2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems: engine seized

Engine Seized

2011 Hyundai Sonata (Page 2 of 8)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Hyundai dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,650 miles
Total Complaints:
153 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. engine replacement (119 reports)
  2. not sure (25 reports)
  3. sold vehicle (4 reports)
  4. junked the car (2 reports)
  5. replace lower half of engine (2 reports)
  6. engine replaced (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #133

Aug 022016

Sonata Limites 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


I received a mailer stating there was a recall on the engine of my car. I took it in for the check up and Hyundai told me it was fine. Three months later my engine stalled and started making noises that sounded like metal hitting metal. I was going 75mph and almost didn't make it off the road to safety. The engine repair was determined to be associated with the recall so it was fixed for free, however it took them 2 months to fix it. Now I have another issue that could have been addressed when they had my car for 2 months but because they did not Hyundai is now trying to charge me for a repair that they could have done for free when they had my car.

- Chandra R., Richmond, VA, US

problem #132

Apr 242017

Sonata Limited 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

In March 2017, my 16 year-old son was driving my Sonata at 65 mph, when the engine stopped and all the dash lights came on. He was able to get to the side of the highway safely, and we had the car towed to a mechanic. He diagnosed that the battery needed replaced for $200 and also did a recommended tune up due to the mileage, but also, by the way, there was no oil in the car! I had just had the oil changed about 1 month before. Mechanic added two quarts, and I drove straight to the oil change business to have them check it and top it off.

On April 25, 2017, I suddenly noticed a knocking in the engine that increased as I depressed the gas pedal. Decided to take it in on next day after work, but on the way to work, in the parking garage, the engine suddenly quit, and all the dash lights came on. Would not restart or even turn over. Upon opening the hood, I could smell a hot electrical smell, and see a little smoke. Had the car towed back to the same mechanic, who said that the engine had seized, and couldn't even be manually turned over! He recommended engine replacement at a cost of $4000-6000, which is more than KBB says the car is worth!

Called local dealer, who mentioned there had been a warranty extension to 120K miles due to metal shavings in the engine, but that he did not expect Hyundai to cover mine as it was at 140K miles. Hyundai USA said I should tow it to the dealer at my expense, pay the diagnostic fee, and the dealer service would tear it down and see what caused the failure. Dealer service said the diagnostic fee would be $500, due to the amount of work required, and then that didn't include putting the engine back together if Hyundai didn't cover it! In my talks with Hyundai USA, they also mentioned something about not getting my oil changed at the dealer all the time, and that could play into their decision to cover the problem.

I have not done anything further as of yet. Just sitting with a worthless car at the mechanic!

- Janelle J., Amarillo, TX, US

problem #131

Apr 132017

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

With no prior warning at all I was driving the car when all of the dash lights lit up and the car immediately stalled. I was told the engine seized. Thank goodness I wasn't on a highway or I would have been killed. I took my car in for a recall about 6 months ago for metal particles in the engine. The shop said there were particles in my engine but they cleaned them out.

- Chris C., Middletown, US

problem #130

Mar 012017

Sonata LS Junk

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles


perfectly, Car ran off the road after the engine seized. Call AAA to have it towed to Bruns Hyundai. After the service writer investigated the problem he came back to us and said due to the miles being over 120K the company wouldn't do or offer anything. They said they had it in at 111K miles for the recall and perform a "sound check" and it passed. Let me tell you I have been dealing with bearings and oil for 40 years. Aluminum is the worst metal to select for high rpm wearing parts. If it is not designed or lubricated perfectly it will not last.

Bottom line Hyundai knows they have a bad product and told my to stick it up my ass. Bad Company bad decision!

- tdinder, Maple Shade, US

problem #129

Mar 062017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,436 miles

My car was at the dealer less than 2weeks before the engine seized.

- Kathy R., Levittown, NY, US

problem #128

Feb 102017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,854 miles

Driving to the movie theater in my 2011 Sonata 2.4 GLS, 113k miles, traveling through 40mph and accelerating on an access road and the engine quit. There were no warning signs, it just stopped. I coasted into a parking lot and tried to restart. It wouldn't turn, so I tried jumping it - no luck. Bought/installed a battery from a Walmart that was near the parking lot - no luck. So, I thought it was the starter and had it towed to the nearby Autotire Repair Shop. After some investigation, they called me and stated the engine had seized. Awesome. After doing some research on line, I found out it's a common problem, necessitating a class action settlement.

