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2007 Hyundai Sonata SE

234 HP 3.3 Litre V6
5-speed Shiftronic Automatic
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
A/C, Power Windows/Mirrors/
Driving Lights, Traction Control
Cruise Control


September 27, 2023 -The headlights were not really bad, but I figured there might be a problem trying to get them in a few years.  The car is already 16 years old, and the market is drying up.  Both the radio and headlights became an issue, though I was able to find a modern radio replacement that works great.  The first set of headlights seemed to have an internal issue where the parking light wouldn't work.  The second set, from another vendor, were missing the bulbs that were supposed to be included, which they refunded enough to cover purchase.  But then the headlights themselves had the same fault.  I was refunded the rest of the purchase price, It took a week for me to realize that the headlights I'd been sent were for another region - probably Europe.  They had an extra white bulb for the parking light that was blocked off on mine.  The third set fit and worked perfectly, and included the bulbs. I'll store the old set for future use just in case.
September 18, 2023 - It has taken some work, but progress is finally being made.  I sent the 'remanufactured' radio back and ordered a new modern unit that replaced the radio and the two side panels.  The radio itself is great, but there were no instructions and it turned out that you have to do some wiring and use some of the original mounting hardware. After I got everything working, it took some time to figure out how to set things.  But I now have everything I wanted set - the radio sounds great, the steering controls work, and I was even able to hook up to my phone.  Now to sort out the headlights.
September 8, 2023 - The poor Sonata has suffered of late. The radio started showing the same bad LCD that prompted replacement back in 2019, so I have been trying to find a good one.  Several possible units in local junkyards all ended up having the same LCD panel issue, or were the wrong version.  So I bit the bullet and ordered a 'remanufactured' unit off eBay yesterday.  It arrived today, and had a totally dead LCD panel. What do they do in a 'remanufacture?'  Anyway, that has been sent back and they promise to send one with a good LCD panel.  I also have been trying to replace the headlights - the first set had a bad internal circuit and had to be sent back.  The second set arrived yesterday and was missing all the bulbs that were supposed to be in it.  On top of that, the cup holder and shift knob both got broken by a passenger pulling on them to get into the seat.  That took quite a bit of searching, and a little superglue to sort out. I also checked the cabin air filter and found that a critter has been living in it for a while, but not long enough to leave any remnants. I ordered new ones from Amazon and got it replaced today. I also ordered a replacement for the broken right side radio filler.
May 26, 2023 - Chip and I went to Pick-N-Pull today to see what might be available on an MG that just came in yesterday.  I did pick up a Weber carb and manifold, but more importantly, I came across a 2007 Sonata with the tan leather interior.  Best of all, it was a half-price sale.  It took about an hour to remove the front and rear seats, and the bottom cushion of the driver's seat may need replacement, but I have wished for leather seats ever since I bought the car.  If these work out, they will be a neat improvement over the current fabric.

Follow-Up: When I cleaned the leather, a lot more wear showed up.  The seats are in the garage at present, awaiting a decision on what to do.

November 14, 2022 - I lost the keys to Rodney yesterday while shopping using the Sonata, and brought the Sonata home for some much-needed attention. A neighbor's pine trees drop sap all over it, and it is usually covered with needles.  Plus mom's dog rides in the back most times and gets the seat pretty hairy.  I vacuumed and shampooed the interior, and then got the outside cleaned.  I had to use solvents to get pine sap off, compound the paint, and then wax it to help prevent future damage. There are a few spots where body repair paintwork is starting to show minor issues, but overall the car remains in excellent condition.
May 23, 2022 - The alternator light came on today while I was driving, and I realized the A/C compressor and power steering were both out.  I got home and found that the serpentine belt had come loose.  With rain every day for the next few days and the Sonata being my 'Mom' car (She can get in and out and it carries her mobility scooter), I took it over to Great Bridge Service Center in Chesapeake for an expected belt and tensioner replacement.  I was surprised to find out that the issue was a bad harmonic balancer - the bottom-most pulley that drives everything else.  It had separated and come apart.  Even more surprising was finding out the job would cost less, as the tensioner was more expensive than the harmonic balancer and was in good shape.  The shop got the car done that afternoon for a minimal down time. 
