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2014 Hyundai i30 GD hatchback 1.8 petrol automatic
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a Hyundai i30 (Elantra GT) with the 1.8 litre "NU" petrol engine. I posted in this forum because it shares the same engine as the Elantra and this forum has way more viewers than the other ones.

My i30 was assembled in South Korea in July 2014. It was a private sale, so there's no warranty comeback.

My car has had two previous owners and travelled just 35,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) in its first five years of life. It's been serviced regularly and looks clean under the oil cap (I shone a torch in the oil filler hole and what you can see of the valve train looks clean enough to eat off of).

On a cold start, my engine makes a ticking sound like a noisy lifter (possibly, but hopefully not, the infamous "tick of death"), but this goes away after a few minutes. By the way, I didn't come across any info on the "tick of death" when researching which car to buy, otherwise I would have bought something else.

Of more concern to me is the noise it makes a lot of the time when the engine is hot. It's a weird kind of metallic tapping sound and seems to be at its worst when the engine is at operating temperature, is turned off for a while, then started again. I've uploaded an audio recording, which is best listened to with headphones. The sound becomes obvious from about 15 seconds onwards.

Recording #1
Vocaroo | Online voice recorder

Recording #2
Vocaroo | Online voice recorder

Pinpointing the source of an engine noise can be extremely difficult. I've tried the old screwdriver-as-a-stethoscope trick, but that didn't reveal anything. To my ear, it sounds like the source is somewhere around the exhaust valves on cylinder #1 or the CVVT assembly on the exhaust camshaft.

Despite being serviced three months before I bought the car, I didn't know what grade of oil they used and it had an aftermarket filter installed, so I purchased a genuine Hyundai filter and changed the oil with Castrol 5W-30 synthetic. This made absolutely no difference to the sound. I then added a bottle of "lifter tune-up" (thinking it was a noisy lifter), but after driving between 500-1,000 kilometres this has made absolutely no difference either. I also tried a wee trick that BMW workshops perform to get oil into a collapsed lifter (one particular BMW engine is renowned for this problem), where you run the engine at 3,000 rpm with no load for a few minutes. The ticking noise is still there.

I then booked the car into an independent workshop near my workplace and left it with them for a day (they have a 5 star Google rating and rave reviews). They called me later to say they couldn't hear any unusual engine sounds. When I picked the car up, I spent a few minutes with one of the mechanics and what do you know, the engine was pretty darn quiet (I could still hear a faint tapping sound, but only because I'm so familiar with what it sounds like now). Guess I just chose the wrong day to leave the car with them, because it was back to its usual tricks after that. At least they didn't charge me anything to look at it.

One other piece of info that might be useful is that I live on a big hill. When coasting down the hill in gear (meaning fuel is cut off to the cylinders), the ticking noise is still there. Doesn't this mean it's less likely to be piston slap, as it still makes the sound when there's no load on the engine?

Anyway, I've spent hours researching this problem and watching lots of ticking Hyundai videos on YouTube, but I'm not convinced my engine sound is the tick of death. Having said that, if you guys think it is, I'm prepared to take the painful financial hit and get rid of this car after just five months of ownership. It's a pity, because up against the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, this was my preferred choice.
 

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2014 Hyundai i30 GD hatchback 1.8 petrol automatic
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Discussion Starter #2
A random thought just popped into my head: I remember a car I owned back in 2006 made a noise that sounded like lifter tick and it turned out to be the serpentine belt. Do you think that recording I uploaded sounds anything like a chirping belt?
 

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I recently purchased a Hyundai i30 (Elantra GT) with the 1.8 litre "NU" petrol engine. I posted in this forum because it shares the same engine as the Elantra and this forum has way more viewers than the other ones.

My i30 was assembled in South Korea in July 2014. It was a private sale, so there's no warranty comeback.

My car has had two previous owners and travelled just 35,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) in its first five years of life. It's been serviced regularly and looks clean under the oil cap (I shone a torch in the oil filler hole and what you can see of the valve train looks clean enough to eat off of).

On a cold start, my engine makes a ticking sound like a noisy lifter (possibly, but hopefully not, the infamous "tick of death"), but this goes away after a few minutes. By the way, I didn't come across any info on the "tick of death" when researching which car to buy, otherwise I would have bought something else.

Of more concern to me is the noise it makes a lot of the time when the engine is hot. It's a weird kind of metallic tapping sound and seems to be at its worst when the engine is at operating temperature, is turned off for a while, then started again. I've uploaded an audio recording, which is best listened to with headphones. The sound becomes obvious from about 15 seconds onwards.

