really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,150 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. needs new engine (17 reports)
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problem #17

Aug 032020

Sonata V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

I have a 2008 Hyundai Sonata.. It broke down on the highway the other day and I had it towed. I just received call from mechanic that the engine seized and that im better off getting a new car. However, I do not have that kind of money battling a health problem and living on my SSDI. This was the first NEW car I ever had in all my years of driving. Im in my 60's, I kept very good car of it with scheduled oil changes, and whatever other small mechanical issues that came up.

Im going to add that last year I had to crazy glue the back door handle on the car cause it fell off and now I can't open that door....nor can I use the visor's that do not stay up, therefore, they are sewn in the up position.

Look, this is really a strain on my life right now and I am looking to get the attention of someone who can help me. I'm a fair person in all I do in life and I really expected that my brand NEW car would last more than 12 years and 66, 000 miles.

I do not have VIN # right now as car is in the shop and I am not really in mood to talk to them right now, Im quite upset............... but I will enter it once I get the change.


- Diane Q., Wall, US

problem #16

Dec 082018

Sonata GS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,100 miles

click to see larger images

engine seized engine seized

Very well maintained 2008 Hyundai Sonata, puchased at 18K and driven under normal conditions daily. Semi-sythetic oil used with recommended interval changes. I just replaced brake lines, brakes, oil service, wheel bearing, 4 struts are under 1 year. Then the top-end ticking noise began and I understood the timing chain tensioners on these engines is a weak point and the culprit, I began researching the costs and labor to do the job. The noise got worse, yet no check engine lights whatsoever, so I figured it was not eminent. Well apparently the timing chain either broke or tensioner broke, seizing the cams and lifters, thereby sending #2 piston into the valves/head components and cracked the piston. Visible with inspection HD camera used to take pics attached. I won't be buying another Hyundai (nor Kia) motors corp. vehicle despite every family member having owned or still owning one. I will be shopping for a reliable Honda or Toyota and not sinking anymore money into a Hyundai.

- Frank Z., Uniontown, US

problem #15

Aug 312018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,050 miles

This is really upsetting. There is a class action lawsuit for 2011-14 with the same engine. I am looking for a class action lawsuit for 2008. Does anyone know if there is one or how to go about getting one started? I know there are many people out there with useless 2008 sonatas with nowhere to turn. Please advise.

- Margaret P., Brandon, FL, US

problem #14

Nov 132017

Sonata GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

I bought my car in Sept 2007, it was a 2008 model. Had less than 20 miles on it & I paid cash for it. I have sung the praises of the Hyundai Sonata for the past 10 yrs. That is until 11/13/17 When the engine seized up & left me stranded on the side of the road.

This car has always been well maintained, all services done on schedule, never dripped a drop of oil, transmission fluid, etc. Other than routine maintenance, a few sets of new tires & a couple of batteries it has been a worry free car..... until Mon Nov 13th. I was on the interstate, going home, only about 5 miles to go, I heard a strange ticking sound, then the check engine light came on (first time I'd seen it in 10 yrs. Then the car lurched, I heard a "pop" sound & smoke was billowing from under my hood & the car was dead, no power, I coasted to the side of the road. All of the above occurred in less than a minute. Guess it really is an "idiot" light, once it comes on, it's too late.

So my Hyundai turned into a Ford Found On the Road Dead! It is costing me over $3300 to fix it. My mechanic says he has never seen an engine so torn & chewed up. The oil pan was full of metal, rods, & debris. So bad that they couldn't even turn the engine to get to the bolts to remove it. What was suppose to take 3-4 days to fix turned into nearly 3 weeks.

I am a widow, on a fixed income, living in a small town (no public transportation). This shouldn't have happened. All maintenance was completed on time. Hyundai has recalled cars for this very reason though they say, my car doesn't qualify. Why the hell not? my mechanics says the oil pump was defective & he has never seen an engine chewed up like mine.

