Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is H.A.R.D. making its return???

Ok I have seen alot of posts on the forums about an OEM supercharged Genesis coupe. Autoblog itself is claiming that a factory SC kit will be strapped to the 3.8 motor (as seen here...Autoblog's Supercharged Gen couple article) but is it true? With all of my time with Hyundai and watching the trends I really have a hard time believing that the most fuel efficient company will be strapping an Eaton positive displacement SC'er to its new 2013 coupe. Another guess is what motor will be replacing the 210hp 2.0 turbo motor in the base car. Will it be the Sonata motor? Or perhaps an updated version of the Theta II....I'm going to venture a guess of the Sonata motor.

Will it be the return of H.A.R.D.?

This acronym will be familiar with those that have been around Hyundai for any given amount of time. Back in late 2003/early 2004, there was buzz about Hyundai coming out with its line of aftermarket parts that would be fully covered by the warranty (when installed by a factory technician AT the dealership).  This never did come to fruition and the tuners of the Hyundai scene were left yet again to fend for themselves. I spoke with several people from HMA while out on my Portland trip (see Portland trip...for a full recap of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster) but one thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that Hyundai officials seemed to be excited about SEMA. SEMA is an aftermarket goody bag of parts, women and modified cars. Why would Hyundai be so excited? Three years ago they had their prototype Gen coupe and Rhys Millen was there with his midmounted v8 gen coupe. Several other companies had Gen coupes there aswell, but RMR is fully backed by HMA.

Prototype from HMA

Motor shot of the mid mounted Tau V8 motor

With the release of the Veloster just a couple of weeks ago, will it be an unveiling of the up and coming Veloster Turbo? Could it be the return H.A.R.D? Could it be both? I'm not sure but what I do know is that the 333hp that Autoblog is quoting comes from Hyundai using Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), not a supercharger. The genesis sedan is currently running this same exact motor and in the same position (RWD) Why would they change it for their coupe? I could be wrong, but I'm calling BS on this.

I'm looking forward to Hyundai's booth at SEMA (still trying to scheme a way of going to Las Vegas to see things in person, but that is highly unlikely). I'm also looking foward to cars from such great companies like ARK, Fuelculture, and RMR will be out there with Velosters. I'm sure others will be representing the Gen coupe crowd aswell.

However it goes down, this a good thing for ALL OF US!!!

spy shots of the new Veloster Turbo...if you havent seen it yet. New front fascia, rear bumber with round center mounted exhaust tips, and most importantly 208hp/195lbs of torque from the Gamma 1.6 GDI motor.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The dealership and YOU!

As per request, I will be talking about the dealership experience and what one "should" encounter when you get there with your vehicle. I would like to start off by saying that just like fast food resturants all the dealers are independent of themselves and from Hyundai for that matter. They are merely franchises. So do not expect the same service from EVERY dealership.

Since most of us are aftermarket junkies I do have to let you know that some will be friendlier or more "allowable" of aftermarket modifications. Most dealerships will just "look" at the car and go "nope, your aftermarket parts void  the warranty" This is WRONG and ILLEGAL according to The Magnuson-Moss Warranty ACT of 1975. You can find it at Sema.com. The skinny is that the company must prove that your aftermarket part CAUSED the failed part to fail. 

Examples of failure could be...

1. You installed a turbo kit onto your N/A motor and you blew a headgasket with the vehicle only having a couple thousand miles on it. While it is true that it could have been a defect the turbo kit accelerated the process and your going to be denied.

2. You installed aftermarket lowering springs and dampeners, over time you notice that the vehicle is getting noiser while going over bumps in the road. You inspect the vehicle and find the control arm bushings are toast. Unfortunately, lowering the vehicle put the OEM specs out and the bushings could not handle it. You'll be denied.

Things that would be ILLEGAL...

1. You came in because your window switch is no longer working, but you have installed new rims, springs/struts, and aftermarket exhaust. They try to void the warranty for those items. There is no way that the aftermarket parts you installed affected the window switch.

These are merely examples and there is no way to cover every case, but if you do modify your car. You do have a leg to stand on when going to the dealership.

