Notes: So far the 2011 Elantra doesn't have the same volume of transmission problems that 2010 owners are fighting with. It also doesn't have the same pattern of steering and braking complaints that are piling up with the 2013 model year.

We're not saying the 2011 is perfect -- I mean, what were they thinking advertising their MPGs -- but there are worse choices.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,050 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (11 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
2011 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 012020

Elantra GLS 1.8L 4 cyl 6a

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I've taken this to the dealer multiple times and they never seem to think the sound is an issue. Finally the engine light came on and it was recommended that I replace the temperature sensor, but other problems may remain with the engine. After that was fixed, the light was off but the ticking sound has not changed. At only 50,000 miles and with excellent maintenance history, it is surprising that I may need a new engine, but it appears this is a known issue with the 2011 (and other years) Elantra.

- Brian C., Skokie, IL, US

problem #14

Feb 152020


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I have a 2011 Hyundai Elantra that has always had a small tick or knock, it gets worse in winter months. It knocks and ticks and has had oil changes done timely. Full Synthetic. As low of miles as this car has there shouldn’t be a knock or tick issue.

- Melissa K., Plymouth, US

problem #13

Jan 012017

Elantra GLS 1.8L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

I just discovered this website while researching for a new car and had no idea that others with 2011 Hyundai Elantras were experiencing the "ticking" sound that my Elantra had upon start-up and continued until the car warmed up.. What is infuriating is Hyundai never addressed this issue with me and were well aware of the noise since I had major repairs done to the car several months ago and they had my car overnight, which means they heard the ticking at some point upon starting the car and chose to ignore it. I was told the car was "running like a new car." It was fully warmed up because there was no noise when I drove off.

I'm not sure exactly when the noise started, but several times, people at work asked me about the noise in the parking lot at the end of the day. I took it to a mechanic for repairs and several hundred dollars later, the ticking was still there. I was told it wasn't normal and it was only going to get worse so for piece of mind, I traded the car in last week, something I really didn't want to do but driving long distances was making me nervous.. I have been diligent about servicing that car from day one; it was in excellent condition except for the ticking and after reading the complaints about the Elantras, I won't purchase another Hyundai vehicle.

- Nancy K., Carmel, US

problem #12

Aug 012018

Elantra Limited 1.8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,253 miles


We noticed a faint ticking noise when we bought the car with 37,000 km on it but just thought is was normal engine noise. It gradually got worse to the point that we didn't trust driving it too far. I always used synthetic oil every 5 to 8 thousand km and promptly fixed any issues that came up.

Because its cold here in the winter I always make sure I plug the car in at night and let the block heater work all night long. In January we really noticed that the ticking got really bad and had to make a decision whether to take a chance that it wasn't going to blow up on us or just trade the ticking time bomb in.

It always ticked worse when it was cold but it never completely went away once it warmed up. After reading about other Elantra owner nightmares with blown engines we decided it was best for us to take a loss on the car and trade it in on a GM product at the dealer where we bought it from. No more Hyundai products for us. It was the first and the last.

Problem solved!

- Ron B., Haileybury, ON, Canada

problem #11

Jul 012018

Elantra Limited 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Same issue as with the Sonata and Santa Fe from these years, but no recall yet for the same issues.

- Roland R., Smithtown, NY, US

problem #10

Feb 212019

Elantra GL 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,096 miles

I purchased my 2011 Elantra in 2012, after doing tons of research (in retrospect, I wish I had gone with the Civic, but hindsight...20/20). I can't remember exactly when the tick tick tick of the engine started, but I only have 85,000 KM on my car, so I am quite sure it started before that. It doesn't just happen when the engine is cold, it continues even after it warms up, most distinctly when I accelerate.

The last straw was when my car stalled in a very narrow lane on the way to the highway, with a truck behind me. I panicked, because I had no idea how a tow truck would be able to reach me. The car started again, and I was able to make it to my mechanic, who immediately noticed the knocking and ticking. His suggestion: "You have to bring this to Hyundai. This problem is only going to get worse." The only thing he could do for me was an engine cleaning, but the sound came back. When I told him that my warranty was already up, he told me to go anyway, as he had seen way too many Hyundai's with this problem.

Ironically, later on that week, someone who lives near my building mentioned that he noticed my engine makes a lot of noise. His mom has the same car, with the same problem, and Hyundai gave her a new engine. He insisted that Hyundai can't hide the fact that their engines are problematic, as its been on the news, and has been pushing me to go to the dealership.

Hyundai needs to get off their ass and take responsibility for their mistakes. I do my oil changes religiously. I'm obsessive about every sound my car makes, and immediately get everything checked. The Elantra has to be added to their list of recalls. It has honestly reached the point where I am scared to drive my car.

- angelseven, Montreal, QC, Canada

problem #9

Feb 232017

Elantra GL 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,088 miles


Issue was fixed under a warranty. Kudos to Hyundai Canada and the dealership.

