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 1 of 3)

problem #46

Jan 042017


  • 62,700 miles


The car accelerates without my intention. I can be driving my car and the (street or hwy in motion) while driving the car/engine accelerates. I was in disbelief but after it happened so many times, removing my foot from the pedal and still hearing the acceleration, it freaks me out. Scares me to death.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #45

Dec 232016


  • 1,000 miles
About 4 times per year, the vehicle will not shift out of park. I must use the shift release button and this takes awhile to work. I have had this happen when the car is idling in a parking lot, parked at a drive-thru, trying to leave a parking lot. This has happened about 12 times since I bought this vehicle. I took it to a Hyundai dealership and they could not replicate the issue. The first occasion was around 1,000 miles on the odometer.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #44

Dec 142016


  • 35,000 miles
Intermittently will not turn over. Battery is fine. Inhibitor switch was changed, all recalls performed. Had the car to the dealer 3 times and they cannot replicate. Had it towed there last time. If you fiddle with the shifter, and key long enough (10 minutes or so, it will eventually turn over and start as normal. There has been no help on this, and the dealer keeps charging for diagnostics, even thought the vehicle is under warranty. The problem seems to be extremely more prevalent in the winter or when the temp is below 35 degrees F.

- Wilkes Barre, PA, USA

problem #43

Sep 272016


  • 40,000 miles


Around 40,000 miles the car randomly would not start, leaving me stranded. I took the car in several times and dealership could not detect an issue. 2nd time I dropped off, a misfire was detected and ignition coils where replaced due to defected coils. I picked up my car and 11 days later the car wouldn't start up again. Its been in the shop for 3 weeks now. Last I heard they are replacing: The shifter assembly, transmission range switch, and brake switch. I have yet to hear if the parts came in and if this will fix the issue. I received a call on 11/3/2016 and now the engine needs to be replaced. There is a serious issue with the car failing to start and Hyundai cant even figure it out, as of today they had my car for a total of 25 days and still no resolution. Something needs to be done and recalled. Ive contacted Hyundai Consumer Affairs directly and have a case with them going on. I see several complaints of this same issue happening on this model, I hop this will somewhat help. Be consistent and don't take no for answer, I am still making car payments on something that is not working nor I have is unfair. Since the car is less than 60,000 miles this will be covered under warranty, it should of had to take me 3 times, calling a manger and going to Consumer Affairs for them to finally take my issue serious.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #42

Oct 272016


  • 7,000 miles
Car smokes heavily like every 10,000 miles when accelerating fast and suddenly, like when going on the freeway on ramp or trying to overpass another vehicle. It blows a huge, big, white cloud of smoke that impairs visibility of other drivers. It is a hazard against safety and contaminets the enviroment. Oil level seems to be fine between services. It has been happening since new. At 7000 miles, 15000 miles and today at 40,000 miles. There are many complains about that. Read here :

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #41

Oct 072016


  • 67,000 miles
Engine failure. Zero compression cylinder #1. second time this has happened since purchase on 10/18/2016. Also, tire pressure problem, ESC light comes on, dashboard gauges inoperative. Fuel mileage below what is advertised. Neither hundai nor enterprise will fix the problem after repeated demands. Also, there is a recall regarding "stopper pad" and stop lamp switch. Bought vehicle, cash, from enterprise car sales in montclair, ca. It was a "certified" used car, supposedly. Immediately I noticed that the engine sounded "tinny". sounded like a sewing machine, it was knocking. Also, when I lifted the oil stick, smoke came out of engine. This was within 2 weeks after purchase. The car completely lost compression on interstate 10 in April, 2015. I told both Hyundai and enterprise who ignored my complaints. Finally, after several complaints and threats, enterprise took the car in and sent it to Hyundai dealership who claimed there was no problem. The car began losing power again in September, 2016 and finally stopped in the middle of the street in arcadia, ca. No compression. It had to be towed to my house. I took it to private shop who said "zero compression in cylinder #1, possible burned out valve '. see attached. Called hyindai and enterprise again. Both denied responsibility, and refused to do anything. I have to now pay over $1,000 to get engine rebuilt. This car is a lemon and I am enttied to refund or a new car.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #40

Oct 072016


  • 28,000 miles


Vehicle was stationary. Check engine light and lack of digital engine temperature gauge alerted driver to issue. Upon inspection at authorized Hyundai service center, it was noted that rodents had gnawed through wiring and connectors located in the engine bay. Per service center's recommendation, vehicle was considered unsafe to drive, and vehicle was left at service center pending appropriate repairs/replacements. It was noted that the wires that were chewed through were coated with soy-based materials instead of plastic which had been used in earlier models. Service center claims to see this issue at least a few times per month. Rodent deterrent tape is being purchased from Honda (who already acknowledges this issue and is current the subject of a class action lawsuit). Tape will be wrapped around wires following repairs.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #39

Aug 222016


  • 90,000 miles
Auto stalled while driving on a clear day, light traffic, 25 mph, no warning lights, engine was running smooth, engine stalled and could not be re-started, road way was level with no turn involved. Auto had to be towed.

