really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
96,400 miles
Total Complaints:
190 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. engine replacement (146 reports)
  2. not sure (33 reports)
  3. junked the car (4 reports)
  4. sold vehicle (4 reports)
  5. replace lower half of engine (3 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Hyundai dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #170

Nov 292018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

I took my car into the dealership on October 22nd 2018 for recall issues. On November 27th 2018 the starter was replaced. I drove the car to work on November 29th 2018, it started making a rattling sound when I was almost to work. On my way home the car's rattling sound started getting louder and louder. I was getting off the highway (Exit for home) when I heard a LOUD "POP" and the car engine died. All the warning lights came on and I coasted the car off the exit ramp. It was about 20*degrees out side and I had to sit on the side of the road until my husband came to pick me up.

We had the car towed to a local mechanic that we trust. He looked it over and told me it would be about $2500 at the lowest end to replace the engine because it had seized up. I don't have that kind of money to repair it and the car is just sitting because I am unsure what to do with it now. I had to borrow family members vehicles for over a month until I could find something I can drive temporarily, until I can afford to get another car payment.

I took the car in for all of the recalls that were mentioned to me and kept up on all the regular maintenance. I feel like they didn't look over the car the last time I took it in, like they said they did. I have been doing some research and have found lawsuits about the engine seizing up.

Feeling FRUSTRATED and not sure what to do from here. Can someone give me some guidance? Will the dealership fix the engine or is there someone that can help me? Or am I at a total loss???

- Megan C., Wakeman, US

problem #169

Nov 132018

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

So after going through more than a handful of issues relating to everything everyone else has listed here, my 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.4 lt engine has seized. Now mind you I had the car begin to catch fire on 4/20/18, it had several electrical issues that I was never able to determine what the cause was. I believe it is due to faulty grounding. Every ground point I could find was actually not grounded at all. The made contact for grounds on painted surfaces.

I just received another recall letter the day the engine seized and I found that quite ironic. The company has played this back and forth game between them and the dealership since I began asking for a solution to the problems, the warranty company says its up to dealer and dealer says its up to the warranty people. Well, I must add, I wonder why the inspection for the potential motor failure was done by the company that caused the issue, in my opinion it should have been done by an independent impartial mechanic. How can one expect an honest inspection when it could potentially cost them money. This was an inspection my state mandated prior to any registration paperwork being completed and prior to receiving the stickers for the plate. Of course the inspection concluded that my particular engine was not in fact affected. Well evidently they were wrong. I now understand why the oil cap, the plugs and other burnt parts were discovered during my checks on oil and the other visual oddities I came across. I was consuming oil at one point quite rapidly. It seems that the oil flow wasn't sufficient enough to maintain integrity during the velocity of driving. How appalling it is that Hyundai has gotten away with this BS.

I stopped paying on the car in May of this year, I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened. The car is still under warranty and they have done little to nothing to ensure the safety of the car. I am disgusted with them. My particular car is a total lemon. It has been since the first month of ownership. Now its nothing more than a hunk of metal.

- Diana F., san jose, CA, US

problem #168

Oct 292018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

My 2011 Sonata stalled out on way home from work, no warning what so ever. Has 131,00 miles. Have service records that oil changes have been serviced in timely manner with another dealer. Had it towed to my house and a Certifted ASE mechanic came by and said my motor seized !

Had all the recalls taken care of and now I see this is a problem with other owners :( The recall states it was extended to 120,000 miles and my car is at 131,000.

Do I have a case? I am going to call Hyundai and see what they say.

- Donna P., Spokane, US

problem #167

Dec 082018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles


- Joe L., Wingdale, NY, US

problem #166

Dec 222018

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I was passing someone when the engine stalled and all lights came on. Needless to say, it happens when the traffic was heavy and the ass pucker factor kicks in, thinking I am about to get swiped out. I managed to pull to the side when people behind me noticed my car is having problem. I tried to start the car, but it won’t cycle. It just made one or two clicks with light cluster started blinking way better than my Christmas tree.

