2010 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5L V6, loud startup rattle (with recording!) vvt phasers?

Messages
18
I'm going to keep this post as short as possible. I'm not a mechanic, but I have a decent grasp of mechanical things once I learn what's what. Based on videos I've seen online, and suggestions I've read, I'm pretty sure this is VVT phaser rattle, likely due to a sticky\lazy locking pin. If you don't have much time, just check the first link below and the bold part at the bottom.

Here is a link to a recording of the sound my car makes. Please listen to the _STARTUP_RATTLE one. That's the one I'm focusing on.

Here is better recording of a Toyota motor making a very very similar sound.

If you want lots of details, here is a thread I started on Hyundai Forums about this.

Summary: Three weeks ago I bought a car used with 60k miles, amazingly clean, good service history according to carfax, but it makes a very loud 1-2 second rattle on startup after it has sat for an hour or two. It doesn't do it every time... and sometimes the rattle is very short and happens half a second after starting. It drove beautifully on a 450 mile trip (from the southern VA to northern PA) back home after purchasing it, and it still drives beautifully.

Did an oil change about 10 days ago with QS Ultra Durability Full Synthetic 5w30 and a Hyundai OEM filter (someone used a made in China Fram filter last). Noise seems queiter some times, but just as noisy as ever other times.

This is apparently somewhat common with these engines, and to replace\update the parts (new style phaser and matching cams) that are likely causing this rattle, I'd likely be looking at several thousand dollars after labor. Replacing only the phasers is another option, but still tons of labor involved. On the other hand, others have said they've fixed similar VVT issues in other vehicles with simple fluid additives.

Is there a way to clean a VVT phaser to remedy a sticky locking pin, or improve the oil pressure going to the pin without having to take the side of the engine off? Either with oil\fuel additives or treating a specific area that isn't so hard to reach? I would never do this without a professional opinion, but is there any chance that applying some kind of treatment to the vvt solenoid would then pass that treatment onto the gunked up locking pin?

Let me know what you think. This problem has me majorly stressed out, because it's a beautiful vehicle and it's exactly what we needed (and could afford)... but that noise is pretty scary.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
Thanks. As mentioned in the first post, I did put in an OEM filter when I did the oil change last week. I haven't put a lot of miles on it since the oil change though... maybe 100 or so.
 
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284
Location
SC, USA
Thanks. As mentioned in the first post, I did put in an OEM filter when I did the oil change last week. I haven't put a lot of miles on it since the oil change though... maybe 100 or so.
But after changing you did notice some difference? At least according to your post.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
It's hard to say, because it doesn't make the noise every time. It seemed queiter the first couple times after the oil change, but other times since then it was just as loud as it had been before. First time starting it today was as loud as it was before the oil change.
 
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1,741
This is a very common complaint on the Hyundai 3.5 and 3.3 V6 engines. It’s either the CVVT phasers rattling or the timing chain and components. Often times a new timing kit fixes the noise complaint. Often times it’s the CVVT phasers that need replacing. Sometimes neither one of those two repairs resolve the noise complaint and it ends up being one of the cam shafts themselves that need replacing. About 99% of the time the dealer will tell you it’s normal and they won’t further investigate the issue unless you have a timing correlation code stored in the PCM. For the most part this is a non issue noise.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
Thanks. That's pretty much what I've read around the internet. I haven't had any check engine or other lights come on, but I'll use my OBDII reader to double check it for any old codes, just in case.

If it were a phaser rattling, do you know of any way, without removing the timing cover, to clean out the phaser to possibly free up that sticky locking pin? This particular problem seems quite common on many engines. I've read about it happening on Toyota, Honda and Nissan engines specifically. I've read that some have used Marvel Mystery Oil, Seafoam or other similar things and were surprised that the noise went away. I don't know anything about oil\fuel additives or treatments though... just lots of general anecdotes from people who haven't used it on this particular engine. :)
 

CKN

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6,333
Location
Utah
This is a very common complaint on the Hyundai 3.5 and 3.3 V6 engines. It’s either the CVVT phasers rattling or the timing chain and components. Often times a new timing kit fixes the noise complaint. Often times it’s the CVVT phasers that need replacing. Sometimes neither one of those two repairs resolve the noise complaint and it ends up being one of the cam shafts themselves that need replacing. About 99% of the time the dealer will tell you it’s normal and they won’t further investigate the issue unless you have a timing correlation code stored in the PCM. For the most part this is a non issue noise.

