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Hyundai Sonata Brakes



  • I had much the same issue as many of you and got it taken care of today. I was experiencing a squeal from the left rear wheel that went away when the brakes were applied. That same wheel would become noticeably hot to the touch after a lengthy drive. With 11,400 on the odometer of my '09 GLS 4cyl I arrived at the dealership with some trepidation. They determined that the brake was sticking and the pads were damaged. They replaced the pads, resurfaced the rotors, and lubricated the pins and slides, all at no charge under the factory warranty (they may have done more, but it wasn't specified in the paperwork I received.) The service writer advised me that premature rust was a big issue with the rear brake hardware due to the highly corrosive calcium chloride solution being applied to roads during the winter driving season; he said the front wheels splash the crud onto the rear wheels. That, plus the front brakes do 80% of the work so the rear brakes are particularly susceptible to this kind of chronic problem. I guess I consider myself lucky for having it done under warranty, but it looks like the brakes will be a money pit post-warranty unless materials less susceptible to road salt-related damage are developed by Hyundai or the aftermarket.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    I'm in California so I don't deal with road salt or snow, either of which might cause a sliding caliper to bind.
  • jayessjayess Posts: 59
    I had a similar problem as I'd posted some time ago, also with an '07 Sonata. Started to hear the worn brake squeel sound at about 18.5K miles just ovet 1.5 yrs. The rears were worn down. Ultimately Hyundai reimbursed me in full for my initial cost to replace the rear brakes and turn the rotors. Then at 29.5K miles and just shy of 2.5 yrs they replaced the rears again - free - and resurfaced the rotors due to "excess wear".
    Then on my '08 they machined the rear rotors since the pads were sticking in the slides an lubed everything up, free since I'd reminded them of the issue we had with the '07. Car was 1 yr and 10.5K miles
    Jessc - I'm also purchased from a Pittsburgh area dealer - Cochran in Monroeville. My service advisor is 1st rate, he was the one who'd gone to the regional service mgr. and got me reimbursed...or maybe he was just playing good cop :) ...either way I'm very satisfied.
  • The issue was not resolved and hence I took it back to the dealer. This time I insisted that a dealer personnel ride with me so that I can make him hear the sound. Thankfully I could reproduce the sound and he identified that as a ringing noise. Left the car to be fixed and went to work. Got a call around noon. He said that someone [ my repair shopy guy] has applied some pink solution on the pads in the front. I would be charged $$ and that I have to pay for cleaning up the stuff. I said that I went for the second opinion and I was fine to pay as I had been dealing with it for the past 2 weeks.
    Then when I went to pick the car, the dealer did not charge me anything. I was surprised immensely that a dealer not charging for something he said he would.
    I asked him repeatedly whether the sound is fixed and he confidently said that it is.
    Next I asked what was the fix. He said that they had to apply some sticky substance wherever the brake is being held on all 4 pads. I asked whether it needs to be done anytime I had to change the pads. He said yes. When I asked is it some kind of a glue, he said NO and said it is some kind of sticky substance. Whatever.. It has been a week since it was fixed and I have not heard the sound.

    I am bit worried whether the fix is going to hold good or the issue is going to come again and without me knowing would it affect anything else..

    How could Hyundai ignore such an issue and not issue a recall for a permanent fix?

    In the inernet age, an issue such as this spreads so easily which would spoil their reputation.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    So the dealer DIDN'T charge you to undo the crappy job done by "your mechanic" and you're complaining that Hyundai is "ignoring the issue".....?

  • Just read the entire thread of mine and then conclude.. I wouldn't have taken it to the mechanic if the dealer did the job right in the first place. Also, whatever mechanic did was he applied an anti-squeak solution.
  • ayeuayeu Posts: 41
    Sudha22 - Please read the brake comments from everybody then think objectively. There is a chronic problem with Hyundai brakes (check out the Santa Fe brake comments, too) that Hyundai Motors is ignoring. My Service Manager acknowledges it. Hyundai dealers recommend regular disassembly and lubrication of pad slides at a cost of about 1¢ per mile (my dealer charges $130 every 15,000 miles), so they acknowledge it, too.
    I was in for an oil change last week and the guy who sold me my car asked how I liked it. I told him other than the brake issue I like it. He asked if I'd buy another one and I said "I'm not sure (read: I don't think so)". He called me an honest man. I recommended that he go to and read the thread on Sonata brakes to see what he may have to defend against.

