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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ran into this a few years back, and wonder if it has happened to anyone else, and if anyone had a better solution. 2000, bone stock, auto. at the time 70k, now at 130k last time I changed the oil.

If the temps stay in the 30's or below and the car sits out overnight (now its in the garage at night) it doesn't want to start. it gets a few bottles of heat a week. last time it happened, I replace the battery, plugs ect in the parking lot at her work one night. Then went ahead and checked the starter once it got home. After that it started it ran fine. So I've just been changing the plugs before the winter, and seems to help it out, but still if it sits out, it doesn't like to turn over. Any other suggestions? Fuel Filter maybe?
 

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Well,

How cold is it in your location? Maybe you shoudl look into getting a engine block heater, a battery blanket, or a oil pan heater if it gets 10 degrees or lower. Maybe you might try upgrading your primary 3 power cables (Alternator to battery, ect...) and adding in a homebrew grounding kit.

Howie~
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
might look into the upgraded cables, cold around here is in the teens or 20's. Thanks for the idea.
 

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How long since you changed the battery? They're supposed to last about 4-5 years, which would be about the interval indicated by the mileage. Might want to get it tested at a parts store. I bought my 99 with 70k miles almost 4 years ago, it now has 135k (and a new battery). Autozone Duralasts with the red top are a good bang for the buck according to Consumer Reports.

The homebrew ground wires do work pretty well. You'll notice a difference in the engine not kicking down as much when you turn on the headlights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sciphi said:
How long since you changed the battery? They're supposed to last about 4-5 years, which would be about the interval indicated by the mileage. Might want to get it tested at a parts store. I bought my 99 with 70k miles almost 4 years ago, it now has 135k (and a new battery). Autozone Duralasts with the red top are a good bang for the buck according to Consumer Reports.

The homebrew ground wires do work pretty well. You'll notice a difference in the engine not kicking down as much when you turn on the headlights.
gald we think alike, the Battery is a red top Duralast. its about 3 years old. She bought the car with 18k on it 4 years ago next month.
 

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Test it and see if it's bad or not. Also, running a 5w-30 synthetic blend like Valvoline Maxlife will help the car start up easier when the temperatures really drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sciphi said:
Test it and see if it's bad or not. Also, running a 5w-30 synthetic blend like Valvoline Maxlife will help the car start up easier when the temperatures really drop.
I'll have to check the battery, haven't thought of that yet. in the colder weather, run do the Castrol High Mileage 5w-30 in it. I just can't bring myself to go with a synthetic in the car. I'm changing the oil every 3000, but that gets her about 5-6 weeks.

sciphi - thank you for the feedback, and please keep the ideas coming.

Brian
 

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my car didn't like sythetic when I had it. I put in about 4 quarts in and ended up putting another quart in around 1400miles later. When I changed it, it only let out like 2.5 quarts into the pan...

I agree change battery and new grounds..

It is your fuel filter since you said you have troubles having it turn over.
So it is electrical issues.
 

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Full synthetic is a bit overkill. I have had no problems running a synthetic blend oil, however. This is on a 99 Elantra with 135k miles.

Ground wires you can make for about $10 worth of wire and ring terminals. 6 or 8 gauge wire is fine for a daily driver. I replaced the stock ground to the negative battery terminal when doing everything else. That stock ground is a piece of twine. DIY Project #3
should give you an idea of what to do.

Please, let us know how everything turns out!
 

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But if it deosnt want to turn over, then it sure cant be plugs, or oil viscosity. Sounds like a starter or battery issue. Ive only used bosch platinums and never had to replace them. Terminals and cables all in good shape?
 

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More clarification is needed, unless guessing is all you want.

All you said was it did not like the cold, so we know that whatever is happening is happening when it's cold, but what is it that is happening when it's cold?

Is it not wanting to turn over like a dead battery?

Is it turning over ok but refusing to kick over like it's out of fuel?

Does it start to kick over like it wants to start but just not quite catching?

Does it start but die right after?

How cold is it when the problem happens?

It's like telling 911 that a guest at your house is not well, but to mention the HUGE bullet wound in the chest would be helpfull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RED02GT said:
All you said was it did not like the cold, so we know that whatever is happening is happening when it's cold, but what is it that is happening when it's cold?

Is it not wanting to turn over like a dead battery?

Is it turning over ok but refusing to kick over like it's out of fuel?

Does it start to kick over like it wants to start but just not quite catching?

Does it start but die right after?

How cold is it when the problem happens?

It's like telling 911 that a guest at your house is not well, but to mention the HUGE bullet wound in the chest would be helpfull.
Not like a dead battery, kind of a slow start, replacing the battery ws the first thing I did, still same result. (Duralast Red Top, 3 years old)

Could be like fuel was froze up someplace in the fuel lines. 2nd time it happened (last winter), I pushed it in the garage with the heat on for a few hours, and it fired up.

To me it was more like a weak or lack of spark, but this is the first car I've delt with that has spark plugs in 5-6 years (mine's a Diesel). When I did change the plugs, and wires, it seems to correct the problem the night it first happened (3 years ago), so just thought it needed plugs, the car had 40k on it, and just figured it was due. So I have just changed the plugs every year for the last 2. $12 and 15 minutes in the garage that is heated with my tools, is worth it compaired to the hour drive to her work, and stand in a parking lot at night trying to do the same thing.

Once it starts up, its fine, so wouldn't seem like a fuel filter was clogged up, the car doesn't bog down, like if it was dirty filter, or a fuel pump going out.

Temps will have to get and staying in below 30 deg F. Like, I said its only when the car sits out in these temps for an extended period of time, such as over night, or for a work shift. So 8-12 hrs.

The car is stock, 135k on it, She drives 30K+ a year. Bought w/18k 4 years ago in Feb. Oil changed every 3k (Castrol GTX High mileage 10w-30(5W-30 IN THE WINTER), WIX filters). Starter checked out fine when I checked it last winter.

So it seems like either the spark gets weak, or a fuel line is freezing up someplace when its cold outside.
 

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It is possible that the coil packs might be going out. Another possibility is the fuel pump is not pumping as it should when it is cold (the pump impellers can bend) and if fuel is thicker, the pump can't push it easily.

At 135K miles, the pump is getting old. Injectors might need replacing as well.
 

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that is weird those temps arent cold enough for the car to do that not sure what is wrong though. I had an 02 with no block heater or any other external heater for that matter in sub -40 Celcius weather with stock and full synthetic oil and never even had a hesitation of the car not starting, i wound up with 120 000 km on the car when i got rid of it.
 

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That kind of crap happens all the time here in Alaska...

Just swtich to 5w/40 and get something to keep your engine warm. I didn't think it got THAT cold in Illinois. We only plug in when it's less than 20 and that's not common until about Dec.

Howie~
 

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For all exposed above i think is clear that the car DO CRANK BUT SLOW...forget everything else n focus battery n starter. (n in between).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback and ideas. I changed the plugs, went to the winter oil (5w-30) so far so good. Ok that the good news.

Bad is the Transmission started slipping pretty bad last night, so I think its time to part ways with it. Can't justify spending money on tranny work into a car with 134k on it. It was bought with 18k on it 4 years ago.
 

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Manual or auto? A clutch is about $100, and $30 for new transmission fluid. And a good solid chunk of time replacing the sucker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its an auto. I wish it was a manual, cheap and easy enough to replace. But she doesn't know how to drive one, and refuses to let me teach her.
 
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