Advice on 2014 Hyundai i30 Needing Major Repair at 120,000k

The short motor needs to be opened and components replaced. After a talk, no need for me to believe they caused issues during service, rather its my bad luck.

Bought my Hyundai i30 Jan 2014, I've taken it to the Hyundai service centre only to get serviced. Automatic.

I got told today I need to have a major repair of $8,000, the short motor.

The car was serviced in June, since then it's been wheezing at start up, and for the past week using the accelerator causes a ticking sound. Doesn't matter if I'm idle or at 4,000 rpm, I cannot hear it unless the accelerator is down.

They told me today that a hose wasn't connected properly, 2 incorrect spark plugs was used, the ignition pad 4 was broken and a circuit board is dead. Well they did all the services, gave me the wrong spark plugs, didn't connect a hose properly and now my engine is (profanity).

What, if anything, can I do?


  • +7

    Have them do an exact quote of what needs fixing and then upload that to us. It's very hard to know based on what you are describing.

    • No exact quote, rather they want to open up the engine (short motor) with a guarantee that I will pay for repairs up to $8k.

      • How much for a wrecker second hand engine and swap? will be a cheaper option.

        • Good idea

  • +1

    I've taken it to the Hyundai service centre only to get serviced.

    Demand a new motor out of goodwill. Speak to Hyundai Australia if the dealership says no. Go hard and don't back down.

    1.8 Petrol should be good for 300k km's

    Manual or auto?

  • +3

    But this is impossible. The internet will have you believe that Hyundais are the most reliable cars in the world.

    • +6

      Doesn't matter how reliable a car is if a mechanic f's up or tries to rip you off.

    • +3

      One broken Hyundai doesn’t mean they aren’t relia…. Oh never mind. what are you wearing now Toasty?

      • -1

        Like you don't know.

  • +11

    Good ol stealerships charging $150/hr labour for 1st year apprentices.

    • +2

      Yeah they're crooks.

      I once got my first ever new car serviced, saw like 10 other young kids running around the workshop. Popped the hood a week or so later to do something and found a hose clamped with some plastic pinching tool - they obviously forgot to take it off after some operation. Sure, could happen to anyone, but much more likely to some 1st year apprentice. The tool was clearly visible as soon as I looked - obviously no-one checked the apprentice's work.

      • +2

        My experience too. I don't like going to dealers because they have apprentices do the work and no one checks! I prefer a mechanic who takes personal pride in his work!

    • Far better off with a mobile mechanic. At least you get a qualified mechanic doing the work and not unskilled cheap labour around the back of the dealership shed.
      Most dealerships overcharge and do the shoddiest work.

  • +1

    8k is worth more then car almost, shop around at some independent mechanics. If its still too much to fix list it for sale detailing the problems and set an appropriate price

  • +1

    Paul Govor is a motor writer for news Corp ( I know it’s Murdoch owned) he may be able to help if you don’t have any luck with Hyundai head office.
    Don’t know what state you live in but he appears on 3aw in Melbourne Thursday morning people ring in with similar problems and he has helped people when the stealership doesn’t just google him his email is easy to find.

  • +2

    How does it drive? You mention wheezing at start (as in hard to start?) and a ticking when accelerating. Was it perhaps the start motor that they said was the issue? You need more details. get a itemised quote along with a written explanation of the problems and claims of the wrong hose, spark plugs etc. You want these in hand before they realise they're the only ones who've serviced the vehicle. If you bring it up early you'll never get it accurately documented and without that it's going to be hard to force them to fix their mistakes.

    • It drives a bit weaker, less performance, but otherwise fine.

      • @FabMan could be many reasons something as simple as bad fuel or clogged fuel lines, low compression, who knows

  • +10

    If they replaced the spark plugs incorrectly and you only serviced it with them that definitely sounds like their problem. Fight it hard.

  • +5

    I've taken it to the Hyundai service centre only to get serviced. Automatic.

    They told me today that a hose wasn't connected properly, 2 incorrect spark plugs was used, the ignition pad 4 was broken and a circuit board is dead.

