2005 Hyundai Tucson Budget Rebuild – Lists Mean Nothing Without Action

It’s funny. When we own a vehicle we tend to let little things slide. I’m not talking about important things. Of course, we take care of brakes, belts, and other important components. But, the little things, like a torn seat, or a wheel center cap that has faded to bare plastic in spots. Those are minuscule things that tend to get deprioritized in the grand scheme of car maintenance. However, when we go to buy or sell a car, those things stand out. Even if they aren’t the big things. That’s what happened with my 2005 Hyundai Tucson. I said all that to say this, the punch list I developed in the first installment of my Tucson build series has some minuscule, mostly unimportant stuff. But, they stand out nonetheless. 

Remembering the punch list

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

Any good build has a punch list. For some people it is in their head. Others, however, actually write it down somewhere or at least type it into their cell phone. For a refresher, here is that punch list to restore the Tucson.

  • Tires, all four
  • Recharge the airconditioner
  • Fix the driver’s power door lock
  • Restore or replace the headlights
  • Address the center caps
  • Restore the wiper arms
  • Liftgate window shocks
  • Reupholster or replace the passenger seat
  • Radio upgrade?

A punch list is a list of goals. Listing goals is useless unless you actually do something about them. For me, the family member in need of a car is my motivation to start doing something. To get started, I prioritized the list. Others may disagree about the prioritization. But, that’s okay. 

Air conditioning recharge for the Tucson

After developing a punch list for repairs to the 2005 Hyundai Tucson, I began by focusing on the air conditioner. When I was younger I could deal with 90 degree days by opening the windows and sunroof. As I have gotten older I have become less tolerant of adjusting to less than ideal weather conditions. So, since I ignored the air conditioner all of last Summer and sweated through the season, I knew this year would be different. I was going to hand the vehicle to my family with an air conditioner that works. 

That air conditioning somehow became more important as the temperatures started to climb for the season. I was thinking a quick recharge of the air conditioner system should fix the issue. Unfortunately, not everything wrong with that system was apparent at the outset. 

I don’t mess with air conditioning systems because the substance that circulates in them is considered harmful and must be captured by machines at licensed repair shops. The shops have fancy equipment to do that. I don’t. So, I took the Tucson to a local shop that is just a few blocks away. 

Recharging the air conditioning is not going to fix it

Passenger front quarter view of a burgundy and gray 2005 Hyundai Tucson parked with the hood up.
2005 Hyundai Tucson | HJ Pizarro

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As it turns out, an air conditioner recharge wasn’t going to do it. A wiring connection had separated at some point in time and fried a relay within the compressor. Fortunately, it kicked off the system to prevent further damage. Instead of a recharge though, the system needed wiring replaced, resoldered, a few parts, and then finally, a recharge. I had budgeted $60 for the repair. Instead, I paid $400. This was not a good start to the rebuild.

Stay tuned for more on the Tucson restoration

In the next installment of this series, I will bring you along as I have a costly surprise pop-up that wasn’t on the punch list.  Let’s just say that it leaves me grumbling under my breath. Keep an eye out on Mondays and Fridays for the continuing saga of the Tucson’s rebuild.