The Four Most Common Hyundai 2.4 Engine Issues. The Hyundai 2.4L inline-4 engine debuted in the 2007 Sonata under the Theta II MPI moniker. Within a few years, the 2.4 Theta II GDI engine with gasoline direct injection was introduced (GDI). Despite having a larger displacement, the smaller 2.0T Theta II engine produces more power. This is because the 2.0L has turbo options while the 2.4L does not. Nonetheless, the Hyundai 2.4 engine provides a good overall balance. However, no engine is perfect. This article discusses the Hyundai 2.4 Theta engine specs, problems, reliability, and other topics.
Hyundai 2.4 Specifications
The Hyundai 2.4 inline-4 engine specifications are as follows:
The first 2.4 Theta engines were released in 2004, with 163 horsepower and 161-166 lb-ft of torque. It also employs a compression ratio of 10.5:1. Again, this engine is not our primary focus, but much of the information is applicable. The Hyundai 2.4 Theta II MPI and GDI engines are our primary focus. They are all 2.4L inline-4 engines with DOHC, aluminum blocks and heads, and an 88mm bore x 97mm stroke.
Theta II 2.4 GDI engines gain significant power thanks to direct injection’s efficiency, which allows for 11.3:1 compression. In any case, these engines aren’t particularly noteworthy in terms of specs or power output. The Hyundai 2.4 inline-4 is not a performance engine, but it does the job for most people.
What Vehicles Make Use of the 2.4L Theta II?
Because there are two primary Theta II engines, we’ll divide this topic into two sections. Some distinctions must be made between the 2.4L MPI and GDI engines. Below, we’ll go over the years and models that came with each engine, as well as some changes and updates.
2.4 MPI Hyundai Engines
The original 2.4 Theta II engines are based on the 2.4L Theta engine. Theta II is our primary focus in this article because it is by far the most popular engine. However, many of the topics are applicable to the original engine. In any case, the 2.4 MPI is available in the following Hyundai/Kia years and models:
- Hyundai Sonata (2007-2019)
- Hyundai Tucson 2010-2020
- Hyundai Santa Fe 2010-2020
- 2008–2012 Kia Forte
- 2008-2019 Kia Optima
- Sportage 2011-2021 Kia
- Sorento 2009-2020 Kia
This 2.4L inline-4 engine has a compression ratio of 10.3:1 and produces 177hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The performance isn’t spectacular, but it’s adequate for many.
The engine is a 2.4L GDI.
The 2.4 GDI Theta II engine arrived shortly after the MPI. It is available in the following Hyundai and Kia models:
- Hyundai Santa Fe 2012-2020
- Hyundai Sonata (2009-2019)
- Hyundai Tucson 2015-2020 (TL)
- Cadenza 2011-2019 Kia
- 2010-2019 Kia Optima
- 2010-2021 Kia Sportage
- Sorento 2014-2020 Kia (UM)
One notable change is an increase in compression ratio to 11.3:1. The introduction of direct injection, also known as GDI, has largely enabled the increase for Hyundai 2.4L engines. The engine produces 200hp and 184 lb-ft of torque (later years actually offer a bit less).
In any case, the switch to direct injection provides numerous advantages in terms of performance and fuel economy. However, there is one drawback to direct injection. Carbon buildup will be discussed as a 2.4 Theta II common engine problem. It’s a minor snag in what is otherwise a fantastic update.
Problems with the Hyundai 2.4 Theta Engine
Among the most common issues with the Hyundai 2.4 engine are:
- Failure of the engine
- High consumption of oil
- Carbon stains
- Oil spills
These topics will be a major focus of the remainder of this article. However, before we begin, a few quick notes are required. These are some of the most common Hyundai 2.4 Theta engine issues. It does not imply that failures are widespread in the true sense of the term. Rather, these are some common areas where problems arise.
Unfortunately, the 2.4L Theta II engine has a poor reputation for dependability. Some reliability flaws are mitigated by a good warranty and some recalls along the way. Anyway, at the end of the article, we’ll return to 2.4 MPI and GDI reliability. For the time being, let’s focus on the aforementioned Hyundai Theta engine issues.
1) Failures of the 2.4L Theta II MPI and GDI engines
We also wrote about engine failure for the 2.0T Theta engine. The 2.4L engine suffers from many of the same issues, including engine failure. This problem can occur in all years and models. However, engine failure is most common in Hyundai Sonatas from 2011 to 2014 and Santa Fes from 2013 to 2014. The 2.4 Theta II engines in some Kia models from the same year are also problematic. The Optima, Sorento, and Sportage are included.
