Notes: Be aware that there's a significant trend of owners complaining that the Elantra's fuel economy is significantly less than the EPA estimates.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
51,700 miles
Total Complaints:
22 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (17 reports)
  2. replace starter (1 reports)
  3. replace the inhibitor switch (1 reports)
  4. shifter lever clip replaced (1 reports)
  5. tighten lugs around battery leads (1 reports)
  6. tighten the lugs around the battery leads (1 reports)
2012 Hyundai Elantra electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jun 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


This problem started within the first 40,000 miles. Try to start, all lights come on, windows, radio, door locks work, but engine won’t crank. It might start the next attempt, or the 20th. Within minutes, or after 15. Dealer kept it 3 weeks and could not duplicate it. After about the 10x over 6 months, I needed to put it in neutral to push it out of a gas pump. In neutral, started right up. Each time after when it didn’t start, put in neutral, started right up. Looking on internet, found it might be starter switch or ignition switch. Replaced both. No problems for the next 175,000 miles. Two weeks ago, it started again.

Update from Jun 9, 2018: Replace inhibition switch. $46 part at dealer

- kellielmi, Nixa, US

problem #21

Dec 072017

Elantra 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

In reading all the complaints about the hard starting issue, I read and tried every one. The shifter lever clip, the key battery, the vehicle battery, (replaced today) the connections, fuses, cold weather, place in neutral and whatever else I could think of. Same deal with mine, turn the key, lights all go on, click at what I assume was starter solenoid or ? but no cranking.

Then glory be, it started and then restarted several times again. What I did and hopefully will be the answer is to leave the key in acc until the fuel pump cycles to pressurize the system. Then bingo...

Hope this may work for your own rigs. However, I don't trust this car as far as I can throw it.

- Gary P., Hudson, US

problem #20

Nov 032016

Elantra Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

My Hyundai Elantra 2012 limited edition has been giving me starting problems for 5 months now and have not owned it a year. I've had the battery starter and alternator tested and everything is fine. 1 month later it starts again with not starting. Call the dealer and no one knows what the problem is. I will never buy another car from Pride Hyundai ever again.

- Mary L., Everett, US

problem #19

Jan 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles


Same problem with my car (randomly won't start), problem began within the first year. Have taken it to the dealership many times, but of course they can't recreate the problem. I have found that if it doesn't start the first time, if I turn the key all the way back, then try it again, it will start the second time. Not the case if I don't turn the key all the way back.

- Darlene L., Sarnia, ON, Canada

problem #18

Jan 092017


  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles

The point of buying a new car is so I would not have any problem for at the least 10 years. The man that sold me the car told me just that. Now I am missing work have no car to do the things a mother and wife need to do on an everyday. I am stressing about how much its going to cost and how long I will be with out a car. If this is not covered under warranty I will never buy new again. My plan is every 10 years buy a new 10 year 100000 mile car but if this is what its like then forget it. I see that this is a problem with others and hope you get it fixed. A car that won't start at 40,000 miles is not worth 17,000 bucks. I guess that's all I have to say at this point. Hope Hyundai makes this right.

- Christy B., West Milford, WV, US

problem #17

Mar 122016

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

My 2012 Elantra has had intermittent starting problems for over a year now. The car would immediately die upon starting and then usually on the 2nd attempt start up just fine like nothing had happened. Then other times there would be no problem.

Originally a mechanic replaced my spark plugs at 50,000 miles hoping that would solve the problem. It didn't. I took it to the dealership but they could not recreate the problem so nothing was done. This became a nuisance but my car still ran so I let it go. Then on Saturday my car would not start at all. The engine would crank but it acted like it just wasn't getting any fuel. I had to have it towed.

The following Monday it of course started right up for the mechanic. I picked it up on Tuesday being assured it was fine, but it died on me again later that night. Now I'm driving it hoping and praying it doesn't leave me stranded after taking 3 tries to start this morning. I'm hoping the internet can give me some idea of where to start since the professionals are no help.

- Beth M., Columbus, OH, US

problem #16

Sep 012014

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


My wife's car will not start on occasion. It just clicks one time when the key is turned...all lights and everything are working just fine so it is not the battery. The key can be turned anywhere from 2 to 25 times before it decides to start. Each time we tried to get it looked at, our mechanic cannot figure it out because it does not show a code for the computer. I have called the dealership and they act like they have no idea what we are talking about.

I got online to see if there were any other complaints because this has been an ongoing problem off and on for a very long time. And it looks as if this is a very common problem with these cars. I wish they would look into it and issue a recall to get it fixed. I do not want my wife getting stuck somewhere because her car decides not to start at all. I can tell you that we will never buy another Hyundai if the issue does not get resolved.

- vincentin, Santa Claus, IN, US

problem #15

Oct 262015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My 2012 Hyundai Elantra randomly will not start. There is no sound of the engine trying to turn over. Just a soft click. All the accessories (radio, fan, dashboard) turn on. The headlights do not turn on above the soft setting (like in accessory mode).

I purchased it new in December 2011. I have had this problem since July 2015. The first time it happened was at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night out with my friends--I thought the battery had died. Just as we were looking for cables to jump it, it kicked in.

