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Hyundai Sonata Brakes



  • 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: 4,320
    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?
  • Yesterday I heard grinding from drivers side rear. Pulled wheel and found the pads worn to the rotors. I went to pep boys and found that there is two grades of rear disc pads. I then went to the hyundai dealer which was right down the street to price new pads. They wanted $80 for just the pads so I asked the parts man if this is a normal. He said to talk to the service manager. I asked the service manager if this is a normal problem. He said no. He said to bring the car in for new brakes for $289. I told him I could do the job for way less than $100 and and about 35 minutes of time and went to purchase the pads from Pep boys. These are $50 and are ceramic. Started the brake job and removed the pads. The pads were thin on the other side also. When the old pads were removed there were chunks from the none worn down pads missing. What cheap pads!!! Took the the worn side rotor to be turned at my local service station. Put the the new pads and rotors on- it took me about 39 minutes. Now I know I have good pads and will not have problems with premature pad wear. If you take the car to the Hyundai dealer he will put the same crappy OEM pads which will wear out in another 20000 miles. If you want the job done right do it yourself. Looked at the front pads and they still have 75% of there life remaining. Its got to be defective/Cheap pads on the rear that causes the problem. I think its a way for Hyundai dealers to make a profit on cars which they offer a 6/60000 BB service. This is one of the items not covered by the 6/60000 mile service. The service intervals charges are very expensive for a car which should for the most part need minimal care.
  • ayeuayeu Posts: 41
    I won't be buying another Hyundai. Problems with brakes, light control module, noisy clunking suspension, malfunctioning power seat and other little things have convinced me that you get what you pay for. At 67,000 I'm afraid of what's next to go.
    I have an 06 Sonata LX V6, changed my front brake pads at 54k miles and have yet to even need to replace rear brake pads. Replaced left side fog light bulb at 64k miles and just now over 65k miles needing new tires. So I'd have to say that my Hyundai Sonata has held up very well. I live in Savannah, GA so the weather here doesn't have a that much effect on any vehicle. I'm assuming you live were it's snows, if so than it's common knowledge that you would experience the problems you have with your brakes. Hardly can hold that against the car, take it up with Mother Nature.
  • ayeuayeu Posts: 41
    Take it up with mother nature? I've driven other many cars well over 100,000 miles with no similar problems. I don't know if you've followed the whole thread from the beginning, but it first happened to me when the Sonata was eleven months old after 21,000 miles of highway driving. The rear brakes were dragging. In a fwd car the front bears most of the burden but my front pads still have 50%+ after 67,000 miles - lots of highway driving. These posts show consistent recurrence of similar problems - all northern climates - so it's apparent that it is not a normal phenomenon. My last car, a Mazda Protege, was driven the same way in the same climate. My first pads were in the front at 60,000. The rears were drums and for what it's worth they were first replaced at 90,000. My Sonata's front brakes have outlasted the Mazda but it's the back brakes that have the defect.
  • billwardbillward Posts: 154
    You've had more than your fair share of problems, but not every car has those issues. The rear brakes issue seems to be a NORTHERN car problem, for the most part (and seems to be a legitimate complaint for those in the North, icy driving regions); while my 2009 GLS isn't anywhere near the mileage *(yet; my wife's got 14K on it since May!)* that these problems start, our older 2003 GLS V6 has 113K and just got it's first brake job for the rear (and second for the front). However, we live in Virginia Beach Virginia, where a 1/2" of snow causes concern of whether they'll close schools, and yearly snow total AVERAGES under 2" (which includes the very rare true snow storm, such as the one in 1980 that dumped 3 1/2 feet... think of how long it takes with NO snow to get that average back down to 2"). Our 2003 hasn't been totally problem free, but has been low enough that it SEEMS like it's been (other than three issues, it has been... the anti-theft alarm module going bad (which has happened on another of our cars, years ago, as well) which was EXPENSIVE at >$500, a pinhole break in the aluminum power steering line ($45 repair, + $15 diagnosis, and we had it towed because we weren't sure what was wrong, though AAA covered that!), and the frequent front headlamp bulb burnouts). Even the first set of tires lasted into the low 80K range. Oh, and I guess the couple of burned out lights on the dash/controls counts (the radio is only half lit, and the climate controls are unlit; never bothered to fix those, though they might have been covered in the bumper to bumper, but I'm having to SEARCH for issues with the car; a 7 year old car with 113K miles should have SOMETHING wrong!).

