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We have a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SE with the 3.3L V6 Lambda engine. We bought the car brand new in May 2016, and it has about 31,000 miles on the odometer. I've always done the oil changes at the dealership and brought my oil. Since new, I used Mobil 1 5w-30 EP in the engine and did the first oil change at 4100 miles. Last year the dealership changed its policy, no longer allowing customers to bring their own oil. I was hesitant but needed to change my oil, so I used their oil. They claimed it was Pennzoil Platinum 5w30. I was a busy time in our life, so we did about 7500 miles on that oil change. I looked at the oil cap and oil filler hole and noticed some brown varnish, possibly oxidation. Sure enough, I decided against going back to the dealership ever again for an oil change. After reading so many good things about Pennzoil on this forum, I doubt that I really got Pennzoil from our Hyundai dealership. I ordered Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5w-30 on Amazon and did the next oil change at home (bought a nice torque wrench as well - Craftsman). My wife put about 2000 miles on the Pennzoil Ultra Platinum, and I decided to change the oil again, to completely clean out the crud that the dealership put in. Because I saw what a great job Castrol Edge did cleaning the engine in my 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the 2.4L, I decided to switch her car to Castrol Edge Extended Performance 5w-30. I also installed a Votex DP001 magnetic drain plug in her Santa Fe SE. Anyway, the startup noise that you're about to hear in the YouTube video bellow started happening even before I began doing our own oil changes. I am wondering if anyone else here that owns a KIA or Hyundai with the 3.3L V6 Lambda engine has or is currently experiencing this. It sounds like a timing chain rattle due to a bad tensioner. It only happens after the vehicle has been off for many many hours. From my research, it seems that this happens when the teeth on the tensioner are ground, and once the tensioner is drained of oil, the teeth can't keep tension on the timing chain any longer. Notice that the rattle happens right after ignition, once the engine starts turning on its own. Your input is more than welcome. I am sorry if my post is a bit longer, but I tried to offer the entire maintenance history of this vehicle as far as oil changes are concerned. However, I don't believe that the issue at hand is due to oil changes, especially since most of the time we went with 5000-mile to 6000-mile drain intervals.

 

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I think this has been covered, unless your "ticking" noise on startup is different.
Direct injected engines tick, instead of roughly 40-50 psi coming out of the fuel injector on a port injection engine,
direct injection is closer to 2,000 psi. Its normal IF this is what you are hearing?

I guarantee, others will chime in!
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sadly, I'm not talking about the sound that the injectors make due to this engine being GDI. I bought my first Hyundai in 2007, and in 2010 I got my first Sonata with the 2.4 GDI engine, so I am familiar with the noise.

My wife starts the car at 0:48 in the video - just click on the link. Immediately after ignition, there is a rattle that goes away in about a second. It sounds like a loose timing chain that grinds against something or rattles. This happens when the car has been off for several hours, let's say for 8 hours or more. I suspect that the oil drains out of the tensioner and the teeth on the tensioner are ground and can't keep the pressure on the timing chain anymore. Maybe someone with more experience or a Hyundai/KIA tech can chime in. My mother has the same vehicle with 22,000 miles on it, same model year, it's identical. I never hear hers making this rattle. Before that, my father had a 2013 Santa Fe with the 3.3L V6 Lambda GDI, it never rattled. I just have a bad feeling about this as I really don't want the dealership to take apart the engine cover and whatnot. Thanks to everyone who chimes in.

[Edit]

To see what I'm talking about when it comes to timing chain tensioners on these engines, look at the following video please:
 

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You're under warranty. Go to another dealer if your current one isn't proving the level of service you expect.
 

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This guy has posted this on several different forums. He has been told it's normal but doesn't like the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This guy has posted this on several different forums. He has been told it's normal but doesn't like the answer.
Thank God I got you to follow me around the Internet, I don't know what I would do without you. I posted the question on BITOG as well hoping someone would know the answer. "This is normal" is not an explanation. If you don't want to help it's fine, but don't come here with BS about me posting this on several forums. I am concerned and I'm trying to find an explanation, but I believe that you have a bigger issue because you're stalking me around the web. Jesus...
 

