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2012 Sonata (2.4 engine)
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Discussion Starter #1
I drive a 2012 Sonata (2.4 engine). Last week, my car handled very oddly while driving and then died in the street. I was just driving in town (stop signs, traffic lights, etc) and the car seemed to be accelerating and decelerating wrong, like it was taking too long to stop and too long to go again. After stopping at a light and making a right turn, the check engine light came on and then the engine just stopped in the middle of the road. I was able to make it to a parking lot, but the car would not restart. Battery would turn on (radio, automatic locks, windows, etc all worked) but the engine itself would not turn on. After trying twice right away and then trying again after waiting 20 minutes I called for a tow. When the truck arrived 2.5 hours later my car was able to turn on with no check engine light.

I took it to a local shop anyway because I obviously wanted to find out why my car engine stopped in the middle of me driving it. They called the next day to say the ECM needed to be replaced and it would cost around $1500. Not sure what the code was. I know there have been many recalls on the Sonata and the Theta engine as well as about the Class Action Lawsuit. The dealership said that is a separate issue from what I had experienced, that I wouldn't even be able to drive the car if that were the problem.

The dealer wanted to charge me $135 just to diagnose the car. When I told the service manager that the check engine light wasn't on anymore, he said the issue probably wouldn't show up anyway. He also said that if the check engine light wasn't on, then the car is fine. I told him I just accepted a new job with a 2 hour commute, so based on what he is saying I would be good to drive 500 miles a week/2 hours a day with no problems? His response was that he "can't guarantee anything." Our entire interaction raised red flags for me (I'm also a young woman so I am usually skeptical of folks trying to make extra money, assuming I know nothing about cars).

I no longer have the warranty on the car- I am the 2nd owner, and it is at 114,000+ miles. Since I no longer have the warranty, the full cost of repair would be out of my pocket. I obviously want to make sure the ECM is really the issue or sell if I have to (but I would rather not sell). I already spent $500 replacing the throttle body in March. I'm very concerned about why my car suddenly seems to have turned into a money sucking machine- I've barely been driving it compared to usual due to the pandemic.

Have other people had similar issues or problems with the ECM? If I pay the $1500 to get it fixed, is it likely that it will happen again? Is this related to any of the other Sonata recalls?

Thanks for any help you can give!
 

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If it really is the ECM, it is not related to the other recalls, The code should be able to be retrieved even though the light is not on. Did they say why they believed the ECM is bad? If the ECM is bad, it would not likely happen again.
 

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based on your version of events leading up to stall, then being able to start it back up a coupe hours later, i would NOT rule out engine starting to fail. it very well may be covered under a recall. hyundai should be able to tell what happened if they do the diagnoses even without the check engine light.
i also would not trust anyone that said ecu needs to be replaced but did not say why they thought that was the cause.

good luck.
 

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2012 Sonata (2.4 engine)
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Discussion Starter #4
If it really is the ECM, it is not related to the other recalls, The code should be able to be retrieved even though the light is not on. Did they say why they believed the ECM is bad? If the ECM is bad, it would not likely happen again.
I'm taking it to another mechanic in town to get a second opinion. I'm hoping they can retrieve the code and better explain why the ECM may be bad.

Thank you!
 

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Just to be clear, the engine turned over, but wouldn't start, correct?
 

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2012 Sonata (2.4 engine)
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Discussion Starter #6
based on your version of events leading up to stall, then being able to start it back up a coupe hours later, i would NOT rule out engine starting to fail. it very well may be covered under a recall. hyundai should be able to tell what happened if they do the diagnoses even without the check engine light.
i also would not trust anyone that said ecu needs to be replaced but did not say why they thought that was the cause.

good luck.
That is exactly my fear- that it may be a bigger issue with the engine but appears to just be ECM because full engine failure hasn't started yet.

Service Manager at Hyundai claims they wouldn't be able to see anything. I'm taking it to an independent local shop in 2 days to get a second opinion- run diagnostics, etc. I figure if it's really a $1500 job, the $60 to a local shop is nothing. If it isn't the ECM, then shelling out the $60 will save me a bunch of money.
 

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2012 Sonata (2.4 engine)
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Discussion Starter #7
Just to be clear, the engine turned over, but wouldn't start, correct?
From what I can tell, yes. Admittedly cars are not my area of expertise but I know my way around a bit.

When trying to start the car it made the start up sound as if it was going to turn on, but then didn't quite get all the way there. Not the same as a dead battery- it sounded like more was happening compared to when your battery is dead and you try to turn it on.

When I described it to the service manager at the dealer, he confirmed that from my description it sounded as though the engine was turning over but not starting.
 

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Yes that sounds correct, if it only made a small click, and no starting sounds, it would be likely siezed, like the recall problem.
 

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Drives : Nissan NV200 Flies : Rans S6ES
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The code should be able to be retrieved even though the light is not on.
In my experience the engine light not on usually means the PCM is not powered up. The scan tool is unlikely to be able to communicate with the PCM in that state, so it won't be able to read any codes from the engine module.

If I helped you fix it, why not...

Your support is greatly appreciated
 

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She did say it was starting and running fine after the incident, so the ECM is at least (kind of) working, that's why I thought there may be a code stored.
 
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