What Can Go Wrong With Hyundai Tucson (Problems & Recalls)

The Hyundai Tucson, launched in 2005, remains one of the most purchased cars from the South Korean car manufacturer in 2022. It’s understandable, considering how sophisticated the car is. Not to mention how spacious of an SUV it is. However, some owners still complain about one problem or the other. 

If you use the Hyundai Tuscon, you can experience issues like engine breakdown, headlights not functioning, no sound from the speakers, and air conditioning failure. Other common issues include poor transmission, powertrain problems, and poor gas mileage. The good news is that experiencing these problems doesn’t mean you have to replace your car, as you can fix them.

Hyundai Tuscon problems often occur due to different reasons. Generally, it’s best to apply preventive methods than to repair the car after damage, as repairs can be costly. But if your car is already experiencing problems, the right thing to do is to find a solution.

You’re on the right page if that’s what you’re searching for. In this post, we go in-depth on some common Hyundai Tucson problems & issues and other topics which you’ll find helpful. Read on.

Most Common Hyundai Tuscon Issues

When it comes to car problems and issues, the options of what could go wrong are endless. But we’ve researched to identify the most common Hyundai Tuscon issues. Check them out below:

Engine Issues

Engine issues are perhaps the most common problems Hyundai Tuscon (and even Hyundai Sonata) owners experience. Information from Lemberg Law shows that the most typical occurrences include overheating, unexpecting shutdown, and failure to accelerate.

Note that the cost of fixing a car engine ranges from $4,000 to $7,000. For a high-end car like the Hyundai Tuscon, the price will sway more towards $7,000 than $4,000. However, you don’t always have to go for an expensive repair.

However, depending on the issue, you may be able to fix it yourself. For example, if the engine is overheating, it could be due to a low coolant level. A quick fix would be to top off the coolant and confirm that the hose isn’t clogged.

Furthermore, if your Hyundai Tucson won’t accelerate, one possible cause is that the air filter is clogged. If you don’t take your car for regular maintenance, this can happen over time, but it’s simple to fix. Typically, you’ll need some car cleaning materials to clear the clogged air filter.

Finally, if the engine issue is unexpected shutdowns, you can try changing the alternator. It’s what supplies electricity to the vehicle.

Powertrain Problems

Do you notice regular shaking and vibration, whining and growling noises, and overheating? If yes, it’s likely due to powertrain problems. You’ll usually see these when trying to change gears.

Since 1996, Hyundai Tucson has had over 880 reports of powertrain problems. These also include vehicle shudder problems, automatic transmission problems, and driveshaft problems, to name a few.

Powertrain problems can be challenging to fix since they stem from different causes. However, you can find your way around it.

First, you should identify the particular cause of the powertrain problem. Follow the sound of the noises or foul odors and check for leaks. Seal up leaks and lubricate areas where the noise comes from.

Another common cause of powertrain problems is low or dirty transmission fluid. This is easier to deal with since you need to refill or replace the fluid.

If none of the above suggestions works, your last resort is to take the car to a shop. An expert will handle the issue, but it could cost you a few hundred dollars.

Lighting/Headlights Issues

Most times, lighting and headlight issues are due to the owners’ fault. However, other times, it’s due to the manufacturer’s fault. No matter the cause of the lighting and headlight issue of your Hyundai Tucson, one thing’s for sure: it’s highly inconvenient.

Purchasing a new Hyundai Tucson headlight will cost you between $93 and $136. If you can’t fix it yourself, you’ll have to pay an extra $32 and $40 for installation by an expert. Hence, you will spend around $124 and $176 in total.

When your Hyundai lighting or headlights develops a fault, you usually don’t have many choices but to replace it. The problem can result from a bad fuse, headlight switch, headlight relay, wiring fault, or dimmer switch.

If you’re not a car technician, it’ll be challenging and almost impossible to identify the exact cause of the issue. Nevertheless, you can attempt by consulting the Hyundai Tucson owner’s manual. The manufacturer often provides basic technical information that can help you.

Front Collision Avoidance System Problem

If a vehicle in front of you is moving at a slower rate or not moving at all, it’s the work of the front collision avoidance system to alert you. Finding a solution is a priority when such a life-saving component of your Hyundai Tucson has a problem.