- Shepherdsville, KY, USA

problem #38

Jun 152016


  • 126,000 miles
On numerous occasions, my car would stall out during left turns ( middle of intersections) and while accelerating on an entrance ramp. There were no warning lights prior to stalling. I took it in for service/ diagnostics. I was told it is possible for the Elantra to suck up to 1qt of oil per 1000 miles! due to the mechanics of the car, it could stall out while turning if low on oil. I was due for my regular oil change and it was completed during this service at which time they stated I was 2 qts low !! it was suggested that I come in every 2000 miles to have it checked. My concern is -without warning lights, do I have to stall in the middle of an intersection to let me know my oil is low "??"

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #37

Mar 232016


  • 50,000 miles
Owned vehicle for 3 years, have been noticing a few problems with the vehicle that is the result of the poor suspension. The mil came on today hinting to possible sensor issues, the vehicle also constantly shakes and trembles when idle. The core of the problems appears to be the result of poor suspension as the vehicle rocks up and down after hitting any idea speed bump, hill or pothole. It puts drivers at a difficult position since the rocking of the vehicle causes it to jump over to the right when you are on a highway. Please serious look into this. Every dealership is advising this is normal but no other vehicle does this.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #36

Mar 032016


  • miles


My daughter purchased car Feb/2015 from a dealer car had 69245 miles on it drove may have missed one oil change in between that time and now the motor has a loud ticking inside and it has been suggested by dealer it needs a new motor. I driven older cars a lot longer and missed a scheduled oil change and car is still running with no motor issues of course that was a Chevrolet. The new cars wont last at all if you miss a oil change date.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #35

Oct 102015


  • 60,000 miles
The accident happened on a Saturday around 1pm. I was heading home when I approached a intersection when a lady coming from a street on the right side was coming out and even though she had a stop sign she fail to fully stop and me having no time to react I hit the middle of the car (T-bone her).

- Brooks, GA, USA

problem #34

Nov 252015


  • 55,000 miles
My 2013 Elantra's engine recently stalled and now needs to be replaced, and the underlying problem as explained to me by the Hyundai service dept. Sounds extremely similar to the problems that led to the recent sonata recall. Here's what happened: I was sitting at a stoplight when I heard a strange clicking/knocking noise from the engine. The vehicle began to have a very rough idle, shaking noticeably. The engine then stalled. After about 30 seconds of trying, I was able to start the engine again but still experienced a very rough idle and the check engine light had turned on. I took it to the Hyundai dealership. After the service department had looked at my car, they told me the engine needed to be replaced and that they were going to file a warranty claim. I was told that the engine bearings had failed, and that when they don't work properly to reduce friction in the engine, metal shards can get into the engine and cause problems. As I understand it from reading about the recent class-action against Hyundai, this sounds virtually identical to the problems with the sonata engines that ultimately led to the recall. I am still waiting to hear about the warranty (I'm still under the full 5 year/60K miles cpo warranty), but wanted to report this issue since what I've been told is so similar to the issues with the sonata engines. If the warranty claim is denied, I plan to request documentation of the problems with the vehicle and will be happy to provide them to NHTSA.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #33

Nov 042015


  • 45,000 miles
I own a Hyundai 2013 Elantra and I have had several issues with this car. The car has several times refused to start and the break pad gets stuck and I can't move the car out of park. I've had to call the tow truck several times and the only way to make the car start again is to manually shift it into neutral. This is a huge safety hazard, the car almost ran over me, once when I didnt apply the emergency break on when the person was manually putting the car in neutral!!!! additionally, the car shakes. I took it in to the dealership and because it was still under warranty they inspected it. Once I came back they said that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, and that the shaking was due to the power of the motor, that I needed to get use to it!! I've had to also replace my tires because they seem to wear off, and I can't drive the vehicle over anything without swerving. I've had the car aligned and my car still swerves/pulls to the left! there needs to be a recall on this car!! I cant get my car fixed because the dealership cant find anything wrong with it! I am now stuck making car payments to a lemon car! I've had two accidents on this car already one I reported to the my insurance and they were able to fix it. There was a tire on the highway and I was too scare to swirve the car to avoid it because I know the car cant handle something like that. So I had to get the impact of it. Please recall this car!

