Hyundai Engine Replacement: A Comprehensive Guide | Hyundai Maintenance (2024)

Interested to know about Hyundai Engine Replacement? Read this comprehensive guide.

In a nutshell hide

1 What Are the Common Signs That Your Hyundai Engine Needs Replacement?

2 How Do You Diagnose Hyundai Engine Problems?

2.1 Professional Diagnostic Tools and What They Reveal

2.2 Importance of Regular Maintenance Checks

2.3 How to Spot Early Signs of Engine Failure

3 What Are the Steps in Hyundai Engine Replacement?

4 How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Hyundai Engine?

4.1 Factors Affecting the Cost of Engine Replacement

4.2 Average Price Ranges for Different Models

4.3 Tips on Saving Money During the Replacement Process

5 What Are the Benefits of Replacing Your Hyundai Engine?

6 How to Choose the Right Replacement Engine for Your Hyundai?

6.1 Differences Between OEM and Aftermarket Engines

6.2 Engine Compatibility and Performance Requirements

6.3 Tips on Finding a Reliable Engine Replacement Provider

7 Hyundai Engine Replacement Warranty and Support

7.1 DIY vs. Professional Hyundai Engine Replacement: What’s Best?

7.2 Pros and Cons of DIY Engine Replacement

7.3 Why Professional Installation Might Be the Better Choice

7.4 Finding a Trusted Mechanic or Service Center

7.5 FAQs

8 Wrapping Up

What Are the Common Signs That Your Hyundai Engine Needs Replacement?

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The common signs that your Hyundai engine may need replacement include:

  1. Knocking Noise: A knocking noise from the engine that increases in frequency as the engine RPM increases can indicate severe engine issues.
  2. Reduced Power and Hesitation: Experiencing reduced power, hesitation, and vibration while driving can be symptoms of engine problems.
  3. Warning Lights: The illumination of the “check engine” light or the “engine oil pressure” warning lamp on the instrument cluster is a critical indicator of engine trouble.
  4. Difficulty Starting the Car: If starting the vehicle becomes increasingly difficult, it could be a sign of a failing engine.
  5. Inability to Pass an Emissions Test: Failing an emissions test can be symptomatic of a catalytic converter issue, which is part of the engine’s exhaust system, and may indicate broader engine problems.
  6. Leaking Tailpipe: A leaking tailpipe or exhaust leaks from underneath the vehicle can signal damage to the exhaust system, which may be related to engine issues.
  7. Excessive Oil Consumption: If the engine is consuming oil excessively, it may be due to worn-out components, which can lead to engine failure.
  8. Metal Shavings in Oil: Finding metal shavings in the motor oil can indicate severe internal engine wear, suggesting that the engine may be beyond repair and require replacement.
  9. Major Power Loss: Significant power loss can be caused by a failing combustion chamber, cracked engine block, or serious transmission problems, all of which may necessitate engine replacement.
  10. Persistent Overheating: If the engine overheats frequently, it can cause extensive damage, potentially requiring a new engine.
These signs are critical indicators that the engine may have severe issues that could lead to the need for a complete engine replacement. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to have your Hyundai inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible to determine the appropriate course of action.

How Do You Diagnose Hyundai Engine Problems?

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To diagnose Hyundai engine problems, a combination of professional diagnostic tools, regular maintenance checks, and vigilance for early signs of engine failure is essential. Here’s how these elements come together in the diagnostic process:

Professional Diagnostic Tools and What They Reveal

  • Use of OBD-II Scanners: Access to an OBD-II scanner is crucial for diagnosing engine problems. These scanners can read the trouble codes generated by the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system when the check engine light comes on.
  • Dealer Diagnostic Systems: Hyundai dealerships use advanced diagnostic tools like the Hyundai GDS (Global Diagnostic System) to perform comprehensive diagnostics on all electronic systems, including the engine.
  • Software Updates and Recalls: Hyundai has developed software updates, such as the knock sensor detection system, which can detect early excessive engine bearing wear. This technology is part of Hyundai’s response to engine recalls and is installed on certain model years of Hyundai vehicles.