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I just talked to a Hyundai tech, and this isn't normal. I dropped off the vehicle and I'll update this thread with their findings. Thanks to everyone who contributed so far.
 

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I just talked to a Hyundai tech, and this isn't normal. I dropped off the vehicle and I'll update this thread with their findings. Thanks to everyone who contributed so far.
Your Hyundai Tech hasn't seen very many 3.3's if he says it isn't normal.

Nobody is stalking you dude...it's two forums.
 

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Your Hyundai Tech hasn't seen very many 3.3's if he says it isn't normal.

Nobody is stalking you dude...it's two forums.
I know this dealership pretty well. They didn't have any more used Santa Fe with the 3.3L for sale (they had a few) so I could compare them, but I started up two Genesis G70s with the 3.3L TGDI engine. No rattle at all. Anyway, that's anecdotal. They have several techs over there, and some of them have several decades of experience. I'll wait until tomorrow to see what they say. The tech I spoke to today said that it does it because the oil drains into the pan over several hours completely and the top part of the engine needs lubrication at startup, but that it shouldn't be this loud. Whatever they say, I will update this thread with their findings. I seriously hope that it's nothing serious, and more than anything, that it falls into the "this is normal" category because I don't want anyone poking around our engine. No matter how good dealership mechanics are, they're always pressed by time. Thanks for your reply.
 

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Well, not sure what they'll end up finding. For what it's worth I've never heard anything like that rattling bit in your sound clip coming from my 2017 Santa Fe on starting. Good luck with the resolution.
 

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I recently bought a 2012 Santa Fe with the 3.5L. It only has 17,900 miles on it. So far no "rattle" at start-up. I'll be switching over to synthetic oil. Is this a common issue with the Lambda engines?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, not sure what they'll end up finding. For what it's worth I've never heard anything like that rattling bit in your sound clip coming from my 2017 Santa Fe on starting. Good luck with the resolution.
It's only making that sound when it's been off for many hours. In the clip, it was off for 17 hours. At first I thought it was a bad tensioner, but it could be a part that's not getting proper lubrication at first. I'm curious what the dealership comes up with.

I recently bought a 2012 Santa Fe with the 3.5L. It only has 17,900 miles on it. So far no "rattle" at start-up. I'll be switching over to synthetic oil. Is this a common issue with the Lambda engines?
My father had a 2012 Santa Fe with the 3.5L engine that he bought in 2012 brand new. It was heavily discounted because Hyundai just launched the new Santa Fe lineup, so he got it cheap. I believe it was something like $19K out the door. Never had an issue with that car or the engine, well, except when he tried to go up on a very steep hill, like 45 degrees or more, and the transmission wouldn't let him, lol. Back then we were all using Mobil 1 in every vehicle. Mobil 1 isn't what it used to be, as these days Shell and Castrol both make oils as good or better than Exxon Mobil. We ran 5W-30 in that 2012 Santa Fe because we live in NC, so the climate here is warm. If I had that engine now, I would run Rotella Gas Truck 5W-30 in it or Castrol 0W-40 if the warranty is not a concern. Actually, if you look up the international owner's manual in PDF format, you're likely to find that Hyundai allows 0/5W-40 for that engine everywhere in the world but the U.S. Though 5W-40 is too thick for my taste, while 0W-40 is just a hair thicker than 5W-30. If you want something that's more of a 0W-30, run Mobil 1 0W-40, as it will shear down to a 0W-30 in no time. Your engine is MPI, so all the above oils will do a great job protecting it. I'm not a fan of xW-20 oils, as they turn to water when hot. I'm not a fan of thick oils either, so I mostly use 5W-30 or 0W-40 on about everything. I wish we had a decent 0W-30 here in the U.S., but we don't. Mobil 1 AFE 0W-30 is so-so. Anyway, enjoy your new ride, congratulations on the super low mileage, and don't stress over it. I'm reasonably sure that it's something either related to the timing or in one of the cylinder heads. I will update this thread as soon as I know something.
 

