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

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1,169
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ottawa
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?
I never needed ramps to do an atf drain and fill....its super easy
Some vids on youtube
 
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1,169
Location
ottawa
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. :)
It's the phaser that is leaking oil. Loosing pressure....the noise happens before the phaser can fill up and come back to pressure.
Try 5w-40. It might lessen the rattle a bit.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
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
Thanks for the info.

How many miles were on yours when the rough idle started and when you got rid of it?

Also, did you see the seals that went bad? This is the first I've even heard of actuator seals going bad on these. I'm not even sure where the actuator seal would be...
 
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1,169
Location
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Thanks for the info.

How many miles were on yours when the rough idle started and when you got rid of it?

Also, did you see the seals that went bad? This is the first I've even heard of actuator seals going bad on these. I'm not even sure where the actuator seal would be...
We sold it about 6 months ago with 150 000kms.
The dealer tech showed me the actuator and the seal.
He said that he is starting to see more of them come in for this issue.
He was the one that suggested a heavier weight, off the record of course.
The seal is on the actuator itself because the cvvt is oil driven, they age and allow the oil to drain out.
He checked all my chains and tensioner while inside and said everything else looked great.

Rough idle started around 145000.
 
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1,169
Location
ottawa
The worst part is that Hyundai is aware of this issue as more come in - - - -and they will do nothing about it.
My usual mechanic would not do the job because you need the hyundai software to set everything up after you replace the actuator.

The tech took some pictures for me of the internals - - -at least everything was clean.

Kind of a bummer though - - - I should have tried ATP-205 before I paid the 3k to the dealer.
Oh well.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
Just curious Nickmaio, where are you located? Just wondering what kind of weather the car had been through.

I have looked around a bit and still haven't found any other mention of bad seals in the actuators. I know a lot of cars have this rattle, but I've not seen it diagnosed specifically as a seal problem.

This is also the first I've read of dealerships having to set up new software for the new cams and actuators.

If it came down to it, I would probably just order the aftermarket steel (original design) actuators rather than worry about the massive cost and hassle of the updated cams and actuators, especially if the software has to be updated by a dealer.

I am curious about that AT-205 from ATP though. I haven't read a lot of reports of people using it in newer VVT engines, otherwise I'd probably just do it.

Sadly, while looking around under the hood two days ago I saw early signs of the notorious oil pressure switch leak, which is going to be another pain in the butt, but its likely something I can do myself with someone else's tools. At least it isn't expensive. I already have the pressure switch and manifold gaskets on the way.

Frustrating coming from nearly 13 mostly trouble-free years with a 2006 Sonata V6 (bought with 31k miles, Hyundai certified used) and now getting a newer car and having some concerning problems that need handled right from the start. I guess this goes with the territory... I bought the Sonata when it was less than 1 1/2 years old for $15K (down from $27 or so new), but now that their reputation is so much better, a 10 year old Santa Fe is only about half that price. Plus, the used car market is garbage right now, especially in my area, so traveling 450 miles for something affordable with low miles and no rust was still worth it, even if I have to put money and time into the engine. If I wanted a car payment (never had one in 17 years of driving) I could have bought a five year old car for twice as much, but I didn't want to go that way. Newer cars don't seem any more reliable going by what I'm reading online.

I'm willing to see how all this pans out with the Santa Fe though. The overall build quality, especially the interior materials for this 2010 Limited is so much higher than all of the Toyotas I checked out when shopping around, and I'm reading about lots of frustrating problems with those as well. Didn't really find much else worth looking at due to so many concerns of poor reliability, chronic problems, undersized\overworked engines and my own observation of poor comfort\visibility (what's the deal with the horrible visibility in newer cars!?!?!).

Got this Santa Fe for $8,000 out the door. Compared to the going rate of $13,000+ in my area for a '13 Highlander with over 100k miles (in salty western NY... the rust would already be past the point of no return unless it was very well cared for and undercoated yearly). If we run the Santa Fe for a couple years and it is reliable I'll be happy. If it needs work later, I'll put the money into it and if I want, I could sell it for more than I paid for it, simply because a rust-free southern vehicle is worth far more up here in salt country (I've had it undercoated with a custom fluid-film concoction that works great, so it should stay that way for a LONG time). If I put this on the market right now I'd probably get $10-$12K for it without much hassle. After some engine repairs, probably more. It's tempting, but I'm so sick of car shopping I'd rather just learn how to fix it and then drive it. :)
 
Messages
1,169
Location
ottawa
Just curious Nickmaio, where are you located? Just wondering what kind of weather the car had been through.

