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Hyundai Sonata Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Hyundai Sonata Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

The American-made Sonata is the flagship midsize car produced by Hyundai. During the last 35 years, Hyundai has produced 8 different generations of this car. All of these generations comprise several models that have varying specifications. There are also quite a few differences in their transmission models. In this article, we will elaborate which transmission models were used throughout the generations, their cost, the transmission fluid used in them, and the most common problems users reported.

The first, second, and third generations of Hyundai Sonata uses 4-speed Automatic (F4A22, F4A33, F4A51) and 5-speed manual transmissions (KM177, KM175, F5M22-2). The fourth-gen comes with a 5-speed A/M and 4-speed Auto transmission. The fifth-gen has 6-speed A/M (A6LF2, A6LF2) transmission. The sixth-gen has a 7-speed auto (D7UF1), and a six-speed auto (A6LF2) transmission. The seventh-gen has an 8-speed auto (A8MF1), and a six-speed auto (A6MF2H-1) transmission.

This answer only entails the models of transmissions used in Hyundai Sonata. In the subsequent paragraphs, we have enlisted their cost, problems, and a general comparison of all transmissions used in various generations of Hyundai Sonata. Give this article a thorough read to know all about Hyundai Sonata transmissions.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Hyundai Sonata Last? (Answered)

What Transmission Has the Hyundai Sonata Used?

First Generation (1989-93)

  • F4A22-1 4-speed Automatic
  • KM177-8 5-speed manual

Second Generation (1993-98)

  • F4A33-1 4-speed Automatic Transmission
  • KM175-5 5-speed Manual Transmission

Third Generation (1998-2004)

  • F5M22-2 5-speed Manual Transmission
  • F4A51 4-speed Automatic Transmission

Fourth Generation (2004-09)

  • M5GF2 5-speed Manual Transmission
  • 5-speed Automatic Transmission
  • 4-speed Automatic Transmission

Fifth Generation (2009-14)

  • A6LF2 6-speed Automatic Transmission
  • A6MF2H 6-speed
  • M6GF2 Manual Transmission

Sixth Generation (2014-19)

  • 7 speed D7UF1 Automatic Transmission
  • 6 speed A6MF2H Automatic Transmission
  • 6 speed A6LF2 Automatic Transmission

Seventh Generation (2019- Onwards)

  • 8 speed A8MF1 Automatic Transmission
  • 6 speed A6MF2H-1 Automatic Transmission

Also read: Types Of Gas A Hyundai Sonata Takes (Explained)

How Long Does a Hyundai Sonata Transmission Last?

The longevity of a Hyundai Sonata transmission depends on the way it is maintained. A properly maintained Hyundai Sonata typically goes for 200,000 miles without breaking down. That is, if you’ve maintained it the right way. In some instances, a Hyundai Sonata can also continue working without any problems for more than 250,000 miles. This makes Hyundai Sonata one of the most dependable mid-size cars out there.

In order to properly maintain a car, it is important that you check the transmission fluid regularly, and use the right type of transmission fluid. Flushing your Hyundai’s transmission on a timely basis will also increase its life span.

Also read: 8 Common Problems Of A Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

How much does a Hyundai Sonata transmission cost?

Hyundai Sonata has seen several different transmissions throughout its 26 years (and counting) lifespan. The price of these transmissions varies accordingly. Since there are several models of Hyundai Sonata generations, it can be difficult to find the replacement cost of the transmission that your Hyundai Sonata uses. After going through the websites of several online retailers, here are the prices* of Hyundai Sonata transmission we found.

F4A22-1 4-speed Automatic$2192
KM177-8 5-speed manual$2212
F4A33-1 4-speed Automatic Transmission$1792
KM175-5 5-speed Manual Transmission$2350
F4A51 4-speed Automatic Transmission$1989
M5GF2 5-speed Manual Transmission$2449
A6LF2 6-speed Automatic Transmission$2420
7 speed D7UF1 Automatic Transmission$2320  
8 speed A8MF1 Automatic Transmission$2679

*These prices do not include the labor cost. If you cannot find the model of your transmission in this table, you can look it up on AutoZone.

