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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so here's the deal. I bought this vehicle from Carmax on Saturday. I love it. Had 8K miles and it's a 2009. Yesterday when driving, I noticed it started pulling really badly to the left when I'd brake, so I took it in. Turns out, the Rack and Pinion is bad and needs to be replaced. Now, this is going to be covered by warranty, but it does not bode well. The Carfax for this vehicle was totally clear.

My question is, I have 5 business days to return it and walk away penalty free. That would make today the last day to do that. I love the car, and I feel confident that the problem can be resolved, but do you think I got a lemon? I mean a rack and pinion going bad after 8K miles on a 1 year old car seems really odd. Do you think I should just fix it and keep it, or walk away and buy something else. I tried to do a search on here and elsewhere to see if rack and pinion is a common failure on Hyundais, or Sonatas, but I could find no mention of anyone having this problem.

Also, I should add that they were really cool and gave me a nice loaner car (2010 Toyota Camry) while mine is in the shop free of charge.
 

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I have an 09 SE with almost 10k miles on it and not one problem and I havent heard of rack and pinion problems with these cars so I would say its probably just a fluke. Ive heard of suspension noise trouble and some rear brake troubles here and there but in general a very reliable car. I love mine!
 

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As long as you are confident the car is what it seems to be and has not been heavily damaged in an accident and repaired I would say it's just an anomoly and you are safe to keep the car. I personally don't think any of those CarFax type reports are worth the paper they're written on. Sure, you can trust what they do tell you on the report but it's what isn't there that will hurt you. If the car gets wrecked and it isn't put through insurance or accidentally doesn't get entered into a computer system it doesn't show up.

I've never heard of a steering rack failure on a Sonata before but things happen. If you are concerned have the car checked out by an independant mechanic. If it checks out okay, keep and enjoy it. I'm sure it will provide many years of happy motoring.
 

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If at all possible I would go inspect the underbelly the car while they have it on the lift. Just to see if there is any evidence of extra curricular off road activities. Is Carmax doing the repair or a hyundai dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's being repaired by the Hyundai dealer. I also know, based on title history that it was originally registered as a rental, and then sold at auction to Carmax.
 

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well if there is any sign of abuse then hyundai will deny the warranty claim and then carmax will have to repair it. so if that is the case then i would walk away from the car. if hyundai fixes it you should be ok. IMO anyway...
 

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That's the first-ever steering rack problem I have heard of in a 2006-2011 Sonata.

One would think think it was damaged in some way rather than simply failing. I suppose
an accident could damage it, and I suppose using the wrong power steering fluid could
damage it.

It's a good car, we have some members that have over 120K miles with few problems.
I think the probabilities of having major problems are still low.

Good luck!
 

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Never heard of any Rack and Pinion problems; I have an '09 Limited. Sounds to me like it experienced a rough driver somewhere along the line. Agree with all prior posts to have the dealer check out all the suspension, etc. while they have the car.
 

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QUOTE (sonatarama @ Apr 22 2010, 10:01 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=315678
Never heard of any Rack and Pinion problems; I have an '09 Limited. Sounds to me like it experienced a rough driver somewhere along the line. Agree with all prior posts to have the dealer check out all the suspension, etc. while they have the car.
+1

09 V6 Limited w/ just a lil over 11,0000 miles and everything is clean as a whistle. good luck!
 

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As bobad and sonatarama are saying.... This looks more like some kind of physical blow to the system. Also, selling a rental at 8k miles is kind of low, usually car rental companies keep cars for much longer.....

Yes, let Hyundai take a VERY CLOSE look at this car.

....See, it's enough for ONE bad (or unlucky) driver to cause significant damage to a rented car. That's why I would never take that chance, buy a car from rental. but that's me.
 

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QUOTE (mamamia @ Apr 22 2010, 01:10 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=315713
As bobad and sonatarama are saying.... This looks more like some kind of physical blow to the system. Also, selling a rental at 8k miles is kind of low, usually car rental companies keep cars for much longer.....

Yes, let Hyundai take a VERY CLOSE look at this car.

....See, it's enough for ONE bad (or unlucky) driver to cause significant damage to a rented car. That's why I would never take that chance, buy a car from rental. but that's me.
pretty much the same here, however the Nata we got was indeed a previous rental as well w <7000 miles when purchased, we had the luxury of taking it (before the purchase) for a few days before we decided on the purchase... in that time i took it to my mechanic for a full vehicle inspection and he thought i was showing him a "brand spankin new car". That being said i guess we lucked out and 5 months later we are still pleased with this well built car w/ ZERO(again knocking on wood) issues so far!
 