Let us also look at the warranty itself. I have worked in several Hyundai dealerships over the years and for the most part have a good handle on what is covered and what is not. Although your owners manual should have a layout of the basic warranty. Hyundai's 10yr/100k warranty is the BEST in the United States (although sister company Kia has the same warranty). The second tier of the warranty is the bumper to bumper portion which is 5yr/60k. This does cover the car with some exceptions. Wear items are only covered 1yr/12k. This would include things like brakes, alignments, clutches and some other random things. The stereo and some of the other elecronics like amplifiers, xm radio module and some others are covered 3yr/36k So while technically they say 5yr/60k there are some exceptions. Although come cools things that ARE covered are things like headlights.The dealership itself will have all of the specifics, I just wanted to let you know that its not "truely" bumper to bumper. Regardless, its still the best warranty out there period. Hyundai also offers an extended plan called Hyundai Protection Plan or HPP. This extends the basic 5yr/60k warranty out to 10yr/100k. I have taken advantage of this and it saved me quite a bit of coin. It has definitely paid for itself with certain repairs being covered. There are "Aftermarket" warranty companies, but I have found them to be a PITA to work with and most of the service writers do not like dealing with them.

Lets go to the 10yr/100k warranty and what exactly that covers. This is your powertrain warranty. This includes internally lubricated parts, bearings, CV joints, the motor and the internals of the transmission. Also covered are gaskets for the motor like the valve cover gaskets, tube seals, axle seals and other seals like the oil pan gasket. So if you ever have a problem with your Hyundai, take it the dealership. Let them say yes or no to a warranty claim. Do not ever assume that they will not cover it. One little tid bit that I would like to throw in there is  that warranty costs the dealership money. So in return they to up sell you things like transmission flushes, coolant flushes, air conditioner cleaners, and a whole slew of other services. All I'm going to say is that it is the job of the dealership to make money. There are scheduled maintence schedules that need to be followed in order to maintain your warranty. PLEASE make note of what the change intervals are for your particular vehicle. This should be available in your owners manual.

Anytime you go into the dealership for warranty or even maintenance work, they are going to look up your history. If it looks like your are on schedule with your maintenance you should almost never have an issue with getting a part warrantied. This can be tricky though, if you are a Do It Yourselver (DIY'er) like I am. My advice to you is to have ALL receipts for any maintenance done outside of their shop. One more think I would like to add is that you should always use OEM parts when available. Most importantly the oil filter. Hyundai has multiple Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's) about engine noise and aftermarket oil filters. Believe it or not, Hyundai makes some kick ass oil filters. I used to use K&N oil filters for years, that is until I cut apart an OEM filter and my K&N filter side by side. The OEM filter was larger, had more surface area to clean, and a bypass valve built in. This valve prevents a clogged oil filter from starving the motor of oil. The valve simply opens up and the oil is bypassed. Granted the oil is no longer being filtered, but its better then starving the motor of oil. If you do use aftermarket parts or performance parts, just be aware they can and do fail (although I have yet to any aftermarket part fail and cause another part to fail).

If you are new to the dealership experience this is the flow of how things work. First off, find the proper parking spot for the service department, as a former tech one thing we hate is when a car is not parked in its proper spot, if you are unsure ask somebody. Some dealerships will have people to move the vehicles for you and you simply pull up to the service department. The person you should see first is the Service Writer. This person will ask you what the issue is and they (should) explain the process of which that issue will be handled. Most dealershps have a board of some sort that will explain labor charges and fees for services. The way Hyundai does warranty is that you must sign to an hours worth of diagnosis time. Once the technician finds the issue, it will be checked with the service writer. They will then see if the part is covered under warranty. If the part is covered, then that hour of labor goes away. IF its not covered that hour will go towards the time it takes to install the new part. However, the technician can and they do over estimate the time it takes to install the part. Some dealerships go by "book time" and others are subjective or they have a standard for their dealership. Standard time would be just simply are price for the entire service. Usually the only people that care about the hourly rate for the services are the techs. "Book time" is just that a book that tells you how much time it takes to do a particular job. There are governing bodies out there that publish books with these times in them. I had mentioned that some techs are subjective but what does that mean? This means that some techs are fair and will charge you the amount of time (or the approximate time) it will take. Techs will also include some time just in case something does not go exactly right or they do it for rust. Book time does not take other circumstances into account like rust. Trust me, I have charged extra for a rusty car, I spent an HOUR on just a couple of bolts because of the rust. You also then have to replace the rusted bolts that you just cut off or melted in the attempts to get them off. Other techs, however, will try to soak up every little penny they can get! This is when you need to know what a fair price should be for a given repair. If it sounds outrageous, it usually IS!

I think I took a slight detour. Lets get back on topic. The service writer will (should) communicate with you about the repair and how long sed repair should take. During the repair they might come to you with their up sells, do not let  them bully you! Again, you must go into the dealership 1. knowing what your car needs and at what mileage interval its need at 2. what the car actually needs to maintain the warranty. Like I had mentioned earlier, they like to sell you all kinds of flushes and they even conveniently package them together. These are usually big maintenance items like the 30k service, or your 60k service. You can opt out of some of the things in the package if you do things yourselve, but again just be forewarned USE OEM PARTS!