Now it's Dec 27 I just made contact with the dealership who advised me that this model have been having engine problems and they're are aware of people disappointment. My car is highly maintained and I love this car, just hoping that she would be fixed by Hyundai warranty, with that in mind I am keeping all my limbs crossed. I am glad the gentle man named Paul from the Mitsubishi / Hyundai Hub by Hwy 290 is nice enough to inform me that the warranty were extended for this problem. I am hoping this would make my 2019 a little easier in my pocket. I am just happy that I did not get hurt or anyone in the process when she took a dumped on me. Just a little tweak by Hyundai and I think it will be a reliable car. I still recommend Hyundai not bad for keeping and catching up with the big dogs. Semper Fi

Update from Jan 4, 2019: So on Jan 2, 2019 i got a call from Paul stating that my engine and starter were shut and they are waiting for Hyundai corporate office to get back with them with an answer, an answers that i am hoping that they will replace my engine...just wondering if they are going to replace to whole engine or just parts that is broken!

Update from Jan 15, 2019: After posting my disgruntled comment thru social media Hyundai finally reached out and gave me a rental on Jan 14th and maybe getting some compensation for the days I don't have a rental. The engine has arrived and hopefully will be done by next week. The peeps from Hyundai HUB 290 are great its just a fact that their hand are tied up, I understand sh*t happens and the inconvenience sucks but we learned from it, hopefully they do. Adapt and overcome is what have I learned......

Update from Jan 31, 2019: My car is back and she is running excellent, i dont know about any comp for the days i did not have a car but atleast she is back in service. For the comment about the recall is over, i have not heard anything about it i would suggest call the corporate and complained about it, dealership will not tell you anything except to deny you... social media works, trust me, go to their facebook page and voice your concern, it worked for me, just be on the point.

- Dean T., Katy, TX, US

problem #165

Sep 112018

Sonata V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Add another one to your list of complaints I was on my way to work and on a major highway when my engine completely seized. I lost power, brakes, and steering. Thank God I was able to coast to the left turning lane or I would have been slammed into from behind and probably would not be here to tell about it. I cannot believe that these cars have not been taken off the road by the NHTSB.

When we called Hyundai to tell them what happened their service advisor said "Oh yeah that is typical for those engines". So, a car with known engines problems and seizing and known fires is still allowed to be on the road? While at the same time, the car has an ongoing recall for no airbags with no solution to that problem. So if I had been ran off the road with no brakes, power or steering, the airbags probably would not have deployed either.

The best part is I took the car to Hyundai 8 months ago and was told that none of the symptoms that my car had, which matched the recall exactly, were part of the engine issue. Seriously? I am thinking, they were wrong. AND on top if that, they wanted to charge me to look at it for THEIR recall! After engine seizing, they replaced engine... three days later, my engine seized. Un-freakin'-believable!

- Roxi M., Melbourne, FL, US

problem #164

Nov 072018

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I have TWO 2011 Hyundai Sonata's. One is a limited & the other is an SE. The limited suddenly had the engine light come on two weeks ago. The next morning the mechanic told us the bearings had gone bad, burning the oil faster & there was hardly any oil in it, but no leaks. The oil indicator never came on. WHY? He told us to keep an eye in it.

Fast forward 13 DAYS later, our other 2011 Sonata SE, without ANY indication of a problem, suddenly stops while being driven & ALL the indicator lights come on. We thought it was the battery so we ran to the auto store, switched it out & when we tried to start it, it began to smoke & a horrible burning smell began. It was towed to the shop this morning. The bearing have gone bad on this care too, the oil was gone & it seized the motor.

That being said, last year we received a recall notice of about a problem with the engine. There was machining error during engine manufacturing that may cause premature bearing wear within the engine.

Both cars were taken into the Hyundai dealership where they were purchased & my car “PASSED” the inspection.

HOW is it NOW the are having the problems the recall should have fixed?? I'm scared to drive our Sonata Limited now since it had problems just 2 weeks ago. I can't afford TWO new cars!

Help please!!!

