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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys - I bought a 2012 Sonata Hybrid in October 2013 with 38,000 km on it. This is my 3rd hybrid in 10 years so I am used to their pros and cons. However both my other hybrids had CVT transmissions not conventional.

The car is excellent except for one thing - I am in Toronto where it has been very cold the last 5 weeks. In the morning when the engine is cold it hesitates from a stop or when accelerating so badly as to be actually dangerous. This will be for the first 20 to 30 minutes until the engine warms up completely.

I put this down to being a smaller engine at first but the engine and transmission are both the same as in the regular Sonata. A friend has a 2012 regular Sonata with similar mileage. His engine will hesitate in mornings but it only lasts about 5 minutes. You would think logically that with the same engine in the same climate the hybrid performance would be the same or slightly better due to the EV but that is not the case.

I emailed Hyundai Canada about it but only received a vague reply. No check engine etc style lights are coming on and it behaves normally once the engine is warm.

This is my wife's car and she loves it except for this problem. But due to this dangerous quirk she is now questioning whether we should have bought it.

So my question is to anyone with a similar Sonata Hybrid in a cold climate. Is this engine and or transmission behaviour normal or do I need to have it checked out at the dealer?
 

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I think it comes down to software and batteries. Ever notice how your smart device (whatever kind) gets laggy after being exposed to cold temperatures. Even if you take your phone out walking down the street you'll notice this.

Same goes for batteries and systems in the car. they get glitch and slow when exposed to cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah Sonny that's part of it allright - and I discovered this firmware update is available which helps - and by actually taking out the 600 page manual I found out how to turn the blue drive off until the engine warms up. Both of which should help with the problem.

13-FL-004
HEV MULTI-ECU UPDATE – VERSION 2

Description:
This bulletin provides information related to a software update of the following controllers: ECM/TCM/HCU/MCU/AHB/OPU by GDS Event#302, and BMS by Event#303.
This ECU Update will refine vehicle drivability, HEV transaxle shifts, and cruise control.
Applicable Vehicles: 2011-2012MY SONATA (YF) 2.4L Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
 

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Yeah Sonny that's part of it allright - and I discovered this firmware update is available which helps - and by actually taking out the 600 page manual I found out how to turn the blue drive off until the engine warms up. Both of which should help with the problem.

13-FL-004
HEV MULTI-ECU UPDATE – VERSION 2

Description:
This bulletin provides information related to a software update of the following controllers: ECM/TCM/HCU/MCU/AHB/OPU by GDS Event#302, and BMS by Event#303.
This ECU Update will refine vehicle drivability, HEV transaxle shifts, and cruise control.
Applicable Vehicles: 2011-2012MY SONATA (YF) 2.4L Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
have you gotten a chance to try it out? Everything behave accordingly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well I have established that the updates have not been performed so I will be making an appointment. The dealers keep whining it's from an American forum - without being able to explain why that should make a difference - since it's exactly the same car (which was made in Korea anyway) so the solution is the same whether it's American or Canadian for the same problem.

Which is why I prefer to do my own research and not be a guinea pig at $100 per hour plus tax.

And yes I started and drove it with the blue drive off first thing in cold morning.
The mileage goes to **** in short term but it makes a very definite difference when trying to accelerate. After after about 15 minutes I just turned the blue drive back on.
 
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