Importance of Regular Maintenance Checks

  • Routine Service: Regular maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks, is vital to catch early signs of engine wear and prevent major issues.
  • Maintenance Records: Keeping detailed records of maintenance can help diagnose problems and is important for warranty coverage. It also helps in identifying patterns that may indicate underlying issues.

How to Spot Early Signs of Engine Failure

  • Warning Lights: The illumination of the “check engine” light or the “engine oil pressure” warning lamp is a clear indicator that there may be an engine problem.
  • Unusual Noises: Sounds like knocking, hissing, and popping from the engine can signal potential failures and should not be ignored.
  • Performance Issues: Reduced power, hesitation, and vibration during operation can indicate problems with the engine’s combustion process.
  • Oil Consumption: Excessive oil consumption or the presence of metallic shavings in the oil can be signs of severe internal engine wear.
  • Engine Stalling: Instances of the engine stalling while driving can be a symptom of premature engine bearing wear or other critical issues.
By using professional diagnostic tools to interpret trouble codes, adhering to a regular maintenance schedule, and being alert to the early signs of engine trouble, you can effectively diagnose Hyundai engine problems. If you encounter any of these symptoms or warning signs, it is recommended to take your vehicle to a Hyundai dealer or a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection and appropriate repairs.

What Are the Steps in Hyundai Engine Replacement?

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The steps in Hyundai engine replacement, as outlined across the provided sources, include:

Step 1 – Preparation:

  • Remove the Battery: Disconnect and remove the battery to ensure safety and prevent electrical shorts.
  • Drain All Fluids: Drain all the fluids from the engine, including coolant and engine oil, to prevent spills and facilitate a cleaner removal process.
  • Detach the Air Cleaner: Remove the air cleaner to gain better access to the engine.

Step 2 – Disconnecting Components:

  • Disconnect Lines and Wiring: Carefully disconnect all lines (fuel, coolant, vacuum) and wiring connected to the engine. This includes electrical connections and any sensors attached to the engine.
  • Remove Engine Mounts and Bolts: Unbolt the engine from the transmission and remove any mounts securing the engine to the vehicle’s frame.

Step 3 – Engine Removal:

  • Use a Cherry Picker or Engine Hoist: Employ a cherry picker or engine hoist to carefully lift the old engine out of the car. Ensure to reduce the pressure on the cherry picker slowly to make sure the motor mounts will support the weight of the engine.
  • Ensure Proper Alignment: If lowering the vehicle down over the engine, take great care to ensure it is lined up properly to avoid damage.

Step 4 – Installing the New Engine:

  • Position the New Engine: Carefully lower the new engine into the vehicle, ensuring it aligns correctly with the transmission and engine mounts.
  • Reattach to Transmission and Mounts: Replace the bolts on the mounts and transmission, securing the new engine in place. Use a torque wrench to ensure the proper force is applied to these bolts.
  • Reconnect Wiring and Lines: Reconnect all previously disconnected lines and wiring. This step is crucial and time-consuming, as failing to properly connect the wiring harness can prevent the engine from running or cause it to run poorly.

Step 5 – Final Steps:

  • Refill Fluids: Add coolant and oil to the engine. Ensure there are no leaks and that all fluids are at their proper levels.
  • Replace the Hood: Reattach the hood of the vehicle.
  • Prime the Engine: Before starting the engine for the first time, turn the car over without letting it start a few times to prime the fuel pump and begin pumping oil through the engine.
  • Break in the New Motor: Properly breaking in the new engine is crucial. Avoid driving the vehicle aggressively for the first 500-700 miles to ensure the engine performs properly and its lifespan is prolonged.
These steps provide a general overview of the engine replacement process for a Hyundai vehicle. It's important to note that specific models may have additional steps or require special attention to certain components. Always refer to the vehicle's service manual for model-specific instructions and torque specifications.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Hyundai Engine?

