Hyundai Sonata Problems: 14 Common Issues (Explained)

The Hyundai Sonata debuted in the United States in 1988. It has swiftly become the most successful sedan in the Hyundai lineup.

It is available in various versions, including hybrid and gasoline models.

There are a few complaints that have been reported by the owners of the Hyundai Sonata.

If you are thinking of buying a new or used Sonata, you should be aware of these 14 problems before proceeding with your investment.

Check also: Hyundai car models with the most recalls

1- Seat Belt Problem

Hyundai announced a recall in 2017 for Sonatas from 2011 to 2014 and Sonata Hybrids from 2011 to 2015. The recall was the result of a malfunctioning seat belt.

According to a website Cars, the recall affected more than 440,000 cars due to faulty seat belt connections in the front seats. This was a major issue of safety, putting the lives of the customers at stake.

The seatbelt fault can fail to restrain people in a crash and increase the risk of an accident.

Hyundai made the recall twice. The first recall was to address the seat belt’s anchor pretensioner, a piece attached to the car’s internal core that had a wire connection that was not properly attached to the belt’s system.

The second recall was due to the seat belt vendor’s doubts about Hyundai, because the company determined that the pretensioner was installed incorrectly and that the problem may reappear after the inspection.

2- Engine Failure Issues

Engine failure was also a problem in some models of Hyundai Sonata from the year 2011 to 2013. As per the reports from the website Car Parts, some drivers complained that their engines stopped and produced pounding noises.

This sudden engine failure issue made the car’s steering, power, and brakes all stop functioning.

Hyundai faced a legal lawsuit over these issues. The company paid around $8.5 million in compensation in 2016 as a settlement.

3- Transmission Issue

After the engine issue, there was another commonly reported problem for the Sonata users, and that was the transmission issue of the Hyundai Sonata.

It was claimed by many customers that the car had some shifting problems and the transmission was not smooth.

Faulty speed sensors were found to be the culprits for making the Check Engine light illuminate and were causing this problem.

Fortunately, this is a simple and affordable problem to resolve. Depending on the quality and configuration, the item can cost anywhere from $30 to $50.

There were other users of Sonata who had experienced transmission problems. It was identified that it could be due to insufficient transmission fluid.

The shifting problem was resolved by ensuring that the transmission fluid level was correct. Moreover, several drivers noticed that upgrading the vehicle’s software resolved the transmission problem.

5- Fuel Leakage Problem

A recent problem of fuel leaking has also emerged in the models of the 2021 and 2022 Hyundai Sonata.

It was discovered by the automobile company that the placement of the fuel pipes did not have enough torque and had low concentricity in automobiles with the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine.

The company has offered a replacement for its faulty models.

6- Speaker Errors

Defective speakers were also identified in Hyundai Sonatas. But that issue can be resolved by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery terminals within a few minutes.

Some design changes from 2011 to 2016 needed a factory reset to correct a software fault.

The software failure prevented applications like radio, the CD player, satellite radio, radio, phone calls, and navigation from producing audio.

7- Parking Lights Issue

The parking lights problem is one of the most common Hyundai Sonata issues that drivers encounter.

The issue reported by the Sonata owner is that the lights don’t turn off and, in a few cases, the lights never turn off, resulting in a drained battery.

This is usually caused by a problem with the fuse box, and it might also be triggered by a damaged elastic grommet on the braking system that is not attached to the brake power switch.

Although the issue was reported in the previous models of the Hyundai Sonata, it has also been identified in the recent models of 2015.

8- Steering Issues

A steering problem is another issue that was reported in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

Due to a malfunction in the steering wheel-column coupling, it was observed that the steering wheel jerks and wiggles during turns.

After that, when the cars were recalled, significant movement in the steering wheel was still experienced by the owners due to steering knuckle failure.

9- Timing Belt Problem

The timing belt tensioner on both old and new Sonata models makes cracking sounds when the car engine is idling.

It was also noticed that the damaged timing belt had also affected the crankshaft position sensor.

The reasons for this problem were: rush driving, overloading, an under-tensioned belt, worn out or broken pulleys, or debris storage in the pulley can all cause premature timing belt failure.

10- EGR Switch Valve Problem

Previous models of the Hyundai Sonata faced the issue of the EGR switch valve. Cars are noted to have harsh idling, especially when the air conditioner is turned on.

This issue was identified as a faulty exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) switch valve, which resulted in a lean fuel-air combination.

11- Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor Issue

The Sonata models from 2007 to 2009 also had some faults with the accelerator pedal position sensor.

It was also reported that the electronic stability control (ESC) button turned off on its own, causing the car to stop functioning or restrict speed to around 30 mph.

Some of the reasons for an accelerator pedal position sensor failure are a defective electronic evaluation in the sensor, a broken cable or inadequate voltage. The replacement accelerator pedal position sensor work would cost around $150 to $200.

12- Suspension Issue

Hyundai Sonata recalled some 2001–2004 Sonatas in 2009 owing to damaged suspension.

The suspension damage might cause the lower control arm to detach from the subframe.

Because of the detachment, the car may lose control and this can lead to an accident.

13- Self-Healing Paint Issue

The fifth-generation and sixth-generation Sonatas from the model years 2006 to 2014 faced the issue with self-healing painting. Rather than heal the minor paint issues, the car paint started to peel off.

Additionally, in the case of Hyundai’s self-healing mechanism failure, the damage or chip may induce further disintegration of the paint’s chemical composition, thereby causing the technology to act in reverse.

