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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,750 miles
Total Complaints:
38 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. replace engine (16 reports)
  3. small block replacement (3 reports)
2013 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Nov 122021

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


Bought this car with low mileage and there is a ticking noise in engine.

- Tina P., Plymouth, US

problem #37

Jul 232019

Elantra GLS 1.8L Nu

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


I, like so many others out there, have developed an engine knock. It's loudest on cylinder 1, or the passenger side of the engine. I removed the oil pan and found that the connecting rod bearing had about 1/16" of play. I replaced the bearing and the cap bolts, torqued to spec and put everything back together. The knock was a little quieter but persisted. Upon further investigation, I found that I was not alone - there are MANY others out there with this problem. Evidently, there's an issue with either the coating on the cylinder wall, the wrist pin was incorrectly machined or the piston skirt is too short allowing the piston to shift under detonation and the skirt slaps against the cylinder wall. This not only wears down the side of the piston but damages the cylinder wall.

So the "solution" I keep reading is that for several thousand dollars a dealership will replace your motor. Mind you, it's the same problematic motor and the problem is highly likely to happen again because nothing is being done to address the root of the problem.

Hyundai knows they made a mistake with the 2011-2013 1.8L Nu engine, hence the reason why they issued a recall on the Canadian models. So ask yourself, why isn't there one for the US models? If they want to compete with Honda and Toyota, they have to stand behind their product. Come on Hyundai, we know you can make a great motor, this just wasn't one of them. It's time to be accountable and show consumers that you care. That is what builds brand loyalty.

- Keith & Danielle ., Clifton Park, NY, US

problem #36

Dec 132021

Elantra LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,311 miles

Car suddenly started making a loud clicking/ticking noise on the first cold day of winter here in California. After researching the issue looks like a class action lawsuit covered on these cars in cold climates. I've owned many vehicles and never had one that turns out is a lemon engine. I will never buy another Hyundai. For a $8400 value on a car that lasted me 25k miles is pathetic I bought it at 27k miles .

- Jason H., Merced, US

problem #35

Sep 232019

Elantra GS 1.8L Nu

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


The infamous ticking sound in the 2013 Elantra... I want in on the class action suit. I thought Hyundai was a reliable vehicle. Thing is complete junk. I have seen so many complaints about this issue. No way is it the fault of owner to properly maintain vehicle. That is Hyundai's way of getting out of the issue. Its a s**y engine design and they know it!

- sewarddds, Weedsport, NY, US

problem #34

Nov 012021

Elantra 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

Just bought this car for my teenage son. Used ALL of my savings and 3 days later the car starts making a clicking sound. It goes away once the car warms, but as a single mom with limited resources, I was concerned.

I came online and am now seeing how this is a known engine problem and I'm now stuck with a car that I don't feel is safe for my son to drive and I don't have the thousands of dollars it will take to fix it.

I don't understand why Hyundai hasn't done a recall on this with how many folks have complained about it.

I am also kicking myself and in tears because I spend all my savings on a car that I can't sell, use or fix. The mechanic who checked it found nothing wrong. Of course it didn't start clicking until 3 days later and Kentucky doesn't have a lemon law so I can't return it. So frustrated and heartbroken.

- Michele W., Cecilia, US

problem #33

Oct 142020

Elantra Limited 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Despite getting the oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, this car started making the famous piston slap. This has been going on for about 2 years now, I’ve been to every dealership in town to try to fix the issue but nothing has been done. I don’t think I will be purchasing another Hyundai.

- Jan D., Indianapolis, US

problem #32

Jan 302021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,876 miles


Bought this used 2013 Elantra 3 weeks ago & it started making ticking noise. I just spent $430 trying to figure out problem but it’s still ticking and now I'm reading multiple complaints of ticking noise then engine failure & a class action lawsuit for this problem that recently settled within the past few months. Feeling very discouraged & upset & duped.

- Madeline D., Elk Grove, US

problem #31

Feb 272021

Elantra Limited 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

Known issue although filing this complaint as a statement of record experiencing the described noise as reported in numerous online bulletin boards. DP3/2/21

