The Hyundai Tucson is one of the best-selling compact SUVs in North America for many reasons, including good looks, great tech, top-tier safety credentials, and lots of space.
However, where the Tucson makes the biggest strides is in the reliability department as it is one of the most reliable SUVs, not only in its respective class but in regards to all SUVs on sale.
As impressive as that might be, the Tucson did struggle with certain transmission issues over the years. Here is a quick recap of those:
The 4th generation Tucson transmission suffers from shifter cable issues, oil leaks, delayed shifts, valve body issues, push-button issues, and range-circuit issues. The 3rd generation Tucson transmission suffers from clutch issues, transmission slipping, clutch issues, and TCM issues.
Lastly, the 2nd generation of the Tucson suffers from a broken shifter assembly, delayed shifts, and clutch slipping.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, which is why we need to delve deeper into these problems individually. We will tell you which transmissions the Tucson is using, we will list all the important service bulletins and recalls, and summarize by telling you how long these should last and how much they cost to replace!
Common Hyundai Tucson Transmission Problems
For this article, we will focus on the fourth, third, and second generations of the Tucson.
Fourth Generation Hyundai Tucson (2021 – Present)
The fourth generation of the Hyundai Tucson uses two different transmissions:
- 8-speed automatic (2.5L model)
- 6-speed automatic (hybrid model)
The latest generation of the Hyundai Tucson is not completely free of transmission faults. The 8-speed automatic found in the 2.5L Tucson suffers from shifter cable issues, transmission oil leaks, delayed shifting, and speed sensor issues. The 8-speed found in the 1.6L Hybrid suffers from valve body issues, push-button shifter issues, and issues with the range circuit.
There 8-speed automatic transmission on the 2.5L Tucson seems to be experiencing issues with the shifter cable which can break and thus blocks you from engaging the shifter completely. One NHTSA report of a 2022 Tucson described it like this:
The contact stated while driving approximately 30 MPH, the contact was unable to move the gear shifter. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer and diagnosed as a failure with the shifter cable. The dealer indicated that the vehicle was repaired; however, the failure reoccurred. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000.Source
Another issue with the 8-speed automatic gearbox is that the transmission can leak oil- an issue that’s common even in premium vehicles like the Mercedes CLA.
A few owners reported that their brand-new Tucson models are prone to transmission oil leaks. Both have reported the issue to Hyundai to replace the transmission under warranty while Hyundai issued a TSB (22-AT-002H) saying that the leak came from the rear transmission cover.
Lastly, we also need to mention that Hyundai issued a TSB concerning the automatic transaxle valve body input/output speed sensor which can prompt up the warning light and can sometimes be related to damaged wiring harnesses leading to the transmission. (22-AT-006H).
The last problem with the 8-speed automatic in the new Tucson is that it experiences delayed shifting under acceleration. Hyundai issues the associated TSB (22-01-006H) because owners were experiencing the following problems:
- Delayed upshifting under acceleration
- Harsh shifting under acceleration
The 6-speed automatic gearbox used on the 1.6L hybrid Tucson experiences issues with the valve body internal harness and the input/output speed sensor, the exact same problem found on the 8-speed transmission which was also followed by an associated TSB (22-AT-010H).
The 2022 Hyundai 1.6L hybrid also experiences issues with the push-button shifter which is followed by these symptoms:
- “Shifter System Malfunction” displayed in the cluster
- Won’t shift into or out of gear or won’t shift out of Park
- Incorrect gear display in cluster and/or won’t start
Hyundai came out with a 22-AT-001H TSB where software updates and certain harness and SWB replacement parts were necessary to solve the issue.
The last problem we will mention with the 6-speed transmission found in the hybrid 1.6L Tucson is one where the transmission range sensor circuit malfunctions. A TSB (21-AT-007H) was issued due to owners experiencing these issues:
- Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) illuminated
- 5th gear fail-safe
- No gear indication in cluster
- Intermittently won’t shift into D or R
- Intermittently won’t shift out of Park
- Intermittently no engine crank/no start in “P” or “N” with or without MIL or DTC.
Third Generation Hyundai Tucson (2016-2020)
The fourth generation of the US Hyundai Tucson comes with two transmission options:
- 6-speed A6MF1 automatic transmission
- 7-speed D7UF1 DCT transmission
The third generation of the Tucson experiences transmission issues more commonly than the fourth generation which is to be expected since this is an older car with more model years. The 2016 model is by the worst in this regard as it has more than 450 reports on NTHSA tied to powertrain problems.
The 6-speed 6AT transmission suffers from shift delays, transmission slipping, and issues with the clutch while the 7-speed DCT experiences problems with delayed shifts, TCM issues, and issues with the clutches.
6-Speed A6MF1 Automatic Transmission
The 6-speed automatic transmission with the 2.0L 2016-2018 Tucson suffers from an issue where the car may exhibit hesitations while trying to accelerate from a rolling stop. Hyundai issued a TSB (20-AT-025H) which pointed towards updating the TCU control logic software which seems to have solved the issue.
We already mentioned that the 2016 Tucson is the worst Tucson out of them all as far as transmission issues are concerned, but we also need to add that many of those issues were associated with these symptoms:
- Check Engine light on
- DTC P0880/PO88000 – TCM power signal error open/short
- Transmission stuck in 4th gear fail-safe
- Harsh Shift in Reverse and Drive
Hyundai came out with the 20-AT-017H TSB in May 2020 to address these issues caused by transmission solenoid voltage being under 7V or higher than 22V. For most of these, a new transmission was necessary, except for the DTC P0880/P088000.
