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Hyundai Santa Fe Audio and Rear Seat Entertainment problems

mazymazy Posts: 4
Hello and thanks for the help! I have two huge problems with my 2007 limited touring and ultimate santa fe built 10/06. I have the infinity 605 watt system but do not have xm radio.
Problem 1: When i listen to the radio(or cd player) at low volume levels (anything under 15) i hear a high pitched tone that is almost as loud as the radio itself. This tone is not present when i use the radio with the car off. So i am annoyed and do not use my radio.

Problem 2: When i put a dvd in the rear entertainment system it starts to play the previews just fine. Then about half way into the preview it will flip over to the radio which is much louder and that is really horrible. I have to push the rse button to get it to go back to dvd.

Both of these problems have been acknowledged by the service manager after 2 weeks of my car being at the dealer. In fact i sat in another santa fe that was right next to mine that had the same annoying tone and did the same thing with the dvd. I have put in a call to hyundai because they are making their service department look bad by putting their cars out this way. Since there were at least 2 santa fe's on the lot built in different years that had the same problem i would imagine that other people have noticed this. If you have noticed this please reply with what you have found out because i am tired of dealing with it and want both issues fixed.


  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    On the high pitch noise:

    What you have is the classic "Alternator Whining" problem. This is mostly audible in radio with Power Amplifier option: it has the tendency to boost the noise. When the engine is running, there is a lot of electrical noises being made. The noise could couple to the Audio system and amplify the noise. You probably hear it more during acceleration. The lack of proper Grounding, shield and Noise suppression is the cause of this type of problem. Sometime just some loose Ground cable could make it noticable.

  • mazymazy Posts: 4
    Do you have any recommendations for getting this fixed?
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    I do not think you can personally fix this problem. Only Hyundai dealer could do it. They probably have similar complaint on similar vehicle and Hyundai engineers may know how to fix it if they feel this is serious problem for customer satisfaction. Hyundai is well known to care about customer complaints.

    Generically for problem like this, they have to suppress the noise source so that it does not get coupled to the Audio System. Band-aid could be adding Ground trap and/or filter to radio or Amplifier.

    And BTW, sometimes your add-on electronics could cause Electrical Interference too. Such things are noisy GPS module, Inverters (they are all noisy), PC. But normally they are jamming radios, not your CD. If the problem is a function of vehicle ignition on or off, then it is more likely the vehicle itself is at fault

  • wevkwevk Posts: 178
    Our 2007 Santa Fe has the same issue. Dealer said "they all do it"
    How do you contact Hyundai for a better answer?

  • wevkwevk Posts: 178
    I posted this issue in "" and got the following response from a Hyundai Tech:

    I've not seen any complaints of this and have not noticed it, so I don't
    know whether it's outside my hearing range.

    If this is indeed a situation where they indeed all do it, it would
    probably require an engineering solution on Hyundai's part. The
    discussion in the Edmunds forum seems to be on point. I'd expect the
    radio and antenna shielding would be well-grounded, so any engineering fix
    would most likely involve some sort of in-line filter for the antenna

    Start with the dealer. Make them aware of the issue and have them check
    the vehicle. If they have difficulty repairing, they're likely to call
    technical assistance. If they believe it to be normal they're likely to
    take no further action. You'll want the dealer to call technical
    assistance in either case. If technical assistance tells them it's
    normal, there's nothing more the dealer will be able to do. Technical
    assistance may also propose a solution or report that one is coming but
    not ready yet.

    If the above doesn't solve the problem, make a complaint to Hyundai
    consumer assistance. While making the complaint still won't guarantee a
    fix, it'll at least make sure Hyundai is aware of the problem. The more
    people that call with the problem, the more likely it is that the problem
    will be addressed.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Is the sound constant, or does it change pitch with engine RPM?

    If the pitch goes higher with engine RPM, it's most likely the alternator.
  • mazymazy Posts: 4
    The sound is the same no matter the rpm. Hyundai is not doing anything to fix the dvd or high pitched sound after a month of my complaining. If you have this problem contact jason at hyundai consumer affairs. He probably won't do anything but it would be nice to have some help on this issue.
  • wevkwevk Posts: 178
    Got a contact # for Jason?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • I have been complaining to Hyundai corporate about this issue ever since I got the car in february 2007. (over a year) I have been told that they are aware of it, but don't know what is causing it. They have no ETA for a solution.

    Also, everyone should know that the stereo is on a different warranty than the 5 year bumper to bumper. I was told that it's 3 year, 30k miles. That's an issue for me because I've already driven over 20k miles in the year that I've owned the car.