It has regularly had problems since then. Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 tries, sometimes it takes many tries over 10 or 15 minutes. Always after it's been sitting for at least a couple of hours. If I was just driving or it just started, it will always start again.

I have not noticed any type of environment or situational pattern.

I go to school out-of-state. I have taken it to the dealer where I purchased it twice when I have visited home. The first time (September 2015) they were unable to replicate the problem and did nothing. The second time (early October 2015), they replaced a switch under warranty and declared it solved. Since then it has not started twice. This morning was the second time. It took 15 minutes to start. I was in the process of making other arrangements to get to work when it finally kicked in.

This is frankly unacceptable. We buy good cars so that they run reliably. My last car--a Saturn Ion that we also purchased new--had an electrical issue with not starting at random too. I'm tired of this nonsense, and no one seems to have a solution.

- kawiah, Pickerington, OH, US

problem #14

Jan 132016

Elantra Limited 4 Cyc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,236 miles

Car would not start had to have it towed to dealership. Thought it was battery but it was the starter.

- queensess, Madison, IL, US

problem #13

Nov 202015

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My car chooses not to start at random times and when I take it in to the dealer they say they can not replicate the problem so can not fix it. It is not the battery......this is fully charged and has been checked. The last time it happened I had to call a two truck and was going to have it towed to dealer when all of a sudden it decided to start.............

- blondieuno, Vadnais Heights, MN, US

problem #12

Sep 302015

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,234 miles


Morrie's Hyundai will not fix the problem! Every time it is towed to them because it will not start for me or for the tow truck driver, it starts for them. Or at least they say they cannot replicate the problem. I go home it starts fine for a couple of weeks and then the same thing. I try to wiggle the shifter to make sure it is in park and making a good connection. I open and close the door and I press and release the brake a couple times. It is very random and I have not found a weather pattern. Sometimes it is hot days, sometimes it is cold days. It has been towed 3 times to the dealer, but has probably not started some 20 times. Dealer says they will not spend the time or money to just start replacing parts only to have it do it again. Then they are out time and money and have to guess and replace a different part...

- Chris B., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #11

Jul 062015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,933 miles

Car purchased new with only 14km. Battery on key was replaced as a first step towards resolving the issue. Car wouldn't start, it locks down completely. This happened several times and is very annoying. The dealership said it could be the battery. Battery was checked, and is good. I returned the car to the dealership 5 days ago, testing was done, nothing found. I was told that when the issue occurs I must have the car towed to the dealership so that they can check it at that time. I am scared to drive the car and worry if the car doesn't start when I far away from the dealership. I just learnt from a friend that she had the same issue, in the end a specialist was brought in by the dealership and found that the alarm system had an issue, they replaced it and her car worked fine. I just left a message for the dealership, awaiting a response. Hyundai do a recall!

Update from Dec 5, 2015: Hyundai did a recall - the shifter lever clip switch was replaced, so far car is working in good order.

- sans, Brampton, Canada

problem #10

Dec 092014

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I have now had several instances of my 2012 Elantra not wanting to start. I put the key in, turn it and nothing ? Lights, radio, etc comes on but car will not start, no clicking noise from the battery, just NOTHING. I jiggle the steering wheel, and/or jiggle the automatic transmission shifter, and then it will start. However, yesterday morning I did this and it would not start, PERIOD!. I waited about 5 minutes, and then it started ? After reading posts about taking it to a Hyundai dealer and getting no results, I have no intention of taking it in. I like the car, it's been a great little car (but this is really a pain in the ass). Hyundai has to know about this situation, they have to ...?

Update from Sep 28, 2015: This continues to happen, I am at 54000 miles. There is no rhyme or reason as to when it will not start. I will not take it to the dealer, I'll only get more upset. However, I have figured out that if you take the little plastic clip off just above the "P" park, area and stick a small screwdriver in and depress the lever while simultaneously jiggling the gear shifter right and left, then turning the key, the car will start. So ? I assume it has something to do with the transmission lock, etc....... It's a pain, but it works....

- Joe C., Lutz, FL, US

problem #9

Dec 062013

Elantra GLS 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Bought new, didn't think there would be any problems.... other than this, there really weren't.

Originally we thought the battery was just a lemon or something, but when the same thing happened to the new battery the next year, I finally figured it out.

When the temperature drops, the battery cables loosen from the battery, so all you have to do is tighten the cables to the battery. Don't waste your money on a new battery.

Hyundai, you're welcome.

- Dan D., Laurel, MD, US

problem #8

Dec 252013

Elantra GLS 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

I too had the mysterious problem.

For me, When the temperature drops, the lugs around the battery leads would loosen up. So all I had to do was tighten them, and she started like a champ.

You're welcome Hyundai.

- Dan D., Laurel, MD, US

problem #7

Oct 282014

Elantra 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My daughters 2012 Hyundai Elantra would not start on 5 occasions over a 3 day period. We took the car into Hyundai of Turnersville, NJ. They had the car all day and at the end of the day an arrogant and totally ignorant service manager told me that they couldn't fix what was wrong with the car because they couldn't duplicate the problem and they didn't get a code for the problem when they put it on their computer. How convenient for them!!

