2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems: excessive oil consumption

Excessive Oil Consumption

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:
91,653 miles
Total Complaints:
22 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. replace engine (4 reports)
  3. it's fixed under extended warranty (1 reports)
  4. replace oil pan and gasket (1 reports)
  5. replace valve seals (1 reports)
2011 Hyundai Sonata engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

May 102017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,017 miles


Sonata handles well, good gas mileage but at about 43000 miles I need to add a qt of oil every 2000 miles. Oil is extremely dirty even right after a oil change.

- , Paducah, US

problem #21

Sep 132016

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,516 miles

It all started in September of last year, when I got an oil change and over a month later, had a major oil leak and the engine went dry. Dealer said it was a plug that came off. Umm, correct me if i'm wrong but shouldn't a bolt be there and not a plug?! Anyways, so they corrected the issue and put oil and I was on my way.

Fast forward to my next oil change. I was 1,000 over what the stick recommended. So I checked my oil. The stick was dry, but no oil light ever came on. Brought it the next day, they said its normal. Fine. Fast forward to my next oil change, 3 months later at about 2,500k miles. Next one was March '17 at only 1,800 miles. Took it o to CA from AZ after that recent oil change. Got to CA, put on roughly 400 miles and it was close to Low. Got another oil change. Had to leave the car in CA since tranny and axle went at the same time, so my parents never drove it.

Fast forward to June '17 , we exchanged cars in Palm Springs. My dad said he topped off the oil for the trip. Drove back to AZ, again roughly 400 miles, was half way between L & F. Three weeks ago, I had another oil change since it got black within a week after putting on an additional 800 miles. Today as I write this, I am at the low mark with only 526 miles since the oil change. The car has been shaking when cold but is fine after being warmed up. Hyundai couldn't find the issue. I get this vehicle serviced at my nearest dealer in AZ, but I bought it in CA. The CA dealer I normally take it too told me my engine can fail at any time, but Hyundai refuses to replace the engine until it either does stall or the check engine light comes on.

Being at 84400 miles, I hope it does since it is within extended warranty. But I also hope it doesn't when I'm out on the road. I will update when it does decide to go and what the outcome is.

- , Whittier, CA, US

problem #20

Jul 202016

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Burns 1 quart per 500 miles (no leaks, smoke, etc.)

The reason is probably stuck piston oil rings, currently trying to fix with engine flush chemicals, sea foam, synthetic high mileage oil with 3000 miles change intervals. No luck yet, will update the post if any positive results.

Update from Aug 13, 2017: Forgot to mention:

Oil burning is most possibly the reason for Theta II "Engine stalling" issue, given that many people don't check the dipstick and the burn starts at ~60k miles, with my oil consumption rate the engine would run dry at 3k miles, severe damage may occur after 1k mile (spun rod bearing, etc.)

Contacted Hyundai USA regarding the problem with no outcome - "sorry, you are out of warranty because of mileage".

- , Irvine, CA, US

problem #19

Jul 172017

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,106 miles


Took my car at the previous service for the inspection for the "bad" engine from the Alabama plant. They gave it the all clear, saying it was within parameters. Last week my engine was sluggish and cut out on me while making a turn in traffic. The car would start immediately again, but die as soon as I give it power. I thought it was just fuel related. 10 minutes later the car started fine and I was able to drive home. The next day I drove it the oil lamp with come on slightly when pulling away from a stop. I stopped and checked the oil level and the car was completely dry!!! I had to add 3qt of oil to get it close to full. The car also had smoke coming from the oil cap when I opened it. :(

I've serviced it regularly but not at 3.5k as the vehicle was driver lightly. I serviced it at the 7k values as stated in the manual, plus the engine was given the "all clear" at the last service.

I have an appointment Wednesday for the warranty, but I'm afraid that they won't honor it. I checked the class action settlement and saw that they cannot refuse the warranty or inspection because of irregular service expect in "limited exceptional neglect circumstances". I hope it will be ok :( :(

- , Danville, US

problem #18

Jun 292017

Sonata 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,952 miles

My oil light went on and when I checked the oil it was down 3 quarts. I was due for an oil change in 200 mile and my son who is a mechanic put in the 3 quarts of 5W20 oil and said we should check the oil level in 1000 miles. We checked the oil again a little before the 1000 mile mark and it was down another quart. I brought it into the dealer. They claims this is an acceptable oil consumption, but agreed to do the oil consumption test.

