By on February 22, 2019

Image: hyundaiLuke writes:

I have an ’09 Hyundai Santa Fe, 3.3L, with 117,000 km (73,000 miles). It’s losing oil from a leaking timing chain cover gasket at a rate of one litre per 1,400 km or so. The repair is estimated to be around $1,500. We have this vehicle because we have three young children (ages 4, 2, and 6 months) and the Santa Fe is one of the few that fit three car seats across one row safely and easily, and was within our budget.

I’ve only owned the vehicle for a year. What do you think I should do? Pay for the repair, just keep adding oil, or look for a different vehicle? 

Sajeev answers:

I was gonna suggest addressing the timing cover oil leak during a timing belt change, but that applies to the 2.7L Delta, not the (timing chain equipped) 3.3L Lambda. So much for two birds, one stone! 

The $1,500 quote sounds a bit looney, until you see the work involved. Dropping the front subframe makes sense, considering the engine’s location in relation to those narrow frame rails.

Maybe someone will do it for less … but not much less!

I checked a few online valuation tools: your Santa Fe (good condition) is worth CAD $8,000-9,000 on a place like Craigslist Kijiji. Using Google’s currency calculator (more approximations) and even if you get a deeper discount, the repair’s gonna account for 15%-ish of market value. That’s a rather big piece of the pie! And I’m not feelin’ it, son. 

It’s not like you’ve had this rig since new, so what else is around the corner? New tires or brakes? EGR issues?

I’d add oil until you find a medium brown metallic Crown Vic suitable replacement. Sure, I pontificate on Panther Love far too often, but they’ll fit your budget — and (probably) all three car seats. 2006 Ford Crown Victoria P71 Medium Brown Metallic, Image: Sajeev Mehta[Image: Hyundai, Sajeev Mehta]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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148 Comments on “Piston Slap: Leaking Like a…Santa Fe?...”


  • avatar
    Cactuar

    What’s a leaking Santa Fe worth? Probably the value minus 1,500$. If you like the car, keep it and fix it. If you sell it you won’t get full value for it because of the leak, and you also need to pay taxes again on your next car purchase.

    Don’t fall for the “what else will go wrong?” trap. You could get many trouble free miles after fixing the leak.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      This always cracks me up.

      I’m selling my car that I feel like is falling apart, and some guy buys it and he’s like “Man, glad to buy this new car that isn’t falling apart like my old car”

      A friend of mine owns a dealership and he says it cracks him up because he gets people bringing in a $2000 car. They trade it in for $1000, and buy a $2500 car.

      He then takes that car he bought for $1000 and sells it to the next guy for $2500.

      Why would another used car not potentially have the same “What else will go wrong” issue? Used cars break down, parts fail… and swapping one old car for another doesn’t make that go away…

      • 0 avatar
        Robotdawn

        This in a nutshell is why I always end up buying new, rather than used. 80% of the time I trade in I’m dumping what I think is about to be a money pit on someone else. Aren’t a lot of others doing the same thing?

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Money pits are different things to different people.

          You can keep a $2500 car in pretty nice shape for $5000/year in maintenance.

          You can have a pretty nice new car with a warranty for $5000/year in payments (lease or purchase).

          (shrug)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “You can keep a $2500 car in pretty nice shape for $5000/year in maintenance.”

            You can keep a $2500 car in pretty nice shape for $500 a year in maintenance.

          • 0 avatar

            If you still owe money on the car, AND it eats parts, then you are in used car purgatory. $600 per month ? You have options.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Exactly. Why start over with another car with unknown problems. Better off fixing the one you’ve already got.

        • 0 avatar
          redgolf

          it all depends if the car is already in “pretty nice shape”! also is it in pretty safe condition, worth putting the kids in? I own a 97 Pontiac that I bought new, now with 178k miles, it’s in “pretty nice shape” however only I by myself are in it and only for around town, is it safe, in my mind it is, starts, runs, drives, decent brakes & tires but don’t feel safe putting other people let alone my grandson in it! Heck I don’t know if the air bags will even deploy!

          • 0 avatar
            Robotdawn

            It’s not just the dollar costs either. It’s the inconvenience of getting a tow, and not being where I need to be, when I need to be. Not being confident in a vehicle’s ability to go long distances. Winter safety. Many factors other than dollars that have costs.
            And yes, who’s driving it, as the man above says. I can’t get my wife to understand why the 2wd/Auto knob is actually important in my truck, anything beyond that is just not going to happen.

          • 0 avatar
            ruckover

            I am not trying to be rude, but what is wrong with your car that makes it not safe for others to ride in? I know that you have a 22 year old car, but you are talking about it like it is a ’65 Beetle . . .

          • 0 avatar
            redgolf

            ruckover – why I really don’t want to put any one else in my car probably is because I’m almost 70, retired, have a newer car to drive also, I don’t deem it unsafe but lets face it anything can happen in a 22 year old car that your not expecting to happen, therefore it’s my city car for only driving myself to/from the stores/golf course! besides the “what if” factor of getting in an accident and injuring someone else, wouldn’t look good to a lawyer – “and how old did you say your car is?”

          • 0 avatar
            DweezilSFV

            At nearly 70 years old that ‘what if’ game you’re playing is taking up far too much of your time.

            And crowding out critical thinking.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I put a lot of miles on a Saturn that needed a quart of oil every 500-1000 miles. Oil is cheap, buying a new car or repairing this one is expensive. Eventually topping it off will become routine.

    The only caveat is if the drips of oil on the driveway or in the garage are causing you stress. My Saturn burned the oil so I didn’t need to deal with this, but if it bothers you (or you can’t park over a towel) then just get it fixed.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      I agree..and oil is cheap. You can buy Amazon or WalMart synthetic (both meeting API specs) for 17 bucks for 5 quart bottle. A while back WalMart had a special on Milesyn (Dexos approved) 35 bucks for a 5 GALLON pail with free delivery to store.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Oil is cheap, but a leaker also requires constant vigilance, and it pours dirt-attracting mess all over the engine, engine bay, wiring, and lower carriage. Unchecked, it could lead to a fire.

      Garages will charge more to service a filthy engine.

