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Hyundai Sonata Front Suspension "Thunk"

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  • Welcome to the world of Hyundai Sonata. I now have about 3800 miles on my car which came to me mid-July. Service mgr. says all is fine. That is just the way the car is made. I now know what Consumer's Reports meant when they said the car has "suspension noise". I too wish I had ridden the car over a surface with patched potholes and heavy tar lines before I bought it. The car is OK on smooth roads but not for the roads we have in W. PA.

    Does anyone have a problem with static and interference on the AM dial? This car has the worst radio of any car I have ever owned or driven. Dealer made an attempt to fix this but only made it worse. I'm still waiting for service mgr. to get OK from Hyundai service to try something else. What a bummer as I listen to talk radio more than music. FM is fine but not perfect. Still has some background noise.
  • The Sonata is an inexpensive car. I have a 2009 and when you hit a manhole cover it is louder than my Nissan Murano but the Murano costs twice as much. I have not experienced any unsafe handling. It seems well controlled in my experience. The car is rated above average in reliability. Before I purchased my Sonata I looked at Honda's, Nissan's, Fords and Mazda. I believe the Sonata was the best value for my $18,000.
  • Ok, I have a 2009 GLS with 5 speed Manual Transmission. I have 1000 miles on it. Yes, there is some thumpa-thumpa over bumpy roads. But I wouldn't exactly call it something that is horrible.

    I think a lot of people on here are blowing this out of proportion. The American car driver expects a fully noise insulated ride, something that can usually only be done at the expense of good handling and with a super soft suspension. Let's keep in mind this is a family sedan with a price point of roughly 16.5K with current incentives.

    I also own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata (turbo'd / hard suspension). I would like to suggest that NOBODY on here complaining about road noise or loud suspension has any idea what a truly noisy car sounds like. Come take a ride with me sometime in the Miata and I'll show you what real road noise is all about. Not only is the suspension hard to the point where it becomes exhausting after an hour of driving over PA back roads, but your ears get a workout from:

    - jarring ride over even the smoothest roads
    - whining air intake as the turbo builds boost
    - explosive rush of air on shifts when the system vents excess pressure

    The Sonata is so quiet that I find myself uncertain what gear I'm in (remember, I bought a 5 speed manual) due to lack of engine noise. The supsension thump is mild, at best, and should be put into perspective.
  • I have talked to a good number of Sonata owners. I also have taken rides with
    some of them. It seem that some cars ride better than others. I had the owner of a 2009 GLS take a ride with me just two days ago. He said his car, which is the same as mine even the color, makes less noise than mine. He said "you feel every bump in your car even the small ones". I also own a 2001 Toyota mini van. It has 40,000 miles on it. It makes much lees noise over bumps. The 1992 grand prix that the sonata replaced made much less noise than the Sonata. When I went back to the dealer for the first oil change they again told me that many Sonata owners say the same thing. But most owners I talked to said the ride was good. So I will be going back to the dealer after the holidays to try to get them to do something. I also
    found my gas millage to poor. The best I have done is about 17.75 miles per gallon.
    It was only 14.2 miles per gallon in cold weather of late here in New York City. This is all city driving.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    One thing to consider, and check, is tire pressures. It may seem like a little thing, but tire pressure can make a big difference for ride smoothness and tire noise over bumps, especially with lower-profile tires as on the 17" wheels on the uplevel-trim Sonatas. If someone has their tire pressures a few pounds under spec and someone else a few pounds over spec (for better fuel economy or just mis-set), that could be a 10+ lbs. difference in pressure, enough to notice between two cars.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    OK I try to ignore posts about "poor" fuel economy especially when I previously answered more than my share patiently explaining to persons, perhaps like you, who do not understand the toll of city driving (most especially NEW YORK CITY) on fuel economy. You drive there, I do not, but that driving experience (in my mind and feel free to correct me if I am wrong) is (A.) go like hell to beat out the taxi next to you..until the next light turns red (B.) repeat and/or don't move at all due to congestion followed by a free for all on the expressways into and out of the city proper until they too clog up due to an accident or something else. Do you think almost 18 mpg is "poor" under such circumstances? Please remember you are getting zero (0) mpg much of the time. With regard to cold weather...all gasoline vehicles perform worse with regard to fuel economy in cold weather due to warm-up periods (idling) you may persue to defog/defrost the glass and encourage heat to warm the interior before driving off, and a general longer time frame for the vehicle to warm to a more efficient operating mode. 17.7 is good and 14.2 is acceptable for the winter in all city driving. City dwellers need a hybrid in order not to complain about fuel economy.
  • What tire pressure would you think is best?
    I try o keep it at the recommended 32 psi cold.
  • Smart move. It's not just how much you spend.
    I would gladly have paid more for a better ride.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    That's a good idea. I've experimented with a few psi over the recommended settings on my cars, for better fuel economy, but I'm not a fan of going much over the recommended settings as some folks do.
  • bfyerxabfyerxa Posts: 78
    I am seriously looking at the 09 Sonata SE (most likely V6) and have gone through this whole thread. Is the thunking noise there when you first drive the car off the lot, or does it show up after a bit? I initially drove a 4 cyl SE (GLS Sport here in Canada) before I read this thread (it seemed fine BTW). I took a 6 cyl SE out the other day after reading this thread and gave it a good run. The sales guy let me take it out alone so I drove it all around onto the crappiest roads I could find in the area (and they are crappy here in Ottawa in the winter). The thing drove nice and tight and handled everything well - I was darting around trying to hit the bumps.

