Notes: We're not used to seeing any major problems with Hyundai, which makes the early signs of trouble with the 2013 Elantra very surprising, in a bad way.

Early trends show problems with the steering wandering / pulling to one side along with premature tire wear. Elantra owners have tried sensor adjustments, wheel alignments, even replacing axles, most with no luck. Hyundai has made vehicle buybacks through arbitration, but that rarely works out well financially for owners in the end.

Also there is a pattern of complaints about the 2013 Elantra brakes grinding at very low mileage. It seems there was a bad batch of OEM pads & rotors, but so far Hyundai is not doing a recall. Instead Hyundai issued a TSB & dealers have been replacing pads & rotors on a per-complaint basis.

The final straw is that for several years in a row, Elantra owners report significantly lower gas mileage than the EPA estimates, & there's a small trend of engine problems.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,428 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.

2013 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Aug 282015


  • 61,000 miles


Vehicle will not start despite a charged battery and following proper starting procedures. The vehicle is a push-to-start vehicle. This has happened multiple times. After a time (10-15 minutes), and trying different techniques, it does start. This is an issue with multiple Hyundai Elantra owners, whether it is push-to-start or keyed ignition.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #25

May 282015


  • miles
Car will not start! everything comes on lights radio N etc. I had my battery check it great. Can't find a solution. I have been out several times and this has happened. I have lost income because of this issue.

- Memphis , TN, USA

problem #24

Dec 142014


  • 30,923 miles
Car will not start. Everything turns on, radio, lights, bluetooth works, but the engine does not turn over. Has happened multiple times and continues to happen. Have not found a solution yet.

- Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #23

Jul 032015


  • 102,000 miles


Car will not start. The immobilizer icon shows up in the dash and both smart key fobs do not work. Called Hyundai customer service and could not do anything but refer me to the nearest dealership.. dealer promised to call back but never did.

- Antioch , TN, USA

problem #22

Mar 212015


  • 37,422 miles
This has been an ongoing issue, when hitting any type of bump in the road, the rear of the car feels like it is going to fishtail, worse on wet roads. The ABS brakes work and then they don't, the steering will feel loose and then tight. I have noticed there is a lot of complaints about the car feeling like it is going to fishtail or has when hitting bumps and yet, no recall is forced on Hyundai. I guess it takes a fatality to get anything done. A car should never feel like it is going to fishtail when hitting bumps. The engine hesitates when going uphill or when accelerator is pressed quickly.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #21

Jan 212014


  • 480 miles
Snow predicted. Left home to go run errands at 9:30 am, car looked showroom new, got 1/2 mile, car pulled itself right (as it has previously) and bumped a small tree, no damage. Car backed up to roadside 10', car cut itself off (as it had before), windshield went from 30 degrees to 450 degrees in 3 seconds. I left my purse (with $1200 in it) and everything and fled across road to save my life. Asked man there if he had a fire extinquisher, he didn't, asked me to stay because it was so cold, and I said no, I wanted to check my car and in that 60 seconds, I walked out and stood in his driveway and car was totally a blaze. It happened so quickly I would not have survived had I not fled the vehicle the car from day 2 rarely cranked, often cut off going 5-55 mph, pulled off road to right, and scared me speechless. Like it was haunted and drove itself. I only had it 4 months. It was a death trap and should never have been put on the highway. For some reason, I got arrested, I was totally sober and had no medication in my system. Trooper had a breath alyzer, never used it. Cuffed me very tightly, read me no rights, and took me to station entrance. He grabbed my arm and drew blood (illegally), no phone call, finally read my rights, and denied me seeing my lawyer 3 times. Illegally. For 3 days & nights, I was never allowed a phone call or code, am disabled and have osteoporosis & had to sleep on a 1/4" of flat plywood, though my joints don't touch, I have restless leg syndrome & must sleep elevated, it was impossible. I also went without any of my prescriptions 3 days. All because this scary car burned to bent metal with no dash, no engine or parts, no tires, seats, nothing. So not only was I in shock, out of any contact without my prescriptions, and had to pay $475 bond, though I only get $969, this car ruined my life over a year ago, and I haven't had a car since.

- Lagrange, NC, USA

problem #20

Apr 152015


  • 45,000 miles


My 2013 Elantra started making a tapping noise so I took it to the service department. It seems my 3 year old vehicle needs a new engine. That was almost three weeks ago and I am still waiting. Neither my dealer nor Hyundai can give me and eta as to when the car will be repaired. This wait is unacceptable and from what I gather from the service manager and the posts on this site, I am not alone. My respect for Hyundai has cratered and will never buy another Hyundai.

- Fanwood, NJ, USA

problem #19

Mar 272015

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
2013 Hyundai Elantra had an accident due to unintended acceleration. Was pulling onto my parking spot, when the car just accelerated by itself, causing me to crash into my building.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #18

Feb 092015


  • 32,300 miles
I bought a used 2013 Hyundai Elantra with 29,802 miles on it on October 6, 2014. By February 2015 I started hearing a tapping noise from under the hood and a noise when I pressed the gas pedal which stopped when I took my foot off the gas pedal. I took it to a Hyundai dealership in February 2015 and it was determined I needed my engine replaced. Hyundai agreed to replace it under factory warranty. I had 32,500 I believe miles on it. The dealership had multiple cars sitting on their lot which needed their engines replaced. While I was waiting for a rental car business to come pick me up at the Hyundai dealership to get me a rental car to drive while my car was waiting to be fixed, I spoke to a couple who came in to drop off their rental car. Their 2012 Hyundai Elantra needed an engine replacement as well--at 23,000 miles. The dealership told me that these cars had engine problems more often in the northeast due to the more severe weather in the winter. I so regret ever buying my first ever Hyundai vehicle!