      I’d fix it.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Hot oil degrades rubber parts, in addition to making a mess of your driveway/garage. Oil leaks need to be fixed. This car is well worth the amount of the repairs, get it fixed and keep on truckin’.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Yep, I’ve seen the result of an un-addressed oil leak on nearby rubber parts on numerous occasions, a few good examples: valve cover gasket leak on a ’98 MPV that dripped down and had been coating the steering rack bushings for a number of years. They were mush and it seriously affected the car’s steering/handling. More recently, ’01 Camry, top end oil leak getting onto a heater hose, ripe to burst on its long drive from PA to an internship in Houston.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        He said it was a Saturn. The oil those old S series cars consumed wasn’t hitting the rubber in the engine bay or the driveway…it was blowing out the tailpipe. I had several. The fix was a different ring and piston combo. I’d do it because I’m a vehicular masochist but the reality was these cars were cheap to the point your best bet was to check the oil when you got gas. They would run hundreds of thousands of miles in this manner.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Agreed on the Saturns Art, my brother has a customer with an S series wagon that first came to him with 298k miles, uses a quart every 500 miles, been that way for over 100k miles, owner stays on top of it and it’s in a steady state. ’98-’02 Corollas are the same way with that first generation 1ZZ motor, iirc the piston oil passages behind the oil rings are undersized and get clogged up, then the rings start sticking. Seems to be a common problem on a slew of cars in the late 90s (Isuzu’s DOHC 3.2L, Saturns, Toyota 1zz, Suzuki Bandit 1200)

  • avatar
    gtem

    This one’s an easy one: fix it.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      +1, that vehicle has a lot of life in it.

    • 0 avatar
      Brenro Lz

      I agree! I bought my 08 santa fe limited 3.3 2 years ago at 71,000 miles now barley 100,000 but last year 2 weeks b4 Xmas . I had the same issue. DEFINITELY, get it fixed. Or more problems to come. I had to also update the computer system all the lights were coming on like crazy, and causing my batteryto die, but it all started from this issue with the leaking oil. I took it to the dealer and it cost about $1,700. Its a good car haven’t had any issues with it since. Just keep up with all the maintenance. Wheel works is full service so while they change ur oil, they are able to spot if theres a issue somewhere else and catch it ahead of time. Once again Definitely worth getting it fixed.Go to the dealer.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Fix it and sell it. Old CUVs are a dime a dozen now. You’ll take a hit greater than $1,500 by selling it as-is.

  • avatar
    Jon

    I typically recommend putting Hyundai’s out to pasture but this one has low miles and may have some life left in it. I vote fix it and keep it. It fits your budget and family needs.

    A leaking timing chain cover gasket at 117k may indicate frequently overheated engine oil. Extreme thermal cycling can harden gaskets quickly. When the timing cover comes off, check for mild sludge build up. If there is sludge build up, cut your LOF interval to 5k or less.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Also, this mentality: “so what else is around the corner? New tires or brakes?” is absolutely asinine and what keeps Americans permanently stuck in car payment cycles and cash-poor.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Yep. If you have a decent emergency fund, a 1,500$ fix isn’t really a concern. Pay for it and move on.

      But if you’re already up your eyeballs in debt then 1,500$ becomes the end of the world. A 275$ all-inclusive risk-free monthly payment looks really tempting. But in the end it just helps to perpetuate the never ending cycle of debt.

    • 0 avatar
      haroldhill

      +2

      Cars require maintenance and repair. No exceptions. On most modern cars the cost of repairs over time is far less than payments on a replacement car; the expense is more concentrated and seems awful, but it’s still less. If the car is comfortable and works for you, don’t abandon it!

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And dumping money into a car past its economic useful life is how many people stay in the poor house. Fact is new brakes and tires do nothing to add to the trade in value on a car like this so yeah it is the smart thing to do to send it down the road now if it is going to need either of those in the next year or so, that on top of the $1500 repair. Take that $3000 and add it to the down on a newer vehicle with a better life expectancy than a 10 year old Hyundai.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        Right you are. However, at 73k miles, this vehicle likely has plenty of useful economic life remaining. If this particular vehicle had 173k them i agree that moving on is the best thing to do economically.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “economic useful life”

        An ’09 with 73k is at the end of its economic useful life? Wow, news to me!

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          A repeat of a discussion we have had multiple times. Currently sitting parked since November, is a 2005 3800 Buick. With 145,000kms. In theory this vehicle should be good for twice that many miles.

          We got it in the summer of 2012 with 90,000kms. So 55,000 kms of driving.

          Among other repairs have replaced all 4 tires, an ECM, the catalytic converter, part of the exhaust system, a fuel line, the windshield wiper assembly, front tie rods, and a headlight assembly. Plus regular maintenance, alignment, detailing (it needed it) and rustproofing (unfortunately not Krown, a long story), and a change of the coolant and transmission oil. The driver’s door handle requires replacement. Now also have to change the plugs, the fuel filter, install a new battery, and replace a coil. Not work that I am willing to do, outdoors in Ontario in the winter.

          And if we complete all that work we have a 14 year old car, that is rusting, with a body that looks like it lost a knife fight. And that due to the number of times that it has limped or been towed home, I would not allow my wife or children to drive out of town, or at night for long distances or on a 400 Series highway.

          For us it would have been economically more advantageous to have instead purchased a vehicle such as a base Elantra or Jetta. Would now have ‘positive’ equity on a 5 or 6 year old car with only 55,000kms, and still under warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Oops, forget the front brake job that is now also required.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Arthur you always seem compelled to project your experience of a Lemon-buick onto everyone else’s used car situation. You’re at one end of the used car experience, this Hyundai is in all likelihood nowhere near that. Based on mileage and model history, it has a known failure of an oil retaining gasket in a labor-intensive-to-replace location. Once that’s done, it shouldn’t reappear for another decade. Aside from that, this car is low mileage and should have another easy 5 years of low-depreciation motoring ahead of it, sure factor in $700 for a nice set of tires and another $1000 (being very generous) for a brake job over that period of time. You’d rather the OP climb further in debt? What car would he buy that meets his current needs that wouldn’t put him in the hole $25k?

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: I can present similar examples in regards to a 2005 Dodge Caravan, or a 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

            Or we can go back even farther, but I don’t believe that examples from the 1970’s or 1980’s are applicable.

            If you read my others comments, I do make the point that everyone’s situation is different. Therefore for some leasing every 4 years is the best economic move. For others buying new and holding for 12+ years. For others buying used and holding, or flipping. And for some, foregoing auto owning and using ride sharing and public transit. All dependent on many individual factors.

            What bothers me is those who keep trying to convince people that buying a cheap car and running it ‘into the ground’ is the wisest use of their time and/or money. In many instances, it isn’t. Just like buying new or leasing isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “buying a cheap car and running it ‘into the ground’ is the wisest use of their time and/or money. In many instances, it isn’t. Just like buying new or leasing isn’t.”