    Other manufacturers don't have this problem. Hyundai and Kia do. They have made great progress with nice cars and this one problem could be easily solved and would avoid a disastrous change in customer quality perception.
  • I have a 2007 Sonata that has a stuck caliper for the second time in about one year. The first time, the repair was under warranty, but now, at 55K, I'm not sure if the repair will be covered. I caught it when I took it in for an oil change at Mr. Tire, and they advised me the break on the driver's side was starting to affect the rotor and should be fixed asap. I have also had paint chips in my blue metallic paint. My 2004 was a splendid car and never gave me a single problem, but I think this will be the last Hyundai I buy for awhile.
  • My in-laws bought a 2007 sonata that had its front-breaks literally fall off the car when they started it one day. The car has barely 16,000 miles on it. The pads in the back also had to be replaced for premature wear.
    The dealer blamed it on my in-laws missing a regular inspection to charge them the repair work (over $300.00) and not cover it under warranty.
    Does anyone know who to contact at Hyunday to appeal to the decision of the dealer?
    Inspection or not, breaks are supposed to hold on to the car and 16,000 miles is too early to have to replace pads.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    The car is less than five years old and has less than 60k miles, so if the first repair was under warranty, this one should be also. Suggest you take it to the same dealer who repaired it the first time, as it would be hard for them to deny warranty coverage on this since they fixed it before under warranty. Also often dealers will cover repairs for 1 year/12k miles--just in case they try to suggest it's not covered by the factory warranty.
  • ayeuayeu Posts: 41
    I think you're lucky to have had your brakes repaired under warranty. Brakes are not part of the bumper to bumper warranty. My rear brake failure at eleven months after purchasing the car was an out of pocket repair. Great Lakes Hyundai refused to cover them under warranty, though they did discount the repair.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Wear items are not covered (e.g if brake pads wear out under normal use), but if a part is defective (e.g. if the caliper here was defective), it would be covered.
  • I just had my 2007 Sonata rear drivers side brake pads wear out completely at only 20,054 miles in the Chicago area. Unbelievable! The passenger side rear pads are perfect and have lots of pad left on them (as they should), but the drivers side is down to the metal. I called my local dealer (Gregory Hyundai in northern Illinois) and they said it was not a warrantied repair. They also said that it is a common condition in salty (read northern) climates. They want to charge me $295 to do the rear brakes, and will not just do the one side. Plus, they recommend that customers spend an additional $300 for a 15,000 service that in part lubricates the brake pins so the calipers do not seize and cause the pads to wear out in salty climates. They also want to charge $500 for a 30,000 mile service that includes the same procedure. This is bullpoop! I am 50+ years old and have owned Mercedes, Lexus, Ferrari, Toyota, Chevrolet, etc. and actually bought into the Hyundai story. But the maintenance issues (I have had ongoing seat problems for months, as well) and costs have doomed Hyundai's reputation for me. The brake pads should not wear out at 20,000 on only one wheel.

    There is no requirement in the owner's manual that specifies anything other than inspecting the brake pads at 15,000 which was done. They actually looked good on both sides at 15,000 miles when I inspected them myself. This should be a warrantied repair.

    I also noticed that my gas mileage dropped by 5 mpg in the last 3 weeks. Now I know why.

    I will definitely not be buying a Genesis from them ( I was actually close to buying one this week!), as they do not stand behind their designs or product. It costs more to service a darn Hyundai than it costs to maintain my wife's Lexus IS250 or my Porsche! I can imagine what will happen with an expensive Genesis when they want to service that car!

    Also, try and find or contact the zone office to discuss your problem. Or, call the 800 number and get put on hold for 5 - 10 minutes to talk to an employee who works for a company contracted to take customer service calls for Hyundai who can't connect you to anyone at Hyundai. A very weak support structure, in my opinion.