- Wiscasset, ME, USA

problem #17

Dec 262014


  • 46,000 miles
As others have mentioned, I have had both problems starting the vehicle (the car could not be started on two occasions so far, despite having adequate fuel and a charged battery), and with the rear of the car swinging out when traveling over a bump or on slippery road conditions (even at speeds as low as 35 mph, there is a noticeable kick from the rear of the vehicle, which has worsened with time). For both cases, the dealer was unable to find an issue, and/or said any kind problem was "within tolerance."

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #16

Jan 212014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 425 miles


Car loosely steered barely off road, 1/8 mile from home, bumped tree 15' away, backed up, engine shut off (as usual since day 2 of lease), windshield heated to over 150 degree's in 35 degree weather, so I vacated car, which was in flames 2-3 minutes and burned to ash..had 5 months, daily problems, battery, fuses, ignition, numerous calls to dealer, shop, no help, could easily have died in firetrap alive, car dove itself, when & where it pleased, and was uncontrollable.even Hyundai motor finance has not paid on gap coverage in 11 months, ruining my credit to boot, and was over financed past legal limits, on a total new lemon and not only was car not replaced as promised, I cannot get a response from Hyundai, or Hyundai finance.,this was the biggest mistake of my life, and I will tell everyone to never purchase a Hyundai product. You should be ashamed.and lose your franchise license.I will have to sue to ever begin to be compensated for all you have done to me, and because of your product.

- Lagrange, NC, USA

problem #15

Sep 252014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
My wife was driving the car. It was a dark road in the night. Perhaps she didn't see the stop sign and crashed into a vehicle coming from right hand side, going in the same direction my wife was going. My wife crashed the other vehicle from behind. It was serious crash in which the entire front portion of the car is damaged. But the air bags did not come out. My wife had her head hit the steering wheel and had an injury. My complaint is "why did the air bag not inflate in such a serious crash?"..updated 10/06/14. Updated 05/13/2015

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 012014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle in June 2013. I had no complaints until July of 2014, wherein my car picks and chooses when to start. I have looked online and there are many others who seem to have this complaint. I finally gave in on Aug. 24, after my car sat for two days because I could not get it to start. I called the Hyundai 24 hour roadside and had them tow it to the nearest dealership. The tow truck driver initially tried to start it, and it didn't. he popped the button nearest the top of the shifter and pressed it in, and put the car in neutral, it then started but sputtered like it wanted to turn off. He was able to drive the car onto the tow truck. The next morning, I spoke with the mechanic at the dealership who indicated that the car was starting for them just fine. He said there are so many sensors that it could be one, but they wouldn't know where to start as there are so many and could not make an educated guess. He wanted to keep it overnight to see if it would act up for them. It is now 2pm two days later and the mechanic claims there is still no issue, he said they have let it run all morning and it is fine. This has become ridiculous, especially when I see so many others with the same complaint, yet nothing being done. Help, NHTSA!

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 132014


  • 41,570 miles
Unable to move the car out of park. The electrical worked (radio, windows). I insert the key and turn but the car wont turn over (start). I have to use the shift lock release to start the car. The problem occurs intermittently and there is no pattern.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 142014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 15,984 miles
On my way to work I was exiting the highway and I hit a bump. I was taken by surprise as what felt like the rear of the car bounced up abnormally and lurch toward the guard rail. The handling on rough surfaces is awful. This could lead to an accident. I just bought this car used and the engine is noisy which I am told this is the timing chain. I never had a car like this in my long life. The handling really worries me. Sucks!

- Brookfield, MA, USA

problem #11

Jun 282014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Taking a corner at 5 mph in 2nd gear, heard a metallic sound from the engine. The engine cut out, lost power steering and brakes. Pulled over using the emergency brake to stop. Towed car to a Hyundai dealer. I was told the top of the piston had a crack in it that developed over time and finally failed. The failure caused catastrophic damage to the engine, which is being replaced under mfg. Warranty.

- Whitesboro, NY, USA

problem #10

Jun 042014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I'm having a tak, tak, tak sound coming from under the hood once I shut the car off. Also, you can see a spark while it is making the sound. I"ve taken the car back to the dealer several times for this and the scrubbing sound on the brakes and the missing while the car is idling. I'm told each time they can't hear or feel anything and to please come back if it happens again. I've been to the dealer so much I hate to go again.

- Satsuma, AL, USA

problem #9

Apr 052014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • 5,750 miles
While driving my vehicle at highway speed, the vehicle suddenly stalled without any apparent reason. I was in the middle lane of a three lane highway. I had to coast over to the side of the highway with no steering or brakes due to the engine failure. Once at the side of the highway, the vehicle re-started immediately and ran normally again for about a week when the same thing happened again, this time on a side street at approximately 15 mph. The vehicle once again started back up with no problem. It has run normally again as of this posting. Updated 10/23/2014

- Milford, MA, USA

problem #8

Feb 022014


  • 13,200 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The contact stated that the engine was powered on for approximately 20 minutes when dark gray smoke began billowing from under the hood area. The vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames. The fire department was called and was able to extinguish the fire. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed to determine the cause of the failure, nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 13,200. The VIN was not available. Updated 4/4/14

- Macon, MO, USA

problem #7

Feb 112014

Elantra 4-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle owner smelled a burning type smell on a cold day when having the heater on full to warm the vehicle. There was no obvious smoke or fire. The second time the vehicle owner had the heater on full to warm the car, a fire resulted. The fire caused so much damage to the vehicle that the initial cause is unknown.

- Los Angeles, , CA, USA

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