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I have also never heard/read anything about steering problems with the car. I have read A LOT of sites & reviews etc... As far as a clean Carfax, rental places have in house repairs done and will not show on a carfax. My wife just bought a 09 impreza that was a previous rental with 23,000 miles. To me, 8,000 miles and acutioned from a rental company is a red flag. If the car was in good working order, they should have kept it until at least 15-20k. Check for screws that have been painted over as a sign of a fixed/painted area (start from the front and work you way back...).

Just an idea if you know your insurance agent well, they can run a C.L.U.E. report on the vehicle and any previous police reports should show up like an accident. Or find out what company had it previously, if possible, and ask for service records
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I went and spoke to the service manager at my Hyundai Dealer yesterday. He said that they did an initial run through and think that Carmax was totally wrong about the rack and pinion. He thinks it's a brake issue (which I'm inclined to agree with). He will call me today with more information. I did ask him to do a thorough look at the car, and he was really cool and told me he would, but that his initial impression is that it's nothing to be concerned about. If I do end up deciding it's a bad deal, I intend to trade it for a new 2011. I put 10K cash down on this car, so I have a ton of equity in it. I'd lose a little bit to trade it in so soon, but it'd be a nice down payment on the 2011, but again, I'm hoping that it's just a stuck caliper and nothing more severe. Here's what it does:

I didn't catch this on the test drive (which was my mistake, I should have driven more carefully), but what it basically does is when you apply the brake nice and soft, it is normal (especially at lower, in-town, speeds...35mph and slower). If you are moving at say 40mph +, and especially if you are more firm when applying the brakes (stopping quickly, but not slamming on them), then the car does a huge, very noticeable shift towards the front left where the wheel turns in that direction. To me, it seems that the front-left caliper is applying way more pressure than the front right. That is what I told Carmax it felt like to be, but they called and said it was the rack and pinion. Steering seems to be normal in all situations, so I'm not inclined to believe them. I'll wait and see what the dealer says about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, great news! I talked to the Hyundai Service Manager, and he said the problem had nothing to do with the rack and pinion. He said the only thing wrong, was that at some point, the right caliper was removed, and when it was reattached, it was turned around 1 time causing a reduction in flow of brake fluid to the right caliper. This caused the left caliper to engage considerably more than that right. That is exactly what I described that it felt like to me when I brought it into Carmax in the first place. He also said everything else looked good, and that he saw no problems whatsoever in the car. He did say they were charging Carmax 100.00 for the repair (labor). The only mystery is why on earth the brake caliper would have ever been off during the first 8K miles, but I'm not terribly concerned by that.

The real kicker here, is I called the SA at Carmax to tell them that Hyundai said it was done, and he started griping me out for getting in the middle of it. That really made me mad! I will definitely be leary of that service dept in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I took it to carmax & they diagnosed rack and pinion, so they sent it to the dealer. The next day, I waited till 5:45 pm to call and he said they were working on it. So i asked what dealer they took it to, and he told me, so i called the dealer myself, and he said he hadn't even started it b/c the carmax guy didn't tell him what he problem was so he had no symptoms or anything to work with, and he said that he'd called carmax like 3x that day and they wouldn't answer or return his messages. So he was glad i called. I described the issue to him, and thats how they figured it out after test driving it. The carmax guy was mad that I had talked to the dealer. Well, if i hadn't they probably wouldn't even have started on it yet.

He can be **** if he wants (the carmax advisor), i don't care.

Edit: I'd really have been upset if Carmax had fixed it themselves and changed out a perfectly good OEM rack and pinion for no reason whatsoever!
 

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Forget about Carmax. Your future mechanic is this Hyundai dealer, that seems to be decent and competent (though one needs not be a scientist to figure this one out....). As long as this dealer checked the car and gave it a passing grade, you should seal the deal with Carmax without hesitations.

Welcome to da family.
 

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You sound like my kinda guy --- don't take any **** from no one and trust your brain and gut feel. BTW, are you a programmer? I have 33 years in IT and I'm emigrating to Texas soon.
 

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:eek:fftopic: (OK, Miami? :grin: )

Microsoft once estimated that no more than 10% of the mainframe programmers would transition to Unix/C. I think that number is double what really happened. I transitioned over to the Unix/Oracle world starting in 1995 and I've never looked back. I'm working on the middle module for my Oracle Certified Professional.

There is work for mainframe programmers out there but that world is IT's past. I helped a friend find work with the Missouri workmen's comp agency a few years back; Jim retired this year and for the last two years all he did was teach the young programmers JCL and utilities.

[/offtopic]

I guess Carmax (at east this Carmax) can be added to the list of clueless parts changers.
 
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