    The dealer says they don't make much money on the cars, so they need to make it on service.

    >Beware of Hyundai. In my opinion, they manufacture a flawed product (especially for the northern salt climate) and the company does not stand behind their product! The "10 year warranty" is a fantasy, as they look for loopholes to stick-it-to their customers.

  • Hyundai is not the only company with brake problems it is common on alot of vehicles with rear disc brakes in winter climates all of the garbage ends up back there and corrodes everything, its just the nature of the beast. I plan on inspecting mine at least once this winter and keeping them cleaned out with fresh water atleast once a week this has helped alot with other cars and trucks ive had before.
  • Update! I took the drivers side rear brake apart last night. The outside brake pad was worn down to metal, but the inside pad still had some meat on it. The pins were perfect and well lubricated! I pushed the piston back in, cleaned everything, put some anti-squeek on the back of each new pad, and we are operational again. I do not understand why the outside pad would be down to metal, with the inside pad being OK and the other rear side being fine. Perhaps the caliper is defective. Bad design, though. This has never happened to me before on any :sick:
  • There is supposedly a fix for this problem on the hyundai service website although it is not listed for the Sonata, it is for other Hyundai vehicles but is supposed to work for the Sonata also, I will dig a little deeper and see what I can find out, it is posted on the Hyundaiforums website also.
  • Update: Thanks for your message, Dave09se!! You helped me put some things together.

    To recap: I had the rear breaks redone at 36K while still in warranty because the Hyundai dealer said the caliper was stuck. Now, at 55K, when I got my oil changed and breaks checked at Mr. Tire last Saturday afternoon, they told me that the caliper was stuck, and said they "popped" the caliper out of the stuck position so that I could drive it to the Hyundai dealership without wearing the rotor down too much more--I wanted to see if the break repair would be covered again by warranty since I had them worked on only 15 months ago.

    At the Hyundai dealership yesterday, they found the same problem as dave09se--heavy wear on the outside of the driver's side rear pad to the point that it was cutting into my rotor, while the inside pad on the driver's side rear break was still fine. Perhaps not surprisingly, they observed the same imbalance of wear on pads on the passenger's side rear break, except that it wasn't as bad. The mechanic said I still had 25% left on my right break--not sure if that was the inside or outside, but both driver's side and passenger's side were wearing unevenly!!!!!! Roberto, the manager, said there was a break part that had rusted (supposedly the problem wasn't the caliper) and that this part was inhibiting the ability of the pads to move into breaking position simultaneously. So he admitted that the pressure on both sides was so uneven that it was making the breaks don't wear evenly. The manager said he couldn't get the caliper to malfunction again, and I really had to have my car, so we "split the cost" of a rear break job and it's hopefully working well again. He offered me a free oil change after another 3K at which time he wants to check the caliper again to see if it was faulty. BUT, now I'm beginning to think that perhaps it isn't necessarily a caliper problem, and was perhaps misdiagnosed by both Hyundai when I had my breaks done at 36K, and also at Mr. Tire.

    The point is, the break pads should not be wearing unevenly on each wheel, correct???? The inside pad on each wheel should wear in sync with the outside on the same wheel. Otherwise, you aren't going to get the breaking power you should have, AND you're going to end up replacing breaks and rotors more often than you should have to. I believe Hyundai may be getting its break parts from someone who is not making them with good enough materials to make them last long enough for natural break wear to occur. They need to check the specs on the manufacturing. Does this make any sense? I'm just a girl who knows very little about cars, but I can reason enough to know that if I have to change my breaks every 20K simply because one pad has gone bad, I'm not getting my money's worth.
  • Did you find aything? Curious...
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,660
    You do know that that cars have "brakes", workers have "breaks" at work during their day. Just an FYI bud!

