Timing Belt on Hyundai

A local shop replaced my timing belt on a 2003 Santa Fe (75,000miles). I only drove it once (it’s my wife’s car) afterwards and something seemed “different” but nothing noticeable. Fast forward 4 months and 4,000 miles - the care loses power and has to be towed. The certified Hyundai techs say the timing belt was “one tooth” off and caused premature failure of the coil assemblies and catlytic convertor - $3,200 ouch! The local shop says no way the timing belt could be off and it be driven 4,000 miles without signicant problems. Any thoughts from anyone?

Let the Judge be the Judge!

Barring not getting better advice or being able to resolve this matter, I would gather my estimates, Repair Orders (receipt) from both repairs, and any other evidence and return to the Hyundai dealer. I would get a written statement (affidavit) from the certified repair technician explaning that the only cause of the damage was improper repairs by the local shop.

I would file in Small Claims Court (nominal fee). I’m not sure what the limit is for a settlement in your area, but it should come close to or exceed $3200. When the local shop is given notice to appear, they might call to work something out.

Better yet would be having someone from the Service Department from the Hyundai Dealer accompany you to Small Claims. However, I think an affidavit would do it.

This can go either way in court, but it sounds like a slam-dunk to me!

I have only been to Small Claims once, and I won.

Do you homework. Take everything there!

What’s the connection between the timing belt and the coil assemblies?

I am not saying it is impossible, but I don’t know of a connection between a timing belt and a coil assembly. The timing belt times valves mechanically the coils are electrical. I don’t see a connection.


Check with your state’s auto repair licensing authority for previous complaints about the local shop. The Secretary of State in my State handles this and has info on their website. You can let the shop know that you intend to file a complaint.

Also, here’s a link to click that could help if you decide to go the small claims route:

It’s quite a stretch to get the coil involved with a timing problem. And as for the timing being off “one tooth,” the idle would be totally unacceptable. I have installed belts “one tooth” off on Hyundais and it didn’t take but a few seconds to know there was a big problem.

Can the coils be damaged? It might not matter!

That’s the thing about Small Claims court. A judge who may know nothing about cars, gets to decide! The judge might decide it’s not worth arguing about, that MSWINSON was put to enough trouble and wasted time, and just throw it all in!