The dealer did an oil change an told me to come back in 500 miles and they would check the oil. When I got home at 4pm I put my car in the garage. At 10 pm when my son came home he looked at my car and checked the oil. Wow the dealer over filled the oil by 1/2 quart, there was oil al over the engine. My son being a mechanic know how service departments in dealerships love to rip off people(that why he would never work for one). I understand the dealer needs to do this test but now I have no trust in them. Are they going to over fill each time I go in for the consumption test?

Beside this oil consumption problem, I have brought this car in several times for recalls, and at or about 50k I told them about a knocking noise coming from my engine, they told me this is normal. I also have a problem with my sway bar on the left side. They quoted me a price. This time when I went in and told them about the oil consumption they did a safety (LOL) check of the car. I received a call from them and they told me both sway bars needed replacing and the good news is that they are covered under warranty. Funny because last time I was in they weren't covered under warranty and I didn't have the money to fix them and now they are covered.

What games are they playing. I get it, they are in the business to make money, but really ripping off people and putting safety last is a horrible way to make money.

- , Milford, US

problem #17

Mar 112017

Sonata SE/limited 2.4L 4cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Went to my mechanic for transmission flush. He found my engine oil was down 3 quarts. No indicator came on for low oil. Have been checking oil every week. Had to add 1 quart after 2 weeks approx. 500 miles. Drive stop and go type traffic mainly. Car runs great no other problems noticed. Do not know if I should get another car or stay with this one.

- , Palm Harbor, US

problem #16

Oct 052016

Sonata ES Theta Ii

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


I have been having problems with my 2011 Hyundai Sonata, I went an oil change, which I had one 6mths before this one and found out that, my oil in my car was old and bad and thick and very low, and it could cause a lot of problems, actually the mechanic at the shop said that Hyundai Sonata Theta II engine is known for this issue, and eventually I would need a knew engine, because it will blow or purchase another car, so he is having me come in every three months to change oil because the engine is consuming so much oil, and it is still thick, black, sticky, gooey, a mess, I don't want to have to purchase another car, and I'm still in a car payment agreement with this one, this is a mess, I need help.

- , Upper Darby, PA, US

problem #15

May 212016

Sonata Limited 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Aparently the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Theta II engines were the first installed at the then new Alabama plant and a mechanical process was used to clean out the metal partical debris see notes here: http://www.hyundaiproblems.com/trends/theta-ii-engine/ not terribly effectively.

Hyundai has acknowledged responsibility for "loud engine noise" issues and offered a 120,000 mile extended warranty to all Vin number qualified vehicles. However, for those of you like me who have the same engine with excessive oil consumption the entended warranty to original and subsequent owners is not offered so no offer to help resolve the problem without a dealer led hour by hour owner paid analysis of problem.

So very disappointing since family owns 4 Hyundai bought with assumption of quality and value of the products.

Update from Dec 23, 2016: Should have added the car started buring a quart of oil at 60,000 miles. I was told by dealer there was no engine light warning when oil is low. Then this Spring at 90,000 miles noticed I was down 3 quarts, lucky the engine did not seize. Then asked local dealer to explain why so much oil lost. Three oil consumption tests later, all resulting in 1.5 to 2 quarts of oil lost in 4,000 miles the dealer informs me that Hyundai 120,000 extended warranty is for loud engine noise not excessive oil consumption so any future analysis at my $110 per hour expense. Dealer suggested I have a $189 value lifter carbon removal procedure performed to see if any improvement. I am not very optimistic that this will help anything but maybe improve gas mileage.

- , Stow, MA, USA

problem #14

Aug 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Bought the sonata brand new in 2010 changed oil regularly, after about 100,000 mile noticed excessive oil consumption, Took it in to a dealer for the engine recall they said it was OK, not sure what they did to check this. Now it is burning 1 qt every 1000 miles. Will never buy a Hyundai again.

- , Stafford, VA, USA

problem #13

Nov 252016

Sonata GLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

My 2011 Sonata GLS is burning 3 quarts of oil every 5,000 miles. At 25,000 miles, the vehicle did not burn oil. The problem has grown progressively worse and the automatic transmission sometimes shifts roughly. My feeling is that excessive oil burning can be linked to the same defect alleged in the Hyundai Sonata Engine Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-1685-BLF that can cause engine seizure, stalling, and engine noise. No noticeable engine oil leaks are visible and the engine is very clean.