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It's only making that sound when it's been off for many hours. In the clip, it was off for 17 hours. At first I thought it was a bad tensioner, but it could be a part that's not getting proper lubrication at first. I'm curious what the dealership comes up with.



My father had a 2012 Santa Fe with the 3.5L engine that he bought in 2012 brand new. It was heavily discounted because Hyundai just launched the new Santa Fe lineup, so he got it cheap. I believe it was something like $19K out the door. Never had an issue with that car or the engine, well, except when he tried to go up on a very steep hill, like 45 degrees or more, and the transmission wouldn't let him, lol. Back then we were all using Mobil 1 in every vehicle. Mobil 1 isn't what it used to be, as these days Shell and Castrol both make oils as good or better than Exxon Mobil. We ran 5W-30 in that 2012 Santa Fe because we live in NC, so the climate here is warm. If I had that engine now, I would run Rotella Gas Truck 5W-30 in it or Castrol 0W-40 if the warranty is not a concern. Actually, if you look up the international owner's manual in PDF format, you're likely to find that Hyundai allows 0/5W-40 for that engine everywhere in the world but the U.S. Though 5W-40 is too thick for my taste, while 0W-40 is just a hair thicker than 5W-30. If you want something that's more of a 0W-30, run Mobil 1 0W-40, as it will shear down to a 0W-30 in no time. Your engine is MPI, so all the above oils will do a great job protecting it. I'm not a fan of xW-20 oils, as they turn to water when hot. I'm not a fan of thick oils either, so I mostly use 5W-30 or 0W-40 on about everything. I wish we had a decent 0W-30 here in the U.S., but we don't. Mobil 1 AFE 0W-30 is so-so. Anyway, enjoy your new ride, congratulations on the super low mileage, and don't stress over it. I'm reasonably sure that it's something either related to the timing or in one of the cylinder heads. I will update this thread as soon as I know something.
Thanks! I'm taking it to my favorite shop for the oil change. I'm also getting the transfer case and rear diff swapped over to synthetic. I think they use Mobil 1 or Valvoline. What are your thoughts on using "only" the Hyundai oil filter cartridge?
 

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I am having the same problem. I get the same noise after the SF sits for more then 2hours. I have tried changing oils, I have tried and additive. With the Lucas additive, It stayed quiet for about 2-3 days, then the rattle came back. I have not taken it to the dealer yet.
It has about 44k miles on it.. I am interested in what your dealer said.
Seems like a luck of the draw defect.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks! I'm taking it to my favorite shop for the oil change. I'm also getting the transfer case and rear diff swapped over to synthetic. I think they use Mobil 1 or Valvoline. What are your thoughts on using "only" the Hyundai oil filter cartridge?
Do Amsoil for the transmission, transfer case and rear diff. Your car will thank you. For the engine, use whatever gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. In that engine, I would use either Rotella Gas Truck 5W-30 or Castrol EDGE EP 5W-30, or Castrol Edge 0W-40 (this would be the best choice). Amsoil motor oil is overpriced. Their transmission and gear oil are awesome though and cheaper than OEM.

I am having the same problem. I get the same noise after the SF sits for more then 2hours. I have tried changing oils, I have tried and additive. With the Lucas additive, It stayed quiet for about 2-3 days, then the rattle came back. I have not taken it to the dealer yet.
It has about 44k miles on it.. I am interested in what your dealer said.
Seems like a luck of the draw defect.
So the Hyundai techs at the dealership agreed that there is a problem, they just aren't sure if it's a timing chain tensioner or a CVVT component. They're waiting on Hyundai to tell them what to do with the engine. Personally, I don't want someone else's engine that was overhauled. I much rather they just put a new timing kit in there and new CVVT assemblies and call it a day. I've seen this on Toyota V6 engines before and it's the CVVT assembly on the intake shaft, the inside mechanism wears out prematurely because ... it's made of **** metals, so when there is no more oil there until the pump kicks in, it eats itself up on the inside. One thing is for sure: these are our last Hyundais for good. I have yet to go with any Hyundai well past 30K miles and not have any issues with it. You really get what you pay for with these cars, and no matter what, Hyundai will never get their act together when it comes to drivetrain durability and engine metallurgy. The sad thing is that they drop in value like bricks, so we'll have to keep them for a while. It is what it is...
 