    It seems based on this thread that some cars have the problem and some don't. A lot with the problem also seem to have "vague" handling and unsteady straight line tendencies. So my question is if you take your actual purchased car out for a good test run before accepting it and it is good then are you most likely OK from this issue?
  • I did drive the car I ended up with. However, the roads in the area of the dealership are very good. I didn't notice anything bad. The salesman drove the car to my home
    and I drove him bad in my old car. I had to drive my old car for a few more weeks until I sold it. When I started driving the Sonata ever day I noticed the noise imeadeitly upon hitting bumps and pot holes. It is probably true that some have the problem and some don't. I have questioned people with the same car. Not one yet has said they found anything wrong with the ride. I have read road tests of Sontas that reported a hard ride over bumps. If I had known the car made this noise I would not have bought it. I wouldn't recommend buying one of these cars. You well be taking a chance that it might develop this problem later. The service people tell me that everyone says the cars make noise. They also said this is normal and there is nothing wrong. Everyone I spoke to said the ride was good. So, I think they just don't want to get into the problem or know about it and can't fix it.
  • Since so many make this noise I do not think you will have a problem in the long run. If the Sonatas start failing they will have to put out a service bulletin. The company must know the cause and they would be working on the correction if they believe it is a safety issue . The car does have a 100,000 mile warranty. Mine makes a "Thunk" if you hit a pothole but I do not see that as a problem.
  • Is the sound you hear when you go over a pot hole louder than any car you have ever been in even very used old cars? Mine is. If you go many bumps and pot holes in a row it's very annoying. Maybe your car is not as bad.
  • I can only say it louder than I would expect. I would not say it makes the car sound cheap or like there is a broken part. It would seem to be easy for Hyundai to trouble shoot with so many Sonata's doing it. Maybe I do not have the noise that others speak of or not as bad.
  • jcz62jcz62 Posts: 1
    I too have a 2009 4 cyl Sonata and it has the crappy suspension problems you are all writing about and Hyundai is looking the other way and not acknowledging there is a problem. I've followed through to Corporate and they say that's just the way the
    car is supposed to be. The suspension is poorly done.... I've driven other 09 Sonatas and they all are pretty much the same, and air pressure doesn't seem to make a difference. My last car was a '04 VW Passat...... that was a sporty suspension and it didn't do that cheap car bumyness the Sonata does.

    In Oct I drove a little 3 cyl Fiat Punta in Italy for a week and that rode way better than the Sonata. I've also had Saabs, and Hondas, and a Porsche 911 over the years, and have to say this is the worst riding car I've ever been in. I wish I could get rid of it somehow.
  • vinngvinng Posts: 12
    I also owned a 2009 Sonata, 4 cyl. I purchased the car in june of 2008, I complained to the dealer about the noise problem and I was told the shocks needed to be replaced. Well it was done, but the noise was still there. I took it back again and again for the same problem to no avail. I was told this is the way the car rides. After speaking to corporate headquarters about the problem I was given the same answer. Not being satisifed with that answer I drove the car back to the dealership, handed the salesman the keys and told him to keep this piece of junk you call a car. I went on to say that I traded a 7 year old Camry for this rattle trap and that I would not ever drive this car again. After telling him that I was going to ask an attorney about the Lemon law (NYS) he saw how upset I was, and he asked me inside to talk. He took me for a ride in a 2009 Hyundai Azera, which was a step up from the Sonata. Idrove it about 10 miles, on smooth roads and bumpy ones, took it on the highway at about 60MPH and it drove like a dream. I have the car since Nov of 2008 and am very happy with it. It cost me about $5000.00 more but at least I have a real good car. As for the Sonata 2009 the worst car I have ever driven. Get rid of it if you can the noise will only get worse. See a lawyer if you must. In my state New York you can seek the lemon law after 3 visits for the same problem. Just go on line there are lawyers on the lemon law site that will go after Hyundai for you at no cost to you. They will get their fee from hyundai.
  • Let us not confuse NOISE with ride QUALITY. There is no ride quality issue here. What is at issue is the amount of noise that is transmitted from the suspension.