March 30, 2022 - Although it has only been driven a few hundred miles in the past year, age took its toll.  I had to replace the cracking tires, door handles, and the battery a few months ago, so the Sonata was in great shape for its inspection.  It passed with no issues, as expected.
January 31, 2022 - The Sonata sits for long periods now, covered up in my Mom's driveway.  I got a surprise when the passenger front retainer section fell off when I uncovered it last weekend.  Some research turned up a common issue with the Sonata door handles, so much so that all of the ones in local self-serve yards already had the handles removed when the in-lot photos were taken!  I checked online, and found that I could replace the entire set with brand new black handles for $25.75 or upgrade to a chromed set for $48.  Seeing as the paint never really matches exactly, I went for the chrome and am very pleased with the results. You can replace the handles without pulling the door interior panels off thanks to an access hole in each door that lets you remove the bolt for the retainer. The handles just slide backwards and pop out, letting you slide the new handle into place and install the retainer block.  I had been concerned about the chrome not looking 'right', but it blends in fine with other chrome accents.
December 18, 2021 - A slow leak prompted a visit to Discount Tire for a repair and rebalancing prior to an expected trip to North Carolina.  However when we looked close at the tires I discovered they were starting to dry rot.  While they might have been OK for a while, there was no point in taking a chance.  Happily, Discount had several choices, and I picked a middle-of-the-road set that ended up costing just over $600.  Ouch. The car rides and handles great with the new tires, and they should last a good while.
August 15, 2021 - No issues with the Sonata, other than neglect.  It is permanently parked at Mom's as her ready taxi, and has been subjected to pine needles and sap from the neighbor's trees.  I took the car home this weekend and gave it a good cleaning, then dug out the car cover I had bought for it at least a year ago.  When I took the car back to Mom's tonight, first order of business was getting the cover on and secured.  That should at least protect it from wasps (they tried to set up housekeeping inside the passenger mirror), birds, and most importantly, pine trees!
May 31, 2021 - About 7 months ago, the driver's side rear door handle broke off - I picked up the replacement a long time ago, but just got around to replacing it today.  After painting the new handle and end cap to match, taking the door apart was pretty easy.  I also pulled the driver's door apart to replace a bad door lock switch, again an easy task.  After that, the real work came in cleaning the poor car up.  It has been sitting at my Mom's for weeks under pine trees, and desperately needed a good wash.
May 25, 2021 - For the first time in fourteen years, the Sonata was DOA.  Not it's fault, though.  The car has been sitting at my Mom's most of the year since it is the best car I have for carrying her and her scooter places.  So the three-year battery died after a little more than four years unnoticed until this past Sunday, when the remote trunk release didn't work.  I discovered a dead battery and a corrosion-covered negative terminal.  Amazon provided the factory NOS new terminal end today, and Sam's Club happened to have my size battery on sale for $20 off!  I was able to pull the old battery tonight, run over to Sam's, then back to Mom's to install the new battery and cable end.  Amazingly, even the radio presets are still there!
March 29, 2021 - It's been more than a year since my last entry.  The Sonata has done wonderfully, though it sits at my Mom's most of the time since she can get in and out of it easily and the trunk accommodates her scooter.  However, the car developed a persistent squeaking that I was pretty sure had to be the original serpentine belt.  Looked like an easy job, so I started it yesterday.  What I thought would be a 30-minute session ended two and a half hours later with me giving up for the day and heading of to dinner.  Best Bud Chip proved his mettle by showing up this afternoon to push, pull, and prod along with me.  Turns out it is a two-man job, for once we finally got the new belt back in position he was able to roll it over the last pulley while I held the tensioner.  There was an anxious moment as I started the car, but the belt ran true and silently.  Now I recall why I pay to have the 'modern' cars fixed at shops!  In fairness, however, the Sonata has been great, and at 136K miles and 14 years old, it continues to be a joy to drive. 