            Your mind is stuck on prior arguements. In this specific case, the situation on the ground is that the guy already has this car that he bought used with fairly low mileage, whether it’s paid off or not. The question as it stands is does he spend the $1500 to fix it and keep driving it, or does he drop it like a hot potato over an oil leak and commits to a wasteful lease or $25k-30k in debt to finance an equivalent new/lightly used three-row AWD midsize crossover. I say the answer is a clear “repair it” unless there are some unknown factors or indications that other trouble is brewing.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: Well then how can we prognosticate without knowing a) maintenance history/records, b) any other conditions that may require attention?

            So first I would recommend that he have a qualified independent mechanic/technician, that he trusts, complete a full inspection of the vehicle. To determine if there is anything else pressing.

            Then research the history repairs/issues with that year and that model of Santa Fe. Which I believe the OP has done.

            Then how much did he pay for the vehicle, how much does he owe on it, and does he have a firm estimate for what he can get for it? We don’t have that information.

            What does he use it for? How many kms does he put on it? Is it their only vehicle?

            Finally how much ‘wrenching’ does he feel comfortable performing himself? That makes a major difference.

            Once all that information is compiled, then and only then can we present a logical, fact based answer. Otherwise it is primarily conjecture.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            A whole lot of words to say mostly nothing. Of course he should look at the big picture, but assuming even some level of basic care, at 73k miles, this car has a ton of life left in it, and it’s gone through most of its depreciation curve. Even if it requires another $2000-3000 repair over the next 5 years, the owner will still be WAY ahead compared to taking a massive depreciation bath on a new car. Period, end of story.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: Now you are just making an assumption. What shape is the frame in?
            What if the previous owner did neglect basic maintenance?

            What if he could still get $9k for it on a trade in for a new $21k Caravan?

            Those “lots of words” make as much or more sense than your constant advocating for ‘beaters’. Wrecking yards exist because eventually nearly every vehicle ‘breaks down’ and becomes too expensive to keep on the road. The key is not to put too much money into a ‘lost cause’.

            Now is a low mileage, 10 year old Santa Fe, a ‘lost cause’? Probably not.

            However the siren song of low mileage is always a temptation, but can sometimes disguise hazards.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            And personally all things being equal I would repair it and keep it. Just like I am doing with most of my current ‘fleet’. But I would not take a knee jerk, it is always better to repair than to replace attitude.

          • 0 avatar

            If car is 10 years old – mileage does not matter. Rubber deteriorates as well as other materials. You have to replace tires every say 5 years even if you do not drive the car. I would never buy 10 years old car. Well even 5 years old for that matter. Well may be Toyota, but not Hyundai or Kia.

          • 0 avatar
            Cactuar

            Don’t be silly, Michelin recommends changing the tires after 10 years regardless of wear, not 5 years.

            Lots of overstretched arguments here in favor of perpetual debt enslavement.

            Inside Looking Out do these scare tactics work on your clients? You sound like a car salesman.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “Now is a low mileage, 10 year old Santa Fe, a ‘lost cause’? Probably not.”

            You could have just said that and spared yourself the other long-winded responses.

            Inside Looking Out, I don’t know what to say, a set of tires has you ready to write a car off? Sounds good man, let me know next time you’re looking to unload one of those used up 5 year old cars with old tires.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Personally I just replaced a car that needed tires, then turned around and bought a new set of tires for the new to me used car. Fact is I couldn’t justify new tires on a car that I couldn’t see owning long enough to get my money’s worth out of a $650 set of tires. The new to me used car on the other hand will be around for long enough.

            It’s not the first time I’ve replaced a car instead of the tires. In that case it was the battery that wouldn’t start the car after sitting unused for a week and a half and the date code said it was over 5 years old. Knowing the state of the tires and brakes and that both would be needed in the next year or so at the rate it was being used. So down the road it went.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: Why? We read your ‘I can prop a car up, and repair it with my Swiss Army knife, regardless of age/model/problem’ ‘brag’ posts. In fact I greatly enjoy reading them and have learned from them. And look forward to continuing to do so.

            However varying viewpoints and experiences, bring perspective to a debate. And most North Americans do not have the technical skills, tools, time, access to garage/driveway to repair their own vehicles. That is why the auto repair industry exists.

            One of the major issues impacting all drivers is when to ‘give up on a car’. There is no exact formula to determine this.

            The domestic auto industry was built on planned obsolescence, and the desire of human to possess ‘prestigious possessions’. In fact that is a primary impetus for the success of the ‘capitalist system’. We know that a great many auto purchases are based on ‘want’ or ‘desire’ and not on ‘need’ or financial viability.

            Without knowledge regarding the condition of other components of this vehicle, the needs of the family and its financial resources, we cannot make a sound, fact based judgement.

            Even you admitted that you know of 9 year old cars that are unsafe due to rust issues. And rust does not care about mileage. Perhaps it was involved in a major collision with its previous owners? We just do not know.

            So based in probabilities, yes a 9 year old CUV with only 73,000kms is worth preserving with a $1,500 repair.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            The old “I’m so smart because I drive a 2500 dollar $#!+box into the ground” argument. Arthur isn’t alone here. My vehicular past is littered with 2500 dollar used cars that I had 2 to 3 times that amount in. Sometimes you win the crap box lottery (my Saturn’s and Miata), sometimes you loose (any inline 6 powered Toyota to ever grace my driveway be it a Cressida, Supra or Land Cruiser).

            One of the smartest things I did was get a new car. This allowed me to focus on college and acquiring skills because I wasn’t spending all my spare time wrenching. Now I pay cash for new cars (or lease occasionally when I just want to flog on something…something you as the “smart” I’ll buy used or cpo guy may want to keep in mind.)

            I work on cars for fun now, but it would be a fools errand to “save” money with a crap box given my hourly rate.

            Anyway, your 500 dollar a year on a crap box experience is no more indicative of the average experience than Arthur’s and picking up a reasonable car note doesn’t make you a slave to debt. I’m not talking leasing that 7 series when you make Hyundai money, but for people with lives and priorities there is nothing wrong with financing a car within your means. Take that for what it’s worth, but know that among things I have to worry about, money is somewhere below zombies on my list.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Having said all that, given what I know here, in this case I’d fix the car. If you aren’t going to sell or trade it in on something new I don see how you could hope to “cash out” of this Hyundai and do better than this case post repair. It’s a crap shoot though. Like abstinence, new is the only sure bet.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            Gtem is still tops in my book.

            Consider his age and then compare him to all the Pajama Boys. “Where do the batteries go?”

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @Art

            A whole lot of typing to arrive at the same conclusion we’re all getting to in this specific case:

            “Having said all that, given what I know here, in this case I’d fix the car.”