- , Redding, CT, US

problem #12

May 012015

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles


2011 Hyundai sonata burns nearly 3-4 quats of oil every 3000 miles.Dealer checked my car during engine recall and said,everything is fine.I called the hyundai motors and they want me to pay for even opening that engine.

I believe they are literally cheating us.They recalled 470000 sonata's,but they never done anything.The recall is all about fooling the public.

- , Snellville, GA, USA

problem #11

Dec 012015

Sonata Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

I first noticed an issue with the car at around 100,000 miles when I smelled burning oil. I was on a trip in the mountains about 300 miles from home. I checked the oil level and it was barely on the dipstick. I added 2 quarts of oil to a car that had barely 1000 miles on a fresh oil change. Since the oil has been changed at the dealer regularly I thought maybe the tech didn't add enough oil back during the oil change. Now that I'm monitoring the oil every week it is burning through 4-5 quarts of oil every 3-4K miles. I took it to the dealer and they told me this was a known issue and to wait for the recall. The recall came out and I took the car in only to be told that my car didn't meet the guidelines for an engine replacement. This is crap, I took good care of this car. If I didn't change the oil every 3k miles it would have blown up long ago. Now that i know its burning oil profusely I add oil constantly and that's the only reason it hasn't seized. Thanks Hyundai, you've already lost another sale. I just bought my daughter a Honda. God help you Hyundai if something happens to my family WHEN it does seize. I hope not standing behind your defective was worth it.

- , Lexington, SC, USA

problem #10

Dec 162015

Sonata Sport 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

I had a 2011 Hyundai Sonata which I was very happy with it. I bought it new at the end of model year in 2012. Got a great deal on it too. Over the course of the owning it, I noticed the car was 'eating' oil. I would have the oil changed at a local shop and they check the oil before changing it, show me the car's dipstick and it virtually empty and the oil very, very dark. I was doing synthetic oil to avoid having to have the oil changed every 3,000. I was going to 7,000 before changing it. The mechanic suggested only going to 5,000 instead, which I did. However the next time I had the oil changed, same thing, virtually empty and very dark. I went to the Hyundai dealer for routine maintenance and repair for a TSB and let them know the issue. They changed the oil at that time(it was due) and checked it and said there was plenty of oil in the car(surprise!). They had no possible explanation as to why my car might be eating oil.

Fast forward and the recall is issued on for the engine failure on these cars. I go in January to have my car checked to see if my engine is one of the ones that needs fixing. I asked a TON of questions, how the test is done etc. and if any other cars checked so far had flunked(none, she told me, surprise!). The service person printed out the test that the mechanics do. Well, beware, it's a lame ass test to check for engine noise over a certain decibel level. If you car is over a certain decibel level it flunks, and they replace only PART of the engine. No surprise, my car passed. My mileage at that point, is about 97,000. Hyundai said they are extending the warranty to 120,000 for these recalled cars. I called the corporate to clarify, if it's all the cars, including the ones that pass the recall test. BEWARE, it's ONLY if your car flunks and is repaired is the warranty extended. So even though my car passed, if my engine still fails after 100,000, I was screwed. I still owed money on the car. I would have no recourse, still owe money, and have no car. If Hyundai was extending the warranty for all of the cars, I would have taken my chances and kept the car.

I unloaded this car in March, I bought a 2014 Volvo S60 with about 25,000 miles. Traded in my potential lemon to the dealer, covered my loan and I am driving a great car that will last forever. Bye, bye Hyundai!!

- , Barrington, RI, USA

problem #9

Aug 012015

Sonata ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is not the only problem I have with my car, but it is the most recent. On or about the same time the engine recall came out, I noticed my car was burning an excessive amount of oil. It's not leaking. It's burning. I took it to my local dealership who told me that the original dipstick that came with the car was the wrong one. This means, the years that I have owned my car, I have never been getting an accurate reading on oil levels. The dealership "fix" was to put a new/longer dipstick rod in my car to "get a better reading" of my oil level. NEWS FLASH: This will not fix the problem, and the dealership is not willing to do anything else about it. I am so sorry I purchased a Hyundai, never will again.

- , York, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 012015

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles

I have a 2011 hyundai sonata, which is under engine recall(2015). Dealer tested my car and said everything is fine as per the recall is concerned.

After 90000 miles i started noticing excessive oil burning and loud engine noise, especially when the oil is low. my car burns 1 quart per 1000 miles. I was doing oil change every 3000 miles at the dealer and its well maintained.