- mrsmc2, Arlington, US

problem #163

Mar 202017

Sonata GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

The engine seems weird for about 2 months leading up to it. I had 2 stalls when driving at a slow speed. I had the oil changed 10 days prior to the engine seizing. It still seems weird. I booked an appointment with the dealership for a Friday (3 days before it seized). They did some work on the car (incidental) and I mentioned to them the weird engine perception and knowing about the metal shavings in the oil pan. They said they would look but would have to charge me $150 to take the pan off and look. They told me they looked and everything was fine.

I took the car home and it worked ok (i don't drive much on the weekend). On Monday morning i left home and about 1 mile from home i turned from a stop sign towards my freeway entrance. Mid intersection my car stalled and i coasted into a parking lot before the freeway (lucky for me). I called a tow truck as the car would not start/turn over. It was towed to Hyundai and we discovered the engine was seized. They replaced it under the extended warranty due to the recall. they provided a rental vehicle for 3 months whilst they waited for the replacement engine (short supply).

Other than the $150 I was out for the inspection that turned up nothing, it did not cost me anything.

I discovered recently that when they pulled my engine out they put the old parts back in there such as the timing chain. That's weird and cheap. Why not offer to have me pay to replace the timing chain whilst the engine is apart or service the gear box etc. Now i have to pay more to replace the timing chain. The whole experience was a pain and waste of my time.

- Jim S., San Pedro, CA, US

problem #162

Aug 092018

Sonata ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
  1. Originally acceleration problem
  2. Called to Tow to dealership
  3. Car wouldn't start
  4. Mechanic started and towed off
  5. Service Tech no Codes showed Drove Stalled Restarted Car caught on fire / or smoked Melted something
  6. Needs New STARTER
  7. Mega Money $$$$$ ...not covered etc.
  8. O'k new Starter repair
  9. Couples days later...stopped in for update
  10. ENTIRE ENGINE GONE...something...something... oil wasn't even going through engine...metal...blah...blah...$$$$
  11. Talking to Hyundai...covers engine
  12. So I only need to pay for the Starter ?
  13. Hyundai covers all because...1 failed....messed up 2....which messed up 3 ...which messed up 4...
  14. Will repair...couple weeks for new Engine...
  15. or maybe a month or two...etc
  16. Went back and made plans to get courtesy car
  17. Courtesy car Hyundai Sonata 2018...12 miles on it
  18. drove 50 miles
  19. WARNING Light came on WARNING BATTERY DISCHARGING...turn on car to run apps ????? Talked to Hyundai Service...Take in to check Talked with 3-7 Customer service and transfer calls etc. Plan = Take in to Check

- Ilya B., Grand Blanc, US

problem #161

Jun 142018

Sonata Limited 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I really love my car. I've had it for 2 yrs and then all of a sudden I'm driving and my car cuts off without warning‼️ I tried re-cranking it. It cranked but made this awful noise I made it to the nearest gas station, popped the hood then checked my oil. I had oil however it was silver sheading in it. I made it home and parked it. Multiple mechanics looked at it and believe its a rod bearing. Please help I have 2 children and really need my transportation.. Thanks Stacey Egleton

- Stacey E., Florence, US

problem #160

Aug 132018

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

The engine on my 2011 Hyundai Sonata was replaced under the recall 2 years ago when the engine seized up while I was driving down the highway. After I was initially told by the dealership I would be responsible for the cost I told him I knew about the recall and it ended up being replaced. NOW fast forward 2 years same vehicle all service has been maintained the engine seized up again and after the dealership took the engine apart the engine is full of sludge. The dealership is again telling me I will be at fault for not maintaining the vehicle. I told him I have the receipts of all maintenance and he said Hyundai doesn't care about your receipts all they care about is the pictures we took after we tore the engine down. He said he has submitted pictures 4 times in a week and a half and Hyundai still has not accepted fault. I cannot afford to put another dime into this car for an obvious problem with Hyundai engines and no one can help me or is willing to. I don't know what to do.

