Hyundai 2.0 Nu Engine Problems – Top 4 Common Problems!

Hyundai 2.0 Nu Engine Problems – Top 4 Common Problems!

January 21, 2024 0 By CarGuy

Are you looking to purchase a Hyundai with the 2.0 Nu engine and want to learn more about the Hyundai 2.0 Nu engine problems? If that’s correct, you are in the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover on this specific engine.

Doing your own research is always a good idea. You need to be ahead and have a deeper knowledge of a particular engine and its problems. If you don’t, you will end up in a money pit full of problems. And when it comes to cars with certain engines, there is a high chance of doing so. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out.

First, we will cover the specs of the 2.0 Nu engine and its applications. Then, we shall discuss the Hyundai 2.0 Nu engine problems and the reliability of this engine. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the article.

Hyundai 2.0 Nu Engine Specs

The Nu engine family was created in the late 2000s. The engine debuted in 2011 with the Hyundai Elantra. The Nu engine was conceived as a replacement to the aging Beta lineup and as a complement to the Theta and Gamma families.

Nevertheless, in this engine family, there are two main engines. The 1.8L, which is only one variation, and the 2.0L Nu engine that we are primarily interested in this article.

This engine comes in a variety of different configurations. A regular port injection, GDI, direct injection, an Atkinson Cycle version, a hybrid version, a Flex Fuel E85 version, and an LPG autogas version. Later on, we will discuss each of these in the application chapter.

The engine has a displacement of 2.0L and implements a DOHC layout with four valves per cylinder. The block and the head are made from aluminum.

The engine has a dual variable valve timing D-CVVT, some versions have Direct injection (GDI) and some have port injection (MPI).

The 2.0L engine is only naturally aspirated. Which means there is no turbocharged version. In addition to this, these engines are only used in transverse mounting positions. They do not come in RWD cars.

Here are some of the most important specs of the 2.0 Nu engine.

  • Configuration: inline-4
  • Displacement: 2.0L
  • Bore: 81 mm
  • Stroke: 97 mm
  • Block & Head Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Variable Valve Timing: Yes, D-CVVT
  • Fuel Injection: MPI or GDI
  • Aspiration: Naturally Aspirated
  • Horsepower: 164 – 174 hp
  • Torque: 148 – 157 lb-ft (194 – 213 N-m)

Hyundai 2.0 Nu Engine Applications

Now let’s take a look at the applications of this engine.

2.0 Nu MPI (G4NA)

  • 2013 – 2020 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2014 – 2022 Hyundai Creta
  • 2011 – 2019 Hyundai i40
  • 2013 – 2020 Hyundai Mistra
  • 2014 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2013 – 2018 Hyundai Tucson/ix35
  • 2012 – 2019 Kia Soul
  • 2012 – 2018 Kia Forte
  • 2013 – 2019 Kia Carens
  • 2014 – 2021 Kia K4
  • 2015 – 2019 Kia KX3
  • 2014 – 2021 Kia Sportage

2.0 Nu MPI (G4ND) Version with variable valve lift

  • 2014 – 2019 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2012 – 2019 Kia Optima

2.0 Nu (G4NH) Atkinson Cycle

  • 2018 – 2020 Hyundai Veloster
  • 2015 – 2020 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2017 – 2020 Hyundai Kona
  • 2015 – 2020 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2018 – Present Kia Forte
  • 2019 – Present Kia Seltos
  • 2019 – Present Kia Soul

2.0 Nu GDI (G4NC)

  • 2013 – 2015 Hyundai Elantra/Elantra Coupe
  • 2014 – Present Hyundai i30
  • 2012 – 2019 Hyundai i40
  • 2013 – 2020 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2012 – 2019 Kia Soul
  • 2012 – 2018 Kia Forte
  • 2013 – 2019 Kia Carens
  • 2015 – 2021 Kia KX5
  • 2016 – 2022 Kia KX7
  • 2015 – Present Kia Sportage

2.0 Nu (F4NA) Flex Fuel

  • 2017 – 2021 Hyundai Creta
  • 2015 – 2021 Kia Sportage

2.0 Nu MPI Hybrid

  • 2011 – 2014 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2011 – 2015 Kia Optima

2.0 Nu GDI Hybrid

  • 2014 – 2019 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2015 – 2019 Kia Optima

2.0 Nu LPG Autogas version

  • 2012 – 2023 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2013 – 2018 Kia Carens
  • 2011 – 2021 Kia Optima

Hyundai 2.0 Nu Engine Problems

Now let’s list the common problems with the 2.0 Nu engine.

  1. Ignition Coil Failure
  2. Carbon Buildup (GDI)
  3. Oil Consumption
  4. Ticking Sounds/Piston Slap

Now let’s cover the common problems of the 2.0 Nu engine in detail. In the following chapters, we will discuss all of these issues in detail and learn more about how these problems appear and what are the symptoms.

