The dealer keeps telling me that I need to get the timing chain changed on my 2002 Hyundai Sonata before I reach 60,000 miles. What happens if I do not do this? It is an expensive repair and I do not know if it is necessary.
As far as timing is concerned, there are timing belts, and chains. Models who possess timing chains usually do not have a replacement interval recommended by the manufacturer. Timing belts, however, are suggested to be replaced at 90k miles. You can call your dealership and ask for the recommended mileage of replacement. It can be a costly repair due to the fact that, the front of your engine needs to be disassembled.
Replacing the timing belt at the recommended intervals is actually a really important thing.
It is an expensive repair, however the damage that can be caused if the timing belt is 'not' changed and decides to let go is 'much' more expensive, and often involves major engine work. The timing belt keeps the internals of your engine moving where and when they are supposed to. If the belt stretches or separates from age, there is nothing keeping things where they should be or 'in time' - this allows things to hit each other that should never come into contact with one another - and with great force. The damage can be extensive.
Another thing to consider, especially with Hyundai since they have such a long warranty period, is that not doing recommended maintenance items may void your warranty.
You will likely be able to get the repair done at an independent shop for a considerable savings, however I would strongly recommend doing it. The risk is just not worth it.
Hope that helps.
〉 Answered on Jun 3rd, 2009 by Bogi Lateiner, Owner and Technician at 180 Degrees Automotive