Hyundai Sonata Transmission Problems

mepjap65mepjap65 Member Posts: 1
I recently purchased a 2006 Sonata V6, pre-owned with around 28000 miles. It seems like a nice, dependable car (I bought it primarily for my wife to use). One thing about its driving characteristic seems unusual, however, and I would like to know if it's common with this year/model; if anyone else has experienced this or if it might be a transmission problem. When accelerating from a stop at a steady increase in speed, the shift from 1st to 2nd seems to "lag", almost like there's a noticeable pause between shifts and for a brief second the car feels like it decelerates before accelerating again. The sensation is very slight and hard to really describe accurately, but it's there, enough to be noticed. I heard that these cars have throttle-by-wire and I don't know if that has any relation to what I'm describing. Does anyone have any ideas or comments?


  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    I don't believe this "lag" to be a problem however it is a known issue and I believe Hyundai has issued a TSB to reflash the transmission control module to minimize or eliminate this. I do not have the TSB number at the moment but may be able to locate it if I have the time but your local Hyundai service dept. will know what to do if you explain/complain.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    Mine has the lag or had it. I don't really notice it anymore. I wasn't aware of a TSB for this. I know others have it and I guess I just got used to it.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Member Posts: 1,601
    Question--not an answer.

    Could this "lag" be related to different drivers and the tranny trying to adjust to those different drivers?
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    not in my case. only driver of my car.
  • douglascdouglasc Member Posts: 3
    Is it normal for a 2006 Sonata V6 transmission to delay slightly on the first to second shift (when compared to the other shifts)?
    Is it normal to have it hunt looking for the proper gear when traveling easily at 40 mph?
  • jlindhjlindh Member Posts: 282
    There are a lot of previous posts on these items. I would suggest doing a search.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    the 1st to 2nd gear lag is common. I used to notice it everytime when I first purchased mine but don't notice it all now. It's a "new" car thing. Different from what you were used to driving. Happens to us all.
  • geofwgeofw Member Posts: 2
    I'm thinking of buying a 4 cylinder standard transmisson Sonata.

    I have a 2005 Tucson. It has an rpm of 3,000 at around 60 mph. Needless to say, it gets noisy at higher speeds. At the same speed, my 1995 Camry is about 500 rpm lower. I can go around corners in 3rd gear without any problem.

    Anyone notice the same problem with say, 2007 or 2008 Sonatas?
  • xebraxebra Member Posts: 9
    55mph on highway --> 2000rpm
    60mph " " --> 2100rpm

