Hi Scotty, April 2018 I purchased a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe for $3300 and the freaking thing broke down on me while going to work one morning in Sept 2018. I admit, I didn't take it to a mechanic before I purchased it and I will NEVER do that again. My dad is a mechanic (he lives about 2 hours away) and based on what I explained about the situation when it broke down, he thinks that the timing belt may have broke and says that valves and cylinders could have been damaged. A few weeks before it broke down, I heard some scratching sounds as well and was thinking it was a pulley or something. I am considering scrapping the car but I hate to have lost so much money. Should I get the vehicle fixed if the timing belt did break? Also, the AC isn't blowing cold and when I took it to the shop here in College Station, Tx to get looked at about a month after I bought it, they said the whole AC system will need to be fixed costing around $1600. Is it worth getting fixed? What would you do at this point?

Comments (2)
No. 1-2
ladybyrd
ladybyrd

Hi Techsus,

Yes, right now it is disabled. It has been sitting in my driveway since Sept 2018. About 2 weeks before it broke down, I was hearing a scratching noise so I had a mobile mechanic come check it out. He thought it was the tensioner pulley causing the noise but he didn't seem confident and he didn't take anything apart to really diagnose it so I decided that I would wait and get my dad to diagnose the vehicle as soon as I would get my next check (he is out of town). Shortly after, I was headed to work and after about 3 minutes of driving, the SUV started smoking under the hood and it cut off. I drifted into a parking lot, cried on the inside :( , and had it towed back to the house.

Thing about it, after I bought the car, the AC stopped blowing cold within that 1st week so I took it to B and B Automotive here in College Station (4.9 stars on Google reviews) and they diagnosed my vehicle for $120. Gave me a print out saying that I had a valve gasket leak, needed to change the serpentine belt (my dad said the belt was in good shape so not sure what's going there), they did an AC charge and dye service, and my CV shaft needed to be replaced. They didn't say anything was wrong with the timing belt at the time. The SUV has about 150k miles. Also, the check engine light came on around the same time that the AC stopped blowing cold and I had received the "mass air flow sensor" code. At this point, I just don't know if it is worth spending more money on it.

I am currently looking for a Toyota or Honda between the years 1990-2000's. If I do buy one, I will probably see if Scotty can look at it for me before I buy it since I am not too far from Houston. I actually had a 2006 Hyundai that lasted for 10 years and it would have lasted longer if someone else who drove it didn't wreck the darn thing.

Thank you for your reply!

Techsus
Techsus

Is your vehicle completely disabled? How far did you drive after timing belt/chain broke? Might've been tensioner failure. (I'd get several estimates for AC fix, might not be $1,600 once it's correctly diagnosed.) Hyundai are interference engines-- if timing chain (belt) did fracture, you're right to expect internal engine damage from pistons hitting side of engine. Might need a new engine. All of a sudden, you've got repair costs that will umbrella you in this vehicle. If it's worth $85 to you-- pay an honest mechanic to evaluate it-- confirm tensioner, timing belt/chain failure; assess damage. Ask mechanic what they charge to just replace timing belt. // If it's not even worth $85 to get it diagnosed, sell it for what you can, and get a Toyota RAV4, Corolla, Camry-- whichever year falls into your price range. Scotty Kilmer had this to say about used Hyundai on 30DEC2018: "Q. Scotty, what about Japanese vs. Korean cars, Kia Hyundai Subaru Chrysler Honda Toyota Nissan? A. SK: If you want a sedan or coupe, want it to last as long as possible, get a Toyota or STANDARD Honda. I would NOT buy a Korean car, they're better than they USED to be, BUT THEY ARE STILL NOT AS GOOD AS A TOYOTA! Some mechanics will say, "Yeah, buy that car," knowing they'll make a lot of money off that car breaking down! I don't advise you to buy any of those [Korean]. Unless you buy a NEW one and only intend to drive it 100,000-mi. only. If you're going to buy nothing but used cars, stick to Honda or Toyota."