Author Topic: 1.8L petrol Hyundai i30 - Engine Seizing and Catastrophic Failure. Oiling Issues  (Read 1177 times)

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FYI after reading another thread on this - but being unable to reply - I had to start a new thread.

What absolute crappy unreliable cars these are. I would never buy another Hyundai ever again - and am telling everyone I know to avoid like the plague. Apart from my laundry list of issues:

I have seized not one, but TWO 1.8L petrol engines (2014 i30) in the space of 3 months. One with 210k on the clock, the other replacement with 87k. First one unseized and threw a rod bearing. Second is seized shut.

Both were full of EOM oil, completely recently serviced, no negligence issues whatsoever. BOTH on low speed highway left handing sweepers.

Turn into the corner, oil either climbs the sump away from the pickup, or something internally as part of the oiling system fails due to the cornering force. Oil light comes on, engine shuts off and seizes itself solid.

Yes - still full of oil. Not a drip or leak anywhere. The engine oil pump has just sucked dry, or the engine has been able to run dry for a brief period despite being full of oil and that's all she wrote.

Yes - the car is out of warranty.

No - this should not be happening and is surely some kind of manufacturing / design defect.

I tinker with race engines as a hobby and am not your typical non-mechanically minded owner. I take care of my cars more than I take care of myself. I know engines inside out and I've never seen anything like this. But it stinks, and I'm blaming Hyundai. What an absolutely awful piece of crap. I have never owned a car with so many quality issues in 33 years.


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Well after driving rally cars for 20 years I expect my cars to be able to cop a bit of a caning, especially on winding roads.
And my i30 never had any issues.

I'll be interested to see what others say.
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I have seized not one, but TWO 1.8L petrol engines (2014 i30) in the space of 3 months. One with 210k on the clock, the other replacement with 87k...

BOTH on low speed highway left handing sweepers.

Turn into the corner, oil either climbs the sump away from the pickup, or something internally as part of the oiling system fails due to the cornering force. Oil light comes on, engine shuts off and seizes itself solid.

Yes - still full of oil...The engine oil pump has just sucked dry, or the engine has been able to run dry for a brief period despite being full of oil.

...this...is surely some kind of manufacturing / design defect.

I tinker with race engines as a hobby... I know engines inside out and I've never seen anything like this.

@ blake9997.  Sorry to hear of your experience and, have to say, I'm much surprised.

Just out of curiousity, when you say it happened twice "...on low speed highway left handing sweepers" were you travelling at LOW speed through the low speed sweeper and the engine seized, OR you were travelling at HIGH speed through the low speed sweeper?   

To help me/others appreciate the speed/g-forces involved (re sump oil being forced away from the oil pick-up) what was the posted speed limit for the highway sweeper and what was your speed.  Approximates will do if you don't know for certain.  You didn't happen to be running a data logger at the time, maybe a Motec? :)

If your issue is due to a manufacturer's design fault I'd have expected to hear of many, many similar complaints from other 2014 i30 (petrol) owners, so design fault is unlikely imo (unless Hyundai did a redesign mid-model run).  So, imo, that leaves it due to something "weird" being duplicated on your two cars (e.g. random faulty oil pump), unlikely as that is.  :undecided:

Would appreciate your reply and your updates if the cause is determined.  It is a mystery .






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is that the 1.8L NU Engine G4NB ?






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    Mnt. Isa

I have seized not one, but TWO 1.8L petrol engines (2014 i30) in the space of 3 months. One with 210k on the clock, the other replacement with 87k. First one unseized and threw a rod bearing. Second is seized shut.

I'm blaming Hyundai. What an absolutely awful piece of crap. I have never owned a car with so many quality issues in 33 years.


logic is missing sport.
1 if it  is such a crappy model how did you make 210km?
 2 did you notice the 1000s of other GD i30s also using the road? strangely all of them were going werent they?

who have you pissed off? ex- wife who knows how to do a bit of sabotage?


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I have seized not one, but TWO 1.8L petrol engines (2014 i30) in the space of 3 months. One with 210k on the clock, the other replacement with 87k. First one unseized and threw a rod bearing. Second is seized shut.

