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Hyundai 2.0T Engine Problems – What Is A 2.0 T Engine?

Hyundai 2.0T Engine Problems – What Is A 2.0 T Engine?

Has your Hyundai been a great car with the exception of its 2.0 Theta engine? This post will examine the problems that this engine gives car owners- and will also provide sound solutions. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

What Is A 2.0 T Engine?

Built as an engine to a viable solution of some of the environmental issues we face, the 2.0 Theta engine is designed to balance power output placement, power displacement and fuel efficiency with efficiency. Additionally, the 2.0 T engine’s displacement is approximately 2. 0 liters or 2000 cc. Originally intended to provide the best torque as well as fuel efficiency, the 2.0T engine was also designed to provide unparalleled horsepower available. In fact, one owner of the 2.0T engine writes: “On a Friday, I drove a 2013 Toyota Camry automatic. During the trip, I was diligently using cruise control, and it was equipped with a 2.5 liter (2,500cc) four cylinder; and I drove over 1200 miles on I-5 from Oregon to California achieving 35 mpg on the highway (when driving the speed limits of 55 mph, 60 mph and 70 mph) with one stop for a rest to buy fuel and food before returning using the same route on a Monday; as a result, I believe that automotive manufacturers may have assumed the research and development testing of the first automotive company to equip a 2.0 (2,000cc) four cylinder with a turbocharger is the most fuel efficient combination. Keep in mind, the first 2.0 four cylinder engine was offered by Volvo and VW in the early 2000’s, so technology has allowed engines to increase displacement, and maintain 30 mpg + on the highways; however, if you want higher horsepower that 190 plus 30 + mpg, then the 2.0 turbocharger is the best option.” 

The TFSI Injection System Within the 2.0T Engine

Although the TFSI injection system is progression forward with leading and advanced technology, it comes with a host of issues that can hit hard in a customer’s wallet as well as car. We begin with its faulty fuel pumps, and can continue on with its defective lifters and camshafts within the high-pressure pump. 


What Other Known Issues Are There with the 2.0T Engine? 

Lifter and Camshaft for the High-Pressure Fuel Pump

With the chance misfires as well as a car coming to a complete stop, the camshaft damage will halt the engine dead. Then you have to factor in the the extra triangular lobe on the end of the camshaft for the high-pressure fuel pump- that can deteriorate quickly. But the chain type motors saw improvement with a roller lifter as well as a four-sided lobe added.


Problems with Significant Oil Consumption 

It’s no secret that the 2.0T engine consumes lots of oil. This appears to be a result of the PCV system seeping. PCV stands for both Positive Crankcase Ventilation as well as Pressure Control Valve. Once you have the seeping, you have the engine using the oil in two different ways. One detrimental result is a larger buildup of carbon, even if top-notch fuel is used. And with that carbon build up, you can have misfire issues. This can also bring your car to a screeching halt. 

Seal Failure on the Crankshaft 

With the PCV valve producing failure of the crankshaft seal to the transmission end of the motor, owners can then look and find an oil leak and the dreaded “Check Engine Light’ to appear on the dash. 


Faulty Timing Chain Tensioner

You take a faulty and badly- designed timing chain tensioner and you can almost guarantee tremendous as well as major engine damage.


And there is also a valid argument many can make against the 2.0T engine 

“One argument that people might believe in, is that because 2.0 turbochargers typically produce 230 horsepower and a 2.5 cc four cylinder are not typically equipped with a turbocharger, so [the]power [range is] from 170–185 hp (depending upon the manufacturer); as a result, most car buyers might assume that horsepower is the benefit of a 2.0 and that it is both fuel efficient and powerful; however, when operating a 2.0 turbocharged vehicle under normal throttle conditions that are typical when driving, then the turbocharger is not always providing enough psi for the engine to make 230 hp unless the throttle has been depressed to its full capacity, or to the floor as they say, which is 100% throttle; however, when the throttle is held down to 2/10ths or 20% which is a typical position when cruising on the freeway; as a result, the turbocharger is not boosting to its full power limits, so the motor is not producing more horsepower nor torque than a 2.5 four cylinder at 2/10ths throttle without a turbocharger, and both can return similar highway mpg during these conditions.” 

“What else is so special about the 2.0T Engine?” 

For one 2.0 engine owner, it’s all about the balanced fuel efficiency: “These engines are exceptionally well at being balanced at fuel efficiency, power output and displacement. 2.0 T means the engine’s displacement is around 2 .0 liters which is 2000 cc. They provide quite a lot of power. There are many reasons for this engine to be so good.” He further adds that they are lighter, “… They aren’t too big… They can be turbocharged easily… [and] They can provide a lot of fuel efficiency…” 

Hyundai Theta 2.0L Engine Problems and Reliability

But with any machine man-made comes its share of plusses and minuses. For the following 2.0T engine is described as a “nightmare” as well as detrimental to a car.  Check out the problems this engine gives to some owners. 

Complaint Number One 

“Buy new. Maintain it. If you're lucky, you'll get the new $7000 engine before the 10/100k warranty expires. If you don't plan on keeping the car past the 60-month car payment, then do the least required maintenance and trade it in. The 2.0TGDI/2.4GDI has been a nightmare for Hyundai…. numerous engines seized, many [engines] turn into oil burners very young in their life, some sludge up even with acceptable maintenance, others run perfectly and then suddenly die, several class action lawsuits, extended warranty (Kia better than Hyundai), …. The YF/LF Sonata forums and earlier Santa Fe forums have plenty of info on the engine, as do the similar Kia forums. I am keeping my theta 2.4GDI until the warranty expires. Before then, the engine will be replaced. Whoever gets it dirt cheap used will have a new or rebuilt engine. My neighbors 2.0T failed at 60k miles and was maintained pretty well with 4k-5k mile oil changes, usually every 6 months, using name brand synthetic oil and OE filters. Theta-II…. brought to you by the same engineers that suckered you into an Excel, and nothing has changed. Hyundai spent the last 25 years rebuilding their reputation, producing excellent cars and SUVs, only to create a lemonade making engine for the 2011 Sonata, and then draft it into many Hyundai/Kia products.” 

