In Bahrain a couple of weeks ago, both Hulkenberg and his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo did not finish the race with MGU-K problems - meaning Renault would investigate the matter thoroughly ahead of the China Grand Prix.
All Renault-powered engines would take a new spec of MGU-K unit ahead of this weekend's race in Shanghai, in an attempt to solve the reliability woes from the French manufacturer.
But just 16 laps into the Chinese GP, Hulkenberg reported a drop in his car's engine power and was subsequently forced into early retirement.
"It's clearly a very disappointing race for us today, it was a difficult start to the race, I lost a position and it was tough following cars ahead," Hulkenberg said. "We pitted and came out in some traffic, but then I felt a loss of power.
"We tried our best to fix it out there as it looked like a software issue, but it wasn't possible and we had to park up. We're looking into the issue, but it looks like an MGU-K related problem.
"We have things to work on ahead of the next race, but we will look at everything in detail and come back stronger."
Ricciardo had a strong race for Renault, though, finishing 'Best of the Rest' in seventh-place for the French-works team.