I bought a used 2006 Hyundai Elantra (Automatic) back in early 2011. At the time, I was needed to have a car quick, and it seemed like a good deal, but the longer that I've owned it, the more problems have been popping up. Most of these have been relatively small up until now, but there have been some more prevalent symptoms as of late that are starting to worry me.
The first problem I encountered was overflowing the evap canister. At the time, I didn't realize that this was caused by putting extra gas into the tank after the automatic pump shut off, as my previous car did not experience this problem when rounding the purchase to the next 50 cents. This cost frequent stalling when the purge valve opened. Once I figured out what was going on and burned off the extra gas, the car seemed to drive okay. I did not replace the canister.
Since then, beginning a few months after, I've had a bunch of tiny problems start popping up. I don't know what is and is not relevant, so I'm just going to list everything that I've observed:
- In general, the car doesn't have as much power as it did before. Turning on the AC makes takes an even bigger chunk out of the power, but it seems like to a large extent than other cars I have driven.
- If I take the car above about 55 MPH, the steering wheel and car start to shake left and right. This doesn't seem to be an alignment problem, as the car drives straight as an arrow for a good 5-10 seconds without any outside interaction on a regular road.
- In addition to the above, when accelerating, sometimes it feels like the bottom of the car is shaking back and forth below me. The best way I can describe this feeling is when you are going up the initial include on a roller-coaster being pulled by the chain.
- The car tends to idle very high when first turned on. Usually somewhere in the 1500 rpm range. If I let it sit for about 30 seconds or so, it will reduce back down to 900.
- The car will regularly idle very roughly when stopped.
- Once or twice, electronics in the car have shut off or acted funny. The stereo system cut out with a loud pop, and plugging in a phone occasionally causes the phone to reboot and act like it has lost all charge.
- Car sometimes shifts incredibly hard. In addition, sometimes this tugs on the steering wheel while the car is shifting.
- Occasional odd sounds from the car, sounds like possibly the frame shifting a bit or something like that?
- When shifting from park into reverse or drive, especially when on an incline, the car will sometimes make a clunk noise. When on a decent incline, the shifter is physically tough to put into gear.
- More recently, when making slow turns (such as pulling into a parking space), the car will make a loud clunk noise. I think this coming from the front passenger side of the car, but I don't know.
I've checked the engine readings, but didn't notice anything majorly out of the ordinary. Based on what I've already researched, here is what I've found
- Tranmission fluid may be low / need replaced (last I checked it was okay, but that was a few months ago)
- Engine mounts might be going bad and need to be replaced
- Transmission mounts might be going bad and need to be replaced
- CV Joins going bad and need to be replaced
- Check and replace shocks / struts, if needed
- General suspension issues
I'd like to know which of these (or anything else) seems most likely, so I can start checking them out and hopefully getting it fixed. I definitely don't want to wait until something really important actually breaks!