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2011 Sonata Tire Problems

I own a 2011 Sonata which I bought new. It now has 21000 miles on it and all four tires have flat spots (cupping). The noise is so bad that I am getting ready to buy new tires to reduce the noise. The car has no noticeable vibration or pulling. Tire have always been properly inflated. Both front and rear tires are effected. From what I can learn on forums and at a tire dealer, cupping is caused by suspension problems (bad shocks, improper balancing or bad wheels). Has anybody had similar problems?


  • ems1ems1 Posts: 48
    Sounds like wheel alignment problems. Don't get new tires until that is fixed. They will be ruined in a few thousand miles and make as much noise as the old tires.

    If there is still a good amount of thread on the old tires, I would get the wheel alignment done and get the tires rotated and put the worst tires in the rear.
  • Thanks ems1, I am doing exactly as you have recommended. I talked with the service manager at our local Hyundai dealer where I bought the car and he showed me where the cupping is occurring and how alignment can cause my problems. I am getting thru him 4 new Michelin tires and an alignment all at the same time this coming friday. He is cutting me a break in the prices. He also showed me that had I rotated the tires every 7500 miles, the cupping would not be as bad because the wear would be just beginning at 7500 mi and might be worn off when rotated. I think he was being straight with me.
  • Hey, Skip.
    Cupping is a sign of out of balance tires. Regular rotation every 5-8k miles is a must to prevent this. Now, as to the noise. My Ltd. 2011 has just turned 5k miles, and it is so damned loud on the road, that I am going to trade it off, soon. I have had mine checked by the dealer, and they can find nothing wrong. My tires are not cupping, that I can tell, yet. It is just these danged Kumho tires that are LOUD!
    Instead of trading car off, why don't you just put on a new set of tires. There is nothing that the dealer or Hyundai can do about the tire noise except replace the tires with another set, preferably Michelins. If the only knock on the car is the tire noise, than there is only 2 ways to handle/solve the problem. That is to either A) deal with it or B) get a new set of tires. Hate to tell you this, but what else is there.

    The Dunlops on the 09-11 Genesis sedan were loud and wore out at 25k miles, so Hyundai made a change for the 2012 Genesis by putting Michelins on them. Boy what an improvement in ride quality/noise.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    edited September 2011
    I'm thinking of trading my 2012 in soon because it is need if its 1st oil change!!! SERIOUSLY!!! trading a new car because the tires are noisy (tires are replaceable you know) reeks of something excessive. I can only hope your comment was "tongue-in-cheek"
  • Wow! I have the exact same problem. I have a 2011 Sonata GLS with 23,000 Miles on it and I just took it into the dealer today because I started hearing a very loud noise, kind of like when you get snow stuck inside the wheel rim. He said my back tires were at 4/32 and the front were at 6/32 and that there was uneven wear causing the noise. I'm really annoyed at the situation. Tires shouldn't wear out this quickly. Not sure what tire to replace it with either, but I'm definitely not ever going with this stock brand again.
  • Typically the tread depth on a new tire is 11/32" so technically your fronts are at a little more than 1/2 tread left and the rears at a bit less. So 23K miles with about 1/2 the tread left isn't wearing out quickly but instead about "normally" since OEM tires are typically not the top of the line tire but instead lowish to mid level tires. The uneven wear? Probably something else...alignment, lack of tire rotation, driving habits( hit many curbs or potholes?) tire balance etc. Can't really blame that on the brand of tire generally.
  • rysterryster Posts: 476
    Just checked the tires on my 2011 Sonata using a tread depth gauge.

    After 16 months and 19,000 miles with the original Kumho Solus KH25's, all four tires are showing just under 8/32" depth remaining.

    I rotated them at 6,500 miles and again at 14,000 miles. They wil be rotated again when the oil gets changed at 21,000 miles. They should easily be able to go another 25,000 miles before getting to the point of needing to be replaced. My driving is about 70% city, 30% highway and a lot of country backroads. Winter brings snow, ice, and brined/salted roads. Road quality around here is not the best, so the tires do not live the best life. For OEM, they are holding up well.

