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Hyundai Sonata Transmission Problems



  • retsabretsab Posts: 10
    Good luck, I wonder if they(HYUNDAI) just hope that people and their problems will just go away. I have all of my paperwork filled out but haven't yet sent it in to BBB & Att. Gen. This way they will have the final count of continuous days my car has been at the dealership.
  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    Damn that's terrible restab. So you said the car was driven 50 miles but came to you with 215 miles on it, meaning before it left the first dealership it had 165 miles. That seems like an awful lot for a new car. My 09 Sonata Limited V6 had four miles on the odometer when I drove it off the lot, which probably is a little on the low side actually. I was concerned with so few miles the car had not been properly PDI'd but the dealership assured me the tech takes the car on a two mile test drive with every new car. So far I haven't had a single issue with my car, so I'll assume he was telling the truth.

    But anyway, what I'm concerned with is your car had so many miles on it, and the original dealership was performing electrical work before they shipped it to you. That just doesn't seem right. Why would you order a car from a dealership 50 miles away in the first place? The dealership you were at didn't have a single 09 four cylinder on their lot? That's hard to believe. I would be super pissed they delivered a new car with so many miles and one they knew was having electrical problems. I seriously hope you get to lemon law that car, because it sure sounds like a lemon. Good luck!
  • retsabretsab Posts: 10
    The cars on the lot were all colors and interiors which I found to be not attractive. They also seemed to be the most basic GLS models or overly equipped 6cyl.. The sales manager told me he has to accept what Hyundai ships him. I wanted the Willow gray in the 4 cyl with the option 2. The sales manager told me this was the set up he could probably sell the most. Hyundai seems to be determined to limit interior color choices with exteriors. In reality, I wanted the Cocoa Metalic with a gray interior ( which I think is far superior to the yellowish color most Sonatas seem to have). As to obtaining a car from a different dealer, I suggested to the Sales Manager that from now on they do a background check on the vehicle they are obtaining. It must be me, but 3 of my last 4 vehicles were obtained from other dealers lots.
  • Are you new to car buying? (not trying to insult you) Every single word out of a car dealer/salespersons mouth is a LIE. They can order whatever they want and it's usually the loaded cars, since they can make more money. If you cannot get what you want from one dealer call another one. This dealer is an incompetent idiot because they can search the entire country and locate a car just like you want from another dealer, he simply doesn't want to. In this economy, I would have told him to kiss off and walked right out the door.
    Go to Hyundai's website and build the car you want and then have the system search the U.S. for that car. Worst case is you have to wait 8-12 weeks for it to be manufactured.
    I can tell you this, you will NOT be happy with the 4cyl. it's doggie and the mileage isn't any better in real world driving. My 2001 V6 GLS still gets ~22 mpg city and ~34 mpg highway on cheap gas. You can't always believe the sticker mpg ratings.
  • You know, of course, that accelerating a bit more aggressively would cause the transmission to stay in 3rd gear longer and as a result 4th gear would be engaged at a higher road speed/RPM. Off hand I would agree with the dealer that, given the fuel price situation and other economy concerns, the transmission is programmed to get into and stay in the highest gear (4th) as soon as possible for as long as possible. If you drive in a normal way or even try to "lightfoot" it more than normal the car will respond in the exact fashion you are complaining about. So, since I believe not only will you find all Hyundai's do this but most other manufacturers products as well it may be something you will either have to work around by driving a bit more aggressively or if you don't want to accelerate more briskly keep it in 3rd gear by using the Shiftronic feature until you reach a higher road speed (but this can also be accomplished by accelerating more briskly). This will reduce fuel economy so I guess you can't have it both ways. There is no "problem" with your transmission, the only problem is expecting the car to operate in too high a gear for the situation or low road speed. As an aside we own a 2006 Honda Civic with a 5 speed automatic transmission and to deliver the best fuel economy Honda has programmed this transmission to get into 5th gear ASAP (much like your Hyundai) and the result of that bit of programming is that the car downshifts at the mere sight of a rise in the road. Unless one is traveling at 65-70 mph the car downshifts on grade changes pretty readily....a problem? nope but it is an inconvenience.
  • For the record, several changes (actually thousands of changes) have been made to the Sonata since 2001 not the least of which are completely new engines attached to new transmissions and new fuel economy ratings with a completely new car wrapped aroud them. These new for 2007-08 EPA ratings now give what I believe to be pretty accurate numbers. I also think you will find the newest variant of the 4 cylinder is pretty quick (at least 90% of mid size car buyers will be happy) and the mileage WILL be much better than the V-6. The V-6 is a rocket but there is (as always) a price for performance..harder maintainence accessability and poorer fuel economy the first two on the list.
  • Dear Targettuning,

