The American-made Hyundai Elantra is a fan-favorite hybrid with an elegant shape and several features under its belt. But it does not come without its fair share of problems. In this article, we have set out to find what problems you can expect in the hybrid version of the Hyundai Elantra. Let’s begin with a short answer.
The most common problems in a Hyundai Elantra hybrid are seat belt pretensioner explosion, ticking noise in the engine, ignition coil failure, and others. It has a lower fuel economy than advertised. Some electrical problems are common in this vehicle. However, most of these problems have been solved in the latest model.
This was only a summary of what we’ve prepared for you in this article. For an in-depth analysis of the problems you might encounter in a Hyundai Elantra, give this article a thorough read!
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1. Seat Belt Pretensioner Explosion
The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is one of the best-reviewed hybrid cars in the market right now. Still, some users have reported a unique problem in this hybrid – seat belt pretensioners exploding. A seat belt pretensioner is a part of your car’s seat belt mechanism that locks the seat belt during an accident.
To date, there have been two injuries due to this problem, one in the US and the other in Singapore. This problem has grave consequences – an exploding pretensioner can cause metal fragments to project in the air, which might injure the car occupants and is likely to damage the car’s interior severely.
This problem arises when the car has been in an accident or when the seat belt gets locked during a sudden jerk. Since this problem occurs out of the blue, Elantra owners can do nothing to prevent it, making it more dangerous.
This problem arises due to a manufacturing fault. To deal with this issue, Hyundai has issued two separate recalls. The work is to be done free of charge, and you won’t have to pay a single penny out of your pocket. Any out-of-pocket expenses that you might have incurred will be reimbursed to you by the original equipment manufacturers.
2. Ignition Coil Failure
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is known to have some problems with its ignition coils. Some users have reported that the ignition coil in their Hyundai Elantra has given up the ghost.
If your Elantra has poor fuel economy, a sharp reduction in power, hard starts, and vibrations, the ignition coil is likely to blame. During the ignition coil failure, no engine light comes on, but the engine would rev up and cause the car to lunge forward.
What causes the ignition coil to malfunction is still unknown. If the problem is diagnosed early, you can save yourself some precious bucks. However, a complete ignition coil replacement will likely cost you $250-$300.
3. Ticking Noise From Engine
An infamous problem that has troubled several models of Hyundai Elantra is a ticking noise coming from the engine. This recurring problem has plagued several generations of Hyundai Elantra, primarily the 2011-2014 models. Although this problem has been reported only twice in hybrid versions, you should still be on the lookout while buying this car. This ticking noise starts in the engine and gradually increases in intensity.
If you notice this ticking sound coming from your engine, you should take your car to the mechanic as soon as possible. This problem is usually aggravated while you’re accelerating your car.
There are several potential causes of this problem. The most likely cause behind this problem is a loose accessory belt (serpentine belt). If the serpentine belt fails, then your car will stop moving. Another tell-tale sign of this issue is if you’re hearing some squealing sounds from your engine.
However, this is only one of the several potential causes. Other causes include oil leaks, low engine oil, worn-out piston rings, and valve train malfunction. If you fall victim to this problem, it is pertinent that you take your Elantra to a nearby mechanic as soon as possible.
The cost of fixing this issue largely depends upon the extent of the problem and the actual cause. A loose serpentine belt will only cost you $40-$50 to fix. However, if the belt is completely worn out, it will cost you $185-$245. A thorough car service should solve any oil-leakage-related problems as well. However, if your engine’s pistons are damaged, it might cost you around $2200-$3000.
4. Electrical Equipment Malfunctioning
Hybrid vehicles are known to have problems with their electrical systems. Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is no exception. The most commonly reported issues in Elantra include faulty sensors, headlights randomly switching on, blind-spot warning not working, and emergency braking system malfunctioning while driving.
These problems usually arise during lane swapping on highways. During the onset of these problems, the lane departure doesn’t work as well, which can further aggravate this problem.
These problems can be traced back to a single cause – bad sensors. There are several reasons why sensors in your Elantra are not working correctly, such as dirt and airborne particles accumulating in your car. Fixing these sensors is usually not costly and depends on which sensors you’re replacing. Expect a bill of around $300-$450.
5. Rattling Noise Coming From Car’s Interior
Elantra users have reported another problem that can be annoying at times. Some users have observed rattling noise coming from the back of the car and sometimes from the car’s dashboard. This is a common problem and has been reported in non-hybrid Elantra versions as well.
