2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems: excessive engine noise

Excessive Engine Noise

2011 Hyundai Sonata (Page 1 of 2)

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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,300 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the engine (14 reports)
  2. not sure (9 reports)
  3. recall 132 (5 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 052016

Sonata Limited 2.4L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Hyundai rebuilt my engine in 2016 and it was never the same. I have been driving the car with an excessive amount of engine noise to point where I have to shout or yell in order for passengers to hear me. There is also constant vibration that is noticeable even without having to drive in freeway speeds. It's almost as if the engine or transmission can explode at anytime.

- Jackson C., San Francisco, US

problem #27

May 102018

Sonata Limited 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

In May 2018 the engine on my 2011 Sonata seized and shut down. It was excessively shaking and had to be towed to a shop. The engine was covered because of a recall and after 2 months of dealing with rentals a few times a month, we finally got the car back. It is now October and the check engine light comes on and off. My concern at this point is if the engine is new how is it possible for the check engine light to be coming on? We have had so many headaches with this car and have only had it 2 yrs. It had 52,000 miles when we got it from the dealership and it has had so many recalls its unreal. We still have 3 yrs of a loan to pay off and I have a feeling this crap car won't last that long.

- Emily L., Philadelphia, US

problem #26

Sep 072018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I bought the car used on March 2018. Car had 6800 miles on it. I drove it for what 5 1/2 months and the engine light comes on. Then it starts knocking louder as I try to get it home. I contact a mechanic who tells me it is the timing and it needs a whole new engine! I go back to the dealer and of course it is not under warranty, so here I sit with a car that I can't drive but have to pay for - Bal of $9,340 - and no one can do anything about it as there are no warranties left. Researching shows me that the timing chain is supposed to be changed every 6000 miles. Obviously this wasn't done so now what do I do?

- Patricia C., Binghamton, US

problem #25

Jan 252018

Sonata Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles


On Wed Jan 24th I started hearing a knocking and was stalling in traffic. I added more gas thinking it was bad gas and add dry gas too, this did not work. Went to work wed night and ran very rough. I started the car Thurs am and it was difficult to start and stalled out in traffic again. I then started hearing a loud knocking noise and it was hesitating with no power, and the oil red light went on too. I then pulled over and called triple A to tow it. Took it to a mechanic he now says I need to replace engine and that oil light was red and should of went on sooner but yellow, this never happened. Also, he said hyundai has a reputation for this light failure. I am now paying 4,000.00 in repair.

- Kerri L., Griswold, US

problem #24

Dec 222017

Sonata GLS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,500 miles

2011 Sonata GLS Black, did not have any major problems except many minor ones suck as light bulb going out often, plastic interior part failures, and some steering wheel issues. This past Friday, however, was a bit scary. There were knocking noise under the hood, more of slapping hard plastic, I thought. I went to my mechanic and he thought low engine oil and changing it would fix it. I picked up my car and it seemed ok. I drove to my home then about a one mile left, loud metallic knocking noise was occurring and the car was loosing power. When I stepped on the gas, the noise got worse, louder, and faster to the rate of piston working, it seemed like. I got lucky; other cars avoided mine and I barely pulled in to my drive way. After researching and finding out the engine recall, next day, I called AAA to tow it to the dealer. Major pain since it was right before Christmas, my wife and I both work full time...

Surprisingly, dealer service dept was great handling the paper work, I've been communicating via text which they do promptly. It's been 3 days but over the Christmas day so it will take some time but they assured me that the dealer will inspect and provide proof to Hyundai Headquarter to get engine replacement approved, which is better manufactured and different components, per the dealer. Also the dealer is letting me getting a loaner, a rental from Enterprise, and will pay for it. So we'll see how things will go and I will update as soon as I get more info.

- Chookgoo77 .., Irvine, CA, US

problem #23

Apr 072017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,400 miles

I drive 55 mile to get TO work... and coming home on 4/7/2017 the engine started to make a horrendous noise!!! And know the issues of the Sonata engine problems I knew it wasn't going to be GOOD!! had it towed to the garage that does my oil changes to have my worst fear confirmed!! With no 2nd car available I have to rent one The are not cheap to rent!!! I could use some good advice from someone who's been down this road!!

