Bought a used 11 year old Hyundai i20 AT: Multiple issues cropping up

I feel the car wobbles/dances for some time after going through potholes, I am not sure if it is normal or abnormal

BHPian monsta007 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


First of all thanks for stopping by.

The car in question is an i-Gen i20, Sports AT, 2012 Aug registration, Petrol. It has completed about 57K kilometers till date. It was purchased used from a good used car dealership in Mid Oct 2023. So far I've driven it about 550 Kilometers, majority in city with traffic.

It was checked by a mechanic before purchasing (This mechanic is a friend of a taxi driver, who has become like a family member, and we rely on him for any local trips), he said the car slightly goes towards the left, 1 of the tail lights had water in it, but works (not a deal breaker), AC cooling was poor. Other than that the car was mechanically fit.

Since I don't know about the service history & since this is my first vehicle, I have felt a few issues. Also I may not be very tech savvy, so some component terms may have been named incorrectly, kindly bear with me.

Before that, following things were done so far:

  • Wheel Alignment (Day of purchase)
  • Wheel balance (Day of purchase)
  • Wheel rotation (Day of Purchase, found out 1 of the wheel had 4 punctures lol but tyre guy said that the tyre has lot of life left)
  • Front brake disc cleaning, apologies I dont know the exact name but the silver part which usually looks rusty (About a month back)
  • Rear tyres change to Bridgestone Sturdo (About 1.5 months back, since 1 had 4 punctures, found out a fifth one & both were nearly 5 years old, decided to get rid of them)
  • Installation of JK Tyre TPMS (About 1.5 months back)
  • Coolant changed to Castrol, as previously Abro was used and it looked diluted (Around November 2023)
  • 4 Spark Plugs changed & 1 ignition coil replaced as it was dead, engine had no effect when it was disconnected (Around November)
  • GPS Tracker installed, gives live location 24*7, ignition alerts and all (Possibly in November or December) Details & Review here.

No other electrical accessories were installed (Android, Dashcam and all)

Now am facing the following issues:

  • AC is extremely poor performing (I do have a complete AC servicing scheduled in the coming few weeks, where the entire dashboard will be opened and it will be cleaned thoroughly, as am sure it was never shown love by the previous owner)
  • I feel the car wobbles/dances for some time after going through potholes, I am not sure if it is normal or abnormal as this is my first vehicle & don't have any means to tell if it needs some fixing or not (I drive not more than 40 kmph, thanks to city traffic, but I can feel the car wobbling after it goes through any uneven patch for some time and I can feel it on all 4 corners)
  • Since it is nearly 11+ years old, should I get the brake oil & gear oil changed? (The mechanic who changed the coolant said not required & let it run as it is, but I am concerned as I plan to keep the car for the next few years)
  • The engine temperature gauge once crossed above 90 degrees, possibly crossed it by 2-2.5mm, 93-94 degrees? (5 people were in the car with AC on which wasn't effective & it was being driven by a hired driver on "L" gear, he advised to get the radiator checked & we switched off the AC for rest of the journey. I did visit my trusted workshop who cleaned the radiator? by spraying it with water, although we haven't seen the temperature cross 90 mark after that, but I have a question, should I get the radiator flushed once for better performance?)
  • I happened to see the cabin filters, they were simply thin metal (mosquito net types) & not the usual paper ones I've seen like the engine filter types, with folds & flaps. I'm sure this technology must have been a pioneer in 2012, but is it possible to use those paper filters in the car, or the mosquito net type thing is the only option available? I personally think the mosquito net cannot filter fine dust particles which the paper filter will be able to filter out, hence the question.
  • The mileage I've calculated on full tank to full tank method came to 6-6.2 km/l, majority city driving. I am not sure if it is a good mileage or a poor mileage, I use a very light foot to drive (Not crossing 40-45 kmph) no hard accelerations, is it possible that car will perform better or bit better if AC, Radiator flush work is done? or is it something I've to live with, since the dealer said anywhere between 10 to 14 kilometers a liter. Do note AC is on 95% of the times when driving with temperature set to 22-23, altough it doesn't perform very good lol.
  • Headlight throw is very poor, giving no confidence to drive in the evenings even with high beam, hence I don't take the car out after sunset & prefer morning/daytime driving. What possible alternative headlights/bulbs can I look at which give a decent throw and doesn't blind the person on the receiving side?
  • Not very happy with the speaker performance as I like music while driving (played through USB Stick), not that its poor quality but I feel it can be improved drastically as I feel 1 of the speakers in the rear (Rear right) sounds very low, kindly suggest some decent speakers without blowing the bank. Not interested in installing any android unit, fine with the stock music player, please suggest accordingly. I'm not looking for anything that can pierce the ears, but something sweet & decent enough.
  • Brakes altough feels very smooth does not give the confidence, I don't slam the brakes but I feel the braking is a bit laggy, comes to the same question, should I get brake oil replaced?
  • Acceleration feels laggy, is it normal for automatics or something that can be improved? (The mechanic who changed coolant said can't do anything in automatics as it self decides). I feel the car struggles after 40-45, and takes some time to respond to the acceleration, I feel like by the time it reaches the speed of 60 from 40 its time to brake so why bother speeding.
  • Currently it has Exide battery & the charge ring shows white (Needs charging), spoke to the mechanic who said it is fine & will charge as I use the car, I did ask him to check it for its health in January this year. Battery was purchased in Jan 2023 by previous owner probably, I did not get the warranty card/invoice during the purchase, my question is should I get it replaced or simply checked? Car starts with 1 self in 1-1.5 seconds.
  • Co-passenger door has started to make some weird noise when opening & closing, as if some metal is bending, wasn't present before
  • Sometimes I can experience this noise, for the same reason brakes were cleaned, although the noise is still present at times but the frequency of occurrence has reduced, is it part and parcel of automatics?