    I'm still contemplating what to do about this, but am seriously considering taking action under my state's Lemon laws as I am nearing the end of my warranty.

    This issue only occurs in the Santa Fe Limited models with the upgraded audio system, which really pisses me off because a base model car sounds better than mine.
  • wevkwevk Posts: 178
    "I have been complaining to Hyundai corporate about this issue ever since I got the car in february 2007. (over a year) I have been told that they are aware of it, but don't know what is causing it. They have no ETA for a solution."

    I would also like to complain to corporate, do you have a contact there whom I could pester?
  • Hyundai Consumer Affairs
    10550 Talbert Ave
    Fountain Valley, CA 92708-6031

    My letter sent to the above address actually got Hyundai to call me back. (Although it was only to tell me that they were working on it...)
  • mazymazy Posts: 4
    Last tuesday i had one of the hyundai regional service managers here in california sit in my car (after months of complaining to my dealership and Hyundai consumer affairs) and when i showed him the high pitched noise in the radio he said he did not hear it. It was unbelievable since i have had a lot of people in my car and everyone can hear it. He did admit that the dvd player should not cut over to the radio on previews but they do not have a fix for that. I will post again if anything gets done to fix either of these two issues.
  • giann763giann763 Posts: 1
    I just purchased a new 2008 Limited Sante Fe with the Infinity sound system in it and I have also been experiencing the same high pitched noise in the radio when the engine is on. It's constant and terrible to listen too! It makes me not want to even turn the radio on!
    I brought the car in for servicing as soon as I noticed the problem and the dealership told me that all the other limited edition cars are doing the same thing, so basically there is nothing they can do about it.
    I purchased the car in March this year and still no one has been able to help me. If I had listened to the radio during the test drive I would have reconsidered my option to buy this car. Have you had any solution or update? Please if anyone else has had this problem, could you help direct me to what to do next?
  • I know this probably won't help, but I just bought a 2008 Santa Fe Limited and it too has the same problem. Based on my experience with electronics design at my day job, the noise is in the 14-15kHz range. I can hear it only when the volume knob is in the low settings, and it gets drowned out when I turn the music up.

    I immediately noticed it during the test drive, but before reading this thread. I asked my wife if she heard the noise. When she asked, "What noise?", I knew it wasn't going to be a show-stopper and we bought the car anyways for all the other great features.

    My guess is the noise is caused by one of the electronics boxes in the car, and I can't pinpoint if it's generated by the Infinity sound system, or if it just gets picked up by the sound system.
  • This is a known problem with the Infinity sound system in Santa Fe's, and has been discussed quite a lot on this forum. "They all do it" is dealerspeak for "I can't be bothered". There is a cure, and I believe there may even be a TSB on the problem. IIRC, it's a faulty ground on the separate amplifier. Keep on your dealer's service personnel until you get an answer. If necessary, call Hyundai's customer service, and don't let them bulls**t you either.
  • Thank you for your insight that it may be a faulty ground on the amplifier. I went through the TSBs at hmaservice, but did not see anything other than a generic description for "Alternator noise", and I'm sure this is not the case. I'll see if I can find any clues in the FSB section.
  • Hello, I know this is going to make some of you mad but my new Santa Fe Infinity radio sounds fine at low volume. I read this before buying last week and hoped for the best figuring my wife listens to all AM anyway. After fiddling with it though, I can't find a complaint other than the lack of a AUX port.

    Build date was 12/17/07. I just hope this noise doesn't pop up later.
  • Speaking only for myself, I'm certainly not mad. In fact, your post proves that, contrary to what some dealers say, they're not "all like that." Glad to hear yours works properly. Rock on.
  • I still don't have a solution to the high-pitced noise, but I only notice it when audio is playing, regardless of source (XM, FM radio, CD/RSE). It is much less audible when loading the 6-disc changer or switching between sources. This would lead me to believe that it is a noise problem within the amplifier.

    On the other hand, I found out how to use the RSE's AUX jack (at the 2nd row console) to connect my iPod. Use a standard 3.5mm A/V phone plug to RCA cable (I used one from my Samsung camcorder) with these connections:
    1. Plug 3.5 mm phone plug into iPod.
    2. Plug the red RCA plug into the RSE's yellow RCA jack.
    3. Plug the yellow RCA plug into the RSE’s white RCA jack.
    4. Plug the white RCA plug into the RSE's red RCA jack.
    5. Set the RSE input to AUX.
    Now you can use the RSE for both audio and video playback from most portable A/V devices.
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