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2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems: engine seized

Engine Seized

2011 Hyundai Sonata (Page 1 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.

9.3

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$5,140
Average Mileage:
92,000 miles
Total Complaints:
157 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. engine replacement (121 reports)
  2. not sure (27 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 1 of 8)

problem #157

Jun 302018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,021 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Simply I need help. Car stalled while driving and since the engine won't start. Had mechanic look at it, from starter to brake switch. Replaced at my cost as I purchased second hand 6 months ago. Today again mechanic came and now I am told crank shaft not moving and engine seized.

- Ibrahim B., Johannesburg , South Africa

problem #156

May 182018

Sonata LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Bought my 2011 Sonata in Dec 2012, as a certified pre-owned from a Hyundai dealer in Dayton, OH. Have never had a significant problem with it, thank goodness.

Friday, May 18th I was driving on a vacation 2 hours away when there was this horrible clicking sound coming from my engine. I seemed to worsen when I accelerated. It almost sounded like a rock had flown up under the plastic barrier under the front end and was bouncing around. Was able to limp to a local service station and the first thing the good ole' boy checked was my oil. It registered about 1/2 inch on the dip stick. He stated (quite accusatory I might add) that I shouldn't drive my car without oil. I stated that I had just had the oil changed mid-March and still had 1500 more miles until my next change. He found metal flakes on the dip stick and said my engine was toast and that I would never make it back to Dayton.

I called AAA and had it towed back to Dayton (thankfully I got the first 100 miles free, so only had to pay for 25 miles out of pocket.) Unfortunately, the dealer only does oil changes on the weekend, so I had to wait until Monday to get an answer. Found out about the recall and when I submitted my VIN, it showed my car was affected my the recall. I was nervous at 108,000 miles and I thought for sure they would accuse me of not getting my oil changed.

Got a call form the deal today saying they found metal shavings in the oil pan and they submitted pictures and a request for a new engine, but we had to wait for approval. They also said they would pay for a rental car in the mean time, but only after the approval came in. Waiting to hear back, but might be a few days. He said 9 times out of 10 they approve the new engine. fingers crossed

Update from Jun 5, 2018: Update Heard back from Hyundai on May 24th and I was approved for a full, brand new engine replacement and a rental car for the entire time they had my car. WHEW! Going on 2 weeks now, but they said it would be the end of June before I heard anything.

Thankfully Hyundai came through for me. Good luck everyone!!

- Jami W., Dayton, OH, US

problem #155

Apr 242018

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,340 miles

Was driving back home from a friend house, about a little over an hour away. Entering the freeway, I give it some gas, as most Californians do. I then hear thumping sounds as the RPMS get higher (almost like a flat tire). After it went away I paid no attention to it. Turned on the A/C and radio and drove home. Getting off the Freeway, I roll down my windows and hear ticking. I've heard this ticking in the past (at about 72k miles, but Hyundai would always say it was normal), but this time it was very noticeable to where the people next to me kept looking at my car. As I accelerated, awful and very very loud knocking coming from the engine. I had loss in power, and was scared that I wasn't going to make it home being almost 11pm at night.

The next morning I checked the oil and had about 1/8 showing on the dipstick. It started rough with a lot of knocking and shaking. The oil light would also flash intermittently. I called the dealer, told them what happened and that I would attempt to drive it over since they are only 15 minutes away. There are 2 hills to get to Puente Hills Hyundai, so it was nerve racking. I drove it slow, and luckily we made it over both hills. When I came to a stop the oil light flashed and then fully illuminated. As I accelerated it turned off. When I was about 3 minutes away, the car started losing power (could only go 40mph max). It then started grinding and squealing. About a minute into hearing that noise, I look down at my dash, the lights are all on and the engine stalled. I pulled over into a Walmart about 2 blocks away from the dealer. Called a tow truck (in which 1 hyundai tried to say we did not have an extended warranty when we said the engine stalled. 2 they gave the driver the wrong directions)...

Brought it to Hyundai finally, fingers crossed that they would replace it being the car only has 90k miles. Luckily it got approved by Hyundai for a new engine within a few hours. Picked-up my loaner car, and here it is almost 1 week later and I have my Sonata back. Pretty fast turn around. One person just dropped theirs off and it only had 30k miles. So my guess is, they're just ticking time bombs. At least for the dealer I go through, they were getting replaced.

