Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Experience With Sonata

It has been 3 months since I am driving my new Sonata and I wanted to share experience that I had with it. Hopefully it will help some people decide whether to purchase the car or not.

*** Day to day

I still like driving it day to day. After the initial break-in period I started to drive it a little faster and my mileage suffers as a result. I still get close to 32 MPG on average but nowhere near 35.5 which I was getting earlier. Seem like the optimal speed for best MPG is 45-55 MPH. Unfortunately this is not very practical on CA freeways.
I found that white color is not as practical as I originally thought. It definitely stays cool in the summer but it get dirty and marks easily. Also somehow it seems that paint on the Sonata is very thin and chips off easy or maybe it is just noticeable on the white car. Ether way I need to get some touch-up paint to prevent any rusting. Chips are not big just noticeable more than on our silver Camry.
I have purchased a cargo tray for the trunk and it fits well and helps keep the trunk clean. If you like to keep your car clean I highly recommend it. We have it in all of our cars and it worth the expense.

*** Maintenence

I changed oil in Sonata for the first time. Although first oil change is not due until 5K I like to change oil twice during the first recommended interval. Clears out any metal particles from oil that may have been in the new engine.
The procedure was relatively painless. The oil plug is located in the back of the engine so you have to raise the car or access it blind. I choose the second option. There is an aerodynamic plastic cover under the engine which prevented my old oil pan from fitting under the car. I had to get new shorter oil pan. I did not like my old pan anyway so this was not a big problem.
I found that all of the service manual are available online from Hyundai just for registering. This is great if you like to maintain your car yourself.
The OEM oil filters are available on eBay for reasonable price but are expensive from a dealer (surprise). There is a Wallmart brand Super Tech filter which is around $2.30. Reviews online say that if it made in US it is relatively good. It is made by the same company who made Mobil1 filter and shares some of the components with it.

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