Dealer have done an oil consumption test and found out that there is excessive oil burn. Now they gave me two options, pay $400 to open up the engine and send a picture to hyundai or replace the engine.

2011 sonata engines known for its issues, i don't understand ,why they don't cover it under engine recall. Seems like they are really waiting for me to get in to engine stall or crash in the middle of highway. I am not going to buy a hyundai anymore, I won't suggest to anyone either.

- , Snellville, GA, USA

problem #7

Jul 152015

Sonata Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

In August 2015, my engine seemed louder than usually. I had the oil changed in July and eventually thought to check that. Surprise! I was low on oil. I added quart and the noise seem to lower. A month later, September 2015, noisy engine again. Sure enough, I'm down about a quart again. I have had to add a quart every month so far. ARGH!!!!

- , Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 202015

Sonata GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles

Great help from the dealership, but Hyundai Canada was useless. Because my engine did not fail, the extended warranty would not cover the replacement of the engine, even though all services were done on time at one of their dealerships. Despite their promise to do so, Hyundai Canada stopped short of disassembling the engine to determine the cause and therefore the problem fell under oil consumption. Not that they needed to go that far in light of the class action in the US. Now that the problem has extended to include vehicles from 2011-2014 hopefully they will be held responsible.

- , Kelowna, BC, Canada

problem #5

Oct 032015

Sonata SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I went in to Meineke for the excessive engine noise and had them inspect the engine, oil, etc. My mechanic came out and let me know that the car had used all of the oil and he guessed it may have been from a significant leak from the oil pan gasket or the timing chain cover and suggested the replacement of the oil pan first with some monitoring to see if the leak was in both places.

Upon further inspection he noted that there were excessive metallic shavings in the oil pan once they removed it. They were of the brass and aluminum variety. Naturally, anyone who knows anything about engines knows this is a horrible sign and should expect a catastrophic failure of my engine very soon.

- , Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #4

Jan 022015

Sonata GLS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I am college student worked my butt off and bought myself a used 2011 Sonata GLS with 29,850 miles on it. I also purchased extended warranty through Hyundai. Reason I bought it was I really loved the design and the warranty they give. Overall I thought it was a good car, always took care of it like my baby. But then later on I started to have quite a few issues.

I had front axle replaced, my door lock motor, timing belt and all the recalls all this before hitting 60,000 miles. I started hearing a weird noise when my car had around 60,000 miles, so I took it to dealer and they said my car have a low oil level. I thought that's weird, because I never got any lights and always got the oil change done on time at dealership. So they replaced the oil and bought it back for next oil change after 3000 miles and told them I still hear the same noise. So they did oil consumption test and told me it is normal.

So they did the oil change and on my next 3000 mile oil change I complained again, so they replaced the oil and told me to come every 1000 mile so I did that and they found out that between those three interval total oil level was 2.3 quart low but the service department supervisor or manager at my local dealership didn't believe it. He said that might been a error and told me I will check with my technicians if they made any errors and call you but never called me back.

So they made me drive another 3000 mile and told me to come back and get the oil consumption test again. So this time I went there before it hit another 3000 mile for my oil change, because I checked at home and it was below low. So I took the appointment and took my car in and they did the test and found out oil was 2.3 quart low. And told me I will need the short block replaced.

Since I am second owner my manufacturer warranty ended at 60000, but I have an extended warranty through Hyundai but they seem to be so slow or the dealership I am still waiting for the answers from them, just don't want to ruin the car more by keep driving it or for my own safety. Just hoping warranty covers my stuff because I really can't afford to lose a car. I'm just going crazy college is already stressful and top of this car issues. :(

- , Renton, WA, USA

problem #3

May 012015

Sonata GLS 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

My 2011 Sonata started loosing oil. Dealer replace timing casing seal said leaking. Still kept loosing oil which was not leaking. Was using a quart of oil per 1,500 miles. Dealer say 1 qt per 2,000 is normal which tells you how bad the engine is if that is normal. After many visits to dealer to review they agreed to change the valve seals which they said were bad. Luckily I had them do all oil changes every 4,000 miles so it was well maintained and 100K warranty covered repair which was good they said it was 13 house of book time to repair would of run $1.5K.

Based on other reports on engine I probably will get rid of car soon, don't need an engine failure who knows what else may be brewing based on other reported engine problem. Key items are do regular oil changes with dealer and check the oil every month to make sure you find if it starts using oil. Most people do not and then engine fails and they are out for not keeping the oil levels up.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

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