I have looked around a bit and still haven't found any other mention of bad seals in the actuators. I know a lot of cars have this rattle, but I've not seen it diagnosed specifically as a seal problem.

This is also the first I've read of dealerships having to set up new software for the new cams and actuators.

If it came down to it, I would probably just order the aftermarket steel (original design) actuators rather than worry about the massive cost and hassle of the updated cams and actuators, especially if the software has to be updated by a dealer.

I am curious about that AT-205 from ATP though. I haven't read a lot of reports of people using it in newer VVT engines, otherwise I'd probably just do it.

Sadly, while looking around under the hood two days ago I saw early signs of the notorious oil pressure switch leak, which is going to be another pain in the butt, but its likely something I can do myself with someone else's tools. At least it isn't expensive. I already have the pressure switch and manifold gaskets on the way.

Frustrating coming from nearly 13 mostly trouble-free years with a 2006 Sonata V6 (bought with 31k miles, Hyundai certified used) and now getting a newer car and having some concerning problems that need handled right from the start. I guess this goes with the territory... I bought the Sonata when it was less than 1 1/2 years old for $15K (down from $27 or so new), but now that their reputation is so much better, a 10 year old Santa Fe is only about half that price. Plus, the used car market is garbage right now, especially in my area, so traveling 450 miles for something affordable with low miles and no rust was still worth it, even if I have to put money and time into the engine. If I wanted a car payment (never had one in 17 years of driving) I could have bought a five year old car for twice as much, but I didn't want to go that way. Newer cars don't seem any more reliable going by what I'm reading online.

I'm willing to see how all this pans out with the Santa Fe though. The overall build quality, especially the interior materials for this 2010 Limited is so much higher than all of the Toyotas I checked out when shopping around, and I'm reading about lots of frustrating problems with those as well. Didn't really find much else worth looking at due to so many concerns of poor reliability, chronic problems, undersized\overworked engines and my own observation of poor comfort\visibility (what's the deal with the horrible visibility in newer cars!?!?!).

Got this Santa Fe for $8,000 out the door. Compared to the going rate of $13,000+ in my area for a '13 Highlander with over 100k miles (in salty western NY... the rust would already be past the point of no return unless it was very well cared for and undercoated yearly). If we run the Santa Fe for a couple years and it is reliable I'll be happy. If it needs work later, I'll put the money into it and if I want, I could sell it for more than I paid for it, simply because a rust-free southern vehicle is worth far more up here in salt country (I've had it undercoated with a custom fluid-film concoction that works great, so it should stay that way for a LONG time). If I put this on the market right now I'd probably get $10-$12K for it without much hassle. After some engine repairs, probably more. It's tempting, but I'm so sick of car shopping I'd rather just learn how to fix it and then drive it. :)
I live in Canadas capital city. Lots of short trip cold starts for most of the year.
I changed the oil every 4-6 months....because why not.
After the actuator was replaced no more startup rattle. I have read others getting tensioners replaced only to have the problem continue.
I tried all kinds of filters none helped because the filter was not the problem.
Not sure about the gds software just what my mechanic said, because I wanted to save money by having someone else do it.

Also had the pressure switch replaced under warranty. Never came back.

Did 6 to 8 drain and fills, over the years, with maxlife and lubegard red , the trans loved it. Shifted much better and was problem free until we sold it for our mazda 6.
 
Messages
1,169
Location
ottawa
Just curious Nickmaio, where are you located? Just wondering what kind of weather the car had been through.

I have looked around a bit and still haven't found any other mention of bad seals in the actuators. I know a lot of cars have this rattle, but I've not seen it diagnosed specifically as a seal problem.

This is also the first I've read of dealerships having to set up new software for the new cams and actuators.

If it came down to it, I would probably just order the aftermarket steel (original design) actuators rather than worry about the massive cost and hassle of the updated cams and actuators, especially if the software has to be updated by a dealer.

I am curious about that AT-205 from ATP though. I haven't read a lot of reports of people using it in newer VVT engines, otherwise I'd probably just do it.

Sadly, while looking around under the hood two days ago I saw early signs of the notorious oil pressure switch leak, which is going to be another pain in the butt, but its likely something I can do myself with someone else's tools. At least it isn't expensive. I already have the pressure switch and manifold gaskets on the way.

