hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,212 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 #8

Nov 032014


  • 34,251 miles


Emission control system failure. I just had my vehicle repaired for a failing vapor canister purge valve that causes the check engine light to illuminate. This valve is part of the evaporative (evap) emission control system. According to my mechanic, the faulty valve stays in the open position which also causes the charcoal from the canister to release into the fuel lines, clogging it. The symptom of this problem causes you to start having trouble filling your gas tank. The gas hose keeps shutting off at the beginning of the fill acting as if there is a vapor lock. It won't let me put in much more than 25-50 cents before the gas hose cuts off. This repeats many times. It takes me between 15 to 20 minutes to fill up my gas tank. I went online to see if I could figure out the problem and to my surprise, there are an unbelievable amount of people experiencing this exact same problem with their Hyundai's. many people online made comments about being surprised that Hyundai doesn't have a recall for this common problem. My repair bill to have this problem fixed was $399.31. Thank you for your consideration to this problem. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 012013


  • 105,000 miles
A few months back I began noticing that my check engine light came on. Would take 10- 15 mins to fill up gas tank. Sensor was triggered every few seconds, suggesting gas tank was full, but it was not. Took it to the dealer and was told there was nothing wrong with the car. With in the last month I have been noticing that rear automatic locking seat belt is not staying locked. Child car seats do not stay secured. Car occasionally stalls when started, and air bag light does not illuminate to determine if air bag will deploy or not.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #6

May 192010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the vehicle began to emit smoke and stalled. There were no prior warnings. The dealer first replaced the head gasket and engine but the failure occurred again. The dealer then replaced the head gasket again. The failure occurred for a third time. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000 and the current mileage was approximately 60,000.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 182010


  • 138,000 miles


2003 Hyundai Elantra, 138,000 miles. When driving on highway 9/18/10, suddenly began to smell (burning), white smoke from engine, then check engine light came on and temp gauge showed extremely hot - no warning before the engine overheated. Mechanic says problem was clamp in radiator that either corroded or somehow came off. Result is that the entire engine is damaged, and we have to replace it. My concerns are (1) this seemed to happen with no warning. There was no leak or symptoms of problems before the engine overheated and was irreparably damaged. (2) we had this exact same problem about 2 years ago. Same scenario - driving on highway, engine overheated without warning, caused much engine damage. At that time, we were able to fight for some warranty coverage from the dealership. Now, we are well past the limits of the warranty. I just find it extremely strange that this would happen twice to the same vehicle.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #4

Nov 152008


  • miles
I purchased my car about 3 months ago. Not long after purchase, the engine line lit up. I noticed when this happened the RPM's dropped and the car would sputter. I had a mechanic look at it. He checked the car by computer and felt it needed 2 sensors. I let him replace these. 2 days after the repair the same issue began occurring again. This time, when I stopped as for a traffic light, the car would stall, all warning lights would go on, and it would take a couple of tries to start. Also, I purchased this car at arnold Hyundai in roseville, mi. They went out of business not long after I purchased the car. I took the car to another mechanic and they could find nothing wrong. I took the car to a Hyundai dealer. They thought a guide wire had come loose and repaired it. A couple days later the car was having the same problems. I took it to the dealership on December 22. They did a thorough inspection and said there is a leak in the vacuum system" also a problem with the exhaust. I'm wondering has there been a recall on this system or do have some sort of recourse"

- Clinton Twp, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 262008


  • 57,000 miles
Defective design of engine temperature gauge. Gauge reads normal temperature with no coolant in the engine.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #2

May 282005

Elantra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. While driving at any speed, the vehicle hesitated and paused. The vehicle was taken to a dealer approximately five times with no resolution. The current mileage is 31,000 and failure mileage was 31,000. Updated 03-04-08 the consumer also stated the vehicle was bucking from the rear. Updated

- Everett, MA, USA

problem #1

Aug 262007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,448 miles
On March 4, 2006 I purchased a pre-owned 2003 Hyundai Elantra with 33,855 miles from buhler & bitter Dodge located on route 35 in hazlet, New Jersey. At the time of purchase I was advised that all used cars are certified pre-owned vehicles and are put through a 135 point check prior to being put on the lot. The Hyundai that I purchased passed this 135 point check and still had the remainder of the factory warranty which was 5 years or 60,000 miles. The balance of this warranty would be transferred to the new owner. The car ran great and like all of our cars in the past it was garage kept and serviced in accordance with the service schedule issued to us from the dealer upon purchase. On August 22, 2007 I drove to staten island for a doctor?S visit. On my way home- while traveling on the garden state parkway-the car appeared to be losing power as it related to my ability to maintain speed or accelerate. For my safety I began to move over to the shoulder and proceeded to shut off the car. Upon restart nothing occurred so I turned the ignition off again. There was no sign of trouble aside from the lack of power (I.e. no indicator lights illuminated, no smoke or noise was coming from the car), it just wouldn't start and then slowly everything appeared to shut off including the electrical power. At that point, I sat and waited for help to arrive. A gentleman from Julian?S garage named scott arrived with a tow-truck and after trying to start the car himself stated that the either the timing belt went or the head gasket failed. Based on everything shutting down, it appeared that it most likely was the head gasket. He then towed me to a gas station near my home. Although disturbed by the situation and the fact that it was clear I would be without a car for a few days, I knew that I had the warranty and was covered.

- Holmdel, NJ, USA

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