Hyundai Tucson Problems: 7 Common Issues (Explained)

The Hyundai Tucson is one of the most affordable and popular SUVs in the market. Drivers prefer the Tucson over other SUVs for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and spacious cargo.

That said, the Hyundai Tucson comes with a few problems.

Most drivers reported issues that have led to costly repairs. Are you one of those drivers?

Don’t fret. In this article, we will take a look at some of them.

But, first things first?

Is the Hyundai Tucson Reliable?

Korean cars are famous for being reliable. Positive ratings seem to confirm this.

But, Tucson has a mixture of ratings on reliability. While most drivers rate Tucson high on reliability. There are few that rate it low.

This begs the question: Is the Hyundai Tucson a reliable SUV?

Overall, Tucson is a reliable car. It has a reliability score of 4.0 to 5.0, confirming that most Tucson drivers are happy with it.

The Hyundai Tucson rarely produced recalled cars from its 2005 to 2022 models.

The only recalls were for a corroding anti-lock brake control unit, rod bearings in the Hybrid engine, and leaking oil pans that may lead to fires.

Check our list of recalls across all Hyundai models.

Other than those, Tucson seems okay. Expect to pay around $30 600 for a brand-new Tucson.

Unfortunately, like any other car, the Hyundai Tucson has its problems.

We explore them below:

1. Front Collision Avoidance System problem

One of the problems you should expect when buying a Hyundai Tucson is a malfunctioning front Collision Avoidance feature. The 2019 Tucson seems to have this issue.

An excellent forward-collision warning system should warn you of an impending collision by detecting stopped or slowly moving vehicles ahead of your car.

However, if your Forward Collision has weak radar, laser, or camera to scan ahead, it will have trouble alerting you of any impending collision.

Some drivers report that if they try to set the system to early warning, Tucson reacts too late for some strange reason.

Other drivers were told to expect two warnings before a collision takes place.

Then, Tucson will apply the brakes to prevent any pending accidents. According to drivers, Tucson failed to perform this function. So they ended up using breaks themselves.

Sudden stops without warnings

Many drivers often ask themselves if Tucson will delay alerting them of potential collisions. In some cases, Tucson stopped in the middle of the road without sending any warning.

Hyundai Tucson models that have more than one issue are the following:

  • 2019
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2012
  • 2011

Customers reported a couple of issues with the above models.

Early in 2019, Hyundai released a Technical Service Bulletin to address some of those issues. The document focused on Tucson’s release between 2016 and 2019.

They also focused on other Hyundai models, such as Hyundai Sonata and Fe.

Fortunately, Hyundai has made some improvements with the all-new 2022 Tucson. It comes with a responsive Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistant with Pedestrian Detection.

According to Hyundai, the system is not designed for particular stationary objects like trees and poles. Hyundai insists that the system is a driver assistance system and is not a substitute for safe driving. Therefore, drivers still need to exercise caution on the road.

2. Transmission Issues

Drivers also report shifting and transmission issues.

The 2011 and 2016 Tucson seems to share this problem. A few drivers say their Tucson would sometimes lurch forward. At the same time, other drivers heard unusual grinding noises when they tried to accelerate.

Additionally, the transmission of the 2011 Tucson can become unresponsive and kick out of gear. Several drivers confirm this unpleasant experience.

Other transmission problems include difficulty shifting gears, hesitating when accelerating, losing power, and stalling.

Many drivers have reported these issues on multiple automotive websites such as Car ComplaintsConsumer Reports, and It Still Runs.

Lawyers have represented a few drivers with Hyundai Tucson transmission problems for 2011, 2016, and 2017 models.


If your Hyundai Tucson has transmission issues, we recommend taking your car to a local Hyundai dealer. They will look at it and confirm if it has this issue.

If they issue an invoice, keep it safely; you might need it when you submit your claim.

3. Acceleration or Hesitation Issues

A few other drivers have reported difficulty with acceleration. The following Hyundai Tucson share this issue: 2016, 2017, and 2018 models.

However, most car owners on complain about the 2016 Hyundai Tucson problem. They seem to encounter issues with Tucson between 7,000 and 13,000 miles.

According to one of the car owners on CarComplaints, Tucson sometimes can’t accelerate from a dead stop. When you try to step on the accelerator, Tucson becomes unresponsive.

One driver even claimed it took around three to four seconds for the Hyundai Tucson to start revving.

The stick hovered on 2,000 RPMs and did not move up.


Experts suspect a defective fuel pump or filter is responsible for this issue.

Since your acceleration depends on the gasoline, a pump can supply. The fuel pump will lose power as it wears out. Or even when the tank becomes clogged, thus preventing the free flow of fuel.

If you suspect your Hyundai Tucson has an engine hesitation or slow acceleration problem, take it back to the dealer immediately.

Driving it will not only put your life at risk but the lives of other drivers, too. For instance, if you try to overtake another car, the Hyundai suddenly becomes sluggish.

