Notes: The 2011 Sonata has a seriously defective engine that seizes without warning. It was awarded the dubious honor of being the first CarTalk / CarComplaints Turd of the Week in late September 2015.

A class action lawsuit was filed in May 2015 against Hyundai that claims the 2.4L Sonata engine is defective. More info here.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,000 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. install new compressor (6 reports)
  3. have to stop car and restart engine (2 reports)
  4. refrigerant leak (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments

problem #18

May 012020

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles


After a long road trip driving from California to South Carolina, the air conditioner would blow how air towards the end of my trip. I would turn off the air conditioner completely, wait ten minutes, and turn it back on and it would blow cold, then get hot once again.

- Crystal A., Gulfport, MS, US

problem #17

Jul 122018

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

It's bullshit with such low miles shouldn't be having any problems. The next time I drove the car it was working just fine. Not sure what's going on.

- Tabitha M., Commerce, GA, US

problem #16

Aug 152015

Sonata SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

my a/c takes forever to get cold or when I stop at a red light it starts to get hot quick. mechanic said I need to evacuate and recharge it which will cost over 200 $

- Candace R., Stuart, US

problem #15

Jul 182017

Sonata Turbo 2.0L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles


Engine died in early June, 2017, nothing worked, would not respond, coasted off road, VERY DANGEROUS!! engine replaced, car given back to us July 18th. While in the parking lot, service manage noticed A/C issue and made us wait 2 hours before quoting us $1500 to replace A/C compressor. He also had trouble starting the vehicle as did the technician that was diagnosing our car. Since that day, a week ago today, we lost ALL but one headlight, driver side high beam, our car still has the starting issue, air bag light stays on, and the turbo hisses a lot louder than it ever did. Manager said to bring it in tomorrow and leave it, did not offer a rental. A/C does work, but goes off, comes on, and blows hot randomly.

- George C., Westover, US

problem #14

Jun 032017

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

AC started to blow warm then back to cold for about two weeks until it completely failed. Also the AC and re-circulation lights stay illuminated and won't turn off.

- Adrian D., Carthage, MS, US

problem #13

Apr 282017

Sonata Limites 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

This car is 6 yrs old and I've owned it for 4yrs in September. The AC should not go out on a 6yr old car. I had to get a new compressor, expansion valve and dryer. Thank goodness a family owned dealership gives my job teacher discounts or I would have paid more than the $1000 I did. This is the 3rd costly issue I've had with this car in 9 months

- Chandra R., Richmond, VA, US

problem #12

Sep 222016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles


This was my second attempt at fixing the AC issue. I completely have NO AC in my car. I went to my normal car mechanic and he replaces my AC compressor along with some other items, all dealing with AC issues. However, we chose to replace the AC compressor with an aftermarket compressor. The AC only worked for three days. So this time around we took it to get a diagnostics at the dealership. I took it back to the dealership only to find out that my car had several recalls and that the aftermarket AC compressor was bad according to Hyundai dealership. I was also told that my car had no freon which was why the AC was not blowing out cold air. I also had to get my car recoded which was more money out my pocket. But even after replacing the freon it continues not blowing cold air. I never got my AC fixed, due to Hyundai having my car for several months addressing the recalls concerns. But I will make another attempt this summer on getting my AC fixed, I will go with the dealership which will cost me more money. I believe Hyundai might have another known issue with AC. I really hope someone is looking into this as this has cost my a lot of money. I was quoted at Hyundai $1400 to get my entire AC replace and fixed.

- Geniva T., North Richland Hills, TX, US

problem #11

Jun 012016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

only blows cool when car is in motion

AC started to blow HOT air when the car was idle. As in traffic, a parking lot, a StarBucks drive through while wearing a white silk blouse with spray tan on my skin during hot day in JUNE. Beautiful recipe.

Took it into shop: No idea why it's blowing hot... we put some dye in it for you to drive around for a week then bring it back to us so we can see the leak.Me: Are you kidding me?? No. I am a realtor. I do not have time to drive around and sweating for a week so we can check dye results in 7 days. Please fix it. Y'all drive it around. I don't even know what happened with this because on my way to the shop my car DIED on me MID DRIVE. I ended up getting a new engine 101 days later and driving a rental during that time.

- arttexas, Frisco, TX, US

problem #10

Jun 132015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A/C just stopped cooling. Had freon added and it still did not cool.. I had the dryer, expansion valve and the accumulator (I think) changed and no change. System was vacuumed down...nothing. No leaks detected.