- Carol K., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #8

Sep 012016

Elantra LTD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

So, we bought this 2011 Hyundai Elantra with 47k miles on it. As of the writing of this complaint, the car is 6 years old. We, as well as the first owner, had all standard maintenance completed on schedule, as well as oil changes. My wife mentioned this ticking noise on the engine several times to the dealer when getting maintenance services done. They replied that it was not a big deal and there was nothing to worry about.

The noise has been getting louder and we contacted Morrie's Hyundai dealership today in the Twin Cities Minneapolis area. The technician knew the issue well. He recognized it immediately and stated that he has seen it quite a few times. Right away, he stated that the engine would need to be replaced for about $5,000!

I was floored that it would be such a recognized problem and that we had been handled in the past with such disregard... This is crazy!

How can Hyundai make a car with an engine that only lasts 6 years when you are maintaining it!

We have like $6,500 left to pay on this car and now we need a $5,000 engine!?

This is absolutely nuts!

- Peter E., Saint Bonifacius, MN, US

problem #7

Jul 072015

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

Purchased the 2011 Hyundai Elantra as a second owner. Overall was initially impressed by the car, mileage, looks, ride, size, seating and low mileage. I however have experienced a TICKING NOISE in my engine when I start it up. I was told by the original seller that...."oh, that noise will go away once the car is warmed up!" In which it does go away, but the TICKING NOISE ALWAYS comes back.

At times I feel my vehicle almost feel like it seizes up when accelerating. Oddly enough after doing background research this is a COMMON and KNOWN problem Hyundai is notorious for in the 2011 - 2013 ELANTRA and Sonata models. Sonata owners have a Class Action Suit for the same problem. In which Hyundai is honoring a replacement engine or repairs.

Does anyone know of a HYUNDAI ELANTRA CLASS ACTION SUIT on the TICKING NOSE and Short Block, piston problem with their engines? If so...., please share!

Although, I haven't had any support from Hyundai or any local dealerships, I am afraid the thousands of dollars I paid for the car is going to be a waste. I do my best NOT to drive it, (use my tiny beater car) and only use it once in a while, and this is a common issue with this make and model. As a single income parent - it looks like Hyundai doesn't care about its Consumers.

If there are any leads, tips or ideas on how to get rid out the ticking noise without costing an Arm and A Leg...., please let me know. I'm so disappointed and sad that Hyundai isn't recognizing that the 2011 - 2013 ELANTRA car models have the same problem as their Sonata.

Please help, anyone! Thank you in advance.....

- 1melissa san diego, San Diego, CA, US

problem #6

Oct 172016

Elantra Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,890 miles

Bought this 2011 Elantra used with 46,000 miles on it.Had it for 4 years with no problems.Regular maintenance from Hyundai dealership.Warranty expired at 100,000 miles.At 105,000 miles,started hearing a tapping noise coming from engine when cold which went away when engine heated up.Took to Hyundai dealership to diagnose problem.Was told noise was coming from crankshaft,piston rods and bearings and the fix was to replace the engine at $4000.The car is only worth $6500 at best.I was told that under no circumstances should I continue to drive the car,as the bearings could seize at any moment.The service manager suggested that I trade the car in on a new Hyundai.If the engine goes out at 105,000 miles ,the last thing I want is another Hyundai.Took it to another mechanic that I trust to verify problem.He also stated the only fix for it was to replace the engine.Took the service manager's advice to trade it off,but I got a Honda this time.

- sassybelle74, Mobile, AL, US

problem #5

Feb 142016

Elantra GL 1.8L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,789 miles


Well, here's the story. My '05 Sentra bit the dust in November and I spent December and January looking for the right car. I did my research, found a 2011 Elantra w/ 23,000km on it and was able to be the dealer down in price. The vehicle had no history of accidents or repairs, and I drove it off the lot at the end of January.

About halfway through February, I noticed the engine was beginning to make a ticking noise that was most audible during the first few minutes after start up. I assumed perhaps it was the engine chatter as it was warming up and oil was circulating (in Atlantic Canada, our nights get pretty cold). I left the problem.

Last week, I received a safety recall for my model and brought my Elantra to the dealer for servicing. I thought, what the heck, I'll mention the ticking noise I've been hearing and ask them to check it out - after all I'm still covered by the dealer's 3 month warranty. I go to pick the car up at the end of the day, and I'm told I'm free to take the car but they're waiting to hear back from Hyundai Canada. I ask why, and they tell me 'we're waiting to hear back for approval to do an engine swap - to make sure they'll cover the cost'.

Obviously I'm shocked, it turns out the noise (as others have mentioned) came from my Short Block which I was told will need to be replaced. While I have SOME experience repairing my previous beaters, I have no idea how serious this problem is. As of right now, I'm waiting to hear if Hyundai Canada will cover the cost of repair and if not, the dealership itself.

Without warranty I'd be looking at OEM $2400 + labour for a vehicle I've owned for less than two months. I'll update this post with more information as it comes.