I called the Hyundai Customer Care line and they towed it to the Hyundai Dealer in St Charles, MO. So far, I'm in for $180 for the two tows, $165 for the diagnostic check, and $671 for the rental car. Have my lawyer at the ready if Hyundai tries to weasel out of their obligation to fix this known defect. More to follow

- shelbycobra, Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #127

Nov 212015

Sonata GLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


Multiple problems with the car, primary problem is the engine has stopped. Began to make different sounds, sort of like roaring and clicking, it quit, thought it was the battery, but wasn't so tried to drive it and barely got home and began to drive up driveway and car make an awful sound below the steering column sort of at the lower part of the motor. I was afraid to try to start it, it was just awful sound. Let it set there, did not have money to have it checked. Tried to start car months later (had heart surgery during those months so it set there) The motor would not ever turn over. Called Hyundai dealer for help, they said to have it towed to them, they would not pay for towing said it was probably not their fault and probably past warranty, had 76,000 miles. Dealer says I needed a battery $150. said OK but did not think so. In the mean time I received a letter from Hyundai about a recall on the engine and six other recalls. Then they said they needed to do another test due to the engine light before they could check to see if the motor was bad. It would cost $500. I said no I could not pay it but they should do it anyway to check the motor. At this time they still want $300 before they will even check the motor. My daughter is trying to help me so I will call Hyundai headquarters tomorrow to see if they will call the Dealer to let them know they must honor the recalls. HELP I hate to deal with Service manager and will speak with Owner next and Hyundai. Tired of not having a car for a year and he said if it is the motor they have more than 30 other cars waiting for an engine now. I must have a loaner or rental car now. Can't take this, my heart is not that strong to go thru all this.

- klynch, Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #126

Dec 292016

Sonata SE/LTD 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I have loved this car despite a history of bringing it back to dealerships for turbo repairs. The turbo power simply cut off while in motion a number of times. Eventually, the dealership in Shrewsbury, NJ, had to do some major engine work (cylinder related?) and I had to fight with them over rental car reimbursement but eventually won that fight. It happened again about 2 years ago down here in Myrtle Beach but the repair was not an expensive one by a local garage. Again, it was turbo related.

But on Dec 29, 2016, the car completely broke down on a rural highway in NC. Dashboard warning lights came on and the engine lost full power. Able to coast it to an intersection, I was able to pull of the highway without accident. Opened the hood and observed smoke and electrical smell. Was towed to a local garage. Rented a car and went home. 3 days later, the mechanic called to tell me the engine had seized.

Luckily, I have USAA insurance and they covered the towing fee from Chadbourn NC to Myrtle Beach SC to the Myrtle Beach Hyundai dealership on Jan 3, 2017. It is there now and I am waiting to hear the extent of the problem and whether or not this will be covered by warranty.

Note: I just had the car to this dealership on Dec 16, 2016 to have all the recall inspections. One of those was a reported problem with metal shavings in the engine blocks of this model! Apparently, the Sonata pass/fail test did not find I had the metal shaving problem. But we will see!

Any other Sonata owners have a similar problem and are you now in that class action suit?

- ncamera, North Myrtle Beach, SC, US

problem #125

Feb 282015

Sonata 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I had to replace my engine--the dealer wanted $9,000 so I got a used one for $6,900.00 -- the issue also involved the fact that NO alert or maintenance light ever came on regarding need for oil during the life of the car--I would just take it in every 3-4,000 miles --I had the documentation regarding oil changes but since 3 of them were not done at the dealership they dismissed their responsibility--I ended up getting rid of the car in July2015 and will NEVER buy a Hyundai again

- ginsbers, Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #124

Dec 162016

Sonata Limited 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Just bought this car in June of this year, it had 72,000 miles on it. Now at just under 90, with 88,000, the engine blew. My wife was driving to work, and out of nowhere it started knocking and sounding super rough. Now this is out of the blue. There were no symptoms of a problem at all. I just changed the oil in the car not more than 3 weeks ago, and all was fine. I thought maybe it was a bad plug or coil pack, but my mechanic just called and said the engine is trashed. I hope Hyundai will cover this under the lawsuit warranty, because I don't have any money to fix it. I have been laid off since May.

- Andre C., Johnston, RI, USA

problem #123

Aug 292016

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


It's been giving problems of axle since 14 thousand miles or less . then 47 thousand engine stopped. They don't want to pay for the towing because it wasn't their fault. I didn't have the towing number for them handy at the moment of incident but it wasn't my fault. the car is a lemon car . had changed axles like four times.

- Nitza Q., Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #122

Oct 102014

Sonata XSL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,500 miles

First issue 1 week after owning my New 2011 Sonata the Alternator blew. Dealer in New Port Richie Fl towed car and gave me a loaner car. No complaints about this dealer service only the quality of the car. After about 1 year similar problem engine disabled called dealer for tow. Again got a loaner car from dealer. They replaced the starter. at 99,500 miles later the engine seized. Dealer honored the warranty and replaced the engine at no charge but no loaner car this time. So, while I praise the Newport Richie FL Hyundai dealers service, I feel today's Far east 4 cyl engines are Crap. Bring back the 1990's Toyota 4runner 6 or 4 cyl engine, that never broke. Traded Hyundai in on 2012 Dealer certified used Honda Crosstour.

Update from Mar 27, 2017: I forgot, that at around 50k miles the Fuel pump went. and again required towing.

This is NOT covered under the Dealer Warranty. It cost me $650.00 for a stinking Fuel pump. Use to be a $25.00 item that was the size of a package of cigarettes, now the size the a shoe box.

- stevedonato, Hernando Beach, FL, USA

problem #121

Sep 062016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,450 miles

I was driving on the freeway at approximately 65 MPH when my check engine light came on. Very shortly after, the engine began loosing power. I was able to coast to the side of the road, as the engine completely seized. Would not restart. Had to call for a tow.

