Crossover & Midsize

2005 Hyundai Tucson Budget Rebuild – Critters Among Us

A 15-year-old Hyundai Tucson may not seem like an extraordinary gift. But, to someone who needs a vehicle, anything will fit the need. However, I’m a person that does not want to gift a vehicle that is in shabby condition or in poor running order. So, I endeavored on mildly rebuilding the 2005 Hyundai Tucson I’ve had before it exchanged hands with a family member. Sadly, the restoration has became costly. This is the next installment of my ordeals and accomplishments.

Critters eat important things in the Tucson

The passenger side view of a burgundy and gray 2005 Hyundai Tucson
2005 Hyundai Tucson | HJ Pizarro

I’m not exactly sure at which point in the timeline this happened. But, it needs to be mentioned. We have all sorts of animals that cross our property. Squirrels, deer, moles, skunks, and even a groundhog have all spent time meandering through our yard. Unfortunately, some sort of critter decided to cross our yard and then climb up under the Tucson.

Once under the car, the critter(s) quickly ate through the wiring harness in three places. I was dumbfounded. I have never heard of such a thing. But, I was assured it happens. Sadly, my bewilderment also turned to anger. What kind of maintenance am I in for now?

Wiring harnesses are a pain to deal with and can also be costly. Splicing and repairing two or three wires I can do. But, the critter(s) had eaten all the way through the bundle of wires in the harness in two spots, and then partially eaten in the third spot. The little crossover was dead. I had to call for a tow truck.

A Tucson, tow truck, and feeling like a wimp

A burgundy 2005 Hyundai Tucson is loaded on a flat-bed tow truck
2005 Hyundai Tucson takes a ride | HJ Pizarro

A tow truck was a sign of an expensive repair about to happen that was beyond me. I’m a backyard wrencher, not a professional. For this kind of repair, I want a repair shop to stand behind it. If it was just me, I can replace a few wires on the Tucson. This critter’s meal, however, was bundles of wires. There’s no guarantee that all the wires will be in the right position if I try to rework all of them. Besides, a shop has diagnostic tools to determine which components are talking to each other, or not. So, I deferred to a professional to fix the wiring. So, I called for a tow. I feel like a wimp.

It doesn’t matter if the Tucson was going to remain mine or go to a family member. It was dead. The only way to get it working was to pay the price. But, I still fully intend to give it to the family. I just have to pay a lot more for repairs now. I don’t have access to the receipt anymore. So, I don’t recall fully how much I paid. I must have been emotionally scarred and wiped that whole part of the experience from my memory. I think it was about $300, plus the tow. But, I’m uncertain. 

The mild-rebuild story

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This was supposed to be a series of quick repairs and a matter of handing over the keys of the little crossover SUV. But, things quickly became challenging with surprises. There are still a few things to do to the little Hyundai Tucson. However, the original punch list is becoming smaller. The related articles are linked below to make it easier to follow along.

The story will continue Monday and Friday for the final two installments of the series.