We won’t go over this topic again because it’s been thoroughly covered. Due to safety concerns about engine failures, Kia and Hyundai were forced to pay some hefty fines. Recalls were issued, and many engines were replaced as part of the recall or under warranty.
The rod bearings are the root cause of engine failures. Debris was not properly removed during manufacturing, and it eats up the 2.4L Theta II rod bearings due to poor oil flow. They eventually seize and cause engine failure. As of 2021, we believe the Hyundai 2.4 engine will be largely unaffected. It’s still worth remembering because engine failures can be very expensive to repair.
Symptoms of Hyundai/Kia Theta Engine Failure
The following are symptoms of serious engine problems or failures on the 2.4 Theta II engines:
- Excessive oil consumption
- Engine squeals
- Overall poor performance
- Stalling / No start
The symptoms of engine failure on the Hyundai Theta engine can be varied. It all depends on how serious the problems are. You’ll probably notice a lot of oil consumption (which we’ll go over in more detail later). This can result in white smoke coming from the exhaust. Otherwise, the 2.4L inline-4 engine may produce knocking noises as the bearings fail.
You may also notice a decrease in overall engine performance. When there are severe failures, the engine can seize, resulting in stalling and no start situations. You’ve reached the point of total engine failure.
Related : The Toyota 2TR-FE Engine Manual
Repairs for the 2.4L Theta II Engine
Bearings wear down the crankshaft, causing rod knock, piston slap, and other issues. It makes no sense to rebuild an engine with this much damage. As a result, Hyundai/Kia will require a new 2.4 Theta engine. Many failures had already been covered by warranties or recalls. Hopefully, by 2021, this isn’t a major flaw, especially for models with replacement engines.
Even so, if you have to pay out of pocket, this can easily be a $5,000+ replacement. Given the recalls and fines, it’s clear that Hyundai is well aware of the issues. They may still work with owners to help with repair bills or to completely cover the failure. If you run into this costly problem, it’s worth a shot.
2) Hyundai 2.4 Engine Oil Consumption Issues
Excessive oil consumption is occasionally related to the previous topic. We are, however, ignoring high oil consumption as a result of actual engine problems or failures. There have been numerous reports of Hyundai 2.4 Theta engines burning a lot of oil with no other obvious problems. However, the 2.4L inline-4 engine falls short in these areas.
Oil is naturally consumed by engines. This is true of any gasoline internal combustion engine. Oil is frequently lost due to blow-by past the piston rings. Because metals expand with heat, the gaps between piston rings are wider in cold engines. This means that the majority of excess oil consumption issues on the Hyundai 2.4L engine occur when the engine is cold.
In any case, high oil consumption is usually not a major issue in the short term. The 2.4 Theta II engine, on the other hand, is a little more concerning. Because the engine has some known internal flaws, excessive oil consumption could indicate deeper issues. If you’re losing 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles or less, it’s time to investigate the source.
Symptoms of Theta GDI/MPI Oil Consumption
Look for the following symptoms, which may indicate excessive oil consumption and/or the presence of larger problems:
- 1 quart or more per 1,000 miles
- Scents of burning oil
- Sounds of knocking or pinging
- Exhaust smoke is white.
When the 2.4L Theta consumes more than 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles, it is considered excessive. You may smell burning oil or see smoke coming from the exhaust. This indicates that excess oil is being burned off in the cylinders and may indicate deeper internal issues. Sounds like knocking or pinging can also indicate a serious problem.
If excessive oil consumption is your only symptom, you may be fine. Oil consumption may increase slightly as engines age.
3) Problems with 2.4 Theta GDI Carbon Build-Up
The 2.4 Theta MPI engines are not affected by carbon build-up. These engines make use of multi-point injection (MPI), also known as port injection. Fuel is sprayed into the intake ports by the engine, where it mixes with air and travels into the cylinders. Hyundai 2.4 GDI engines, on the other hand, spray fuel directly into the cylinders.
With regard to oil consumption, we briefly discussed oil blow-by. Oil blow-by is produced by all engines. Some of it gets into the intake and can cling to intake ports and valves. The fuel can wipe away any oil with port injection. Direct injection, on the other hand, does not have that advantage. As a result, oil adheres to the valves and forms carbon deposits.
Carbon accumulates on the intake ports and valves of the Hyundai 2.4L GDI inline-4 engine over time. It can restrict airflow into cylinders, resulting in poor performance and drivability. It is not always easy to detect because it occurs over a 5+ year and 80,000+ mile period. Carbon buildup poses no significant threats to engine reliability or longevity.
Many 2.4L GDI engines will most likely go their entire lives without having their intake valves cleaned. However, addressing carbon buildup every 100,000 miles is a good idea. More on that when we talk about the Hyundai 2.4 GDI walnut blasting down below.