    The tires, however, are very noisy. When it comes time for new ones, I will be getting something else. Most likely the Toyo Versado LXII in the stock 205/65/16 size.
  • I have the 18 inch rims ont he SE and when it comes time to replace the tires I am going for the Michelins but does anyone have any advice as to 18 Michelins good for this car-thanks-I have alsways replaced OEM's wiht Michelins and never had any problems-they seem to be worth the money but chekcing prices, the Hankook tires on the car now are more expensive than Michelins
  • No, no, no! When one spends $25,000 for a new car, he does not expect to have miserable noise while driving down the road. He expects cost free, enjoyment for a long time. One should not have to shell out $500 or thereabouts, for quiet tires on a brand new car. The Hyundai Mfg. co. should produce and sell a car that does not require the owner to immediately put a set of new tires on it. Dang! I will take the hit to my pocket, but not for new tires, for a new car of a different brand. And, this time, I will test drive it a lot more than I did this one, before I buy it.
  • this is skip1744. I started this thread and to bring everybody up to date, I bought 4 new Michelin tires (the type that are supposed to yield better mileage) from the Hyundai dealer along with a front and rear alignment. I think they are 16" since I have the base model Sonata. I promptly drove the car to Florida, 832 miles, straight down I-95, 80 mph most of the way. the tires are very quiet, soft riding, good handling, great in the rain and despite driving fast and having the ac on all the way I still got 32 mpg. I have used Michelin tires for many years and have always been satisfied with their handling and long life.
  • that's good to hear and when it comes time for me to get new tires I am definitely going for the Michelins-the Hankook on the car now are okay, slightly noisy is right but allt he OEM tires suck it seems and never last past 23000 or so.I maintain my car allt he time-roatte tires, oi changes, wheel alignments etc so it's an investment but they should be mroe quiet than they are-oh well, overall they made a great car-I looked at the Genesis in the showroom while I was there this week, $62000!!!!! I could buy two and half cars of what I have now for that much-haha
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    edited September 2011
    If you would take the time to re-read my post (or maybe just read it in the first place) you will find it is entirely devoted to the supposed premature tire WEAR this person thinks he has. Nothing, was said that addresses tire noise, however OEM tires are, as I originally said, not typically top end tires of any particular tire manufacturers line. Yes, with further research one can almost find a tire replacement that suits their individual needs...desires...expectations better than the "one size fits all" approach auto manufacturers are forced to use for OEM tires. I might not think those particular tires are noisy but might object to their wet weather handling or braking or snow traction or dry cornering name it. The wonderful thing is one can always find a tire that suits them better but whether he/she cares to endure whatever "fault" the OEM tire exibits is a personal choice. Nothing is perfect and that test drive is there to ferret out things you personally and as an individual do not like. Hyundai does not produce a car that requires the new owner to immediately replace the tires on. Hyundai produces a car with tires that satisfy a myriad of engineering, technical and safety parameters and if you don't like one of those hundreds? (probably) of parameters then either feel free to wait out the tires and replace them later or shell out and replace them now.
  • I had never been satisfied with the noisy Hankook tires on my 2012 SE, thus I upgrade to michelin primacy mxm4's. The tire I put on is slight taller as I went from a 225/45/18 to a 225/50/18. Those tires are also a low rolling resistance tire, so it will be interesting if my mileage gets any better. For sure, I cannot complain about the mileage. Thus far, the tires are far less noisy, seem to be a bit softer on bumps, and seem to grip better. Time will tell.
  • I have the same car/setup, but the 2012 and went with the 225/50/18 michelin primacy mxm4 from discount tire. As I only had 5000 miles on the hankooks, they gave me $200 for my tires. No complaints at all thus far.
  • Seems like the Sonatas are coming out of the factory misaligned. Within 7500 miles the tires started getting loud and wearing on the inner edges of the front tires. When rotated to the rear the noise got worse. incidentally, the vehicle pulls hard to the left. Took it to the dealer at 18000 for the pull, he said nothing was wrong. Took it back at 26000 and he sent it for an alinement. After the alinement it still pulled left. I had it checked at 27500 and its out of alinement already.

    A couple was in at the same time with a 2012 that pulled too. They scheduled an appointment for a alignment and I let them know my issue mirrored theirs.

    After they left a person called with the same problem.

    Not cool Hyundai. I've dumped $300 on two tires already. :confuse:
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    For sure, no one spends 22k on a vehicle expecting to have to replace the tires. Hyundai is unfortunately becoming more and more like other car makers, and that is not a good thing. If they keep this up, more will migrate back to the US and Japanese brands.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    The "left pull problem" is a hugely discussed issue that affected a certain percentage of 2011 Sonatas. As part of the "fix" Hyundai issued a few separate revised front alignment specs. in hopes this would fix far as I can tell it was a mixed bag but mostly didn't. There were some other ideas that Hyundai tried, including a new revised left front strut assembly with a larger range of alignment but this too was a mixed bag. The problem was well publicized with U-Tube videos all over the place and both Consumers Reports and Car& Driver had long term test cars that exibited left pull. Hyundai finally found the true fix and implemented it for 2012's after a certain build date. You mustn't get out much if you missed that whole debacle. Anyhow, the alignment, realignment and realignment again thing using different specs. is over and you really should check to have the fix done to your car. The uproar over the issue had pretty much gone away as far as I can tell so you might be one of the last still wondering why the car pulls left.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    And a news flash for you.....breaking news!!!! All auto manufacturers use spec. tires from whatever tire company they contract with. These tires are designed to be "all things to all people" and conform to multiple specifications submitted by the auto manufacturer. They tend not to be satisfactory to everybody buying a specific brand/model car in each and every category. If they are noisy to you and a premium Michelin tire at 1/2 again the cost to replace suits you better for reduced noise, by all means buy Michelin. So, in the respect that Hyundai uses hometown (Korean) Kumho or Hankook tires on many of their vehicles is neither a suprise or any different than GM using a traditional US (made in China) brand on some of their cars/trucks. For once and for all, OEM tires on most any brand, excluding possibly BMW, Rolls Royce, Mercedes, and other premium $$$$ cars are a compromise and if you or anyone else objects to one or more of the areas this compromise represents i.e. noise, wet handling, dry handling, snow traction, wear, hydroplaning etc..etc. then do your research when it is time to replace them and buy a tire that has better results in that/those areas. Whatever you do don't blame the manufacturer, any manufacturer, for choosing a middle of the road tire for OEM use.
  • hjc1hjc1 Posts: 183
    WELL SAID............
    These people who complain ever test drive a car before they buy it????
    18" tires will most always give you a harder noisier ride
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