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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
We are going to look at a 1993 sonata 3L V6 and would like some advice on what to look out for/checklist.
It would be a first car for our son who is on a tight budget.
It has very low mileage, and logbooks from new.
It is a 4 speed auto and this forum mentions somewhere that the transmissions can be unreliable-it that autos and/or manual transmissions?
Are parts still easily available for this vehicle?
Are there any areas of the car which are more likely to have rust?
We are not mechanically minded so if anyone can help us with what to look for it would be greatly appreciated.
I believe that the passenger window needs to be aligned by an auto-electrician and the air con may need a new compressor or re-gassing.
Any ideas on how much these are likely to fix?

Thanks everyone
Lisa & Tony
 

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With a 20 year old car if it runs then its a good car. You may ask the seller if you can takr the car to an independent mechanic for inspection. You will have to pay the mechanic of course but they can give you an idea of possible issues.

Items possibly due for replacement include tires, brakes, belts, hoses, filters, suspension components, and various fluids. If your son is on a tight budget then I would encourage him to get some tools and learn how to do simple maintenance on his own.
 

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my thoughts are a 93 comes from back in hyundai's dark ages. they had some serious quality control and reliability issues up until around 2000. was better from '95-2000 but it wasn't till then that the real improvements were made

but, if this is the car you want here's a few tips:

- ask for maintenance records. this is the best indication that the owner has taken care of the car. the basic maintenance like oil changes are the most important things to do bar none.

- worried about accident damage that the owner might be trying to hide? look for paint lines or panels with a slightly different shade of paint. the difference is hard to see, so look hard. then take a fridge magnet over the body to find body putty. that stuff isn't magnetic, steel is ;)

- not sure what to look for? take it to a shop to have it looked over first, even if you pay for that visit.

- rust check. a rotting control arm can be replaced, a rotting frame cannot. a light coating of rust in areas is not a bad thing, its when you get holes that there is a problem.

- check fluids. anything unusual with the oil? (ie. sludge under the fill cap) what about the trans fluid? should be a nice pink colour and should not smell burnt. black is bad :p slight brown is just fine too, the dye can burn off after a while. put some on your fingers and see if it feels gritty. gritty = bad.

- the test drive. don't granny drive it. you want to put this car through its paces. hows the brakes working? hit them hard on a deserted road. accelerate fast, hows it shifting? how's the engine sound? radio off btw. take a corner with some reasonable speed, both left and right. anything unusual with the suspension? get it on the highway, hows the alignment?

- have a good look under the hood with a flashlight. check the rad to see if its rotting out or any other obvious problems.

indigo has a great idea to check the engine has not been pre warmed. some issues only come up when cold.

someguy also has a few great suggestions too - learning how to do even basic maintenance can save you a pile of money. sure there is an investment initially for tools, but after a few jobs they pay for themselves easily. sometimes even just use that tool once.

if you want to learn more, there are many guides hiding here and elsewhere on the internet. i have 4 for beginners in the DIY forum. they're at the top:
Do it Yourself - Hyundai Forums : Hyundai Forum
 

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I agree that Hyundai reliability was not great until the late 90's to 2000 or so. I've traveled to Korea around 50 times.

My Korean hosts would not drive us in a Hyundai until the late 90's. They would have Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Mercedes for Executive cars. Early Sonata's in Seoul would have dark smoke belching from the tail pipe.

You may be OK with this particular car, but I'd look at other alternatives for any Hyundai prior to 1998 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone-very sensible advice.
Apparently this is a one owner car with full log book service history and only 90,000 klms on the clock so perhaps mechanical issues are of less concern than with others of that vintage.
I will certainly have a mechanic check it over.
What sort of issues can be noticed when the motor is cold V warm?
 

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I'd strongly advise to look for a facelift version of the Y3. 1993 is a pre-facelift.

Apart from the less boring outer appearance the late Y3 have some technical advantages.
Example: the early Y3 has a front brake disc/rotor setup that is ridiculous: The disc is bolted to the back of the wheel flange, so replacing the disc requires removal of the driveshaft and pressing out the flange from the wheel bearing together with the disc.
From late '96 on the disc gets just literally thrown over the front/outer side of the flange and held by the wheel studs. Replaced in 10 minutes ...

What is good about the Y3s is that they tend to rust way less than the early EF models ('99 on). Also they don't have that front subframe that is known to rot away on the EFs (there is a frame/crossmember but it's totally different)

The 3.0V6 is an engine that is (if well maintained) good for at least 200k miles - but fuel efficiency is not that good (~18-25mpg on mine).
Easy to maintain though. Spark plugs replacement without taing off manifold.
Auto-gearboxes known to be fragile. Not a racecar, do oil changes to the A/T regularly with the correct fluid (Hyundai or Mitsubishi SP III, no 'Dexron 2 or 3').
 
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