Other common causes for slow acceleration include:

  • Dirty mass air flow sensor (MAF),
  • Fuel pump malfunction, faulty oxygen sensor,
  • Dirty throttle body,
  • Worn spark plugs
  • And a clogged catalytic converter.


If you suspect your Hyundai Tucson has an engine hesitation or slow acceleration problem, take it back to the dealer immediately.

Driving it will not only put your life at risk but the lives of other drivers, too.

For instance, if you try to overtake another car, the Hyundai suddenly becomes sluggish.

If the fuel pump is the problem, a mechanic will change it for you.

4. Air conditioner blows warm air.

A few owners of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson have reported the issue of A/C that blows warm air. Most of the car owners with this problem had to replace their thermistors.

At the same time, others replaced their actuators, hoping that would solve this problem. But, unfortunately, it didn’t.

Driving a car with a broken air conditioning system is uncomfortable and can also harm your health.

So once you notice that your Tucson has this problem, take it for service.


If your Hyundai Tucson air con blows hot air instead of cold air, it has a faulty compressor clutch, a leak, malfunctioning system fuse, or a clogged expansion valve.

Other possible causes include:

  • Low or overcharged refrigerant,
  • Compressor malfunction,
  • A dirty condenser or evaporator coils,
  • Faulty blend door actuator,
  • Defective evaporator temperature sensor,
  • Bad AC pressure sensor and lousy fuse or relay.

5. Shakes excessively at Idle

Other owners of the Hyundai Tucson have reported excessive shaking when their cars are idling.

This problem seems to be common with the 2015 models. According to other drivers, they noticed this problem after traveling 500 miles.

Other drivers said they saw Tucson shuddering violently while idling after buying their cars.

You are likely to get a jarring feeling when your Hyundai Tucson shakes when at idle. Especially if you are sitting inside your Tucson.


A couple of things may make your Tucson idle. For example, the spark plugs.

So it is highly recommended that you change spark plugs at the manufacturer’s recommended interval.

Other causes include:

  • All Hyundai Tucson have ignition Coil Packs. So if those wear out, they will cause a misfire and rough idle condition.
  • If your Tucson model comes with Spark Plug Wires, they will likely cause wild idle.
  • Another possible cause of a violent idle is a vacuum leak. When your vacuum system gets a leak, it will cause a car to shake when it idles.
  • Motor mounts could be another possible reason for your Hyundai Tucson to shake.
  • If your timing belt chain is not lined up correctly, it will likely make your vehicle shake when idling.
  • If your air filter has not been changed for quite a while, it will likely make your Tucson shake violently.


Diagnosing the cause of why your Hyundai Tucson is shaking when idling is not something any ordinary car owner can do.

Hence, we suggest you take your car to a qualified mechanic to take a look at your vehicle.

6. Engine Failure

Then you also get engine failure, which is common in 2012 and 2013 models.

According to most car owners who have experienced this problem, their Hyundai Tucson would shut down without sending any warning.

This nightmarish experience can leave you stranded on the side of the road. Worst of all, in the middle of nowhere.

A lucky few drivers say, before their Tucson shut down completely, it sent them a warning. They say they heard their Tucson making loud knocking sounds; then the “check engine” light went on.

This issue will typically happen as soon as your Tucson reaches 89,000 to 90,000 miles.

Two-thirds of car owners reported complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to those car owners, the engine of their Tucson will seize and fail to start. Once that happens, they will start seeing oil coming out of the tailpipe.

Unfortunately, once your Tucson does something like that, you will have no choice but to replace the entire engine.

The repair will cost you a whopping $4,000, making replacing the engine a better option.


There are several reasons why the engine of your Hyundai Tucson would break down.

  • Rod bearings can be a possible reason why the engine of your Tucson breaks down.
  • A catalytic converter is also responsible for some engine issues in Tucson. If you don’t replace it immediately, it may damage your engine.
  • Bad engine oil – Some mechanics suspect lousy quality oil to be the cause.


It’s crucial to be aware of the common engine problems of an old Hyundai Tucson before you buy it.

One uses quality engine oil. Contact your auto manufacturer if you are unsure which engine oil brands to use. They will recommend brands for you.

7. Poor Gas Mileage

Another worrying problem with some old Hyundai Tucson is the poor gas mileage. It seems after reaching a certain number of miles.

Then Tucson will begin to have a lower-than-expected fuel mileage. Models that seem to have this problem are 2011 Tucson.

Drivers tried contacting Hyundai to seek help. But Hyundai said only the 2012 and 2013 model year owners were eligible for gift cards for this problem in their vehicles.

So 2011 model year owners had to foot the bill to fix their cars.

Let’s look at the causes:


  • The wheels if the wheels of your Tucson don’t always spin completely freely, that is likely to affect fuel consumption.
  • The spark plugs should be gapped at 0.044 inch.


We recommend taking your Tucson to the nearest mechanic to resolve this problem.

GO BACK: See problems for all Hyundai models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.