- Stephen M., Auburndale, FL, US

problem #22

Mar 182017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


I had my oil changed on March 10, 2017, by SuperLube. I drove the car with no problems until one day it started making an awful knocking noise and the rpm was ramping up. Before this visit to SuperLube, I went to the Hyundai dealership here in Tallahassee, FL and told them something was wrong with my engine. Knew that when I got the car, it needed to be check for engine and the brake pedal. When they checked these items later in 2016, they stated that my engine was in top shape. So here we are now in 2017, my engine knocking and my oil were burnt as if I had not gotten an oil change. So I took as I said back to Hyundai around the 10th of the month, they ran tests, told me I need tires, brakes and an alignment. I Took it to the shop and spent $800 to get all of these things done. Then all of a sudden on the 18th my car stopped in the middle of the road while I was traveling in Moultrie, Georgia. Had it towed back to the house, put it on the machines, nothing wrong with it. Then all of a sudden my ABS light came on, and my car started knocking bad. Did another oil change, paid $150 for the gentleman to get out to my house to look at my car for three days straight. I am so mad with Hyundai right now, because I did not learn about this until I went back to SuperLube to give them a piece of mind. I thought they had not changed my oil, come to find out he has been having all kinds of trouble with GDI engines in Hyundai's and KiKia's

- Rita B., Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #21

Mar 102017

Sonata Limited 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Fukkin dealer said it was my fault for not having oil change and I had an oil change done on it 35 days prior to the engine going

- Nick C., Nelson, BC, Canada

problem #20

Mar 062017

Sonata Sport 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

My car stalled yesterday. It is a 2011 Sonata 2.4 GDI. I was lucky (if you can say that) I have almost 138,000 miles on the vehicle. never any problems till yesterday. I started hearing knocking and the oil light was blinking . I pulled off the interstate at a rest area and shut the vehicle off. Today I was reading about the Sonata engine issue. I was never sent a letter about a engine failure problem. Would I be able to have the vehicle fixed if it was one of the affected engines even thought I have exceeded the mileage limit?

- Roy M., Sarasota, US

problem #19

Feb 242017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Engine failed recall test. Dealer - Old Saybrook Hyundai said I was 4th car that needed to have the engine replaced. Driving loaner while they are waiting for an engine to be manufactured and delivered for replacement.

- Tim D., Clinton, CT, US

problem #18

Oct 162016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,556 miles


Engine starting making knocking/pinging sounds. Was able to drive to the dealership and they confirmed that it was due to the campaign 132. After 295 days and 3 loaner cars later, my car was returned yesterday. I also have a 2015 Sonata 2.0 limited that is under a recall for the panoramic roof detachment concern. Not sure if I'll ever buy another after going through multiple recalls with both cars!!

- kapo1980, Baton Rouge, LA, US

problem #17

Jan 022017

Sonata GLS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

engine knocking and rattling. stalling, no warning lights

I've had nissan and honda before and put 300000 miles on them. This is crazy as I just paid the car off exactly a year ago. Looks like the car may need a new engine.

Update from Jan 25, 2017: Hyundai decided to replace the motor.

Great customer service.

- robnj, Middletown, NJ, US

problem #16

Jun 022016

Sonata GLS 2.4L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,500 miles

I learned about the recall in late 2015. In early 2016 I received instructions about taking the vehicle to the dealer to have the issue evaluated. The dealer evaluated the vehicle on February 16, 2016 and stated the vehicle was fine.

On June 2, 2016 I heard engine noises like those described in the recall. I already had an existing appoint with the dealer for June 4, 2016 for oil change, tire rotation, etc. I called the service desk and asked to have this added to the work ticket.

When I arrived at the dealership Saturday morning, I commented that the car was making noise identical to that described in the recall. The person said that 1) that recall was closed on my car and 2) they don't do that kind of work on a Saturday; I will need to bring the car in on a weekday if I want them to look at it. I inferred that this would be a my expense.