The new engine is quiet now, clean oil. The only thing that stays the same is the ODO. They don't roll it back to 0 miles. So if you plan on keeping your car after the engine replacement, keep a log. But if your engine has not died yet, no matter the mileage, I would advise to get rid of it as soon as you can. Hyundai will not replace your engine until it seizes. They will just keep putting oil in it to prolong it. Take it from someone that has been having engine issues since 70k miles and nothing was ever done about it up until the engines death. That's why they replaced the engine oil dipstick from Yellow to Red-Orange. They raised the oil level a little higher.

- Roy P., Whittier, CA, US

problem #154

Apr 202018

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,423 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My 2011 Hyundai motor seized up. It is on recall list but it has 140,000+ miles on it. Will Hyundai make it right?

- Steven M., Cooleemee, US

problem #153

Feb 032018

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,962 miles

Yesterday as I was driving to work on the highway the engine started making a clicking noise , then a minute or two after that the engine lost all power and the Engine seized. I was very lucky that I did not get into a car accident. Now it seems like this is a common problem with the Hyundai sonatas and there is a recall for it. Today is Sunday but tomorrow I am calling Hyundai and they better fix this because from what I have researched they sold these cars knowing that there was a problem with the engine.

- Joe ., _____, MA, US

problem #152

Feb 242018

Sonata 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 137,700 miles

This Saturday following a night run to the gas station, I noticed my engine begin to knock. Upon returning to my car, I attempted to turn on my car before noticing that it refused to crank. NO SIGNS WHATSOEVER. Smoke began to bellow underneath my engine. I am pretty confident that my engine has seized. Tomorrow I am taking it to the dealership to get it formally diagnosed. I cannot dish out 5k for a new engine as I am a struggling college student. I am aware of the extended 120k mile warranty but my vehicle has 137k. Has anyone received compensation with their vehicle outside of the covered warranty? Please, anyone HELP!

- James R., Harvest, US

problem #151

Aug 122017

Sonata

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

A class action suit was filed by many people who had a 2011 Sonata. When I went in on the website to file my claim, it said the class action file date was over in January of 2017. How could I file a claim before the incident occurred. I was traveling home at night, by myself, and the engine seized. It took over 2 hours before AAA got out to rescue me. They had to tow me to a closed repair shop and I had to arrange a ride to my home in Reno. It took someone 1.5 hours to get to me. The engine had blown up and was not repairable. My car was, seemingly, in great shape and only had 63,000 miles on it. I was forced to buy a new car. I deserve to be compensated for the loss of this car!!!! How can I get in on the Class Action suit compensation???

- smlngeyes, Reno, US

problem #150

Nov 092017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,676 miles

I'm the second owner of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS. I wish I had known that Hyundai's had so much problems and recalls or else I wouldn't have purchased the car from a private party in the first place (I should have done more research).

During the test drive prior to purchasing the vehicle, there were no problems that popped up on the dashboard; the car ran really smooth, brakes worked fine, oil looked clean, no weird noises from the engine.The previous owner said the car was used to travel to warmer states during the winter in WI, so there were no rust on the body of the car; but, because of that the mileage was pretty high for a 2011 year vehicle.

Two weeks into purchasing the vehicle and driving it mainly on small roads and a few times on the highway, I started to hear a rattling noise from underneath the hood of the car whenever I accelerated, and when letting go of the gas pedal the sound was as loud as fingers tapping on a wood surface. There were no warning lights on the dashboard.

Two days after that, while driving on a 55mph road, the rattling noise (which I now assume it to be engine knocking) got loud again and then without any warning on the dashboard, the vehicle just stopped working. It was as if the gear was switched into neutral; no throttle was responding. I checked the oil and noticed it was very low and black.

Once the vehicle was towed back home, I tried jump starting the car to see if it was maybe a battery problem. I tried turning on the car and it sounded like the engine was going to turn over but it didn't. I took it to a local car shop and they informed me that it was an engine problem; however, they do not service engine malfunctions so I have to take it to a dealership.

Right now I'm in the process of taking it to a Hyundai dealership in hopes that the extended warranty on the engine will cover the cost.

Update from Jan 30, 2018: After the Hyundai dealership diagnosed the engine, they sent the information to Hyundai headquarters & my engine was thankfully replaced with a brand new one(zero mileage). The dealership offered me free car rental during the time my car was still in the shop but I didn't need one so I declined the offer. My vehicle was fixed relatively quickly (within 1 week from the dealership ordering a new engine & replacing it). I did not need to pay anything except for towing my vehicle to the dealership which my car insurance was able to cover a portion of the cost.

