Re: Oil pressure relief plunger access -- 2004 Santa Fe 3.5L

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TomR wrote:


P.P.S. I forgot to add that I got the idea here a year ago that the problem may have been a sticking oil pressure relief plunger from a response that "hyundaitech" posted back then which read,
"In the event this doesn't solve the problem, count on needing a new oil pump. I've only ever seen one case of this, and it wasn't on this engine either, but the pumps are similar. The oil pressure relief valve is spring-loaded in the pump. If it binds just a little bit, too much oil can bypass, causing the condition you have."
I think that he may have been correct and that was the problem back then. If so, either the same problem came back, or maybe now it is the oil pump itself.
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I've not taken one of these apart, nor do I recall whether the relief plunger bolt is accessible without removing the oil pan. On the other hand, it should be a simple matter to find out. The oil pump bolts on the front of the engine just behind the crankshaft pulley. Look at the bottom of the aluminum assembly there to see whether the bolt is accessible. If not, you'll need to remove the oil pan (no fun).
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wrote:

Thanks hyundaitech.
Here's the latest:
I decided to try to see if I can find the relief plunger bolt and gain access to it myself. I took off the plastic shield that covers that bottom of the vehicle under the engine. Then I took off the vertical plastic shield that covers the pulleys etc. Then, going by the oil pump diagrams that I found online and on the http://hmaservice.com service manual diagrams, I tried to locate the relief plunger bolt (I think they call it the "oil pressure relief valve plug"). I thought I saw what must be it, but before doing anything more, I went inside and special-ordered an oil pressure relief valve plunger, spring, and plug (3 parts, about $13 for all three pieces) from a Hyundai dealership. The parts will be here on Thursday or Friday of this week.
The I got the bright idea that maybe I can just try taking off what I hoped was the oil pressure relief valve plug (bolt) to see if I could take out the spring and plunger and see what shape they are in, clean them up, etc.
Here are two photos of what I saw from underneath (same 2 photos but in 2 different formats):
http://tinypic.com/r/1zbyzqw/6
http://tinypic.com/r/351bfk9/6
http://i45.tinypic.com/1zbyzqw.jpg
http://i45.tinypic.com/351bfk9.jpg
The oil filter is blue and on the left, and the view shows the blue oil filter hanging down, plus the belt and pulleys that are on the front of the engine.
In the second photo, the bolt that I thought was the relief bolt/plug is pretty much dead center in the photo -- and the bolt goes up into what I assumed would be the oil pump behind the pulley that is in the center.
But, when I took the bolt out, it seemed like it must be the wrong bolt. It is about 2-1/2 to 3 inches long, and when I took it out, nothing happened -- no oil came out, no springs or plunges came out -- nothing. I have no idea what the bolt is for, but just in case it was in fact the relief valve bolt, tried pushing a wire up into the hole. I thought maybe that would press on the spring or plunger or whatever, but nothing happened. So, I figured I must have the wrong bolt, and I put it back where it was.
Looking at the oil pan, it looked like it would be too hard for to get off due to something else being in the way of part of it -- some kind of manifold or something that heads toward the back of the vehicle. At that point, I decided I don't know enough of what I am doing so my plan is (was) to take it to the dealership, tell them the symptoms, and ask them to see if they can figure out what the problem is and what it would take to fix it.
Then I drove the vehicle a couple of miles and the strangest thing happened -- right from the beginning there was no oil light on, and the loud valve tapping-like sound that I was hearing before was gone. A little later, the oil light would flicker just a little when at idle speed, but went off with any increase in RPM's -- and there was still no valve clatter/noise. Then, when I got home, I tried revving the engine up to high RPM's thinking that maybe that would free up the plunger and the original problem came back right away -- noisy valve tapping/clatter and the oil light comes on almost continuously once again.
So, now I don't know what is going on. I had this feeling that somehow maybe I was in fact messing with the plunger even though no oil came out, no spring came out, and even though the bolt was almost 3 inches (which is not what the "plug" looks like on the diagrams.
My plan now is to probably see what happens tomorrow, then maybe pick up the $13 worth of parts that I ordered that will be here on Thursday or Friday, and see what they look like. Maybe by seeing the actual parts, I'll have a better idea of what to look for -- but I doubt it. And, when picking up the parts, maybe I'll see if I can get them to take a look at the vehicle and see if they can diagnose the problem.
Just one other thought:
Is it possible that the intake screen (or whatever it is called) inside the oil pan is clogged and that keeps the oil from pumping up into the engine, which in turn causes the valve tapping/clatter and the oil light to come on?
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On 5/22/2012 8:35 PM, TomR wrote:

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TomR wrote:

Here's the latest update:
The good news is that it looks like I have saved my car from extinction!
My car is fixed and I don't need to get the engine replaced or trade it in for virtually junk value etc. And, unless I am mistaken, the immediate problem that caused the oil pressure light to come on etc. was that the oil screen was clogged.
For those who were following this, I originally tried taking the lower and upper oil pans off on my own and I tried changing the oil pressure relief valve, spring, and plug -- about $15 in parts and a huge job which took maybe 12+ hours for me to do on my own. That didn't fix the problem.
Then I took it to a Hyundai dealership who took the valve cover off and found a tremendous build-up of sludge, and due to the oil pressure light staying on and loud valve noises etc., they said it looks like I need a new engine.
I decided to try taking the valve covers off and cleaning out the sludge on my own and changing the oil. I was able to figure out getting the front valve cover off, so I did that one first. I cleaned that half of the engine first, but the second valve cover in the back seemed too hard to get to due to having to remove the intake manifold etc. So, I stopped there, put it back together, and replaced the oil with new 10W-30 motor oil. The oil light still came on and the loud valve clatter was still there. So, I thought that probably means that the bearings are worn and that is why the oil pressure light is coming on and the valves are clattering.
Then I thought that maybe I would try changing over to synthetic oil since I read somewhere that maybe synthetic oil gradually cleans out the oil built up sludge that regular oil causes if the oil isn't changed regularly. I also thought that I should try a heavier weight of oil just in case the heavier oil would help compensate for the worn bearings. And, then I thought that while doing that, maybe I should make a better effort to clean the oil screen.
Unfortunately, back when I had first taken off both the lower and upper oil pans to replace the oil pressure relief valve, I had an easy chance to take off the oil pickup arm and screen and thoroughly clean it. But, I didn't do that back then. Instead, I just sprayed carburetor and brake parts cleaner in there and tried to clean the screen with the arm still in place -- a stupid idea, now that I look back at it. Had I taken the arm and screen off then and completely cleaned it, the problem may have been fixed back then. But, if it was, I probably would have thought that I fixed it by replacing the oil pressure relief valve when, in fact, it probably would have been fixed due to cleaning the screen.
Anyway, this time, I did not want to go through all of the effort that it takes to take off the upper oil pan (a huge job) just to get the oil pickup arm off. Instead, I just took the lower pan off, cut the sheet metal baffle that is between the lower oil pan and the upper oil pan, and I bent it back so I could get to the two bolts that hold the oil pickup arm and screen in place. I took off the arm and I soaked it in carburetor and brake parts cleaner and some paint thinner and I completely cleaned the screen. This time, with the arm completely off, and with the screen and arm completely cleaned, I could see through the screen and I knew it was clean -- something I didn't know about before.
I then put everything back together and I replaced the regular 10W-30 oil with Mobil One 0W-40 synthetic oil.
Voila! That worked! The oil pressure light no longer comes on, and the engine is completely quiet -- no valve taps, clatter, etc. It runs just the way it did before the oil pressure light started coming on back when all of this started about a month ago.
Here are a few more pictures:
http://i45.tinypic.com/qsjkt1.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/sfgykz.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/1fvjth.jpg
The first photo is from back when I had the upper oil pan off and I could have easily removed the oil pickup arm and screen, but I didn't. I just tried cleaning it in place with some carburetor and brake parts cleaner etc.
The second photo is after I took the front valve cover off and before I cleaned that half of the engine.
The third photo is of the oil pickup arm and screen when I started cutting back the sheet metal baffle to get to the bolts to take off the arm. This photo shows just one side of the sheet metal baffle cut and peeled back. Later I cut and bent the other side so I could get to both bolts.
So, overall, the bottom line is that my car is now working. I don't need a new engine and I don't have to trade the car in for virtual junk value. The bearings must be okay because the oil pressure light does not come on and there is no valve tapping or clatter. And, I assume that means that no major damage was done to the engine -- other than the fact that there is still a build up of sludge on at least one half of the engine. It is running well, so I don't think I am going to bother trying to get to the second valve cover and clean that half of the engine. Hopefully, the synthetic oil will start to gradually clean out the existing sludge and I will change that oil and the filter soon and replace it with more Mobil One synthetic oil (this time, probably 5W-30 instead of 0W-40). Then, I'll take my time and start looking at dealerships etc. for a newer Santa Fe that is still under warranty. And, I'll be able to trade this one in for a normal trade-in value, not a salvage trade-in value.
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big snip