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @GTEM I should say, given what I know, which is minimal about the OP’s situation, if I were them I’d probably fix it. I’ll probably have my truck for over ten years because at some point trucks graduate to “old truck” status if they aren’t really your daily and become a tool, but outside of that anything I have that is in the 10 year plus range is a toy. Certainly people are in different phases of life, and I have been here. I’d have probably fixed this myself at that phase but the weekend with the engine hanging on a hoist isn’t for everyone and in those days I was in the Military for the most part which afforded me one of the greatest benefits…access to the auto hobby shop which while not free, gave me a lift, impact tools, and all of those goodies. But yes, given the OP’s apparent situation, I’d pay the 1500. But this is not a 2500 dollar crapbox either. Me now doesn’t do 10 year old appliances.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It is a 10 year old Hyundai that needs a repair that is 25% of the value.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “It is a 10 year old Hyundai that needs a repair that is 25% of the value.”

            Talk about missing the forest for the trees (economically speaking).

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m surprised an 09 Hyundai is worth so much money, even at $6K US that’s way more than I’d think.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      A higher trim with only 73k miles, not surprising at all IMO. Used car prices have been crazy since ’09. Proliferation of cheap credit and super long loans and BHPH have distorted the whole market.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I’m not surprised. About 18 months ago, after my oldest daughter totaled her first car (2012 Forte Koup EX w/5-speed), an ’09 Santa Fe with 118,000 miles was for sale on a lot about five minutes from my house. Black, with a tan cloth interior, with an asking price of $5,995 USD. I never went and looked at it, but it looked decent in the ad pictures. It sat on the lot for a few more months (we bought an automatic-equipped 2012 Forte Koup SX with 106k to replace the first one).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Per Google, MY19 Hyundai Sonota starts at $22,3 for SE. On average the MY18 is pulling $13,550 with some examples dipping below this figure. If we look at MY17, it dips on average to $11,5/28K miles which is just under 50% of msrp. In two model years, not three. Perusing the MY16 I see three right off the bat at 9,700 30-60K miles. Hyundai historically does this, resale is never very impressive. Regarding OP’s Santa Fe, the 09 in FWD pulls $6,1 which is in line with what Sajeev found but still surprising to me.

        MY18 Hyundai Sonota SE

        2/21/19 $10,000 *11,810 2.6 4G/A BlackLeaseSouthwestTexas Hobby
        2/20/19 $15,400 5,4265.0 4G/A BlackLeaseNortheastNew Jersey
        2/19/19 $14,700 16,681 3.7 4G/A BlueLeaseSoutheastOrlando
        2/19/19 $12,25021,9131.6 4G/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
        2/19/19 $12,250 12,8571.6 4G/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
        2/19/19 $15,000 1,858 4.5 4G/A BlueLeaseNortheastNew England
        2/19/19 $14,7007,227 4.4 4G/A BlackLeaseNortheastNew England
        2/19/19 $14,200 6,562 3.3 4G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastOrlando
        2/19/19 $14,700 10,435 4.7 4G/A RedLeaseSoutheastOrlando
        2/15/19 $14,500 5,378 4.2 4G/A BlackLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
        2/14/19 $14,500 6,931 4.3 4G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastPalm Beach
        2/14/19 $15,250 7,002 4.4 4G/A GrayLeaseWest CoastSouthern California
        2/14/19 $13,7002 0,495 4.4 4G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastAtlanta
        2/13/19 $14,300 6,488 4.5 4G/A BlackLeaseMidwestKansas City
        2/13/19 $15,200 *165.0 4G/A WhiteFactoryWest CoastRiverside
        2/13/19 $14,600 12,044 3.9 4G/A RedLeaseSouthwestDallas
        2/12/19 $14,700 6,531 4.2 4G/A GrayLeaseMidwestOhio
        2/11/19 $12,600 10,972 4.9 4G/A BlueLeaseSoutheastNorth Carolina
        2/8/19 $13,500 10,186 4.1 4G/A SilverLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
        2/7/19 $13,800 23,184 4.8 4G/A BlackLeaseSoutheastMississippi
        2/7/19 $14,300 12,179 4.0 4G/A GrayLeaseWest CoastPhoenix
        2/7/19 $14,200 13,813 4.4 4G/A BlueLeaseSouthwestTexas Hobby
        2/7/19 $13,700 24,793 4.6 4G/A RedLeaseSoutheastTampa
        2/6/19 $14,000 20,655 4.5 4G/A WhiteLeaseSoutheastCentral Florida
        2/6/19 $12,800 27,052 3.3 4G/A BlackRegularMidwestMilwaukee

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Here in the GTA ..An 89 Hyundai is going to cost some serious money to make it thought the stringent and mandatory safety check required at ownership transfer . As is ,on a trade in , maybe 2 K ? Retail certified and E tested 7-8 K CAN. Nearly 50 years of Canadian driving tells me, “don’t spend a dime you don’t have to on a 10 year old car with over 100 KLMs”

      My advice for what its worth, add oil as needed . Just think, all that oil spraying around the undercarriage might just slow the enviable rust.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        ““don’t spend a dime you don’t have to on a 10 year old car with over 100 KLMs””

        For the most part that advice is outdated by about 2 decades, although in truly high salt areas, unless you undercoat, it might still apply to certain cars. I’ve seen cases of subframes rotting out on ’06-’08 cars in Western NY.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Used car prices are generally much higher in Canada than in the USA.

      Asking prices in the GTA for a 2009 Santa Fe range from about $4,700 to nearly $9,000.

      https://www.autotrader.ca/cars/hyundai/santa%20fe/2009/on/toronto/

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ Arthur Daily ..To fetch 9.000 the Santa Fe would need to be low KLM’s and annually rust sprayed .

        @gtem Our climate is very similar to western NY, with slightly colder temps, and less snow. They don’t even bring the plows out for a a light snow. Instead they spread copious amounts of salt , and brine. As a consequence, a 10 year old untreated unibody vehicle is reaching the end of its life.

        A vehicle that won’t pass a safety check, is essentially scrap metal.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Depends on a few factors. How much do you owe on it? If you are in the ditch and will be rolling negative equity equal to the $1500, than fix it. If not trading on a new(er) unit of similar size would not be necessarily inappropriate.

    Since you say it is leaking, clean up the engine compartment before you bring it in. No used car manager on the planet spends more than 5 minutes on a trade evaluation so they won’t know it is leaking and let them deal with it.