December 16, 2019 - The passenger side visor has apparently been breaking in slow motion, sagging slightly over the past couple of weeks.  When I tried to move it down and up again, the outer casing that keeps pressure snapped.  Some super glue kept it in position until today, when the NOS replacement showed up.  Gotta love eBay - factory parts in the Hyundai wrapper delivered in a few days.  As usual, the repair was fast and easy.  I don't know how or why the original visor broke, as I rarely have passengers.  All fixed now.
October 14, 2019 - After 13 years, the driver's inside door handle broke apart inside the door.  It remained working, if quite loose, giving me time to locate a new factory replacement on eBay. I planned to use the opportunity to replace the long-defunct electric door lock actuator, at least until I got the door apart and discovered the extent of work required.  The door handle was easy, just a minute or two once I got the door panel off.  Getting to the actuator requires pulling the whole inner panel and disconnecting the window regulator - I opted to continue manually locking the car.  $15 for the part and maybe 30 minutes work.
October 2, 2019 - The vehicles in my care generally exist in a nicer state than most - I fix things as soon as they break, and stay up on the cosmetics.  However, when I was told about a really excellent detailer by a friend in the antique car club, I decided to let him work on the 1986 Buick for our big show.  That turned out so nice I asked him to detail the Sonata, which ahs been sitting over at my Mom's for months.  Even knowing what a nice job he had done on the Buick, I was still not prepared for the extent of detailing expended on the Sonata. My main goal was to get the commercial glaze on the paint for the coming winter.  Steve Wright of  Wright Detailing went over the entire car.  In addition to cleaning and machine polishing the exterior, he shampooed the interior, cleaned the trunk, and even got the engine bay sparkling better than new.  The Mazda is next!
August 11, 2019 - After 12 years, I finally had the first non-wear issue with the Sonata - the LCD display for the radio went black so that you could barely read anything.  A replacement radio was sourced from eBay for $33 including postage, but the outer bezel was badly cracked.  The vendor sent a replacement, but the bezel on that one was black instead of brown.  So I got adventurous and took the good display out of the radio with the cracked bezel and used it to replace the one in my original radio.  The entire process was way easier than expected, and when I put the radio back in it still had my channel selections stored!  Better yet, I don't have to look at the burned-out display any more.
March 12, 2019 - The Sonata is due for state inspection this month, and a quick check of lights turned up a bad backup light bulb in the trunk lid.  Since you have to pull the inner liner to get to the bulbs, I went ahead and put all new bulbs in.  The tires are good and the brakes have been replaced all around, so I expect the car to pass with no issues.  She will also get her oil changed, another freebie from the dealership. 
December 26, 2018 - Nothing new for the Sonata, though I cut back on all but trip driving for the most part.  After a run to Raleigh on Christmas Day, I got to see the odometer flip to mostly zeros - 130K miles, which is low for an 11 year-old car.  Still running, driving, and looking great!  The car did 29 MPG on the trip.
June 29, 2018 - I had a few hours daylight after adjusting brakes on the Studebaker tonight, so I decided to attack the Sonata's rear brakes.  The dealer quote for the rear was about $275, more than a hundred dollars cheaper than the front.  I got the new rotors and pads in for $68 with shipping, and was able to swap them out in about an hour - and that was first time ever, getting the tools and cleaning up.  Instead of over $700 for front and rear pads and rotors, I spent about $150.  Although the old rotors were not badly scored, the difference in sound is tremendous - I could hear the brakes engaging before - now they are pretty much silent.
May 1, 2018 - When I got the Sonata inspected in April, the Tech told me the rotors were 'horrible.'  Not really a surprise, as I have had new front rotors and pads sitting on a shelf in the  garage for more than 4 years - I was afraid of the job.  After reading up on it, I found that the rotor replacement is actually quite easy, despite a $385 price quote from the dealer.  I paid about $85 for the rotors and pads, both top-quality Raybestos.  It took about two hours tonight, taking my time, and was just as easy as advertised.  That means I saved  $150 an hour - not a bad return!  The Sonata continues to be flawless - approaching 11 years of ownership and just under 127K miles.