A rattling noise coming from the car’s dashboard can indicate that the trim parts holding the dashboard’s plastic and metal components have gone loose. This issue can be quickly resolved by taking your car to a nearby mechanic. If you want, you could also get it done yourself. Tighten the fasteners holding the parts in their place, and you should be good to go.
Another culprit of these rattling sounds might be ball joints, faulty sway bar links, or a loose plastic seat belt part at the back of your car. If the rattling noise aggravates when your car goes over a speed bump, it might be because of suspension issues.
Fixing these bolts and ball joints can cost you around $240-$330. However, if the problem is related to the car’s engine, you should be prepared for a hefty bill. Changing the car’s suspension will likely cost you around $1200-$1500.
6. Steering Problems
It is a nightmare for any driver to lose control of their car during a journey. Unfortunately, the steering problems in Hyundai Elantra Hybrid might result in you losing control of your car.
Elantra Hybrid users have reported that their car suddenly started drifting right and left in the middle of driving. A warning light might also come on during this predicament. While facing this issue, the driver also reported that the steering became unresponsive.
What seems to exasperate this issue further is that the braking system also gives out – leaving you entirely on your own. The most likely cause behind this problem is braking fluid leaking from the caliper area, which renders the braking system to be ineffective.
This problem is more common in the 2020 Elantra Hybrid. Although this problem has been reported several times in older versions of Hyundai Elantra, the actual cause of this problem is yet to be determined in the hybrid version. A damaged electric power steering connector could cause a loss of power to the system and, therefore, might cause this problem.
Since this problem does not have a proper diagnosis, you need to contact your local dealership whenever you feel like your steering system is not working. The fixing cost of a faulty power steering is highly variable depending upon the extent of the problem.
7. Less Fuel Economy Than Expected
Some new users of the Elantra Hybrid have reported that their car doesn’t boast the same fuel efficiency (sometimes referred to as car mileage) as advertised by Hyundai. According to the advertisement, the Elantra Hybrid should give a fuel economy of around 53 mpg. However, users have reported that their Elantra offers a fuel economy of approximately 42-45 mpg.
This fuel economy is by no means low. But since it is lower than expected, it still raised a few eyebrows. This is quite common, and most users have said that they are experiencing a similar fuel economy.
The fuel economy advertised by Hyundai is found by considering ideal driving conditions and smooth driving, both of which cannot be realistically expected by modern-day Elantra drivers. Hence this discrepancy is to be expected.
However, if your Elantra is giving less fuel economy than this, it is better to consult your local dealership. The most common causes of low fuel economy include reduced battery performance and a faulty fuel injector.
The cost of fixing this issue is variable, depending upon the cause of this problem. Hyundai Elantra offers a 10-year warranty on its battery, so if your warranty is intact and the problem lies with the battery, a trip to your local dealership should solve the issue.
The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is a relatively new car and has received rave reviews from the automobile industry. Its fuel economy rivals the Hyundai Sonata, and it is adorned with top-of-the-line features. It is known for its reliability and comfort. A typical Hyundai Elantra Hybrid will last you around 250,000-270,000 miles, considering that it is properly maintained.
The worst year for Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is the 2020 model of Hyundai Elantra. This was the first time Elantra transitioned from a gasoline engine to a hybrid engine. Naturally, some were lacking in this model, such as less cargo space, a lackluster design, and the common electrical problems with new models of hybrid cars.
The best year for the Hyundai Elantra is the latest one; the 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid has a fuel-efficient engine and straightforward infotainment system and is free of the significant problems that have plagued its predecessors.
If you’re in the market for the best version of the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, the 2022 year is your best bet. It might come off as the costlier option among other models, but the features make it worthwhile.
In this article, we delved deep into the problems you might encounter while owning a hybrid version of the American-made Hyundai Elantra. While it is known for its elegant shape and impressive features, it hasn’t been without issues. We hope the detailed analysis provided has equipped you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Recalling the primary concerns, it is not uncommon to face issues such as a ticking noise in the engine, seat belt pretensioner explosion, and ignition coil failure, among others. Moreover, the fuel economy might not meet the advertised standards, and various electrical problems have been reported. Thankfully, the latest model has addressed most of these concerns, showcasing Hyundai’s commitment to improving their vehicles.
Thank you for joining us in this exploration of the Hyundai Elantra hybrid’s common problems. We trust that this article has been both enlightening and helpful.
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.