The service writer will also take car of all of the paperwork and should show you to the cashier. Hyundai is great about customer service and they like to send surveys to their customers. These surveys, if the dealer gets a high score, will help the dealership, usually in the form of a bonus of some sort. If you feel that you were treated fairly and customer service was everything that it should have been, by all means give them 10's. There are times where something could have been handled better and sometimes people are people and mistakes are made. What you should NOT do is slam them on those surveys. Please be fair to them, or you will ultimately burn your bridge. Just a word of caution.

I'm sure I did not get to everybody's  questions here. So by all means use the post feature to ask further questions. I'll also take suggestions too! Let me know what you think. Good or bad. Feed back is much appreciated!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Driving Sports TV reveiw from youtube.

Aaron is a cool guy,but not a fan of Hyundai. Coming from the world of performance Subaru's I do not blame him. I think that the turbo version will motivate people a little more. The red and black leather option is by far the nicest option of the interiors.

without further ado....and yes, I do not say much and I'm kinda emotionless. It's kinda hard to have camera's on you for 20 minutes straight and be in complete silence. Aaron would randomly say something, so responding is a little hard.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Road signals!

ok...lets get this straight, we are supposed to use turn signals when turning? Can somebody please tell the drivers of  Florida this. PLEASE!! There is a little stalk that comes out from behind the steering wheel (usually on the left side) you depress it to signal left and push it up to signal right. This is not hard is it? For the people of central Florida it seems to be. On small city streets or on the highways, it does not matter. Do yourself and other people on the road and USE YOUR DAMN TURN SIGNALS!!!!

Other signals of the road that people may not know.
1. Your on the highway traveling at a good speed, but the person infront of you is hogging the left lane. They are not paying any attention to you coming up from behind. One thing you do not do is tailgate them till they move! This is probably the most unsafe way to approach this situation. As long as they can move over, the best way to deal with this is a nice flash of the high beams from a good distance away. Usually in groups of two. This for the most part will get the persons attention and they "should" move over as THEY are breaking the law by NOT moving over. Do not let somebody tell you "go around me!" for this surely cause accidents especially if they are going much slower then the speed of traffic. The best is if you do start to pass on the right, they just move over anyway. NO turn signal but just move. (please see original rant please! haha)

2. Your on a backroad and there is something in the road, or you see the po po sitting somewhere. The flashing of highbeams is a nice way to warn others of the pending danger (or ticket). Only in Florida have I come across where I have actually been given the middle finger for doing this. How weird, I'm trying to HELP YOU!

3. Highway scenario again. A truck is in the left hand lane and wants to move over to the right but you are there. If its day time, flashing your highbeams will let them know that you are clear (when they move over I usually take their spot in the left and pass) If its at night, you will want to turn lights (just the headlights) off and then on again. The Trucker, if polite, will flash his four ways. This is a signal of gratitude. I have been in the truck with my dad on occasions and I can tell you first hand that they BLIND spots...BIG ONES! not only do you help them along, they move out of the left lane.

4. Person behind you and flashing like crazy at YOU, move over and let them pass. I have seen people get ridiculous with this and people start to act like idiots because they thing the person flashing is in the wrong. I have also had people brake check others and fingers are flying out the window. I have seen all kinds of stuff over my years on the road.  Sorry if your in the left lane or going 15mph UNDER the speed limit. Its you that is in the wrong. Move your booty over.

5. Its dusk/dawn and somebody flashes their lights ON and then OFF then ON again. This means put YOUR lights on. One hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise you are supposed to have your lights one.

6. And for goodness sakes, put your lights on while its raining! I can not see your white, grey, or black car while its down pouring. Wipers on, Lights on! its real easy! This is one of the reason why car companies are coming out with auto-lights, because people are not paying attention.

Other signals of the road.

1. Somebody pulls up next to you and honks three times, they then take off and flash their 4 ways...you just lost the race. Most of these people are morons, please do not get into with them. They try to race anything with a motor and do not care about the circumstances. I have done my fair share of stupid things? I suppose so, but weaving through traffic on Rt. 80 is much more fun then simply going fast in a straight line. haha J/F...kinda.

if I missed any that you would like to add, but all means post up!! We need to educate the public!

next installment is probably going to be about vehicle safety and what you can do to make it safer. Especially watching people play bumper cars in the rain on the highway this afternoon.

