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FIX IT MAN, Master Technician
Category: Hyundai
Satisfied Customers: 17468
Experience:  Master Automotive Technician
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Hyundai Sante Fe: Our 2013 Sante Fe has 20K miles on it. It

Customer Question

Our 2013 Sante Fe has 20K miles on it. It started to hesitate on acceleration many months ago and has been seen 5 times at 2 different dealerships. Once we heard that the throttle body was dirty after getting check engine light. No codes were found during diagnostics so the dealership reset the light and off we went. Now we have been told that E85 gas is in the tank and whole system needs flushed at a cost of $750 (not covered under warranty). We live in Virginia and dont see E85 gas pumps. We are very frustrated since we dont use E85 and service our vehicles religiously.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Hyundai
Expert:  FIX IT MAN replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** you for the question. It is common for E85 to cause this. If you do not know where the fuel came from then it will be hard to hold someone responsible for it. With that being said it should not cost this much to flush it out. If the engine is still running and just having a check engine light and some issues then all they really need to do is pump out as much as possible and add fresh fuel. E85 is easily cleaners out if it is caught early enough. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Bobby, but the options are either walk away from the dealership and hopefully all of the E85 will get diluted with fresh gas on next fill up............or pay the money and have them flush the system. What I am most puzzled about is that we dont have E85 pumps in our area nor have we used E85 gas. I feel puzzled since the vehicle has been seen 5 times for the same hesitation and only now are they telling me about E85. The engine light has only come on once many months ago and that dealership said it was a dirty throttle body. He clean it, reset the light and off we went. The hesitation is small, but a new car should not be doing this with only 20K miles. The hesitation started at 10K, so again, I am puzzled.......and I feel the dealership is 'fishing' now, but they said they tested the gas and E85 mixture was evident. How do they check for E85 since we use mostly Exxon 87 and filled it up only two weeks ago?
Expert:  FIX IT MAN replied 2 years ago.
There are companies and test kits out there that are available to detect E85. It does sound fishy though. The only way it would have gotten in there then would be if a station had the wrong fuel or contaminated fuel put in their tank.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I totally agree that a pump could have been contaminated, but I cant prove it! Again, the two options are to just take car and hope that whatever is in the tank gets diluted on future refills of 87 octane, or pay for the system to be flushed. I can pay for the flush and hope that the problem is fixed, but I dont feel that E85 is the culprit in the first place. I have done extensive research on where E85 is and we dont purchase at any of the locations listed. This goose chase has opened my eyes to a bigger I getting the correct repair and resolution? I am not asking you to answer that. I am just trying to see the whole picture. I might be living with a hesitation on a new car!
Expert:  FIX IT MAN replied 2 years ago.
Without seeing the test results and knowing he concentration of E85 it will be hard for me to tell. If you have run several tanks of fuel through the vehicle since this has started then I would pick it up from the dealers and add some fuel conditioner like HEET and new fuel. Do this a few times and see if anything changes. If not then the E85 wasn't and isn't the issue. It does sound suspicious to me also as you have been back several times for this. I have seen a lot of computer programming issues cause this on your vehicle, and typically a re flash of the computer fixes it.