There has been no proof this has an effect on the drive train-at least up until the remainder of the 100,000 mile warranty if you bought the vehicle new.

The second and subsequent owner gets a five year or 60,000 mile warranty-in which case the OP has no warranty unless he bought a certified vehicle. One owner who posts here and on a Hyundai Forum claims that a 0w/40 weight oil "helps" with the issue.

OP- I honestly wouldn't worry about it-especially if you have no warranty. BTW-Im an owner with a similar noise-and I bought new and everything I can find says it's a non-issue.

BTW-it is not possible with the OCIs I'm doing that I have a "gunked up anything" with 38,000 miles on the vehicle.
 
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7,296
Location
FL, USA
It does sound like cam phasers not locking. Very similar to the noise my Honda 2.4 will make on occasion (rarely) that IS the VTC actuator. I know for the Honda K24 it seems to be a non issue for most owners. Many have the rattle for years with zero issue. Mine is more pronounced in the winter, and only lasts for a split second.

I don’t know enough about Hyundai’s V6 to really add anything of value, but it seems unlikely to me that the timing chain or tensioner would be the culprit as such low miles.
 
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1,741
If the engine looks well maintained then I doubt any oil additive or oil flush will make a difference. I’ve also heard this noise on brand new Theta II engines as well. It just happens to be more common on the V6 engines because there are inherently more cam phasers than the I4 engine so there’s a higher likelihood to get a phaser noise on a engine with more of them.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
Thanks so much for the feedback guys!

Hard to believe that such a loud noise is so common and doesn't make things explode... but that certainly seems to be the case this time.

As for warranty, I don't have a Hyundai warranty, but when I purchased the vehicle, the small dealership I bought the car from threw in a 3 month 5k mile powertrain warranty from PWI. We'd already agreed on a cash price, so this seemed like a nice gesture. I have no idea if I could get any of the repairs needed to fix this problem covered by PWI.

I'm in "the woods", about as far as you can get from any modern engine shops. I'm not sure I'd trust any local mechanics with such a job, and I haven't had the best experience with the nearest Hyundai garage anyway (about 40 miles away). They did a shoddy brake line job on my 06 Sonata and sent me home with leaky lines twice. It's been a couple years now, but I still don't know if I'd trust them to install new phasers and cams on an engine... assuming they can even still get the updated parts. I would be worried that they'd just put in some "refurb" 150k mile engine in it's place. o_O

I haven't opened the top of the engine to see if it looks like it's been well maintained, because I'm not that comfortable with this stuff personally. I would like to do so if any mechanic buddies of mine feel like looking over my shoulder, but if there's little that can be done, I'm not sure it's worth the hassle.
 
Messages
252
Location
Illinois
I second the rislone treatment. I've used the regular formula with some success at quieting start ups and cleaning some varnish. It sounds like a common issue that you're gonna have to live with until something actually fails in the future. Stick with consistent ocis and happy motoring.
 
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700
Location
North Carolina
Experienced the similar situation with my son's 2010 SF 3.5L at about 65k miles which included CEL's. You're going to need to bite the bullet and let the dealer take care of this with the updated parts. Job costed me about $2400 several years ago and that price include some Hyundai "forgiveness". Forgiveness for designing such a poor engine I suppose.
 
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7,939
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Mahzurrah!
This is a very common complaint on the Hyundai 3.5 and 3.3 V6 engines. For the most part this is a non issue noise.

Agreed.

We have the same engine just two years newer. It's always been pretty noisy at start up but not like yours. Just drive it an forget about it, it will likely be doing the same thing 100k from now.

If it was something seriously mechanical it would do it all the time. JMO of course I'm no mechanic either, but in my experience that is a very good engine.

As an aside Rislone is one of the few cleaning additives that works.
 
