hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,589 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.

2008 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Hyundai Sonata:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Dec 152016


  • 179,000 miles


The engine started knocking loudly, slowing down and idling rough. I pulled over and the car would not remain running in idle. I had the vehicle towed and inspected at the house and the valves are bad. It happened without any warning, lights or gauges coming on or prior noise. I was driving around 45-50 to work when this happened out of the blue. 179,000 miles on the car and regular oil changes since I had the vehicle. I purchase the vehicle with 60,000 miles.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #28

Sep 292016


  • 118,000 miles
Engine control module(ECM) failed without warning while the vehicle was stationary, requiring extensive repairs. May have also caused battery, alternator, brake switch, condenser fan, and other electrical components to fail.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #27

Jul 162016


  • 131,189 miles
On July 19, 2016 at or about 1500 hours, I was driving to the store to get some food, on the way out my apartment complex, I believe my Hyundai Sonata 2008 allowed me to go about two blocks down from where I live to shut off in the street right before I approached the stop sign. I also remember hearing two weeks prior to my vehicle shut off, while driving I heard this knocking sound in my engine, I thought it was the new starter that was replaced but then a day or two later it stop making that knocking noise. I called around to find answers no one had a clue to what was going on with this vehicle. Everything was working just fine until July 16, 2016. I had this vehicle since April 17, 2009 and I can't not believe this vehicle has a major issue like this at point and time. I could deal with regular maintenance services but on this flip sided coin; not having a vehicle to crank or one that just shuts off with out any engine lights or warning is a complete mystery for me, but I think it is time Hyundai give me some answers to this problem... lets also be clear there was oil and gas in the vehicle at this time of vehicle in motion shut off.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #26

May 262016


  • 72,300 miles


Upon starting the car, I heard a high-pitched whine from the engine that increased in volume and intensity as I accelerated (in town), and then I observed two puffs of smoke or steam arise from under the front of the hood. I immediately stopped at a nearby mechanic, who observed that the front cylinder bank valve cover was leaking oil. The whine, which gradually went away, may have been oil getting onto the alternator belt. Fortunately, we seem to have caught this in time, as the alternator did not appear to be damaged, but it easily could have been, as the edge of the valve cover hangs directly over the alternator in the 3.3L V6 engine. The leak may have been more of a "sweat" for an undetermined amount of time; only the whine alerted me to anything being wrong, and may have been a sign the leak was getting worse over time. The mechanic replaced the valve cover gasket. What is frustrating is that Hyundai has issued a recall for this same problem, on the very same engine I believe, for their vera cruz models, but not their Sonatas for the same years. They should recall the Sonatas with this engine as well, as the alternator can be destroyed if this isn't caught and fixed.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #25

Apr 252016


  • 108,000 miles
While driving the seat belt light came on. About a minute later the radio shut off. Next most of the dash lights came on, the engine would not make power/accelerate, and the braking seemed weak/jerky. Pulled into a parking lot as soon as I could. Now all dash lights were on/blinking and the radio, sunroof, windows etc would not work. Thinking it was an electrical issue I left it running to investigate. Next thing I know the car is overheating even though the gauge isn't showing it. Steam everywhere and the overflow popped the cap off. Shut the car off. Once the car cooled I was able to see what happened. Oil has been dripping on to the alternator from a leak in the valve cover gasket. This killed the alternator which in turn caused the control/braking/acceleration issues one it was on battery only. I'm assuming the fan was not cooling either which resulted in the overheating.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #24

Apr 012011


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Sonata. While driving at various speeds, the engine stalled without warning. The contact stated that the door became inoperable and failed to open using the key. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the cause of the failure was not determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 40,000. The VIN was not available.

- Eustis, FL, USA

problem #23

Sep 012015


  • 145,000 miles


Engine oil evaporated. No leaks or drips. Now motor making a loud banging noise when started. Had it checked by a mechanic he said the engine is shot, needs to be replaced. The bearing is bad on the bottom of the motor and the crank shaft is damaged. Looking on the internet this seems to be a very common problem. Also this is a 4 cylinder motor which in theory should be a less expensive replacement that a 6 cylinder and is not. This is because of supply and demand. These engines blow up is what I was told. It is very common and should be recalled. I see that there is a recall on the 2011 for the same problem. These engines should not blow up.

- Tappan, NY, USA

problem #22

Sep 072015


  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Hyundai Sonata. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle seized. The vehicle was not able to restart and was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 108,000.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #21

Jan 012015


  • miles
I read your recall today re: The same make/model of car that I own. My hyndai Sonata is a 2008. I am experiencing exactly the same issues listed in the recall since the beginning of 2015. I have spent more money than I have trying to fix this car (which I am financing currently). The engine light has been on, there is a knocking noise coming from the engine and the car will not "get up and go" and feels as if it may stall out upon taking off forward after coming to a stop. Loud knocking noise coming from under the hood when you step on the gas. They only way to get rid of the noise is to let off of the gas.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #20

May 052015


  • 37,000 miles
While driving the check engine light and ESC light go on simultaneously. When this occurs, the car goes into reduced power mode ("limp mode") and you are not able to drive above 15 or 20 mph. This is a very dangerous situation, especially when driving on the highway. This is a known issue with Hyundai in which they issued tsb #'s 09-fl-003-2 and 10-fl-010. The tsb's address a faulty throttle position sensor which is to be replaced with a new one with different settings than the original. One the part is changed, an update to the electronic control module is required. There are numerous accounts of this incident happening. How can a flaw of this magnitude not warrant a recall?