    20-30mph climbing hill --> 2000rpm to 3000 rpm.
  • geofwgeofw Member Posts: 2
    Okay, thanks.
  • tkumpftkumpf Member Posts: 27
    Yes, my 2007 does it too. My mother-in-law also bought a 2007 Sonata about a month before I did; I'll take hers for "a spin" and see it it does it too.
  • superjesrsuperjesr Member Posts: 4
    I just moved to Denver - after about a month (one week after a cold freeze) I noticed a slight whine when the transmission is in third (approx 2300 rpm) between 38 and 42 mph. It seems to disappear immediately on shifting to 4th. I do not hear it when the transmission downshifts. I might also mention that I lived in San Diego, and, at 30000 miles had the transmission fluid changed as part of the 30000 mile checkup. I do not believe they used Hyundai fluid. This was a AAA aproved repair shop and they provided documentation that said that the transmission fluid they used was OK for the vehicle.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    For whatever the reason Hyundai automatics require specific Hyundai branded transmission fluid. I do not believe any other generic type is recommended. As far as I know there is no other type or brand that should be used. Also,I seem to recall this wasn't a Hyundai ruse in order to force owners to buy their transmission fluid only but this requirement had roots in actual performance problems if it wasn't used.
  • superjesrsuperjesr Member Posts: 4
    The transmission fluid that was used was Valvolline Max
    Life ATF which is supposed to be consistent with SP-III. I have a signed letter from Valvoline which states that use of the fluid WILL NOT INVALIDATE the Warranty and it also lists all the vehicles that it is recommended for - which includes KIA SP-II and SP-III and Hyundai. Although I voiced some concern about this - I was assured by a reputable AAA repair shop (SAMCO in San Diego) that I was OK to use the Valvoline transmission fluid.
  • tjl67tjl67 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought an '08 Sonata in November, 2007. Right away I noticed a definate shutter when driving around 40mph, just prior to shifting to 4th. It will remain as long as I stay at that speed. I took it in to be checked twice. 1st time tech didn't find it, 2nd time there was a TSB, and the transmission was reprogrammed. THAT was yesterday. On the way home, sure enough, it did it again, and again. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    This has been noted by a few with no fix so far.
  • toshastoshas Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a the 08 Sonata, my very first car. Within 200 miles I noticed the shutter at or around 40 mph. I have taken the vehicle to the dealer more than three times,and have finally been assigned a "case number" with the manufacture. I do not like, and refuse to accept this malfunction.... Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on what I can do?? I have been advised that there is no solution and this is a known issue with this vehicle.
  • hdsithdsit Member Posts: 58
    Well i have been struggled with this problem on my car (V6, from korean) from day one since i bought it in july 2005.
    Another with the same problem:
    All (5 or 6) similar models i have tried here in denmark had the exact same problem, and the danish importers technical manager, who also drives a V6 has the same problem, and finally accepted that there is problem that apparently cant be resolved. And i must say that, as far as i know, all have been tried from here.
    An A/T specialist even tried to deactivate the torque converter lockup by bypassing the brake-switch, but it didnt bring us closer to a solution (same shudder or even worse).
    Status for now when my cars has approx 52000 km on the odo:
    Get the tires optimally dynamically balanced (Hunter), and the vibration can be minimized (I have at least experienced that high tyre RFV (Radial force variation) and out-of-round can intesify the problem)
    The more perfect tire - the less wobble/shudder/vibration
    - But even with the most perfect tyre, as the set i have now where the RFV on all four tyre is below 2 kg, i still got a slight vibration. (Michelin PA3 winther)
    The point now is, that if i not have had all these problems from the start, and really got attention to it, then i guess i wouldnt have noticed it today. With my last set of tyres it's hardly noticable.
    I just hope that all my complains in the last 2½ year has been noticed by Hyundai and hopefylly has been resolved in the facelift...
    I'm really looking forward to try it when it arrives to Denmark in the 2. quarter of 2008.
    If it is solved - i will definately change...
    In all other areas - i think the car is perfect, and i wont hesitate to buy one again.
  • superjesrsuperjesr Member Posts: 4
    check for the "lemon law" in your area - if it is allowed RETURN THE CAR AND REQUEST A NEW ONE
  • sellcarsellcar Member Posts: 21
    :confuse: I have a Hyundai Sonata 2008 2.4l 2,700 miles, Automatic. It has a slow shift between 1st & 2nd gear
    Feels like a loss of power until it passes 2nd gear, fuel mileage is 19-21 city/hwy 60/40 hwy. Took it to the dealer and no codes in the computer. Any answers will be helpful! Thanks!
  • colloquorcolloquor Member Posts: 482
    Although this addresses old posts - let's please put the question on ATF for use in Hyundai's, Kia's, and Mitsubishi's to rest once and for all. These three corporations require SP-III ATF, not SP-III approved, or SP-III equivalent fluids. There is no direct substitute or equivalent SP-III on the market. Regardless what Valvoline, or any other companies claim, unless you use Hyundai, Kia, or Mitsubishi brand SP-III ATF in your automatic transmission, your warranty is null and void on any transmission failures. This is direct from Hyundai corporate. The Hyundai and Kia automatic transmissions are built under license from Mitsubishi, and again, if you use anything other than SP-III, you're out-of-luck on substantiating any warranty claims should an automatic transmission problem develop within the 100K/10 year powertrain warranty period.

    Don't try to save a few dollars per quart on ATF, just buy the real stuff!
  • sellcarsellcar Member Posts: 21
    No one has changed the transmission fluid in this car, it still has the factory fluid.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    The lag betwen 1st and 2nd is normal. Another member changed his fluid with a Castrol ATF fluid, can't remember which one, and he said it made the car shift a lot smoother. Mine does this and has since I've owned it. I'm close to a trans fluid change so will see what happens then.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    What's wrong with the factory fluid?
  • sellcarsellcar Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for the info. I just wanted to know if any other people with a :) Hyundai Sonata 2008 2.4 L & Automatic Transmission have the same transmission shifting like mine.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    just remember it's not just the 08's. NF owners have this annoyance. Most if not all I've talked to.
  • robert1955robert1955 Member Posts: 39
    Directly from the owners manual.
    Your Hyundai automatic transaxle is specially designed to operate with
    III or other brands meeting the SP III specification approved by Hyundai Motor Co..