December 16, 2017 - The Sonata suddenly got louder last night on the way home from work - I could tell it was a leak somewhere at or behind the muffler.  The good folks at Big Al's checked it out today and determined that a flange had rotted, but the overall exhaust system was still in excellent shape.  They cut out the bad flange and created a new connector which was welded into place.  $129 later, the car is quiet as before and ready for our trip to Raleigh next weekend!  Not bad for 125K miles and ten years of use.
September 24, 2017 - I've had the Sonata a little over ten years now, and it is holding up really well.  One of the few signs of age were the headlights, which were clouding and pitted.  There are a lot of 'refinishing' kits that claim to remove the clouding, but I have never seen them work all that well for more than a month or so.  Instead, I opted to get new headlight assemblies, which arrived this week for a total of $120 including postage.  The new assemblies included all new bulbs, which would be about $40.  Considering all but one of the bulbs are factory originals, it was a good idea to have new ones anyway.  The new headlights also have the later style black insides inside of the silver-gray, which looks better and updates the car styling.  Best of all, the job was quick and easy.  Three 10mm bolts hold each unit in, and there is a single plug-in connector that takes care of all the lights on each unit.  I also gave the car a bath and put on its new cover - breathable and light, mainly to keep debris and bird droppings off it.
February 5, 2017 - I've noted the cranking starting to get a little slower, but had put it off to the car sitting most of the time.  However, while I was going over the car in preparation for a trip to Philadelphia later this week, I noticed that the battery was dated November 2011.  It was a two-year battery that has lasted more than six years!  The Sonata's original battery from 2006 has been in the garage for use as a test battery, and is still holding a charge more than a decade later.  I used that one for the core and kept the newer battery, which is still working well.  Shopping around located a Duracell 3-year full replacement across the street at Sam's Club for just $95 with tax.  It cranks noticeably better, and I was pleased to find out the radio and clock retained all of their settings!  She gets an oil change on Wednesday, and then off to Philly!
December 31, 2016 - The Sonata has been perfect the past year - nothing to post until a few days ago, when a clumsy oaf pulling a large trash bin beside it caught the trash bin wheel on his heel and caused the bin to hit the driver's side mirror and crack the painted outer cover pretty badly.  Said oaf being me, I checked out Row52.com and located a 2006 Sonata painted the same color.  A quick trip this morning and $15 dollars later the Sonata has a clean, undamaged mirror.  The car has racked up just 7K miles since last year - mostly trip miles, as the Mazda B3000 truck has become the daily driver.
December 4, 2015 - I was told the tires would not make it through another inspection back in March, and have been keeping an eye open for sales.  The 225/50/17 Goodrich Advantage TAs have been much better than the Goodyears they replaced, and rather amazingly, I got a duplicate set for $415 at a new Sam's club where they were $680 at Costco in 2012!  The annual mileage on the Sonata dropped off a lot this year, as I have been trying to use the truck more.  She is at 113,800, or about 10K miles added in a year and 8 months.
March 11, 2014 - The Sonata is pushing 104K miles now, and Priority let me know the front brakes were going to need replacement and the back brakes were not too much better.  I had replaced the fronts at 62K, but they do the lion's share of stopping.  The rears were original.  Hyundai has really made it easy:  Pull the wheel, undo two bolts, lift off the caliper, replace the pads, and put everything back together.  Less than ten minutes a wheel, taking my time.  Anyway, the car continues to do great.
November 7, 2013 - You've all heard the story about a car hitting 100K miles - some magic switch flicks and things go horribly wrong.  Well, the Sonata flipped over 100K on a trip to Vienna, VA and sure enough, the car required its very first repair that was not normal maintenance - the left headlight bulb blew.  Yep, after 100K of trouble-free service, I had to replace a light bulb.  And it just so happened that the ONLY spare part I have for the car was a headlight bulb, wrapped up in a paper towel in the glove box.  I had to borrow a small crescent wrench to access the headlight case, but the whole job took less than 10 minutes.  I suppose I can forgive Hyundai for that.