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Well, this is my 1st Hyundai, wont say my last. I haven't had too many issues. all depends on whats happening with the motor and the knock. Cant wait to hear what they say the exact problem with yours is, and what they will do to fix it.
Hopefully they just fix your engine, and not put in a rebuild.
 

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One thing is for sure: these are our last Hyundais for good. I have yet to go with any Hyundai well past 30K miles and not have any issues with it. You really get what you pay for with these cars, and no matter what, Hyundai will never get their act together when it comes to drivetrain durability and engine metallurgy. The sad thing is that they drop in value like bricks, so we'll have to keep them for a while. It is what it is...
I've owned a dozen or so different brand vehicles up to now from Ford to BMW and they all have their issues no matter what and the old addage "The devil you know" holds so true here. Just be carefull if you do decide to jump ship, for example beware of the Ford Edge water pump issue ($3000 - $5000) repair job, the Honda oil dilution problem and the Toyota Highlander transmission issues. Personally I would stick with Hyundai. Still the best bang for your buck and the warranty cannot be beat.
 

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Hyundai will never get their act together when it comes to drivetrain durability and engine metallurgy.
This would have been true about two decades ago, but not so much today. Indeed some of their 4-banger engines like to grenade themselves, so that's a thing. But as far as I'm aware, Hyundai doesn't have a systemic drivetrain problem.

Honda oil dilution problem
In my opinion, Honda is handling this problem very poorly. They say that corrections have been applied in new models; whether the problem is resolved remains to be seen.

Also the 10th generation 2.0T Accords have dangerous loss-of-power issues when driving in the rain, possibly due to water in the intercooler choking the engine.
the warranty cannot be beat.
Except maybe Mitsubishi with their 10-year standard warranty, but the general fit-and-finish of their current lineup is...
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Just be carefull if you do decide to jump ship, for example beware of the Ford Edge water pump issue ($3000 - $5000) repair job
It seems like Ford is the American Audi 🤣

Also the 10th generation 2.0T Accords have dangerous loss-of-power issues when driving in the rain, possibly due to water in the intercooler choking the engine.
I know for a fact that water sprayed on the intercooler helps performance, but I suspect that's not the case here, is it? So how the **** is water getting into the intercooler?

I'm still waiting on Hyundai to finish dragging their feet and make a decision on how to proceed with my engine repair. At this point, it's about as dumb as it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Well, this is my 1st Hyundai, wont say my last. I haven't had too many issues. all depends on whats happening with the motor and the knock. Cant wait to hear what they say the exact problem with yours is, and what they will do to fix it.
Hopefully they just fix your engine, and not put in a rebuild.
So far I got an answer on the BITOG forum, and it seems like a very reasonable one. I really appreciate the person that replied to me. I don't know what the linking to other forums policy is here, so I copied and pasted the entire post bellow. You can find the entire thread on BITOG by searching the same thread title as here. I hope this helps you. Thank you so much for trying to help me :)

I’ve seen people replace the tensioner with no resolution because it was a bad/stiff o-ring in the oil pump allowing air to be drawn into the oil before it's pumped into the engine, aerating the oil. Valvoline Maxlife (it is fine to use it it in newer cars) will soften it up, or use LiquiMoly Oil Saver or ATP-205 if you want quicker results or just changed your oil.

What also works is Archoil 9100 or LiquiMoly Ceratec. The nanoborate stays/plates on and lubricates well enough even with a defective oil pump o-ring during cold starts. Lasts 60k miles so it is cost effective.
Also, here is a second opinion from a comment on the YouTube video:

It's not the tensioner, if you go to Hyundai the tech can monitored the actual and desired Intake and exhaust CVVT values and you'll see them jump around on startup. Not a quick job but not hard. New chains with updated crank sprockets, new tensioners (not reusable once removed) and new intake and exhaust CVVTs will solve your issue
 
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