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Greetings!

My name is Joe, I'm 26 and live in Jackson, NJ.

I just bought a 2011 Santa Fe GLS with 76k miles. It is my first car that is really nice and is less than 10 years old. It is the most recent in a lineup that has included 1996 and 2000 4Runners, a 1995 Infiniti G20, a 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo, a 1992 Subaru SVX, a 1990 Toyota Camry and a 1998 Nissan Maxima.

The car is black with grey and black cloth interior. It has the 3.5 engine and is AWD. It's pretty basic and doesn't have the 3rd row seat. It has the factory audio system, but I have nothing to complain about on that front.

I initially went to the dealer to look at a 2008 Nissan Xterra, but they couldn't get it financed with my piss-poor credit. I was initially disappointed at the thought of a Hyundai, but I now know I had no reason to be.

I bought it because I wanted a quick AWD car capable of hauling big things. I collect antique radios and televisions which tend to take up a good deal of space. I am really impressed with how quick it is! I also love the fact that it has a standard day/night rear view mirror and manual climate control, which probably sounds strange, but I like some things simple.

Also nice is that every service is listed on the CarFax report. Every oil change, tires, brakes, etc. I know it was well taken care of. Unfortunately, the last owner put crappy Chinese tires on it. They're okay, but I'm looking forward to replacing them when they wear out.

The only things that really bother me about it are the total lack of rear visibility, the inability to turn the low beams on without the key in the ignition and the amount of torque steer during hard acceleration.

The low beams also seem weak, so I want to change them out with either LED or HID bulbs. Suggestions on these?

Anyway, I plan to do maintenance on the car myself, although Pep Boys (my employer) may be doing some tire rotations and oil changes. With the lineup of mostly old cars I've had, I know how to do most non-invasive repairs, though I'm not expecting too many given what I've read about these cars.

Not for questions, which I'm sure have been answered before.
  • Are there any common problems I should be on the lookout for?
  • Any special requirements? Does it need synthetic oil or Premium gasoline?
  • What is "ECO?"
  • Are there any recalls which need to be addressed? Does it have Takata airbags?
  • Any suggestions on upgrading the low beams?

Thanks everyone!
-Joe
 

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