Traction motor failure again

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by Graham002, Apr 11, 2021.

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  1. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    My 2019 Kona electric had the traction motor replaced when 1yr old. 1 yr later it is back in the garage with the same noise and I suspect the motor will need to be replaced again. Should I reject the vehicle and ask for my money back?
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  3. Did you also have the reduction drive replaced a the same time? How many miles on the new traction motor?
  4. GeorgeS

    GeorgeS Active Member

    Sounds like something is causing it to fail. If it is still under warrantee, I would let them replace it. I assume you don't mistreat it at all. Two motors in two years is not normal. Don't think it reflects the Kona's engineering. Could be a defective part other than the motor that is causing the motor to fail. Maybe something like a poor motor alignment. This may be detectable upon replacement. Hyundai doesn't want to be noted for failures. I'd give them a chance. If you get it back without a proper explanation, I would consider selling.
  5. Could be defective installation. I do remember when I had mine done (just after reduction drive replacement), special attention was given to the flange bolt torquing. I believe the new motor came with different bolts.
  6. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    Traction motor and bolts replaced. New engine has done about 8,000 miles maybe less - I can look it up. Always driven very gently (>5miles/ KWh) and never more than 70mph
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  8. Genevamech

    Genevamech Active Member

    Is there any information on specifically what the failure mode is?

    For example, I remember a video of a mechanic (Russian, I think?) taking apart the drivetrain of a Kona and showing how the bearings that support the differential had ground themselves into a fine paste. I've never seen anything about the motor, though - maybe it's also a bearing failure? Standard ball bearings and strong electromagnetic field have a history of not getting along...
  9. Yes, but did you also have your reduction gear assembly replaced before or at the same time?
  10. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    The reduction gear has never (to my knowledge) been replaced. The car is still in the garage and I have not been told what ‘technical’ say is the problem and what ‘guarantees’ are going to do about it. I have reiterated that I want my money back. Two new motors in 12 months - it is not good enough to simply fix and return again.
  11. Thanks, that's good to know. My understanding is that both the motor and reduction drive needs to be replaced with this problem. I had mine done (both) last year and after about 13K kms, all still good.
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  13. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    I will check with garage but I would take a lot of persuading that they have finally and permanently fixed the problem.
  14. I don't think that is necessarily true. I think initially they were doing all sorts of random remediation efforts because the problem wasn't well understood. It now seems to be mainly an issue a failing outboard motor bearing. I suppose given enough time this could cause issue with the reduction gear box but the main fix from Hyundai continues to be just a motor swap.

    Graham this sucks, keep the pressure on the dealer to fix it and let us know. I think you have the distinction of being one the first to complain of a potentially failing replacement motor bearing. So far I have 18,000 km on my replacement motor. It seems great except when in its colder than - 10C it has developed a definitely abnormal loud whine for several minutes after startup. I am not too worried as I am still have warranty and like all true problems an inherent failure will get worse and more obvious.
  15. That's why I asked. I still have not heard of anyone that had the problem come back, that also had both replaced.

    Of course, besides the new motor, the repair/installation needs to be done right by the dealer. I know the fix requires proper assembly and torquing of the flange bolts, which are bigger/stronger with the fix. I suspect the root cause, is that this may not have been done properly at the factory with some cars. Some have had the issue soon out of the factory, and some (most) never. So that is the only explanation I can think of.

    I know we are all still speculating. That's why I like to learn as much as possible about each occurrence and fix. I want to assured that mine will stay fixed.
  16. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    Well the traction motor has been replaced again ( but not the reduction gear). On the day I collected the car I had a DVSA letter informing me that the high voltage battery has to be replaced because of risk of fire and that I should reduce maximum charging and not keep the car under cover until this is done.
    Dreadful customer experience at Richmond Hyudai Portsmouth and Hyudai UK who seem to care little that I have had two traction motors in 13 months with over 8 weeks off the road in this time due to delay in sourcing parts and that I am awaiting battery replacement sometime - hope vehicle doesn’t set alight to me or house in the meantime.
    No compensation for inconvenience, costs, anxiety and no recognition of impact of residual value of the car.
    Buyer beware!
  17. Graham, I feel your pain and appreciate your frustration. Hopefully the new replacement fixes at least the noise. I continue to monitor my new motor with trepidation. During the winter it was a bit on the noisy side during cold startup but no clicking. For posterity I noticed the original motor noise at 8000km, it was replaced at 17,000km, I am now at 37,000 km and its mostly ok.
  18. As I've mentioned before, the whine you get in cold weather is certainly due to cavitation of the straight 70-weight gear oil at the gear teeth on the motor's pinion due to its relatively-high speed. Academically speaking, a thinner grade full-synthetic designed for cold weather will reduce that. Cavitation can be quite damaging to gears over long periods, not as likely if just a minute or two winter mornings.
    The clicking of course is a different issue, root cause unknown so far.

    ericy likes this.
  19. Interesting reading. So my 2020 with less than 8k started clicking when driving in the last several weeks. May I assume this may the same issue I have?
  20. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    Mine was a subtle clicking when it started. Most noticeable at speeds under 10/15 mph and more marked going uphill. Gets louder fairly quickly and in my case (twice) has needed new traction motor. 4 weeks waiting for disassembly, agreement as to cause and covered by guarantee, sourcing part.
  21. Ok. Thanks. Sorry for what you are going thru. It’s sounds what could be happening to me. Slower speeds more pronounced and when it’s cooler out. I’ll let the group know how it turns out.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  22. NRH

    NRH Active Member

    As a counter point, I can hear an occasional faint "playing card in bike spokes" type clicking noise at low speeds, and have been able to notice it since last spring (probably when I first had my windows down as the weather warmed up). Radio has to be off and windows down, or else it's too quiet to hear. I had the dealership make a note of it, so there was a record, but they said they couldn't hear it, which was not surprising. I probably notice it once a week or less, and it hasn't gotten any more prominent over the 18 months and 22,000 miles that we've had the car.
    At the moment I'm not concerned about it. If it does start to get worse, there's tons of time on the warranty.
  23. Graham002

    Graham002 New Member

    Fingers crossed. I didn’t ask them to replace the traction motor I just told them about the noise!

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