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Replacing a Hyundai engine involves various costs, influenced by factors such as the model of the vehicle, the type of engine (new, used, or remanufactured), and labor charges. Here’s a comprehensive overview based on the provided sources:

Factors Affecting the Cost of Engine Replacement

  1. Type of Engine: The choice between a new, used, or remanufactured engine significantly impacts the overall cost. New engines are the most expensive, while used engines offer a more affordable option.
  2. Model and Year: The specific Hyundai model and its production year affect the cost due to differences in engine design and availability.
  3. Labor Charges: The complexity of the engine swap and the hourly rate of the mechanic or dealership performing the work are crucial factors. Labor costs can vary widely based on location and facility.
  4. Additional Parts and Services: Often, an engine replacement requires additional parts (e.g., hoses, belts) and services (e.g., fluid replacements), adding to the total cost.

Average Price Ranges for Different Models

  • Hyundai Santa Fe: Complete engines range from $2,000 to $3,500, with used engines for the Santa Fe averaging $1,680 – $3,200 and turbocharged versions between $2,700 – $4,700.
  • 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Used engines range between $4,000 and $6,000, with total replacement costs around $10,000.
  • General Hyundai Models: Engine replacement costs, including labor, can range from $5,000 to $10,000, with new engines potentially costing up to $14,000.

Tips on Saving Money During the Replacement Process

  1. Explore Warranty Coverage: Check if your engine replacement is covered under Hyundai’s warranty or a recall program, which can significantly reduce or eliminate the cost.
  2. Consider Used or Remanufactured Engines: Opting for a used or remanufactured engine can offer substantial savings over a brand-new engine.
  3. Shop Around for Labor Rates: Compare labor rates and quotes from different mechanics and dealerships to find the best price.
  4. DIY Minor Related Repairs: If you’re mechanically inclined, performing related minor repairs yourself can save on labor costs.
  5. Negotiate with Dealerships: If facing a partial coverage situation like in the case of the 2013 Santa Fe, negotiating the covered percentage or seeking goodwill assistance from Hyundai might reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
The cost of replacing a Hyundai engine varies widely based on the engine type, vehicle model, labor costs, and additional required services. Exploring warranty options, considering used or remanufactured engines, and comparing labor rates can help manage and potentially reduce these costs.

What Are the Benefits of Replacing Your Hyundai Engine?

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The benefits of replacing your Hyundai engine, include:

  1. Improved Vehicle Performance: A new engine can significantly boost the performance of your vehicle, making it more efficient and powerful, which allows for better acceleration and fuel economy.
  2. Increased Overall Value: Replacing an old engine with a new one can increase the resale value of your vehicle, making it more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell it in the future.
  3. Extended Vehicle Lifespan: An engine replacement can extend the life of your car by reducing wear and tear on other components such as the suspension and transmission, thereby avoiding the need for a new car purchase.
  4. Cost Savings: Engine replacement is often more affordable than buying a new car, even without warranties or insurance help. It provides a like-new vehicle at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new vehicle.
  5. Reliability: New engines offer a long-term, reliable solution to car troubles, as opposed to used vehicles which may come with their own set of engine problems.
  6. Sentimental Value: For vehicles with sentimental value, such as family heirlooms or special gifts, engine replacement allows you to keep the vehicle and the memories it holds.
  7. Warranty and Insurance Coverage: If the vehicle is new and covered under warranty, or if insurance will pay for the engine replacement service, you could get a like-new vehicle at little or no cost to you.
  8. Environmental Benefits: Rebuilding an engine is an environment-friendly task as it reduces manufacturing waste and the need for new raw materials.
These benefits underscore the advantages of opting for an engine replacement over purchasing a new vehicle, especially when considering cost-effectiveness, vehicle performance, and environmental impact.

How to Choose the Right Replacement Engine for Your Hyundai?

Choosing the right replacement engine for your Hyundai involves understanding the differences between OEM and aftermarket engines, considering engine compatibility and performance requirements, and finding a reliable engine replacement provider. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Differences Between OEM and Aftermarket Engines

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  1. Quality and Price: OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer or their chosen suppliers. They are designed to match exactly what was originally in the engine, ensuring a perfect fit and quality assurance. However, OEM parts are typically more expensive than aftermarket parts.
  2. Aftermarket Variability: Aftermarket parts are produced by companies other than the original manufacturer and can vary widely in quality. Some aftermarket parts may match or even exceed OEM quality, while others may be inferior. They are generally less expensive and more readily available than OEM parts.
  3. Warranty Considerations: OEM parts usually come with a warranty, often for one year, which can provide peace of mind. Aftermarket parts also come with warranties, but these can vary significantly between suppliers.