The good news is that this problem isn’t frequent. Replacing the entire avoidance system is expensive. You will spend up to $2,500, as the system uses sophisticated sensors. On the other hand, repairing the system costs anywhere between $500 to $1,500.

Fortunately, most front collision avoidance system problems can be easily resolved. For example, if the system isn’t sending warnings, it could be because the sensors aren’t working correctly.

This can be due to dirt on the sensors or the system cameras, which cleaning should fix. You can take your car to a car wash and pay $5 to $15 for a thorough job.

Shaking Excessively When Idle

Your Hyundai Tucson can shake excessively when idle for several reasons. A common cause is a damaged motor or gearbox mount.

The work of the motor and gearbox mounts is to reduce vibration. While they fail, your car will experience regular and excessive vibrations when stationary. You’ll know if the problem is due to a damaged motor mount if the car doesn’t shake when in neutral gear mode.

Another common cause is clogged air filters. Your Hyundai Tucson’s air filters attract dirt and debris over time as you use the car. If the filters get clogged, improper airflow will result in a shortage of air.

Subsequently, it leads to rapid fuel consumption and can make your car shake when idle. A thorough cleaning and washing of the air filters should fix this problem. You can also replace the air filters, which cost around $20 to $45.

A third possible reason your Hyundai Tucson shakes excessively is spark plug failure. When spark plugs are worn out, misfiring, or malfunctioning, they often cause irregular vibration.

The price to replace the spark plugs in a Hyundai Tucson ranges from $146 to $189. Estimated material prices are $60 to $80, while labor expenses range from $85 to $105. Notably, it is advisable to use only the manufacturer-recommended plugs during replacement.

Finally, you have to consider the engine hoses. Most of the time, detached, damaged, or loose hoses are to blame if a car shakes excessively when idle. This is because faulty hoses can affect different parts of your car engine. 

To fix this, examine your engine hoses and attach them properly. Replace the hoses if the damage is extensive.

Air Conditioning Problems

You don’t want to sit in your car if the air conditioner is faulty when it’s hot outdoors. Many things can go wrong with your Hyundai Tucson’s conditioner, but you can always fix it.

One of the most common problems is the air conditioner blowing hot air. Usually, this is due to a leaking hose, which can be difficult to detect. If that’s the issue, you will spend around $300 to fix it.

Furthermore, the air conditioning problem may be due to a broken or blocked condenser. The condenser is vital to the AC and helps cool the hot refrigerant after compression. If it’s blocked, you can clean the grill.

On the other hand, if it’s damaged, you have no option but to replace it. Replacing the air conditioning condenser of a Hyundai Tucson is expensive. It ranges between $638 and $742, with the parts costing between $464 and $523.

No Sound From the Speakers

If your car’s audio system stops functioning, it’s often due to a problem with the head unit, the amplifier, or the wiring. In such situations, a reset, repair, or replacement should fix the problem.

Many Hyundai Tucson users complain about getting no sound from the car’s speakers, even after resetting and repairing. So, if neither seems to work, it could be a more technical problem.

Hence, your best option is to take the car to an approved Hyundai service department for a check-up. This won’t cost you a lot if you still have a warranty.

Transmission Issues

You can control your car’s speed and acceleration thanks to the transmission, which channels power from the engine to the wheels. Hence, even the most minor issue is a worry.

Unfortunately, transmission issues are among the most common issues Hyundai Tucson owners experience. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons for recalls in recent years.

You’ll have to pay a relatively large amount to fix the transmission system without a recall. The total cost of replacement ranges from $4,000 to $5,000. Going the DIY path is not an ideal option with such issues. For your safety, an expert should handle it.

But, you can lessen the likelihood of transmission issues with proper preventive maintenance. Ensure you always inspect your transmission for wear and tear. Also, only use Hyundai-approved transmission fluid.

Poor Gas Mileage

Generally, a car’s gas mileage declines with age. Hence, if you own an old Hyundai Tucson vehicle, this could be normal. Otherwise, it could be due to poor maintenance.

Old air filters, damaged or clogged fuel injectors, faulty oxygen sensors, and worn-out piston rings are a few causes of poor gas mileage in the Hyundai Tucson. If you can identify the cause of the issue, fixing it becomes facile.