My driving experience with the Veloster! a continuation of my last review.

A little birdie the night before had told me to purposely wait and that holding out would pay dividends. It did big time! We crossed over in Washington State on "The Bridge of The Gods" we again found ourselves along the Columbia river heading east. Our route then turned north into the mountains. While throwing the car around the corners, I was able to find the limiting factor on this car. Being a tuner myself, I found that the Kuhmos while sufficient for the normal driver these roads really begged for something a little more stickier. You can go hot into the corner lift off the throttle and fell the rear rotate then power out of the corner nicely. Balance seems to be pretty good and the stiffer suspension and integrated rear sway bar worked well and kept the car very flat through all kinds of corners. Transitioning through S-curves quickly did not seem to upset the car at all nor the driver. The seats in the car are very well bolstered and comfortable. With it being Hyundai's car and not mine, I decided to not push to hard on the public road. We really need to get it out onto the track for a full test. Throttle response is decent, but perhaps I'm just not used to an electronic throttles but there was a hint of reservation with the pedal all the way down. The motor does a good job of pulling the light car around especially after 4k when you feel a slight rush of power. My guess is this is around the time that the intake runners switch from the longer runners to the shorter ones. You do however have to keep the car in the higher revs to move. We found passing another vehicle took patience and timing. Hyundai used the catch phrase "Eco-Sport". The sport shows up in this car as having a stiff chassis and its taught suspension. The steering seemed to be spot on as well. Response from the wheel elicits rapid response from the front wheels. The manual feels very nice and tight. Throws are short and precise. The DCT performed very well as well. Better then I had anticipated. I have no love for automatics but his DCT not being a full automatic peaked my interest. It was quick and comfortable. Upshifts and downshifts all respond via the steering wheel mounted paddles. Although not my cup of tea, those auto fans should love it. The Eco portion of the phrase comes from the motor. While not lightning fast it seemed sufficient even if others thought it was underpowered. I guess it just depends on your point of view. I'll take the 40mpg over being able to go a little quicker. Besides, who knows what the future may hold. Perhaps a bit more power? I know I'll be on the look out for it. Over all Hyundai has built a great car that is just right for its target audience. I cant wait to get my hands on one of my own.

I really do like the car...the turbo version will definitely help move the car along quite nicely. Although there were rumors of switching up the rear suspension...i'm not sure if its really needs to. The rear was sufficient and i'm sure if i pushed it through corners the rear tire would have been coming up off the ground. I would like to see the alignment specs...hopefully they zero'd out the rear toe and it should have about -1.5 of camber in the rear. You can easily use camber bolts or if you decide to get coils make sure they come with camber plates (this makes life REAL EASY!!).

any more questions feel free to ask away!! sorry for the delay...but i had an interview! haha

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My trip to Portland, OR....

It started with an email asking me if I wanted to attend the media release of the new 2012 Veloster. Of course I do!! So I replied to the email and that night  I received a phone call from the PR people at Hyundai Motor America. I passed their interview process and arrangements were made!

I had a week and half to wait and two board exams to pass in the mean time. UGH! Even though I was studying hard for my exams (which I passed with flying colors), my thoughts were on the new Veloster. I have been following the car since its introduction as a concept vehicle. I joined Veloster.org and began posting there. I have a feeling its become my new forum home.

Tuesday the 13th had come and I was on a plane heading for Portland. It was a long trip, but man Portland is gorgeous! I had not been in this part of the country before and I found it a very nice change from my home state of Florida (not from here...but reside. Dont get it confused! haha). The real trees and mountains were alluring. That night we had a small reception in our hotel, followed by dinner on the roof. I met a lovely young women Kelly. We were easily the youngest there by a good decade. It was our first event and we decided to stick together. While talking over dinner about various things, mostly cars. She told me to drive on the second leg and not the first one. "Trust me...you'll want to be driving for that stretch!"  She had gone out that day as part of the second wave ( I was apart of the 3rd wave who would be driving the next day). We parted and I fell into my bad and passed out. I cant stand flying, it always makes me tired and nevermind the time difference.

Wednesday the 14th had finally come and  I would be able to see the Veloster in person! This is what I saw when I came out into the hallway.

