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George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 18664
Experience:  ASE Master Tech 15+ yrs, AAS Automotive Technology, Factory trained Asian specialist
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Hyundai santa fe: motor & trans concerns because of low mi

Resolved Question:

Hi im interested in buying a 04 Hyundai santa fe with 17,000 mi.i have motor & trans concerns because of low mi. over long period of time. dealer do better than $10.7
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  George H. replied 8 years ago.

Hello I will help you with your question,


I would have concerns also. If the oil was changed to account for the moisture and acid buildup of the short trip/storage I might be inclined to purchse this but I would not pay a premium for the low miles unless a factory extended warranty was rolled into the deal.


With that being said I bought my Mother a Sonota in '04 and she just turned 10000 miles. I would not hesitate to buy that car as I know the service history.


If the SantaFe is all original it needs all the rubber replaced (belts,tires,timing belt) and the transmission flushed for minimun service so that is a large expense to start


If you have further questions about this please ask


Thank you



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
is there any way for me to check for this potencial prob.
Expert:  George H. replied 8 years ago.

Check the rubber for cracking, the life of rubber products is five years so you are right there, the transmission is not that critical but if the coolant has not been serviced (still dark green) it need to be changed as the service interval is 2 years and this is well beyond that. If this is the dealer ask for the warranty history to see if this was a problem vehicle and a carfax report will show all the registered owners and their state of registration.


You can take it to an independant technician and have a used vehicle inspection done (about 1 hours time for cost) and make him aware of your concerns so that they will look for any problems. If the dealer wil not let you have an inspection done I would walk

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
dealer showed me a service order for replaced timing belt ,ill ck belt & coolant. tires look original or atleast in good biggest concern is more internal,main seal, rings,sludge,moisture etc.
Expert:  George H. replied 8 years ago.
If you pull the oil filler and inspect the inside you can get an idea of what the sludge situation is. If the coolant and belts were just checked I would be expecting to change those and I would question why a dealer replaced the timing belt as they do not want to spend a dime they don't have to. Make sure the invoice is for that vehicle and not just an inspection performed by their used car tech. Are they certifying this vehicle? Is there any warranty? Tires are likely original as the tread will last 60,000 or more. These engines do not leak as a rule so that would not be a concern of mine.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
they said the timing belt needs change every so many mi.(dont remember) or every 3-5 yrs. invoice looked auth. no cert. offered to split cost of ext. warrenty
Expert:  George H. replied 8 years ago.
If the warranty is from Fidelity or Hyundai I would take it but not any other third party warranty. They are correct about the belt I am surprised they did it, most will not. The other rubber has a similar life but if it fails the result is not as catastrophic.
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