    FWIW
    A $1500 repair on a 10 year old car is not really all that out of line. As it was noted on this site a few years ago, you have to rich to drive old cars. If you are not in a position where a random $1500 repair causes major heartache than leasing a new car may be a better option to ensure ones sanity and long term automotive stress levels are kept in check, guaranteed cost of ownership/rentership kind of thing.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …A $1500 repair on a 10 year old car is not really all that out of line. As it was noted on this site a few years ago, you have to rich to drive old cars…

      No, you don’t need to be rich, you need to be smart, have mechanical aptitude, tools, and a place to work. I’ve only had two new cars in my life. And those two new cars only amount to 85k of a total of 750K of driving. New cars are way more costly – I made the choice to limit such expenses in order to retire well before sixty years of age. If you are stuck paying a wrench to change light bulbs and water pumps, you have to know when to bail on paying somebody for such repairs and replace the car. You still will save, just not as much as I did. I chuckle at work when I hear “I need the reliability of a new car” or “my daughter must be in a new car for fear of breakdowns”. I ask them what makes them think a car becomes a repair pit after 50K? I get putting your crash prone teenager in a car with current safety, but that is not the argument they make. I’d have a lot more respect if they just said that they wanted new and not make BS reasons to justify it.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I’m paraphrasing the old article referenced above, but you do need to have some money to buy tools, to have the free time to learn mechanical aptitude, and especially to have a place to work. That doesn’t mean you need to be ‘rich’ but it’s not as simple as saying “I did it so anyone can do it” or dismissing the reliability of a new car. I personally won’t get fired if I miss a day of work because my car wouldn’t start and I have it up on ramps in my garage. Can everyone say the same? I think not.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Jack4x, that was sort of my point. I believe the JB piece used the term rich, so I went with it.

          @golden…I get it. My two DD’s are an 05′ and an 08′. To my benefit I have a garage, a lifetime of tools (albeit Harbor Freight I don’t wrench for a living), and some mechanical aptitude so old(er) rides don’t bother me. Jack4x is 100% correct that some people need a new car to prevent job loss etc in the event of a breakdown, that is a fact of life.

          Now, not to my benefit…I am screwed when it comes to my computer or cell phone acting up. I am useless with electronics….

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            It is getting more difficult with the ever increasing complexity but then again, reliability is also increasing, at least during the model years being discussed. I do get that most have no interest in wrenching on their cars – I feel the exact way about gardening and yardwork and my lawn reflects that. But my humble opinion is that many bring up being stranded by a used car as an excuse. My MTBNS (Mean time between no start) is somewhere in the 160-170K mile range and most were Consumer’s “black dot ” cars. Hardly something to get concerned about. Yes my cars are well maintained and I replace things like hoses before they break but I am not a pro by any stretch…so if somebody wants a new car, go for it. Just don’t kid yourself by thinking you are coming out ahead. When I bought my last new car I knew it would cost me. But I wanted it and bought it. No regrets.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I’m with you golden2huskey, I’ve owned many older cars, most with over 100k, and many with over 200k. Yeah, I’ve had some that royally screwed me over ( Chrysler Concorde), but I usually get a lot of good service out of them. I am also no professional, but I’ve taught myself a lot over the years and have come to the point to where I can usually pick a car that will be good to me so long as I’m good to it.

            I’m decidedly not rich, but I tend to make it work.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            It’s not just no-starts, although that is the easiest example. I absolutely hate the word “privilege” in the context it’s usually used these days, but the very fact that you mention having a yard (presumably with your own driveway and garage) and replacing hoses on a set schedule puts you on the privileged side of things. I get it, I work on my cars as much as I can too and I would call myself privileged to both know how to do so and be able to. It does undoubtedly save money, at the cost of time. But there are 100 million people in this country that wouldn’t know how to replace a hose if you pointed it out to them under the hood, let alone having the time, space, or inclination to do it themselves. That goes double for any repairs that are more involved than loosening a couple hose clamps.

            Replacing a gasket for $25 at home is one thing, but when a shop charges $1500 for the same thing, and 95% of people out there need to bite the bullet and pay it without knowing when the next $1500 might hit, the comfort of a warranty in exchange for a set monthly payment starts to look more and more attractive.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        You also have to consider what goes wrong and when. On my previous car, one morning it would not start. The engine turned over fine, but would not fire. I had to have it towed and got a ride to work. Turns out the fuel pump had failed. It’s mounted on top of the fuel tank. I have no ability to drain a fuel tank and then drop it. I have nothing to drain the gas into, and I can’t get it high enough in the air to drop the tank.

        There are lots of things I could and did do, brake, struts, a motor mount, and for that matter, the timing belt. But particularly with newer cars, you sometimes need a lift to do certain repairs.

        Also, carmakers are increasingly cramming more stuff into less space and you have to half disassemble the vehicle to replace things. if you’re not fairly skilled and familiar with your car, this can drag things out.

        When things fail count as well. That same previous car developed a misfire at about 95,000 miles. I guessed it was the coils, but it was Sunday afternoon and no one was open that had them. I still had to get to work, so I limped down the road Monday morning to my usual mechanic, who confirmed it was the coils and replaced them. Could I have done that myself? Sure, but I wouldn’t be able to get to it during the week, and I couldn’t drive it misfiring like that, it would have roasted the catalytic converters by the weekend. The alternative would have been to rent a car, and it was less expensive to pay the mechanic.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “I have nothing to drain the gas into”

          Doesn’t your neighborhood have gutters?

          Hehehe, I’m just KIDDING, folks! :P

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Many cars have access doors to the fuel pump, making the swap only a minor pain in the backside.
          Sometimes you have to cut your own access door, with a Dremel or something similar. Hey, it’s your car, and your mother isn’t telling you not to!
          Before shelling out a small fortune for a relatively minor repair, take a look at the enthusiast forums and how-to videos on Youtube. Pick up a Haynes manual. It will pay for itself on your first repair, and you will feel the satisfaction of having done it yourself.
          Men use their brains, muscles and tools.
          Women call a tow truck or their husband.
          (And a woman who knows how to use tools is rare, and very good to find!)

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “Men use their brains, muscles and tools.”

            Usually only after using their wangs to cause the problem that needs fixin’.

  • avatar
    deanst

    The car is really worth about $5000- assuming you disclose the problem. Any decent vehicle this size will likely cost over $200 / month to own. Make the repair and if you get a years worth of trouble free driving consider it a good investment.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      “if you get a years worth of trouble free driving consider it a good investment” IF, is a hidden cost word, to me anyway, I say find a cheap lease car that fits your needs with no money down! Most dealerships will advertise low lease payments but having to put down several thousand only increases that payment when you add it all up. You’ll have the peace of mind of a warranty and the safety of a newer car, if it turns out to be trouble free at end of lease, buy it!