So Hyundai you have lost a loyal customer. If I could get reimbursed for at least part of my costs, I might reconsider but for now, I will bad mouth Hyundai, anywhere & everywhere possible. I'm 67 & thought this car would last me the rest of my life.

- Judi S., Cedar City, US

problem #13

May 052017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Had trouble accelerating, check engine light came on. Took it into the shop, oil was low and they changed it but said the check engine light was because of low oil and retarded the acceleration,

Next day it started knocking in the engine. Knocking increased. Within ten minutes the engine seized and the car turned off. Had it towed in. Told the engine is shot, and that there is a recall on this same engine from later years but not this year. Thanks a lot, Hyundai. It wasn't even ten years or 100,000 miles.

- Chip P., Bay Shore, NY, US

problem #12

Aug 162016

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


- pitzy, Tree Rivers, QC, Canada

problem #11

Jan 112017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I am the second owner of a 2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS with 82k miles on the original motor. This particular vehicle has always been serviced on time and has never given me any issues at all; that is not until last Wednesday.

The vehicle was taken in to get an oil change by my brother (with Midas, even though we normally take it to the dealer where it was purchased because of a life-time oil change program - he was unaware of this though) and once he left Midas, the check engine light came on. He went back inside and got a mechanic and the mechanic said that it was a "weird code" that had something to do with the brake sensor and he then cleared the code out and advised that if there were any future issues with the light coming on, to come back to Midas and they would clear the code and replace the sensor for us.

The next day, my brother was driving home from work and the engine made a loud "clicking" noise and so he pulled over and had to have the car towed (by Midas) back to Midas to see what the issue was. We were told the next day that the rods were knocking and that the engine was essentially blown.

My question is how in the world does a car with only 82k miles on it and had regular oil changes blow up so fast when we were told that the car was in ideal shape; no issues to worry about. Upon reading many other complaints regarding this issue, I realize that I am not alone and that many hundreds of people have had the same or similar issues and right around the same mileage.

I am the second owner, so the Hyundai Power Train Warranty does not apply to me and of course, my extended warranty for the vehicle just ceased only a couple of months ago (I did not renew it because the car was in such great shape and only driven to and from work). Now I am stuck with a car (that I still owe money on) and a blown engine and no one can tell me the cause for this.

I know that there was a recall for a similar issue with the 2011-2012 Sonatas, but I am wondering if anyone has had any luck with getting information on how to proceed with this model (2008). I hope to hear from you!!!!

- Kristi L., Tarpon Springs, FL, US

problem #10

Nov 052016

Sonata GLS 1.4li

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,410 miles

Bought this Sonata from a 92 yr old cousin who rarely drove it, so it was like new! only 30K miles on it, pristine condition in 2016. Engine light came on at one point, shop read it as a transmission prob. it worked fine after clearing it. Oil was full and clean, as if it had just been changed. Driving on i-95 into Savannah the engine started knocking, then the oil light came on. pulled over and couldn't start it again. on a whim I checked the oil, the dipstick was dry! I was totally confused. Mechanic says he doesn't see any oil under engine, so we have no idea where the oil went or why. All this happened suddenly because I had just driven around our block with no issues at all.

How can there be no recall when there seem to be so many who've had this same problem? My mechanic says he JUST did an engine replacement for a car just like mine that did the same thing!

