Hyundai Elantra Transmission Questions

backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
Which transmission do you prefer in the Elantra--automatic or manual?


  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    Well, Backy, as you know I have had both. While the auto is a very smooth and adaptive unit, the 5spd makes much better use of the engine torque curve. Interesting to note is that the 5spd transaxle has a numerically higher final ratio. Which would partly explain the big difference in acceleration between the two.

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Some reviews on the 2007 Elantra have mentioned a lot of engine noise above about 72 mph with the 5-speed. One mentioned the automatic was geared much lower so it was quieter. I've owned both AT and MT on the previous gen Elantra and the AT car is definitely quieter overall, some of that because the engine turns slower (e.g. just over 2000 RPMs at 55).
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870

    I would prefer a 5 spd automatic.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    That would be nice (hey, why not 6?) but from reviews it looks like the Elantra needs a 6-speed manual before it needs a 5-speed automatic.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Over 95% of all passenger vehicles are sold with automatic.
    Majority of the 5% with manuals are "sport" type models.

    6 speed manual and or automatic would both be nice, however, why develop a 6 speed for less than 5% of the market?
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Hyundai has a 6-speed that they use on the Tiburon--maybe it could be adapted for the Elantra.

    Also it's 5% of the U.S. market, but manuals are much more popular in other countries where the Elantra is sold.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Also it's 5% of the U.S. market, but manuals are much more popular in other countries where the Elantra is sold.

    Very good point.

    What I would really be exited about would be a DSG type transmission similar to the one being offered in VW's and Audis that combines the benefits of a manual and an automatic. And it would be applicable to all markets.
  • percussionistpercussionist Member Posts: 204
    The AT option adds about $1,000 to the price, regardless of trim, so I may go with the MT Limited (I like the heated leather seats :) ).

    However, I am concerned about road noise with the MT, so I'll need to drive both to find out. Has anyone already done so?
  • zoomandyzoomzoomandyzoom Member Posts: 19
    My wife and I are considering a 2007 Elantra when the lease is up on our Mazda Protege (5-speed) next year. She is the previous owner of a 2002 Elantra (5-speed). I've owned two prior vehicles, both of which had manual transmissions. She and I are both big fans of manuals and will always try to purchase a vehicle with one whenever possible.

    I think it's the "fun" factor that sways us. We love the control that a manual transmission offers the driver. Fans of paddle-shifters and manumatics can say whatever they want about control... but I believe that if it doesn't have THREE pedals, it's not the same! I think manuals also promote a connection between the car and the driver, in that they require a driver to actually drive.

    In the new Elantra, we would be looking at a Limited model with a manual. I have a feeling that particular combination may be difficult to find, however.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Yep. Based on what I've seen so far on my dealer's lot, it may be hard to find any 2007 Elantras with MTs! :( They all had automatics. But it's early yet.
  • acura03gacura03g Member Posts: 76
    I don't understand why car and driver only tested the MT models. They should have tested the AT models.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Because they see themselves as a magazine for "enthusiasts", who all drive sticks I guess. :surprise: Actually, a stick on a car with a small 4-banger is usually more fun, but today's automatics are much more efficient than they used to be.

    If you want to see a comparo with ATs, I expect CR will do that sometime next year. They might even test both MTs and ATs, which would make for a nice comparison.
  • ppcdc30ppcdc30 Member Posts: 18
    I test drove a Elanta 5 speed manual with GLS trim and a 4 speed automatic in SE trim. Both models are rated at 28 city and 36 highway. When doing 70 mph the manual was taching 3000 rpm and the automatic was only at 2500 rpm. I do agree that the Elantra need an extra gear in the manual. This will help with fuel economy on the highway and keep the engine noise down. Either way it is a big improvement over the last 2006 model. With the automatic problems I have had in the past I think I am going with the sportier 5 speed.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Did you notice a significant difference in engine noise at 70 mph between the stick and automatic? How did you find the shifter action of the stick? Was it smooth?
  • inharmswayinharmsway Member Posts: 153
    I thought you have had trouble with your clutch in your Elantra.
    What happened to your auto transmission?
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Nothing. Works great, thanks!
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Nothing. Works great, thanks!

    The clutch works great?