Messages
7,296
Location
FL, USA
Experienced the similar situation with my son's 2010 SF 3.5L at about 65k miles which included CEL's. You're going to need to bite the bullet and let the dealer take care of this with the updated parts. Job costed me about $2400 several years ago and that price include some Hyundai "forgiveness". Forgiveness for designing such a poor engine I suppose.

What does this job entail? It it simply replacing the cam phasers with updated parts? If that is the case that sounds excessively expensive.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! This forum is great. Very active. :)

I'll probably get some Rislone at Wal-Mart today since it's so cheap.

I need to do a transmission drain and fill on it as well, since they recommend it at 60k miles for "severe" conditions... which is, basically, everyone's driving conditions. Looks like a bit of a pain compared to doing it on my 06 Sonata, since that had a dipstick... but this will be easier to get underneath at least.

One question... when doing a transmission drain on a car that just has a drain plug and a separate level\overflow port what are the limitations as far as jacking the car up or using ramps? The instructions are very specific (ATF temperature, levels, etc) but when they specify "lift the vehicle" I'm assuming they mean, with a lift... as in, keeping the vehicle level. I doubt I can use ramps, because it has to be level to check the fluid level, but if I drain it while it's on a ramp, I can't drive it off the ramp to refill and check the level. 🥴

What would you guys do?
 
Messages
700
Location
North Carolina
Use 2 sets of Rhino Ramps or the like. SF can easily clear the ramps in the rear. Oil level plug is an odd size like 22 or 25 mm I think. Good luck.
 

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1,169
Location
ottawa
I'm going to keep this post as short as possible. I'm not a mechanic, but I have a decent grasp of mechanical things once I learn what's what. Based on videos I've seen online, and suggestions I've read, I'm pretty sure this is VVT phaser rattle, likely due to a sticky\lazy locking pin. If you don't have much time, just check the first link below and the bold part at the bottom.

Here is a link to a recording of the sound my car makes. Please listen to the _STARTUP_RATTLE one. That's the one I'm focusing on.

Here is better recording of a Toyota motor making a very very similar sound.

If you want lots of details, here is a thread I started on Hyundai Forums about this.

Summary: Three weeks ago I bought a car used with 60k miles, amazingly clean, good service history according to carfax, but it makes a very loud 1-2 second rattle on startup after it has sat for an hour or two. It doesn't do it every time... and sometimes the rattle is very short and happens half a second after starting. It drove beautifully on a 450 mile trip (from the southern VA to northern PA) back home after purchasing it, and it still drives beautifully.

Did an oil change about 10 days ago with QS Ultra Durability Full Synthetic 5w30 and a Hyundai OEM filter (someone used a made in China Fram filter last). Noise seems queiter some times, but just as noisy as ever other times.

This is apparently somewhat common with these engines, and to replace\update the parts (new style phaser and matching cams) that are likely causing this rattle, I'd likely be looking at several thousand dollars after labor. Replacing only the phasers is another option, but still tons of labor involved. On the other hand, others have said they've fixed similar VVT issues in other vehicles with simple fluid additives.

Is there a way to clean a VVT phaser to remedy a sticky locking pin, or improve the oil pressure going to the pin without having to take the side of the engine off? Either with oil\fuel additives or treating a specific area that isn't so hard to reach? I would never do this without a professional opinion, but is there any chance that applying some kind of treatment to the vvt solenoid would then pass that treatment onto the gunked up locking pin?

Let me know what you think. This problem has me majorly stressed out, because it's a beautiful vehicle and it's exactly what we needed (and could afford)... but that noise is pretty scary.
We just sold our 2010 SF with the 3.5.
Sorry for the crummy news. It's most likely the seals on one or all 4 vvt actuators.
Ours made that noise for years until 1 year ago its started to idle really bad once warmed up.
The seals have given up completely. We needed 1 of the actuators replaced , being like open heart surgery it was many hours to replace about 3grand.
I complained from the start about the rattle...we owned the SF for almost 10 years. And got nothing from hyundai Corp.
I think we will see more 3.5's with these issues.
Also I changed the oil every 6months with syn.
I wonder if a 5w-30 or 40 would have helped over the years. Always used 5w-20.

Good luck
 
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