Well, I've been starting to have
power steering fluid leaking all over the place. Took a look up under the car and the high pressure power steering hose is spitting out a lot of fluid. Judging from these reviews this is a very common problem with sonatas. Usually seems to happen around 100K (my 2002 has 105K on it). Definitely a design flaw, but don't know if it meets criteria for a class action. Would do this myself to save some $ but can't really save that much as this is a dealer part that's about $300. I'll let the techs install as I'm sure they've done plenty and the labor (although it's not a 2 second job) is not the brunt of the cost.
The one thing all buyers should be aware of and this goes for many cars from 1995 to 2008 is that many, even Acura used timing belts. Many of these cars engines are Interference engines which means extremely close tolerances. So, if the timing belt breaks (It will give no warning) , most likely it will destroy your engine. If the engine is non-interference (many 1995 to 2000 were) it means your walking and need to get your car towed, and looking at a $700 repair to reinstall the belt. So, if you are intent to buy one and don't know if that belt was replace, then you must replace it soon or gamble on losing your engine.
The 2002 V-6 Sonata I bought looked almost brand new in and out , underneath and even the engine bay. (I know dealers clean them, but the car was well pampered.) I paid a bit more but this car was outstanding. Not one ding on the car, no accidents , EC interior, and only one very small minor scratch (about an inch ) on the bumper. Pearl White. I did own a 2002 4 cyl long ago and I never had a problem with it. I also own a 2013 Elantra Limited and like that as well.
I know it's early in the process but I put about 550 miles on it so far, and no complaints and very happy. There is a lot of junk out there in that price range. I had Toyota's and they are wonderful reliable cars and would have bought another had the price been right. Anyway, In its present condition it hard to think there will be problems popping up soon, but then again, its relatively new and it is a 14 year old car, but I can tell somethings were replace like the A/C , and front brakes etc. I wrench on cars so I can do somethings when they do come up. I would say the idle is not the smoothest but once in drive it is pretty quiet and a very comfortable soft ride. Quiet in park as well. Tires look almost new, and exhaust doesn't seem that old, so it's relatively quiet, accept upon acceleration. It emits a growl, which sounds kinda like dual exhaust so its not too troubling. No it's not as quiet as my new car on acceleration but hey, it is 14 years old. Power is decent at 170 HP. Handling is good, and visibility is real good. Brakes are firm. Everything works well, including Power sunroof. Dash looks brand new , and its beige in color. I can tell this car spent a lot of time in the garage and not in the sun. Paint shines!
I saw many articles on the rear brakes and how they made lock up. Yes, I think the design was bad. I did take the rear wheels off, and I believe the problem is the metal slide clips they use are a bad design. I sanded down those slides, and also the edge of the pads, and used high temp grease to ensure movement. I just want to avoid possible problems since it seems this was a concern. It's not hard to do this.
Like most cars, the 2002 Sonata has its recalls and defects, at first this car was rated very high in customer satisfaction and industry standards, for the most part this still holds true despite
recall defects... what i find interesting about the bad features of this vehicle is not that it's a bad car but that simply stated, The only thing bad about this car is mainly small recall issues in its performace design. what i really like about the company is thats they are quick to investigate any problems with this car to fix any malfunctions free of cost...5 stars here..thats called trust!
I bought my 2002 Hyundai Sonata new, driving 100 miles from my home to the dealer who had the
color and options I wanted. Overall, this car has been excellent. It now has 190,000 miles on it and I can honestly say the problems that I have had have been minimal. Those issues include a bad oxygen sensor, a power steering leak and the starter replaced, all of these things after 120,000 miles. I will admit that I have not been as maintenance conscious as I should have been, but despite that, she continues to run like a champ.
I bought one for $10,000 w/29k miles. I wrecked it at 142k miles. At 40mph, I T-boned an SUV, and it still started, but Esurance totaled it.
The water pump died at around 80k, covered. Between 100k & 142k, I replaced the front wheel bearings in 2011 (I drove offroad a few times), battery, alternator, rear brake calipers. That's it, nothing else major went wrong. Minor things the past year or two, tape deck died, radio display flickers (I have Sirius, so that doesn't matter), antenna only goes half-way up.