Update from Apr 6, 2016: UPDATE: The dealership received confirmation from Hyundai Canada and they approved a replacement of my short block. For the weeks I was waiting for the parts to arrive, the vehicle's noise was getting much worse with the ticking persisting through acceleration and after the engine warmed up and I was getting a faint feeling of power loss.

At 25,350km, the short block and other gaskets were replaced and the dealer invoice informed me that there was some damage also done to cylinders #2 and #3.Further, "REPLACED TIMING CHAIN AND TENSIONER DUE TO CHAIN BEING STRETCHED AND TENSIONER LEAKING DOWN". All this was done at no cost to me.

While I am happy to have the work done, I'm worried about the future of the vehicle and the parts they installed. Keep in mind, these problems occurred in a vehicle less than 5 years old and had only 23,000 km when the issues started.

- Zachary M., Halifax, NS, Canada

problem #4

Oct 012015

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

I have been reading that this is a very common problem. Hyundai knows about it and refuses to do anything about it. Know one seems to have the same answer about what this is. Hyundai claims to be the best, they need to prove this by fixing the problem. It would be nice to at least know for sure why it's making the ticking sound.

- tigeress2112, Rochester, WA, US

problem #3

Mar 312015

Elantra GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,294 miles

I am a new college graduate, in mid December 2014 bought 2011 Elantra used, 66163 miles, great shape body-wise, had a local mechanic look over the car for any problems before buying, he did not see anything or hear any problems.

Took the car in to the shop in March for routine oil change, no problems noted. A few days later ticking noise started in the engine, called the dealership, they said sometimes happens if after market oil filter is used, gave me a new Hyundai filter, free of charge. Took it to my local mechanic, he changed out filter and new oil again. Clicking continued, dealership said sometimes need to run it to get oil following through, clocking still continued,

Took the car to the Hyundai dealership, and without any real inspection, (I was only there about 30 minutes) they told me it was a connecting rod knock in bottom end of engine, must replace the engine. They even had already called around and found a used one for $3500. I had just borrowed 11,000 for this car and had only made 2 payments on it, was not in any position to replace engine for another $3700.

Called the used car dealer I bought the car from, he suggested having a mechanic he used frequently look it over and get his opinion. That mechanic said it was not a bottom end engine noise but rather a top engine noise, he replaced timing chain tensioner, lifters, etc. but noise was still there. He was baffled said engine held power as it should and he could not figure out the ticking problem. Only charged me $500 for all the new Hyundai parts he replaced.

I have continued to drive it, although makes me nervous. Had oil changed again two weeks ago everything seemed fine. In the meantime the used car dealer began asking around to other Hyundai dealers in the tri-state area and several said that this is a known problem with this car but Hyundai will not admit it, recall would be too costly.

Tonight the car was fine, stopped to get gas and car would not start, thought maybe was battery, had it jumped but did nothing. Had to have it towed to local mechanic, tow truck driver said he thought it was the starter. After crying all evening and reading through these posts I had horrified to see what they say in the morning.

I did jump on the case action suit but that does not solve my immediate problems, no way to get to work, no money for car payments, This has been a nightmare and I have no idea what I can do.

- Cindy B., West Virginia, US

problem #2

Apr 102015

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

When the ticking sound first started it was very faint, over the next week it started to get louder and I noticed it when I was accelerating or when my car was sitting idle. I took it into the dealership I bought it from because it was still covered under my extended warranty. The dealership informed me that it was a piston that had collapsed and they are contacting the warranty company and will need all of my maintenance records. I had the records to them the next day (a Wednesday) and the warranty company came out to inspect my car that Friday. To make a long story short, the warranty company really drug their feet and needed my maintenance records faxed because they couldn't read them and then needed them faxed again because they couldn't read them and then needed a picture of my engine. After a week without a car, they finally decided that they would cover a new short block. Now I have learned that short blocks are on back order so it could take another 2 weeks before they get my car back to me. When I bought this later model car I was hoping for reliable transportation for years to come and have maintained timely service as well as, met all the requirements of my extended warranty. I am disappointed that just shy of 2 years of owning this vehicle I have already had such a major issue, through no fault of mine.

- Rachel L., Findlay, OH, US

problem #1

Apr 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

ticking sound which is louder when i accelerate

Took it in to my Hyundai dealer and they found 2 lifters that needed replaced and they went ahead and replaced all 16 and they figured this was the cause of the ticking. Well,,it wasnt and it went right back in the next week. I got a call the next day that they were on the phone with Hyundai tryingn to figue the problem for the ticking. Both ends came up with the solution to a new engine block(i hope i have that right). Problem is they cannot locate one. That was Tuesday and today is Frid and they found on in Calif (Im in Ohio) but still havent been guarenteed that one. I'm just thinking this is all crazy. My car is a 2011 with about 45K miles. anyone ever hear of this???

- Laura W., Lima, OH, US

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