 I sat with the people from Hyundai at breakfast and asked them a bunch of questions. I was really trying to get answers for those of you that want to know about the new Gen coupe, or the Turbo Veloster. But NOPE! They are very tight lipped and rightfully so. They have a ton of up and coming products. Although they did answer my questions about the 6spd manual in the sonata turbo. Not enough interest. I think I have thrown them for a loop when I told them that alot of people that looked at the turbo sonata for its tuning possibilites will not buy the auto..including myself.  Back to the Veloster. We had a Q and A with an information packed presentation on the vehicle. They had cool props including a side profile showing off the high strength steel and reinforcements they use throughout the vehicle. This car is light AND strong. Afterwards we headed down to to the street and over to Pioneer Square. here are some pics that I was able to snap off before being paired with Aaron from Driving Sports TV.

I was instantly brought across the square to a black with red leather seats. The red leather is a very nice touch and MY choice hands down of interior colors. Unfortunetly its only available on the Black, Red, and White. Although I must say that White with the red leather is full of win!

one cool feature about the door is the handle. Its NOT connected at the top portion of the door. This comes in handy because there are no OH SH!T handles on the roof or interior A pillar. The seats however are very comfortable and nicely bolstered. (The leather in this car is far superior then older models, say like my Elantra GT.) There really is no need for the handles because your held in place by the seat. After seeing the car and being paired up, I remembered my little birdie and invited my partner to drive first.

We headed out of the city and onto the Columbia Scenic drive. The views were spectacular!  I have not seen hills (never mind real mountains!) in quite sometime. Same goes for the trees, it was nice to see something other then palm trees. Believe it not they do grate on your nerves. Especially when you know that palmetto bugs come from certain ones. How gross!! we carved our way down this nice drive where we did come to some nice switchbacks and some beautiful waterfalls!

 One of many scenic views along the Columbia river.

 YES!!! this is what I'm talking about!! Although with Aaron still driving, I was starting to get a pounding headache. The car does not shift around like any of the cars in this segment. The torsion bar with integrated 23mm roll bar keeps the back in check very nicely and the McPherson front strut setup and 24mm sway bar keep things planted. I wish  I could share "how it feels" but  I have been asked not to say anything till the 19th. So I'll let you take the data and do the math. 2500lbs plus stiff springs and dampeners plus adequate roll bars plus 18" rims with 215/45 Kuhmos = ?  haha  It is not rocket science at all!
 At the falls we switched drivers. Did I mention how comfortable these seats are? While listening to some vocal trance tracks (one of the tracks was OceanLab "on a good day")  we cruised on with the windows down and the huge moon roof open. Now that we were away from the coast alittle bit, the sun had come out and the temps were rising. Following our directions we crossed over into Washington state over "The Bridge of The Gods" and continued east on the "Lewis and Clark Highway" or route 14.

Our path had taken us onto a side trip up the side of the mountain. I could hear the little birdie signing! Boy was she right! The road was filled with switchbacks and nice hill climbs. It also had its sweepers and every other kind of corner you could imagine. I was in heaven and what seemed like the perfect car at the moment. The little 1.6 held its own when pushed. This was our view from atop our little hill climb.

On the way down the brakes were put to the test and passed! Going down was just as good as going up! We ended up at the bottom of the above picture cruising next to the river. What I would have gave to throw a fishing pole in there and catch my own lunch. The road ended about 50 feet from where we had started. We headed back west to cross the bridge back into Oregon and into the sleepy town of Hood River. We were one of the last ones to meet at our rendezvous point. There was still plenty of food to go around though. Smoked salmon, and chicken that was bathed in some heavenly sauce along with some rice and a veggie, I was set for our tip back. We traded in our black 6spd manual for a White DCT (dual clutch transmission). We headed back to the hotel which seemed like a much faster trip. I had a blast. I want to think all of people at the Hyundai Think Tank and to all of the people that met there! It was a first for me, but hopefully not my last! Hyundai keep up the good work. We look forward to future cars and the possibility of more powerful Veloster.

here are some other random pics from the trip!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Added some links!

I have updated the "More hyundai" with just a couple of the most frequent websites/forums that I frequent on a daily basis.

I will be adding more as soon as I some time.

HI all!

Well I have decided to give this a whirl! I'll be posting up about "All Things Hyundai!" I'll be starting off with a recent trip to Portland, OR for the 2012 Hyundai Veloster. I was invited to the media introduction by the Hyundai Think Tank.

The Hyundai Think Tank is a site were people have the opportunity to sound off likes and dislikes straight to the company itself. As a Think Tanker, you have access to people within the company and are free to ask questions about products and even future products. Although, Hyundai is VERY good about not letting any information slip out that is not intended.

Over the next day or so, I will be sharing my experiences in Portland leading  up to my official review and drive of the Veloster.

Look forward to pics of my trip and of the new 2012 Veloster!