    Although it's difficult to prove that the dealership alone are at fault (yes, most likely, but look at the flipside that you could be a dodgy customer who changed stuff), push the complaint through the dealership - from Service Manager through to Dealer Principal. Somewhere along the line you should get help, with some form of compensation. Whether that will be the full amount though, that's another question.

    But definitely push it through the ranks until you're happy with the result.

    Talk to the DP before Hyundai Australia

    • +1

      And I need to reneg on this comment, as OP has admitted at a later stage that servicing wasn't done as per logbook (up to 5,000km past the interval). So no, neither Hyundai Australia or the dealership have to come to the party on this one. OP is SOOL

  • Find out exactly whats wrong first… and ask who fitted the wrong parts

    IF they are the only ones to work on it, its their issue… but they will palm you off and give you shit..

    good luck is all I can say

  • +2

    This sounds pretty bad, and I hope you get help.
    That said, if the engine has sounded bad for a month since they worked on it, it is important to get it checked.
    As others have pointed out, people make mistakes, and if something is wrong but you don’t follow it up it compounds the problem.

  • +2

    If you've serviced it by the book with them only and the records show that, then I'd definitely be fighting it!

  • +1

    Dealership mehcanisis will replace the motor rather than investigate root cause.

    If cant get warranty repair try independent mechanic. The fact its still running and doesnt have a hole in the block means it can be repaired.

  • +1

    A hose coming off and a couple of wrong spark plugs doesn’t seem to be something that would kill an engine, make it run bad probably but should be repairable. The ign 4 blown and a circuit board also don’t seem to add up to $8k

    Something is weird. Get a better diagnosis. Sounds like the dealer is trying one on, or just too lazy to actually fix the issue without replacing half the car.

    • wrong spark plugs can be too long and put a hole in the top of the piston - that would seem the most logical (and common) explanation. Could also be the "ticking" noise and lack of power.

      • +1

        if That’s the case I’d be headed for a wrecker engine. Should be plenty of them around.

      • +1

        wrong spark plugs can be too long and put a hole in the top of the piston

        No they wouldn't. The spark plugs in a petrol engine would have to be 2 inches longer to put a hole in the piston, and even then I very much doubt it.

        Most spark plugs are roughly around the same length (give or take 5mm) and most petrol engines have space in the combustion area if the spark plugs was a little longer.

        Coupled to that, the piston hitting the plugs would damage the plugs to a point where they just wouldn't fire. This damage would occur within the first few revolutions of the engine at start up causing the engine to not fire/start.

        And, on top of all of that, the top of a piston is about 10mm or more thick, not real easy for a spark plugs to punch through. If, and this is a really big IF, the plugs were long enough to be hit by the piston, there is a much greater possibility that the piston would just punch the spark plugs out of the head.

        • -4
          • +2

            @poohduck: What I don't know? I've been a mechanic for almost 30 years. In all the times I had pulled engines down for rebuild, I have never seen a spark plug that was long enough that it could punch a hole in the top of a piston. (I have seen the damage a broken spark can cause. Still not a hole though.)

            I have seen holes in pistons and I have seen spark plugs that are too long, but never that one is the result of the other. Mathematically, it is improbable. Metallurgically it is also improbable. Physically, improbable.

            And really, a Scotty Killmer video?? Guy is a nutjob. It's like 20mins of waffle. Got the point in his video where he says that if the spark plug is too long it can punch a hole in a piston??

            Second video. The spark plug did not punch a hole in the piston. There is damage to the crown of the piston, and I totally agree, this can happen if a spark plug gets hit from being too long or is over torqued/broken, but this damage can be caused by any foreign object entering the combustion chamber.

            So, I agree that a plug that is too long is a bad idea and that it can cause issues, what it can't do is be long enough to "put a hole in" the top of a piston.

  • +1

    Definitely take it elsewhere for a better second opinion diagnosis

  • +1

    Regarding ops update - what makes the dealer say it's definitely not from the servicing?

    • Apparently wrong spark plugs wouldn't cause the issue being experienced and I delayed servicing a few times to around 20,000k instead of 15,000k.

      • +1

        If it's not oil related then 20k km's between services is not an issue. Modern motors are over engineered and over serviced.

