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2011 Hyundai Sonata Tire Problems



  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited October 2012
    I wonder if the 2006 allowed for camber adjustment? The 2011 redesign may have been the first model that eliminated the camber adjustment capability on the Sonata. Our 2012 GLS had an alignment at 2400 miles and the tech fine tuned the Toe in on the fronts. They moved the fronts to back to see if the adjustment effected the unworn backs on the front. Now at 8000 miles and all four seem to be much better and flattening out. dealer swore by Kuhmos but in the past Hyundai used Michelin OEM's and had much more customer satisfaction. some things are better off without the cost accountants!
  • I've had this same problem. Our 2011 Sonata began having loud noise , like one is taking-off on an airport runway, around 18,000 miles. It soon became so deafening, my daughter would literally get headaches from long trips in the car, I took it in to our dealership around 20,000 to diagnose / fix the loud noise. They showed me it had uneven tire wear and cupping on the inside and did an alignment. As I drove off, I noticed the sound was actually worse! They said that's to be expected and there was nothing they could do for sound.

    I then got on the Hyundai forums and was surprised to see how many others were having the exact same problem, with loud tire noise starting around 20,000. At first the consensus on the forums was that its due to the poor OEM tires Hyundai puts on their Sonatas.

    But after reading Dennis' post there (and here above), its now apparent the problem is due to the camber being out of spec, as installed at the factory. A negative camber will cause one's tires to wear unevenly on the inside and cause cupping.

    So, luck of the draw if one gets a Sonata with an out of spec / negative camber. And since Hyundai didn't put the $14 adjustable bolt on their Sonatas, the camber can't be adjusted (unless one adds the $200 - $300 kit). Thus, no matter how good of tires I put on the Sonata, the defective camber alignment will keep causing my tires to wear unevenly and be noisy.

    I contacted my local dealership and sent a detailed e-mail with links to their Hyundai forums of others with this similar problem and even included Dennis's post describing his camber case on file. Here's the reply I received: "
    I addressed your tire noise concerns with my Hyundai factory rep. He explained to me that the soft tire compound that Hyundai chose to install on the Sonata was to enhance the comfort of the ride.

    As the owner of the vehicle, you are the only person that can start a case# in reference to your tire wear concerns. You can contact Hyundai customer service at 800-633-5151.

    Thank you,
    Elyria Hyundai Service Dept

    They didn't even address the camber issue!!!. If the camber is out of spec, namely if its set at a negative camber, even the best of tires will still wear unevenly and cup inside. It really has nothing to do with the " soft tire compound that Hyundai chose to install on the Sonata ... to enhance the comfort of the ride" Until the camber is corrected, no matter how many alignments, tire rotations, etc... it will continue to cause uneven tire wear and cupping and just keep eating up new tires every 20- 25,000 miles or so!

    I am going to start a case with Hyundai America, as Dennis suggested, and hope others will too. If enough of us complain, maybe Hyundai will finally address and correct this major camber issue. (and cover the cost for the camber kit and replacement tires).