- Adreian R., NEW ORLEANS, LA, US

problem #9

Dec 012015

Sonata Limited Turbo 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

it stopped working right after they replaced the starter and wont cover it

- Amy M., Carrollton, VA, US

problem #8

Mar 232012

Sonata 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,111 miles


The AC was looked at while under warranty and the problem usually resolved itself. It was advised it was it working and no problems; however, it still happens about once ever couple of months.

- Ki A., Columbus, US

problem #7

Jun 042015

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Driving in the heat of summer was really awful, especially on my way to work. I work in a professional position and it is sad that I had to purchase a fan to plug into my cigarette lighter to keep myself cool. I was told that the compressor has to be replaced and I feel that it shouldn't be shot already. I was quoted an outrageous price to have this done and opt not too and hopefully there will be a recall for it soon. I had written to the Hyundai Headquarters and to this date have not received a reply to my problem. I can only pray that a recall comes up for this before next summer when I will be using my fan once again.

- Glenda L., Chesapeake, VA, US

problem #6

Jul 112015

Sonata SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

In 2012 I purchased a 2011 Hyundai Sonota. I was so happy with my new car. All my friends thought the car was beautiful. Now , ask me would I purchase another Hyundai, and I would tell you HELL NO!! Not only will I not purchase another Hyundai I would strongly advise anyone else against it. Beware used car buyers. Because I was the second owner I wasn't covered under the 100,000 mile warranty, but the car only had 20,000 miles when I purchased it. My car has been in shop several times since I've had it and now it's in the shop once again. The air compressor has gone out. I should have seen this coming and dumped while I could. Of course it's no longer under warranty. If it had happened last month I would have been ok, but instead I'm out of $1100. Maybe I wouldn't be so bitter if this had happened last month. Oh well, I'm buying American next time.

- lharris1309, Merrillville, IN, US

problem #5

Jun 012013

Sonata GLS 2.4L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

A/C sometimes works, then the cool air shuts off. Car sometimes takes over 30 minutes to begin to create cool air.

- Will S., West Palm Beach, FL, US

problem #4

May 202015

Sonata 4-cyl,2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,393 miles

This problem started around may not even six months after we purchased the vehicle. The people from Johns Great Cars and Hyundai Consumer Affairs are refusing to take responsibility for the AC not working. Today I spent about two hours on the phone with that so called Hyundai Consumer Affairs. The first person I spoke with did not even know that she worked at Consumer Affairs.. the second person lied to me about two different places the car was worked on before I bought it. He said those places were not Hyundai related and I called those two places and they were Hyundai related. They do work on Hyundai vehicles.

Then I asked to speak with someone else who I thought might have known a little more about his job, but I was wrong this guy will not shut up. He just kept talking and talking I had to tell him I don't want to talk with him anymore because everything I told him he just kept asking the exact same questions over and over. Then I got to speak with someone else has been one idiot after another unbelievable...

Hyundai is refusing to fix the AC and I told them it is there responsibility because we never used it and the last work that was done to the AC was at a Hyundai dealership ....this is not all I found out . There are things in the engine that are put in wrong when the Hyundai dealership did work on the engine in July 2014.

I am still working on them fixing my sons car and I am not giving up ....I am so sick and tired of those people who think its OK to constantly keep ripping others off.... I am not taking this lightly at all I have had enough of all this crap...I feel sorry for those people just like me with there complaints I read tonight ... I know if we all work together we can make a difference....

- Patricia C., Birdsboro, PA, US

problem #3

Jun 272014

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I live in Texas but it would get very hot out and then it would take forever to cool down. I asked my friend who owns a Sonata if having same problem, she said no. I took it in the dealer and they said something was wrong and they had to replace something on the compressor for the AC.

- cassyrp, Benbrook, TX, US

problem #2

Jun 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

Have a great service department at dealership where car was purchased but unfortunately it doesn't happen consistently and they are "unable to reproduce the problem"....well it gets hot here in TN and when you have to stop the car and turn it off (sometimes more than once) to get the ac to kick is a big deal.

The car is 3 years old and this happens about 3-4 times a summer. Also the a/c has a mildewed smell occasionally....and my friend has the same problem with hers.

- Sonja C., Ripley, TN, US

problem #1

Sep 292011

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,100 miles

This A/C has been a problem since June. Would crank the car and the AC would not work. Took 3 times, before I figured out the car had to be turned off and it would usually come back on then. They replaced the head unit first. Then the noise got really bad. The dealer rep kept telling me it was just the new compressor design.

3 days in the shop

Turned out to be a defective compressor. 5 days in the shop.

The original problem still occurs. All I have been told is Hyundai is aware of this problem and is working on it.

- Joe B., Lawrenceville, GA, US

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