Thank you for stopping by & thanks in advance for your replies, before replying I'd like to repeat, I don't have something to compare to, this is my first car, all things I mentioned are based on my own experience, I'm happy to listen to all feedback which can improve the cars performance.

One more thing, since many will point out, Engine oil change is planned at 1000 kilometers, not sure if flush is required or not. Dealer advised to get it changed after running 1,000 kms, am not sure which oil was used in the past, I plan to use a good one along with air filter change.



Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Don't buy a 10-year old used car next time . Stick to something newer, even if it's from a segment lower.  What you need is a great independent mechanic. Go to Sunil Shanbagh at Dadar. He won't give you a quick turnaround time; he takes his own time to repair & fix, but his work is good & his workshop is honest.

Or you can search within the Team-BHP Directory for mechanics closer to you.

Would suggest searching through the Team-BHP archives for car maintenance tips & advice. As a car owner, you need to stay informed.

6 - 7 kmpl is standard for Hyundai 1.2L ATs.

All 10-year old cars will have niggles, issues & problems. You will have to learn to live with some of them, and only fix the crucial ones. When you go to a good indie mechanic, also evaluate whether it's worth spending money on this car. Shouldn't be throwing good money after bad. Or just swap it for a newer Maruti hatchback (even if from a lower segment). They are the best for 1st-time car buyers in the used market.

Here's what BHPian sagarpatki had to say on the matter:

  • Get the AC condensor cleaned. You will need to remove the front bumper for this. Do not use high pressure water. You will be shocked by the amount of black muck that will come out of the Radiator and Condenser fins. Use some soap and soft brush to agitate the dirt on the fins and rinse off again. You will see huge improvement in AC performance provided the refrigerant is available in the required quantity. Do this before opening the dashboard for cleaning the evaporator coil. IMO, it is not needed if the cabin air filter/AC filter was cleaned when needed.
  • Stock AC filter is mesh type. Please paper type is available. Go for Valeo or Purolator brands.
  • Most likely more than one shock absorbers are shot.
  • Yes. Get them changed. Since it is AT , see this video. It has all the details you need about the AT fluid and filter
  • Answer to number 1 should solve this issue as well.
  • Product link for better cabin filter provided in 1 above
  • Do not know about mileage. But check and replace Air filter. A dirty air filter is number one cause for low pickup and mileage. If Air filter is new, get the MAP sensor cleaned.
  • Note- The top of the air filter will look clean. Look at the bottom part of the air filter for the actual dirt!
  • You can upgrade to better bulbs from Philips/Osram. Are the Headlamp glasses have optical clarity?
  • I cannot suggest much here.
  • Check the brakes for jamming. Clean and lube the caliper slide pins with proper caliper grease. Maybe some pics of the brakes will help
  • Check point 6 above
  • Top up distilled water and drive for a few days. If the battery health is good, it should go back to green.
  • Should be a small fix at any service center
  • Check point 9 above
  • Do not use flush.

Use a good quality engine oil from Shell/Mobil

Here's what BHPian Manoj2688 had to say on the matter:

  • Step 1 - Get all fluids changed, Engine Oil, Transmission Oil and filter, brake fluid flush, AC flush and fill, Fuel filter, spark plugs, AC belt, Timing belt.
  • Step 2 - All things that need lubrication(greasing) need to be lubricated. Brake caliper Pins, hinges, linkages etc. Ensure ALL bolts are torqued to spec. This is what I feel gets missed out everytime. Raju Mechanic, who has learnt from an ustaad 21 years ago thinks that the oil pan bolt and the filter need to be torqued to 800Nm and the wheel bolts to 1500 Nm
  • Step 3 - All rubber parts that are cracked, replace without question.
  • Step 4 - Alignment/balancing at a REPUTED shop.

Drive for some time, let the drive cycle do the self check. If needed, do the italian tune up in the manual mode.

You WILL feel a noticeable difference.

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