definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,945 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #9

Sep 022009


  • 80,000 miles


Ck engine light came on 3 times took it to dealer said no problems just needed to reset codes"?" about 2 yrs. Later was driving in my 2003 Hyundai Elantra in Sept. Of 2009- a very hot day101-without warning no temp lights (nothing) I saw white smoke coming from the hood at first thought maybe heat waves- then car started to loose power-pulled over (very dangerous) due to loosing power on the highway quickly with many people due to fri.-labor day weekend 5pm- anyway pulled over to see that car was smoking (white smoke) engine was so hot it melted the radiator-went to dealer (bill dube Hyundai) said warranty just ran out- because car engine was seized and did not work plus that fact that I still owed so much money on bank loan they could not possibly trade it in-so I had to replace the engine and radiator and still pay bank loan.

- Wakefield , MA, USA

problem #8

Dec 062009


  • 77,246 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. While parked the RPM's increased to 7000 and would not decrease until the engine was turned off. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership, and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 77246.

- Kew Gardens, NY, USA

problem #7

Jul 012004

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles
Check engine light was displayed on the dash. 2003 Hyundai Elantra evap system had a small leak, found purge control. The engine light would constantly illuminate due to the system detecting a small evap leak. The diagnosis would be gas cap was loose, secure the cap, cleared code/operating to specifics and found fuel cap hardly threaded/very loose, found fault code for large vapor leak, purge valve to have internal damage, and evaporative emission system leak detected (small leak). The consumer would ensure that the gas cap fitted tightly. The purge valve had been replaced twice. The consumer requested reimbursement.

- Hartsdale, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 072004

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,115 miles


Consumer stated that while she was on the freeway driving at about 65-70 mph, she witnessed an object flying by. She stated she looked down and all of her gages were fine, then suddenly she saw smoke, she states she pulled to the side and got herself and her child out of the vehicle. She then looked under the vehicle and saw pieces were hanging from the engine. She states by this time all of the smoke that she had seen was gone. She stated that she called the tow truck and had her vehicle towed to a dealer. She states she could have been killed, along with her infant. The consumer stated that the engine was blown and had to be replaced.

- North Highlands, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 132003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,000 miles
At 36,000 miles the valves started tapping. Checked oil level, which was at the "low" line, and then added oil. Tapping stopped, then resumed on highway. Engine cut out while driving. The car was towed to the dealership and upon inspection it was determined that a crank in the cam had broken, throwing metal chards throughout the engine. Entire engine needes replacement.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

problem #4

Sep 302003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 1,199 miles
Vehicle experienced sudden acceleration after brakes were applied. Consumer applied all his weight onto the pedal and it didn't stop until a couple of feet behind the line. He realized the engine was revving up with his foot on the brake and not the gas. His wife suggested he shift to park. When he did, it sounded like the engine was going to fly out. He shifted back to drive, keeping full pressure on the pedal. After the light changed, he carefully released his foot and the engine returned to normal idling. Consumer planned to get it serviced but wanted a record of the failure on file.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #3

Sep 012003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,800 miles


I purchased a defective vehichle, that became dissabled, and towed into the dealership for warranty repairs to the engine with only 2800 miles.I have made numerous calls to the dealer, inquiring about the vehicle.the service manager could not locate my car and couldnt give me any information on its where about's or anything.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #2

Apr 222003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 641 miles
I have a 2003 Hyundai elananta GT. There is a whining noise from both sides of the front of the vehicle when driving on the highway at high speeds, sometimes at 55 mph or at 75 mph. The dealer replaced the left front wheel bearing on 4/22/03. The noise on the left went away. The same noise surfaced on the on the right side of the car. On 5/22/03 the dealer replaced the right front engine mount, they said it was coming apart. Once I drove the car on the highway again on 5/29/03 the noise was there. I also still heard the whinning noise from the left side of the car again, but for just a couple of seconds. The right side will make noise continuously. Now I have to go back to the dealer again, wasting more of my time, money, and extra miles on my car. I live 130 miles from the nearest Hyundai dealer. I have owned this car from 4/08/03 and the car has 2400 miles on it and will now be on my third attempt to have this car repaired.

- Ruidoso, NM, USA

problem #1

Feb 222003

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
2003 Hyundai Elantra: Vehicle completely lost power while entering freeway on-ramp. Had to pull off road to avoid rear-end collision with approaching vehicles. Vehicle returned to dealer where it was "fixed." A second episode occurred after vehicle was examined and fixed by dealer.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

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