    The auto transmission works great?

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Niels' question was, "What happened to your auto transmission?"

    My reply, in context to his question, should be clear.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    In context of the question-
    I thought you have had trouble with your clutch in your Elantra.

    Your auto transmission has a clutch? :sick:
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Tip on reading these discussions: they read like a dialogue. When someone asks a question at the end of their post and the person they asked responds directly to it, it's a good bet that the response pertains to the question that was asked.

    I am not an expert on the Elantra's automatic transmission, but in general auto trannies have clutches. Here's a primer on automatic transmissions that may help answer your question:
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Backy, What trouble did you have with the clutch in your Elantra?
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    On my '01 Elantra, my son and wife abused it to the point where it broke. :cry: Before that, there was a squeak when depressing the clutch pedal, which was fixed under warranty with new bushings (I think there's a TSB about that).
  • ppcdc30ppcdc30 Member Posts: 18
    I prefer a stick verses an automatic. My automatic in my 2002 Hyundai Sonata did not want to shift into 3rd and sometimes missed 4th and went straight to OD. Changed the fluid was recommended by the dealer and still did it. Between the Elantra and the vehicle they copied the Toyota Corolla. I bought a Corolla due to the transmission and the rear seat legroom.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    FYI, 4th is overdrive on the 2002 Sonata automatic.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Member Posts: 811
    we had alot of problems with our 2003 sonata. It would get locked into second. The dealer finally had to replace the transmission. It had less than 2,000 miles. after it was replaced it still did not seem to be right. we did not trust it so we traded it for our 2005 elantra gt manual transmission which we love.
  • gblackwegblackwe Member Posts: 8
    I own an 07 Elantra SE 5-speed. When backing up, actually coasting backwards down my driveway with the car in reverse and the clutch fully depressed. I can hear a subtle growling sound like you would expect if you were actually backing up with the clutch fully engaged and accelerating. I don't think this is normal. Also, I noticed the speedometer is actually registering a speed while I'm travelling in reverse. Not much but the speedometer is definitely not on zero! Anyone ever seen this? Time for a trip to the dealer for some repairs?
  • doohickiedoohickie Member Posts: 949
    You're asking the wrong person. It was ppcdc30, in response to backy that said, "With the automatic problems I have had in the past I think I am going with the sportier 5 speed."
  • skybelouskybelou Member Posts: 2
    My new 2007 elantra has already had a new transmission put into it, and unfortunately it's still having problems. When I drive around 35mph it starts making a droning noise and has a slight vibration to it. Since the new trans was put in it now does it when I'm only doing 25mph also. Dealer told me it was the torque converter, so they put in whole new transmission. Still the same but a little quieter. Test drove a brand new one (5 miles on it) and it did the exact same thing---was told this is a "characteristic of the new engine" and that it was doing "no harm" to the engine. Trying to get them to write up a TSB on this issue seeing as I was told I'm not the only one experiencing this problem. Just wanted to see if anyone has experienced this similiar situation and if they have got it resolved?
  • ginns5ginns5 Member Posts: 16
    no problems with the transmission.I just find that it lugs a bit, cause I don;t think it is geared as well as the '99 Elantra.I am very light on the pedal, so perhaps should expect this but the '99 is better.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Member Posts: 1,601
    If you're driving really slow for top gear, try using the Shiftronic, or goose the pedal just a little. Either one won't cost you anything noticable in MPG.