This is crucial if you want to understand the problem and how serious these issues are. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the problems and elaborate on them in detail.

1. Ignition Coil Failure

The first problem on our list of problems with the 2.0 Nu engine is the ignition coil failure. So, what is an ignition coil and why does it fail?

Well, the ignition coil is something like a small transformer. It converts the 12v supply into a high current and then sends this power to the spark plug. Thus creating a spark.

This coil as you probably assume is mounted right above the spark plug. And since this is a modern engine with individual coils, you have a total of four individual coils.

These coils need to function in perfect order in order for your engine to work well. If they are not performing well, you will face problems such as engine misfires, rough engine work, check engine light, low engine power, and limp mode.

The solution is to replace the faulty coil with a new one and this will solve the problem.

Troubleshooting advice: if you have a misfire and you are unsure whether this is a bad coil or a bad spark plug, just swap the coils and spark plugs among the cylinders. If the misfire moves to the next cylinder, you know that you have a bad spark plug or coil.

Now let’s move on to the next Hyundai 2.0 engine problems.

2. Carbon Buildup (GDI)

Carbon buildup is fairly common in Hyundai engines. So, what is carbon buildup, and why it is a problem?

Well, carbon buildup is a consequence of direct injection. GDI engines are direct injected. So, from all of the 2.0L Nu engines, the GDI is affected by this problem.

What happens is that these engines are using a different method of injecting fuel. Instead of injecting fuel through the intake ports, they inject it through a special injector.

This means that the intake valves are not washed from the contaminants like in port injected engines.

So, these carbon vapors are starting to accumulate on the valves and start to create a crust. This crust of carbon deposits becomes hard as a rock and is difficult to remove.

There are methods with chemical solutions but the most effective is the method with walnut blasting. With this method, walnut shells are blasted in the intake ports and these shells decimate the carbon. Thus, cleaning the valves in the process.

This is the recommended thing to do every 60,000 to 80,000 miles. If you don’t do it, you will get a check engine light, and engine misfires. Eventually, the valves will not shut and you will have to do a complete cylinder head rebuild to bring the engine back to normal.

3. Oil Consumption

Another common problem with these engines is oil consumption. They tend to consume a lot of engine oil.

This oil consumption is often attributed to the rising tolerances between the piston rings and the cylinder walls.

There is simply too much of a gap and oil finds its way into the combustion chamber and the engine starts to consume engine oil.

This oil consumption can be very serious, especially in engines that are not maintained well. But in general, all of these engines consume engine oil at higher mileage.

The important thing is to do more frequent oil changes in order to reduce the effect of this problem and potentially prolong the life of the engine.

When it comes to serious oil consumers, the only way around the problem is to do a rebuild or purchase a new short block.

A short block is a new engine block with crankshaft and pistons installed.

Now let’s move on to the next Hyundai 2.0 Nu engine problems.

4. Ticking Sounds/Piston Slap

The last major problem of the Hyundai 2.0 Nu engine is the engine ticking sound that is fairly common in these engines. So, what is this ticking sound, and why it appears?

This ticking sound is appearing because of the previous problem that we covered. Which is oil consumption.

The tolerances between the piston and the cylinder wall increase and there is a situation that appears, this problem is known as piston slap and it is represented through a ticking noise.

Basically, the piston is banging against the cylinder wall and is creating this noise. This problem is not fixable.

The only way to solve the issue is to purchase a new short block or rebuild the existing engine. This way you will be able to fix the issue.

This is expensive and that’s why we advise that you stay away from engines that produce ticking noises.

Hyundai 2.0 Nu Engine Reliability

The reliability of the 2.0 Nu is pretty average. This engine has a fair share of issues. Although, it is not as bad as the Theta engine that we previously covered.

These Nu engines most often suffer from oil consumption and engine ticking caused by piston slap. Luckily, no rod knock, at least not as often.

This way, you will be somewhat safe. However, we would recommend that you do a compression test before you buy. Make sure that the engine gives good compression. If it doesn’t give good compression, the engine will definitely need a new short block replacement or a complete engine replacement.


Overall, the 2.0 Nu engine is one popular engine used in a bunch of Hyundai and Kia models over the years.

This engine has some issues but it is not the worst Hyundai engine by any means. These engines tend to last longer than the Theta engines.

Just make sure that the engine you intend to purchase has good compression and low blowby.


What are the common Hyundai 2.0 Nu engine problems?

Common problems with the 2.0 Nu engine include engine ticking caused by piston slap, oil consumption, ignition coil failure, and carbon deposits in direct injected GDI versions of this engine.

Is the Hyundai 2.0 Nu engine reliable?

This engine is pretty average in terms of reliability. Not the worst but definitely not one of the best engines out there. There were many failures reported and it really depends on the level of maintenance you put in and your luck when it comes to squeezing more miles out of it.

If you want to read more on Hyundai problems, you can check our articles on the 2.0 Theta and the 2.4 Theta engine.