September 14, 2013 - The 2010 accident claimed the original engine cover for the Sonata, and the replacement was a pretty drab hunk of plain black plastic (on left).  The cover bugged me every time I opened the hood, and I finally located a correct replacement on eBay.  As you can see on the right, the correct cover is a lot snazzier, with shiny stuff on it!!  Yeah, only me and the folks at Priority Hyundai will ever know, but it's nice to have things back to rights.
March 20, 2013 - The Sonata has been faithfully carrying me everywhere for another year, and at 93K miles I decided to replace the spark plugs.  No biggie, right?  Ummmm.  The front plugs are easy to get to, but the rear plugs are covered by the fuel intake system.  You have to remove the entire setup to get to them.  I was quoted $360 by the Hyundai service rep, and after research indicated it was a 3-hour job requiring some special tools, I made the appointment.  However, when called to confirm, the price suddenly jumped to $450!  Turns out the service agent had 'forgotten' to include parts.  I cancelled the appointment, but got a call later from the Service Manager who apologized and offered to do the job for the original $360.  They have been great to work with since I bought the car, providing free oil changes and state inspections with no hassle, and to be honest, I would have eventually had them do the plugs anyway.  So I got the job done and saved $90, plus state inspection and oil change at the same time.  While the car doesn't seem to run any different, mileage does appear to have gone up a couple of MPG.  I'm also keeping a closer eye on the cabin air filter - swapped it out.
May 29, 2012 - Good grief!  I think I have developed a trunk fetish!  That nifty cargo net is another official Hyundai option bought for cheap on eBay ($7) as dealerships clear their shelves.  In the past week I have replaced the trunk mat, added a fitted tray, a full-size spare tire, and now a cargo net.  I think that might be as tricked out as I can make it.
May 26, 2012 - I've had an extra factory mag wheel and tire for the Sonata for months now, and finally got around to having the tire mounted.  I had to pull some foam spacers, but the assembly dropped into the tire tray and fits perfectly.  I had to take the jack and tools out and store them in a towel as the foam insert that holds them didn't work with the mag.  However, I now have a matching full-size spare tire.  The original space-saver, foam tool holder, and even the spacer blocks are safely stored in the garage.
May 24, 2012 - The Sonata is 5 years old, and the specific model was discontinued a couple of years back, so dealerships are starting to clean out their options.  The trunk mat had suffered a bit from hauling the Centaur Scooter to shows, and I was able to get a better-quality factory optional mat with the name embroidered on it for $25 including shipping instead of the nearly $100 it  cost a few months ago.  And of course, right after I bought that, I found one of the factory heavy-duty trays for cheap and bought that too! 
April 3 2012 - There isn't a more complicated or less owner-serviceable system on modern cars than the Supplement Restraint System (SRS), or as we more commonly refer to them - airbags.  So I was understandably concerned when the Air Bag light came on and stayed on today.  According to the owner's manual, I needed to immediately take the car in to a qualified Hyundai repair facility.  When I got home, I checked the Internet for information and found one note that said the condition could be triggered by junk under the seats dislodging SRS sensors.   The Sonata typically enjoys a condition of cleanliness that my house can only dream of, so I was pretty sure there was no 'junk' around.  However, (in addition to 37 cents in change) there was a first-aid kit under the passenger seat that has been there for at least two years.  I pulled it out and tried the ignition.  Sure enough, the Air Bag light went out.  It seems that the first-aid kit had slid into a position to interfere with the seat sensors.   The first-aid kit now resides in the trunk, where it is unlikely to cause further trouble.  Whew!
