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2013 Hyundai Elantra engine problems: ticking in engine

Ticking In Engine

2013 Hyundai Elantra

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Hyundai dealer. Seal Of This Might Hurt 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:
54,450 miles
Total Complaints:
19 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (11 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
  3. small block replacement (1 reports)
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2013 Hyundai Elantra engine problems

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Owner Comments

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

problem #18

Feb 012017

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A couple years ago I finally purchased my very first car. It was used but new to me. A 2013 Hyundai Elantra! Car was in excellent condition until one day, out of the blue, it started making this ticking noise. The noise would increase and go along when the vehicle accelerated and also just in idle. As I have been looking online I see that it seems to be a common problem and I am very upset about it because I have no warranty left. I just have no idea what to do???? I probably have 4 more years left to pay on the vehicle and don't know if I should just deal with it or trade it in. It is so loud and embarrassing to drive. Something is clearly wrong with the vehicle!!!!

- brian84, Denmark, US

problem #17

Jan 202018

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,264 miles

My Elantra's engine began making ticking noises around the end of January. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who used to be a mechanic at Hyundai and he immediately knew what the problem was and advised me that there is a MAJOR problem with the engines from 2013 Hyundai Elantra's. I brought my car to the dealership and they advised they needed to open the engine to ensure there was no "sludge" that would cause the engine to fail. The dealership confirmed that there was no sludge in the engine and that they would need to send photos to headquarters to see if they will cover it under what they call the "goodwill" policy. I have been granted a new engine under the policy BUT, at this point in time, it has been three months with an engine that is continuously degrading. The answer I receive when I call for an update is "we will call you when the engine comes in". This is my first vehicle, it was properly maintained and in very good condition when I purchased it, needless to say it has not been a good experience and I doubt I will buy a Hyundai the next time I purchase a vehicle.

- Melodie F., Kitchener, ON, Canada

problem #16

Mar 282018

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


Went to the dealer and they said that all I needed to do was to replace the oil filter with an OEM. They did that and the ticking sound was just as bad. They immediately said that the engine needed to be replaced. If this was an isolated incident, it would have taken them longer to make the determination. I have a vehicle from the dealer to drive for about a month while they try to get a backordered engine in and installed.

- Steven E., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #15

Apr 072018

Elantra Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Purchased this used 2013 Hyundai Elantra (Limited) a little over a year and a half ago. It appeared to be in great shape and had excellent maintenance history. About a month ago, however, I began hearing a pretty noisy "ticking" sound on cold starts and when accelerating. I live in a state that has pretty cold winters so I figured it was just the temperature ultimately causing it. However it kept getting more and more noisy, so I took into my local Hyundai Dealership. They ran a full diagnostic and confirmed that it was my rods knocking and that I am driving on borrowed time. The engine only has 78,000 miles, which would normally be covered under the 10 Year/100,000 power train warranty but I am a secondary owner and am outside of the window of coverage. A lot of Hyundai and Kia vehicles are having issues due to using this shoddy Theta II engine, and while the Hyundai Sonata has an open recall to replace the engine, Elantra owners are currently SOL if the warranty is expired.

- Jake H., Ogden, US

problem #14

Feb 012018

Elantra GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,409 miles

To Hyundai's credit, they are going to fix it under the warranty.

But now I can't trust this car. I will trade it in for a Toyota or Honda once the Elantra is repaired.

Loved the car otherwise.

- Michel G., Gardiner Mines, NS, Canada

problem #13

Jan 272018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles


A bannging noise coming from the engine. Not consistent all the time. Took to garage to be informed that it is a major engine problem and should be taken to the Hyundai dealership for repairs. Might need a whole new engine and a very costly bill. We have only had this car since October! This mechanic has had 3 Hyundai's with the same engine with the same problem in the last month! Taking to dealer tomorrow. Hopefully this will be covered under warranty but it is just 5 years old and just over 100.000km. A requirement for the warranty to be valid is under 100,000 and/or 5 years.

- neet21, Hamilton, ON, Canada

problem #12

Jan 082018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,100 miles

My car started with this loud, annoying ticking sound in the engine that got progressively worse. I took it to a dealer a little over a month ago. There were a few other recalls that needed to be addressed as well as this "ticking" noise. They had my car the entire afternoon, called me that it was ready and when I went to pick it up. The service person I was working with gave me the bad news that I needed a new engine and that they prefer I don't drive my car. After about 45 minutes of going back and forth about needing a car to get around in, him telling me he didn't have anything then finally finding one for me, off I went.

This was around the 15th of January. It's one month today and each week I have been told that parts are on back order and I have to continuously call them for an update. It seems to me that there is a MAJOR issue with the 2013 Elantra's............I am really frustrated at this point. Hoping to have it back next week........we will see.

- Lisa G., Fayette City, PA, US

problem #11

Jan 222018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I bought this car new from the dealership, its a 2013 and it had a few issues in the beginning. It stalled twice but they couldn't figure out what was causing it. After a year the battery failed twice so I had to replace that. Then a month ago my headlight went out but before I replaced the bulb it started working again. Well, a week later the other bulb goes out, then a few days later started working again. Then the next day they both go out. During all this the engine started ticking, and the more I accelerated the faster the ticking got.

I took into the service center and they found metal in my oil and said I needed a new engine. It took 3 days to get warranty to approve the claim. It had 86k miles on it and Hyundai has the 100,000 power train warranty so I'm fortunate that it was covered. But I would veer away from any 2013 Elantra or Elantra GT, just too many issues.