I'm blaming Hyundai. What an absolutely awful piece of crap. I have never owned a car with so many quality issues in 33 years.


logic is missing sport.
1 if it  is such a crappy model how did you make 210km?
 2 did you notice the 1000s of other GD i30s also using the road? strangely all of them were going werent they?

who have you pissed off? ex- wife who knows how to do a bit of sabotage?

@Covi30.  To be fair mate, blake997 didn't actually say he bought either car NEW, and I suspect he must not have, he just couldn't have!!  Maybe he bought the first car with 209, 900 km and the second with 86,900 km?

But, yeah...something is weird, especially given his stated knowledge and experience with (racing) car engines.

We've all had/heard of noisy, crappy engines that give all sorts of problems but for two properly maintained engines to seize(!) with the same driver, in succession...yep, weird.  That's why I'm interested to see if he replies to my post.

But, I like your logic, a pissed off "ex". I didn't think of that one. :winker:   
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 :winker: nothing worse than a po-ex.

i service FD and GDs regularly, dont need to 'work' on them much becuase they are so reliable.

given that, what are the odds of two in a row failing in the same manner. billion to one? i smell the fish too ?
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Were both engines used replacements? this is the first I've heard of any such issues :confused:

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Upon doing a Google dive, there are many many cases.
Hyundai has had plenty of these seizing issues on a variety of engines (Sonata based originally) to the point of a Class Action lawsuit in the US and them having to replace all free of charge.... Similar story in EU... Similar story on Whirlpool of a customer here in Aus....

I bought the car second hand still with factory warranty. Popped the first engine which was the original motor just out of warranty, then replaced it with a low mileage engine of the same year. (Earlier this year). Popped that just 3 months later. First motor exclusively serviced by Hyundai. Second engine by them and myself.

First corner was 80 kms and I was doing 80 kms.

Second corner was 60 kms and I was doing 70 kms. Both under acceleration (as in, not coasting). Both the exact same architecture - a tight sweeping corner.

A wet sump car should be able to corner at 110 kms under acceleration with no immediate lubrication issues.

Most people suffice to say also don't drive manual cars, so probably don't sit their cars anywhere past 3.5 - 4.5k RPM. But again. That's a moot point. These engines (are meant to be) torture tested.

200K is not impressive nor worth respecting. 100K is barely run in for a production car engine. There are Corolla taxi's with 700k on them with no major faults. I'd expect 300k at the very least with no major issues. The second engine didn't even have 100k!!!!!!

No pissed off ex, no one has access to this car but me.

I've contacted both the wrecker who sold me the supposedly low kay engine - which is still in warranty (and ACL guarantees consumer law rights for second hand goods), and I've also contacted Hyundai to tell them they're welcome to come assess the engine and car - which I have not yet touched. Was going to unseize it, but won't just yet. It's ruined, regardless.

The point is - if anyone can tell me how an engine that is full of oil can run dry - under road going use - I'm all ears. Because that should not be possible, yet here we are.
Supposedly the issue is blocked oil galleries due to a manufacturing process change. But why would only that scenario expose it? Combined with all the other issues I've had - I don't even know why I'm asking because I know the answer. These cars are well designed and engineered, but poorly built and executed. Typical Korean. And yes I work for a Korean company.
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The US don't get the 1.8ltr engine used here, mainly 2ltr engines which I've never heard of an issue here in Australia with either.

What brand and viscosity oil is being used?

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All my cars are manual.

A second hand engine??? :crazy1:
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Upon doing a Google dive, there are many many cases.
Hyundai has had plenty of these seizing issues on a variety of engines (Sonata based originally) to the point of a Class Action lawsuit in the US and them having to replace all free of charge.... Similar story in EU... Similar story on Whirlpool of a customer here in Aus....


Ahh the full story thanks to Wirlp00l experts on everything etc.......give us a break.
The class action was due to a totally different motor, in Sonata or as it was known here the i45. the many cases that you claim were due to poor US factory proceedure where swarf remained in the crankshaft's oil galley. The i45 was not long on the market here,became the i40. Neither were or became a GD i30.
Incidentally, the i30 is a German based design, made in Korea and Slovakia.
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The US don't get the 1.8ltr engine used here, mainly 2ltr engines which I've never heard of an issue here in Australia with either.

