Question about Hyundai Sonata

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I have a 2008 Sonata Limited with four cylinder engine. I have been very happy with vehicle so far (ll000 miles) with one exception which I fear is a built in engineering problem. It has a four speed auto trans and at approx 40mph it does a final mini shift. If you are driving in a 40-45 mph zone with light throttle or any light throttle actually the engine vebrates and is obviously lugging. When you reach over 45 mph it can handle the load and smooths out.

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  • bf91 Jan 07, 2009

    Hi, I appreciate your answer, but I already knew what was causing the problem and I"m not ready to accept it as normal. Lugging and vibration are hardly a healthy situation. I'm curious as to what might be done. For example: can the shift points be raised? Vehicle has 17" wheels, would going to 16" help? etc

  • bf91 Jan 07, 2009

    Hi again, I've already been to dealer and pretty much told to live with it.

  • bf91 Jan 07, 2009

    You keep sending me e mail of new solution but nothing there. What gives?

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7 Answers

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Hi and welcome to FixYa,  
Initially,  shifting on most modern automatic transmission is mostly electrical and electronics but still is largely/loosely based on vehicle speed (and engine RPM + others). With this in mind, a couple of ideas you may want to explore/consider:

  • fool the car into thinking you are running a certain speed but actually is slower. This would be as you are considering switching to smaller diameter (17 to 16); or
  • replace the speed sensor. In the old days, this would be a plastic gear in the transmission. You would have to ask mechanics familiar with other Hyundai models if the speed sensor of other models would fit in mechanically but would have a different electrical characteristic;
  • talk to those who do modifications on the ECM, re-mapping/re-flashing. This would be software based, where "shift points" could then be alterred in the firmware. Since this is done electronically with the use of a laptop, the correct bootloading program, the correct firmware, and a tech who is patient enough to address your concern as more of a challenge rather than as a workload.
Of all of the above, the software method, in my opinion, would be to your advantage. Worst case scenario is if it does not work, you could still revert to the original firmware and as the dealer stated "learn to live with it".
Good luck and Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Jan 07, 2009

    Oopps, that should be TCM, transmission control module.

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Try this: accelerate the same way you normally do, but touch the brake pedal lightly with the other foot only far enough to make the brake lights come on. If it doesnt stutter, you found the problem.

By making the brake lights come on, you prevent the lock-up torque converter from engaging in the transmission. (this is so you dont stall the engine in a fast braking event). This forces the engine to rev slightly higher and allows a small slippage of the converter all may be enough to prevent the issue you have.

Now what to do with the results? One is shift points,as you mentioned, the other could be a sign of a faulty converter thats actually engaging erratically.

you can see this happen once in high gear every time you touch the brake (while keeping the throttle at the same 40 mph setting or higher)

If this work, demonstrate it to the shop. Get them do change something.

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Try to do the following. Accelerate the car to the speed it start vibrate and tap the brake and see if the vibration will go away.
If you will notice that you will need to look for front brake rotors/caliper.
What also you might try to do is tire rotation, alignment and balancing.
Check the tire pressure too. Sometimes tire change helps.
Also check the rims one might be bent.
Also check the engine mounts.
If it is 2008 car it suppose to be on warranty so dealer have to do it free of charge.
Good Luck

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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  • Engine mounts are used to minimize engine vibration by isolating the engine from the car frame. These mounts are constructed by using rubber vulcanized between to metal plates with threaded studs that bolt to the engine and the frame of the car. When motor mounts become worn they allow the engine the contact the frame causing a noticeable vibration. Inspect the engine mounts for integrity, look for any oil, cracks or separation of the mount. Remove the failed engine mount and replace if needed. For exact instructions how to replace the engine mounts in your vehicle consult an auto repair manual.
I have a 2008 Sonata - engine_mount_motor.jpg

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • mohammed marika thambi
    mohammed marika thambi Jan 07, 2009


    • A balance shaft belt is used inside some designs of engines to counter
      act vibration created by the natural engine operation. Many balance shafts
      are operated by a timing belt that can break or become out of correlation
      with the engine either by a worn timing belt or misalignment when replaced. To
      inspect for this problem, remove the timing belt cover and inspect timing
      belt marks for proper alignment. All engines are different, consult a car
      repair manual for exact belt alignment specifications.


    • An engine depends on an equal compression reading in each cylinder. If
      poor compression
      exits in one or more cylinders it can cause a rough idle condition. To check
      for this condition perform an
      engine
      compression test
      to compare readings. Once a low cylinder has been
      detected addition internal engine inspection is required.


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16 may help a bit but I dont think a great deal!

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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You need to take it in and have it checked its not supposed to do that. take it back to the dealer and have them fix it before the problem gets bigger

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • Ronnie Houston Jan 07, 2009

    you might go down to 16 inch tires to see if that dosent take care of the issue.alot of time the bigger wheels with low profile tires will cause vibration like what you have going on with your car

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Most likely as you said this is having to do with the design of the car. Actually my jeep does the same thing at the same speed. It is when your accelerating slower. The RPM's are just very low that is why you feel the lugging. Perfectly normal. If you have any other questions let me know. Please take a moment to accept and rate my solution accordingly.
Thank you,
Lee

Posted on Jan 06, 2009

  • Lee A.
    Lee A. Jan 07, 2009

    If your not willing to accept it as normal then you will definitely want to take it to the dealership as it is still under warranty. Please take a moment to re-rate my solution accordingly
    Thanks again,
    Lee


  • Lee A.
    Lee A. Jan 07, 2009

    As I see it if the dealership even said it's normal. Then maybe you should accept it as such. It is a hyundai sonata. Doesn't have the most horsepower, and its not top of the line. You get what you pay for as the saying goes.
    Good luck,
    Lee


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Technical Service

Bulletin

Subject:

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FLUCTUATION - TPS REPLACEMENT &


ECM UPDATE

Group:
FUEL SYSTEM

Number:
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Date:
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FUEL SYSTEM

10-FL-010

AUGUST, 2010
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TG AZERA, EP ENTOURAGE,

NF SONATA, BH GENESIS

DTC P2135/P0638 OR COLD ENGINE RPM

FLUCTUATION - TPS REPLACEMENT &

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NOTE:


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