It’s been smooth sailing with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson my wife and I purchased last September. That was, until four Wednesdays ago. I got into the Tucson after leaving a client and after starting the vehicle I heard two quick dings and then I saw this:
BSD stands for Blind Spot Detection and the car thought it was malfunctioning. Since I keep the owners manual in the car, I flipped through it to find out what the troubleshooting steps were. There weren’t any as the advice was to take it to the dealer. Here’s where things got weird. The warning disappeared after a minute and the BSD system worked flawlessly. Still I made an appointment for last Friday with Hyundai Of Oakville. That also gave me time to gather more data. Specifically:
- This error popped up only after a cold start. If the car was warm, it would not happen.
- While the error is displayed, the BSD system will not work.
- When the error disappears, the system worked flawlessly.
- It took a minute or so for the error to disappear.
It’s important that if you have an issue like this that you gather as much data as possible about when the issue happens and how to reproduce it. That way, your dealer can (hopefully) zero in on the cause in short order.
I went to the dealer that Friday and after waiting a couple of hours as they were missing technicians and they were overwhelmed with customers, they found a code in the vehicle’s computer for battery over-voltage. They cleared the code from the computer and drove the Tucson around for a bit to see if the code returned. It did not. Thus they declared the Tucson fixed. Too bad the BSD error returned on the next cold start which did not surprise me as all they did was clear a code from the computer. So after calling the dealer to express my displeasure in a very professional manner because they simply cleared the code and they didn’t actually troubleshoot the issue, the dealer booked me in for the following Wednesday.
Wednesday comes and I again go to the dealer. They found the same code as last time, but this time they checked over the wiring and here’s what they did according to the work order:
SCAN AND TEST – 13.8 MAIN 13.2 SUB ON START
INPUT BSD ECU HARNESS AND CHASSIS GROUND
APPLY DI ELECTRIC GREASE TO CONTACT
CUSTOMER TO MONITOR
I’ll translate. They tested the wiring and everywhere a cable related to the BSD system plugs into something, they added dielectric grease which is electrically insulating and does not break down when high voltage is applied. Dielectric grease is often applied to electrical connectors, particularly those containing rubber gaskets, as a means of lubricating and sealing rubber portions of the connector without arcing. So based on that, the theory must be that there’s a short someplace and this would hopefully fix it.
When the service advisor (which by the way was a different service advisor than I dealt with on the first service visit) gave me back the proximity key to the Tucson, he gave me his name and told said that he would not guarantee that the issue would not return. But if it did I was to call him and he would order a brand new BSD system. Once it arrived at the dealership, he’d book an appointment and have me come in to have it swapped out which would take about 2 hours.
Let me stop here and comment on this. The first service advisor that I dealt with basically blew me off by simply clearing a code. Now I know that for automotive techs, simply clearing a code and telling a customer to monitor things is a course of action that they can and often do take. But it doesn’t make a customer feel like their concerns are being taken seriously. Contrast that with the second service advisor who actually investigated the issue. Then he set clear expectations and communicated an action plan if this continued to be an issue. That made me feel like my concern was taken seriously. Thus kudos to Jay in Hyundai Of Oakville’s service department who took the time and effort to really look into my issue. Having said all of that, I was pretty sure that this was a hardware problem that was going to return. Sure enough, the problem returned 24 hours later. A call to the dealer and the parts were ordered. Too bad it took almost two weeks for the parts to arrive. That’s a major #fail as a car company the size of Hyundai should have a parts inventory that allows dealers to get parts quickly so that their customers can get their issues resolved in a timely manner. Hyundai has stepped up its game to make their cars ones that scare car companies in America, Japan, and Germany. But when it comes to parts availability, they seriously need do something about that if they want to be considered a top tier car manufacturer. In the meantime, the problem got worse in two noticeable ways:
- It started to randomly generate the “Check BSD System” error message as I could be driving down the road and it would do display this error.
- It also could take as long as 5 minutes for the error message to clear after it was generated. Or it could clear in a few seconds. There was no clear reason as to why it would do one or the other.
That did not inspire confidence. But in any case, after the part arrived at the dealer and I got an appointment, it was trip number three to the dealer. I spent two hours there and they installed the part and road tested the Tucson. Here’s what was written down on the work order:
MISC: C/S: blind spot detection keeps activating – spord part has arrived
95821D3000 UNIT ASSY
Correction: replace right rear blind spot detection unit – as per pre drag 316
op code 95821-B300
So they were able to figure out that only the right side BSD unit was at fault. Interesting. As usual for these sorts of things, we’re going to drive this for 90 days to ensure that it is fixed. But as I type this, the error has not returned. One other note about this issue. A Google search of the Hyundai Forums found a few other mentions of this problem on a few Hyundai models with the fix being to replace the BSD hardware. Also, on a thread that I started on the Hyundai Forums, one other person has reported something that sounds similar with their 2016 Tucson. There’s also another thread, where another person has reported something that again sounds similar with their 2016 Tucson. Read into that what you will.
Now all isn’t bad with the Tucson. My wife and I took advantage of one of the key features this past weekend as the weather was (finally) nice in Canada. We decided to go to Pearson Airport in Toronto and park the Tucson on the landing path that planes were using that day. Once we arrived we opened the panoramic sunroof and reclined the seats to enjoy the show and this was our view:
It was pretty impressive actually as this sunroof is huge. Passengers who have seen it comment that they think it’s “cool”. Now, I’m not a sunroof guy and I was ambivalent about this particular feature when we got the Tucson. But now I am in the “cool” camp.
Finally, there are a bunch of little things that I’ve noticed or that I think are cool. They include:
- If you reverse while you have the windshield wipers on, the rear wipers will come on to clear the rear window.
- If you hold down the “Mode” button on the steering wheel that changes the mode of the infotainment system audio, it turns off the audio which saves you from having to reach across the dash to do it while driving and potentially taking your attention away from the road.
- The Headrests not only adjust up and down but for and aft for better whiplash protection.
- There’s a gas cap holder inside the flap that covers the fuel port to keep the gas cap from dangling and scratching the paint.
- Even with the headlights on, the dash will automatically go to daytime brightness once the sensor detects sufficient ambient light.
- The middle seatbelt in the back row can fit into a groove on the ceiling to prevent them from dangling about if you need it to be out of the way so that you can flip the rear seats down.
Clearly, someone put in some time and effort in to come up with some features that people will appreciate. Even if they are not in your face all of the time.
Now that spring is here, we plan to be out in the Tucson a lot more. For example, we’re using it to cart our bikes around to go riding outside of Toronto. I’ll post an update soon on how the Tucson works for us on things like that as well as road trips.