- Lake Elsinore, CA, USA

problem #32

Oct 272015


  • 45,235 miles
I have owned my car for a little over 3 years now. I started having problems with my fob not unlocking my car. I would had to press the unlock button several times to unlock. Then I also started having problems with not being able to turn on my car(with the push start) because the brake pedal was really stiff. I had to press hard on the brake in order to successfully turn on my car. Recently I've had a check engine light come on sporadically. Sometimes the light comes on and off while during my drives in the city. Two days ago, I attempted to turn on my car and the car began to start, but continued to make the ignition start sound for several seconds--about 10 seconds-- than usual. This was of course not the norm, so I pressed the start up button to turn off the car. When I attempted to turn on again, it turned on fine with the check engine light on again. I went to pep boys and meneike to check this out and they said that I had a P2096 problem. This code was followed with the description as follows: Post catalyst fuel trim system too lean bank 1. essentially I was told that the ratio of oxygen and fuel, the engine take is off. They thought it was a leak that would cause the lack of fuel going into the engine, but when they investigated it, they didn't find a leak. As of now, I don't have a real diagnosis for my car. I'm not sure if all of these problems correlate or have a domino effect on each other, but the issue will take a while to take care of.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #31

Jan 012015


  • 30,000 miles
My job requires me to drive a lot. Lately, about once a month now, my car will not start. It takes a 2-3 attempts before it will turnover. I literally does not make a sound but the lights and indicators come on. I have 2013 Elantra GT 5 door. I started noticing this at about 30K miles. I now have over 50K miles. This has only been this year that I've been experiencing this problem. I just don't want it to eventually not start at all.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #30

Sep 292015


  • 36,000 miles
The car seems to idle more than it should, considering it is a 2013. I have felt it idling heavily at dead stops waiting at a red light, in which I will inch up and the idling stops. I've noticed this after only about 5K miles on the car. I bought the car new. There is also a whining build-up sound when I have a cold start. I turn on the engine and hear a slight whine for about 4-5secs. It didn't do this in the very beginning. When I first bought the car, it almost sounded like it was an electric car because it was so quiet. Now it idles and whines at start-up. The car shakes when it idles and the only time I have felt that much shaking was in my dad's old truck from the 90's.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #29

Sep 292015


  • 36,000 miles
Brakes: At 36K, I had to change the brake pads which may not be uncommon, however, it was the back brakes. The front brakes had more than half the life left on it and the back brakes were almost bare. Engine: In summer (July?) of 2013, I came out from work, after a full day of the car sitting out in the sun (approximately 85 weather), I attempted to turn the engine and it continued to turn, but not would not ignite/ start. After trying it for about 5min, I gave it a break and let it sit for about 10min. After which, I tried again and it was very hesitant to start (you could hear it wanted to), then eventually started. I dropped it off to the dealer the next day and they couldn't replicate the issue. Almost a year later (July?) 2014, the same thing happened again. The car sat out in the 80 weather in the sun all day. I came out from work and my car would not turn on; this time, the engine didn't do anything other than continue to turn like when your battery is dead. I called roadside and he jumped the car. He also checked the battery and said it shouldn't do that because it was not even close to dead. I again took into the dealer and they tried to replicate my issue, leaving it in the sun; no luck. They couldn't find anything wrong with it again. I haven't seen the issue since, but I am worried that a new car could even hesitate to start like this.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #28

Dec 012012


  • 13,995 miles
I'm writing to notify you of my reoccurring issue on my 2013 Hyundai Elantra. Upon purchasing my vehicle on or about 5,000 miles, my car would have false starts. I brought the issue up during one of my early maintenance visits at danbury Hyundai which was on December 1, 2012, in which they stated to me that they were my headlights. Any individual with common sense knows transmission and starter issues have no correlation to headlights. In any event, my car began not igniting at all on or about 56,000 miles (video footage of this will be provided if needed). Prior to this, it would have false starts occasionally throughout the year but never on a daily basis until recently. I've had my car towed twice in the month of August to danbury Hyundai and both occasions they said there is nothing they can do for me. As you can imagine, having lemon of a car since the purchase is extremely frustrating and I warn everyone around me to never purchase a Hyundai unless you want to pump your gas and wait an hour for your car to start, if that's the kind of reliability you want then go for it. On September 9th, 2015, my car was returned to me and was working properly until yesterday September 16th. Please be advised that at 4:08 P.M. leaving work my car would not recognize the gears and would not start and at 7:19P.M. the same issue occurred. Google search yielded others with my car who have the same issue! these are brand new cars being issued!!

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #27

Jul 022012


  • 400 miles
When I first purchased the vehicle it stalled out on the freeway. Took it to Hyundai but they could not duplicate issue. I have also had thick white smoke come out of the trail pipe on multiple occasions. The smoke is so heavy that I can't see the cars behind me. The dealership also can't duplicate this when I take it in so I haven't been able to diagnose the issue. To top it off I traded in a V6 that was getting 23 mph for the Elantra so that I could save money on the combined 32 mpg. Not even close. In town is 21 mpg. Combined is normally 23 mpg. Another issue happens when I brake. If I need to brake fast and hard it sounds and feels like the car it's going to fall apart. This issue I haven't bothered to report as I am just so disappointed with all the issues. I have been a loyal Hyundai owner of different models since 1999. I have a feeling this will be my last Hyundai.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

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