Another fairly common issue with the 6-speed transmission is related to transmission slipping which can lead to situations where the RPMs can climb, but no gear is selected. One owner of a 2016 Tucson reported:
At seemingly random times, the transmission will slip completely out of gear and the engine will just rev but not move the car. Feels like the car is in neutral gear and just revving the engine. Almost got hit from a car as we pulled out to turn right from a stopped position at a stop light, pushed on the accelerator, and the car would not move at all. Just revved for about 5-6 seconds before finally going into a gear and moving the car. Very dangerous situation!! just went to the dealer to day to have it looked at and they said nothing was wrong and the car was “working as designed. “.Source.
This issue has been reported for various Hyundai 8-speed transmissions, but the 6-speed found with the 2016-2020 Tucson was also included in the associated 19-AT-021H-1 TSB. With this TSB, Hyundai decided to test out the clutch, and if the clutch does not pass the test, a brand-new transmission was necessary.
7-Speed D7UF1 DCT Transmission
The 7-speed DCT transmission found in the 1.6L 2016-2020 Tucson is comparably a lot worse than the 6-speed automatic that came with the 2.0L Tucson. As far as 7-speed DCT issues are concerned, we need to mention that EcoShift is prone to delayed shifts which led to a recall back in August 2016 (16V628000) when Hyundai recalled certain 2016 Tucson 1.6L models equipped with the 7-speed DCT due to transmission control module issues.
Another fairly common issue with the 2016-2017 7-speed EcoShift DCT is that the double-clutch system can fail due to an incorrectly calibrated Transmission Control Module (TCM). Owners that were experiencing these issues reported the following problems:
- Strange noises coming from the transmission
- Abnormal vibrations at low speeds
- Transmission juddering
Hyundai recognized the issue and came out with the 19-AT-002H TSB which included both replacing the clutches and recalibrating the TCM. However, the 2016-2017 7-speed in the Tucson was also prone to:
- A slight hesitation at low speeds can be experienced in certain driving conditions.
- Malfunction indicator light illuminated with DTC P0128 – Coolant Thermostat
- Coolant Temp Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature.
This also led to a separate TSB (17-01-024) associated with a much-needed TCM update.
Second Generation Hyundai Tucson (2010-2015)
The second-generation Hyundai Tucson comes with two transmission options:
- 5-speed manual
- 6-speed A6LF3 automatic
The Hyundai Tucson GL came with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard while upper trim models came with the 6-speed automatic. The 6-speed automatic was also available as an option for the GL trim, which is why the vast majority of 2nd generation Hyundai Tucson models are equipped with the 6-speed automatic.
5-Speed Manual Transmission
The 5-speed manual on the 2nd generation of the Hyundai Tucson (some 2010-2012 Tucson) seems to be fairly reliable except for certain issues with the shift lever assembly which can break and cause issues. The only way to fix this issue was to replace the shift lever assembly with its associated cable. The symptoms of this issue include:
- A loud noise can be heard when the assembly breaks
- The car couldn’t move
- The transmission was unresponsive
6-Speed A6LF3 Automatic Transmission
The 2010-2011 Hyundai Tucson equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission is known to experience harsh or delayed shifts which led to Hyundai issuing two separate TSBs. The former was issued back in Mach 2012 (12-AT-012) and was associated with the 2010 Tucson while the latter was issued in April 2018 (18-AT-004) and was associated with the 2010-2015 Tucson.
Both TSBs were associated with certain software issues and with various hardware components which sometimes led to needing a brand-new transmission, especially if the shift time was longer than 2.5 seconds.
The 2010-2015 Tucson 6-speed automatic is also no stranger to transmission clutch slipping and sometimes causing the car to completely disengage the transmission. One report for a 2015 Tucson stated:
Tl the contact owns a 2015 Hyundai Tucson. The contact stated while driving and attempting to accelerate, the rpm’s revved up however, the vehicle failed to perform as designed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the transmission was failing and needed to be repaired or replaced. The vehicle was not yet repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage 90,200.Source
This also led to Hyundai issuing a TSB (20-AT-001H) to diagnose and repair incorrect gear ratios which were the reason why some 2010-2015 Tucson models were prone to transmission slipping.
How Long Does A Hyundai Tucson Transmission Last?
The 2nd generation Hyundai Tucson 5-speed manual should have no issues covering hundreds of thousands of miles without major issues if you don’t abuse the clutch and take proper care of the assembly. The 2nd generation 6-speed automatic has also proven to be fairly reliable as it manages to do 200,000 miles easily.
The most vulnerable transmission with the Tucson seems to be the DCT EcoShift transmission which should also last at least 150,000 miles without major overhauls while the 6-speed automatic in the 3rd gen Tucson is good for at least 200k. The transmissions with the newest 2021+ Tucson models are way too new to tell.
How Much Does A Hyundai Tucson Transmission Cost?
These are the average prices for new Hyundai transmissions:
- 2nd generation Tucson 5-speed manual: $900 (eBay)
- 2nd generation Tucson A6LF3 6-speed automatic: $3,000 (Shopkoreamotors.com)
- 3rd generation Tucson A6MF1 6-speed automatic: $2,500 (Shopkoreamotors.com)
- 3rd generation Tucson D7UF1 7-speed DCT automatic: $2,999 (Alibaba.com)
- 4th generation Tucson 6-speed automatic: $3,500 (Coggindelandhyunndai.com)
- 4th generation Tucson 8-speed automatic: $3,500 (Millerhyundai.com)
Marko´s interest in cars runs in the family. His father was a car trader and regularly took him to car dealerships when he was younger.
These days, when he isn´t watching Drivetribe or Doug DeMuro videos, he´s building up quite a resume as an automotive writer since he´s also a regular contributor on Cararc.com, Tirehungry.com, and Luxurycarsa2z.com.