You can fix most of these problems yourself – the solution usually involves cleaning or replacing. For example, you’ll clean clogged fuel injectors and replace worn-out piston rings. The good news is that most of these parts are not expensive.

Other poor gas mileage problems may indicate a far more severe condition. For example, a faulty fuel system may cause several issues, including a rough-running engine, stalling, and engine shutdown.

Now that you know the common Hyundai Tucson problems and issues, let’s look at what years are most affected. We’ll also look at some of the best years to date.

What Years Did the Hyundai Tuscon Have Problems

People love the Hyundai Tuscon because of its quality, and many models have demonstrated this. However, many Hyundai Tucson year models have also recorded significant problems. Examples of such models include

  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

For these years, car owners complained about engine, air conditioning, transmission, acceleration, and forward collision avoidance system issues.

In particular, complaints of transmission issues were prevalent with the 2016 model. Meanwhile, acceleration issues are more common in the 2016 and 2017 models. Recent models like 2018 also experience some acceleration problems.

In contrast, the best Hyundai Tuscon year models to buy include;

  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022

If your Hyundai Tucson has issues, you can save money on repair if it has a recall. Check out the recent recalls in the next section.

Hyundai Tucson Recalls

Here are some of the most recent Hyundai Tucson recalls:

  • 22V056000:  this recall was put out in early 2022 for 2014-2015 Tucson vehicles, among other Hyundai vehicles. The recall was due to an error with the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) module, which could cause an electric short and fire.
  • 21V938000: this recall was released in late 2021 for 2022 Tucson vehicles. The recall was due to a software incompatibility Integrated Central Control Unit (ICU), which could cause headlight problems.
  • 21V727000: this recall was released in early 2016 – 2018 and 2020 – 2021 Tucson vehicles. The recall was also due to an error with the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) module.

You can also check yourself to find out if your car has an open recall. It’s not a complicated process, and you’ll see.

Check To See Whether Your Vehicle Has an Open Recall

You can check if your Tucson vehicle has an open recall on the NHTSA website. To do this, you only need the vehicle identification number.

If you have it, visit the NHTSA website – https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls – and enter the seventeen characters in the specified field. Afterward, hit the search button.

How Reliable Is the Hyundai Tuscon?

The Hyundai Tuscon is a reliable car, especially if you go for a recent model. Take the 2022 model with its 2.5L engine, for instance. It has an EPA-estimated 26-city and 33-highway MPG, which is not bad compared to similar cars.

However, the car still has its pros and cons.

What Is Good and Bad About the Car?

Taking the recent model into account, here are some of the best things about the Hyundai Tucson:

  • Sophisticated technology
  • Spacious interior
  • Cabin room
  • Plug-In hybrid models
  • High cargo capacity

In contrast, here are some of the bad of the car:

  • Touch-sensitive control panel may be challenging to use
  • Poor downshift with the engine’s transmission

How Is It Compared to Similar Cars?

The Hyundai Tucson is often compared to the Toyota RAV4. Both cars are more similar than different if you consider their technology and interior design.

However, many car owners opt for the Tucson over the Rav4 because it’s more spacious and affordable.

Regarding reliability, the Tucson also comes out on top as it comes with a standard five-year warranty. On the other hand, the Toyota RAV4 only has a three-year warranty.

What Is Life Expectancy?

As mentioned, you get a standard five-year warranty with the Hyundai Tucson. More simply, the car will hold up use over 60,000 miles. 

Furthermore, you have a ten-year or 100,000 miles warranty for the powertrain and the hybrid system. It’s the same for the hybrid battery warranty.

For roadside assistance, you get a five-year warranty and unlimited miles. To get a clear picture of what to expect from the Hyundai Tuscon, you can check out what other owners say about it.

What Do Owners Say About the Car?

According to a verified review on Surecritic.com, the Hyundai Tucson is a good-performing car with an impressive interior and exterior design. The owner also commended the car’s affordable price.

Another user commented on the vehicle’s smooth acceleration and easy handling, citing it as one of the best compact SUVs. A third user admitted that while the car had minor issues, he would recommend it to others.


The Hyundai Tucson is a dependable car, but sometimes, it experiences issues. As stated in the above article, these issues are more common with some versions. You should know that recent Tucson models are more durable and have fewer problems. Hence, if you want to purchase a Hyundai Tucson, you should go for a recent one.