    Annoyed 2011 Sonata owner in North central Ohio
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited October 2012
    The camber issue keeps coming up since the engineers decided to eliminate the camber adjusting capabilty (bolt type) on the YF model Sonata. Our 2012 GLS, as posted earlier required an alignment adjustment at 2400 miles due to feathering on the outside ribs, with no pulling, of the front mounted Kuhmos. The tech adjusted the toe-in on the fronts since this can be the cause of feathering or cupping. some experts may differentiate the two conditions. The tech adjusted the LF toe-out to the specification in-range number that also changed the total toe. The camber was at -.6 degrees that is within the YF spec. and was not changed . Caster was within spec range. The tech made an informed judgement call on adusting the toe-in since the outer rib (only) was feathering which can be caused by crabbing or dragging rather than the tires running straight. Now at 8300 miles and the tires on the front (backs until 2400) appear to be wearing flat across the tread - if feathering it is very minor at this point. The backs (fronts until 2400 miles) are flattening out and due to be rotated. Sorry for all the words, but the conclusion has to be, if the alignment is truly out of the spec range for your vehicle when it is new, the manufacturer should correct the problem with whatever is required. Leaving off the Camber adjustment capability was an engineering decision, possibly with input from the cost accountants. In the event that Camber adjustment is needed, on a new vehicle that was accident free, then the manufacturer needs to bite the bullet- in one customers humble opinion. Damaged front ends and older worn cars are a much tougher call due to all the variables.
  • Well; after fighting with Hyundai for weeks on this and getting emails stating there is nothing they can do, I purchased a new set of Bridgestone tires. Firestone gave me a nice break on these $700 set of tires only because I had my vehicle aligned there with their lifetime alignment package and they felt my pain.
    As soon as I got the tires put on and re-aligned again, I took the vehicle down to the Hyundai dealership and had them check the alignment report which showed the -5 degree caster out of adjustment and there was no way to adjust. I had Hyundai print me a service ticket stating they confirm that my vehicle is within Hyundai alignment specifications. I assured them that if these tires start to cup or wear uneven, I will seek to file a class action law suit.
    I suggest that anyone who has this issue go to SAFECAR.GOV and enter a complaint.
  • i had a nissan altima that had a problem similair to this and the alignment guy i went to used a smaller bolt in the hole to do the adjustment-aircraft grade--don;t know if this is the same adjustment but i do have a 2011 sonata se but so far good but only 11500 miles on it
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Don't know the specific fix and design of the front end on both cars. The alignment parts, on a front end with a car weighing 3000-4000 pounds and bouncing all over the road, has to be obviously robust to maintain the specs.
    The unibody assembly is done with jigs and robot welding that provides for far more consistency than in the past. Eliminating the camber adjustment capability may not be new to the industry but it is definately a calculated move to lower the initail manufacturing cost. In the event that wear, accidents, initial quality issues and other events result in needed camber adjustment, I see a major contingent cost down the road that will offset the initial savings. If the manfacturer decides to avoid the ultimate resposibility for the cost saving approach, I also see a serious hit to long term durability ratings and consumer perception of quality. If the majority of those cars have no alignment/tire wear/safety issues the consumer will vote on the decision.
  • My Sonata has uneven thread wear (7/32 on inside and 5/32 on outside of the tire). Took it to the Hyundai dealership and they said that it is a normal (?!?!?) wear for front wheel tires and that these Kuhmo tires are "extremely soft" (?!?!). I refused their explanation and forced them to check the alignment on the car. Values came within specs. I am not saying that Hyundai's specs are OK either. I opened the case with Hyundai and they refused to do anything blaming tires. I took car to Kuhmo authorized dealer (Discount Tire) and their rep told me that tires are OK and that they are servicing tires from Hyundai Tech center in Ann Arbor and MOST of tires they serviced had wear like mine tire. I sent an e-mail to Hyundai customer service notifying them that if I do not hear within 7 days from their Regional Service manager I will proceed with legal action. If they think that "Binding Arbitration Clause" can stop me from suing them, they are very wrong.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited October 2012
    You do not post the mileage or the rotation schedule. Our 2012 GLS showed feathering at 2400 miles on the fronts - mostly left front. We had the alignment checked and the toe was out of spec. Dealer adjusted under warranty and rotated tires- per our request back to front. Rotated back to front again at 8500 and original fronts "flattened out", original backs showed slight feathering while on front with alignment now in spec range. We also run 36# in all tires and have a compressor to top up as needed. Dealer estimates 30-35,000 miles on OEM tires (also any brand) which we have seen before.