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    Just don't break your brakes before breakfast.
  • Per the earlier message from targettuning, my Sonata was brand new when I bought it back in November 2006. I am very particular about my car and have always been told by mechanics that I am extremely easy on my breaks. To have two serious problems with breaks by 55K miles--one diagnosed at 36K as a stuck caliper, and this time as a problem with corroded pins in the break systems that won't allow the pads to move properly (the Hyundai manager's words) and causing uneven wear on BOTH rear wheels--this is ridiculous, and is certainly not because I've abused my vehicle in any way or not taken care of it properly.
  • I see much traffic here regarding Hyundai rear brakes. Some of the problems seem premature at less than 20K miles while others (st jude) are diagnosed at relatively high mileage. Yes, 55K and 36K miles are relatively high mileages for brakes these days and within the range where brake problems leave the realm of "premature" and into the area of "normal" . Brakes do not and will not last the life of the car and to expect brakes to last much beyond 40 or 50K miles is setting yourself up for disappointment and in st judes case not "ridiculous" at all. No, you have not abused your vehicle BUT you HAVE used it. Apparently there could be a construction material problem on the calipers. Since, as I have pointed out time and time again, almost all calipers (from other manufacturers) are designed the same..there just isn't a lot of creative latitude when designing these because they all HAVE to perform the same function within similar physical confines. With this in mind it can only be the interaction of various materials when salt or slush splash is introduced causing this so-calling sticking of a sliding surface or pin. Another thing I would comment on is the big issue of one pad wearing more than the pad on the opposite side of the disc (on the same wheel). Based on my experience with another brand and year car (1995 Dodge Stratus) this isn't exactly abnormal. I experienced just this with the last pad replacement only a couple of months ago. In no way are my front brakes malfunctioning on that car but one pad on each side had significantly less friction material left than the other. I do not know what the Hyundai problem is except to speculate on the disimilarity of metals (that react negatively to each other) used in caliper construction but if this is the case it should be relatively easy to engineer the problem away...and I am sure Hyundai is doing or has done just that.
  • My 2006 Honda Accord VP has 40K miles and the brakes look new. I suspect that the brakes will last to 80K.
  • My 2006 Honda Accord VP has 40K miles and the brakes look new. I suspect that the brakes will last to 80K.

    So what's your point???

    A friend of mine has a 2006 Acura TSX. At 43K miles, his front pads were completely worn (less than 5% pad material remaining), and his front rotors were warped noticeably. He drives about 50/50 city/freeway, and his driving style is moderate; he doesn't abuse the car in any way. I very much doubt the Accord's brake system components are of higher-quality or better design than the more expensive, and sportier, TSX.

    Is his car's braking system defective? Absolutely not. The front brakes wore out at a typical mileage for his driving style and his mix of city/freeway driving.
  • I agree... what is the point of his statement? There as many driving styles as there are drivers but tossing out the extremes the average is probably 40 or 50K miles for rear brakes. I don't consider that many miles to be "too soon for brakes" at all.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,660
    Just had my front pads replaced at 24k on the odo, luckily the rotors were fine. I do 90% suburban driving and am somewhat hard on on the brakes. I've now started to let the car coast to any oncoming red light when it's safe to do so which uses less braking action. My rear drums are still in great shape and was told the brake fluid is still good when I asked about putting new fluid in. Hopefully my new driving style will help the pads longevity.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    In my six years with Hyundai, I would say avg. front brake pad life for a Sonata is 40,000 miles. Rears- 50-60,000 miles. I managed a dealership near San Francisco and these numbers dropped almost in half (due to the hills).

    Per this discussion of REAR brakes, they have only 1 piston, which presses the inside pad against the rotor. The caliper is a "sliding-type", which transfers forse to the outer pad.
    If the pads are wearing significantly more on the inside pad (which seems to be the case for you folks), the caliper is obviously not sliding correctly. This is probably due to road-salt, brake pad dust or lack of lubrication (or a combination of these) causing the caliper to bind, or not slide freely.