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Can someone link me to one of these mythical fantastic lease deals? The best I’m seeing for something like a Tuscon (smaller than a Santa Fe) is $200/mo and $1900 down for 36 months. That’s $9200 over three years, plus expensive insurance. The OP’s Santa Fe could literally burn to the ground at the end of 3 years time and he’d still be ahead versus leasing.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          gtem, you nailed it. These lease “deals” are not deals at all. You still have to put a lot down, and make the monthly payments. You have to buy higher levels of insurance, and if you are leasing a cheap model solely on the low price you are likely compromising on what you want to drive anyway. I’ll take the 5 year old car that I rather drive any day. Most don’t put the effort in to realize that after leasing for 15 years as opposed to two new cars over that same period you come out way ahead with the two purchased new cars, especially when you consider what your money can be doing for you when invested. The OP sounds like money is an issue so fixing the car is the smart move. If it needs a transmission in a year, you still had a year’s use of the car for $1500. That would buy what, 4-5 months of a lease….

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            2011 Sonata. Purchase price approximately $24,000.
            After 10 years will be lucky to get $1,000 based on the mileage and model.

            So $2,400 per year or $200 per month.
            Plus maintenance and repairs.

            For roughly the same monthly cost could have acquired a new Elantra or Jetta.

            I cost my vehicles per KM driven. Have been driving for over 40 years and over one million miles.

            Have owned and leased. Relatively recently based on my cost per km’s traveled leased a new vehicle rather than purchase.

            Our circumstances might be much different than others, but making blanket statements regarding used versus new or ownership versus lease or long term ownership till it falls apart are not truly useful. Everyone has different circumstances, requirements and ability to perform repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “2011 Sonata. Purchase price approximately $24,000.
            After 10 years will be lucky to get $1,000 based on the mileage and model.”

            I’m sorry you picked a vehicle with such horrendous depreciation?

            I likewise track my costs per mile. My “measuring stick” was my 2012 Civic that I was running at $.15 a mile (cost of depreciation and maintenance/repairs, excluding fuel and insurance). There is absolutely no way a leased car could achieve even those numbers, let alone if I owned the Civic for a longer length of time and put more miles on it for 10 years or so.

        • 0 avatar
          A Scientist

          Thank you (and no, I don’t understand this way of thinking either)

          • 0 avatar
            Mathias

            Leasehackr is a good site for deals, though CA centric. I am on my 3rd less of an MT Chevy Cruze, 24 mo 20k miles. The current one is 198/mo w tax, 0 down. The first one was 140. The middle one, they paid some of my tax and the car cost me nothing. I do have the old blue GM card, and they sent $2 or 3k my way on top of good incentives. Had I leased back to back without a short break, there’d have been another grand somewhere. Deals exist, but take work to find.
            Anyone owing money on a decade old car should rethink their life choices.
            Finally, dumping gallons of used motor oil into the ground should to save a few bucks is despicable. Fix it.

          • 0 avatar
            redgolf

            Mathias – that’s what I’m talking about, cheap lease, not on a cheaply made car, I leased a Cruze also in 2014, well built, no problems, zero down, new,safe, no break down repair worries! NO dumping oil on the ground!!! Leasing a Buick Encore now with only 20 k miles on it with 9 months to go on a 39k lease, I’ll probably buy it, for $13 k at eol, great car

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            redgolf, now find a midsize crossover with AWD that fits three child seats across for that same low lease payment.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          This, times a million. Mark Baruth was a great one for quoting these super cheap lease deals, but I never could find anyone actually offering them.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem: the ‘magic’ of Honda and/or Toyota ownership. Lower depreciation. And possibly lower maintenance costs.

            However this usually also comes with higher acquisition costs.

            However a ‘cheap’ $200 per month lease, with a 96,000kms allowance and minimal maintenance (oil changes only) does work out to a comparable cost, however per km.

            The cheapest per mile cost I have had was with a 1982 Civic bought new. But then it cost around $7k. Of the next 2 least expensive per km, one was purchased new and the other was leased.

            And if you ran that Honda for 10 more years, then the eventual repair costs would most likely start to escalate in the last few years of ownership. Cars like humans do not have a linear graph when it comes to health/repair costs. The majority of cost occurs during the last few years of their lifespan.

            The trade in market for high mileage manual transmission Sonatas is not ‘buoyant’. Which is why I will run it, for as long as is economically feasible.

          • 0 avatar
            redgolf

            gtem – you’re probably right on “finding an AWD that fits 3 child seats across” for a low lease, ya want big it’s gonna cost ya! I therefore recommend a good used Panther! I bought one in 2010, a 95 Merc. Grand Marque, a true “Granny car”, rust free Tennesse car with only 54K miles, when the Granny’s son pulled it out of his garage that it was stored in I couldn’t believe my eyes! everything still worked including the air,cruise, and cassette. I paid a firm $2700 for it, put on a new set of Michelins, front brakes and a few hundred for front end work! Drove it for 5 years then sold it with 124K miles for $2200, the buyer was willing to pay my asking price of $2500, I gave him back $300 to get a trans flush and rear brake Job! They really are great cars, had to move on though, I’m always looking.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            redgolf, why would the OP ever consider going from a 10 year old AWD three row crossover to an even older RWD panther-platform car with known poor side impact safety? All over an oil leak? You’re not making a bit of sense.

        • 0 avatar
          mittencuh

          I’ve leased quite a few cars and while you can absolutely get amazing deals, generally not on an SUV that everybody wants. Exception is at the end of the year which is all my leases end on 12/31.

  • avatar
    formula m

    I would sell it and look for the best first gen Toyota Highlander you can find in your price range. It may have 200,000kms but in general they last longer than any other vehicle in the segment

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      This was my initial response but then remembered that i have a friend who sold his first gen highlander because it did not safely fit 3 car seats in the middle row.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      As overbuilt as those 1st gen Highlanders are (the last of the “Golden Age” Toyotas IMO), trading in a low mileage Hyundai on a high mileage Highlander of unknown provenance just strikes me as silly.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Keep adding oil until it gets to leaking >1 liter per tank of fuel, at which point it becomes a reliability issue. At the current leak rate of 1 liter/1400km plus $5/liter and 20,000km/year this will cost about $70/year, much cheaper than your $1500 repair.

    Get into the habit of checking oil at EVERY fuel fill up, in case the leak gets worse suddenly.

    I assume the repair cost is for replacing the gasket. Perhaps you could get someone to check/correct the timing chain cover fastener tightness instead of replacing the gasket? This should be a lot cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      From a quick gander at forums, this oil leak (often misdiagnosed as valve cover leaks, which also afflict this engine) will eventually get on the alternator and ruin it. So simply ignoring it is not a viable long term strategy.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        A 10 year old Hyundai isn’t a viable long term strategy, and doubly so if you don’t wrench yourself. These cars are pieces of chit. Source: I owned a NF Sonata which is mechanically the same thing, and it was a POS.