    Point is that rotation is very important and maybe more frequently due to very tight turning radius AND the soft rubber & high speed rating of the Kuhmo tires. Definately going for S or T rating, rather than H at replacement if Michelin has the right size for GLS wheels. Car is great so far with 10,200 miles. Excellent road car with 36MPG at speed limit plus a few. We also have a top knotch dealer. Good luck.
  • Car had 10401 and that was my third oil change. At 2500 miles (second oil change) I noticed slight uneven wear and now this wear is very bad, with tire being on the front for about 7500 miles. I have Dodge Grand Caravan 1996 with 288k miles on it and Yokohama Avid TRZ tires with 62K miles and they were perfect in thread wear. No uneven tire wear whatsoever. I just replaced them. I would expect to see uneven wear on tire for 0.5mm across, but 1.5mm or 1/16" is way to much. On next oil change, my tire will be bald on outside.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    I agree with your comment. I was lucky to catch our same wear pattern and have a good dealer that agreed to adjust the out of spec toe out back to spec.
    I also had an old car. 1998 Bonneville with 120,000 and it got 60,000+ on tires and more on brake pads - good car it just got old. Hyundai needs to do some work on the front ends & alignment issues. They used to put Michelin on most of their cars but not now. I have never had Kuhmos but am dedicated to Michelin due to quality control, wear, balancing, traction, etc. They cost more but provide better service IMO. Personal opinion - the decision to eliminate the camber adustment capability on the new model Sonata was a cost factor offset by better more consistent manufacturing techniques and may come home to roost on Hyundai if they do not encourage the dealers to address the problems of preliminary wear on Sonatas fitted with H-rated Kuhmos and no camber bolt. We will see down the road. ain't gonna help marketing for new Sonatas either way. Good luck.
  • There is a problem with the car. I do not care if its the tire or alignment (latter most probably). The problem is that dealership's service stated that "thread wear is not uneven, just worn from being on front of vehicle" ?!?!? 7/32nd on inside and 5/32nd on outside and it is not uneven wear!? What values should be, in order for thread wear to be uneven? They did the alignment check and all numbers are within spec. I opened case with BBB Auto Line. This will not end up here nor now.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    My past experience is that threats and lawyers make for a poor deal, however if you feel wronged - have at it! I noted on a Tire Review forum that 2009 Sonata with Michelin MXV4 S8 OEM tires got 87,000 miles. I saw many with Michelins fitted when they were trying to establish market presence. The switch to a cheap line of Kuhmos on 2011/2012 new Sonatas was not inspired new car marketing in one man's opnion. adding the camber bolt elimination made for a problematic situation. In the event that the alignment specs are to broad or not stable without the camber bolt, the cars will wear out any tire permaturely. I keep, or replace cars in-kind, that are friendly to tires, brakes, oil useage and other cost of ownership factors. I trade the others and NEVER go back like many consumers. I wish you good luck with your car - ours is great so far with the alignment/Kuhmo tires the only minor issue so far.
  • They are wrong and making me look stupid or mentally challenged does not solve the problem either. I have MS in ME and I will not tolerate incompetence especially in this area.
    I also had 2006 Sonata and it was without single problem until it was totaled. I replaced Michelin tires at around 40k and thread was at 2.5mm on every tire before they got replaced. I filed a case with BBB Auto Line so I will see how it goes. Lawyer is the last resort.
  • Dennis, I sent you an e-mail. Please, read it.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Ryster:Could not agree with your comments on Michelin tires more. I have not purchased any other brand in over 40 years. cost is somewhat more but the wear on a tire friendly car is outstanding. Hyundai must have folded to home office pressure to mount Kuhmo and Hankook OEM cheapies in their flagship ( high selling models) models. They spend a fortune on long warranties and marketing programs and then leave Michelin (with a high customer perception) and go to a lower end line to save a few shekels - go figure?
  • Google "typical front tire wear for a front wheel drive vehicle", click on the link for Yahoo answers...this site gives the best explantion of tire wear, suspension geometry, etc. that I have seen. You might see yourself there.
  • Well, after all, Hyundai proved they really stand behind their products and customers! That is a good news. Although, I had to keep gun to their forehead ...
    Anyway, after I filled a complain with BBB Auto Line, and after two weeks of waiting, lady from BBB Auto Line called me with a Hyundai rep on the other line to discuss the issue I had. I explained to Hyundai rep what is the problem and he told me that dealership told them that I was complaining about uneven thread wear between tires not a single tire (?!?!) and they could not do anything about it. After I explained to him that I have an issue with uneven thread wear on single tire he asked me if I am willing to bring the car to dealership so they can fix the issue. After I took the car to the dealership, he told me that he instructed guys in dealership to make toes on both front wheels to run parallel as close as possible. They also replaced my front tires (bad ones). Can you believe it? I thought that warranty on tires comes from Kuhmo ...