When picking up my Sonata, I checked the engine oil & it was crystal clear & clean. One thing I must say though is CHECK THE LEVEL OF YOUR COOLANT. A week after I drove my vehicle home, I noticed there was coolant leaking & the coolant in the resevoir was below the 'Low' indicator line. There's no leaking coming from the radiator & don't see any noticable holes in the coolant hose either so I suspect it's because there may be a bad clamp or the hose wasn't properly placed. You would think that when replacing the engine of my car, they'd make sure everything was sealed tight & working as it should be. I just poured some coolant into the resevoir & it seems to be ok for now.

Since it's winter, I haven't seen any leaking but did notice while driving my vehicle for about 15-20 minutes, a faint knocking noise like something was loose. It doesn't sound like the engine knocking I had heard before my car died. After storing my car in the garage for a few weeks without driving it, I haven't heard the knocking noise when I drove it again but then, I haven't been driving the Sonata as much this winter. I don't plan to drive my car until it gets warmer & I'm able to check the coolant hose & clamp. If the knocking noise comes back, I will be taking the car in. If it's an engine problem again, according to the service consultant who I spoke with when picking up my car, the engine warranty should still cover it as long as it hasn't gone past the 20,000 mile mark.

- vangc11, Stevens Point, US

problem #149

Jul 162017

Sonata 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

YUP ADD ONE MORE TO THE NEVER ENDING LIST!!

Dropped of my son at his girls hours and started to drive away half way down the street the engine just stopped. Luckily I was able to cruise to the end of the street and pull over. I tried to start it and then I smelled the scent of an electrical smell and then shortly after the smoke started billowing up from the engine. I immediately checked the oil and noticed there was evidence of oil in the engine. I checked that because just 2 days earlier I noticed the oil light flicker but never came on fully. I had it towed to my mechanic who initially said it was the starter. I had the starter replaced and at that point the mechanic then told me my engine seized. He was baffled as there was oil in the engine, He told me indeed the start was blown only because I tried to start it while the engine was already seized.

I called Hyundai USA and they instructed me to get it to a Hyundai Dealer so they can diagnose it themselves. UGH

My car is literally on its way to a Hyundai dealership here in Massachusetts. I will keep you all abreast on my saga.

I can see all through the internet people with the same EXACT issue as mine. I just received word that they settled the law suit extending the short block power train but I am not sure whether I qualify or not. If anyone has gotten Hyundai of USA to fix their car with this issue and can give me any help please contact me, I really need the help as I still oe about 8k on the car.

- Theodore V., Uxbridge, US

problem #148

Jun 032017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

LOL Put me up on the Board for ones who have a 2011 Sonata limited with a POS motor now, I was fortunate that i was able to pull into a vacant driveway after losing control of everything and no one got hurt or had an accident. Tried to start it up once in the parking lot and the damn engine started Smoking hahahaha. I popped the hood all Fluid levels were fine, Can't wait to get it fixed and get rid of this POS, Way too many RECALLS on these cars, I have had it for 4 years and have had over 8 recalls, now the car is a big paper weight waiting to be fixed lmfao,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,STAY AWAY FROM SONATA"S !!!!!!!!

- Nicholas Y., Mchenry, IL, US

problem #147

Aug 112017

Sonata Limited 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Well, I've NEVER had a Sonata in my LIFE. When i got my 2001 hyundai sonata 4 months ago I was in love with my car. Well of course i had the brake switch replace a month after i purchased the car. Drove it for 2 more months and low and behold last friday im driving in traffic and my car just dies. dash lights come on and im stuck in the middle of traffic. i tried to start my car NOTHING.. Called my brother to give me a jump still nothing. thank god he had a truck because he pulled my car to my moms house. Lifted the hood and it was a burning smell. Lord i just got this car and it's my only means of transportation. Brand new starter and brand new battery (replaced yesterday) went to start the car still NOTHING but a sizzling noise coming from underneath the engine with which smelled like burning metal. Called hyundai told them the problem guy says sounds like your engine locked up. I said wow i only been driving this car for 4 months. ok whatever anywho i had the car towed to hyundai because due to A LOT of engine failure my engine had a warranty on it. But first they start asking if the oil was changed can you show receipts and all of that. look im a mother of 5 i DO NOT keep receipts for anything like that. i have so much paper from them i can barely keep up. So as of today im waiting on that call from hyundai to tell me what the problem is (WHICH I ALREADY KNOW). mY ENGINE IS SUPPOSED TO BE BROKEN DOWN TODAY. I HAVE MISSED A WEEK OF WORK DUE TO ME NOT HAVING A CAR AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT HEADACHE I HAVE THE FINANCE COMPANY CALLING ABOUT A DAMN CAR NOTE. UMMM NO THANK YOU I NEED TO SEE WHAT HYUNDAI IS GONNA SAY BEFORE I GIVE YOU MY MONEY BECAUSE THAT MONEY MIGHT HAVE TO GO TOWARDS ANOTHER CAR THAT I CAN PHYSICALLY DRIVE. I KNOW THAT THIS IS A LOT BUT THIS CRAP IS CRAZY. YOU THINK YOU"RE GETTING A BEAUTIFUL FULLY FUNCTIONAL CAR AND YOU'RE NOT. yOU'RE BASICALLY PAYING FOR THE LOOKS OF THE CAR BECAUSE THE ENGINE AND THINGS ARE CRAP. SO IM PRAYING THAT THEY GIVE ME A CALL TODAY BEFORE I END UP LOSING MY JOB AND MY MIND AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. I'LL KEEP YOU ALL UPDATED.