    Now how you interpet that is up to you. I read it as they are saying a fluid that meets the SP III specification that Hyundai approves for use in their transmissions, not that Hyundai has to specifically approve an aftermarket manufacturer. But since I only have 19,000 miles on my car and have 31,000 miles (approx 11 months for me) to go before I begin to think about doing a flush and fill I have time to wait and see what happens.
    I do sell Amsoil and they make a ATF that they say meets the SP III specification along with the Castrol product I saw on a store shelf this weekend and like has been said on here and other forums some people have changed out to other fluids and we will see how it goes for them. I am not having a problem currently with my transmission and hope not to but when I do change out my trans fluid I will base my decision off of a cost basis, i.e. Hyundai labled ATF, cause they do not make it do they, or one of the other ATF's out there. I can't believe Castrol, Amsoil, or any other manufacture would be selling a product that they say meets the SP III and it did not. The lawsuits would sink them rather quick and if you did use the Amsoil ATF and it ended up destroying your transmission and it was the fluid that caused the problem they would either pay for the repair or replacement of the transmission. I would think Castrol would also be required to do the same since they say SP III right on the bottle.
  • hytechhytech Member Posts: 5
    try to have the dealer reset the adaptive values for the trans i have seen quite a few at the shop most of the time the porters like to drive rough when the vechicle is on the lot and the trans computer learns improperly, have the dealer reset the adaptive values and drive it for a few miles the way u normally do,shut the car down key out off ign. for about a minute and drive the vechicle again, shut down again,after a few min drive and you should see improved shifts if the dealer dont do it disconnect battery for about 10 min and then drive but the scanner way is the best way . good luck .fluid is most likely not an issue and hyundai fluid is strongly recommended since other types are mixed with multiple additives to work with various transmissions which may prematurely wear clutch pack material
  • roaurboatroaurboat Member Posts: 3
    I bought my 4 cyl. Sonata Limited 8 days ago and noticed the shutter at around 25 MPH where car is already in 4th gear with RPMs at a little over 1! Causes a rumbling noise and vibration felt in steering wheel and whole car. Complained to dealer and they reported that they are aware of this problem and Hyundai working on software fix that tells transmission when to shift. They did not know when est. date of arrival is for fix. I am upset as they knew about this problem and never mentioned in new car sales discussion.

    What have others heard?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    The car is lugging. Until you get the fix, try giving the pedal a little push to nudge the car into a lower gear at low speed. Alternately, you could put the shifter into manual shift mode when at low speed.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    if the trans is in 4th gear already at 25 mph there is definately a shift stategy problem the shudder is probably the torque converter clutch being applied at such a low speed and the trans is unable to keep it applied due to the low speed. i would suggest a trip back to the dealer for a pcm/tcm reflash
  • sellcarsellcar Member Posts: 21
    I have a Hyundai 2008 Sonata 4cyl with an automatic transmission and my 4 gear shift is at 30MPH is this correct? also, somedays the car seems to have more power then others. I also noticed that the car sometimes (not all the time) jerks and surges while pressing and letting go of the gas peddle. Anyone have an answer to this question? This is my first Hyundai and I don't know if there is a problem with it or if its normal. Please let me know!
  • 06thomas06thomas Member Posts: 1
    i've installed a intake in my 06 v6 sonata i've been having the same issue seems like the car revs higher with me it happends most while in reverse i've asked the tech about it and he said that is partly to do with the electronic throttle added with the extra air making the computer think more air more gas sounds to me like a glitch in the computer mapping or its more addaptive then they thought speaking in terms of the mfg
  • sellcarsellcar Member Posts: 21
    Re: 2008 Sonata shift error? My car is a 4 cyl and it has not been touched by anyone and no other parts were added to upgrade it.
  • craigbrookscraigbrooks Member Posts: 420
    1. 4th at 30 mph....yes. Mine shifts to 4th at 28 MPH. Others have posted this. Even heard some V6 folks state the same.
    2. Jerks and this when it is cold? If so, yes. Depends on what you call J&S. Mine does it when it is cold. Has since purchase. Others have posted this too.
  • ms090870ms090870 Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 Sonata. The car have been incredible as far as dependability and economics. This car has 97000 miles on it and in the entire time that I have owned the car, the only work that I have had to do to this car is to replace a rear wheel hub. So needless to say I extremely happy with my car and will purchase an other car from Hyundai the next time I purchase a new car.