- Malcolm T., Porter Ranch, CA, USA

problem #120

Aug 122016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

On August 12, 2016 riding down a residential road at around 9:00pm at night my car shut off lost pressure and stop. The car behind me stopped and pushed it out of the middle of the road. On that Tuesday August 16, 2016 I had it towed to Hyundai Dealership in Columbus, GA. It took them over a week to tell me my engine seized. They then told me i need to provide history of oil changes to make sure i kept up maintenance, just so happened I hadn't even had my car for a year so i had all of my oil changes history submit that paperwork 2 weeks later they denied me said they need more proof from the other owner of the vehicle for the car. Had to get a claim # for corp to get a case # go the run around for 3 more weeks without a rental. finally on Sept 14th they said my engine is under recall defect and they are approving repairs its Sept 27th i qualify for a loaner car still no loaner car they said it hasn't updated in the system yet that my car is approved for repairs,so still sitting here without car waiting.

- lambga, Columbus, GA, US

problem #119

Sep 122013

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Had a 2011 Sonata SE, Black on Black. The week of October 8, 2013 Driving home from work the motor made a metallic sound, like gas ping. The car eventually died and had to be towed to the dealership. The dealership determined the motor blew. Since I didn't expect any problems because the car was fairly new I didn't do all maintenance at the dealer. I had oil changes done at other places. I didn't keep all the receipts because I didn't expect a problem. It came to bite me in the rear.

Since I couldn't prove the oil changes and I needed a car I sold it to the dealer at a lost. I bought a 2013 Sonata GLS and this time had most of maintenance like oil changes done at dealer ship. Well lightening struck a 2nd time. I was returning home and was near the house when the motor again made that sound. Yes the motor died. Again had this car towed to dealer. Got a loaner, and they replaced the motor. The original motor had 85,000 miles on it. This time I got a new motor along with a loaner. It took approx 5 days to get the car back. The new motor appears to be running normally although the tac rpms seem to be out of sync with the motor. Could just be me. We'll see.

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER HYUNDAI...I would like to know if I still have any legal position on this since I sold car back to dealer. Will look in to it.

- gmdsr, Highstown, NJ, USA

problem #118

Jun 062015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have had to have the engine changed twice in this vehicle. First time out of pocket, the recall was not active at the time. The vehicle just stopped when turning a corner. The next time it just would not start. The second engine has seized also. I really HATE this car. Hyundai needs to refund everyone's money that has this 2011 Sonata. It's a piece of JUNK!!!!

- Adreian R., NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA

problem #117

Jul 012016

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,945 miles

Engine started chattering then car shutoff- engine seized now having to replace engine.

Update from Jul 15, 2016: July 15th, 2016 - Car is now at the Local Dealership( 70 miles away) and they are diagnosing the problem even though the local Napa repair shop where I take all my cars to have work done said that there is metal filings in the engine oil and that the main bearing has spun, and will need an entire new engine. Called Hyundai US and spoke to a Brian who said that it has to be looked at by a dealership which at that time the Service writer can choose whether or not to submit a claim to them for processing to cover the cost of a new engine.

- Gene T., Wyoming, NY, USA

problem #116

Jan 192016

Sonata Limited 2.0L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

I will do this part later, too mad at Hyundai........

- Greg G., Lena, MS, USA

problem #115

Apr 272016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I only had my Sonata for 3 years. Less than 2 weeks ago the starter went out I had that repaired. The same day that I picked my car up from my mechanic the check engine light came on. I took the car back to the mechanic and had them to recheck with the Diagnostic Code Reader and it said that the problem was the manifold absolute pressure sensor. Decided to purchase the sensor the following morning however the vehicle stop on me as I was driving that same day. Went out and purchased the sensor and had it put on my vehicle and still..NOTHING" My mechanic did some further checking and found that the problem was the engine. He took the engine out, took it apart and noticed fragments of metal throughout the engine. So here I am "out of a vehicle" and can't afford to pay $3000 to $4000 or more for another engine.

- Lori T., Rockford, IL, USA

problem #114

Feb 112016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata with 135,000 miles on that had the engine bite the dust about 4 weeks ago. Luckily this occurred in a parking lot at a slow speed, so there was really no danger to my wife and daughter.

I originally had the car towed to my mechanic and was quoted $4500 - $6000 to replace the engine depending on the route we took. I mentioned to him the recall that I received regarding the engine seizing and he suggested that I have the car towed to the Hyundai dealer to see if they would cover it. I really didn't think they would cover the engine, but I called AAA and towed it to Hyundai anyway. I am so glad I did, the dealership was completely cooperative and in fact did not even question the amount of miles or my maintenance history. All they needed to do was take the engine apart to make sure that the engine failure was caused by the recall issue. Two days later I received a phone call that informed me that Hyundai was going to cover the engine and provide me a rental car.

So far it's been about 4wks, and they still haven't located a replacement engine do to a national shortage(imagine that). I'm not sure how long they are going to have my car, but at this point it really doesn't matter since I have the loaner.

- Robert S., Timonium, MD, USA

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