- Mary G., Carrollton, TX, US

problem #159

Aug 042018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

My 18 year old son was driving on the freeway when he said he heard a loud screeching and suddenly the engine stopped without any other warning. He could have been seriously injured but was able to drift to the side of the freeway. Called AAA and had it towed to dealer where I was told that since I had taken the car in 2016 for a recall that involved the engine, there was an additional 20k extension to my warranty. Dealer took pictures sent to Hyundai USA and received the authorization back that they found some metal shavings in the engine but everything was clean, so I had taken very good care in maintenance so they could not blame me for causing the seize.

My question now is that I am going back and forth with the dealer and they keep playing word games with me. I asked them am I getting a brand new pristine engine from Hyundai to replace my seized one and they replied that yes I am getting brand new parts..which sounds to me like they will us my engine "housing" and all other original parts that they do not consider as part of the failure and just throw in parts that broke? I am not a car person so not familiar with the right lingo to use, but I certainly do not trust if they use parts form my old engine that were involved in a burnout/seizure and throw in new parts. Makes me suspicious since they only offering 1 year or 12k miles.

What is the replacement that I am entitled to? Am I entitled to a brand new pristine engine with no miles on it?

Thank you for your time in reading and reply.

- Aders A., Los Angeles, US

problem #158

Oct 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Engine locked up at 1200,000 miles. Luckily though, warranty covered it.

- Aaron G., Birdsboro, PA, US

problem #157

Jun 302018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,021 miles

Simply I need help. Car stalled while driving and since the engine won't start. Had mechanic look at it, from starter to brake switch. Replaced at my cost as I purchased second hand 6 months ago. Today again mechanic came and now I am told crank shaft not moving and engine seized.

- Ibrahim B., Johannesburg , South Africa

problem #156

May 182018

Sonata LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Bought my 2011 Sonata in Dec 2012, as a certified pre-owned from a Hyundai dealer in Dayton, OH. Have never had a significant problem with it, thank goodness.

Friday, May 18th I was driving on a vacation 2 hours away when there was this horrible clicking sound coming from my engine. I seemed to worsen when I accelerated. It almost sounded like a rock had flown up under the plastic barrier under the front end and was bouncing around. Was able to limp to a local service station and the first thing the good ole' boy checked was my oil. It registered about 1/2 inch on the dip stick. He stated (quite accusatory I might add) that I shouldn't drive my car without oil. I stated that I had just had the oil changed mid-March and still had 1500 more miles until my next change. He found metal flakes on the dip stick and said my engine was toast and that I would never make it back to Dayton.

I called AAA and had it towed back to Dayton (thankfully I got the first 100 miles free, so only had to pay for 25 miles out of pocket.) Unfortunately, the dealer only does oil changes on the weekend, so I had to wait until Monday to get an answer. Found out about the recall and when I submitted my VIN, it showed my car was affected my the recall. I was nervous at 108,000 miles and I thought for sure they would accuse me of not getting my oil changed.

Got a call form the deal today saying they found metal shavings in the oil pan and they submitted pictures and a request for a new engine, but we had to wait for approval. They also said they would pay for a rental car in the mean time, but only after the approval came in. Waiting to hear back, but might be a few days. He said 9 times out of 10 they approve the new engine. fingers crossed

Update from Jun 5, 2018: Update Heard back from Hyundai on May 24th and I was approved for a full, brand new engine replacement and a rental car for the entire time they had my car. WHEW! Going on 2 weeks now, but they said it would be the end of June before I heard anything.

Thankfully Hyundai came through for me. Good luck everyone!!

- Jami W., Dayton, OH, US

problem #155

Apr 242018

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,340 miles

Was driving back home from a friend house, about a little over an hour away. Entering the freeway, I give it some gas, as most Californians do. I then hear thumping sounds as the RPMS get higher (almost like a flat tire). After it went away I paid no attention to it. Turned on the A/C and radio and drove home. Getting off the Freeway, I roll down my windows and hear ticking. I've heard this ticking in the past (at about 72k miles, but Hyundai would always say it was normal), but this time it was very noticeable to where the people next to me kept looking at my car. As I accelerated, awful and very very loud knocking coming from the engine. I had loss in power, and was scared that I wasn't going to make it home being almost 11pm at night.

