Originally Posted by bhbh
1. Is it standard to check a timing belt on an oil change? I thought this part was something that was hard to get at so why would they be checking it so early?
2. Should I get a second opinion? If so should I go to a dealership or an independent garage? Should I tell them I’ve been told I need a timing belt or just see if they tell me I do?
3. Would something like this be covered by the warranty if I need it done so early? Could I get it done by the warranty if I do it before its technically 4 years old?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
1. No, it is not standard procedure to check the timing belt at an oil change.
2. Yes. Personally, I'd find a good independent garage vs. the dealership.
3. No. A timing belt change is routine maintenance. Not covered by warr.
From what I can gather, the consensus seems to be to change the HD Elantra timing belt around 80k miles. That makes sense. Most cars fall into that general range and that is a reasonable life expectancy for the belt. You can probably go longer than that, but the consequences of a broken belt are so high that you'd be foolish to do so. Check your owner's manual, though. I'd replace using the manual's mileage recommendation. The timing belt was just done on my 09 at 80,500.
Now, if a car gets old enough, technically there is a time interval for TB change. For instance, you buy a brand new car, you park it in a cave, you drag it out 30 years later with 15 miles on it. Yeah, you probably need to change the timing belt, because it's probably brittle from age, not miles. But the whole age thing is a lot more nebulous and hard to pin down than mileage. It's pretty easy to establish with a fair degree of certainty how much wear 80,000 miles puts on a timing belt. It's not so cut and dried how much a belt deteriorates with a few years of time and low miles.
Myself, I'd pay a LOT more attention to miles than time when deciding when to replace the TB. Now obviously, if you're talking a LONG time with low miles, you would consider it. My opinion, if I owned your car, I probably wouldn't do the TB yet. Just my opinion.
Anecdote: In the early 2000's I owned a pristine Audi 4000 quattro 5-cylinder. I left it running at a convenience store one day and ran inside to pay for some gas. When I came out less than a minute later, the car was not running. Crank crank crank no start. What the ****? Well, being an Audi of that vintage, it could be anything. Turns out the timing belt snapped at idle with no load on it, just sitting there at idle. It must have been ready to go at any second for a while. The car had somewhere north of 100k on it, and I bought it from the original owner. Probably the original belt from 1985-2002. So yeah, with a fair amount of miles, and being 15+ years old, it snapped. Fortunately, the A4kq had a non-interference engine, and no damage was done. Your Hyundai is different. Your belt snaps, you are toast. So the stakes are a lot higher, which leads me to anecdote #2...
Anecdote #2: My mother had a 1985 Honda Civic wagon with AWD. Cool little car in it's day. I harped on her to change the timing belt when the time came. She was low on money as a single parent, so she put it off. One day at around 130k miles, the belt snapped in a rough part of Philadelphia. She had to drive a hundred yards to get to a safe place to pull over, with the car running like dog doo. Needless to say, the engine was destroyed. Huge money to replace the engine, thousands of dollars. The lesson here is that if you don't have $500 to replace the timing belt on an interference engine, you SURE don't have $3000 to replace your entire engine. Find the $500.