What’s a High Mileage for a Hyundai? (The Facts)

The South Korean automaker has been in business for so many decades and has come a long way in building a reputation. A few decades ago, Hyundai cars were not considered dependable or at par with Japanese vehicles in reliability.

But over the past 2 decades, the tables have turned and Hyundai has seen explosive growth in sales, reputation, technology, and global footprint. If taken care of properly, a Hyundai would last a long time and accompany you for hundreds of thousands of miles. Let’s get to know in detail about the Hyundai cars, and what’s considered high mileage for a Hyundai!

What’s a High Mileage for a Hyundai?

A figure of 250,000 miles or above would be considered high mileage for a Hyundai. The build quality and manufacturing standards have improved a lot and Hyundai vehicles have become much more reliable and affordable due to the use of quality parts and state-of-the-art engineering.

It’s not only the consumers that trust Hyundai vehicles now, the company has built a reputation by showing confidence in their products themselves. Most of the Hyundai vehicles are offered with a 5-year and 100,000-mile warranty, that covers almost all the manufacturing faults or issues.

Although I’ve stated 250,000 miles as a high mileage figure, if maintained religiously and at advised schedules, a Hyundai would last much longer. Recently, a woman in the USA hit a 1 million-mile mark in her Hyundai Elantra and was highly regarded by the manufacturer.

She was even gifted a new Elantra by the Hyundai USA as a gesture. This shows that if a Hyundai is kept mechanically and electronically fit, it would go places.

Also read: 3 Best Hyundai for the Money (+Most Reliable Engines)

What Problems Can Arise with High Mileage Hyundai?

The most common problems that can arise in high mileage Hyundai are engine failure, transmission issues, ABS unit problems, Airbags assembly faults, and paint problems.

Despite solid build quality and better manufacturing protocols, Hyundai cars still suffer from various problems, especially vehicles with high mileage. Let’s have a closer look at some common problems that can arise with high mileage Hyundai;

  1. Engine Problems

High mileage Hyundai cars are highly prone to various engine problems, such as knocking and ticking sounds, seizure, and overheating issues. The most commonly reported root cause is the improper finishing of the connecting rods and piston head position. This can lead to total engine failure and might need replacement if not repaired promptly.

  1. Transmission Issues

The problem under the limelight is associated particularly with Hyundai’s dual-clutch transmission. Owners have reported the disengagement of the gears after coming to a stop or limping gear shifts, which brings the car to a total stop. This is a serious issue that can occur with a high mileage Hyundai vehicle and is costly to repair.

  1. ABS causing Short Circuit

This is a serious and potentially life-threatening problem reported by Hyundai owners. The ABS module causes a short circuit in the vehicle due to leakage of brake fluid, and the car catches fire. There have been so many cases of Hyundai vehicles bursting into flames and causing serious damage. The company has taken serious notice and organized multiple recalls over time. Although this happens once the car has driven a lot of miles, owners of new cars should also remain vigilant.

Trending Video: How to Easily Bring Back to Life any Old Car Battery and Save Tons of Money (click to watch)

  1. Faulty Airbags

Another potential life-threatening fault that is common in high mileage Hyundai cars is the Airbag assembly problem. Reportedly, the ACU’s of the airbag sensor manufactured by ZF-TRW become electrically overstressed and fail to send a signal during an impact, hence leading to deployment failure of airbags.

  1. Paint Problems

This is another common issue in high mileage Hyundai vehicles, over the years, the paint starts to peel off. Other problems with paintwork are fading, loss of texture, and the appearance of weird pigmentation or spots on the car’s body. This plays a significant role in promoting rust formation afterward.

Cost of Fixing these Problems

1Engine Problems$1,000-1,800
2Transmission issues$600
3Faulty ABS module$550
4Airbag problems$400
5Paint issues$800-1,200


No need to panic looking at the total cost as not everything would go wrong all at once and there’s a probability that the previous owner would’ve got much of the work done.

Do High Mileage Hyundais Rust?

Yes, the problem of rusting is prevalent with high mileage Hyundais. Particularly due to the problem of fading, and peeling off of the paintwork. High mileage Hyundais have seen a lot of wear and tear, which adds to the problem.

Manufacturers ensure that the painting process is carried out properly with all the layer applications and processes are carried out properly, especially the electrolyte dipping. Still, the problem of fading and peeling off occurs, especially in the Hyundais that have served over a decade and 250,000 miles.

This acts as a catalyst in the rusting process, and various parts and panels undergo the oxidation process at an accelerated rate. If you’re looking to buy a high mileage Hyundai, get the paint correction done, followed by glass coating and sealant application to prevent your car from becoming a rust bucket.

Also read: Does Hyundai Hold its Value? (Depreciation Charts)

What are the Most and Least Reliable Hyundais with High Mileage?

Based on the consumer reports and auto agencies, the three most reliable Hyundais with high mileage are the Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Kona, and Hyundai Santa Fe. Whereas, the Least reliable Hyundais are the Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Tucson, and Hyundai Genesis.