    Your new car is probably designed to be more fuel efficient for normal driving. That doesn't mean that top gear is always your best choice, i.e. lugging.
  • skybelouskybelou Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone else with a new 2007 automatic Hyundai Elantra experienced their car lugging while driving around 35 - 40 mph???
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    If you are in fourth gear at 35, it could be lugging. What are the RPMs at that speed? I've found if I take my '04 Elantra AT below about 1400 RPMs, it starts lugging a bit unless I am coasting along on level ground or a downgrade. But the '07 may have different gearing, since it's more fuel efficient than the '04.
  • harlqnharlqn Member Posts: 18
    Mine does lug about that speed, but it's also at low RPM (I don't recall the number off-hand), so it's not unexpected. If I'm going to be going that speed for quite a distance, I force it to stay in 3rd (AT). Otherwise, I just increase the distance ahead of me so I can coast/accel/coast/accel
  • carsnakecarsnake Member Posts: 4
    Hi, I just bought a 2004 Elantra for my son and we noticed that when accelerating the cars RPMs will jump and the car would do a hesitation. The dealership where we bought the car from did some sort of computer adjustment so that the tranny can "relearn" itself. Still same problem. Does anyone recognize this annoyance?
  • doohickiedoohickie Member Posts: 949
    Although there is some adaptive learning involved (or so I hear), if the RPMs are jumping between gears it sounds like a tranny problem (assuming it's an AT). If it *is* an AT, know that ONLY SP-III AT fluid (available at Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and maybe Chrystler dealers) should be used in the AT. If the AT was flushed with something else, this could be the start of a tranny breakdown. If you think maybe it has the wrong fluid, you might want to take it to a dealer and have them check it and, if necessary, flush it with SP-III to prevent real tranny damage.

    If it's a manual and the RPMs don't like to drop when the clutch is depressed, that is a known issue and if there isn't a software fix the dealer can do, I know of a simple modification to the Idle Air Control Valve that prevents the RPMs from hanging when you pull your foot off the gas. If your son has a MT you're interested in the mod, let me know. (It's basically making a restrictor plate for the IAC valve to keep it from holding the RPMs high. Hyundai does this because letting the RPMs drop too quickly hurts emissions.)
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    "when accelerating the cars RPMs will jump and the car would do a hesitation."

    Assuming it is an automatic, isn't this the "shift flare" problem that a lot of Elantras have experienced? I think there is a TSB for this...I know mine had it. I think it was 2nd to 3rd gear shift where the RPMs would flare up. My '02 started doing this right after we bought it (new), and I had the TSB performed on it (which I think was a software adjustment). It got better, but still occasionally happens from time to time. I now have 92,000 miles on the car, and get the transmission fluid plushed every 30,000 miles.
  • carsnakecarsnake Member Posts: 4
    Thanks! Yes this is an automatic. I think that you are correct it does do this between 2nd and 3rd. Can you tell me what a TSB is? I am bringing the car back to the dealer that I bought the car from and I want to know what I am talking about.
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    Here is the info for the TSB, per this (Edmunds) website...

    Bulletin# 0240001 from January 2002. NHTSA item # 628956

    Summary - Some vehicles may experience a 2-3 shift flare condition (engine speed increases during shift).

    Maybe doohickie can chime in, and show you how to look up on the "webtech" site, and see exactly what the dealer is supposed to do in order to correct this. Also, make a note that the TSB I am referencing is for 2002 models, but it sounds like this is the problem you are experiencing.

    Like I said earlier, my car started doing this right after I bought it (brand new), and we did have the TSB performed on it. The condtion pretty much went away, but it will still do it about once every 2-3 months, and I now have 92,000 miles on the car with the original transmission.

    P.S. - TSB = Technical Service Bulletin. These are issued by the manufacturer, and sent to dealers. They are essentially little bulletins the manufacturer sends to the dealer regarding problems that seem to be "commonly seen" in a particular model. In addition to notifying the dealer of the problem, they instruct the dealer how to fix it.

    I also used the abbreviation NHTSA in my post. This is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in case you were wondering.
  • carsnakecarsnake Member Posts: 4
    Thanks again! I found a tsb that was for the 2004 models. The bulletin I see is 0440012, sequence 10009779. It describes it as "Automatic transaxle harsh and/or delayed shifts. to include 2005 elantra". So basically, I can bring this car to my local dealership to fix? because the dealership where I bought this car is far away.
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    I would take both, BECAUSE.....

    What you described (an increase in RPMs) is a "flare". The TSB you are mentioning does not specifically mention the "flare" in RPMs between gears.

    Any Hyundai dealer should be able to handle the repair. Just a suggestion - I wouldn't go up to the service guy and specifically say, "This TSB needs to be performed to my car." I would instead say, "My car is doing such and such, and through my research I have discovered these 2 TSBs. Could you please see if they are applicable to this situation?"

    Going this route, you aren't coming off as being too arrogant (or acting more knowledgable than the service guy), but yet you will have given him enough info to know that you somewhat know what you are talking about.