- Savannah P., Webster, US

problem #146

Jun 012016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

2011 Hyundai Sonata engine seized without warning. As my son was driving the engine stopped. We had two different mechanics/dealerships to look at the problem and they both said the engine seized and that we needed to replace the engine. Both quoted prices over $4000. I do not feel comfortable replacing an engine when this can possibly happen again. I've been the only owner of the car. The car received constant oil changes because I purchased the extended care package with the dealership that automatically took care of that. My car had the car's oil change two weeks before this happened. I'm very disappointed, frustrated and disgusted!!! I will never purchase another Hyundai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- fanniep, LITHONIA, GA, USA

problem #145

Jun 032017

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,100 miles

PART OF ENGINE RECALL:

My 2011 Sonata had the engine stall in the middle of the road. I had taken it to the dealer about a week earlier but Hyundai corp had them make me do a two week oil consumption test. This lasted six days when I stalled. :-)

Initially I was told it could take up to two months but I just got it back within three weeks.

The problem I have is finding out what the new warranty is for this engine. I have read 10yrs - 100,000 miles,

Hyundai Corp Customer Serv says two things depending how it was coded by dealer: additional 26,000 miles or ten yrs from purchase - whichever comes first. 2: up to 1000,000 miles. The dealer says 12 months - 12,000 miles.

Does anyone really know?

- J A., Chicago, US

problem #144

Jul 072017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Traveling at highway speeds and all of a sudden, engine began making this rapid ticking noise while under load with acceleration. Power seemed to be slightly affected. Continued driving at high speeds until I was forced to slow down and take the car out of gear due to traffic, at which point the engine just quit and refused to engage starter upon trying to restart. I'm thinking that the higher rpms was the only reason the engine stayed unseized for as long as it did.

The short block has an extended warranty which is good because I am the second owner. Car was towed to dealership. They tore down the block and sent pictures to Hyundai to determine whether they would cover it. They were looking for any sign of owner neglect such as sludge or excessive wear. Since they found none, they approved an engine replacement on their dime with a rental car for me to use. Approval took one week. Apparently, the average replacement time is 45 days due to time for delivery of new engine. They did find metal shavings in the bottom of the oil pan, but never really could determine the exact cause whether it be a rod, valve, or bearing.

Never had one problem with this car since I got her with 34k miles on her. I love her engine and the 6 speed manual transmission makes that engine come alive. It was a bad day. Anyway, I'm glad they are making this right and not screwing me.

- aviat443, Carnegie, US

problem #143

Jun 262017

Sonata 2.0L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,200 miles

Similar problem to others, but better outcome. Responded to Hyundai service bulletin several months ago about possible engine failure due to metal fragments accumulating in oil pan. Passed inspection, dealer replaced dipstick to indicate the engine warranty now was extended to 120K.

On June 26, 2017, the engine seized and died (all the dashboard lights came on). I was northbound on I-65 headed home to suburban Chicago. Thankfully I was already pointed at an exit ramp and was able to coast to a safer shoulder location.

After a AAA tow to the Hyundai dealer closest to home (5 miles), happy to report that Hyundai has stood up and stood behind their product, and will replace the engine at no cost to us. They have provided a loaner vehicle (brand-spankin'-new Sonata) to drive for the predicted 3-4 months it will take to get the new engine, due to the backlog demand caused by the engineering/ manufacturing failure which has affected many of the 2011 Sonatas.

