started doing this 25 years ago, my information was helter skelter. Now I can look up where I got my mirror glass from in 20 seconds.


I don’t think this is they key issue in this particular incident, but for OP’s future car purchases, “severe usage” isn’t defined like you probably are assuming. Besides the obvious stuff like driving in dusty areas, “severe usage” also includes soccer-mom cars; i.e. a car that is used mostly for short trips, like for taking kids to school, grocery shopping, to the movies, etc. I’d guess more than 50% of cars fall under the severe usage def’n.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the 7500 mile oil change interval recommended by Hyundai is too many miles between changes imo. They do that to make the car compete with other cars on the “cost of maintenance” surveys that buyers use when deciding what kind of car to buy. On your future cars suggest to not go over 5,000 miles, irrespective of whether you use synthetic or dinosaur oil. Always use an oil and filter who’s specs match the warranty requirements. During the warranty phase, common sense says it is probably a good idea to just buy oil and filters at a dealership, even if you do the job yourself in your driveway.


You can’t really blame people for changing the oil at 7500 miles if that’s what the manual says. We bought our highlander new. It calls for a 10k mile oil change interval. It came with free oil changes, and the dealer refused to change the oil when I brought it in at 5k miles. Which was fine - I changed it myself at 5k and got it done free at 10k. They didn’t ask what kind of driving I did. No idea if there’s a severe service recommendation on the car, and I don’t really care because I always change the synthetic oil at a 5k mile interval. Which I’ve been accused of destroying the environment, wasting oil, etc for doing on other forums.

I agree that if you miss the mileage or time interval specified or don’t keep records and the engine sludges and fails, then the manufacturer doesn’t owe you anything. However, I also think that if an engine fails at 30 some odd thousand miles, even if it only had the one oil change done at 8k, that motor is a turd.

Lucky for me (or maybe not - new stuff is nice) all my vehicles have over 100k miles now, so the records I keep are for my information only.

If this thread has done nothing else, it’s made me pretty certain I’m not in the market for a Hyundai.


That’s very impressive.

Now imagine that you went to ALL that trouble and the Warranty company didn’t even allow you to show it to them.

What would you do then? Get a lawyer, I assume? And if you couldn’t afford a lawyer, or a lawyer wouldn’t take your case because there’s not enough payback for the lawyer?

The engine is crap and it’s failing all across the country. Sometimes it fails and bursts into flames. You guys seem to think that’s fine and that the manufacturer has no liability if the owner went a thousand miles over the recommended maintenance period.


This cloud is going to get thicker as more 2015 and newer Theta II engines start failing. Hyundai is going to be forced to extend the warranty to them too.

I think the OP should keep the oil change documents and the receipts from the potential engine change with hopes of reimbursement later.


Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t owe you anything if you went over the specified interval even once. I agree, it’s crap that the engine failed and it may well be an easy out for the manufacturer to deny a warranty claim if you missed an oil change interval by 500 miles. But they are a company and are in it to make money and often will try to get out of a warranty claim if you give them a chance, just like every other manufacturer. It’s a “limited” warranty with stipulations that apparently weren’t met. I sympathize with your situation, but the facts are what they are. If you didn’t follow the guidelines in the owners manual to a T and have supporting documents to prove it, they don’t owe you anything. They might cover part of the cost as a goodwill type thing, but they don’t legally have to do anything. And since it’s all about the money, the manufacturer will most likely keep all of the money they can.


Sort of similar to the emissions warranty I missed by 1k miles on the Toyota catalytic converter I had to replace. I only missed the warranty by 1k miles, but the fact is I was outside the warranty stipulations. They didn’t owe me anything. And that’s what I got! Except for the bill…

Them’s the break’s.


Warranty companies won’t get involved when the vehicle is still covered by the factory warranty, your claim would be with Hyundai directly, not your extended warranty.

For years some people have posted statements of admiration on how great Hyundai vehicles have become but apparently those people don’t repair them. These engine problems have been around for 5 years and you got caught in the middle of it. To control costs/loses some manufactures are quick to deny warranty coverage if the owner cannot prove the maintenance was performed.


Regarding a lawyer, I wouldn’t bother. It would immediately be seen that the first oil change was outside of what the manufacturer recommended. Pretty much case closed at that point. I would imagine the owners manual contains all kinds of legal speak stating that the warranty is void if the maintenance schedule isn’t adhered to.