- dpender935dp, Plainville, US

problem #30

Jan 212020

Elantra Limited 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,800 miles

This is my 2nd Hyundai Elantra. I bought a 2007 Elantra BRAND NEW with only 7 miles on it, in 2007. I drove it until January of this year when I was hit by a driver with no insurance. I only had liability insurance since the car had been paid off over 10 years. During the 13 years I owned the car, the only thing I ever had to do, was change the oil, put in gas, and do the regular maintenance (brakes, tires, recommended maintenance). It was the best car I have ever owned. Comfortable (I am 6'6" and 220lbs), durable (I beat the crap out of the car as I got when I just turned 19) and reliable ( It never ONCE not started for me). Well since it was time to get a new car after it was wrecked, I decided to buy another Elantra with the cash in my savings. My last Elantra was so amazing, why would I think twice? I am embarassed to say, that with my knowledge of mechanics, and cars in general, a quick google search would have steered me away from buying this car. But.I come from a Hyundai loyal family, my mom has one, my sister has two, and this is my 2nd. So I saw it at the dealer, and it was 1 owner, all maintenance receipts, 103K, and was flawless, inside and out. People see it and still can't believe that its not a NEW car. The good stops there. I paid $7k total for the vehicle and a few weeks after purchase, I noticed upon cold startup the engine would tick. After it warms up, the ticking goes away and Ive done some reading on how the NU 1.8 ticks, but that the tick can get worse, and lead to catastrophic engine failure. I have had the car now, 4 months and I have had no issues with it. Last weekend I went outside to get in the car to go get some breakfast and my neighbor who lives a few houses down and has a silver 13 Elantra GLS comes driving by, and her car sounds like a TANK. The ticking.. was actually banging. I stopped and asked her if she knew more. Hyundai refused to fix the engine when she brought it in a 108K even thought she is the first owner, and has all maintenance receipts. They told her it would be $6k to fix and the car is worth $1500 on trade in. She's going to drive it till it blows up.

I was such a loyal Hyundai owner but now I am afraid that the engine is going to blow. I dont have much money left in savings as I paid $7k cash for the car. Does anyone know if all the 1.8s tick? And do all of them fall victim to piston slap and engine failure? Im look for an honest, educated, reply, not some doomsday post about how bad its going to be. I will keep updating as time goes on, and also if anything occurs with the engine. I hate this because I felt so safe in my last Elantra. I could drive anywhere, and never worried about it breaking down. Even cross country (from Idaho to North Carolina). If the engine goes in this car before 150K miles. I WILL NEVER BUY A HYUNDAI AGAIN. If it lasts longer than that, ill consider it a fluke and remain loyal. My sisters 2014 Sonata Limited got a free Theta II engine replacement, and her 2014 Veloster Turbo has never given her any trouble. My Mom's 2019 Genesis has been excellent as was her 2012 Eqqus was before it.

Keeping my fingers crossed and awaiting some educated replies! Thank you all.

- Clint C., Boise, Idaho, US

problem #29

Jun 242015

Elantra Coupe 4.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 62,137 miles

The ticking problem started about 100,000km. It got progessively worse. Took it into the Hyundai dealer along with oil change records. Was granted a "deal" of half of a new bottom end of the engine from Hyundai. Of course the head mechanic said I needed a new one. This was over a year ago. I now have 325 000km on the car and its still going. Recently my brother(a backyard mechanic) was trying to see why my rad fan wasn't working and shorted something out???? No more tick. Hmmm?

- tam25, Duck Lake, SK, Canada

problem #28

Feb 112019

Elantra Limited 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


2/11/19 brought to dealer after noted ticking noise from engine. Had already looked up ticking noise and is related to piston slap. Hyundai agreed to pay half of price of short block, my price was $4000 out of pocket. Since new short block placed has had nothing but other issues with rough idling when stopped or in park. Car has been in and out of dealer since with issues with less than 1k miles on since new short block. Dealer claimed they fixed it stating that the coil wiring wasn't correct but continued to have same issues with. Car has now been at dealer for 5 weeks (that's ok, I have their loaner car-2019 Sonata) with only 1 phone call to me stating that they can not get car to duplicate the rough idling. Rough idling happens only once engine is warmed up (about 2-3miles of driving). Car has 108,000 miles on

- Melanie N., Norwood, MN, US

problem #27

Apr 042019

Elantra Limited 1.8L 4-cyl E Dohc(Mfi)

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,100 miles

My wife was driving a car she was at a stop light, all of a sudden car made a ticking noise and steering wheel and brake locked up and engine shuts off. After that turned it back on and car developed a ticking noise, so I set up an appointment for oil change. I left my car at dealership for inspection. After 2 days they said; your car is done, oil changed and they said there is no ticking noise. Your car is running fine. At this point dealership seemed to have heard nothing about it and blew me off. Very frustrating, my car still having that problem. Help me!! My car has 67,100 odometer, also I still have 10 yr/100,000 mi Power Train Warranty.

- DEV P., Hanover Park, IL, US

problem #26

Nov 012018

Elantra SE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Just wanted to raise the red flag that these engines are not reliable, the noise is an annoyance, but the larger problem is that is a sign that the engine is wearing out prematurely. Who knows what it might cost to have this issue corrected. $1500 to $2500 is my guess.

- Jay M., Red Oak, TX, US

problem #25

Jan 012019

Elantra GLS 4 cylinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I like everyone else, I have the same ticking noise coming from the engine. What I would like to know if anyone knows is there anything being done about it? When I called my local dealership they seemed to have heard nothing about it and blew me off. Very frustrating to say the least I can't afford a new car or pricey repairs like this at this time.

