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Hyundai Late to Service Manual Debuts

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August 6, 2020—Repair Manuals are the Rosetta Stone for any technician on the shop floor. From backing into a pole to suffering an unfortunate accident, repair manuals quite literally pave the way for your vehicle to be fixed. But if you drive a Hyundai, those instructions were obsolete until this year.

Thanks to I-CAR and its years of perseverance, Hyundai has officially released repair manuals for purchase. Scott VanHulle, lead associate OEM, technical relations for I-CAR says it was an industry-wide effort to make this information available. VanHulle, who has been with I-CAR for more than a decade, says they have been working towards this since he first started with the organization. 

Repairing damaged vehicles has never been a simple task, but with the growing number of automakers and vehicle models, it has never been more complex. Kye Yeung, owner of European Motor Car Works, says there is no standard for vehicle repair. Each OEM has its own distinct repair procedures, specified tools, and even its own terminology. “Automatic braking has 40 different names across OEs and cruise control has 20,” says Yeung. Without a standard framework, it is easy to get lost in the weeds but even easier to make a mistake during the repair. That is where the need for comprehensive repair manuals comes in. 


New Releases

I-CAR led the charge in showing Hyundai just how much of a need there was for its repair manuals. “We collected data from insurance companies and spoke with Hyundai owners,” VanHulle says. It got to the point where I-CAR was receiving five to 10 questions a day specifically on how to repair Hyundai models, he says. 

Finally this month, Hyundai released repair manuals for four of its models: 2019-20 Nexo, 2020-21 Palisade, 2019-20 Santa Fe, and 2020-21 Sonata. The manuals include body construction, dimensions, body repair, body sealing, corrosion protection, body modifications and more. “Every single repair is unique, [repair manuals] give the exact millimeters on where to cut and even the exact number of welds to use,” VanHulle says. The repair procedures are only accessible directly through Hyundai, and for a price, of course. 

The subscriptions vary from model to model but the prices are roughly the same starting at $40 a week, $60 a month, or $600 for a year’s worth of access. One benefit to the manuals only being accessible online is the efficiency at which they are able to be updated. VanHulle suggests technicians look up the repair procedure the day of to get the newest information. “If you did the same repair last week, look it up again,” he says. “If the procedure has changed, it doesn’t mean the last one you did was incorrect, but they found a better way to do it.” The next manual to become available is for the 2021 Genesis, a luxury vehicle whose subscription prices reflect just that. 

Repair manuals have been “business as usual” for OEMs for decades, notes VanHulle. You can find repair manuals for Audi, Chevrolet, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and even some Ford repair manuals date back to the 1980s, which begs the question: Why did it take so much pressure from the industry for Hyundai to make this life-saving information available?


Image: Hyundai



Model Specifications 

Santa Fe

  • 2.4-liter, 4 cylinder engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard ADAS safety features with additional Rear Occupant Alert system


  • Single-speed reduction gear transmission 
  • 380-mile driving range
  • Standard ADAS safety features including High Beam Assist and Remote Smart Parking Assistance stystems


  • 2.5 MPI/GDI or 1.6 T-GDI engine
  • 8-speed-automatic transmission 
  • Standard ADAS safety features with an added Safe Exit Warning system


  • 3.8-liter, V6 engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission 
  • Standard ADAS safety features and Snow Mode capabilities

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