    Working in California, I can honestly tell you I have had zero complaints of this, which seems to make road salt the most likely culprit.
  • Thanks for your input. I live in Washington, D.C., so neither salt, nor hills, are a particularly big problem--at least not like New York or Colorado. I have had time to finally figure out this whole mess, and I have to say, Hyundai Consumer Affairs has impressed me, but I still think Corporate is dragging their heels in issuing a recall. The final diagnosis was the "shim kit" problem, which their man said is corroding and causing problems. I am going to copy and paste the email I sent to my dad regarding the matter:

    Speaking of things breaking… I think I told you my Sonata had a sticky rear caliper that had to be replaced under warranty by Hyundai just over a year ago (around 36K miles), but when I took my car in for an oil change, I asked to have my breaks checked, and the guys are Mr. Tire said that the driver’s side rear wheel caliper was malfunctioning again and was starting to affect the rotor. I took it back to Hyundai Monday to see if repairs would be covered again (I’m at 55K miles now) since it was a recurring problem. They said the caliper was working fine, but that there were “pins” in the wheels that were badly corroded, and for that reason, the two pads on that wheel weren’t squeezing both sides of the rotor synchronously (or releasing) as they should, so one pad wore completely down, while the other remained okay. Checking both rear wheels, they found the same thing on the passenger’s side, but not as bad as the driver’s side.

    When they tried to charge me the $288 for the repairs, I spoke to the manager, and although he was willing to give me 50% off my repairs, I still wasn’t satisfied. In my mind, both pads on both wheels should hit and release from the rotors at the same time, right? I mean, I know I’m a girl and everything, but I at least understood that much. And because both sides were malfunctioning and wearing unevenly, I pointed out that I wasn’t getting all the breaking power I should—albeit the front breaks are the workhorses of breaking, but the rear breaks are there for a reason. Then I mentioned that if I had to come in every 15 to 20K miles (who knows when it might happen) to get my breaks changed because one pad was gone, that would end up costing me a lot of money, not to mention the fact that I would worry about when it would happen and it might damage my rotors even further. I also surmised that since both sides were corroded and wearing unevenly that the parts they were supplying were made of inferior metals. So…

    After doing online research on the problem I found out on that this is a common problem on Sonatas, and in particular, the 2007 Sonata seems to be worse. A friend told me to forget about it since every car has problems, but I sent an email to Hyundai Consumer Affairs and copied several of the comments from Sonata owners I found on They had a rep call me, and the first person I spoke to (a woman who obviously knew nothing about cars) tried to spit back the same story that Hyundai’s service manager did, but with no real compensation or resolution to the real problem, which is that the parts they are putting on their cars are poorly made. So, I asked to speak to a supervisor, and of course none were available right then to talk to me, so I had to wait for a call back, but now I’m glad I did.

    The supervisor called and he said they are going to reimburse the charges for the repairs, and he explained that sometimes when they have problems that are common like this, parts are “updated” but they don’t always send out a recall. Their reasoning is that, because eventually everyone has these parts replaced when they get their breaks serviced, the “fix” just kind of works itself out naturally, but let's face it--their customers have to bite the bullet and now they're getting a lot of bad press because they didn't recall those parts. Furthermore, when their cars get a bad reputation, our car resale values go down, so it's just better for everyone to be in touch with Hyundai Corporate and get these things worked out.

    I asked the supervisor if the “shim kit” (which he told me was the problem) had been “updated” in the last year since I had my first break job, and I asked if there was any way of telling whether the parts recently installed were the "updated" ones, which were supposed to be more durable parts. He said he would find out and let me know. Then I requested that if he found out the parts on my car weren’t an updated version, I wanted them replaced on warranty whenever they are finally updated. He reiterated that he will check on the update and get back to me. In the meantime, the service manager at my local dealership has said that they would be willing to give me a free oil change 3000 miles from now and check for corrosion and uneven wear problems again at that time. So…

    I feel like they’re really trying to work with me, and I respect that, but with all the bad press they’re getting, I can hardly think it’s saving them money to hold off on the recall. They should just do it.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    Well, you certainly are persistant! The only thing I can think of that they'd be calling a "shim kit" comes with brake pads. They are stainless steel, thin, metal shims on the steel backing of the brake pads.I can't imagine this causing a binding problem. By chance, does your repair invoice have any part #'s listed?
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