    I am currently having the following problem and would appreciate any info that anyone might be able to provide.

    My transmission has recently begun to "stick" in 1st or 2nd gear. When it finally shifts (after the RPM'S rev up) I have lost 1st gear and overdrive and my check engine light will be on. Once I kill the car and restart it is perfectly fine.

    Please let me know if you have experienced this or something like it and what was needed to correct the problem.

    Thank you
  • hyundai03ihyundai03i Member Posts: 1
    II recently bought this car and noticed it was shifting funny into third and forth. At first didn't think much just thought maybe it needed a fluid change so I took it in. The car has 32,000 miles on it. When they pulled the plug it was covered it metal very bad. The transmission needed to be pulled to find out it had a cracked drum and it ruined the entire transmission. Has anyone heard of this happening before or how could it have been caused.
  • ronylalaronylala Member Posts: 16
    2008 Sonata transmission shiftif you have a problem with the automatic transmission (at 40-50MPH), please contact me via my e-mail---- [email protected]
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Why not post here why you are asking our members to compromise their privacy by emailing you? Perhaps we can work out what's on your mind without needing anyone to do that?
  • ronylalaronylala Member Posts: 16
    i have a problems with my car i just pruches 5 month ago. i have a replacment car and the same problem on that car also...trying to see if that's a lemon case.

    also found here that some customers had the same issue.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Gosh I'm sorry ot hear that. Tell us about the problems you've had so we can see if others have experienced them as well.

    Were you able to get your dealership to exchange your original purchase? Good for you! How did that go?
  • ronylalaronylala Member Posts: 16
    not yet :-) the replacment car is till my car will be fix by the service....but has the same problem. i set up a meeting with the inspection guy from the main office and now i am waiting....

    The problem is the transmission. when my car was at 40MPH it's stater (shaking a little bit) from Hyundai the service install a program and they fix it...but it was working only for 3 days. now the problem it's on 50MPH...
  • vaishu4545vaishu4545 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought Hyundai sonata 2008. It has 4000 miles on it. While shifting from 1 to 2, I hear a weird noise. It doesn't happen every single time. It only happen while driving first time in a day or driving after couple of hours. Once in motion, I don't hear that noise. I don't know if it is common with the sonata since it has a stubborn transmission. Is this happens to anyone? Is this something to worry about?
  • jlindhjlindh Member Posts: 282
    On the first drive in the day, the car will automatically run an anti-lock brake test at about 8mph. This is also about where your car might be shifting from first to second. Could this be what you're referring to?
  • ronylalaronylala Member Posts: 16
    After 18 days my car spend at the shop...i still have the problem with the transmission...from the menufactor they said it's Normal....well i sent a letter notice of deffective car...and i am starting the Lemon process.
    please if anyone has a problem and the transmission make the car shutter around 50mph. please post here a message.

    thank you,
  • hdsithdsit Member Posts: 58
    You are absolutely not alone - have been struggled with this problem since i bought the car, juli 2005...
    Please look at:!keywords=#18
    I, and a lot other has noticed this shutter, and it seems that the new faceliftet 09 also has this annoyance, according to my personal experience.
    Has been a TSB for the 2,4 A/T:

    But please send them a letter of complain - maybe - even though i seriously doubt - they wil take attention...
  • lmaxicklmaxick Member Posts: 46
    What year is your car and what part of the country do you reside in?
  • ronylalaronylala Member Posts: 16
    I live in Florida. the car is 2008
  • earbuckleearbuckle Member Posts: 16
    Your car only had 30,000 miles. MaxLife products are intended for higher mileage cars (75,000+ miles). In spite of the product sheet claiming compatibility with Hyundai specs, I wouldn't have allowed its use in my car. I'd buy some Hyundai-branded ATF and take it back to the Samco shop; they should be willing to swap it out for free.

    BTW, how was the job done? Unless they used a pressure flush system, more than half of the ATF fluid does NOT get replaced. (I'm not a fan of the pressure flush systems, which attempt to flush the fluid out of the torque converter) So you have a 50%-50% mixture of old Hyundai fluid and new Valvoline fluid, which is pretty scary.

    Good luck.
  • tonycartonycar Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 sonata with 50k miles, it has the same shudder from 1st to 2nd.
    I haven't taken it to the dealer yet
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