Recording #1
Vocaroo | Online voice recorder

Recording #2
Vocaroo | Online voice recorder

Pinpointing the source of an engine noise can be extremely difficult. I've tried the old screwdriver-as-a-stethoscope trick, but that didn't reveal anything. To my ear, it sounds like the source is somewhere around the exhaust valves on cylinder #1 or the CVVT assembly on the exhaust camshaft.

Despite being serviced three months before I bought the car, I didn't know what grade of oil they used and it had an aftermarket filter installed, so I purchased a genuine Hyundai filter and changed the oil with Castrol 5W-30 synthetic. This made absolutely no difference to the sound. I then added a bottle of "lifter tune-up" (thinking it was a noisy lifter), but after driving between 500-1,000 kilometres this has made absolutely no difference either. I also tried a wee trick that BMW workshops perform to get oil into a collapsed lifter (one particular BMW engine is renowned for this problem), where you run the engine at 3,000 rpm with no load for a few minutes. The ticking noise is still there.

I then booked the car into an independent workshop near my workplace and left it with them for a day (they have a 5 star Google rating and rave reviews). They called me later to say they couldn't hear any unusual engine sounds. When I picked the car up, I spent a few minutes with one of the mechanics and what do you know, the engine was pretty darn quiet (I could still hear a faint tapping sound, but only because I'm so familiar with what it sounds like now). Guess I just chose the wrong day to leave the car with them, because it was back to its usual tricks after that. At least they didn't charge me anything to look at it.

One other piece of info that might be useful is that I live on a big hill. When coasting down the hill in gear (meaning fuel is cut off to the cylinders), the ticking noise is still there. Doesn't this mean it's less likely to be piston slap, as it still makes the sound when there's no load on the engine?

Anyway, I've spent hours researching this problem and watching lots of ticking Hyundai videos on YouTube, but I'm not convinced my engine sound is the tick of death. Having said that, if you guys think it is, I'm prepared to take the painful financial hit and get rid of this car after just five months of ownership. It's a pity, because up against the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, this was my preferred choice.
Take it to Hyundai thy will replace the motor. The didn't deal bur the motor. Im about to do the same thing and I have seen this a lot so they will replace it. I need to do mine so this was a good reminder cause the motor can just lock up.
 

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Seriously check out what I said because you will have essentially a brand new car. I have bad anxiety so I haven't taken my car retry but I think I'm going to push myself because I could use an engine with 0 miles on it and no burs running around. Promise you and what I heard they do not fight you at all and even if your the 30th person that owned it they will fix it because M it was such a big fuck up.
 

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2014 Hyundai i30 GD hatchback 1.8 petrol automatic
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Discussion Starter #5
Seriously check out what I said because you will have essentially a brand new car. I have bad anxiety so I haven't taken my car retry but I think I'm going to push myself because I could use an engine with 0 miles on it and no burs running around. Promise you and what I heard they do not fight you at all and even if your the 30th person that owned it they will fix it because M it was such a big fuck up.
Take it to Hyundai thy will replace the motor. The didn't deal bur the motor. Im about to do the same thing and I have seen this a lot so they will replace it. I need to do mine so this was a good reminder cause the motor can just lock up.
I'm pretty sure this only applies to cars sold in Canada/USA and you need receipts for all the oil changes, which I don't have.
 

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2014 Hyundai i30 GD hatchback 1.8 petrol automatic
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Discussion Starter #6
I contacted my local Hyundai dealer and as expected, they're not aware of this issue and there's no Hyundai service campaign in my country to perform any needed repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm starting to think I might just have a collapsed hydraulic valve lash adjuster. We've had some freezing weather here the last few days and the cold morning starts have produced some very loud lifter tick, which slowly decreases in volume as the engine warms up and the idle speed decreases. There's stick an audible tick when the engine is hot.

Is replacing one of these a major job? I'm not a mechanic, but it looks like it's a case of removing the valve cover, creating some slack on the timing chain, then removing the camshaft to gain access to the valve lash adjusters. Does anyone know how many hours labour you're looking at? Would you only replace the failed part or all of them, bearing in mind my car has only travelled 22,000 miles?
 