- Mike W., Savannah, GA, US

problem #9

Jul 202015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles

My issue sounds just like #5's complaint. I loved my Sonata. I commute and put almost 30k a year on my cars. I bought the car used with 80k on it already. All I ever did was tune ups, oil changes and two brake replacements and a set of calipers because the originals rusted out and stuck. It ran like a top. And with new tires all around it went through an 18" snow like four wheel drive on dry pavement. It was a perfect car for me, a broke single mom, finishing school, with a one way 35 mile commute to work. But, then in July 2015, 8 mths before I was due to pay off the car, it started with a ticking noise. It was very quiet at first. Two days later I took it across the street from my work to an Xpress Lube place and had the oil changed. It was about due anyway. They said there was no oil on the dip stick. I have never even been told the oil was low before this, so I was pretty shocked. They did the oil change, but the ticking continued. About three days later it was obvious the engine was shot from all the noise it was making. Drove it to the mechanic who verified that I needed a new engine. I still owed money on it and had just started a new job, and other than this the car had been a great car. I'm thinking, well it DID have 189k on it. I'd just had the transmission flushed and fluid/filter changed, new brake pads put on and new tires on front. So I paid $3800 to have a used engine, with 65k on it. Figured if it was half as good as my original I should get an easy 100k out of it and would be able to keep a car I loved. Yeah, well that didn't happen. 6mths later the exact same thing happened. Neither time did I get an engine light or oil warning light! So I have a dead car sitting in my drive I just paid off. I'll see if someone wants to buy it for parts, or maybe someone else will take a chance on another motor, it just won't be me. I thought I just had bad luck until I ran across this site and am a little angry. If I'd known this was an issue I sure as heck wouldn't have wasted almost 4,000 I really couldn't afford to throw another motor in it.

- Juli J., Dakota, IL, US

problem #8

Apr 042016

Sonata Limited V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I bought the car in 2008, Dec. Always under regular oil change and great condition. On Monday while driving back from work, as soon as I took the exit from the highway, hear some knocking noise in the engine and within a mile that car stopped working and check engine light came up. Then it never started back again, got it towed to the dealer and they say need a new engine.

I am just 103,000 miles, most of these are none highway miles. Can you please help me, seems this is a sonata engine issue


- Meha P., Saginaw, MI, US

problem #7

Jan 222016

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,555 miles

Basically the 2008 Hyundai Sonata 2.4 liter motor is a piece of sh*t! Too expensive to replace with another used motor that will seize again

- rquitugua, Tacoma, WA, US

problem #6

May 052014

Sonata 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Engine started making a ticking noise. Check engine light came on, but the code was for something emissions related. Threw a rod on the way to the mechanic. Total loss and off to the junk yard it went.

- jorlando82, Albuquerque, NM, US

problem #5

Jul 062015

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,500 miles

About a day and a half before the engine failure I heard a slight ticking coming from the engine. Throughout the course of my commute (I had to drive 47 miles each way to work that day) it was getting louder and louder. Just before I got home it threw an engine code P0011, which I looked up on Actron's site to read "Intake (A) Camshaft Position Timing - Over-Advanced (Bank 1)". With just over 100,000 miles, I interpreted this to mean that the timing belt was on it's way out, so I immediately parked it and made a service appointment at a local shop.

The shop tells me that there wasn't even any oil on the dipstick and they drained only 2 qts out of the oil pan, and that the oil starvation caused the Cam Phaser and Timing Belt Hydraulic Tensioner to wear. They changed the oil and said that the ticking had subdued a good bit but was still present and recommended I replace the two aforementioned parts for around $1,050. I told them that I had just changed the oil about 3,000 miles before and I usually went 7,500 miles between changes (I have used Mobil1 Synthetic and a Mobil1 filter for every oil change since I bought the car with 28,000 miles on it) and that I always got 4.5 qts out after 7,500 miles.

They said that maybe there is a bigger problem developing in the engine and that I should drive it for a couple days and check the oil before every drive and see if it's over consuming oil or not, as it would be stupid to put $1,050 into the cam phaser and hydraulic tensioner when the rings might be bad or something. The car never noticeably burnt oil before the issue and it does not drip any either but I figured it was a smart thing to do rather than throw good money after bad.

The very next day on the way to work, 20 miles on the odometer since picking it up from the mechanic, the #3 rod broke and basically destroyed every moving mechanical part in the motor... $128 to tow it back to the shop for them to tell me it needs a new motor and that'll be around $5,000 installed... The car, with a good motor, is probably only worth around $6,000-$7,000, so I am thinking of just buying a new car and junking it now, which is a shame because everything else on the car is in great shape. Just had the front end repainted, a new windshield put it, it's got a new set of tires with only 10,000 miles on them, Train horns with an air compressor set-up, lowered 1.5", etc... I am just pissed as can be! It all came without hardly any warning, I am trying to save for a house and now have to buy a new car without a trade-in. UGH! Rant over!