Frustrating coming from nearly 13 mostly trouble-free years with a 2006 Sonata V6 (bought with 31k miles, Hyundai certified used) and now getting a newer car and having some concerning problems that need handled right from the start. I guess this goes with the territory... I bought the Sonata when it was less than 1 1/2 years old for $15K (down from $27 or so new), but now that their reputation is so much better, a 10 year old Santa Fe is only about half that price. Plus, the used car market is garbage right now, especially in my area, so traveling 450 miles for something affordable with low miles and no rust was still worth it, even if I have to put money and time into the engine. If I wanted a car payment (never had one in 17 years of driving) I could have bought a five year old car for twice as much, but I didn't want to go that way. Newer cars don't seem any more reliable going by what I'm reading online.

I'm willing to see how all this pans out with the Santa Fe though. The overall build quality, especially the interior materials for this 2010 Limited is so much higher than all of the Toyotas I checked out when shopping around, and I'm reading about lots of frustrating problems with those as well. Didn't really find much else worth looking at due to so many concerns of poor reliability, chronic problems, undersized\overworked engines and my own observation of poor comfort\visibility (what's the deal with the horrible visibility in newer cars!?!?!).

Got this Santa Fe for $8,000 out the door. Compared to the going rate of $13,000+ in my area for a '13 Highlander with over 100k miles (in salty western NY... the rust would already be past the point of no return unless it was very well cared for and undercoated yearly). If we run the Santa Fe for a couple years and it is reliable I'll be happy. If it needs work later, I'll put the money into it and if I want, I could sell it for more than I paid for it, simply because a rust-free southern vehicle is worth far more up here in salt country (I've had it undercoated with a custom fluid-film concoction that works great, so it should stay that way for a LONG time). If I put this on the market right now I'd probably get $10-$12K for it without much hassle. After some engine repairs, probably more. It's tempting, but I'm so sick of car shopping I'd rather just learn how to fix it and then drive it. :)
Oh, not new software for the car....you need the hyundai gds software to update for the new actuator. Something about the timing.
All my chains were within spec and tensioner were good.
 
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1,741
The issue I’ve been running into with Hyundai’s is not many mechanics will work on them besides maintenance related repairs. I don’t know how much money you have in this vehicle but if it were me I would just drive it until it becomes a drivability issue.
 
Messages
475
Location
North Carolina
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.

Your battery is probably on its way out. Change your battery and see if it fixes the issue. Had the same issue on my wife's 2017 SF 3.3L V6 and on my mother's (same make/model/year). Swapping the batteries for Die Hard AGM batteries fixed the issue. It's CVVT related, they actuators don't have enough voltage at startup to lock the pins so they rattle. Good luck!
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
Your battery is probably on its way out. Change your battery and see if it fixes the issue. Had the same issue on my wife's 2017 SF 3.3L V6 and on my mother's (same make/model/year). Swapping the batteries for Die Hard AGM batteries fixed the issue. It's CVVT related, they actuators don't have enough voltage at startup to lock the pins so they rattle. Good luck!
Thanks for the suggestion! This is the first I've heard that a battery fixed the problem. I'll consider getting one, though the one in the car isn't that old. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I think it's a Duracell... dated 2018 I think? Probably nothing special, and I have no idea what the previous owner put it through, other than it didn't get a lot of miles. I'd like to put my old sound system (about 1000W RMS total) into this car eventually, so a good battery would have to happen eventually anyway.

Funny thing, I swapped some engine oil for a bottle of Rislone engine treatment when it was warm back in mid November, and added a bottle of Tekron to the tank at the last refuel (I'm driving so little right now I've only filled it up twice in a few months). Since doing that, it seems to rarely make the loud rattle at the first cold start of the day, even when it's under 20F (unheated garage). There's still quiet rattle, but nothing like it was doing every other cold start. However.... oddly enough, if the car sits for twenty minutes to a few hours it will make the loud rattle, but it seems to pretty reliably not do it loudly when it's sat overnight anymore.

Seems very odd to me. I wonder if it will come back in full force once the weather warms up? Maybe it's "too cold" to rattle... heh.

Does any of this sound like what you experienced (and fixed) with the battery?

Also, I know you said you got an AGM battery, but I'm not sure if they'd be best for my needs? I was planning a while back to get an Everstart MAXX for the next battery in my old car, since I guess they're rebranded batteries from a well known brand and they're only around $100.

