2009 Hyundai Sonata – “hard downshifting”

Dear Doctor: I own a 2009 Hyundai Sonata and in December I started having problems with “hard downshifting,” but shortly thereafter the problem stopped. Then in February it started again and has gotten progressively worse. When I looked online I found that this appears to be a common problem with the 2009 Sonata. The dealer’s service advisor told me that driving in the snow must have altered my driving pattern and the adaptive learning had to be reset. She said that this was a common problem — and since I had 23,700 miles on the car it was not covered under warranty and I would have to pay $107 for the service. She convinced me to also have the entire transmission serviced, although I really had another 6,000-plus miles to go. Why would Hyundai make a car with this feature if driving in the snow can set it off?  Arlene

Dear Arlene: Let’s first discuss that a car with less than 24,000 miles needs reprogramming of the computer. I would go back and strongly protest this reprogramming, or erasing the memory. Why not just disconnect the battery for 1 hour? Personally, I am very disappointed to see that you had to pay for the reprogramming. As for the transmission fluid change, that is part of regular maintenance. The transmission fluid must be the correct factory fluid. — Junior Damato, Motor Matters

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