    After they were done, I took a car for a test drive to make sure it does not pull left nor right. It is driving straight. Then, I wrote an e-mail to Hyundai rep stating that I will check tires after 5000 mile, on my next oil change, and that I expect to have no more than 0.5mm of uneven thread wear on front tires and to talk to his engineers to tell me on what to expect as normal. On my e-mail he replied that he talked to TireRack specialist and he informed me that they told him that 7/32 on inside and 5/32 on outside is not that bad (?). After that, I contacted TireRack, sent them picture of the tire in question, and they confirmed that tire wear is ABNORMAL aka BAD aka NOT NORMAL and that I should contact Hyundai. End of case for if tire wear is normal or not.
    I am writing this, in case someone else has the same issue as me and to know how to make Hyundai stand behind their products and customers. Right? ;)
  • This is what Hyundai rep told me about uneven thread wear:
    "After receiving your e-mail I contacted The Tire Rack who is a national tire supplier and questioned them on the details of your concern. What I found out was that the original wear that you indicated of 7/32 - 5/32 across the one tire is not way out of line and could be considered normal. They stated they would more concerned if there was a variance of 7/32 to more like 3/32 or 2/32. They also advised me of the facts I knew already and that is that different conditions affect tire wear such as alignment, driving conditions, hot, wet, cold, weather in general, tire pressures, tire rotations, pot holes, rough road, road crowns or flat roads and curves such as freeway ramps."
    And this is what TireRack tech told me when he looked at the picture of my tire:
    "This is abnormal wear so I would recommend following up with Hyundai."
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    You got a good dealer that is the key but Hyundai also stood behind the car. Our 2012 GLS also required the front toe out adjustment to correct uneven wear. After 8000 miles the problem appears to have been fixed by our excellent local dealer without any problems. Good to hear the hyundai is standing behind their cars. Good luck.
  • Stekicar, I didn't get the email (or it ended up in spam file and accidently deleted). I just got a notification of a new post this morning and have not received any notifications in 4-6 weeks of any posts on this site. Please email me at I'm really interested in this case. Just pisses me off I had to replace these tires so soon.
  • Crankee, Hyundai stood behind their product AFTER I filed a complain with BBB Auto Line, not before. Hyundai dealership was useless. It amazes me how much incompetence these guys have.
  • I sent you an e-mail last night and this morning on new e-mail. Did you get it?
  • Still like driving my 2009 Sonata with 40k miles. Have had bad experience with rear brakes, dealer replaced pads at 20k, they fell apart at 39k and Hyundai claims there is no issue. For safety I replaced right rear caliper and pads myself at 39k, thanks Auto zone. Filed interference fit on both calipers so pads move smoothly. Hyundai refuses to reimburse and denies that they have a problem, although the internet is full of complaints"like mine.. Not like other car makers who is quick to recall issues like this. Will never buy another vehicle from Hyundai USA- a Corporation who does not live up to their Customer promises..
  • You should have filed complain with BBB Auto line first. Then, they would show how they stand behind their product and customers. That is why I do not fall for all those stupid advertisements about warranty etc. Everyone should do homework first before start looking to buy a car.
  • I did get the email and contacted BBB auto line. They sent me a package last week and I filled it out then sent it back with copies of all my documentation. I'm hoping to here from somebody soon. As soon as I here something I will post it on the forum. Thanks!!
  • What was your BBB Auto Line Case Number? They just called me and I want to reference your case also. Thanks
  • I brought my 2011 Sonata into Firestone today for an oil change and to check the tires for the first time since I bought them on 9-23-12. Sure enough... my brand new $700 Bridgestone Turanza Serinity Plus tires with only 3,013 miles on them are cupping the exact same way my OEM Kuhmo tires were. The left front tire is the worst (like the OEM) and the right front is not quite as bad.

    Come on Hyundai.. quit screwing around already and do the right thing here. There is obviously a problem with the front end with this car and I'm going through tires like crazy. I reopened the case with Hyundai and also am working with BBB Auto Line.

    The sad thing here is, how many people are out there with the same issue and without a clue?
  • Hi Dennis,
    I feel your pain. Do we have any recourse? :mad:
  • The only recourse is to open a case with Hyundai and then open a case with BBB Auto Line if Hyundai refuses to address the problem. If enough people complain, then they will have to do something.
  • Seems this is an ongoing problem with this car. I guess I have no choice but to buy tires and complain to Hyundai . Is there anything going on with this problem other then everyone ATTEMPTING to complain? Oh yeah my engine blew up at 20k and they only replaced part of the engine
    not the entire thing and Hyundai has done every maintanence on it by there book log that comes with the car, and Hyundai was useless when I called to complain. Hyundai Customer service is GARBAGE :lemon:
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