February 28 2012 - The Sonata sailed through inspection with nary a glitch, and the new Goodrich Advantage T/As are definitely an improvement of the Eagle GTs in noise and ride, with no noticeable loss of handling or feel.  I hope they hold up better.  And though it might technically belong on one of the MGs' pages, the Sonata got a new set of personalized plates that I hope it won't be upset by.   However, with four MGs, the plate certainly can be justified.
January 24 2012 - I had the new tires installed today and the initial impression is very good.  They are noticeably quieter than the Eagle GTs, and may even ride a little better.  They also have the rim guard edge that protects the alloy wheels from curb damage.  Coscto put the best of the four old tires in the trunk, wrapped in a plastic bag too keep my trunk clean.  Kudos, guys.  The car is ready for inspection next month. 
January 16, 2012 - The last big item for the Sonata is the tires.  The Goodyear Eagles did not last 30K miles, which goes along with their DOT tread wear rating of 300.  Because the car has the low-profile 17" wheel package and a top speed of 140 (yeah, that's right.  Not that I ever tried it...), you have to buy speed-rated  tires.  After a lot of shopping, I settled on BF Goodrich Advantage T/A 255/50R17s - they have good reviews for quiet ride and handling, and have a tread wear rating of 560.  Costco provided a set for about $680 total, only $40 more than the cheapest tires I could find at Walmart.  They should be in next week.  I'll keep the best of the Eagles and mount it on a spare wheel I have in the garage - I can have a full-sized, matching spare that way.
December 29, 2011 - A visit to Priority for the scheduled oil change turned up some other needed maintenance.  The battery tested low, the air filter needed to be replaced, and the two back tires are worn to 1/32" tread.  Even though Priority has been honest with me, I like to handle the little stuff myself.  So I got the new battery at Advance where I can take it back easily if I run into trouble, as well as new air and cabin filters.  They did not mention the cabin air filter, but it has never been changed, and as you can see by the lower photos, it was in dire need.  Simple to replace, too.  The air filter (upper left) and battery (upper right) were remarkably easy jobs as well.  The tires will take some research.  The Eagle GT's lasted less than 30K miles, even though they are warranted 50K.  I could use the  warranty to get some credit back, but that would only be towards more of the same.  I'm looking now into some Dunlops that have good ratings and are not terribly expensive.  I'd never buy another set of Eagle GTs.
October 20, 2011 - After paying out to get the side repainted, I finally opted to fix one other problem that has been with the car since I bought it -  the driver's visor mirror was smashed.  Yeah, I know that opens up all sorts of comments about the driver's looks.  That could be the reason it took me two years to discover the problem, and I figured it would be hard to convince the dealership it was there when I bought the car new.  So more than 4 years later I finally got an NOS visor off eBay for $48.  It came today and installed in about 5 minutes.  I may never see the mirror again, but I know it's in one piece.  I also got in a set of the factory color-coded carpeted floor mats from the dealership - Hyundai stopped making them for older models and will be selling plain black mats in the future, so I stockpiled a set.  I'm hoping to have the Sonata for another 4 or 5 years, and figure I'll keep it up as best I can.
August 9, 2011 - The stone chip turned out to be expensive - I could have gotten it fixed for free by insurance, but the windshield itself was pitted enough to be annoying.  So I had the windshield replaced for $248.  However, the installer chipped the paint on the hood accidentally and the glass company paid to have the hood redone.  While that was being painted, I opted to have the driver's side repainted to fix some not-so-good bodywork done by Mike's Bodyworks a little over a year ago.  The paint was mismatched and the rear door rub strip was never put on right.  It all looks good now - it was worth the $400 not to see the mismatched doors every time I drive the car.
July 23, 2011 - A good bath and a tire rotation today - The Goodyear Eagles don't seem to be holding up well mileage-wise - the car has maybe 25,000 miles on the tire and they are showing considerable wear.  Still OK, but I doubt two of them will make 40K, much less the promised 50K.  The car runs and drives perfectly, and still looks great.  I have a rock chip in the windshield thanks to a truck on I-64 - gonna see what Geico says about replacement.  There is a National AACA show in Bristol, TN in a few weeks - I am considering taking the Sonata and carrying the  Centaur Scooter in the trunk.