Engine Compatibility and Performance Requirements

  1. Vehicle Specifications: Ensure the replacement engine is compatible with your Hyundai’s make, model, and year. Compatibility is crucial for the engine to fit properly and work correctly within your vehicle’s system.
  2. Performance Needs: Consider whether you require the engine to meet specific performance standards, such as fuel efficiency, power output, or emissions requirements. This may influence whether you choose an OEM or a higher-performance aftermarket engine.
  3. Longevity and Reliability: Think about how long you plan to keep your vehicle and how reliable you need the engine to be. OEM engines are typically a safer bet for longevity and reliability, while some aftermarket engines may offer improved performance or address known issues with the original design.

Tips on Finding a Reliable Engine Replacement Provider

  1. Research Providers: Look for engine suppliers with a good reputation, positive reviews, and a track record of customer satisfaction. Online reviews and recommendations from trusted sources can be valuable in this process.
  2. Certifications: Choose a shop with ASE-certified technicians to ensure they have the proper training and qualifications to handle your engine replacement.
  3. Warranty and Insurance: Check if the replacement engine is covered by a warranty or if your insurance or an extended warranty plan will cover the cost of the engine and the replacement service.
  4. Cost and Value: Compare prices between OEM and aftermarket engines, but also consider the overall value, including warranty, quality, and expected lifespan of the engine.
  5. Professional Advice: Consult with a trusted mechanic or automotive expert who can provide insights into the best engine options for your specific Hyundai model and your driving needs.
By carefully considering these factors and doing thorough research, you can make an informed decision on the right replacement engine for your Hyundai, balancing quality, compatibility, performance, and cost.

Hyundai Engine Replacement Warranty and Support

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The Hyundai Engine Replacement Warranty and Support offer extensive coverage and assistance for owners facing engine issues, primarily due to specific manufacturing defects. Here’s a detailed overview:

  1. Extended Powertrain Warranty: Hyundai has extended the Powertrain Limited Warranty for certain engine repairs and/or replacements caused by connecting rod bearing failure. This extension is applicable to 15 years or 150,000 miles from the original retail delivery or first use date, whichever occurs first. This coverage is available for original and subsequent owners but excludes commercial entities and vehicles with salvage titles. Affected models include various years of the Santa Fe, Tucson, Sonata (including Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid versions), Veloster, Elantra (including Coupe and GT versions), among others.
  2. Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS): To qualify for the warranty extension, vehicles must have the KSDS installed. This system is a new engine monitoring technology designed to provide an extra layer of protection against potential engine damage. The KSDS software update is offered free of charge under Service Campaign 966, with an updated version available through Service Campaign 982. Vehicles previously recalled under Recall 198 and Recall 209 are exempt from the KSDS requirement, but owners are strongly encouraged to obtain the free KSDS update.
  3. Class Action Settlement: Hyundai and Kia settled a class-action lawsuit, potentially offering a free engine replacement under a lifetime warranty for vehicles equipped with Hyundai’s Theta II 2.0-liter turbo or 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engines. The settlement covers a range of models from 2011 to 2019, including the Sonata, Santa Fe Sport, Tucson, Optima, Sorento, and Sportage. However, the lifetime warranty does not cover engine failures due to head or head gasket issues (overheating).
  4. Maintenance and Service: Hyundai emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance to achieve the highest level of performance, safety, and reliability from your vehicle. For the affected vehicles, it is recommended that the engine oil and oil filter be replaced at least every 7,500 miles and every 12 months under normal usage. Owners are encouraged to retain maintenance records.
  5. Customer Support: Hyundai provides a customer care center for owners to contact for any concerns with their vehicles. The inspection procedure for potential engine issues is free and should take no longer than one hour. If engine replacement is necessary, dealers will provide a free service loaner vehicle or Hyundai will provide a free rental car for use while the vehicle is being serviced.
  6. Lifetime Warranty Details: The lifetime warranty for engine failure due to manufacturing issues/metallic fragments is confirmed to be applicable even for rebuilt engines. If a rebuilt engine fails again for the same issue, it will be replaced again, ensuring ongoing support for affected Hyundai owners.
Hyundai's response to engine issues through extended warranties, the implementation of new technologies like KSDS, and comprehensive customer support demonstrates the company's commitment to addressing manufacturing defects and ensuring customer satisfaction. Owners of affected vehicles are encouraged to take advantage of these support measures to maintain their vehicle's performance and safety.