The next morning I checked the oil and had about 1/8 showing on the dipstick. It started rough with a lot of knocking and shaking. The oil light would also flash intermittently. I called the dealer, told them what happened and that I would attempt to drive it over since they are only 15 minutes away. There are 2 hills to get to Puente Hills Hyundai, so it was nerve racking. I drove it slow, and luckily we made it over both hills. When I came to a stop the oil light flashed and then fully illuminated. As I accelerated it turned off. When I was about 3 minutes away, the car started losing power (could only go 40mph max). It then started grinding and squealing. About a minute into hearing that noise, I look down at my dash, the lights are all on and the engine stalled. I pulled over into a Walmart about 2 blocks away from the dealer. Called a tow truck (in which 1 hyundai tried to say we did not have an extended warranty when we said the engine stalled. 2 they gave the driver the wrong directions)...

Brought it to Hyundai finally, fingers crossed that they would replace it being the car only has 90k miles. Luckily it got approved by Hyundai for a new engine within a few hours. Picked-up my loaner car, and here it is almost 1 week later and I have my Sonata back. Pretty fast turn around. One person just dropped theirs off and it only had 30k miles. So my guess is, they're just ticking time bombs. At least for the dealer I go through, they were getting replaced.

The new engine is quiet now, clean oil. The only thing that stays the same is the ODO. They don't roll it back to 0 miles. So if you plan on keeping your car after the engine replacement, keep a log. But if your engine has not died yet, no matter the mileage, I would advise to get rid of it as soon as you can. Hyundai will not replace your engine until it seizes. They will just keep putting oil in it to prolong it. Take it from someone that has been having engine issues since 70k miles and nothing was ever done about it up until the engines death. That's why they replaced the engine oil dipstick from Yellow to Red-Orange. They raised the oil level a little higher.

- Roy P., Whittier, CA, US

problem #154

Apr 202018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,423 miles

My 2011 Hyundai motor seized up. It is on recall list but it has 140,000+ miles on it. Will Hyundai make it right?

- Steven M., Cooleemee, US

problem #153

Feb 032018

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,962 miles

Yesterday as I was driving to work on the highway the engine started making a clicking noise , then a minute or two after that the engine lost all power and the Engine seized. I was very lucky that I did not get into a car accident. Now it seems like this is a common problem with the Hyundai sonatas and there is a recall for it. Today is Sunday but tomorrow I am calling Hyundai and they better fix this because from what I have researched they sold these cars knowing that there was a problem with the engine.

- Joe ., _____, MA, US

problem #152

Feb 242018

Sonata 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 137,700 miles

This Saturday following a night run to the gas station, I noticed my engine begin to knock. Upon returning to my car, I attempted to turn on my car before noticing that it refused to crank. NO SIGNS WHATSOEVER. Smoke began to bellow underneath my engine. I am pretty confident that my engine has seized. Tomorrow I am taking it to the dealership to get it formally diagnosed. I cannot dish out 5k for a new engine as I am a struggling college student. I am aware of the extended 120k mile warranty but my vehicle has 137k. Has anyone received compensation with their vehicle outside of the covered warranty? Please, anyone HELP!

- James R., Harvest, US

problem #151

Aug 122017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

A class action suit was filed by many people who had a 2011 Sonata. When I went in on the website to file my claim, it said the class action file date was over in January of 2017. How could I file a claim before the incident occurred. I was traveling home at night, by myself, and the engine seized. It took over 2 hours before AAA got out to rescue me. They had to tow me to a closed repair shop and I had to arrange a ride to my home in Reno. It took someone 1.5 hours to get to me. The engine had blown up and was not repairable. My car was, seemingly, in great shape and only had 63,000 miles on it. I was forced to buy a new car. I deserve to be compensated for the loss of this car!!!! How can I get in on the Class Action suit compensation???

- smlngeyes, Reno, US

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