- Cindy B., Meeker, US

problem #24

Jan 312019

Elantra Limited 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,373 miles

Ticking noise from engine. 2013 One time owner, mileage 99,373. Ticking when driving and idling. Has a powertrain warranty, anti-perforation warranty, and dealer warranties. Taking to Montgomery, AL dealership where purchased in 2013 to be assessed.

- Donna M., Clanton, AL, US

problem #23

Jan 302019

Elantra Limited 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,100 miles

During the polar vortex, my car started to make a ticking when idling and also when accelerating. After reading horrific stories online about this problem, I decided to take it to the Hyundai dealership to diagnose the issue. My fear was confirmed yesterday. I need a new engine. I'm waiting to see if it is covered by warranty. I bought my 2013 Elantra in November 2015 from a dealership. It was approximately 82,000 miles on it. Regardless of if this issue is covered under warranty, I will never recommend Hyundai to anyone. I've experienced another issue where the clear coating is chipping off my front bumper all over the place, which according to the internet, is another common problem with Elantas. I'm not impressed.

- Emily H., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #22

Jan 252019

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

My 2013 started making a ticking noise coming from the engine. My car is at a Hyundai dealership in Ohio and they told me the engine needs replaced and Hyundai will not cover it because it has 103,000 miles. I have all records of maintenance and regular oil changes. I have 2 and a half years left on my car payment and no car. At the dealership there were 3 other Elantras in the service department with the same issue and engines on back order. How can Hyundai get away with selling these vehicles knowing of the costly expenses and danger this presents. I have contacted the Ohio attorney general's office...I hope for a resolution.

- Sunny M., Springfield, US

problem #21

Dec 092016

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,565 miles

In late November of 2016, I was driving my wife to an appointment and noticed that the car began to seem a bit sluggish and hesitate, but nothing other than that. A few hours later as we came back home and I was pulling up in front of our house, the car began to shake violently, the engine light came on and the vehicle shut off. I was able to restart it after this but the car ran rough and shaked.

I took to the local Hyundai dealership in Vacaville and they said the vehicle needed a software update for cylinder 4. Drove home from the dealer and things seemed to be okay other than I noticed a ticking sound. I drove into work and noticed that my fuel consumption was a bit lower than before and there was a ticking sound. Later in the evening when I was driving home, taking a hill I noticed that the ticking was loud as if someone was holding a card against the wheel of a bicycle striking the spokes, but really loud. I took it back to the dealer the next day and they said this time it was the fuel injectors making the noise.

I drove home, went to work, and again the ticking of course was there. The next day I went back and they had someone more experienced look at the car and the service manager later told me that the engine needed to be replaced and that they, Hyundai was having a lot of problems with the engines in the Elantras.

Unfortunately, I was not covered under warranty and was upset that the engine would go bad after I keep it up with regular oil changes. I did buy it used at 53,000 miles, but they also kept up the maintenance. The cost for me for a re-manufactured long block engine was $2826.80 plus labor costing me a total of $6073.50. As of this time, November 10, 2018 the car seems to be okay, but I concerned that this engine may later fail as I have to warm it up before driving on cold days so that it runs quieter.

I do regular oil changes at 3,000 miles instead of the recommended as a way to convince myself that this will prevent another failure. I expected the original engine to last over 200,000 miles on it, so hopefully this remanufactured long block will. I was told by the parts manager that Hyundai was having a lot of engine issues because of the manufacturing process, especially in the Sonatas. I have read that many more people are having the same issue that I have and wonder why Hyundai has not issued a recall or extended owners the opportunity to get a new engine replacement in the U.S..

- Hector J., Vacaville, US

problem #20

Aug 012018

Elantra GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is a joke. Hyundai is aware of the problem that stemmed from manufacturing. The dealership said they see it all the time. In Canada they replace the engine. Why not in the US? I have a receipt from every oil change that shows good maintenance. A car engine made in 2013 should be able to get more than 110k miles when it was perfectly maintained. They should be embarrassed.

- Sean T., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #19

Dec 222017

Elantra GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

First noticed ticking in Dec. of 2017.Took into a mechanic and he originally thought it was the lifters. I then took to a Hyundai dealership. They told me I needed a new engine. I didn't believe them. The ticking kept getting louder. After multiple trips to garages for a diagnosis,I went to another Hyundai dealership. They were able to take pics and showed me the damage that was happening . I tried calling Hyundai.and basically told me sorry about your luck. I hadn't even had the car 3 years and the engine was ticking like a time bomb. Everyone told me to trade off,but when its not paid for I'd lose a lot of money. Ordered an engine first week of May,and was just installed in the 3rd week of Aug. The car was certified pre-owned. I always keep up on oil changes and maintenance. I resented that it was implied by Hyundai I didn't take care of my car. Drove a Mustang for over 10 yrs,and never had issues with the engine. I WILL NEVER DRIVE A HYUNDAI again. I've lost my ass on this one.

- Rhonda M., Upp, US

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