    I understand what you saying about the fuel mileage vs. staying in 3rd gear longer (my 08 only has four gears) and realizethe trade off. However, do you think that 18 miles / gallon in short trips/in town driving is good? I get over 30 on the hwy, which I am pleased with but was hoping for better fuel efficiencty around town, especially if I have to put up with the lugging.

  • Refresh my memory as I forget if you have the 4 cylinder or the V-6 version. If you have the V-6 then, yes, I do think 18 mpg is good (at least not objectionable) for short trip/in town stop-go type driving. On the other hand it might be a bit low for the 4 cylinder but even then depending on the size of your town or city and how much more time you spend stopped than going this may be acceptable. For example I will refer back to our 2006 Civic EX sedan with 5 speed wife drives this car for the most part and drives about 2 1/2 miles (if that) to work then putters around our largish town/smallish city accumulating maybe 15-20 miles per day and the last fill-up on Monday produced a little over 24 mpg. This is typical for this car in this driving scenario. Many would 'boo-hoo' such "low" fuel economy for a Honda (and a Civic yet) but I find it typically gets from about 21- 22 mpg in winter ( in Pa snow and cold) to about 25 max in summer using the A.C. This same car got 38+ mpg on our last road trip. I guess what I am trying to point out is that for a gas vehicle the absolute worst fuel economy is derived in the city...short trip...stop-go...gridlock type environment during which it frequently gets ZERO mpg. The only types of vehicles that shine in around town driving are 1. electric (of which there are few/none..yet) maybe diesel (of which there are few available), and for sure hybrids, especially the Toyota Prius/Toyota Camry hybrid.
  • please you all wrong about the Gears. Hyundai Sonata 2008 has 5 gears and not 4. only when you put it as stick shift you will see it as 4 but the automat has 5.
  • i have the same problem and i am meeting the BBB with Hyundai on friday sep5 . i will update here.
  • hello...I just found out my car is going to cost $900 to be fixed for what sounds like a common problem. The transmission slams into gear sporadically and drags after that. They say it is the output speed sensor. I'm finding the info on here very interesting and helpful. Can you let me know what you find out from the BBB and Hyundai on Friday ??? I would really appreciate it as the people at Hyundai were less than helpful. This car was serviced for this problem before and supposedly fixed. Thanks again
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    For 2008, in the U.S., the Sonata had four forward "gears" in the AT with the 2.4L engine, and five forward gears in the V6. For model year 2009, the Sonata 2.4L got a 5-speed automatic.
  • sorry but you still wrong they just didn't update it on the system. you can check it yourself. put the gear on manuele and then when its get to 4 switch it to auto you will hear the gear switch. also the Thecnitian confirmed that issue. thats why the transmittion has problems in the car.
  • i will. hope i wont need to go to next level and take a lawyer.
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    An upgrade to a 5 speed automatic transmission was touted as one of the improvements on the '09 I4 Sonatas. On the 5 speed Hyundai auto, you can select gears 1 thru 5 in the manual gate. If your transmission has 5 gears you'll be able to select (and read) the 5th gear if you're above about 40 mph. I'm guessing that you're mistaking the torque converter lock-up for an additional gear which you do not have.

    Many, many Hyundai personnel don't know their products.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    The new, second-generation Theta II 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine delivers more horsepower and quicker acceleration. Fuel economy numbers are 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway with the standard five-speed manual transmission or the newly available five-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC(R).
  • i guess if you will look up the internet you will see i am right.

    just be sure i am not buying anything without looking on the inside.
  • you can call the menufactor and they will tell you. they changed it from 2007 i think or 2008. the menufactor did not update it in the book. you can ask at the shop and they will tell you. i do not know why they did not update that issue but i am telling you that we checked that matter a few times already.
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    I can't wait to hear your explanation as to why the gear indicator only goes to 4 and not 5 when using the manumatic feature as it does in ALL of the (other) recent 5 speed automatic Hyundais.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Then Hyundai has foistered one of the biggest cover-ups in automotive history, that is, they put 5-speed automatic transmissions on their Sonata I4s sold in the U.S. for 1-2 years but told the world that it was only a 4-speed automatic. Also, they put these 5-speed automatics only on SOME 2007-2008 Sonatas. I've driven maybe a half dozen of these cars and they all had 4-speed automatics.