What brand and viscosity oil is being used?

I didn't say that was the issue. I said Hyundai are well known for engine issues and gave an example. I've seen (multiple) in warranty 1.8L's with Labscope verified stretched timing chains too. Something most here would swear isn't possible. Owners thinking they're running fine yet wondering why the cars lack power and throwing P0017 codes. I've had a manifold cat element crack in half and block the entire exhaust system. Hyundai wanted $5,300 for a new one. Fuel sender and pump units fail out of the box. Poor quality build means poor quality issues will happen.

OEM Hyundai branded oil, like I said, dealer serviced. You've only got to Google "Hyundai i30 engine seized" and you'll be inundated with hits. Yet somehow this is just me?

Not even gonna respond to the fanboy(s) who feel butt hurt that someone would dare diss their car. It is possible to be critical of a car beyond your experiences, you know? I've owned exotic cars that have on occasion been poorly built too. But a spade is called a spade. They're just as crappy no matter the badge.

RE: Covi - You are no more a forum expert here, than a Whirlpool expert there. No break given until you climb down off the saddle.

Hyundai want $2,600 in labour alone to fix it. Wrecker is willing to donate another engine (still some good people out there).
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Upon doing a Google dive, there are many many cases.
Hyundai has had plenty of these seizing issues on a variety of engines (Sonata based originally) to the point of a Class Action lawsuit in the US and them having to replace all free of charge.... Similar story in EU... Similar story on Whirlpool of a customer here in Aus....

I bought the car second hand still with factory warranty. Popped the first engine which was the original motor just out of warranty, then replaced it with a low mileage engine of the same year. (Earlier this year). Popped that just 3 months later. First motor exclusively serviced by Hyundai. Second engine by them and myself.

First corner was 80 kms and I was doing 80 kms.

Second corner was 60 kms and I was doing 70 kms. Both under acceleration (as in, not coasting). Both the exact same architecture - a tight sweeping corner.

A wet sump car should be able to corner at 110 kms under acceleration with no immediate lubrication issues.

Most people suffice to say also don't drive manual cars, so probably don't sit their cars anywhere past 3.5 - 4.5k RPM. But again. That's a moot point. These engines (are meant to be) torture tested.

200K is not impressive nor worth respecting. 100K is barely run in for a production car engine. There are Corolla taxi's with 700k on them with no major faults. I'd expect 300k at the very least with no major issues. The second engine didn't even have 100k!!!!!!

No pissed off ex, no one has access to this car but me.

I've contacted both the wrecker who sold me the supposedly low kay engine - which is still in warranty (and ACL guarantees consumer law rights for second hand goods), and I've also contacted Hyundai to tell them they're welcome to come assess the engine and car - which I have not yet touched. Was going to unseize it, but won't just yet. It's ruined, regardless.

The point is - if anyone can tell me how an engine that is full of oil can run dry - under road going use - I'm all ears. Because that should not be possible, yet here we are.
Supposedly the issue is blocked oil galleries due to a manufacturing process change. But why would only that scenario expose it? Combined with all the other issues I've had - I don't even know why I'm asking because I know the answer. These cars are well designed and engineered, but poorly built and executed. Typical Korean. And yes I work for a Korean company.

@ blake997.  Thank you for the detailed reply, it helps fill in some gaps...and opens a few. :) 

In your first post you advised: " Turn into the corner, oil either climbs the sump away from the pickup, or something internally as part of the oiling system fails due to the cornering force...".

In you second last post you advised your first seize-up occurred doing 80 kmh in a 80 kmh sweeper and the second seize-up occurred doing 70 kmh in a 60 kmh sweeper.

I think we can rule out cornering g-forces being the cause of your problem as, imo, not enough speed in either case to generate the g-forces required to get a full sump to slosh away from the oil pickup and for long enough to immediately seize/stop an engine (irrelevant whether a manual or automatic vehicle)...otherwise our highway sweepers would be littered with seized 2014 i30s.

