Hyundai
Sonata
107

Noise on Startup Due to Failing Timing Chain Tensioner on Hyundai Sonata

Problem Description and Possible Solution

If you experience excessive engine noise on startup (after the engine has been turned off for several hours) that lasts for more than five or six seconds, turn off the engine and check that the engine oil level is correct. If the oil level is correct, the noise may be caused by the timing chain tensioner. Hyundai has an improved tensioner to correct this problem.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 87,190 (123–216,000)
Engines affected: 2.0L 4 Cylinder, 2.4L 4 Cylinder, 2.7L V6, 3.3L V6
11 model years affected: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, more2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
107 people reported this problem
Comments
Viewing 1 - 20 of 58 comments
Timing chain tensioner noise since 20k miles, took in dealer said 'normal'. Now it is much worse, taking it back and going to insist on the tensioner being replaced under my extended warranty. Is there any TSB number or document I can print out for the dealer to deflect the standard 'I don't want to do it' crap?
Timing Chain Tensioner making noise at start up, was told by Hyundai Dealer shop to change from recommended 5w20 oil to 10w30. I will try this but do not think that it will fix the problem.
knocking sound on engine area, sounds like tming chain of lifters.
I purchased a used 2006 Sonata 2 years ago. It has been a great car until recently. For some reason it has started to occasionally make a rattling sound when I start it. The sound is coming from the area where the belts are located. I have read that other owners have traced the problem to the timing chain tensioners. I have called the local dealer service department but they are not very familiar with this being a problem. :( Scared to find out what they will charge to fix the problem...
Valve tappets noise on start up
This strange noisy gremlin began in April of 2013. At first it would not happen every time on start up
(after sitting overnight) and was initially 2 seconds. By August the rattling noise was happening more
regularly on start up.........and slightly longer in duration........but never after restarting a warm engine. In April I spoke to a Hyundai service manager who informed the timing chain tensioner was known for creating this problem and Hyundai redesigned the part. In August I spoke to the same person and he volunteered the following information. I found it hard to believe he claimed he NEVER replaced timing chain tensioners, unless it was to correct work done by the "corner repair shops", implying they screwed things up. Specifically, he said do not be concerned with a 2, 4 or 6 second rattle upon start up. Really? I am a perfectionist and expect a manufacturer to do the right thing, i.e., make a GOOD CAR and/or replace defective parts. We were the second owner and got shafted by Hyundai's self serving limited warranty of 5 yrs/60,000. Of course what good is any warranty (new or used) if the dealer gives you the runaround. This service manager claimed there is not need to be concerned unless the chain rattles for 90 seconds on start up, or rattles once again after the car is restarted after 10 minutes of sitting. Additionally, when asked about worst case scenario he said the CHECK ENGINE will come on at the point the issue is preventing the car from running properly. This will most likely be our FIRST and LAST Hyundai product. Although they are not the first to dump a poorly designed product on hapless consumers, I desire a car maker who owns-up and makes things right. While some so-called mechanics theorize this problem arises from pool maintenance (infrequent oil changes) the fact remains the part was REDESIGNED, which clearly implies otherwise.
I have a rattling noise when I start my engine then after I have had it on for a few seconds it then stops. I does it when the my car sets for a long period of time. I also have the ESC and the ABS light on and no body knows what is causing it but the dealership said it may be the ABS compressor going bad.
Hyundai has a long powertrain warranty but the factory does not want to pay for anything unless it's actually broken. I worked for Hyundai as a tech for some time only because the GM dealership I worked for also sold them. What I used to do was to just break the part once I removed it from the vehicle and come up with a huge CCC (Complaint, Cause, Correction) report so the shop would be covered and the customer would be covered. Unfortunately I usually had to do this without my manager knowing because they for could care less if the customer was happy because the more money they save the factory in warranty the more perks and deals the dealership gets and the more the service manager would make. This goes for every manufacturer by the way. Also, Hyundai HATES to give loaner cars. After I stopped working at that dealer we had bought a new Tiburon that needed a new RR wheel bearing, a non stocking item in the parts department. I had notified them ahead of time and let them know I'm a certified tech, the service manager assured me they would have it there, it only takes MAYBE an hour to change. Well they didn't order it and not only that but the tech comes back and says he doesn't hear a noise it's fine... I was like, Wrong guy to do this to pal, did you by chance put it in the air and check the play? So it goes back in then comes the battle for a loaner since they didn't order the part the car had to stay at least three days and it was a Friday. I did get the loaner but since the dealer didn't have loaners because it is solely a Hyundai dealer they had to rent us a car. Bottom line is you need to find a good tech who doesn't just care about his pocket (warranty time sucks and we lose money compared to customer pay) and wants to make sure the customer is happy. A REAL good guy would even bring the car to the detail bay so it's nice and clean when it's picked up. If the service writer won't fix it ask around to find out what dealership is helpful to it's customers. If need be get your regular mechanic to diagnose it with a tensioner problem and have them print up the TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that explains the hydraulic tensioner issue. Good Luck... I'm going to go through it myself with my girlfriends Santa Fe.
Our 2006 Sonata with 3.3 L engine has been makiing this noise for over a year. Was told last year that it had to make the noise for longer than 15 seconds before they fixed it. Did my own oil change last fall and found a lot shiny metal particals in drain pan. Mentioned this to dealer in December and was told the same thing as last year. Contacted Hyundai direct and was told it should be fixed as it is "under warranty". Taking it to dealer this Thursday (1/24) for them to check it out. We'll see what they say then.
Timing belt tensor broke and caused damage
Rattle for about 10 seconds after cold sturt up and every start after sitting for 10 minutes or long.
I had the noise since I bought the car 129000 miles was on it when purchased
2006 Hyundai Sonata timing chain tensioners $1700 to fix at dealer!
mine is doing the same thing aqnd its going to cost me 1200 dollars
It isn't fixed but it squeals constantly. Took it in to see what the issue is and was told that it was the tensioner and now that it was checked is worse.
Have been having the "clicking" noise at start up due to lack of oil pressure allowing the tensioner to function properly. Reported noise to dealer where I purchased the 2011 Elantra, and after a couple of visits, they indicated I could bring it in for a fix. However when I went to pick up the vehicle it was still in the shop with the timing cover still off, a mechanic indicating that the "fix" would not work? So when I later picked up my vehicle, they indicated it was just due to lack of oil pressure at tart up and nothing to worry about? Mileage at that point was about 20k or 30k,and about 2 years ago.
Before you spend money to fix this issue, know that I have been living with it since 93K miles, and I have driven more than that since. It will kill the car at some point, but I decided not worth spending $1200 or more.

I do, however, let it warm up for a few minutes, and I don't drive away until the noise is gone. More of an issue on a cold day.

One Hyundai tech took me to the side and said not to use thicker or synthetic oil, because the passages to the timing chain area are narrow, and thin, basic, standard oil does a better job of circulating to this area.
My 2007 Sonata started making the sound everyone else is describing around 90K. Something else to be aware of is a possible issue with the VVT-i system. Around 145K, the problem got much worse, and the check engine light came on, revealing the VVT issue. This cost about $400 to repair, and the cold start timing noises were much reduced, but never completely eliminated. Now that the car has 198K, the noise has been back for the last 20K miles or so.

Removing and replacing the timing chain and tensioner (and probably the water pump for good measure) is a big job, always quoted well over $1000, and much worse than replacing the old timing belts. Yes, it's an interference engine, and when the chain finally breaks, it will be lights out.

Lessons learned-

(1) Hyundais can exist with this cold start noise for many many miles
(2) Dealers will fight tooth and nail not to warranty this defect
(3) Other issues, like the VVT-i, can mimic the problem, or make it worse
(4) Buying a car with a timing chain, to avoid changing the belt, is not a cost effective way to lower maintenance expense, unless you drive very few miles
Engine knocking all of. Sudden, has regular oil changes, loss of power haven't been able to get fixed yet
Its actually the 3.3 v6, but the website didn't give me that as an option. Bought the car at 205k, love it, up until recently the engine started knocking. I did an oil change on it and used an oem hyundai filter, and the noise went away for a few days, now its back again.