Thanks for taking the time to detail the results. Glad it is working well for you now and lots of $$$ saved.
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TomR wrote:

I don't recall your earlier posts on this car, but I am curious as to how many miles the car has on it. It looks like this engine went 50,000 miles between oil changes! I haven't seen such a mess in an engine in a long, long time!
The engine may be running fine now, but it likely won't last long. With that much crap in the engine, it is just a matter of time before the pickup screen clogs again.
Matt
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Previously in this thread, someone asked about how often I did oil changes etc. Here's what I wrote before:
"Oil changes? What's an oil change? :-)
The truth is that I didn't really do them. I bought the vehicle with about 24,500 miles on it and it now has about 93,500 miles. I am guessing that it had about 2 or maybe 3 oil changes in between -- all when it was being worked on for some other reason. So, 2 or maybe 3 oil changes in almost 70,000 miles. All I really did is add oil if it got a little low. Not a smart thing to do, and now I know why."
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As I mentioned before, if you are going to clean out the engine this way you need to change the oil filter frequently and probably change the oil frequently until it is cleaned out.
The prior post is correct that you are running on borrowed time with all that crud still in there. It has to go somewhere. Actually you really should take off the rear valve cover and clean that out ASAP too (and afterwards take off the oil pan to empty out the crud that should have fallen through) or you have a significant backlog of crud to deal with.
The other issue is the baffle you cut and bent. After you have to clean that screen a few more times with all the crud that will be collecting you should probably figure out how to put it back in place. That is probably there to help reduce oil starvation due to sloshing. KWW On 6/13/2012 9:21 PM, TomR wrote:

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KWW wrote:

Thanks. I do plan on doing that. I did read all of your prior posts on this topic, including where you wrote:
"The issue is that synthetic oil will break loose the gunk and stuff that has collected over the years and so at first, while this is happening, you run the risk of getting clogs. I would worry that if you have some crucial passages which are partially blocked too much loose debris might close off a passage."
Part of where I got the idea of switching to synthetic oil to help break up the old sludge was from your post as well as from elsewhere on the Internet. I didn't find anything definitive about whether synthetic oil actually does that, but I decided to give it a try. Some of the information seemed to indicate that the synthetic oil does this very gradually rather than the way that products like "Motor Flush" or the use of transmission fluid do it. Again, that could just be an Internet myth -- I don't know for sure.
And, yes, there is a risk involved but in my case I think the risk is worth it.
What I am also doing now is watching the new synthetic oil on the dipstick to see if I notice it changing color or showing any signs of sludge or debris. So far, nothing -- it looks brand new and clear.

Maybe, but the project involving getting the intake manifold off first looks pretty daunting. I'll have to think about that carefully before venturing into trying that.