I took the car to an independent mechanic on Tuesday and it was his opinion that there is likely significant issues with the engine based on the noises it is making - bearings, etc.

I plan on calling Hyundai customer service for their response but I am not encouraged by the response I received from the dealer.

- Glenn E., Canonsburg, PA, US

problem #15

Mar 242016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,838 miles

The car was at the Hyundai dealership on Feb 1st for the recall (Campaign 132). Dealership mechanic said no engine issue to see for at least 50K miles. The engine was noisy for long time and still making harder and louder noise. I track my MPG so I can tell you there was also an increase in gas consumption.

Thursday March 24th the engine oil light started to flicker on idle. The engine lost power dramatically and has the feeling it will stall. I pulled over and got the car towed to my trusted independent mechanic. He performed a complete check on the car and measured the engine oil pressure. He said the oil pressure is low when the engine gets warm. I asked him if it is an oil pump! He confirmed with the knocking sound that it must be the recall issue that Hyundai is fixing.

I took it to Hyundai dealership on Saturday. They said the engine must have sludge that is blocking the oil circulation. He said they need to open the valve cover and look. Then, an hour later he came back to tell me there is no sludge in engine. We need to tear it down and possible oil pump with balance shaft failure. It will cost me about $2000 to repair. While there, they will do a clear diagnosis to see if the engine is really affected by the recall. If yes, they will get me a short block. If no, I get to pay $2K ... I refused and got the car back. Since that time, I am in contact with Hyundai USA and the dealer without reaching a solution.

In the end, I am tired of paying car rental... I decided to get a used engine and do the swap. As for lesson learned? Never get Hyundai again. I am very careful to spread the word everywhere... The manufacturer Hyundai USA are not honoring their warranty or recall policies. They blame it on the Dealership and the dealership blames it on Hyundai USA. Game well played...

Thank you for the very good warranty...

- slegha, Houston, TX, US

problem #14

Jul 012015

Sonata Limited 2.0L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

Freaking car! First it was the steering, which it never got fixed, now the engine makes noise at startup and the car has 25000 miles. What a junk of a car.

- robertc71, Ridgewood, US

problem #13

Dec 012015

Sonata Limited 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

I have a 2011 Sonata that has engine knock at low speeds and increases with increasing speed. I took it to the local Hyundai dealer (Bob King Hyundai in Winston Salem NC). They claimed to inspect the engine and said there was nothing wrong with it and they didn't hear any knocking. I explained that it was intermittent knocking, but they obviously don't care. The tech said "We replaced the dipstick". Really? My engine knocks and you replace the dipstick? None the less, I am joining the lawsuit against Hyundai for this crappy engine.

- Karen L., Winston Salem, NC, US

problem #12

Dec 022015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Received the letter from Hyundai that our 2011 was covered by the engine recall. A month later, Dec2, 2015 engine starts making mechanical noises. Took it to Rick Case Hyundai in Duluth GA. Service man said "I don't hear nuthin'". I mentioned the recall. He said "Ain't no check engine lights on." "Nothing I can do for you."

People on the other side of the lot were looking over at our car because of the noise.





- fflint, Norcross, GA, US

problem #11

Jan 052014

Sonata SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Makes clicking sound that is more evident at low speeds.

- Carlos S., Vista, CA, US

problem #10

Oct 082015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

Brought car back to Hyundai after hearing a loud knocking noise and they told me that my oil pressure is low and that I will need to replace the engine.

- Nicole P., Red Deer, AB, Canada

problem #9

Oct 022015

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

First of all I purchased this lovely vehicle used. I have only owned it for about 4 months. When driving down the freeway I noticed a very distinct knocking noise. As I let off the accelerator the noise seemed to subside. As I pressed down on the accelerator the noise got louder and more menacing. I pulled off the freeway and parked in the driveway. I immediately scheduled an appointment to the closest auto repair shop to get her looked at first thing the next morning.

- crookedanchor6, Edmonds, WA, US

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