        A reman alternator is under $150 from Rock Auto, it isn’t very hard to get at so even paying someone to put it on for you you’re still probably out the door under $350. $350 eventually beats $1500 today.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          ” it isn’t very hard to get at so even paying someone to put it on for you you’re still probably out the door under $350. ”

          I put a reman Denso unit in a friend’s 190k mile FJ Cruiser last summer, local mom and pop shop quoted him $750 with labor. A coworker spent $900 having an alternator put in his ’11 Town and Country recently (it’s a pretty easy DIY in both cases). Unless OP has the time/tools/skills to DIY, or has a friend or connection to a cheap under-the-table sort of mechanic, he’s not getting an alternator replaced for $350 anywhere. And then you’re still risking stranding your spouse with 3 kids in the car every 30k miles for another oily alternator.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            I’m operating under the assumption that there will be enough additional repair work in the near future that the owner will throw the towel in before the first replacement alternator is used up.

            There’s a reason that 00s Hyundais cost thousands less than everything else.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          I would strongly recommend only buying a name brand alternator. The cheap no name ones aren’t worth the boxes they come in.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Absolutely. It’s become a whole science of wading through awful aftermarket parts, and even “brand names” like Delco and Remy vary in quality depending on whether it is a new-made-in-China part, or a older made in USA that has been reman-ed in Mexico (using Chinese bearings and brushes). Total crapshoot, but the easy guideline is avoid the suspiciously cheap stuff.

  • avatar
    gtem

    One aspect no one has asked about yet: at 117k KM and a second owner car, is the car outside of the factory powertrain warranty range? I assume it is but worth asking.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Did MY 2009 Hyundais have the 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty? That would be 161km. Assuming it’s transferable, this would be a warranty claim.

      EDIT: Answered my own question – it’s the original owner only; not transferable. The powertrain warranty started with the 2004 models, BTW.

      https://m.hyundaiusa.com/warranty_backup.html

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Used H/K cars come with 5/60 warranty on the powertrain. This one is out of warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        In Canada the warranty applies to the vehicle not the owner, so it is fully transferred.

        However Canadians get ‘ripped’ due to the metric system. Except for Mitsubishi the longest warranties (Hyundia/Kia) are for a maximum of 100,000kms and 7 years.

  • avatar
    arach

    Cant you just do what we used to do?

    Switch to thicker oil and dump in a bunch of “stop leak”?

    #Not really recommending it, but oddly that use to work wonders on our old dodges…

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I would just fix it and continue on with it.

    The only problem with the Crown Vic is that it will fold up like a wet taco on a side impact.

    Go watch the Mythbusters episode with the surf board flying off the roof. They hit the side at city speeds and it wasn’t good for the Panther.

    • 0 avatar
      cimarron typeR

      Or find J Baruths article on this site , regarding his T bone accident that broke his wife’s hip.I vote get another estimate to and fix it.This looks like a repair that will be easy to know if it’s completed properly.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Later models with side impact airbags are a bit safer, but still. If you go Panther go Marquis. Old cop cars can have a ton of hidden expensive faults.

      Either fix the Hyundai for $1500, or risk a CVPI that’ll need a timing chain, transmission, rust repair, wiring work, and it’ll be over priced because flippers.

      I say this as someone with a CVPI thats served me well despite some rust trouble.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    I would get 2 other quotes/opinions. Not all shops quote the same way.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I know an old fix for the Taurii of yore (leaking oil pan gasket due to gasket failure/being squished out) was to clean the area and then to gently push silicone into the opening. Turned a huge repair into an hour labor plus materials.. See if this will work on your car and if someone can do it.. Might be worthwhile.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I don’t know if they still offer it, but I think it was Permatex that used to offer a spray silicone sealer. You have to clean the area very very well but then spray away your leak from the outside. Not necessarily a forever repair but enough to kick the problem down the road another year or two.

  • avatar
    4drSedan

    Worth fixing and driving for at least another five years…especially if it is an AWD (Canada).

    I’d try to seal it from the outside as mentioned above to see what that does.

    And in the off chance you’re in Ottawa and feeling adventurous, go here, and do it yourself, with their tools and floor lift…https://diygarageottawa.ca/

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I say repair it and run it until it no longer meets your needs, or has a *real* expensive issues, like transmission failure, etc.

    I dont get the “buy an old Crown Vic” solution. It’s still just another used car that might need tires and brakes soon, if that’s all you’re worried about.

  • avatar
    VWGTI

    Fix it and drive it. You can’t replace the car for $1500. The oil leak will get worse and is a fire hazard. Don’t use any ‘stop-leak’ additives- they’re mostly kerosene which causes the all of the seals to swell. Problem is, they never stop swelling and wearing out much faster. I don’t even want to think about how much a complete seal replacement job would cost.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yep. If the car’s solid otherwise, and not disintegrating like Arthur Dailey’s Buick, it’s not a bad investment. But I’m not sure about the not disintegrating part, seems like the Koreans still don’t quite have their act together.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Yes, fix it and drive it (assuming the rest of the car is reasonable). Other upcoming costs — brakes, tires etc. — don’t enter into it, since any used car replacement will be subject to the same considerations, as well as to the same risks of major repair.

    And get it done before the oil leak kills that alternator.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    http://www.caranddriver.com/news/a25645830/hyundai-elantra-million-miles/
    I’m not a KDM loyalist, but alot of us differ in this opinion

  • avatar
    DougD

    +1 if you like it fix it and drive it. Shop around for a better deal on the leak repair. 117K is not that much, particularly since its kilometers. You won’t get a better vehicle for your trade plus $1,500

    Krown rustproof it if you want to keep it for several years. We Canadian skew more to the pragmatic end of the scale so just be normal and do what works.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Fix it. Provided it’s in decent shape. 73K miles and $1150 US it’s an easy decision to repair instead of replacing. I’d expect a minimum of 200,000 miles service life provided maintenance is completed regularly.

    Allowing it to continue to leak is folly.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    It’s new and nice enough to be worth fixing, get that taken care of and budget for future work. All cars are going to need work in due time.

    You can either pay $1500 to fix it, or take a $2000 loss and pay more for another car.

  • avatar
    millerluke

    Dang, that’s a lot of response! Thanks B&B! I’m the OP, and as it turns out, the oil level barely moves when the weather’s cool (which, being winter, is every day!) Gone almost 3 months without having to add any oil at all. Also, got a new job which pays a (really good) car allowance, so, I get a new car, my wife gets to drive the kids around in the Santa Fe. During the warmer weather, they walk everywhere, so between the extra allowance and the fact the SF’s not moving much, looks like it’s getting repaired in the spring.