Complaint Number Two 

“Every vehicle has its compromises, and the probable Theta engine higher failure rate is one you make when you buy a Hyundai. This is mitigated by the longer warranty, recall and design tweaks that lower the chances of failure. Beyond basic transportation, we all buy for different priorities. If you want absolute lowest cost of ownership and reliability, a base model proven design from Toyota is a good bet. For me, I want the latest tech, safety features and a certain level of comfort. The Santa Fe Ultimate delivers all of that for thousands less than the competition so I'm willing to take a chance on the engine.
This is no different than deciding to buy a BMW, Audi or Merc and to take the risk of expensive electronics failures because you value the other attributes of the vehicle more.” 

Hyundai 2.0T Engine ProblemsHyundai Engine Recall 

Hyundai vehicles outfitted with Theta II engines were recalled, due to an investigation spearheaded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The regulators explored the possibility that Hyundai did enough for consumers regarding the recalls of over 1 million vehicles with Theta engines, that were open to uncharacteristic and large amounts of seizing and noise. Back in September of 2015, Hyundai recalled about 470,000 vehicles within the model years of 2011-2012. The Sonatas that were equipped with 2-liter and 2.4-liter Theta II engines were the subject of the recall. During that time, Hyundai reportedly shared with the NHTSA that the manufacturing problems with the engines resulted in metallic debris left around the engine crankshaft, with resulted in issues with oil flow. The chunks of metal could potentially interfere with the oil flow within the connecting rod bearings. This could result in damage to the connecting rods. Hyundai turned around and blamed the problem on a motorized “deburring” method which was utilized during the removal of metallic machining debris originating from the crankshaft. 

Within April 2017, Hyundai expanded the recall issued in 2015 to include yet another 572,000 vehicles outfitted with the dangerous Theta II engines. The 2017 recall now included model year 2013-2014 Hyundai Sonatas and Santa Fe Sport vehicles. Hyundai then relayed to safety regulators that the same metal debris issue was the reason for the expanded recall. In addition to customers voicing problems with the Theta II engines, a Korean engineer Hyundai talked to NHTSA and reportedly told what he knew about the defective Theta 2.0 engines. 

Additional Hyundai 2.0T Engine Complaints 

What do owners of Hyundai say about the engines in their cars? We have the complains below! 

Hyundai Owner One- Sonata

“I had a 2012 Hyundai Sonata I financed from prestige auto in Dartmouth MA. The vehicle had 66,002 mileage. I made sure everything was up to date and fixed prior to purchasing vehicle. Long story short with all the recalls these Sonatas have engine being one of them… I stalled on the highway due to this almost causing an accident with the fear of being seriously injured and causing injury to another person due to this. I contacted Hyundai motor corporation and Better Business Bureau… I traded in the vehicle only getting 1,500 for it when I still owed 6,698 and had to pay that out of my pocket. All of this could have been avoided if Hyundai was cooperative but instead, they did nothing!” 

Hyundai Owner Two- Sonata

“I was driving down the street and my 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T limited the instrument cluster illuminated and the power steering was no longer working. I immediately pulled over because the car started to slow down while pressing on the accelerator and before I stopped all the lights on the panel were out. I put the car in park and tried to cut it off with the push stop button and it would not cut off. Then I called road side assistance and before I ended the call the engine cut off without pressing the engine stop button. If I was on the highway or in a busy area, this could have ended in a fatality.” 


Hyundai Owner Three- Sonata Limited 2.0T 

“I received a recall notice in the mail last year. Finally, in February 2016, Hyundai had a fix for the manufacturer's alleged metal debris that was getting into the engine. The car was serviced and determined all was well. Today, June 21, 2016, the car stalled while leaving for work. I restarted the car successfully; however, milliseconds later, the engine shut off. This kept happening every time I restarted the car. The car had to be towed to the dealership. After a few quotes, ranging from $500 to $1600+, and the Hyundai dealer advising that the oil control valve needed to be replaced — that “it had an extra hole in it that was not from the manufacturer”. I inquired if it had to do anything with the recent recall (mentioned above). She advised, ‘no'. I find it VERY hard to believe that these two incidents or issues are unrelated. After reading about the MANY Sonata owners that have had engine trouble, I'm afraid to even drive this car anymore.” 

Hyundai Owner Four- Sonata Limited 2.0L Turbo

“While driving home from a trip to Ft. Worth [Texas], I noticed [that] the check engine light [came] on. I pulled off the freeway to the service road and stopped. I shut the motor off, got out and raised the hood. I checked the oil, checked the antifreeze bottle and looked under the car. All levels of fluids were correct. I re-started the car and checked the gauges. All were normal. I drove back on the freeway and the ‘check engine’ light came back on. I had this engine lite problem at the end of July 2015 and called the service dept of Absolute Hyundai of Mesquite to see if I needed to have the car towed in. They told me it was all right to drive it in as long as the engine lite was not blinking. I drove it in and they replaced the valve body harness equipped with oil temperature sensor {transmission}. Having been told a month earlier that I could still drive it if the lite stayed on I continued to drive home. About 5 minutes later the ‘check engine’ light started to blink and the motor started miss, knock and slow down to 10 mph. I continued to the next exit in the break down lane at 10mph and got to the service road where the engine died. It would not restart.” 


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