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?

18 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.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
Not Active

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

6 out of 6 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.

15 out of 15 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?

23 out of 23 people think this is helpful.
Sean Pang

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.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

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.

6 out of 6 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.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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.

33 out of 33 people think this is helpful.
Elizabeth Bush

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 :(

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

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????

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

I have a question i have a 2011 hundyai sonata an have had no problems i pull up to gas station an put gas in it an then get in to crank it and it wont start what could be the problem?

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
Don Griffith

Sorry folks but most are wrong if the start is intermittent. The battery in the key is weak. Buy a 2032 battery from Amazon or local and check YouTube for how to replace it. Just went through the same and a new battery for your key will fix it all.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My father has a 2011 Sonata (uses key) Drove it to Colorado 2 this summer. He drove about 120 miles to St. Louis last Wed. parked car. Had to get back home on Friday, got in the car at 9:am dead. Jumped would start, but take cables off would die. Towed to a local repair shop, friend new the mechanic. Replaced Alternator and battery, $700+. Car is under warranty. Trying to work with Hyundai Warranty, emergency repair. Picked up on Sat. made it back home. Took car to local Hyundai dealer, as radio does not work now. They need to "reset something" about 15 min. Came out after 45 min., car would not start. They would check next day. Still would not start. They would have to put in another alternator, and we would have to pay for this one, too, as it is not the original alternator. I said hold all the presses. We are going to call the other repair shop and see if they still have the original alternator. And there is still no guarantee that this will fix the problem. If I find out that this could just the the key issued above, I will talk my dad into trading in for another car asap. He can not afford to keep paying for something that is under warranty.


I have a 2009 sonata when I start it makes a buzzing noise we check the battery it was good atl it was good check my starter they said it was good what should I do


Another Hyundai owner we know just ran into the same issue as us. His starter was also replaced under warranty, and the starter armature was the failure point, it's REALLY common. Turns out Hyundai has a TSB specifically for the 2.4 models to address the lever replacement. The mechanic told him at one point they were replacing 6-7 starters a week because the starter lever is plastic. The problem is that the replacement Hyundai issued for the TSB is plastic as well, and due to the replacement isn't likely to fail again until after the warranty expires. Why they would use a plastic part again, after the OEM equipment fails SO much is an enigma to me, but then I realized that's why Hyundai is less expensive than it's rivals because they're willing to spend the labor to replace a cheap part rather than build it right the first time. Another issue that'll leave you stranded in these cars is the brake switch. It's a part that tells the car the brake is engaged. The car won't start unless it detects the brake. They replaced it on his car, because they know it's one of three issues these cars are known for. The plastic starter lever, the brake switch, and a faulty transmission position sensor. If any one of those three components is worn/fails, you'll get the intermittent issues until it gives up the ghost.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • 04 Sonata tries to start but engine not turning over 8 answers

    It cranked normally for one second. Then all I could hear was the starter. Also, a complete different sound when I am cranking.

    2004 Hyundai Sonata GLS


    Maintenance & Repair

  • My sonata won't start and key light on dash lights up 2 answers

    It tries to kick over but does not and the key light goes on

    2011 Hyundai Sonata


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Sub-frame 17 answers

    After getting off a major highway and while pulling thruogh the very first intersection my axle pulled right out of the subframe. Had it happened 1/10 of a mile sooner it would have spelled total disa...

    2000 Hyundai Sonata


    Maintenance & Repair

  • I have a 2015 sonata limited and it hesitates after a stop. 5 answers

    My 2015 sonata limited hesitates after a stop sometimes. It doesn't do it all of the time but does do it often. i haven't pinpointed anything specific - like weather related or dampness that is c...

    2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2012 Sonata SE Steering Problem 23 answers

    Have the steering problems experienced with the 2011 Sonatas been resolved for the 2012 models? My SE with 600 miles on it has a very " light " feel and is difficult to hold "center" without constant...

    2012 Hyundai Sonata SE



Looking for a Used Sonata in your area?
CarGurus has 69,122 nationwide Sonata listings starting at $1,272.

Search Hyundai Sonata Questions

Hyundai Sonata Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 910
#2 toDumbToNotKnow
Reputation 860
#3 dandyoun
Reputation 710
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Accord"
934 Great Deals out of 74,550 listings starting at $1,295
Used Hyundai Elantra"
728 Great Deals out of 48,579 listings starting at $795
Used Toyota Camry"
1,214 Great Deals out of 85,516 listings starting at $999
Used Kia Optima"
543 Great Deals out of 40,570 listings starting at $1,950
Used Nissan Altima"
1,145 Great Deals out of 82,474 listings starting at $950
Used Ford Fusion"
1,077 Great Deals out of 70,659 listings starting at $1,950
Used Honda Civic"
833 Great Deals out of 58,101 listings starting at $999
Used Hyundai Santa Fe"
373 Great Deals out of 14,533 listings starting at $1,450
Used Toyota Corolla"
1,116 Great Deals out of 71,852 listings starting at $1,995
Used Nissan Maxima"
392 Great Deals out of 23,623 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Malibu"
1,118 Great Deals out of 56,361 listings starting at $1,400
Used Mazda MAZDA6"
198 Great Deals out of 16,651 listings starting at $1,400
Used Chevrolet Impala"
1,615 Great Deals out of 45,449 listings starting at $170

Used Cars For Sale

2016 Hyundai Sonata For Sale
32,393 listings starting at $14,995
2015 Hyundai Sonata For Sale
148 Great Deals out of 16,333 listings starting at $11,888
2014 Hyundai Sonata For Sale
143 Great Deals out of 3,154 listings starting at $10,893
2013 Hyundai Sonata For Sale
307 Great Deals out of 6,460 listings starting at $9,000
2012 Hyundai Sonata For Sale
94 Great Deals out of 2,517 listings starting at $7,950