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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a 2011 Sonata and drove it home to Utah from the state of Missouri. I quite like the car, but I want to like it even more.

I picked it up from my boss who has a side business where he fixes up salvage title cars and re-sells them. This car was previously wrecked (hit in the back), but works perfectly; all the moving parts were not damaged.

First concern:
Coming home, I kept the cruise set about 80 the whole way coming across Nebraska & Wyoming and my mileage wasn't anywhere near what I expected it would be. When I researched the car, I saw that it's supposed to get up to 35 highway; this car isn't even close to that. It might hit that if you were coasting down a hill, but even on a flat run at 80 mph the instant mpg was saying 28ish. I know my car needs a service, but will that help? Also, are there other ways to increase the fuel economy of this car?

2nd concern:
The key is a "proximity" type key (I don't know the actual technical term for these); basically I get in the car and hit the start button to start the car, and it will only allow me to do this if the key is within the proximity of the car. My car only came with one when I bought it, is there a cheap way to get another? I feel like a dealer is going to want around $200 for one of these.

3rd concern:
The headlights seem to be aimed wrong, and me and my mechanic friend could not find a place to adjust these. The high beams are about perfect, but the low beam is the issue. When it's on low beam, I can't see crap. This is something I want to fix soon due to the safety factor.

So, overall I really do enjoy this ride, but like I said I want to like it more. What are some things I could do to this car to really get the most out of it?

Any advice will be welcomed/appreciated, thanks all!
 

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running 80 in any car will result in poor mileage. anyone who tells you different doesn't understand physics. the car will get 35 mpg's easily on the highway, just not at 80 mph. also, from Missouri to Utah, going thru Nebraska and Wyoming, you are constantly climbing in altitude, therefore, the engine is under constant load the entire trip. if you want to increase the fuel economy, slow down. again, law of physics.

proximity keys are programmed to each vehicle and i think the dealer is the only place i know of to get one....and $200 is on the low side.

i'm sure there are headlight adjustment screws someplace on the car. since hmaservice is now a paid site, i'm not going to send you there. others here might be able to help or search the forum. everything you wanted to know about the sonata is already posted here somewhere.

welcome to the boards
 

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Welcome to the forums. Enjoy your ride. :D

Now the fob $200 is about right my dealer charges $200 for the fob and programming so it's a fair price I would say.

Your headlights here is a pic of where it is on the headlight assembly. The screw is reachable by looking and aiming towards the front of the car.
 

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I picked it up from my boss who has a side business where he fixes up salvage title cars and re-sells them. This car was previously wrecked (hit in the back), but works perfectly; all the moving parts were not damaged.

First concern:
Also, are there other ways to increase the fuel economy of this car?
Are you serious? You're complaining about a 3600lb car getting 28mpg @ 80mph??? Buy a hybrid.

There aren't any magic fuel saving mods. Keep vehicle maintained including proper tire pressure and drive the speed limit. This is key to getting advertised mpg.
 

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Are you serious? You're complaining about a 3600lb car getting 28mpg @ 80mph??? Buy a hybrid.
Hybrids don't help at 80MPH, do they? I always thought that the golf cart motor just kicks in when you are puttering about town at under 40MPH.
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Hybrids don't help at 80MPH, do they? I always thought that the golf cart motor just kicks in when you are puttering about town at under 40MPH.
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Yeah I believe this is correct. I was just being a cynical @$$hole.
 

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Welcome to the forums. Enjoy your ride. :D

Now the fob $200 is about right my dealer charges $200 for the fob and programming so it's a fair price I would say.

Your headlights here is a pic of where it is on the headlight assembly. The screw is reachable by looking and aiming towards the front of the car.
look at the picture, above the indicated screw there is a channel molded in the housing. Using a long Phillips screwdriver that can reach the indicated screw from above (at a right angle since the screw has a sort of bevel gear at the bottom of the channel) you can adjust the headlight height. The adjustment does both hi and lo beam together.
 

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The low beam could be off if the bulb was replaced at some point and was not correctly seated. Un clip the retainer and verify the bulb is sitting with the tab in the notch and re clip the retainer. I am not a fan of H7 bulbs and the flimsy retainers and the space is cramped to work with. But you have more space than I do, on my GC I have to remove the head light housing to replace any bulb.
 

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I drove from Phoenix to Vegas I got around 32 mpg going 80+ on cruise control. Actually I got there, drove around all weekend, and didn't fill back up until sunday afternoon when I left and it still had a quarter tank of gas. Also I drove from here to Tx and still drove around the town that night on the same tank and that is 420 miles from here plus what ever I did around town that night. In the city is where my mileage tanks.
 