- Nikki C., Duncan, sc, US

problem #10

Dec 052017

Elantra GL 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,512 miles

Heard a ticking noise from engine, came from nowhere, and increases when applying throttle and is also in proportion to acceleration. Noise comes from passenger side of engine, and is not really prominent when idling, but is quite loud enough to over power radio at normal volume. took into Hyundai dealer, and was told it needed a new engine, fully covered under warranty. was told new engine will take a few weeks and i will be given a courtesy car for the few days to swap it out. will update when that happens....

- Will B., Whitby, ON, Canada

problem #9

Oct 012016

Elantra GT 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles


The 'ticking' or 'clicking' sound started last fall (2016) It's worse when the engine hasn't warmed up. For sure each time I turn the car on.

When I'm driving on the highway I don't hear the noise from the cabin at highway speeds 55mph etc.. I've had the oil changed two or three times since it's been happening; and new oil doesn't seem to alleviate the problem. It was synthetic oil brands too.

* side note* It is a refurbished engine which was done in spring 2015 because the dealership (Lithia Hyundai of Anchorage) botched an oil change... Even so, the engine didn't have any issues until last fall/early winter.

- rd89ak, Kenai, US

problem #8

Feb 202017

Elantra L 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 28,000 miles

This is a generally ''happy complaint''!

The engine started making ticking noises in mid February 2017. Usually the noise would get somewhat quieter after the engine had warmed up (February can be cold in Montreal). Left for vacation in mid March and the car stayed still until my return in late April. Took it in to the Hyundai dealer where I bought it 4 days later for the 48,000 km (30,000 mi) inspection and identified this problem to them. Within 20 minutes they told me that the engine would have to be changed but that it would take about 1 month (late May) to receive all the parts they needed but that I could continue to drive normally in the meantime. The date was delayed until June 20th and it was all done yesterday, under warranty, at no charge to me. I've been driving Hyundai's since 2001 and generally quite satisfied. The quality/price ratio is very good other than unduly high maintenance costs for the brakes on this model.

- luna5589, Montreal, QC, Canada

problem #7

Jan 022017

Elantra GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,085 miles

Dropped off my car on 1/2/17, after verifying that the lifter went in the engine Hyundai agreed to replace the engine under warranty. Great right? Yes! Oh except that the engine parts were on back order. Repair was not finished until 2/10/17.

- Tiffany F., Cranston, RI, USA

problem #6

Jan 142017

Elantra ES 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Car idles really rough. Stalls when stopped or in reverse. Lately the car engine is ticking while driving, and has a hard time accelerating from zero.

- westerakii, Greer, SC, USA

problem #5

Jan 182016

Elantra GS/SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Loud knocking noise coming from engine, first noticed on morning of jan 18, cold morning in Maryland. Have not heard this sound before. Called dealership & spoke with service. They said this is a normal noise for a Hyundai on a cold morning. Taking to another local dealership to listen & have a look. I have never heard a noise come from this car like this before. It's my daughter's car & she has owned since November 17, 2015. It is now January 2016. We purchased as a certified used vehicle. She has barely put 3000 miles on the car. I do not agree that this is a normal noise. I have never heard a car make this type of noise unless the engine was about to die. My daughter is taking to dealership today to have a look, so I'll have to follow up with the findings.

- Lisa S., Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #4

Dec 072015

Elantra 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,120 miles

I purchased my car used from Medlin Hyundai in Rocky Mount, NC exactly one year ago. The car suddenly started vibrating, engine light came on and shut off. I called the dealership and they said it would cost $90 to diagnose it. I took the car in at approximately 10:30 a.m. and called back at 4:15 p.m to see if they had gotten to it. The service manager said no but they would try before 5:00 pm. By 4:25-4:30 he called right back and said that there is metal in the motor and it would cost $3500 to fix. My extended 1 year warranty just expired but regardless no car should need a motor after you've driven it for 1 year/20,000 miles. I tried to trade out of it and they said it would be over $5000 to do that. The service manager asked where I had been getting service from. What does it matter where I get my oil changed as long as it's getting changed? And what does that have to do with metal in the motor? Medlin Hyundai in Rocky Mount, NC sold me a lemon. After seeing how upset I was, the service manager had the nerve to say, "Well we didn't break your car" Well I didn't either!

- Tara P., Rocky Mount, NC, US

problem #3

Mar 092015

Elantra GT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,500 miles

Experience ticking in engine after winter and took car in to dealership for oil change and to evaluate this tick int he engine. Within two hours after drop-off dealership called and told me they had talked with Hyundai and I was cleared to get a new engine. I thought they were kidding but they were dead serious told me I could drive the car until they located a replacement engine.

When I talked with the dealership I got the distinct impression that this was not the 1st time this had happened. However, I never did see any recalls from Hyundai. After a week, I decided I did not want to deal with the problem and decided to trade it in. Both the dealership and Hyundai were fair and this is my 2nd Hyundai. I traded it in for a 2014 Elantra GT and it is a different engine model. I hope this was an isolated issue.

- ashmann1, Erie, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 022015

Elantra GT 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

When the car is started with cold engine there is very noticeable valve tapping. The tapping completely quiets down after about twenty minutes of driving. I have oil changed always at the dealer. During recent state inspection I mentioned this to the service manager but that time the engine was hot and noise could not be heard.

- amgis, Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #1

Mar 142014

Elantra GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,750 miles

The ticking in the engine sounds like a valve tap when I start the car. The tap is louder in the am first start of the day. The sound is lower when the car is hot

- John G., Deptford, NJ, USA

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