14- ABS Fire Issue

Another issue with the Hyundai Sonata is that it can catch fire as a result of short circuits in the ABS system.

This fault is only reported in the Sonata model from 2006.

The reason behind this is that the water seeping from the outside and the leaking of brake fluid triggered the electric faults. Hyundai conducted a series of recalls to remedy the issue.

Pros and Cons of Hyundai Sonata

Pros

Excellent Mileage

As usual, the Sonata delivers the best mileage.

The 2022 Sonata’s base engine offers great fuel economy, with hybrid models having the highest estimations.

The hybrid scores up to 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway, while the other hybrid Sonatas strive to perform at around 45 to 51 mpg.

Easy-to-Use Infotainment System

Users want a vehicle with amazing tools that they will actively utilize. Fortunately, the latest Sonata offers one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems on the market.

A big touchscreen, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions are a few of the notable features.

Luxurious Interior

The Sonata is ideal for buyers looking for a luxurious experience without paying premium pricing.

The materials utilized in the interior are all of great quality, and there is no sign of plastic. The dashboard gives an expensive appearance that will be appealing to most customers.

Attractive Warranty Package

Hyundai offers one of the most attractive and impressive warranty packages in its segment.

The extremely appealing 100,000 powertrain warranty and 60,000-mile limited warranty constraints are extremely appealing. Sonata provides substantially more coverage than most of its key competitors.

Ample Trunk Space

The fact that a driver has picked a sedan doesn’t really imply that they are unconcerned with cargo capacity and basic convenience.

The trunk of the 2022 Sonata is 16 cubic feet, which is relatively spacious for its class.

Inside the cabin, there are numerous storage spaces for drivers to explore. They’re ideal for storing little items like chargers, glasses, and other items.

Cons

The following are the cons of the Hyundai Sonata:

  • Transmission issues
  • Suspension issues
  • Poor steering response

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The Sonata is a reasonably priced, stylish, and well-equipped family car that does more things right than wrong.”

www.caranddriver.com

“The Sonata conveys the comfort of a more premium vehicle. It’s stylish, and it outperforms in crucial areas, such as its attractive and simple-to-use infotainment system screen, smart parking camera system, and extensive warranty coverage”.

www.edmunds.com

Resale Prices

The Sonata has a starting price of around $25,000.

This is less than the beginning price of several competitors in the same category. The Sonata Limited begins at $35,000, which is also a little inexpensive compared to other leading vehicles.

The 2022 Sonata has five base models:

  • SE,
  • SEL,
  • SEL Plus,
  • Limited,
  • and N Line;
  • there is also a hybrid variant.

The prices are mentioned below;

  • SE: $25,500
  • SEL: $27,000
  • SEL Plus: $32,500
  • Limited: $35,500
  • N Line: $35,000
  • N Line Night Edition: $36,000
  • Hybrid Blue: $28,500
  • Hybrid SEL: $31,000
  • Hybrid Limited: $37,000

After 5 years, a Hyundai Sonata will lose 35% and have a market value of $20,712.

The Hyundai Sonata’s resale value over the next seven years can be calculated using the depreciation table below discussed by the website. Car Edge

Years Old Resale Value Mileage
1 $30,217 12,000
2 $28,847 24,000
3 $27,139 36,000
4 $25,501 48,000
5 $20,712 60,000
6 $18,241 72,000
7 $17,583 84,000

The Reliability Test of Sonata

RepairPal gave the Hyundai Sonata a reliability score of 4 out of 5, placing it in the fifth spot out of 24 midrange automobiles.

In comparison to other brands and models, the Sonata’s yearly service and repair expenditures were less than $600, whereas its counterparts’ prices were around $700 or more.

Verdict

The 2022 Hyundai Sonata is ranked third due to its performance in the mid-sized vehicles category and has a score of 8.2 out of 10 on cars. usnews.com based on the 27 pieces of data and research items from multiple sources.

The Hyundai Sonata is an excellent vehicle. Aside from a few cons, the Sonata achieves good fuel economy and boasts one of the most comfortable interiors in the medium vehicle segment. The seats are spacious and comfortable, the trunk capacity is adequate, and the entertainment system is simple to operate.

Apart from its mediocre steering and handling performance, this Hyundai excels in all ways, and its affordable pricing makes it terrific value in the segment.

To get the most bang for your buck, go for the Sonata variant of SEL trim. This variant SEL offers attractive options like keyless starting, heated seats, and blind-spot alert, which is an upgrade from the base variant SE.

It can be ordered with a convenient package to obtain a few more features, like leather upholstery. But again, if performance is important, the N Line is the way to go.

There is no guarantee that your Sonata will not have difficulties over time, just like any other car. However, by being aware of your model’s usual problems and adhering to its maintenance schedules, you can lessen the chance of damaging its components and even enhance its mileage.

To get the most bang for your buck, go for the Sonata variant of SEL trim. This variant SEL offers attractive options like keyless starting, heated seats, and blind-spot alert, which is an upgrade from the base variant SE.

It can be ordered with a convenient package to obtain a few more features, like leather upholstery. But again, if performance is important, the N Line is the way to go.

There is no guarantee that your Sonata will not have difficulties over time, just like any other car. However, by being aware of your model’s usual problems and adhering to its maintenance schedules, you can lessen the chance of damaging its components and even enhance its mileage. 

Sources

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