Will something like a DieHard Platinum AGM for more than twice the price have any real benefit for my needs? How do they handle extreme cold (sub zero F in February usually) and going days without being run? Will they last years like a standard battery?

Thank you again for the help!
 
Messages
475
Location
North Carolina
Thanks for the suggestion! This is the first I've heard that a battery fixed the problem. I'll consider getting one, though the one in the car isn't that old. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I think it's a Duracell... dated 2018 I think? Probably nothing special, and I have no idea what the previous owner put it through, other than it didn't get a lot of miles. I'd like to put my old sound system (about 1000W RMS total) into this car eventually, so a good battery would have to happen eventually anyway.

Funny thing, I swapped some engine oil for a bottle of Rislone engine treatment when it was warm back in mid November, and added a bottle of Tekron to the tank at the last refuel (I'm driving so little right now I've only filled it up twice in a few months). Since doing that, it seems to rarely make the loud rattle at the first cold start of the day, even when it's under 20F (unheated garage). There's still quiet rattle, but nothing like it was doing every other cold start. However.... oddly enough, if the car sits for twenty minutes to a few hours it will make the loud rattle, but it seems to pretty reliably not do it loudly when it's sat overnight anymore.

Seems very odd to me. I wonder if it will come back in full force once the weather warms up? Maybe it's "too cold" to rattle... heh.

Does any of this sound like what you experienced (and fixed) with the battery?

Also, I know you said you got an AGM battery, but I'm not sure if they'd be best for my needs? I was planning a while back to get an Everstart MAXX for the next battery in my old car, since I guess they're rebranded batteries from a well known brand and they're only around $100.

Will something like a DieHard Platinum AGM for more than twice the price have any real benefit for my needs? How do they handle extreme cold (sub zero F in February usually) and going days without being run? Will they last years like a standard battery?

Thank you again for the help!
The vehicle in this video is ours:
I configured the link to start the video just before the engine is turned over. This is what our rattle used to sound like. Is yours anything like it?
 
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1,741
OP- don’t go wasting your money on a new battery, that’s unlikely to be your problem. Your 2010 3.5 VVT actuators are hydraulically controlled by oil pressure.

The newer 3.3 GDI VVT actuators are controlled electronically. I suspect it has nothing to do with the battery either. If anything, disconnecting the battery may have done a soft reset on the PCM. However, I find that unlikely as well.
 

Ozzuneoj

Thread starter
Messages
18
OP- don’t go wasting your money on a new battery, that’s unlikely to be your problem. Your 2010 3.5 VVT actuators are hydraulically controlled by oil pressure.

The newer 3.3 GDI VVT actuators are controlled electronically. I suspect it has nothing to do with the battery either. If anything, disconnecting the battery may have done a soft reset on the PCM. However, I find that unlikely as well.
You know, I was going to mention that I thought the actuator was controlled by oil pressure... But I second guessed myself, heh.

Thanks for the clarification.
 
Messages
475
Location
North Carolina
You know, I was going to mention that I thought the actuator was controlled by oil pressure... But I second guessed myself, heh.

Thanks for the clarification.
You could always take a pair of jumper cables and hook them up to a secondary vehicle and see if there is any rattle when you crank your motor. Trust me, it's worth a try before you start doing crazier things. I was about to pull my hair out and was considering replacing the CVVTs along with a new timing kit. It was by pure accident that I've found the solution.
 
Messages
1,169
Location
ottawa
OP- don’t go wasting your money on a new battery, that’s unlikely to be your problem. Your 2010 3.5 VVT actuators are hydraulically controlled by oil pressure.

The newer 3.3 GDI VVT actuators are controlled electronically. I suspect it has nothing to do with the battery either. If anything, disconnecting the battery may have done a soft reset on the PCM. However, I find that unlikely as well.
They are electronic.......however they are oil pressure driven.

Your solution does not make any mechanical sense. I think it might be coincidence.

We replaced two of our CCTV actuators because they started leaking, not holding oil pressure, and were effecting timing throwing various codes.
Had a big discussion with the tech about the causes.
Battery change makes zero sense.
 
Messages
1,741
They are electronic.......however they are oil pressure driven.

Your solution does not make any mechanical sense. I think it might be coincidence.

We replaced two of our CCTV actuators because they started leaking, not holding oil pressure, and were effecting timing throwing various codes.
Had a big discussion with the tech about the causes.
Battery change makes zero sense.
You quoted the wrong person.
 
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