    PLEASE - let us know how things work out for you. I have found the guys taht post regularly on this Elantra forum (doohickie, backie, jlflemmons, snakeweasel, and a few others), to be extremely helpful. These guys are very quick to help solve a problem, or offer a how to, which epitimizes why message boards like this exist.
  • carsnakecarsnake Member Posts: 4
    Many thanks for the help, I'm sure without this knowledge I would have gone through a very frustrating process. Hopefully, this is the trick. I will definitely follow your instructions and let you all know what happens.
  • dc_newbiedc_newbie Member Posts: 6
    Similar to problems that I'm reading here. My 2001 Elantra Automatic has started skipping or flaring on some gear changes. You feel the skip and then the rpm goes higher than normal immediately and the check engine light comes on. When I stop and restart the problem goes away and the transmission engages normally and no Check Engine light. This happens often, but more often when it is above 80 degrees outside.

    Anyone had this happen to them? I have an appointment with the delare for Tuesday and am preparing. Total mileage on my car is 49K, so I'm hoping this is still covered in warranty.
  • wickdgtwickdgt Member Posts: 1
    Hi there, I will like some info if any one can help me. I have a 2000 Hyundai Elantra which has developed a leak at the Vent of the tranny (automatic). I can drive the car easy all day long with no problems, as long it is cruising, but when you run it a bit harder in traffic it will puke the tranny fluid through the vent, I have taken it to tranny shops and no one can give a straight answer. I have pull a little bit the dipstick out so to see if pressure builds up it will not puke it, but even like that it would do it. I have looked everywhere but no luck. Can anyone tell me what is going on? Thanks for any info:

  • vduhrvduhr Member Posts: 2
    I also have a 2001 Elantra, and have recently, over the past couple of days, experienced the same problem. The temperatures where I live has been above the 80’s for over a month (closer to 90-100), but I am just now experience this problem; however, we are in our rainy season, and the humidity has been in the 70% for the past couple of days (higher than normal - normally we have 15% humidity in the summer (high-desert), and temperatures in the 80’s). As you have done, when I experience this problem, my transmission seems to skip, jumps into gear, then my engine light immediately goes on and I lose some power upon starting out from a slow or complete stop. Once I shut the engine off and restart it, the engine light goes out and the transmission seems “normal”. I have been experiencing slight transmission slipping over the past couple of months, but have not taken the car in for a checkup yet. I checked my transmission fluid today, and saw it is brown although it is full, and think it should be red, so I most likely need a transmission fluid change; however, on a car that has 70,000 miles, and needs maybe only a tranny fluid change, would this behavior be normal?
  • dc_newbiedc_newbie Member Posts: 6
    Hi..This sounds exactly like the problem I had. I took it to the dealership since the transmission warranty is 10y/100K miles. Was informed that the transmission is fine, but the speed sensor and the cam sensor have blown out and that is sending the wrong speed to the transmission, causing it to slip. Total cost to replace was $440 and approx half a day at the shop.
  • vduhrvduhr Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I am not covered under a warranty because I bought the car used from a non-Hyundai dealer (transfer of warranty only goes to 60,000 miles if pre-owned). Was the cost of your repair under warranty?
  • dc_newbiedc_newbie Member Posts: 6
    No, the sensor valves were not covered under the powertrain warranty, so I had to pay for it.
  • bytesnooperbytesnooper Member Posts: 6
    Has anyone changed the trans fluid 2005 . I understand that
    you just remove a plug. then refill the trans to the
    proper level on the dip stick (hot) There is a big plug
    at the bottom of the trans

    What is a good tans fluid that meets the sp lll hyundai
    fluid.. thanks
  • josie07josie07 Member Posts: 6
    Bought the 07 elantra 3 weeks ago and when I put her into reverse sometimes I get a very weird noise....kind of like I'm dragging something underneath my car! At first I thought I hit something... but no! Then I looked under and there's nothing loose or anything. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? By the way I've got the 5 speed.
  • 3ofthem3ofthem Member Posts: 3
    My Elantra is doing the same thing as well. What was wrong, was it covered under the warranty, and if nit, how much did they get you for?
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