- Justin C., Landenberg, PA, US

problem #4

May 022015

Sonata GLS 2 Li I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have had my Hyundai for over 5 years. I've kept up with the maintenance and it has never really given me any big problems. I had taken it to San Francisco two days prior to the breakdown and had no issues at all.

As I was driving from Sacramento to Reno, I pulled over on the side of the road to take a photo to send to my Mom. My car stalled and died. On the freeway, with no reception 15 miles away from Reno. 3 tow trucks and $350 later, I got it back to Sacramento and left it a nearby shop. Within 48 hours I was told I needed a new engine. That an oil leak resulted in me driving with no oil. This makes NO sense to me as I just did an oil change 3000 miles ago, I saw no oil leak and it was running fine. I was quoted $3,600 for a used engine and $1,200 for labor. I can get the car to start now but it makes a horrible knocking noise and it is not drivable.

I had no choice but to buy a new car with payments I can't afford as a single mom on permanent disability. After reading these comments, this seems to be a common problem with this model. Shame on you Hyundai.

- Amber T., Carmichael, CA, US

problem #3

Feb 032015


  • Manual transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Once again, I need to add to the already voluminous complaints about the 10 year/100000 mile warranty. On a snowy morning, the car was started, moved about 50 feet. The engine stalled, cabin filled with smoke. It was warmed up for about 5 minutes prior to driving.

Upon examination, a piston shot through the crankcase. The dealer took the oil pan off and low and behold, the connecting rod had fractured along the bearing race into many pieces. This car was always maintained per the warranty requirements by the dealer, at greater expense than a non-dealer would have charged. It wasn't driven hard or aggressively(after all, it's a Mom Car).

The upshot-Hyundai New Jersey (Eastern Region) and the dealer claim this is not a warranty issue because it was due to "an external event". Apparently these cars are not to be driven when there is a little snow or cold temperature. Last time I checked, they have this type of weather in Korea.

They wanted $5900.00 for an engine. The car was worth maybe $4000 if it ran. So I junked it. Since I paid for it long ago, I was looking forward to selling it for whatever I could get against a Subaru (which is a great car, I have a WRX that's 10 years old).

The moral of the story: Don't buy a Hyundai of any year, from any Hyundai dealer. The many problems with this car include multiple brake issues, ignition key lock malfunctions and believe it or not, outer body rust. Don't be attracted to these cars by the price or the supposed warranty as they represent a poor value.

- Roger D., Enfiled, CT, US

problem #2

Aug 212014

Sonata GLS 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,236 miles

I have had two Hyundai’s, a 2006 and a 2008. To my surprise, I have read several forums where consumers like myself have complained of problems of their Hyundai’s from both of these years up to the current model. I thought the engine and electrical problems were exclusive to my first car being a 2006 Hyundai Sonata, however, I am experiencing the same problems in my 2008 Hyundai Sonata.

Either the sensors light up and nothing is wrong with the car or there is a car problem and they don’t light up.

In both cars, the connecting rods malfunctioned. Catastrophic failure of the connecting rods, they are defective in these cars. Very disappointing. Hyundai will not own up to the inferior product they are putting into their engines. I will never purchase another Hyundai and I warn others not to do so also. Consumers will be gravely disappointed.

- lstonefl, Lake Wales, FL, US

problem #1

Oct 122012

Sonata GLS 2.4L 16v Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,052 miles

I bought this car in 2009 thinking it will be a great car that will last for a long time. I changed The oil and Filter every 3,000 miles on this car and yet somehow RIGHT AFTER THE WARRANTY EXPIRES, my engine throws a rod. I still owe $7,000 on this car but it will cost me over $5,000 for a new engine and to be honest I do not believe it's worth fixing. I will NEVER buy another Hyundai Vehicle EVER AGAIN!

- rholliday, Duluth, MN, US