You asked: "...if anyone can tell me how an engine that is full of oil can run dry under road going use...".  Faulty oil pump (but, yeah, two?).

You now advise that: "...Supposedly the issue is blocked oil galleries due to a manufacturing process change...".  Good, no more cornering forces theories.  Ok, blocked oil galleries is a possibility but wasn't at least one of the engines properly serviced and maintained?  How unlucky would you be to get two with blocked oil galleries to that extent?

It would be educational if you could later advise the result of the eventual teardown and inspection of the seized 87,000 km engine.

I hope you have better luck with your next vehicle purchase., whatever it is. 

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Yeah. But he also accepted the blocked oil galleries were in US made engines.

And as for comparing this forum's members with Whirlpool posters.

Like a first grade NRL team playing a team of high school kids.
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@ Blake997.  Did you ever get a definitive answer as what caused the last seize-up?   I'd like to know how it ended for you.
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@ Blake997.  Did you ever get a definitive answer as what caused the last seize-up?   I'd like to know how it ended for you.

@blake997. Last call for your update.  (Knowledge helps us all).  :)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 07:32:13 by TerryT » »
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How it ended is pretty much as anyone would've expected when dealing with Hyundai:

Hyundai did not want to know about it. Period. And continued to offer nothing less than the worst service from a car manufacturer I've ever received in 34 years. Would not even do Trade pricing on entirely out of pocket repairs with me supplying everything. I have a video that will hit YouTube soon enough showing the engine seized despite the sump being full.

Wrecker have been fantastic and came to the party with another engine given it was in the warranty period. Wouldn't you know it - this is not the first instance they've heard of i30 1.8's failing with identical seizing issues.

During the process of changing the engine, (and bleeding the clutch), the clutch master cylinder now decided to crap itself. The entire thing is made of plastic, so one might have figured as such. Yet again, Hyundai quality delivers.

Minimum 2 week to 2 month wait from Hyundai and aftermarket for a new one. Replaced with a second-hand from a QLD wrecker.

Hyundai HQ insist they are following up the engine issue with my local dealer. Yet to hear anything back. Don't expect to. They claim they take such failures seriously but as mentioned - haven't heard anything nor any action taken.

I've since purchased another Porsche SUV for a new daily. Hyundai is running with the new engine and will be sold, never to have my business or a touch of my finger on one ever again.

Bonus round points - I was able to contact the Whirlpool user I referred to previously.
His was a 2016 auto and failed in the exact same way - except no cornering, just driving along coming out of his driveway onto the road, engine suddenly stopped, light comes on, won't turn over and is seized solid - mind you with only 6,000 kays on the clock. And he had to take Hyundai to Fair Trading and then NCAT, to get them to replace it under warranty, as they wanted to charge him out of pocket also. They tried to claim that his engine being 3/4 full of oil instead of 4/4 full to the mark, was the reason why. Of course, with no mention as to why such an engine would drink such an amount of oil being brand new and after being serviced by Hyundai themselves, in such a short amount of time.

Bunch of you know what's. 

To wind the clock back and think that I actually wanted a brand new i30 N. Would have been the biggest purchasing mistake ever.
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@ blake997.  Thanks for the update, appreciated. Unfortunately, it would seem, you/we still are no closer to knowing exactly what caused your engine seizures.

You said: "I was able to contact the Whirlpool user I referred to previously. His was a 2016 auto and failed in the exact same way - except no cornering, just driving along coming out of his driveway onto the road, engine suddenly stopped, light comes on, won't turn over and is seized solid - mind you with only 6,000 kays on the clock... after being serviced by Hyundai themselves..."

So, "no cornering" involved rules out G-forces.  Being a 2016 model and serviced by the dealer would, imo, likely rule out (a) enough time for oil paths to sufficiently block to solidly seize an engine and/or (b) using incorrect engine oil.  Those are assumptions, I know, but still reasonable ones especially if his car mileage is average. 

