CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

I wonder if this will be under warranty

Took my 2004 Elantra for routine oil change and was informed anti-freeze is in my oil. How did it get there? How bad is this?

This can be a head gasket problem. And is not cheap.

If you have the Hyundai 10 year 100k warranty (I think that is what they have) then take it in ASAP. If for nothing else the problem will be documented in case it becomes a problem out of warranty.

Edit: it may not be a leaking head gasket, but make Hyundai pay for the diagnostics.

Besides head gasket…could also be a intake manifold problem. GM was having this problem for years. Maybe Hyundai got infected.

Apparently, the oil change was not done by the Hyundai dealership. That is fine, but please be aware that you will have to be able to prove proper maintenance of the engine if you are seeking warranty coverage for a repair.

Start organizing all of your service invoices so that you are prepared to provide proof of maintenance. If you don’t have the invoices, the place(es) where you have had the car serviced may be able to provide documentation of what was done.

If you bought the car new, and you can document that all necessary maintenance was done as per the schedule in the owner’s manual, and the car has less than 100K miles, it should be under warranty.

Only the dealer can tell you because they must define the cause first, only then can they refer to the warranty items list to know.

Thanks to all who responded to this query… The dealer states ‘normal condensation’ in the oil and denies head gasket problems. Anyway, all my routine maintenance has been faithfully followed and I have my receipts, so if this is an issue in the future the warranty is still going to be good.

Thanks very much!

Did you get a receipt for this visit? Even if you didn’t pay for anything, you should get a receipt so that there is no question that you had the issue reviewed by a service tech.

Yes, I also had the dealer indicate in the receipt the service tech findings r/t possible coolant in the oil: ‘normal condensation found in oil’ as documented by dealer. Hopefully I am covered in the future in case of grave misdiagnosis!

Just in case the dealer diagnosis is actually correct, you should be aware that condensation in the oil is an indication that the car is being driven on too many short errands, without enough longer drives to evaporate the moisture. Does this sound like your recent driving patterns?

If that is a description of your driving patterns, it indicates that you need to have your oil changed much more often. Follow the “severe service” or “extreme service” maintenance schedule in your Owner’s Manual for details on how often to change the oil under those conditions.

If this does not describe your recent driving patterns, then the dealer’s diagnosis is likely bogus.