Q: Axle shaft issue - 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe

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After coasting at 20-30 mph, stepping on the gas causes a "clunk" as the power train re-engages. Dealer says that the problem is caused by a washer on the axle shaft and the washer needs to be replaced. Apparently Hyundai is sensitive to too many axle shafts being replaced so the dealer simply wants to replace the washer at an approximately $450 cost. Hyundai says the washer is not covered under its 10 year/100,000 drive train warranty even though it is a component of the axle shaft. I have two questions: does it make sense that the problem is caused by a defective washer, and, if so, what would be the consequence of not replacing it? It is likely that we will replace the car in the next year or so. Thanks.

My car has 99000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. The dealer can say anything about the vehicle for other vehicles have had this issue, however, this is also a symptom of the transmission clutch grabbing hard when floating in between a gear selection range. Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda vehicle’s all have this issue. This is a normal condition and cannot be fixed. If you want to change out the washer for being defective, then it will help the axle’s life span. The consequence of not changing it will result in an axle shaft possibly breaking under loaded conditions.

Even if you choose to turn in your vehicle next year or so, it is a good idea to fix the issue that you are occurring so you won’t have any problems while you are driving the vehicle, and if you do decide to trade in your vehicle, you will get a better trade in value and the other customer will not have to worry about a washer issue. If you need further assistance diagnosing your vehicle, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to assist you with the washer on the axle shaft.

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