The Hyundai i20 is one of the country’s most popular premium hatchbacks. It was launched in 2009 as a replacement for the Getz which was struggling in front of the likes of the Maruti-Suzuki Swift. The i20 rolled off to immediate success and ate into a major chunk of the Swift’s market like the Santro did with the Alto. Following a fluidic makeover and a fully revamped i20 Elite in the succeeding years, the car was blazing through sales charts. The i20 wasn’t exactly affordable for the masses but was extravagantly popular and everyone wanted one. These factors combined translated to a huge population of i20’s emerging in the used car market. So in this used car buyer’s guide, we will take a look at some of the problem-prone areas in a used Hyundai i20 that you should definitely pay attention to while buying one.
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This problem is commonly observed in pre-fluidic first generation models. The door and window seals present in the car have a very strong tendency to deteriorate with age. This issue is more inclined towards the physical age of the vehicle than the number of kilometres driven. Given the fact, that the first generation model is in consideration here, most of them would be at least 6 years old. The tell-tale signs of worn-out door and window seals are simple, excessive cabin noise, moisture patches on the carpets and a somewhat ineffective AC. But to be on the safer side, you can do a sure-shot confirmation test by pouring a mug of water around the door detents when it is closed and the window borders. Be sure to check the structural integrity of all the door and window seals on the used Hyundai i20 you intend to purchase.
The i20 is equipped with an electronic power steering like several other cars in the family. This power steering system is equipped with a safety feature that automatically turns the power steering system off when it overheats. The steering motor signals the engine control system to turn off the mechanism until it cools down. In some problematic cases, if the sensor triggering the safe mode fails, the power steering permanently turns off. Due to this, the steering wheel of the car will become very heavy and will require a lot of effort to move. Hence, when you are taking the used Hyundai i20 you intend to buy for a test drive, be on a lookout for this heaviness. This could also be caused due to total steering motor failure which is quite expensive to replace.
Every i20 launched so far has been equipped with front and back power windows through every variant. Over time, these electrically operated windows begin to roll up or down with a noticeable resistance. Eventually, this resistance will develop into complete non-movement. This problem occurs due to the power window motor. The i20’s window motors are well known for giving up before time and the possibility of that happening on a used Hyundai i20, more than 3-4 years old is very high. Again, this motor is also an expensive ordeal and can only be replaced in most cases. Replacement motors can set you back by about Rs.12000-15000 depending on the model in question. So be sure to check the full motion of all windows on the used Hyundai i20 you wish to purchase for any resistance or malfunction.
Like the other Hyundai cars we had previously covered, the i20 is also prone to problems with the clutch mechanism. In the i20’s case, the issue starts because of the clutch system’s hydraulic pump. These pumps are known to give up if you spend a long duration in stop and go traffic. In such situations, clutch usage is constantly required which causes the pump to succumb to excessive load. It takes the clutch mechanism a while to resume functioning until it cools down completely. But in some cases, it is possible that the clutch pump stops working altogether after such a scenario.
If this happens, your car is stuck wherever it is and won’t be able to move till a service engineer or mechanic gets it fixed. This problem can occur due to something as mild as air in the clutch pump which will be fixed with simple bleeding. But it could also happen due to clutch pump failure which in turn could also cause the plates and flywheel to wear out. In the latter cases, the repair expenses could go as high as Rs.30000-40000! Therefore, when you are test driving the used Hyundai i20 you intend to purchase, be sure to drive it through a variety of conditions and observe the behaviour of the clutch mechanism very carefully.
This is a problem that has been observed on almost all pre-2018 i20 models. These cars are equipped with a vacuum-boosted power brake system. The purpose of the brake booster is to add some braking power which is derived from the intake stroke of the piston. With the presence of this braking boost, the driver’s effort is largely reduced. In several cases of used Hyundai i20 cars, it is observed that the brake pedal at times becomes so hard that even standing on it fails to engage the brakes.
Normal brake functioning resumes after stopping the car for a while and re-starting it. But there is a good chance that this effect prevails for much longer. This peculiar pedal hardness is caused due to a defective brake vacuum servo. A malfunctioning servo misaligns the vacuum boost and results in the requirement of extra force to push the pedal, which is the opposite of what it is supposed to do. So when you are test driving the used Hyundai i20 you intend to purchase, observe the brake pedal behaviour with utmost caution. Be sure to test the brakes on a preferably empty road and don’t go excessively fast as the absence of vacuum pressure could lead to a potential disaster.
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