Hyundai Won't Honor Their Warranty on Theta II Engine


Changing oil would not disclose sludge. Someone would have to look for it - most accessible place to see some of it is under the valve cover. It may as easy as using a flashlight and a mirror, or involve removing the cover.

The sticker showing the next oil change at 35000 miles does not absolve you of responsibility to follow the oil change specs from day 1 and to keep accurate records. That is the crux of the problem you are facing. Good luck and please let us know how this gets worked out.


I’ve been busy running a business, so I haven’t followed ALL of these conversations lately, but let me add a bit about the arbitration process.

I went into the arbitration with all of the references to stories about these engines failing and the history of the recalls for previous years before 2015.

The Hyundai representative was a lowly legal aid of some sort that did nothing other than present the Hyundai side of the argument, which was simply that the engine had sludge, therefore it wasn’t properly maintained. She didn’t know anything about the previous recalls.

These engines WILL be recalled. There are three states already filing class action lawsuits.

Do you all still think I shouldn’t get a new engine if they’re recalled because I missed the first oil change by 500 miles?


This thread now has 143 posts and it makes zero difference what anyone here thinks .


You answered your question


So, the dealership printed a sticker (following your initial 8,000 mile oil change), stating that you wouldn’t need to change your oil again until you hit 35,000 miles?


No… Every time I get the oil changed, the mechanics take down the old sticker and put up a new sticker telling me when my next oil change is due. I’d had an oil change before the engine failed, There was still 2000 miles left on that oil change before the next one was due.

I had oil changes regularly in the car. I frequently would pay cash and just make notes in my manual for the change. Everybody here has pointed out that I should have recorded the oil changes more accurately and with more detail, including taking a picture of the receipt, the mechanic, and the dew point and temperature on the day of the change. I also should have had the car towed to the dealership at the 7,499 mile mark so I wouldn’t go over the 7500 mile “recommendation”.


I think you might be misinterpreting what some of us are saying. Yes, rationally I think you should probably get a new engine assuming you’ve been accurate with the frequency of your oil changes. However, after your last post, I’m no longer making that assumption. More on that later.

I don’t think Hyundai has any legal obligation whatsoever to give you that free new engine because you did not keep proper records, and cannot prove that you did what you are supposed to do. Especially coupled with the only proper record Hyundai has that we are aware of saying that you missed a maintenance deadline by 500 miles, and it’s difficult to be upset with Hyundai on your behalf.

They don’t know you. For all they know, you’re a compulsive liar. I guarantee they deal with liars all the time. As a business owner I’m sure you know that every public-facing business deals with liars all the time. Heck, I was on a cruise ship once and watched someone staying in a suite and who had therefore paid somewhere between 3 and 10 thousand dollars for her room doctor a $70 bottle of wine by drinking most of it and then pouring iced tea into it so she could take it back to the bar and demand a refund by claiming it was spoiled.

Hyundai has no way of knowing whether or not you’re being honest with them, and if they assume everyone who can’t prove they did their part was honest, they’d go out of business giving free crap to liars all the time.

Had you kept proper records, many of us would be much more solidly on your side, even with the 500 mile overage on your oil change deadline.

I will also point out that:

There are four lies in that statement. If you’re willing to lie here to bolster your case, why should we think you didn’t lie to Hyundai?


I think that’s your best hope. Also, I do think it’s possible, based on what you report, that the recall could expand to invite nearly all comers. Sometimes these manufacturers try and avoid a major catastrophic publicity event they get painted into a corner and just fold the tent and take their licks (Open the flood gates!.. run for your life!).

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you because outside of that you’ve got not much.


I feel for the OP as I know being that these engines are defective, probably even every 1000 mile oil change might not had prevented this failure. On the Hyundai forum, their techs are commenting that a lot of properly maintained engines are failing even with meticulous oil level checks.

On the other hand, there is a lesson to be learned here. The dealership or rather Hyundai USA, has every interest to deny warranty, It is your responsibility to prevent that.

I rented a car last week while going back to New England to visit. I made a point to check the car thoroughly on pick up even though the chill factor was a bit bad at 5 AM. The person helping me had no interest and just said “it is a brand new car”. Not the case on drop off. The guy was checking every spot on the car to make sure it is not a dent or scratch. Car was fine, but just saying.


Did the OP check their oil level between changes? Yes or no.

Ed B.


[quote=“Ken_Reed, post:142, topic:131513”]
The oil had been changed a thousand miles before the failure


“There was still 2000 miles left on that oil change before the next one was due.”

If both statements are true, you were going to drive 3,000 miles between those two changes.
That’s probably over cautious, but if according to Hyundai it needs to be changed every 6 months, even 3,000 miles is too far.

There are many inconsistencies and gaps in your explanations. But we live and learn - this will probably be your last Hyundai, and the last car whose maintenance schedule (including record-keeping) you disregard.


I do not believe the OP was lying when he said we demanded he take a pic of the dew point and mechanic. I believe it was a combination of sarcasm and hyperbole. Which is OK with me.
I think he had a defective engine and deprived himself of his warranty by not keeping receipts.

If he gets his engine replaced, I strongly suggst that hekeep his receipts for that.


You know what? I had a friendly argument with the Acura service manager. I said I’m changing oil at 5000 miles. He said to just follow the OLM because it was done with so much research but would take me heaven knows into the 10,000 mile mark. Point is it’s up to me not the dealer to take responsibility. Maybe he’s right, but I’ll never find out.


That is so true of nearly all we do in life! I am so grateful that I haven’t listened to many, many, free pieces of advice from people who are supposed to know what the heck they’re are talking about!



I don’t know how small that dealer is but if he has 100 cars a day passing though the shop he has a greater exposure to oil related failures than you do.

Myself, I changed from the recommended 3,000 mile oil change to 5,000 miles 6 years ago to speed up the process, I don’t want to drive the same car for 30 years.


I follow the OLM in my Acura. I never get anywhere close to 10,000 miles. It’s usually somewhere around 7,000.


Of course you and Bing are 100% correct. From my manual:
MAINTENANCE SERVICES: Owner’s responsibility. *NOTICE: Maintenance Service and Record Retention are the owner’s responsibility. You should retain documents that show proper maintenance has been performed on your vehicle in accordance with the Scheduled Maintenance service charts shown on the following pages. You need this information to establish your compliance with the servicing and maintenance requirements of your vehicle warranties. Quote OP: "I also should have had the car towed to the dealership at the 7,499 mile mark so I wouldn’t go over the 7500 mile “recommendation”.
Mileage/Time whichever comes first are definitely requirements not recommendations.


The OP says he lives in TX and which has high humidity and dust. The same as OK.

Combined with all of the severe service disclaimers AND the low miles over the period of 4+ years this car was a poster child for the severe service maintenance schedule. So it should have been changed at 3750 miles as per the schedule.

It’s all in the owners manual if one chooses to read it; and most do not. The head of the GM service division said many years ago that GM had just about given up all hope of getting new car owners to read those booklets.


Depends on the type of driving done but mine usually reads 50% at 5000 miles. I have no idea what would happen after that since I never get there. I gotta say though there are a lot of 5-10 mile trips.


The widespread Theta II engine problem is rod bearing failure.
The OP has failure due to sludge.
These are two different problems.
I’ve seen many complaints online about the Theta II, and no others have mentioned sludge.

If the inside surfaces of the OP’s engine are coated with sludge, it’s due to one or more of these reasons:
Oil change interval (time or mileage) too long for the operating conditions.
Chronically low oil level. Remaining oil “overworked”.
Low quality oil didn’t meet required spec.
PCV system failure caused excessive oil contamination.