DIY vs. Professional Hyundai Engine Replacement: What’s Best?

When considering whether to undertake a DIY engine replacement or opt for professional installation for a Hyundai vehicle, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each approach.

Pros and Cons of DIY Engine Replacement


  • Cost Savings: The most significant advantage of DIY engine replacement is the potential for cost savings on labor, which can be substantial.
  • Learning Experience: For those with mechanical skills, replacing an engine can be a rewarding learning experience and an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their vehicle.
  • Control Over Process: DIY allows for complete control over the replacement process, including the choice of parts and the ability to work at one’s own pace.


  • Complexity: Engine replacement is a complex task that requires a high level of mechanical expertise, specialized tools, and equipment.
  • Time-Consuming: The process can be very time-consuming, especially for those who are not experienced mechanics.
  • Risk of Mistakes: There is a risk of making costly mistakes that could lead to further damage or the need for additional repairs.
  • Warranty Concerns: Self-repair may void existing warranties or prevent you from obtaining a warranty on the replacement engine.

Why Professional Installation Might Be the Better Choice


  • Expertise: Professionals have the training, experience, and tools necessary to perform the replacement correctly and efficiently.
  • Warranty: Professional installation often comes with a warranty on both the labor and parts, providing peace of mind.
  • Time Savings: A professional can complete the job much faster than an amateur, minimizing vehicle downtime.
  • Diagnostic Services: Professionals can perform a full diagnostic to ensure there are no additional issues with the vehicle.


  • Higher Cost: The primary downside of professional installation is the higher cost due to labor charges.
  • Less Control: You have less control over the parts used and the timeline of the repair when it’s outsourced.

Finding a Trusted Mechanic or Service Center

  1. Certifications: Look for ASE-certified technicians or a service center that specializes in Hyundai vehicles.
  2. Recommendations: Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or online forums for Hyundai owners.
  3. Reviews and Ratings: Check online reviews and ratings for local mechanics or service centers.
  4. Warranty and Services: Inquire about the warranty offered on the engine and labor, and ensure they provide comprehensive post-installation services.
  5. Estimates: Get detailed written estimates and compare them across several service providers.
While DIY engine replacement can save money and be a rewarding challenge for those with the necessary skills, it carries significant risks and complexities. Professional installation is generally the better choice for most people due to the expertise, speed, and warranties offered, which can ultimately save time and prevent costly mistakes. When choosing a professional, it's important to select a trusted mechanic or service center with the right certifications and a strong track record of quality service.


How long does it take to replace a Hyundai engine?

Engine replacement can take anywhere from 10 to 12 chargeable hours.

What should I do with my old Hyundai engine?

The old engine can be returned to the dealership if it’s being replaced under warranty or a recall. If not, it can be sold or recycled, depending on its condition.

How often should I check my Hyundai engine for potential issues?

Regular maintenance, including engine checks, should be performed at least every 7,500 miles or every 12 months under normal usage.

Wrapping Up

Hyundai engine replacement may be necessary due to engine failure, excessive oil consumption, or performance issues. Hyundai has faced criticism for engine defects in some models but has addressed these through recalls and warranty extensions. For Hyundai owners, it’s important to be aware of any recalls or warranty programs for engine concerns.

When engine replacement is necessary, it’s advisable to work with certified Hyundai dealerships or trusted mechanics, and use genuine Hyundai parts. Understanding the warranty coverage on the new engine is also crucial. Proper maintenance and attention to engine warnings can help avoid severe engine problems.

Hyundai Engine Replacement: A Comprehensive Guide | Hyundai Maintenance (2024)
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