    I can post a few dozen links to Web pages that state clearly that the 2006-2008 Sonata I4s sold in the U.S. have 4-speed automatics. Can you post some proof of your claim that 2007-2008 Sonata I4s had 5-speed automatics? If not, can we move on?
  • The automatic in the online factory shop manual ( listed for the 2008 Sonata I-4 2.4L is the F4A42, with specs that state it is a FOUR SPEED automatic. IF there had been a 5-speed auto in any of those 2008 cars, it would be referenced in the shop manual. Any Hyundai mechanic who says there were 5-speed auto transmissions in the 2008 4-cylinder cars is, quite simply, wrong and uninformed. I'd not let that mechanic near my car.
  • Why is it not under warranty?
  • It's a 2002 with 54,000. The warranty is up. I just got the car back and it cost $255 to have the job done. Quite a difference from the $900 I was quoted !!!
  • o.k. let me explain to you..

    when you driving the car and the Gear switch the speed automatcliy the rpm going down.

    try to drive manualy till you will get to the 4 speed. then switch it to auto keep driving and you will see that the RPM is going down and change to 5th speed auto.

    now that i have the problem with the transmission no one from the menufactor denid that on my car there is 5th gear. also the master tech confirmed that.

    if you what is RPM you will see i am right.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    It was already mentioned that what you are feeling is the torque converter going into lockup mode, which can feel a lot like a gear change and results in the RPMs going down.

    Here is an article that describes the operation of the lockup torque converter, in general. Note this particular phrase:

    If you have a tachometer you will see the RPM's drop a few hundred when it engages.

    Hope this helps.
  • backy has already explained what you are seeing. Unless you have an '09, you do not have a 5 speed automatic on a 4 cylinder Sonata. No amount of "observations" or lack of technician feedback will convince me that you do. Crawl under the car and read the model plate on the transmission itself. If it is something other than what I referenced in my previous post, let me know.
  • Dear Backy,

    This is Funny, i think Hyundai should pay you for the public relation that you are doing for them...or they already paying you?

    if it was not a problem no one was keeping my car at the shop for so long and trying to fix it.(ohhh and not only my car, i know more then 2) if it was not a problem the tech would not have on the website answers how to fix it (by installing the program).

    dont you think at the first time that i went to the Shop they needed to say "what you are feeling is the torque converter going into lockup mode" and send me home?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Did it occur to you that a transmission can have a problem that is fixed by installing a program, without the transmission being a type that is not available on your car? :surprise:

    For example, here's a TSB for the 2008 Sonata's automatic transmission that requires an ECM/TCM update, i.e. reprogramming: - model=Sonata&style=GLS+4dr+Sedan+(2.4L+4cyl+5M)#2

    Perhaps you could ask the dealer if this TSB applies to your Sonata. Notice I found the info on a web site--maybe like the service tech did!

    What I think is funny is that you continue to hold onto this ridiculous story about your car having a 5-speed automatic in it when no 2008 Sonata 4-cylinder sold in the U.S. came so equipped.
  • and do you think i went to the dealer without doing resarch first? i already printed its old info.

    and you didnt told me if you tried what i suggest you with the manual and the auto..switch and try.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    No, I haven't tried that. It's not like I can go run out to a dealer (an impossibility on a Sunday, where I live anyway) and demand to drive a 2008 Sonata I4 automatic--and one with a 5-speed of course. But I do know I've wasted far too much time on this, and you. One thing I will do, though, since I am taking my Hyundai in for an oil change tomorrow, is ask the service manager whether there is such a thing as a 2006-2008 Sonata I4 with a 5-speed automatic. I am hoping he won't laugh his head off.

    Good luck with your one-of-a-kind 2008 Sonata I4 with the 5-speed automatic. Maybe you should try selling it on eBay--there might be a demand for a rare car like that. Some people will collect just about anything.
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