When you take your car into the Hyundai service department for warranty work on a car that has intermittent starting problem, they get to simply say that they can't find the problem so they don't have to fix it. When I inquired as to what I was supposed to do with a car that doesn't start, and why they couldn't troubleshoot the problem, I was told by the Service Manager "IF I DIDN'T LIKE THE WAY THEY HANDLED THE PROBLEM , I COULD TAKE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE". That's how they can offer a 100,000 mile warranty. I guess you can offer any number of miles in a warranty if you don't plan on fixing anything. All they have to say is, we can't find anything wrong???? Then your only option is to take your car to a real mechanic and have them fix it and pay out of pocket for an issue that is under warranty.

BEWARE OF HYUNDAI, you get what you pay for. Yes, the cars are CHEAP, that's because they are made CHEAPLY and who would buy a cheaply made car which would become very undependable, very quickly. So, they offer a 100,000 warranty so customers would think OK, it's cheaply made but if anything goes wrong with it, I have a 100,000 mile warranty. NOT!! And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!!! This was never more true then it is with Hyundai. Their 100,000 miles warranty is BS because they get to pick and choose what they want to fix.

- mbarone, Blackwood, NJ, US

problem #6

Aug 022014

Elantra Limited V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,935 miles

2012 Hyundai Elantra will not start from the P position. Have to place in N (neutral) and will start. It happens randomly, w/o any detectable pattern. Had to call AAA on numerous occasions since August of this year. Finally one for the AAA mechanics put the car in N and started. Changed the key fob batteries (suggested by AAA towing person) but to no avail. Took it to the Folsom Ca, Hyundai dealer, ran a computer test, nothing detected they told me, and first time they could not reproduce the problem. Second time I took the car and had same complaints it actually happened to the service person bringing the car after a tire change. Place shift in N, car started.

Serviced car for 60000mi, found the battery low and told by the dealership that this was most probably the cause. Got a new battery, two days later, same thing happen. It is annoying, frightening and damaging both to me personally and my job, I cannot now be dependable to be in time. The car dealer kept saying that there is nothing they can do since they cannot reproduce the problem and that they have not heard of this problem from the Hyundai Co. I went on the internet and found numerous complaints about this issue! Hyundai you should read the internet, you should update your car dealer service departments promptly.

I am sorry I recommended my friends to buy this car before August of this year! It will not happen again,

- silviah, Sacramento, CA, US

problem #5

Jun 072014

Elantra Limited 1.8L Inline 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

My wife was heading out and tried to start the car. The dash lit up but when she turned it to start nothing happened. She turned the key back off then tried again, still didn't start. She comes in to get me to see (as this has happened before)(lapse about 30 seconds) and she turns the key and it finally starts.

I call the dealership and explain what happens, they tell me to setup a service appointment and to bring it in. We drop it off the night before they will work on it. The next morning the service department calls and says, "Hey we want to let you know that there will be a diagnostic fee should we find something not caused by the dealership. In the past we have found that a mouse has chewed through a wire causing the problem, are you okay with that"? I said yes, I can't hold a dealership accountable for something caused by an animal it's not right.

They call later in the day saying they did a full diagnostic check on the vehicle and found nothing. They also went though the computer looking for error codes and nothing came up in it. If we could leave the car another day they would look more into it, but we couldn't get transportation the next day so I said I would need to pick it up.

When I arrived at the dealership they said it was going to cost $119.00 for their work today. I said it was under warranty (only 28,000 miles on it) and there shouldn't be a charge, especially since this isn't the first time its happened to us and this is an issue a lot of folks are having. They said that since they couldn't duplicate and "intermittent" issue, which is what I told them it was, they had to charge me. And to make matters worse when we picked the car up it looks like someone opened a door into the passenger front door, scratching it.

So, no resolution, same car but now with scratched paint.

I spoke to the GM the day after, and they agreed to refund the money but I had to fight for it. I have never had an automaker, during the warranty period, charge you to look at it because it was doing something out of the ordinary.

- fyrklrco5, Hamilton, VA, US

problem #4

Mar 122014

Elantra Limited 1.8L Inline 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

Wife leaving for work, tried to start her car and it wouldn't start. Turned the key, the lights all came on, radio came on but engine wouldn't fire. She waited a few seconds then tried it again and it fired up.

- fyrklrco5, Hamilton, VA, US

problem #3

Oct 032013

Elantra ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,267 miles

I bought the car in 2011, 1st owner about 30 miles on the car. The first day I had the car I came to a red light and it cut off. About a year and half later the car would not start the first time I turned the key about 50% of the time. Later the car would start on the first attempt 30% of the time, on the second attempt 65% percent of the time, and on the third attempt 5% of the time. I took it to the dealership and told them what was happening. The dealership claimed they tried for two hours to recreate the problem and had not success, therefore, they could not fix it. Today I went out to start the car and it would not start at all. It sounds like it is not getting enough fuel, but that is just a guess. The car is at the dealership at this very moment. I will update this post when I know more.

- softlite, Missouri City, TEXAS (TX), US

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