2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Maintenance Service
Mark: Good morning. It's Mark Bossert, Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. And this is the Pawlik Automotive podcast and video series. And we're talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?
Bernie: Doing well.
Mark: So this week's victim is a Hyundai Sonata hybrid that came in for maintenance service. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: This vehicle was due for a maintenance service, and we performed a B service on this vehicle. So the B service is basically an oil and filter change, and then it's a full comprehensive inspection. So what's included in that? A thorough checklist where we inspect the brakes, steering, suspension, cooling system, electrical system, scan the vehicle, visual inspection underneath the vehicle, looking for fluid leaks, worn belts, hoses, that kind of thing. Suspension components, as I mentioned. It's a very thorough checklist, and we do ours at our shop electronically. So we actually email or text message an inspection where you can actually look over the details and it'll break things down into what's good, what's something to watch for, and things that are actually needing immediate repairs.
Mark: So did you find any other repairs needed?
Bernie: No, this Hyundai was good. It's a 2016, so not very old, and I believe it's around 60,000 kilometres, so it's still pretty young. Nothing required at this point. And the vehicle would still be covered under warranty for a lot of items. So anything we would see, depending on, I guess we'd check with the manufacturer on the warranty, but anything that's warranty needed we'd send back to the dealer to get repaired.
Mark: So this is the first Hyundai hybrid that we've talked about. Is there anything unique about Hyundai's approach to making a hybrid vehicle?
Bernie: Yeah, this vehicle's a little different. I mean, the Toyota Prius, the Toyota technology is kind of the most common that we see. And it's proven, it's durable. The Hyundai's a little different. I mean it's a hybrid, and I'll just get into some pictures and we'll discuss some of the technology and look at some pictures under the hood.
So there is our vehicle, this one's been a little customized. It's got a bit of a body kit, some nice wheels on it. It actually looks really sporty. It's a pretty cool-looking vehicle. As far as other items, you can always tell the Hyundai, they've got this blue symbol here, which is their hybrid technology symbol. The little green leaf, supposing it's ecological. So there's the view of the engine compartment from the top. So the gasoline internal combustion engine as we now like to call them, we just called them engines in the past, but now there's a new name for them. So the engine located here. This actually has a six-speed transmission, unlike some other vehicles that don't actually have a full transmission. This has one electric motor, one electric drive motor located probably around this area here. And then it has a transmission. It has a clutch that will disconnect the engine and transmission.
So it's a little different than some other designs of hybrid. Back here we have the braking, the master cylinder and braking components. I'll talk about those in a minute. We've got basically two cooling systems in this vehicle. This is an HGV, and so this is for the hybrid system. And then there's a cooling system over here for the engine. And we can talk about that one again in a minute too. I'll get into a couple more pictures. So this is a view, you can see the passenger side of the engine compartment. So there's a separate cooling system for the engine over here.
And this is kind of a unique component here of the hybrid system on this vehicle. This is actually a motor generator. So this is kind of like a starter motor and alternator at the same time. So this will charge the 12-volt electrical system and this will actually start the vehicle via with a drive belt. So it's gotta be a pretty skookum arrangement. You know, in the past of course the starter motor would engage and a gear would, I would say jump, but a gear would be engaged with the ring gear on the flywheel. But in this case it doesn't have that system. It has a belt drive start. So keeping this belt in good condition, of course, is going to be a very important item. And this is a water cooled unit as well. So again, when I look at this, I go, there's an expensive repair. The only other vehicles that I know off the top of my head that use a water cooled alternator are BMW, and it's a very expensive part. So I would expect this one would be equivalently expensive at the time that it goes bad.
Here's a view of the hybrid cooling system, which this is found on the driver's side of the vehicle. So again, there's two cooling systems to service, but given time, antifreezes last a long time. It's not like it used to be 20 or 30 years ago, where you have to flush your cooling system once a year. These antifreezes will last for five years or longer. So good long life, not much service required on these.
Mark: And that's for cooling the batteries, basically?
Bernie: That's for cooling the batteries. That's for cooling the motor generator section. Actually, not necessarily for cooling the batteries, 'cause the batteries are in the back, and they will more likely use the air conditioning system to keep them cool.
But the hybrid cooling system keeps the motors and inverter area cool. So the electrical components under the hood. This is the brake master cylinder. And what's kind of unique about it, it doesn't have a power brake booster as you would traditionally have in an internal combustion engine type of vehicle. A lot of electronics attached to this piece. It doesn't really show the full gamut of this piece, but when I look at it, I go, this is a unique component compared to what braking systems normally are. And of course it's a hybrid vehicle, so it uses regenerative braking. And how regenerative braking works is, as soon as you hit the brake pedal, it turns the electric drive motor into a generator, and that will use the, that'll basically slow the vehicle down and recharge the battery.
So that's really a huge advantage of a hybrid or electric vehicle, is you're using the braking energy to recharge the battery. There's a lot of complexity with this piece. When I look at stuff like this, I go "Well, that's a lot of money to fix," 'cause that's kind of where my life goes sometimes, since we're in the business of fixing vehicles. But hopefully like a lot of ABS type brake components, it'll be durable and have few problems. And it has a regular hydraulic system as well. So again, with this unit the electronics here will separate whether, how much is applied to the actual brakes at the wheels versus the ...
Bernie: Generative braking. Thank you, Mark. Okay. What else do we have here? We've looked at this, the motor generator, the engine. I think we've looked at it all.
Mark: So I'm sure that this vehicle has a fuel savings. What do you think of it as a worthwhile purchase?
Bernie: Well, you know, I've been reluctant about hybrids for a long time. When Toyota came out with the Prius I was going "Oh, that's just way too complicated technology." And I always advised people don't buy it, there's too much stuff to go wrong. And actually, there is a lot to go wrong, but Toyota's proven the hybrid technology is very reliable, because nothing, very little ever breaks down on it, which is good. Battery, even there's actually a statistic that I read that apparently 95% of Toyota hybrids have never had the battery replaced. Which is pretty amazing, because that's people's biggest fear, is when the battery goes, it's a $5,000 or $6,000 replacement. But it doesn't happen very often. So that's a good thing.
Hyundai, we don't know. This technology's a little different. I see a lot of expensive items. Hyundais are generally pretty reliable. But as you and I talked before this podcast, they do have a lot of engine problems. We don't know how good the internal combustion engine is in this vehicle. And all it takes is one problematic component to really make the whole vehicle too expensive to repair given some time. So hopefully this will prove out to be a pretty decent vehicle. It's certainly, you know, the specs are 40 miles per gallon on the highway, which is really pretty awesome. So if it's generally like most Hyundai products, it's good, but hopefully they've done their work and built everything properly in the first place.
Mark: And do you have any, what's the range on electric only? Is this a plug-in hybrid or is it ...
Bernie: Yeah, this is not a plug-in hybrid. So I don't know. I don't know if the newest models, the 2019s, are plug-ins or not. Though that certainly makes it a more worthwhile vehicle too, I think, a plug-in hybrid is a much better option than just a regular hybrid. Not a lot more complexity to it, just to plug it in. And the advantages are huge.
Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for some service for your Hyundai in Vancouver, even the new ones, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call ahead and book because they're very busy. Or check out the website, PawlikAutomotive.com. YouTube series at Pawlik Auto Repair on YouTube, hundreds of videos on there on all makes and models of cars, all types of repairs. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Thanks, Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching.