So your Hyundai Sonata won’t start, and you’re not sure what to do? Keep reading.
In this post, we’ll look at the common causes of starting problems in Hyundai Sonata and how to overcome the issues.
If that sounds like what you’re looking for, let’s head right into it!
Reasons Your Hyundai Sonata Won’t Start (and How to Fix)
1. Dead or Damaged Battery
If your Hyundai Sonata fails to start, you may have a damaged or dead battery.
In most cases, when a Hyundai Sonata refuses to start, it is related to a dead battery. Fortunately, fixing this problem is easy, especially if none of the electrical systems come on when you attempt to start the vehicle.
If you jumpstart your Sonata, the problem may be fixed almost immediately. However, if jumpstarting does not help, your battery may be totally damaged.
Check your Sonata’s battery for any signs of damage. For example, if the battery is leaking or swollen, or the terminals are excessively corroded, your battery is damaged, and you will need a replacement.
But if the battery is in good condition, you may have to check for other causes of your Hyundai Sonata starting problems. Read on to find out more reasons why your vehicle won’t start.
2. Damaged Fuse
Another possible reason your Hyundai Sonata refuses to start could be connected to the fuses. Check out the fuse boxes for signs of damaged or burned fuses.
If you notice damaged fuses, ensure you replace each of them immediately. This will restore your Sonata to its normal one-start state. Ignoring or leaving the damaged fuses in place is a recipe for continuous starting problems.
3. Faulty Battery Cables
Your Sonata may not start if your battery cables are faulty. Your battery may be working properly, but bad battery cables can prevent your vehicle from starting.
Battery cables connect your battery’s positive and negative posts to provide power to the rest of your Hyundai.
If the battery cables somehow get damaged, it affects the connection and enough power to start your vehicle will no longer be available.
So, inspect the battery cables for signs of burning or corrosion. If you can’t figure this out, get your mechanic to help you. Replacing the bad battery cables may solve the problem of your Hyundai Sonata not starting.
4. Defective Alternator
But what if the battery and battery cables are fine, yet your Sonata won’t start? The next biggest reason for this condition could be that you have a defective alternator.
The alternator is the primary source of energy in your Hyundai Sonata, as it charges your vehicle’s battery.
So, if the alternator is defective, it will no longer be capable of recharging your battery. When this happens, your battery may die, preventing your Hyundai Sonata from starting.
Even if you have a good battery but a malfunctioning alternator, your Sonata may start and operate for a little while. But it will most likely shut off, which may occur while you’re speeding on the highway.
Therefore, get your mechanic to test the alternator using appropriate tools to ascertain its working condition. If the alternator is defective, replace it with a new unit according to your owner’s manual specifications.
5. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
Another reason your Hyundai Sonata won’t start is if you have a malfunctioning fuel pump.
The job of a vehicle’s fuel pump is to ensure that enough fuel from the fuel tank reaches the injection system of the engine with appropriate pressure.
Most vehicles (including the Hyundai Sonata) rely on injection fuel systems that spray fuel into the combustion chambers to help start them up.
Therefore, when the fuel pump malfunctions for one reason or the other, little or no fuel reaches the combustion chamber, and your Sonata will not start.
In many cases, fuel pumps give a few signs—like causing your engine to jerk. This shows that they are about to fail. When a fuel pump fails, the engine will break down.
Get your mechanic to check out the fuel pump. If it is no longer working properly, replace it immediately.
6. Corroded Battery Post
When a battery post corrodes, it can prevent your Hyundai Sonata from starting. This is because battery posts are susceptible to corrosion, and this prevents electrical current from passing through your vehicle’s engine.
Confirm if this is the case by taking a quick look at your battery to see if there are any corrosion or battery acid deposits on the battery post or cables. If there are, you will have to scrape them off.
Fortunately, you can do this yourself by purchasing a wire brush or a dedicated battery post cleaner. Ensure you wear protective gear over your hands and eyes, e.g., a pair of safety goggles and gloves. Battery acid is powerfully corrosive and stings when splashed on human skin.
Don’t forget to check the battery cables because they can cause the same effect. Check the voltage as it leaves the alternator and then check it again as it enters the battery. This will confirm whether the battery cables are faulty and require replacement.
7. Bad or Worn-Out Starter Motor
If your Hyundai Sonata turns slowly, it could be due to a worn-out start motor. When you turn the ignition key to start your vehicle, the action activates a powerful electromagnet that forces the starter gear to engage. As soon as this occurs, the starter turns the flywheel just fast enough for the engine to take over.
Your vehicle starts, and you can drive off to any destination you have in mind or have mapped out.
The Sonata starter may be a powerful electric motor, but it cannot work forever. As it wears out, its ability to spin fast enough for the engine to take over diminishes over time. This makes your vehicle hesitate to start or crank without starting.
In addition, the electrical contacts within the starter system may have corroded or become damaged. This could also prevent your Sonata from starting right away.
Get your mechanic to check the starter motor’s condition and the electrical contacts. If they are damaged, corroded, or worn out, replace the starter motor with a new unit.
The mechanic will also check the electrical contacts and replace them if necessary. If they can be fixed, the mechanic should do so.
8. Clogged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter of your Hyundai Sonata may not wear out as easily as other mechanical components. However, it may get clogged by airborne particles, dirt, or debris over time.
A clogged fuel filter’s permeability drops significantly, affecting the fuel pressure. However, this does not really matter, only to a particular extent, because if the fuel becomes too dirty, it affects the engine’s overall performance.
Your Hyundai Sonata’s engine performance will no longer be at full capacity and may eventually not start if continuously fed with dirty fuel.
It is not really possible to clean out a clogged fuel filter. You will have to replace it with a new unit.
9. Cold Weather
If your Hyundai Sonata hesitates to start during winter or when cold, it is mostly due to the battery struggling to generate and provide enough cold cranking amperage.
Batteries generally come with 2 amperage ratings: the first rating is cranking amps, while the second is the CCA (cold cranking amperage). Cold cranking amperage refers to the number of amps a battery can provide to the starter at zero degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds while maintaining 7.2v+. The CCA is usually the lower number.
During normal weather, the battery can provide full cranking amperage.
Your Hyundai Sonata is factory-designed to start with the publicized amount of CCA. But as your battery ages, its ability to generate the required cranking amperage starts declining.
This is usually not too noticeable in the summer since the number of amps is above the cold cranking amperage. But during winter, the battery’s diminished ability becomes more obvious, and your Sonata will hesitate when starting because the CCA is too low.
In this case, you may need to jumpstart your Sonata. First, however, you should seek the advice of your mechanic to know the best way to start your vehicle.
Preventing Hyundai Sonata Starting Problems
The best way to prevent starting problems with your Hyundai Sonata is by going for regular maintenance check-ups. This could be done quarterly or bi-annually.
Your mechanic will run diagnostic tests on your vehicle. Any component (especially those around the ignition system) suspected to be bad should be replaced with new units. This may include the starter motor, fuel pump, alternator, etc.
So these are the reasons your Hyundai Sonata has starting problems. Watch out for any of them the next time your vehicle refuses or hesitates to start.
Follow the suggestions about fixing these problems whenever you encounter any, and you will enjoy your Sonata driving experience.