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My 2015 makes a noticeable clacking noise when its cold and its done that since it was new, After it warms up to full temp it quiets down. Keep in mind these engines are very noisy and it doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong, however, your sound clip definitely doesn't sound normal. Is it burning any oil or have you noticed a decrease in power? Don't make assumptions and start throwing parts at it. Have a qualified mechanic properly diagnose,,
 

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2014 Hyundai i30 GD hatchback 1.8 petrol automatic
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Discussion Starter #10
My 2015 makes a noticeable clacking noise when its cold and its done that since it was new, After it warms up to full temp it quiets down. Keep in mind these engines are very noisy and it doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong, however, your sound clip definitely doesn't sound normal. Is it burning any oil or have you noticed a decrease in power? Don't make assumptions and start throwing parts at it. Have a qualified mechanic properly diagnose,,
It doesn't burn any oil and drives perfectly (power, smoothness, etc). I'm now 99% sure that one of the hydraulic lash adjusters has failed (or is getting stuck) and when putting my ear to the valve cover, I think it's one of the exhaust valve HLAs on cylinder one. I found a Hyundai technical service bulletin for 2011 Elantras (2012 model year) where a bunch of these engines needed the HLA's to be replaced. The TSB provides a book time of 0.7 hours to inspect the HLAs or 2 hours for inspection and replacement. That's much less labour intensive than I was expecting. I don't know what the parts cost though. Today I added a second bottle (different brand) of an oil additive to clean carbon deposits or varnish from stuck lifters. I'll give that a week to do its job and if there's no improvement I'll get the HLAs inspected.
 

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Yes you should get it inspected asap and let an experienced tech do the job if that's what it requires. Also, I wouldn't put any additives in the oil
 

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It sounds like lifters to me but take the belt off and run the engine as a process of elimination. If it's still there a great product for lifters is Nulon Lifter Free. I use it in my MX5 and whilst I don't believe or support snake oil this product does work for noisy lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I have an update on this.

I took my car into the shop again and had them inspect the hydraulic lash adjusters, as per the Hyundai TSB. They said oil was squirting out from all the HLAs, which according to the TSB means they're all working fine.

After that I changed the oil and filter again. This time I tried a higher viscosity oil to see whether this would reduce the ticking/tapping sound when the engine is at operating temperature. I used Castrol Edge 5W-40 synthetic oil and a genuine Hyundai filter. It's made absolutely no difference.

This weekend I removed both the CVVT solenoids, as I was curious to see if there was any metallic debris on the mesh screens. Both of them were spotlessly clean. I discovered something interesting though: the metal tube in the cylinder head for the CVVT solenoid on the intake cam has what looks like a manufacturing flaw. There's a small metal lip on the left-hand side with a jagged edge on it. I took a photo of it. Can anyone confirm whether their "NU" engine looks the same, or this indeed a manufacturing flaw? I don't think it would have any effect on the operation of the CVVT solenoid.

Click on the photo to enlarge it:


I've ordered one of those cheap endoscopes/borescopes and when it arrives I plan to stick it down all the spark plug holes and see what the cylinder walls looks like.
 

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So the sound I hear is kind of a muffled sound right? Like a light motorboat type sound?

i have a 2015 sport and I have the same issue and it goes away after I drive it for a couple minutes. It bothers the **** out of me because I don’t remember that always being the case when I bought the car brand new. Glad to hear im not alone on this! I’m going to take my car soon to see if there’s a vacuum leak or a small hole in the muffler. Please report back any updates!
 

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Well, if it were mine I would go with 10W30 instead of the 5W40. Will give you a little more viscosity during cold starts and, at least in the US, is approved for the 1.8L down to just below 0F temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So after many hours of research, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a Ford engine that was making an identical sound to my Hyundai:
The noise becomes obvious about 45 seconds into the video. It comes and goes, just like mine.
In the case of this Ford, it was caused by a faulty timing chain tensioner.

I purchased a mechanic's stethoscope and probed all around the engine. I can hear a slight tapping sound around the area of timing chain tensioner.

My Hyundai may have only travelled 37,000km (23,000 miles), but parts can fail at random.

Unfortunately, replacing the timing chain tensioner is a big job, as you practically have to strip everything off the side of the engine, including the alternator, engine mount and oil pan. Imagine if you did all that and found there was nothing wrong with the tensioner!

I'm going to request an estimate from both the local Hyundai dealer and an independent shop.
 

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So after many hours of research, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a Ford engine that was making an identical sound to my Hyundai:
The noise becomes obvious about 45 seconds into the video. It comes and goes, just like mine.
In the case of this Ford, it was caused by a faulty timing chain tensioner.

I purchased a mechanic's stethoscope and probed all around the engine. I can hear a slight tapping sound around the area of timing chain tensioner.

My Hyundai may have only travelled 37,000km (23,000 miles), but parts can fail at random.

Unfortunately, replacing the timing chain tensioner is a big job, as you practically have to strip everything off the side of the engine, including the alternator, engine mount and oil pan. Imagine if you did all that and found there was nothing wrong with the tensioner!

I'm going to request an estimate from both the local Hyundai dealer and an independent shop.
Keep us updated. Hope it doesn’t hurt too bad!
 
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