    And, I'm sorry...are you really going to compare a Sonata with a 911 or Saab? Well heck, let's throw in my turbo Miata and talk about how lousy the Sonata is because it can't do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and can't hold 1.01 on a skid pad like said Miata. I mean, seriously...
  • I live in N.Y. but i got my Sonata in N.J. They must have a lemon law.
    I will be bringing the car in for the third time soon. I would love to get rid of it.
    I will look for a lawyer. What is that web site you went to?
    thanks
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    It must be pointed out up front that I do not own a Sonata. I have rented them multiple times however (with no excessive noise complaints on my part) and I am reading these complaints with this thought going through my head "Whatever are these people complaining about?" "Rattle trap?" ..."Piece of junk?"... "Worst car I have ever driven?" these are very harsh terms to be applied to a new car. I simply cannot fathom the cars being this bad and whatever noise is present has to be a personal expectation "noise violation". I drive a 14 year old Dodge Stratus (with 219,000 miles) and a 2006 Honda Civic (with 19,000 miles)and both make noise when the suspension bottoms out in a pothole as do all cars. If I am not totally mistaken the Azera uses the same front suspension type the Sonata uses with different calibrations to make it ride softer so maybe what you want is a softer riding car and associate a softer suspension with a "better ride". I see a fair amount of complaints about this but is the cause the desire for a Buick type ride? I don't know that answer.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    After driving many, many 2006-9 Sonatas (rentals, test drives) over the years, I finally found one (2008 GLS I4 with 20k miles) a few weeks ago that had a distinct suspension noise when going over fairly small bumps, e.g. raised expansion joints. I had not heard anything like that before on a Sonata. Now, it was a cold day (5 F), but a short time later I drove another 2008 Sonata (exactly the same trim and equipment except 40k miles) over the same course and it was quiet, just like every other Sonata I've driven (some tire noise notwithstanding). So I think there is some kind of problem with the Sonata suspension that shows up on some number of cars. There are also reports in Town Hall of owners who have had the suspension noise quelled through actions at the dealership.

    As was noted by another poster, this is not a ride quality issue but a noise issue.
  • vinngvinng Posts: 12
    just type in New York State Lemon Law on your browser and you will see a number of web sites for a lemon law lawyer. You will see listed NY Lemon Law-free help tel: 1 866-86LEMON or New York Lemon Law 877-50-LEMON. Good Luck
  • vinngvinng Posts: 12
    Let me answer you first by saying I am a 69 year old man who has driven cars and trucks for over 50 years. I consider myself an experienced driver with fairly good sense of what a new car should feel like. Not only does the 2009 Sonata make excessive noises front and rear, the jarring effect when hiting a crack or a small pot hole is is unbelieveable. May I say, in my opinion that that 09 Sonata as is should not be driven until the problem is solved by Hyundai. THIS CAR IS NOT ROAD WORTHY. Sorry I have to disagree with you.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Just my .02. We own an 09 Sonata Ltd 4cyl , my wife's daily drive since this past summer, and have none of the problems you ascribe as being systemic to all Sonatas. Ours rides well, is quiet and solid. And we live in possibly the worst area in the country for roads here in south-central PA. Maybe we got lucky and got a good one or maybe you just got one of the bad apples. It happens. Oh, and before you say I don't know what I am talking about, I am not that far behind you in years (mid 50's) and used to work in the auto parts and service industry and have driven many, many cars and trucks in my lifetime. I think that at least gives me a substantial baseline of experience to draw my conclusions/impressions from. ;)
  • I think everyone here knows what they are talking about. Like I have said it seem to me that it's not all the 2009 Sonatas. But the people who have the cars with the problems are very unhappy with the noise and jarring you get when going over bumps you can hardly see. I'm in my mid 50's and a car buff. This Sonata makes more noise than my 1967 Mustang.
  • What is Town Hall?
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    I have no doubt that everyone here knows what they are talking about. The problem I am having in this discussion is the propensity of some to take anecdotal evidence of specific problems and try to apply that to condemn the whole. It just can't be done. If one person can say that because their Sonata makes noise all will, I could say since mine doesn't all should be quiet.

    I have no doubt that some are having some problems. We just need to realize that because we might have a problem, or not, that doesn't mean that our situation will apply to all, especially when there is evidence to disprove our point. ;)
  • Ok, I'm not thinking it applies to all Sonatas. The people who are having the problems are just trying to find a way to fix them. I think that is what the discussion is about. If my car was not having problems I wouldn't even be in this discussin.
    If your car does not have this problems be happy.
  • My point all along is thus:

    ...all of the cars have the same attributes but some owners think it's a significant problem whilst others don't.

    I'd be willing to bet that if those that say there's a problem had somebody that says it isn't a problem go along for a ride, the person going along for the ride would say, "Yeah, my car does the same thing...so?"

    I paid 15K for my 09 Sonata. It's performing to my expectation for such and I'm happy with the balance of car versus price point.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I am 61 years old myself and have been driving since 1963 so it isn't like I have no life experience. I have had my share of $50.00 worn out beaters and winter cars held together with bondo and I am sure there WERE cars in that group that shouldn't have been on the road but I don't remember feeling truly afraid of any car. I really don't recall feeling/saying "this car isn't road worthy" in CAPS no less!! Anyhow, there is no reason to disagree with me because I don't necessarily disagree with you. I am only stating that I find it hard to comprehend that this car can be that bad.
  • If the problem was that bad, you're telling me it didn't show up in the test drive? Or it did and you bought it anyway? Please explain Vinng.
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