Help!! I have a 2011 Sonata that just died out of nowhere!

I have a 2011 Sonata and I’ve had it about 3 months now. However tonight my son was driving it to the store and he said it made a weird noise then the car just shut off… It also had a bad burning rubber smell. Wth is wrong with my car!? We had to push it all the way back to my house (about 2 blocks). And now it won’t start. I can’t afford to get another car or to have it fixed if it’s going to be expensive. My husband died 6 months ago and now I’m a single mom of 6!! God help me please!! Someone please help me!!

We have a 2012 Sonata. One evening, after I’d driven to work and back, it wouldn’t start. Turns out the alternator died. The repair was somewhere around $700. Don’t know if that’s good news or bad news for you, but it’s a data point. Good luck.

There’s not much information here, but I would guess that you had a belt go bad/snap/wear down. I don’t know much about Sonata engines, so it could be any kind of belt. The burning rubber smell suggests this. It could also mean that the alternator froze and the belt is simply burning as it slips around the pulley.

Based on this, I would think that it is a relatively easy fix. It’s certainly worth having a mechanic look at it, even if it means getting it towed down to a shop. Could it be the timing belt? I don’t know, but it sounds like it’s worth the time and expense to investigate.

WedaMtz, welcome to the Straight Dope. I’ve deleted the duplicate post you made in another thread. Good luck finding a resolution!

Sorry, nowhere near enough information to go on. Could you answer the following, please?

  1. What sort of noise did it make when it stalled out, and does it still make that noise when you try to start it?

  2. Look under the hood. Does anything look wrong (disconnected hoses, broken or missing belts)

  3. Does the engine crank when you turn the ignition key, do you only hear a clicking sound, or does nothing at all happen?

  4. Have any fluids collected under the car while it has been sitting (oil or water)?

Is it still under warranty?

Disjointed Fjnortner Rod. Common problem on this model.

Not the manufacturer’s warranty, anyway. That was for 5 years or 60,00 miles.

The good news is that this vehicle has a timing chain as opposed to a timing belt. That, coupled with the “burning rubber” smell, makes that very expensive repair less likely. The Sonata has one belt that wraps around (serpentines) all of engine pulleys (water pump, alternator, A/C and crankshaft). I agree that a broken serpentine belt is the most likely case. Some additional diagnostic points would be:

  • the batter light came on, followed by all of the dashboard lights illuminating for a short time just before the engine died
  • the engine began to overheat just before it died
  • the A/C quit blowing cold air just before it died

Any or all of those would pretty much confirm a broken belt. That’s good news - a broken belt is an easy, fairly cheap repair that can be done with basic tools, a little mechanical aptitude and You Tube. Cost for the belt itself is in the $15-35 range. A belt, however, unless it is severely worn, doesn’t just break for no reason. A couple of other causes could be a seized alternator, A/C compressor, water pump or idler pulley. Those tend to cost much more money and may require a mechanic to remove/install. Whatever you do, it’s important to determine why the belt broke before you just replace it and go (or try to).

Powertrain warranty is 10 years/100,000 miles but only if you are the original owner or the car was sold as recertified. If you just bought it used, you only have the 5yr/60k.

Maybe I’m cynical but I’m getting a bad vibe from this post.

Having said that, I’d guess it’s the serpentine belt or alternator as others have said. The sonata has a timing chain, not a belt.

If you are strapped for cash, hire a mechanic on Craigslist. Let him diagnose it, and buy your own parts from an auto parts store.

An alternator plus labor may only be $150-200 if you do it like that.