    Also, the price for the repair includes the timing chain cover gasket, along with a few other gaskets on parts that need removed to get at it. This, by the way, is not the recalled valve cover gasket that leaks onto the alternator – that one’s already been done before I bought the car. And, the estimate is in line with what another shop would charge anyway, so it seems not outrageous.

    Most of the rest of the vehicle seems okay, save for a recurring CEL (small evap system leak) and it’s been Krowned, so it should be decent for a few more years, I hope. Thanks for the help and advice!

  • avatar
    Promezeus

    Wait till they tell you that you need to change out the Power Steering Pump. That’s another $1,500.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Are you sure it’s leaking that much oil? What if it’s burning 3/4 of a liter and only leaking 1/4 of a liter in that time? Wouldn’t you feel annoyed if you paid for the repair and things didn’t change much?

    Is there any documentation proving this particular gasket is really the cause?

  • avatar
    HaveNissanWillTravel

    Our ‘11 Quest SV is kicking alive and well with over 200k. At 160 the CVT started acting up and we as a family of 6 had a choice. Buy a used van with unknowns, by a new van setting us back at least $35k for the same quality, look and feel and equipment and power, or replace the CVT at $3500.

    From 5 feet away the van looked new, still almost does. The interior was scuff free and due to dads’ (me) diligence in keeping it clean and tidy still looks good.

    We decided to keep her and except for that CVT and brakes front and rear a couple of times and an AC recharge and tires it has been trouble-free.

    Sometimes when you know what you have is good, just replace what is in need of repair and move on. I mean, a 200k mile minivan doesn’t exactly fetch top dollar at trade in.

    But we still love the damn thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Way to go.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      My brother put a reman CVT in his wife’s 2010 Rogue that had 186k miles at the time of failure. Dealer cost to R&R was something like $4k so he decided to swap it himself, I think it ended up being $2k and change after getting the $800 core charge back. Anyone paying dealer prices would have probably junked the car. A 186k mile Rogue with a busted CVT is worth basically scrap, so it was worth it to them to put $2k in and my sister in law is back on the road and rolled up to 210k now 2 years later (much shorter commute now), car runs strong.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      one big reason I wouldn’t touch a Nissan – the CVT, $3500 ? hope ya get another 100k out of it!

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    I just updated my google sheet with the latest partial cost of ownership for our 2006 Odyssey LX. It is for the initial purchase cost, maintenance and repairs, including taxes. It doesn’t include insurance nor fuel.

    We’ve had the van now for 54 months (4.5 years) and the cost of ownership divided by 54 equals 320.79 CAD. That’s our monthly payment, if you will. Of course the van is paid for but it gives some perspective.

    If we were to finance a 2019 Odyssey LX it would be 610 CAD every month… for 84 months (7 years).

    If I extrapolate our current cost of ownership to 84 months, the cost is 260 CAD per month. Bear in mind this includes two sets of tires, several 500 CAD+ repairs, Weathertech floor mats and an upgraded head unit.

    So yeah, 260 vs 610. The new van is more than twice as expensive as the used van, AND after the warranty period you need to factor in repairs.

    For a middle class family, the 350 CAD saved monthly is the difference between having a college fund and not having a college fund. I’ll take the college fund.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Of course the point I am making (and that I made earlier in other posts) is that even with expensive repairs you still come out way ahead by keeping and fixing a car. Up to its reasonable service life, and that varies from one set of circumstances to another.

  • avatar
    James Charles

    1. He likes the car (it’s ideal for his current situation)
    2. He hasn’t much cash, and
    3. Selling will and replacing will possibly deliver a new set of potential costly issues.

    He must of had the car long enough to know/feel/sense of any new noises, vibrations, odd behaviour, etc. Research common faults for the vehicle on the net. Ask a trusted (mechanically minded) person to take it for a drive (not just around the block) to provide input. Evaluate.

    You’ll more than likely get the car fixed, keep it for a few more years until your family grows out of it and replace, or keep it as a second car as the probability of it still functioning economically is good ….. If you maintain it.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I’d snug up any timing chain cover bolts I can access, put some cardboard on the garage floor, and keep adding oil.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      and maybe put some zip zorb or kitty litter on the floor also, to keep you and the wife and kids from slippin! all guest must enter from the front door, preventing lawsuits!

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Is it normal for your guests to enter through the garage door and crawl under a vehicle to get inside the house? That sort of thing isn’t common around here, but clearly I’m not as sophisticated as you. I’m also in Canada, so I’ve never had to suffer your paranoia about lawsuits from family and friends.

        I’ve stopped leaks in oil pans, transmission pans, timing covers, and valve covers just by tightening the bolts. They’re often no more than finger tight at that point. Such compressible gaskets occasionally need to be re-compressed a bit. I would be surprised if most of the bolts aren’t reasonably accessible with the right tools.

        Tools and motor oil aren’t as scary as you think.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Fix it.

    The whole idea that one should maybe get rid of a good car over a repair it clearly needs, is, to me, unsettling. Fix the damn car. It’s taking care of you and your children.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    The problem with perpetually fixing an out of warranty car is that a) it’s expensive and b) if the mechanic’s diagnosis and repair was incorrect and incomplete, you usually end up paying for the NEXT repair for the SAME problem once you realize the first one didn’t fix everything. That’s a particularly likely, vexing, and expensive problem where engine oil leaks are concerned, based on my experience with a V6 Passat. Only 65k miles on the thing and it cost me more to own than the brand new car that replaced it.

    If I were this guy, I’d be torn too: grab your ankles and get it fixed, or steam-clean the engine compartment and immediately swap the thing for the cheapest late-model factory-warranteed people mover in town: maybe a year-old Hertz Caravan/Journey or something. If it’s a choice between nearly-new garbage with no problems and a great warranty and a low price, and old garbage with problems and no warranty and pretty good trade equity still, well…the new garbage looks pretty good.

    I”m told 75k miles is kind of a make-or-break point for trades: below that, it can still be sold at a nice markup at a new car dealer’s used-car section, and after that it can’t, so trade-in value takes a dump. So 73k mi is decide-now time.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    I should say: a lot depends on how much you like the car. If you love it, you’ll keep it even when you shouldn’t. If you hate it, you’ll trade it even when you shouldn’t. And on how much you trust its future: e.g. in my experience German cars are durable but not reliable (they’ll look and work like new as long as you keep spending dough replacing things), Japanese cars are reliable but not durable (they’ll keep running fine but normal parking lot use will dimple the car like an asteroid belt and the exhaust system will rust to dust every couple of years), and Korean and American cars are neither (best if you like to lease or trade often). But I realize those are pretty gross generalizations, especially these days.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Trade it for whatever 4Runner you can afford


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