Symptoms of 2.4L Inline-4 GDI Carbon Build-Up
Among the symptoms of carbon build-up issues on the Hyundai and Kia 2.4 Theta GDI are:
- Stumbling idle / rough
- Acceleration stuttering or hesitation
- Power decline
Carbon buildup begins to restrict airflow into cylinders once more. Different cylinders may experience varying degrees of carbon buildup. The Hyundai 2.4L GDI engine may misfire as a result of this. While accelerating, you may notice a rough idle or stuttering. These symptoms typically begin slowly and worsen as more build-up occurs.
Some people experience power loss, which is a common symptom of carbon build-up. It is, however, the most difficult symptom to detect. This is because carbon deposits form over many years and thousands of miles. The 2.4 Theta GDI power loss is a slow, gradual process that does not occur overnight.
2.4 Theta GDI Walnut Blasting Hyundai
Walnut blasting is a tried and true method for cleaning intake valves and ports. A heavy-duty shop vac and walnut media shells are required. The shop-vac is used to blast the walnut shells into the intake ports, removing any carbon build-up. Walnut media shells are inexpensive for the job, but labor can be expensive.
To access the Hyundai 2.4 GDI ports and valves, the intake manifold must be removed. From start to finish, the labor can cost between $300 and 600 dollars. Walnut blasting isn’t completely necessary, but we think it’s a good idea every 100,000 miles.
4) Hyundai Inline-4 2.4L Oil Leaks
Oil leaks on the 2.4L inline-4 MPI and GDI engines are a fairly broad subject. We’ll get through this a little faster because we’re not focusing on a single oil leak. In any case, all internal combustion engines develop oil leaks as they age. Gaskets, seals, o-rings, and other rubber-like materials degrade over time and mileage.
These components eventually develop small cracks and oil leaks. If left alone, the cracks continue to grow or new ones form, and leaks worsen. The valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, and main seals are three common oil leak areas on the Hyundai 2.4 engine.
We don’t think this is a common engine problem with the 2.4L Hyundai Theta II engines. There are no major design flaws that are causing the leaks. It’s just an important topic to discuss because some 2.4 GDI and MPI engines are 10-15 years old or older. With that kind of age and 100,000+ miles, it’s not uncommon to encounter an oil leak or two.
2.4 Symptoms of Theta II Oil Leak
Oil leak symptoms are typically straightforward. In any case, the following symptoms may indicate an oil leak from the 2.4 Theta MPI and GDI engines:
- Visible dripping
- Oil depletion
- Odor of burning oil
- Light smoke is coming from the engine bay.
Of course, if you notice visible oil spots on the ground after parking your car, you most likely have an oil leak somewhere. Oil loss is a possible symptom, but engines naturally consume some oil. Low engine oil alone is unlikely to indicate a leak. Furthermore, if the leak is large enough to cause significant oil loss, you have most likely already noticed other symptoms.
Some oil leaks near the engine’s top, such as the valve cover gasket, may drip onto hot engine parts and burn off. As a result, the Hyundai 2.4 Theta engines may emit burning oil odors or light smoke from the engine bay.
Fix for Hyundai 2.4 Theta Oil Leak
The good news is that most oil leaks are caused by inexpensive gaskets or seals. These parts are frequently only $10-40 for OEM replacements. Most 2.4 GDI & MPI oil leaks are very inexpensive to repair if you can do it yourself.
However, if you’re going to a repair shop for work, some oil leaks can add $200-500+ to the labor cost. It all depends on where and what is leaking, but some things are more difficult to reach. This can result in several hour repair times, which can add up to a significant amount of money in repair bills.
Reliability of the 2.4L Theta II
Is the 2.4 Theta II MPI and GDI engine from Hyundai dependable? We believe this engine receives average reliability ratings. Severe engine problems and failures compromise reliability. Many 2.4L engine failures, however, were covered by Hyundai and Kia through recalls or under standard warranty. The problems don’t appear to be as prevalent with the new replacement engines, so hopefully that’s a long-term solution.
The Hyundai 2.4 Theta II GDI engine has a flaw that causes carbon buildup. However, direct injection is a fantastic technology, so it’s a minor drawback to an otherwise fantastic update. Other common issues with the Hyundai 2.4 Theta engines include excessive oil consumption and oil leaks.
A lot of dependability is determined by maintenance and the luck of the draw. We have no control over the luck factor. You can, however, control how well the Hyundai/Kia 2.4L inline-4 engine is maintained. Use high-quality oils, change fluids on schedule, and address issues as they arise. With a little luck on your side, the Hyundai 2.4 Theta engine can provide solid reliability.