Timing belt, etc. -- questions/costs -- 2004 Santa Fe

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I have a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS Utility 3.5L Auto FWD 6 Cyl 4 Doors with 68,000 miles on it. I bought it used almost 4 years ago. It is in good
condition and it runs well, but I have done none of the scheduled routine maintenance on it. All it needed while under warranty was a new digital clock shortly before the warranty ran out. Since then, I just recently had the battery replaced and had new front brake pads put in at Pep Boys.
I like the vehicle and I am trying to decide whether to keep it another year or so or buy a newer one now -- maybe a 2008 or 2009 -- that is still under warranty. Consumer reports says the value of my car now is around $6,500 (trade-in value) to about $8,500 (retail value). I am in Southern New Jersey (USA), in case that matters
My question is about what to do if I decide to keep this one a little longer. What scheduled maintenance should I be doing now and about how much would it cost? For example, I think the recommendation is to change the timing belt, maybe flush the transmission, etc. And, I guess the choices are whether to have the dealer do any of those or get them done elsewhere.
Any thoughts, suggestions, rough cost estimates, etc. would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Regarding the timing belt, you may already know the recommended interval is 60k. I had the belt replaced on my Elantra for about $500. I suggest you check around. I don't know that there's any advantage to having the dealer do it.
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http://repairpal.com/estimator

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Thanks. Interesting link. It said the estimate for replacing the timing belt ranges from about $550 to $700 in my area -- plus more if water pump etc. are done at the same time.
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The timing belt should be changed at 60,000 miles. You also have an interference engine. http://www.gates.com/part_locator/index.cfm?location_id598 What that simply means, if the timing belt goes, you replace the engine as the valves will smash into the pistons.
No personal experience, but that is a $400 to $500 job. The dealer is usually higher priced than a good independent shop and no, I'd not take it to Pep Boys for that type of work.
As for other work, you can check the manual for recommendations. I'd not do the transmission flush as done wrong, some do more harm than good. Maybe change anti-freeze. Most spark plugs are good for 100k these days.
If you are going to trade the car, I'd do nothing and dump it this week. If I was going to keep it or sell it private, I'd do the timing belt for peace of mind, better resale value, and not having the buyer come after me late at night after the engine is trashed.
If you buy a newer Santa Fe, the 3.3L engine has a chain or gears, no belts to change. The 2.7L is interference also, a cost down the road. You m ay find a really good deal on a brand new one also. Remember that the 100k mile warranty drops to 60k for the second owner. If they are trying to clear the present models for the 2011 the deals will be very good You can get $2500 rebate on an 09 if you can find one still around. I got 0% financing on my 2010 Sonata.
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Thanks. That's a lot of good information. That's interesting about the newer 3.3L engines not having belts. I'll have to give it all more thought before deciding whether to keep this vehicle longer or get a newer one. In the meantime, I'll probably start checking out prices on newer models.
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Service intervals on 2004 Santa Fe that may be of interest:
Coolant: 2 years/30,000 miles Spark plugs: 4 years/60,000 miles Timing belt: 4 years/60,000 miles Transmission fluid: 7 years/100,000 miles.
I'd recommend replacing the coolant by time, the plugs and transmission fluid by mileage, and the timing belt by either.
The timing belt and spark plugs are going to be expensive for this vehicle.
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Honda calls for 105,000 miles or 7 years on their timing belts -- Pilot for example. Why 60k on Hyundai.
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On 6/4/2010 16:43, tww1491 wrote:

Because every car engine is different.
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So, the design of the Hyundai V6 is such where timing belt life is less than Honda, Toyota and so forth. Given the other comments vis plugs and so forth, the maintenance costs for the Hyundai must be quite high comparatively.

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Not true. Less than some, the same as many others. Gates, the largest timing belt maker recommends 60,000 miles for many cars. As for maintenance cost overall, in 67000 miles on my last Sonata, my only cost of maintenance was oil changes and two tires. It has been the lowest maintenance cost car I've ever owned. Most of the newer engines no longer have belts so that cost is eliminated.
You can check here: http://www.gates.com/downloads/download_common.cfm?fileB8-1466_web.pdf&folder=brochure
Note that some Honda models are 60k, a few Toyotas are 60k, many are 90k normal, 60k severe.
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On 6/5/2010 18:40, tww1491 wrote:

car of same year as another brand, and as a plus you get 10 years drivetrain warranty and a much lower initial cost ... does Toyota or Honda give you anything comparable ????
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tww1491 wrote:

    Well, I guess it depends on how you define "life". It just cost me $800 to have an independent shop replace my belt, waterpump, serpentine etc. because I didn't feel up to the challenge at the time. I'm the second owner of the car, and I have the records. No sign of the timing belt being done, so I presume it lasted 7 years and 104K. I didn't feel like finding out exactly *how* long it would last. I don't think I'll do it again, if I get 7 years out of this one, I think it will be more practical to take my chances.
    Dealer quoted me $400 for a "tune up"(plugs and wires). I'll do it myself, it's not often I make $300 in one afternoon <g>.
2002 Sonata LX, 2.7L
--
PB
"I suspect you're an arrogant little pissant who grew up in the
Red Bull generation." - CJW
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belts -- such as ac and so forth, coolant change, inspection brake clean) replaced on our 03 pilot at 90k miles. It hit the 7 year mark for change. Price with a 10% discount at my local Honda dealer was $631.23. Thought that was a reasonable deal.

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wrote:

That's excellent deal!
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On 6/6/2010 16:03, tww1491 wrote:

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I don't know, but maybe it's due to the type of engine that the 2004 3.5L Santa Fe has. It's an "interference type" engine (or something like that) which means that if the timing belt breaks major damage to the engine can result. On other types of engines when the timing belt breaks the engine just conks out suddenly but the engine isn't damaged. So I assume that Hyundai needs to proactively prevent the timing belt from breaking and ruining the engine by replacing the belt sooner.
That's actually a dilemma that I am facing now -- whether to push my luck and keep the vehicle a little longer and hope the timing belt doesn't break and ruin the engine, or get the timing belt replaced now, or trade in the car now and get a newer Santa Fe.
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Jay-T wrote:

Thanks again for all of the feedback.
I called the dealer today and got prices for various work. In case anyone else is interested, the costs were:
$590 for timing belt replacement $ 97 more if it needs a new Tensioner $ 79 more for two regular belts if it needs them $109 for transmission service/flush $ 72 for radiator flush
So, from $590 to $947 depending on what it needs and what I decide to get done.
Plus sales tax (7% in New Jersey)
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And no one seems upset by this.
Is this common for ALL Asian brand cars ?
Other than fluid changes, I don't remember this "50K-mile bite in the ass" from any American made cars.
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I remember back about 25 years when I was still working, a lot of employees had Ford Escorts as company cars. There were cases where a timing belt broke and destroyed the engine.
---MIKE---

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