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #19

Nov 162014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


While driving 65 mph on interstate, a began to hear a knocking sound that became louder and louder. I had two mechanics look at my car and both said that the car was about to throw a rod. On December 13, 2014 the car stop running altogether. I had no warnings prior to this happening, and I had regular oil changes. In fact I had the oil changed just two weeks prior to this incident. I am having ricart Hyundai in columbus, Ohio (where I purchased the vehicle brand new) look at my car on April 2, 2015. I am interested in what they are going to say or do about this since it is no longer under warranty. I just want them to tell me exactly what happened to this engine and what if anything they (manufacturer) can do about repair. This is my second Sonata (I still have the other car with over 150,000+ miles) and never had any problems like this before. It may be my last Hyundai, if I am not satisfied with results.

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #18

Jan 202015


  • 117,000 miles
The contact 2008 Hyundai Sonata SE. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, an abnormal noise emitted from the engine as the vehicle lost power and stalled. The contact mentioned that the oil light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 117,000. The VIN was not available.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #17

Dec 162014


  • 139,881 miles
When vehicle is started from a cold start, there is a noticeable rattle coming from engine that lasts about 3-7 seconds. Also while accelerating, the rattle is persistent with throttle input. I was told that the problem is the timing chain tensioner and that the Hyundai Sonatas have defective timing chain tensioners. I went to the Hyundai dealership and they quoted me $1,100 to fix the problem and made me aware that there was a tsb but not a recall on the part even though there is a revised tensioner. This is a ongoing issue and a hazard because the chain could have to much slack and cause the the timing to be off and future damage for the engine.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #16

Dec 062014


  • 113,000 miles
I was driving on the highway when my car threw a crank rod. In doing some research I see that this has happened on numerous vehicles having faulty bolts on the crank rod cap. There has been no recall but is an ongoing issue with many owners.

- White Oak, PA, USA

problem #15

Oct 172014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
I heard a ticking while traveling to MA on 684 North of ct when the noise got louder. I stopped and had to tow the car home. When I when on in the Hyundai Sonata forum there were a lot of folks talking about the problem. They mentioned talking to the dealers but no one heard of a recall on the engine. So I just like them had to fix the engine by the way which is the most expensive 4 cylinder engine out there. I also called the manufacture about it and they told me that there's no recall yet and I have to fix it myself. Well I went to got the bearing and craft and a oil pump. This is when I learned that they have redesigned a oil pump that car 06 07 08 09 models. I asked the guy why would they do that, cause it means you have to buy a new oil pan and bolts, he said there is a defect in the original oil pump. So I said it's costly for us so why they don't do a recall? he said no one is complaining and it's very costly for the company. So I ask can someone look into it. Really why would they redesign a oil pump for a car as old as just five yrs old.

- Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #14

Aug 152014

Sonata 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Engine died while driving. The cause was alternator failure due to oil leak from front valve cover. This is a 2008 Hyundai Sonata 2008 with 3.3 liters V6.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #13

Sep 102014


  • 149,000 miles
Engine failure -lower rod bent no cause by operator car well maintained.

- Cloud, FL, USA

problem #12

Aug 062014

Sonata 4-cyl

  • 143,056 miles
Driving while using cruise control at approximately 65 mph the check engine, air bag, and E.S.C light illuminated. Also, a simultaneous internal engine explosion resulted in an instant fire as well as a rod thrown from the vehicle damaging block and setting the car on fire from a resulting massive oil leak. There was no prior damage leading up to the incident nor any indication to my knowledge that there were any concerns with my car till it was too late unfortunately.

- Elk Grove , CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 252014


  • 105,136 miles
I recently reviewed Hyundai recall campaign 121 (NHTSA campaign #14V415000), which describes that 2007-2012 veracruz models may have an oil leak at the front valve cover gasket. The recall states that "if a sufficient amount of oil drips onto the alternator, the alternator can be damaged resulting in the charging system becoming inoperative." It goes on to state a risk of vehicle running on battery power, until battery voltage drops, and then potential for engine shut off, which increases the risk of a crash. In July, I took my 2008 Sonata to the local Hyundai dealership for service. The service department noted on my invoice that "left and front valve cover gaskets are leaking", and that "the front is leaking on the alternator." This appears to be the same mechanical issue noted in recall campaign 121, it is just happening on a different Hyundai model. In my opinion, the risk of damage to the alternator on my Sonata (via the confirmed oil leak onto it) is the same as what is described in Hyundai recall campaign 121. I believe the valve cover gasket leak issue with my Sonata should be addressed by Hyundai in the same manner as how recall campaign 121 is addressing the valve cover gasket leak on the veracruz models.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #10

Apr 162014


  • 41,620 miles
Cars valve cover and or timing cover leaks on the alternator causing the alternator to be "soaked with oil "(dealers words). At any time thereafter the alternator could fail causing the engine to stall and causing injury. Hyundai refuses to replace the alternator but is replacing the alternator in the 07-12 Hyundai veracruz under recall with the same engine design and the same alternator placement. I have 2 cars an 08 and an 07 Sonata that both had the same problem. Why does Hyundai want to recall the veracruz and not the Hyundai with the same problem? the car has been in 3 times for inspection and a call to Hyundai on 04-13-2014. Hyundai refuses to replace the alternator.

- Bellbrook, OH, USA

Read the next 9 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?