This has been a really good car for us; Hyundai has promptly corrected the few warranty issues which have arisen in the 60K miles we've driven it in 2.5 years. Happy to report good outcomes. Yes, it is a hassle but things could be much worse. We just had to replace the CVT transmission on a Nissan Maxima (to which Nissan gave a yawning "meh" and a half-shrug).

The one dark spot, relatively minor, is that we encountered the "mixed bag" of "Service Advisors" at the Hyundai dealer in the process, including one with a profound don't-know-don't-care-don't-bother-me Attitude, counterbalanced by the one actually handling the case for us, who has been a model of courteous helpfulness and a good liaison with Hyundai Corporate. So far, so good!

- Steve W., Bolingbrook, IL, US

problem #142

Jun 122017

Sonata GL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,749 miles

All the dashboard lights came on, the car made a loud noise and then it simply stopped. I could not get it to start and had to have it towed to the dealership.

- Maureen S., Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #141

Apr 232016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Hyundai Dealer took a week to get approval from Hyundai Corp to cover the cost. Dealer complained about Hyundai not providing enough cars for loaners even though they know the problem is common. So they stuck me in a compact loaner. It's been three weeks.

- Stephen M., Columbia, MD, USA

problem #140

Jun 152017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,846 miles

On the Capital Beltway in morning traffic the car just stopped running. I had to coast to the right lane and almost crashed. Emergency flashers were on! Nobody yielded. Car started up and I continued. That afternoon car started knocking then the dashboard lights came on, engine stopped, and it left me stranded for 2.5+ hours waiting for a tow. Dealer let me know the engine is dead. They are working on getting the paperwork to see if Hyundai will cover it. I've had to PAY for the steering to be fixed -(another 2011 issue) and I just recently (last month) paid $300+ to have a rebuilt starter put in because the $8 plastic lever broke. This car looks nice but it is garbage.

- Mike B., Leesburg, VA, US

problem #139

Jun 042017

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,500 miles

TAKATA RECALL. MY HYUNDAI SONATA COMPLETELY DIED ON ME WITHOUT ANY WARNING. ONE DAY WHILE I WAS DRIVING MY 2011 HYUNDAI SONATA ON THE HIGHWAY ALL THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS CAME ON. NEXT THINNG I KNOW THE CAR CUT OFF WHILE I WAS DOING 65 MPH WITH MY 2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IN THE VEHICLE. LUCKILY I WAS ABLE TO GET THE CAR STOPPED. LUCKILY I WAS CLOSE TO HOME AND MANAGED TO MAKE IT SAFELY. THE NEXT DAY WHEN I CUT THE VEHICLE ON I STARTED HEARING A KNOCKING SOUND FROM THE VEHICLE. ON MY WAY TO WORK THE CAR CUT OFF TWO MORE TIMES AND WHEN I TRIED TO CUT IT ON AGAIN IT WOULD NOT MOVE. I HAD THE CAR TOWED TO HYUNDAI AND I WAS GIVEN THE COMPLETE RUN AROUND ABOUT REPARING MY VEHICLE. I INFORMED THE MANAGER J THAT I HAD A RECALL ON THE ENGINE AND HE SAID NO WORK IS GOING TO BE DONE WITHOUT HYUNDAIS APPROVAL. SO NOW IM STUCK HERE WITH NO CAR TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WAYS TO GO TO WORK EVERYDAY AND SCHOOL AND TRANSPORT MY KID TO AND FROM SCHOOL. IM AWAITING TO SEE WHETHER HYUNDAI WILL HONOR ITS RECALL AND FIX MY CAR. IM A VERY UNHAPPY CUSTOMER AND LOST ALL TRUST I HAD IN MY VEHICLE.

- Akeem G., Brooklyn, US

problem #138

May 192017

Sonata ES 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,500 miles

Traveling highway speed in the left lane when the engine seized and all of the dash lights came on. It was tricky, but I was lucky to maneuver over to the right lane and coast into a rest stop. Waited almost two hours for a tow to the dealer.

These cars are dropping like flies, the dealership complained about the volume. It's mostly 2.4L engines having this problem, but mine is the 2.0L Turbo, and the "event" required replacement of my engine, turbo, AND starter. Thankfully, Hyundai covered it all under warranty, including the rental car.

But this is not the kind of problem you should have to deal with when you have a 6-year-old modern car with only 86,000 miles! Do yourself a favor and just avoid Hyundai's.

I was lucky, the repairs "only" took three weeks because the 2.0 engines are not as "backed up" with repairs as the 2.4's - otherwise it may have taken months - but overall it's the same engine with the same problem and it's only a matter of time before it happens to yours.

- Keith F., Chambersburg, US

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