I forgot to mention that I did bend the sheet metal back into place after putting the arm and screen back on and before putting the lower oil pan back on.
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Taking off the intake manifold is not as hard as it looks. If you've ever replaced the rear plugs , you were almost there. You seem to be more handy with car repair work than I and I changed my rear plugs using the excellent instruction here. http://hennesseystealth.site11.com/santafe.html

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Partner wrote:

Thanks for the link. It looks interesting and is helpful. Some of the wording seems to be the same as what I saw in a Hyundai Santa Fe service manual that I looked at while in a local Pep Boys auto store. I also found some other links and information online, including a schematic diagram on the AutoZone.com website that seemed to be more detailed and clearer than the one on the hmaservice.com website.
My engine is a 3.5L and it looks a just little different than the engine on the link that you provided. The slightly tricky part for me has to do with the 3 bolts that are in the back that everyone refers to in their instructions. I am not quite sure yet if I can actually find or see all 3 of those bolts, but I haven't done a really good search yet. Today, it is supposed to 100 degrees outside where I am, so I won't be looking today for sure. I may pick a cool morning one day soon and take a better look to see if I can see where those 3 bolts are actually located.
But, even if I do find those 3 bolts, I may just pass on doing anything with it at this point. The engine seems to be running fine and it is quiet. The new synthetic oil that I put in hasn't changed color yet, but I have only driven it a few hundred miles since it went in.
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TomR wrote:

Ah, that explains it. Well, you have learned an expensive lesson, but not as expensive as it could have been and may be if the screen clogs at 70 MPH on the interstate.
That engine may run another 70,000 miles or it may die tomorrow.
I would keep changing the oil regularly and hope for the best. I saw a note that you had synthetic in it and I wouldn't recommend that in your case. The sludge in your engine is like asbestos in an old building. There are really only two good options:
1. Remove it completely 2. Don't disturb it.
Anything in between is trouble. If you aren't prepared to completely overhaul your engine and clean it thoroughly, then I would run regular oil in it and change it every 3-5,000 miles, depending on what kind of driving you do, and hope the sludge stays in place.
Matt
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wrote:

I've not taken one of these apart, nor do I recall whether the relief plunger bolt is accessible without removing the oil pan. On the other hand, it should be a simple matter to find out. The oil pump bolts on the front of the engine just behind the crankshaft pulley. Look at the bottom of the aluminum assembly there to see whether the bolt is accessible. If not, you'll need to remove the oil pan (no fun).
+++++++
Here's where things stand as of today:
I foolishly decided to try taking off the lower oil pan over the weekend to see if I could find and replace the oil pressure relief valve plunger, spring, and plug. It was a huge job and I never should have attempted it. After taking off the lower oil pan (which requires lowering the exhaust pipe first), I found out that I still could not access the oil pressure relief valve mechanism. I then had to take off the upper oil pan (which also requires removing the starter motor, oil filter, and a bolt that holds the oil dipstick to the engine). Bad idea. This was a major project, but I did it and I finally had access to the oil pressure relief valve mechanism. The original parts seemed to be working okay but I replaced them with the new parts that I had bought anyway. Then I put everything back together. The whole job took about 12 to 13 hours of hard, hard work. After finally getting everything back together -- no change; same symptoms; oil pressure light still coming on and valve tapping noises still there.
Then I took it to a Hyundai dealership, and for $105 ($93 with a "customer discount" they gave me), they diagnosed the problem. Bad news. They said the oil pressure is low but they asked when I last changed the oil. Unfortunately, I had to admit that I am one of those people who rarely changes the oil. They said that it appears that due to the lack of oil changes the oil in the engine kept breaking down and deteriorated into hard black sludge throughout the engine. They said that they didn't want to spend my money replacing the oil pump only to find out that the engine oil circulation system is so blocked up that the problem would not be corrected. They said that basically I need to replace the engine. For a used engine with 71,000 miles on it, the cost would be about $4,200 installed -- not a worthwhile project on a 2004 Santa Fe. Looks like its time to get a new (or slightly used) Santa Fe that is still under warranty.
So, I went to pick up the vehicle, and between the time of my first conversation with them and the time when I got there to pick it up, they had also removed the valve covers to take a look. They took a photo and gave me a copy to take with me. It looked awful -- all just thick gunked up hard black crusted crud all over the valves, cams, etc.
We did talk about the possibility of them trying to clean the sludge and do some kind of engine flush or cleanout, but they said that probably wouldn't work, and even if they could clean it out, the bearing seals may already be bad and could cause the oil pressure to still be low.
Now I know I need another vehicle. And now I know I have a vehicle that has hardly any value in its present condition. Since I know that my present vehicle is pretty much a goner already, I may just try goofing around on my own and taking the valve covers off and trying to clean out as much sludge as possible on my own just to see what happens. It will depend, in part, on how hard it is to get the valve covers off and attempt this. And, it will depend on whether I can find any information online and elsewhere about ways to try to clean out sludge within the engine system.
Obviously, I caused the problem by not changing the oil as I should have been doing. I always thought that not changing the oil just tended to make the parts in the engine wear a little faster. But I didn't know that not changing the oil could cause the oil to break down and become the hard black crusted sludge/crap that is now all inside my car's engine. Oops.
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TomR wrote:

Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear about the engine though.
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On 5/30/2012 9:55 PM, TomR wrote:

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KWW wrote:

Thanks for the info. Changing the engine myself is definitely out of my league. One thing that I may check out is the possibility of selling it to someone on Craigslist and letting them know up front that it needs a new engine etc. Maybe someone has a wreck with a good engine and would want to put their engine into my vehicle which -- except for the engine -- is in very good condition. But, I'm sure it won't be worth much to anyone.
With that in mind, I may still try goofing around trying to clean up what's there and see what happens. I know there is a good chance that after doing that I'll still end up with a vehicle that isn't worth much.
I have also been looking at "engine flush" machines online today just to see what they are about. The way the website describes it, the flush is done without the engine running and supposedly the crud that gets freed up gets vacuumed out of the pan rather than getting sucked back up into the engine. I think that may be what the Hyundai dealership was telling me that they "could" do, if I wanted to, but that they didn't recommend doing it.
http://www.engineflush.com/pages/engine.html
http://www.engineflush.com/pages/demo.html
Meanwhile, I have an old pickup truck that I can drive around while I figure out buying a replacement vehicle.
An interesting thing that I learned yesterday was that if I had bought my used Hyundai through a Hyundai dealership (rather than through a non-Hyundai dealership where I did buy it), it would have come with a 10-year 100,000 mile warranty instead of the 5-year 60,000 mile warranty that I inherited as a second owner. Theoretically, that would have meant that my engine would have been covered by the warranty since it is a 2004 and has 93,400 miles on it. But, the service person explained that the warranty would have been voided in my case because I didn't have it properly serviced and maintained (a.k.a. regular oil changes etc.); and once they saw what they saw under the valve covers they would know that I had not maintained the vehicle. Then again, if I did maintain it properly, it probably wouldn't have needed a new engine so I wouldn't have needed to use the warranty anyway.
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Wow! That is a new one. We bought our 2003 Santa Fe used from a Hyundai dealership and they did not offer that deal. We had to buy an extended warranty (which paid for itself via a later needed repair). We did have a bad wheel bearing that rumbled for over 60k miles before we finally figured out what it was and had it fixed. I thought it was the Michelin tires on the Santa Fe suspension. Thankfully it did not lock up. On 5/31/2012 11:19 AM, TomR wrote:

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KWW wrote:

When I think about it, I am not completely sure that I got that 10-year 100,000 mile warranty information correct. That's what the sales manager told me over the phone. I had told him that I was planning on buying another used Santa Fe, either through a Hyundai dealership or elsewhere. He said that one difference is that if I buy a "Hyundai certified pre-owned vehicle" through a Hyundai dealership it comes with the 10-year 100,000 mile warranty, but I wouldn't get that if I bought it anywhere else. On the other hand, a friend of mine traded in a Sonata bought a used Azera through the same dealership and I was with him when he did the final write-up of the deal. I know he ended up buying a Hyundai extended warranty plan. He could have bought a third party extended warranty plan that they offered for a little less money, but he wanted the Hyundai plan. I thought I remember that plan being a "bumper-to-bumper" plan and maybe was more inclusive than the engine and transmission coverage that is in the 10-year 100,000 mile warranty.
So, maybe what the sales manager told me is correct, or maybe there is more to it that I would find out when I actually signed a deal on a used Santa Fe. I don't know all of the details.
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Ah, yes, you have a good memory. "Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned" was the key. The dealers seem to sell some as "certified" and some not. Whether one is "certifiable" to pay the extra price is open to debate. ;)
On 6/1/2012 8:29 AM, TomR wrote:

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