    Some cars are just problematic, for whatever reason :lemon: and you seem to have somehow gotten THAT car. Most folks with this current generation of Sonata are VERY pleased :shades: with their car. I'm sorry you got a bad one but I wouldn't give up on ALL of them just because of that (would be different if it was a very high percentage of folks having the same issues; other than the thunk and the brakes, every other issue you've had seems to be unique to you in here, and no one has figured out what causes the thunk... my car doesn't have it, for example, but I don't doubt it's real). I can understand your frustration though... I will NEVER buy another Ford because of the transmission on our old 1995; went out and needed to be replaced at 70K, 70.1K, and 92K; only the 70.1K was covered by any warrenty. That's after having continuous problems with the Speedometer/Odometer since 10K (replaced >9< times under warranty, once not under, for 10 times before we just said the heck with it.... and that was all BEFORE the 70K mark! In retrospect, it was always about the transmission (where the speedometer cable hooked in) and Ford KNEW. Shame is, the transmissions were garbage, but otherwise that car would still be on the road, it was like new otherwise when we donated it to the Kidney fund three years ago, with 94K miles and a still screwed up transmission.
  • ayeuayeu Posts: 41
    Billward - Your Ford experiences are more major than my Hyundai experiences for sure. Interesting that Ford has surpassed Honda and Toyota in quality this year, though, at least the Fusion. It's good that they've allowed their Mazda subsidiary to dominate their engineering. The Fusion is essentially a Mazda 6 in Ford clothing, built in Mexico. As I read through the posts (this is #159) there are quite a few people in the north who have had rear pad issues with the Sonata. My service manager at Great Lakes Hyundai was honest enough to say he sees way too many of them. I had to have a power seat switch replaced (before the recall) while on vacation in Florida and the SM at Hyundai of St. Augustine told me that he has seen many seized rear brakes on snow birds' cars and that he had just repaired a Sonata from Quebec for dragging rear pads.

    I could conceivable buy another Hyundai since the total cost of ownership is relatively low, but these nuisances have put me into the "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" mode.

    Have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.
  • My 2007 Sonata has 49800 miles on it, found left rear brake worn to metal pad, left small grove in rotor. I called Concord CA Hyundai dealer, said it&#146;s not cover under warranty. OK, not a real problem, got new pads from Kragen for $20+ tax. So I changed the left rear pads then I changed the right rear pads but to find the right rear pads still in good useful condition. This tells me there is a problem with left rear brake, probably bad shim, or sticky piston on brake because both left and right rear brakes should have almost same wear on pads. I say this because I'm an aircraft mechanic. Generally, more $ working on aircraft than cars. Now I will do a more periodic inspection on my brakes since Hyundai knew they had inferior parts installed in factory but after risk management it was not worth a recall. If anyone have a serious accident due to faulty brakes and need evidence for lawsuit, I saved the original pads.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    You might want to go back to the service manager at the dealership with this additional information, as it points to a problem with the car. Brake pads aren't normally covered as they are wear items, but if there is a defect in the car, which there appears to be here, the repair should be covered. If the dealership refuses to cooperate, you could contact Hyundai Customer Service and take it "up the chain"... depending on how much time you have.
  • billwardbillward Posts: 154
    Make sure that you contact the Hyundai Service Claims unit on the Power Seat recall; they should cut you a check for the repair, since it was a warranty failure of something they recalled; yours was just an early failure.

    An interesting question that needs to be asked is whether the brakes wear out prematurely on those northern cars after they've been replaced the first time; I imagine most shops aren't going to use pure Hyundai brake pads, but will use a major name brand pad. If the retail brake pads are failing too, then that's indicative of an engineering flaw; if only the OEM parts fail, and after replacement they're fine, then it was poor material choice for the first set of pads. Of course, some folks are saying it's the caliper pistons themselves; that would mean a new set of brake calipers; I'm not sure whether or not those are as readily available as aftermarket items, since they aren't wear items.
  • ayeuayeu Posts: 41
    The power seat was repaird under warranty, i.e., no charge. I did have to drive 150 miles with the seat in the full down position propped by pillow but fortunately there were no problems. Regarding the pads, my first set seized at 11 months/21,000 miles. The dealer ($300) replaced the pads, machined the rotors and ground more clearance into the bracket/slides. You can hear all the parts moving now when I stop, but the pads still have >50% 28 months/46,000 miles later.
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