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Common Hyundai Elantra Faults: Reliability, Problems & More

The Hyundai Elantra is a decent car that gets better with each new generation. As with any machine created by man, this car can present problems. Stick around and read all about common Hyundai Elantra faults .

There are a lot of opinions about how good Hyundai Elantras are, usually by interested buyers. The Elantra has an average resale value, that one in good condition will depreciate 51% after five years. While newer models have the best features, an older Elantra can also be a good buy with proper care and maintenance.

How good are the Hyundai Elantra?

The Hyundai Elantra scored well in major reliability rankings. Some site gives the Elantra a score of 4.5 out of 5.0, placing it eighth out of 36 compact car models. While the first generations showed average fuel economy , later model years improved fuel efficiency with each new generation.

Hyundai Elantra Reviews

Many opinions arise about the Hyundai Elantra, here are the most prominent:

  • There is at least one 2013 Hyundai Elantra that has put a million miles on it in the span of five years.
  • Hyundai says the car still uses its factory powertrain and is offering to give away a new Elantra to anyone who reaches that milestone.
  • While you probably won’t push your Elantra to such extremes, you’ll be glad to know that your car can achieve 120,000 or even 185,000 miles if you stick to the service schedule and perform regular maintenance.

Common faults of the Hyundai Elantra

Although the Hyundai Elantra is generally reliable , it is not perfect and can develop problems that can vary depending on the model year. Below we present the common failures of the Hyundai Elantra reported in various models:

1- Hyundai Elantra loses strength

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra is arguably the worst model year for this sedan. Judging by the reports collected by some car sites, many of your problems pertain to your engine.

Owners of the 2013 Elantra have complained about ticking noises and the engine misfiring outright. They also reported that the engine may run rough , shake, vibrate, or shut off while driving.

These engine problems weren’t just common on the 2013 Elantra. Earlier 2011 and 2012 models can also develop similar problems.

The Hyundai Elantra’s engine can also catch fire . An electrical short in the ABS module can cause a “turnkey” fire in the engine compartment. As of February 2020, Hyundai recalled more than 430,000 Elantras built between 2006 and 2011 with this issue.

2- Defective airbags

There have been more than 1,130 different airbag-related problems since the Elantra debuted in 1996. The most frequently reported problem involves the airbag warning light going on and off for no reason .

It’s easy to think that the rest of the airbags may not work properly when your safety and your life depend on them. Other air bag problems include failure to deploy during collisions , malfunction of the front air bag sensor controls, and inflator problems.

Serious airbag problems have led to two recalls for the Hyundai Elantra. A faulty front seat weight sensor can inadvertently deploy the airbags on model years 2006-2008. On the other hand, excessive pressure inside the air bags on the 2006 and 2007 models could cause them to deploy accidentally.

Finally, the Takata airbag recall included some Elantra models. Defective Takata air bags may burst or deploy too slowly. In either case, they can put the driver in danger.

3- Problems with the direction

This is one of the common Hyundai Elantra faults. In fact, there have been many complaints about steering problems with the Hyundai Elantra. The most frequent failures include the electronic power steering locking up while in cruise control or at highway speeds and knocking caused by a faulty steering coupler when making turns.

In 2017, Hyundai issued a recall for a small number of Hyundai Elantras with Electronic Power Steering (EPS). Affected units had a faulty EPS connector that could cause the power steering to shut down due to lack of power .

4- Ignition problems (damaged electrical system)

Like most vehicles, the Hyundai Elantra can develop various problems related to its electrical system. Because many parts depend on a constant supply of power, the list of possible electrical breakdowns is long.

Electrical system related faults include car alarms malfunctioning and ignition problems on Hyundai Elantra.

Many of these problems are caused by wiring problems. Old or damaged wires can prevent the engine from starting because the ignition is not getting enough power. You should always have your vehicle checked for worn or faulty wires that need to be changed.

5- Problems with service brakes

Hyundai issued a recall in 2017 for more than 33,000 Hyundai Elantras built in that same year. Among the common Hyundai Elantra failures, this is one of the most dangerous, since it is related to the service brakes.

According to NHTSA, a manufacturing issue dislodged the diaphragm in the brake booster on the affected vehicles. This produced a vacuum leak that reduced the effectiveness of the brake assist. In the worst case, the brake assist would not work.

A bad brake booster could reduce Elantra’s stopping power . It increases the distance required for the car to stop, which can lead to an accident if the driver does not apply the brakes in time.

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra has also experienced recurring problems with its brakes. Many drivers complained about grinding noises when braking. The problem was traced to faulty brake pads and rotors.

6- Suspension problems

Corrosion also posed a threat to the Hyundai Elantra’s suspension parts. In 2015, Hyundai issued a recall for certain units of the 2011 Hyundai Elantra. The front coil springs of the affected vehicles were vulnerable to corrosion caused by exposure to road salt.

A rusted coil spring could fracture and puncture the nearby tire, putting vehicle safety at risk.


There are two final tips you should read:

  • Buying a new or pre-owned Hyundai Elantra should be a good idea as long as you research the most common faults and problems for each model year.
  • If you already drive this car, knowing these common Hyundai Elantra failures in advance can help you find ways to extend the life of your vehicle.

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