February 6, 2011 - The Sonata has 62K on her now, and with Virginia State Inspection due this month and a trip to Philadelphia coming up this week, I decided to go ahead and replace brakes. I'd already bought pads for front and rear, but when I checked the backs they were still in great shape.  The fronts might even have passed inspection as-is, but I replaced them with new premium ceramic pads and also rotated the tires.  Pad replacement was a 20-minute job for both sides, and that was taking my time.  She got a long-overdue bath and an interior cleaning as well. 
September 11, 2010 - A nice summer and flawless performance by the Sonata.  I actually did some real maintenance to the car today - pulled the wheels to clean them back and front, inspect the brake pads, and rotate the tires.  While there is plenty of pad left and the rotors are clean, I plan to get new brake pads and replace them all in the next few weeks.  The car is approaching 60K miles  - that's when the warranty changes from bumper-to-bumper to power train only.
June 3 2010 - The Sonata was finished up today and I picked her up from the shop - the car looks great.  (See the photo above).  No sign of damage,  The only small niggle I have is that the replacement engine cover is a lot plainer that the one that came on  it - one of the hazards of replacement parts, I guess.  On the plus side, the nicks and scrapes on the front bumper cover are all fixed, and the car looks pretty much like new again.
May 27, 2010 - I stopped by for a look at the Sonata tonight after work - the hood and fender have already been painted and installed.  They are waiting on a motor mount (liquid-filled!) and an Oxygen sensor so they can get the car back together.  It should be ready sometime next week. 
May 19, 2010 - Intensive Care, But Recovering - My insurance company called and let me know the Sonata will be fixed.  Whew!  I did not want to have to buy another car - this one is great, and I just spent $700 on tires and $60 on new floor mats to keep her nice.  I should have the car back in 3 weeks.
May 12, 2010 - DOA? - The Sonata was part of a 6-car pileup on the Interstate tonight.  The driver of the truck in front of me dropped something on the floor and leaned down to pick it up.  Unfortunately, someone forced their way into the off ramp ahead of him and made everyone else slam on brakes.  He looked up just as he hit the back of the Neon in front of him.  No brake lights to warn me - he plowed into stopped cars and went up into the air - his trailer hitch caught my hood and punched in sheet metal but missed the main front structural member.  The impact wasn't enough to trigger the air bags, which may save the car.  The damage looks to be mostly sheet metal.  I hope they can fix the car - it's been a great one.  Oh, I wasn't hurt at all.  (almost forgot the unimportant part...:grin:)
January 11, 2010 - My new tires came in this morning, so I rolled over to Sam's Club to get them installed.  $655 later (including installation package and taxes) I'm rolling again.  The tires look sporty, and feel and sound as good on the road as the Michelins ever did.  The Eagle GTs have a good reputation and a 50K mile warranty.  I also sprung for a set of new factory carpet mats for $60 - even though they have been cleaned regularly, the driver's mat (right)  had gotten pretty grungy.  The new mats brighten up the interior, which is now pretty much back to new condition.
January 7, 2010 - The lack of entries for more than two years pretty much says it all - the Sonata has been flawless.  Mixed driving mileage averages a little more than 24 mpg, and the car's performance is amazing.  I test drove a 2010 Mustang V6 and found out it was a slug in comparison, and it handles as well as any car I've ever owned.  The tires have reached the point where they need replacement at 47K miles, and the 17-inchers are not cheap.  I briefly considered buying a new 2010 Sonata when I saw Priority's web site listing 11 V6s under $20,000.  This time, however, Priority was not the positive experience it was before.  There as only one V6 Sonata on the lot and it was $27K.  Worse, the sales staff pretty much blew me off - and I was there with checkbook in hand to buy a new car that day!  In the long run, they did me a favor.  I realized it was stupid to trade in the one I have, and ordered a set of Goodyear Eagle GTs from Sam's Club.  Once they are on, I'll get her to a good paint shop to get the front and rear bumpers touched up - that will make her look like new again.  While I won't recommend Priority Hyundai any more, I certainly recommend the V6 Sonata for anyone looking for a fast, roomy and comfortable sedan.
