My Hyundai Sonata won't start, everything comes on when the key is turned but no starting action occurs. Sometimes you can get it to start by rotating the key in a circular motion but not lately.


Asked by debss Mar 05, 2013 at 07:24 AM about the 2006 Hyundai Sonata

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Car won't start and no noise but everything else comes on.  Been to a mechanic who did a lot of work but it did not change the fact that the car sometimes won't start.  Any ideas?

13 Answers


It sounds like the contacts at the end of the ignition are not closing. They could be dirty. They could be worn. They usually send a signal to a relay. That relay may be bad or have a bad connection. -- You need a schematic, a meter and a knowledge of electrical circuitry to trace the signal through the wires.

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Also if/when you get this fixed, if you have 20 keys, a flashlight and a charm on your key ring I recommend you lighten it up. I have had several experiences from ignition switches being ruined that way

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Ron Mayers

Is there a switch on the clutch pedal if so could it be that

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2011 Sonata with a key ignition. I have had problems with the car starting for 18 months. First the Hyundai mechanics told me it was because the tires were not perfectly straight. Hah. Now the light does not turn on to indicate it is in park and until I jiggle the shift until the light does come on it will not start. Was in the shop for a week the first of July and worked for 2 weeks and now in the shop again.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

My 2009 Sonata has been "perfect" with no issues. I took it in to remedy to the two recall issues today (brake switch and crossbar); tune up (spark plugs and fuel injector cleaner); and coolant flush. After 3rd start going leaving dealership, making a stop on the way home, and one more start to go back out for dinner, there were no issues. I brag on m car all the time. I love it. When leaving the restaurant, my car wouldn't start, not even turn over but I did have lights on the dash. Car was in park but we moved it in and out of gear several times while trying to start ( my husband said it had been acting up for about a week and shifting and going back to park allowed it to start.) Called service manager and he told me to check battery connections and voltage even though Hyundai had just performed their several point inspection. The car did eventually start before I had to call AAA. Started fine several more times this evening but I'm untrusting now. I don't want to get stranded, especially this time of year. I'm willing to look into the key ignition idea and welcome any others. Where do I start looking at the contacts? Will I need to remove part of the dash or can I crawl up under it?

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
Sean Her

I'm having similar issues on a 2006 Sonata GLS 3.3L. Took it to the dealer who's mechanic said it was the ignition switch. They wanted $350 to for a $25 switch and 5-10 minutes labor. I changed it out. No change. The car starts consistently if I turn the key and put it in neutral so I'm not worried that I'll get stranded. This also tells me that it is not a battery or starter issue. I believe it has something to do with the shifter contacting the Parked position sensor. That's next. Here is the website for the ignition switch if you want to try it. It is a common cause for this type of issue if your car doesn't start in Neutral as well.

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Also have the 2006 V6 and when the car was around 5 years old, I had the same problem. You turn the key and nothing except the radio and lights but no cranking. It happened every few months. It has been getting worse now. The car is now 8 years old and it happens almost every day. The circuit involves the security system and park/neutral sensors besides the starter, relays, fuses, etc. No one has figured it out and I usually keep it running for short errands. Some of the tricks I have tried are cycling the door locks, trying to start in neutral, and if not then back to park. Up until today, it was totally random if it starts. I had been reading up on similar issues with newer models with the push button start. That problem seems to trace to a bad or misaligned sensor on the brake. It would need to be pressed all the way down to start. Using the same idea on my 2006 thinking the brake petal could be related, I would hold down the brake petal. It has started even time in the last day. A small sample but I hope I am onto something. Previously, I just waited and tried different keys and prayed.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I am having the same issue with my 2009 Azera. First we would make sure the tires were straight(doesn't matter anymore), then we would start in neutral (doesn't work any longer), I will try cycling the door locks. This is clearly a Hyundai defect.


Ultimately, this turned out to be my starter. It finally wouldn't start one day when I was 1.5 miles from the dealer. I had it towed and they were able to take care of it for me right there and then (at about a $400 price tag). At least it's done and I don't have to fear being stranded any longer. I still love my 2009 Hyundai Sonata.


Have a 2011 Sonata. Have had no issues with the car until a week ago. Car wouldn't start when key was turned - no clicking, partial cranking etc. Lights on dashboard, radio, headlights all worked. Left car at restaurant. Came back next day and started right up. Took it to Sears to have battery tested - it tested fine. No issues for three days then same thing again. Tried starting next morning with no luck. Used Hyundai towing service to get car to the dealer, where, of course, the problem went away. They fixed a few minor recall issues and I drove the car home Saturday. Sunday evening problem is back. Monday morning car starts no problem. This is not going to be fun. Have owned numerous Hondas and a VW and never been left stranded like this. Rapidly losing faith in the 1st Hyundai we've bought.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
Elizabeth Gemini

My car is currently having some of the same issues we just got it serviced in Georgia (500$ deductible)) for our trip to Chicago with our 3kids now the darn car wont start then it does. Auto zone says the battery is good so now we are stuckalmost 800 miles and 13 hours away from home :(


need help with this one, I have a 2009 sonata, the brakes seem to be slipping when car is cold, does not do it rest of day, took it too dealer, they said rear brakes where bad, so had them fixed, it did it again this morning and now is fine, and ideas as what it could be, both front and rear brakes are brand new????


After a LOT of forum searching, Google searching, and just talking to Hyundai technicians, the starters on Sonatas are a sore point. For what it's worth, we have a 2011 model. Sometimes it would start, then it just wouldn't. Ran like a champ otherwise. What was originally diagnosed as a weak battery was debunked when I asked them to test the battery in front of me and it put out EXACTLY the cold-cranking amps advertised on the label. When I asked them to diagnose again, they told us it was plug or fuel related. Rather than pay an hourly rate for something that takes 20 minutes, I went home and pulled the coils and plugs...and they looked brand new. Checked the gap and it was in spec. The fuel filter was replaced after the last oil service, so that wasn't worth exploring. After two days of intermittent issues I dropped the car at a different dealership and they diagnosed the starter (armature) as a failure in a half-hour. Covered it under warranty, and was told it was between $500-$700 usually. Technicians there told me its one of the most common jobs they do.

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