When an automaker steps into the business of mass production of the diversified lineup, problems are bound to happen. The same is the case of Hyundai, where they produce excellent vehicles with dependability, some of their products fall short of the name. Let’s have a look at some of the most and least reliable Hyundais with high mileage.

Most Reliable

  1. 2018 Hyundai Elantra

A mid-size sedan that is the top seller of the family and one of the most loved vehicles among enthusiasts. The Hyundai Elantra has won over the customers due to its cheaper maintenance and high-tech features, along with superb reliability, and has won many awards over the years. The lady who drove a Hyundai over a million miles was also an Elantra.

  1. Hyundai Kona

Launched in 2017, right amid the SUV boom, the compact crossover became a hit. It instantly became a top seller and over the years, it has proved to be a very reliable road partner with minimal breakdowns or requirement of any major repairs. Kona won the North American Car of the year and 2019 Utility Vehicle of the year.

  1. Hyundai Santa Fe

A 7 seater SUV by Hyundai is very popular among the buyers and the main reason behind that is the price, affordability, and reliability of the car. It is one of the most dependable SUVs on the market and one of the cheapest to buy.

J.D Power and RepairPal both rated all the above-mentioned vehicles as highly reliable and least expensive to repair.

Least Reliable

  1. Hyundai Sonata

The mid-size sedan has been rivaling the very popular Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but has fallen short in the completion. The major reason behind its popularity had been the price, styling, and features offered in the price range. But there had been too many manufacturing faults and complaints that tainted its image. The major problems had been engine failure and airbag problems over the years.

  1. Hyundai Tucson

A very well-known name in the SUV world and admired for its tech features and styling, Tucson has seen a rough patch. Transmission failure, ABS module short circuit causing fire, and suspension issues over the years have kept it from earning the reliability award.

  1. 2015 Hyundai Genesis

Marketed as a luxury name and now amputated from the main brand as a premium subsidiary, the 2015 Genesis had its fair share of problems. Although very attractive due to its price tag and luxury features, the car had multiple issues that kept its name off the popularity charts. Some of the main problems include engine and transmission failures, electrical and battery problems, with the most alarming issue being the failure of the car to start.

Also read: Kia vs. Hyundai: Resale Value (8 Models Compared)

How Many Miles Can a Hyundai Last?

On average, a Hyundai would last 250,000 – 300,000 miles if looked after properly. The care includes following a proper maintenance schedule, getting service done by certified technicians at an authorized dealership and getting all the repairs done on time.

Recently, an independent auto magazine agency declared Hyundai as one of the most reliable car brands in the world. A major role was played by the recalls campaign arranged by the company to look after its consumers and improve the buying, and aftersales experience.

If a Hyundai is taken care of, such as oils and filters replacement on time, using OEM parts, radiator flush and replacement of coolant, tire rotation, suspension overhaul, and other major maintenance done on time. A Hyundai car would easily go past 250,000 miles before requiring any major repairs to the powertrain.

A woman in the USA drove her Hyundai Elantra over a million miles without engine or transmission replacement. This speaks volumes about the brand’s reliability.

How to Cake Your High Mileage Hyundai Last Long?

If you desire the longevity of your car’s life and want to go places with your beloved Hyundai, follow these steps to make your high mileage Hyundai last long;

  1. Get a mechanically sound car with proper maintenance history and a CARFAX report.
  2. Change the engine and transmission oil at regular intervals.
  3. Replace air, fuel, oil, and cabin filters on time.
  4. Get your car detailed once a month.
  5. Change the spark plugs every 75,000 miles and timing belt every 100,000 miles.
  6. Replace the important components of engine and transmission assembly when required.
  7. Ensure the proper functioning of the suspension system, and get it overhauled if required.
  8. Use premium fuel in your high mileage Hyundai.

Is it Worth Buying a High Mileage Hyundai?

If the car is mechanically sound and there’s no history of a major accident, then buying a high mileage Hyundai can be a good deal. As these are cheaper in the second-hand market and very economical to own and use as a daily runner.

Buying a Hyundai with high mileage can be a great deal if you take care of certain things;

  1. The car had never been in a major accident.
  2. Proper maintenance schedule is available.
  3. All the faulty parts and components have been replaced/repaired.
  4. There is no rust on the undercarriage or brake and suspension assembly.
  5. All the seals of the engine, suspension control arm, bushings, ABS module, airbag sensors are intact and functional.

Owing a used Hyundai can be a great experience as these cars are very economical to buy in the used car market and cheaper to own. Routine maintenance of a Hyundai costs only $450, as compared to the average maintenance cost of $600 a year. These cars are quite fuel-efficient, and the parts are not that expensive, in case a replacement is required. Lastly, insuring a Hyundai car cost only $650 a year for a full-coverage plan. So, all in all, buying a high mileage Hyundai in pristine condition is worth it.