December 22, 2007 - It took three weeks to get the insurance straightened out, and then I had to wait until after Thanksgiving for an appointment to get the car in the shop.  However, Mike did a great job on the car - there's not a trace of damage.  I drove the truck for several weeks while the Sonata was being repaired - it was very nice to get it back.  So far, the car has been flawless in performance, with not a single disappointment. 
October 24, 2007 - The Sonata got winged on the way into work this morning.  A sudden stop of traffic on the Interstate had cars slamming on brakes all over - except for the Cox Communications van behind me.  I was lucky enough to check the rear view mirror in time to cut over to the emergency lane on the right while he swerved left, and he only caught the corner of the car.  The damage isn't too bad, but it is still annoying to have the new car messed up.  Oh, Priority maintained its sterling manner when I took the car in for the first free oil change.  No pressure, no nagging.  I made an appointment, showed up, they took care of the oil and filter in quick order and sent me on my way with a smile.. 
July 15, 2007 - The Sonata was perfect on the trip to Ohio.  Very comfortable and smooth, and this time nudged 30 mpg despite 65+ averages over nearly 1400 miles.  The fold-down rear seat came in handy when I bought a new exhaust system for the Crosley, and the stereo system was great.  I listened to the last Harry Potter book on the way up and back in preparation for the new one coming out next Saturday. 
July 11, 2007 - Two weeks later, and I have no regrets about getting the Sonata.  She is getting about 22.5 mpg in mixed driving, and managed 28.5 on a trip last week.  Comfortable, fast and sporty - plus better mileage than the PT Cruiser.  She gets a harder test this weekend - I am driving to Wauseon, Ohio to attend the National Crosley Club Meet.  About 650 miles each way.
June 29, 2007 - Just when I thought I couldn't be surprised by any new cars, I got 'stuck' driving a rented Hyundai Sonata for a week-long business trip in Seattle.  Understand that I haven't really looked at the South Korean since the days of head-gasket eating Elantras back in the 1980s.  The car completely blew me away.  It has a powerful 24-valve V-6 and 5-speed automatic with shifttronic option, and drove and rode wonderfully.   The PT Cruiser I bought just over a year ago has been disappointing in pretty much all respects - mileage, performance, and comfort all left something to be desired.  So I started doing some research.  Hyundai has come a long way since their first miserable products - so far, in fact, that the auto magazines rate it up with Toyota and Honda, and Consumer Reports rated it a 'Best Buy.' 
On top of that, Hyundai has a 5-year, 60K bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year powertrain warranty (new owner only).  I did a lot of shopping around this week both at lots and online, wanting to get the PT traded before the release of Chrysler's 08 models dropped its resale value.  Last night I found this 2007 Sonata V6 SE with 7K miles at Priority Hyundai in Chesapeake.  It has all the options I wanted and was a nice color.  And as a demonstrator, it came with the full new-car 100K warranty.  Better yet, I got it for the price some of the lots were asking for used 2006 and 2007 models with 20K or more miles on them!   It drives just as nice as the rental car with tons of power and a wonderfully smooth and quiet ride.  Hard to believe that it was only a few thousand dollars more than the used PT Cruiser cost last year.  I benefited from timing (08 Sonatas just came out and it's almost the end of the month)  and ignorance of the driving public.  Too many folks still remember the bad years, and don't know what they are missing.  I'm just glad the rental agent in Seattle wasn't able to talk me into upgrading from the 'little Hyundai' - I'd never have driven one otherwise!  I am also very glad I ended up at Priority Hyundai.  They gave me a good price, everyone was courteous, friendly, and no one pushed me.  The whole car buying experience was the most pleasant one I've ever had at a dealership, and I'd recommend them to anyone considering a new or used car purchase.

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