Other than a catastrophic mechanical failure (e.g. broken timing belt) my money was on a defective oil pump as the culprit but I'm not a mechanic...or even handy with my hands, as my wife tells me. :)

Hope you have a better experience with your new daily, the Porsche SUV!


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As I mentioned (I think): I build a lot of race engines and am very mechanically minded (which is why I'm so annoyed. I take care of anything mechanical I own, and I'm not being biased and outwardly hating without cause). I currently have a Paul Morris Motorsport V8 Supercar motor being rebuilt in the shed. I'm not some numpty just out to hate on Hyundai without basis: But like I've said. If anyone can tell me how an engine that is full of oil runs dry of oil. I'm all ears. Because yes, it shouldn't be possible. And yet I've personally had it happen twice, on 2 different engines in the space of 3 months. And wouldn't you know it - as I also said - I'm hearing of others who've had identical problems. So something is clearly up.

FYI Mechanically - basically, the way most engines are designed, that shouldn't be possible. Oil pump systems (unless externally belt driven), function in a way that as long as the engine and / or cams are turning, it will also be turning and supplying oil and have pressure. It shouldn't be possible for an engine to run and an oil pump not to (void of pressure), unless its drive gears or main shaft have been completely sheared. Highly unlikely, but so is this entire situation. Potentially some garbage cast or stamped steel part. There could be something else blocking the galleries. From something else that has broken. An engine will seize momentarilly AS SOON as lubrication stops due to the heat and friction, regardless of time.

It may well be something to do with the VVT system, as the timing issues mentioned - when one thinks it is a stretched chain - can actually be oiling related via the VVT sensors. But that again should not stop the mains and bearings running dry. I diagnosed and swapped those out previously and they are ruled out.

There could also be something else that is frothing the oil into a foam, which prevents it from lubricating the way that it should. So despite an acceptable volume of oil, the engine can still fail as if it wasn't receiving enough oil.

Oil filter bypass issues (both are new and look perfect). The oil pressure light comes on at the time of failure meaning it is an instant failure, not one that has been manifesting. As in being allowed to run with no pressure for extended periods.

I genuinely haven't had the time to pull either engine apart as I've been more focussed on getting it running, but I also ask myself "to what end".

Hyundai clearly aren't interested in assisting in ANY way possible, and that's not gonna change anything; and even other owners and users such as on this forum don't seem to want to be interested that maybe just maybe there could be some kind of inherent issue or problem that's worth hearing someone out about. Plus, it will take me away from other projects and car builds I'm working on. But when I find the motivation I think I'll do so just for personal curiosity. 
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@ blake997.  Thanks for the detailed reply and for elaborating on your experience with car engines.  I never thought of you as a numpty or I would not have continued posting (although you initial preoccupation with things such as oil slosh in the sump due to g-forces on highway sweepers as a cause for your two engine seizures did made me think...but all good now).

You said: "I genuinely haven't had the time to pull either engine apart...But when I find the motivation I think I'll do so just for personal curiosity."

I hope you can do that and I hope you have the time to post your findings on here.

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Sorry to hear about your shitty experience with car and Hyundai, that sucks.

Got me wondering, maybe a faulty ECU as the issue persisted through multiple engines?
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Sorry to hear about your shitty experience with car and Hyundai, that sucks.

Got me wondering, maybe a faulty ECU as the issue persisted through multiple engines?
ecu will not be a culprit.
nor did he have multiple engines. It  was two. The Wirlpool owner was driving out of his drive when engine stopped. reason is not clear nor is owners mechanical understanding.

I have spoken to former tech advisor on this site, he is highly qualified in the trade, he rubbished hyundai service on many occasions. He wouldnt do it in this case. Its really suss.
he said discount coincidence, its like beleiving that god exists.
He agrees with my first point that with so many i30s on the road there would be a class action going if engine seizure was as common as OP claims.
He rates the FD and GD i30 motors as among the most reliable in thsi country.
he mentioned a couple of past OPs who made claims about their vast experience, both lived with exotic cars, but drove a cheap i30, both attacked anyone who disagreed, took none of the blame, and never validated their own trouble ,They showed an inabilty to critcially reason and as in this case conflated information about unrelated models and incidents.


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