Servicing Guide: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata uses the new Hyundai high-security four-track lock system. All Hyundai high-security lock systems are based on the older Lexus system. The Hyundai system has 12 cuts, with six cuts located on each side of the key. All of the...


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The tailpiece is held in place on the back of the lock plug with an E-ring that you can pry free easily. There is also a roll-pin in the tailpiece, but this does not have to be removed in order to release the tailpiece. Once the tailpiece has been released from the lock, you will see the coiled return spring wound around the end of the lock plug. Take careful note of how this spring is mounted before you pull it out, so that you can replace it properly when you reassemble the lock.

The plastic shell is snapped over a small tab on the side of the lock housing. Remove the shell by carefully prying it over the end of the tab. Be especially careful in very cold weather to avoid cracking the plastic shell. After the plastic shell is free, you can access the facecap of the lock. Be sure to keep the plastic shell in a safe place so that it does not get damaged while you are working on the rest of the lock.

The facecap is reusable if you treat it gently. Carefully work your way around the facecap with a small screwdriver until the facecap comes free of the lock. Be patient; one edge of the cap actually curls under and into a slot in the housing and you will have to work it out a little at a time to reuse the facecap.

After the facecap is out of the way, slide the plug out of the housing. The shutter assembly can be left in place, but be aware that it is not held in place very tightly. It may fall out as you service the lock, so you may want to remove it just to make sure that you don’t lose any of the parts. If you decide to remove the shutter assembly, lift it carefully free of the plug and be ready to catch the shutter door and the spring that keeps the shutter closed.

The shutter assembly consists of three parts: the cover, shutter, and spring. Put these parts aside so that you don’t lose them while servicing the lock. I use a magnetic parts tray to keep track of small parts like these.

With the plug removed, you can now decode the lock either by removing the tumblers or by sight reading. There are 12 tumblers in the lock, mounted in pairs as “split tumblers,” with each pair facing in the opposite direction from the tumbler pair in the next chamber. If you choose to remove the tumblers, make sure that you don’t lose or damage the springs. Also make sure that you keep the tumblers in their correct order so that you can properly decode the lock.

Each of the tumblers is stamped with its corresponding depth. However, as is the case with many high-security lock systems, the numbers stamped on the tumblers are the opposite of the depths as we use them here in North America. The deepest depth in the system is a number four depth and those tumblers will be stamped with a “one.” The shallowest depth is the number one depth, and those tumblers will be stamped with a “four.” On this particular vehicle, there were no number one depths used, so in the photo you will only see tumblers stamped “one,” “two,” and “three,” which correspond to depths four, three, and two.

Inside the lock housing is a separate chamber for each of the four groups of tumblers. If you choose to pick the lock, as soon as the plug turns slightly, two sets of tumblers will drop into the wrong chambers, locking the plug in the slightly turned position. This is the problem in picking most locks that are equipped with split-tumblers. If you choose to use a picking tool, such as the Lishi 2-in-1 pick and decoder, you will have to pick the lock three times. The first time it is picked, it will only turn slightly until half the tumblers drop into the wrong chambers. Next, you will have to pick the lock out of this position to get it to turn completely, so that you can decode the lock. After you have decoded the lock, it will once again hang up in the wrong position as you turn it back. You will have to pick it once more to get it back to the normal position where a key can be inserted.

Trunk Lock

The trunk lock is not quite as easy to remove as the door lock, but it’s still fairly simple. The trunk lid is lined with a fitted trim panel that is held in place with a series of plastic upholstery fasteners around the outside edge. Each fastener is slotted for a Phillips head screwdriver, but when you unscrew the fastener, it will only back out about a quarter of an inch, and then stop. At that point, grab the head of the fastener and pull it free. When you replace the fastener, push in on the head in order to lock it back into place.

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