      • Outside warranty, car not serviced as per logbook… Yeah neither the dealer or Hyundai Australia will help on that one

        • +1

          yeah ur toast

          i dont know how they account for wrong plugs and whatnot if you always brought it to the same authorised place

          but not servicing past 5,000 is a get out of jail card for hundai

          i think also not putting this info right into your post kind of kills your credibility

          i have a shitheap from the same year, an xtrail but during the 5yr warranty always serviced it on time and at the expensive dealer authorised centre

          its a $40k shitheap, treat it like one

  • +1

    Get a second opinion from a decent mechanic and get a proper quote and detailed list of what's wrong exactly
    Get evidence of all the servicing done by Hyundai as proof.
    Then get in touch W Hyundai Australia.
    Push hard for them to repair or replace motor.
    If they say no go to consumer affairs (ACL) is your friend learn your rights!!!!!
    Find out the value of the car by checking second hand prices on carsales and market place.

    Also what's a short motor?

    Good luck.

    • +1

      ACL won't help as OP just admitted the car wasn't serviced as per logbook…

    • +1

      Also what's a short motor?

      Typically a short block is just the block and it's internals (crank, rods, pistons). Long block add head/s with valve train. There's some crossover with which ancillaries are included with each depending on who you ask.

      Given OPs update means they're going to be paying, I'd be inclined to take it elsewhere as the dealer is going to be charging a premium (and have already shown they're not capable of simple things like getting the right spark plugs) and a good independent will likely be cheaper.

  • +1

    I’m not a mechanic, but used to maintain and race a car (& motorcycles) way back in my youth. Short motor replacement sounds a little unusual, unless you’ve had an oil issue (too low, contamination or very poor condition). Spark plug hitting a piston would likely cause more major problems, worse than ticking and ‘wheezing’. A ticking noise is more likely (related to) valve clearance or timing chain, pointing to either just cylinder head work, or (& unlikely) a full whammy long motor. Wrong spark plug might cause excessive heat and damage a valve seat, or cause carbon buildup, either of which may cause a wheezing sound and a tick from valve clearance because the valve isn’t seating correctly. A compression test is fairly easy and may help identify the cause. Bottom end ticks (ie short motor) tend to be dull ticks, while top end are more tinny ticks, if that helps lol.

    • Cheers.

      It does seem to sound more tinny, but I'm not an expert.

      It also doesn't seem to corelate to RPMs, rather the noise releates to how hard I press the accelerator. I've tried driving in high gear at low RPMs and low gear and high RPMs to listen to it. It does seem to be independant of the RPMs, though it isn't clear as the higher the RPMs, the louder the engine becomes and drowns that sound out.

      • +1

        Could it be pinging? At low rpms, push accelerator down and if you get a loud pinging/ticking/knocking noise, that settles down once you back off to a constant rpm. Google “engine pinging” (or “engine knocking”), and Wikipedia. If it’s pinging, it could be caused by poor tuning/timing, or maybe related to your failed engine board or wrong spark plugs.

        If you think it might be this, check Google and YouTube to see if you can hear examples. Pinging over the long term can itself cause engine damage, as well as indicating something is wrong. On old engines it was often a minor fix, but modern engines with computer management it might be more complex. And I’m not a mechanic.

  • +1
  • +1

    This is a common problem with the engine fitted to this model. Last year I had the short motor replaced in my Kia Certato which shares the same engine with the i30 and Elantra. Hyundai are well aware of the issue with this engine. I'd be having an assertive but polite chat with Hyundai head office.

  • Definitely would not back down. Have them replace the engine under good will.

    • Might have a hard time getting that with a poor service history as OP has admitted servicing up to 5000km late.

      • Ouch, sorry missed that point.

        • +2

          Funnily enough, it’s information not offered upfront and is buried in the fine print.

  • +1

    Yes definitely push for them to replace the engine as it's fairly new and only been serviced by them!!

    Worst case find a wrecker yard that has the parts you need should be a fraction of the price to take the engine out of a wrecked car which will only be body damaged with perfectly fine engine etc

    • OP admitted servicing late. Doesn’t look good for good will repair.

  • +1

    Re the video I posted from speedkar99, basic summary is, swarf left in the engine from manufacturing. Engines in the US have had to be replaced by Hyundai.

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