Common Hyundai Sonata Transmission Problems

1st Generation Transmission Problems

  • A common problem with the transmissions used in Hyundai Sonata’s first generation is that the car does not grab the next gear when it is past the 25-30 mph mark. This problem is usually caused by an imbalance in the fluid level or a clogged filter.
  • Users of the 1992 Hyundai Sonata report that they faced shifting delays and car rattling at high speed. If this problem comes with a burning smell coming from beneath the hood, it could mean that the transmission has given up the ghost.

Second Generation Transmission Problems

  • The most common problem with the Hyundai Sonata of 1997 is transmission failure. When applying gear in reverse, there is a loud banging noise coming from the engine. This problem is caused due to a faulty solenoid valve. Replace that and you should be good to go.
  • Difficulty with accelerating on highways. When Sonata approaches 40-50 mph on highways, the gear appears to be shifting to neutral. This causes the engine to stall. The most common cause is a low level of transmission fluid.

Third Generation Transmission Problems

  • Transmission won’t shift to the next gear. This problem is caused due to failed speed sensors in transmission.
  • Hyundai Sonata shakes while accelerating. There are many reasons for this, and your car’s transmission fluid running low is one of them. It might also be because of broken engine mounts. If the problem persists, and you are sure that the problem lies with the transmission, consider changing the transmission, or contact your local car dealership.
  • Jerks in Automatic Transmission coupled with engine lights turning on. Although this might seem like a mechanical problem, it most likely is not. Replace the input and output sensors of your Sonata, or consider revamping the electrical pathway of your car to get rid of this problem.

 Fourth Gen Transmission Problems

  • Poor shift quality of automatic transmission on Hyundai Sonata. The main culprit behind this is an imbalance in the level of transmission fluid. Use the genuine Hyundai fluid to make sure that this problem doesn’t come up again.
  • Abrupt and hard shifting to first gear. This problem is usually caused by a glitch in the car’s software. A software update done by any professional would do the trick.
  • Transmission jerks while downshifting or while slowing down. It might be due to a dirty mass airflow center. Another probable cause is low or burnt transmission fluid.

Fifth Gen Transmission Problems

  • Transmission emitting a large bang-like sound when coming to a stop. Often these clunking noises occur because the sensors in the transmission are irregularly transmitting the information. It might also be a sign that your transmission is failing.
  • Users of 2010 Hyundai Sonata have reported that when brakes are applied, the car jerks forward. This is due to faulty transmission, and a transmission replacement is required to cater to this problem.

Sixth Generation Transmission Problems

  • The most common transmission problem reported in 2015 Hyundai Sonata include slipping, jerking, and hard shifting. In the 6th generation of Hyundai Sonata, the majority of these problems are caused due to a faulty vehicle speed sensor. Replacing the speed sensor would solve this problem.

Seventh Gen Transmission Problems

  • Difficulty while shifting gear, loss of engine power, and jerking. These problems are caused due to poor-quality transmission fluid, or a lack thereof. Use the Hyundai genuine ATF to solve this issue.
  • Transmission fluid leaks are a major problem in the seventh-gen Hyundai Sonata. This could be due to an issue with the transmission hose. A complete flush service would solve this problem.

Difference Between Transmissions

Here is a table that enlists the major differences between the main transmissions used across different generations of a Hyundai Sonata

ModelDrive-trainMaximum Engine TorqueGross Vehicle Weight
F4A22-1 4-speed Automatic  FWD143 Nm1740 kg
KM175-5 5-speed Manual Transmission  FWD  162 Nm1740 kg
F4A51 4-speed Automatic Transmission  FWD  180 Nm1910 kg
M5GF2 5-speed Manual Transmission  FWD  168 Nm2030 kg
A6LF2 6-speed Automatic Transmission  FWD  252 Nm2020 kg
7 speed D7UF1 Automatic Transmission (DCT)  FWD  274 Nm2024 kg
8 speed A8MF1 Automatic Transmission  FWD  264 Nm1974 kg

Transmission Fluids and The Hyundai Sonata

For Honda Sonata, most user manuals suggest that you change the transmission fluid every 50,000-70,000 miles.

The majority of Hyundai Sonata uses Dexron VI transmission fluid. Another type of transmission fluid used in the latest models of Hyundai Accent is the Castrol Transmax Transmission Fluid. Depending on the model, you could also use Genuine Hyundai Automatic Transmission Fluid. Before buying a transmission fluid, ensure that it is the right fit for your car engine.


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