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if you bought it from a dealer they are suppose to give you 2 keys. i would ask them about it.

no car is gonna get good mpg at 80mph.

headlights are easy to adjust like others have said
 

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In terms of mileage, I have an '11 Sonata GLS. I constantly get mileage of 36-39MPG highway (above the rating, even the dealer was impressed) even going 80 on cruise. I get around 29-31MPG when just cruising around. So I believe as an earlier post mentioned it could be due to climbing. Also I would have the headlights looked at as I had the same concern and ended up just replacing with bright bulbs
 

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First concern:
Coming home, I kept the cruise set about 80 the whole way coming across Nebraska & Wyoming and my mileage wasn't anywhere near what I expected it would be. When I researched the car, I saw that it's supposed to get up to 35 highway; this car isn't even close to that. It might hit that if you were coasting down a hill, but even on a flat run at 80 mph the instant mpg was saying 28ish. I know my car needs a service, but will that help? Also, are there other ways to increase the fuel economy of this car?

The 35 MPG rating per the EPA is generated when the temperature is between 68-86*F, colder temps will impact your MPG, ethanol gas reduces MPG and lastly the 35 MPG was based on 60 MPH over 10 miles with a 3.2 MPH per second maximum acceleration rate (Grandmas acceleration speed).

There was a Wheeler Dealer episode on Velocity that proved on a dyno that changing spark plugs (and wires but we don't have them), new air filter and fuel system cleaner restored the horsepower rating to near original on a VW GTI. It was a HP restoration but essentially the engine is at its most efficient with all these basic maintenance items. Other basic MPG is tire pressure and minor changes can be a proper alignment.
 

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I love the complaining about doing 80 and not hitting 35 mpg. You should be getting 29 to 31 mpg at those speeds if you are smart about it.

Should you wish to get the with more fuel, I would suggest you leave early, drive with a feather foot (super light acceleration) and maintain 60 to 65 all the way. It's more likely you'll get 38 or more if you are lucky with traffic and other drivers on the road.
I road tripped the west coast north to south with a super heavy car and got 38 mpg average.

Also do some reading about aerodynamics and drag. It will help :)
Can't help you with the key thing, but with the headlights I do agree.

When I got mine I couldn't see a thing, so HID's or brighter bulbs and a bit of tweaking will fix that, but you will lose accuracy with high beams, so chose wisely.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey all,
Thank you for your replies and suggestions. I suppose I do have a heavy foot, and that could by why I was getting such low mpg. I may have also had a little bit of a head-wind. It's common in those areas for the wind to be blowing in an eastward direction.

So I'm definitely going to fiddle with the headlights some; I really didn't want to adjust high beams at all because they really are just about perfect. I suppose I could aim them just a little bit higher if that's what it takes to get the low beams up, but I know I'm not going to be able to move my high beams up enough to get my low beams to where I want them. Does anyone have a suggestion for some replacement bulbs that would help?
 

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Hey all,
Thank you for your replies and suggestions. I suppose I do have a heavy foot, and that could by why I was getting such low mpg. I may have also had a little bit of a head-wind. It's common in those areas for the wind to be blowing in an eastward direction.

So I'm definitely going to fiddle with the headlights some; I really didn't want to adjust high beams at all because they really are just about perfect. I suppose I could aim them just a little bit higher if that's what it takes to get the low beams up, but I know I'm not going to be able to move my high beams up enough to get my low beams to where I want them. Does anyone have a suggestion for some replacement bulbs that would help?
I need to re-aim my headlights one of these days so let me know how that goes for you.

On light upgrades: the majority of folks here will yell HID and I would agree with them.

However, the mod is not as easy for some people as it is for others. So unless you are comfortable with it (there are MANY threads on how to do it and what kits are good/better/best), you can look for halogen replacement bulbs. I believe you can get ones like the SilverStars (Osram/Sylvania) or PIAA from either a parts store or eBay/Amazon.

Quick note: if you have never dealt with H1/H7 bulbs before, please be careful with the retaining tang in the headlight housings. They are very easy to bend out of shape and a real PITA to get them to click back in place. You will find this out when you attempt your upgrade.
 

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On the MPG front, all of what has been said is true but no one has mentioned tires yet.

If your car has the OEM tires on it and still gets below the EPA mpg, you need to adjust your pressure, driving style, and try finding a flatter, less cluttered driving route.

If not, I would check the tire mfg's website (if possible) and see if the tires are rated for high mileage. Buzzwords are Eco, Green, etc... I believe that the OEM tires are a lower rolling resistance type, which are great for high MPGs but are not so great for traction, weather, and ride.

Also (not be snide or condescending), how much driver/passenger weight are you carrying? It sounds silly, but losing a few lbs can only help you get better MPGs. I did this but never bothered to calculate the delta in MPGs pre/post weight loss.

And for reference, I weigh about 190 lbs, have Michelin Primacy MXM4 (X-Green) tires, and a heavy foot. My MPG is not even close to whats on the sticker.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Adogg9626,
If you get a long skinny phillips screwdriver, the headlights are quite easy to adjust. I've recently adjusted them using something a short screwdriver that's hard to use in small areas and it was quite a pain, I didn't even bother with the adjustment nearest the battery. But I recommend getting it done, it helps a lot, I'm sure you'll have to do some tweaking to find the sweet spot as it does adjust both low beam and high.
Good luck to you.
 
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