Not that I’m recommending this approach here, but that would be a way to force Hyundai to inspect your maintenance records. I expect you already know that most if not all lawyers will take legal action in your behalf for anything you want them to do it for, as long as you pay them in advance. They don’t guarantee anything other than they will apply their professional skills in a diligent manner and keep on doing so as long as you are willing to pay. The ethical lawyers from that group would advise you beforehand, give you their honest appraisal, of the chance of success of course.

Given what OP has said, seems the best course is for them is to avoid buying another car from that manufacturer.


It doesn’t matter if you have all your oil change receipts and they were all done on time if the engine failed because it was out of oil. This may have been why they didn’t want to look at your records.

You are required to check the oil at reasonable intervals. My Camry’s manual says once a month.


Earlier there was a comment that you don’t have to go to the dealer for service in order to keep the warranty active. While legally that is true, a dealership oil change is frequently not much more than a quickie lube or self oil change. My Mazda dealer does all my oil changes for free for life. If the dealer does all your oil changes and other services then they have full records and, very importantly, the manufacturer reps in corporate can see all of your maintenance records. As someone who made a goodwill claim on a transmission replacement that costed me $1,500 instead of $5,000 I can tell you that my claim was honored quickly based on extensive dealership records of all services performed on time, even though I was 64,000 miles out of warranty.

I also pull my dipstick every two weeks to make sure I am not losing or burning oil.


You sir, are wise beyond your years.

Exactly! Some people figure that since their vehicle doesn’t use any fluids (oil, coolant, etcetera) between oil changes then there’s no need to waste time checking.

However, I do what you do, frequently checking (weekly). It takes seconds to lift the dipstick (I do this with engine cold and don’t even remove the stick… very neat and clean) and visually check other fluids. I park on pavement and I also check for any spots/drips under where my vehicles park, too.

By doing those simple things, that are actually owner/operator responsibilities, if a leak/consumption ever begins, for whatever reason, It can be nipped in the bud before becoming a catastrophic drivetrain problem.


Part of your problem is that you did your first oil change at 8000 miles at the dealer, the dealer already knows that because they have it in their service records, they don’t need to see your records to see you did it 500 miles to late.


As well as checking oil, I check the garage floor where the car has been parked for oil and.other fluid drips. This past week, I found oil where our Toyota 4Runner had.been parked. It turned out to be a bad seal on the front differential. It takes no more effort to check for fluid leaks by looking at the area where a car has been parked than to pull the dipstick and check the engine oil.


And the other part of the problem is that he didn’t go to all that trouble. He just made hand-written notes claiming that he got an oil change. The dealership has no way of knowing whether he’s telling the truth or lying based on that “recordkeeping.”


I sympathize. I had an engine fail just outside of warranty on a Chrysler product. Frustrating because I had been keeping up with maintenance on the severe service schedule, although I bought it used from a rental agency so the engine may well have been abused before me. It cost me over $3000 to have a junkyard engine installed in a small town two hours from where I live.

The biggest beef you have with Hyundai is the way they closed off your file without even looking at the evidence you had. That would get under my skin too. If it happened to me like that I’d be fighting it more under normal circumstances.

The problem you have is that even if you brought a legal fight about them dismissing your claim arbitrarily, and get them to look at the full file you have on the car, you just don’t have enough backup regarding oil changes to win anyway. Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Suggest letting it go.


speaking of sludge . . .

I, like many others on this forum, perform an oil and filter change every 5K. It’s an easy number to remember, and I rotate my tires at the same time, in addition to checking out the brakes, hoses, belts, etc.

Anyways, this time around I also resealed the engine oil sub-pan and changed the o-ring for the oil level sending unit, because it was seeping. On this engine, you have to remove the sub-pan to gain access to that o-ring I mentioned

I might add I had absolutely no trace of sludge in the engine. Considering I had the sub-pan off, I had a pretty good look at the innards of the engine. :mag:

Even though this particular car calls for oil changes every 10K, I do them every 5K. When I had that sub-pan off, I had visual confirmation that I’m doing the right thing. :smiley:

Oil is cheap. Installing another engine, even it’s cheap and from the junkyard, is not. :heavy_dollar_sign:


Is a “sub pan” the oil pan? If I recall correctly, you’ve got a Toyota. Is it the 4 cyl or v6?