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Hyundai Santa Fe Owners: Meet the Members

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
Please introduce yourself!

I'm KarenS and I will be your host on the Owner's Clubs board. Please let me know what discussions you would like to see in your club folder. If you have an opportunity, take a look at the other clubs for ideas.

Someone has already emailed these discussion title suggestions:

Women Santa Fe owners
Accessories & Modifications
"I love my Santa Fe, even though I could afford anything else!"
Santa Fe Sense of Humor board-(You need a sense of humor when you drive a Hyundai--some of your friends make the funniest comments and you must be prepared with a come back!)

Also, I have linked the SUV Santa Fe discussion to the Owner's Club. No, it hasn't moved. The beauty of this software is that a discussion can "live" on more than one board. So you will see the same discussion on both SUVs and Owner's Clubs boards.

Hope that makes sense!

Owner's Club

Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor



  • It has now been three weeks since purchase of my Crystal Blue, GLS. Love it more than the day I drove it home. So far not one problem. Bought my first SUV (Mitsubishi Montero) in the 80's, and will never go back to a sedan.
  • kim532kim532 Posts: 19
    Even though I am not an official owner yet I will be soon and looking forward to spending time on these boards.

    I won't be to lengthy since I said some of this stuff on the other chats.

    Ordered my SF GLS V6-2WD on Saturday. I am starting to beleive I got suckered by a fast talking salesman who promised a 2 week delivery time(he is already saying 3 weeks after only 3 days of searching) But I Don't care I will wait as long as I need to because I am so excited about the Santa Fe.

    Look forwarding to talking to you all soon.

  • I am George and have a GLS AWD. I am a forester and realtor and will be using it for my business in south carolina.
  • billtungbilltung Posts: 255
    Can anyone tell me the reason why Subaru Forester can not match Hyundai's new car warranty (10 years & 100,000km), if they claim their engine is very reliable (Probably trouble free for over 10 years!)?

    Are there anyone who own a SUV that are trouble free for more than 10 years?

    Can u tell me how expensive to pay for a SUV's power-train repairs after the warranty period?

    I asked myself before I purchased my SF GLS 4WD.
    I consider my SF is a "smart man" Lexus rather than "Poor man" Lexus. I'm a fairly rich guy overall, (I mean I can afford much more expensive car if I think it is worth! I'm so smart that I wouldn't spent money on the car reputation & advertisment if I have choices! Lucky Hyundai's gave me this choice 3 month ago, otherwise I might buy Escape or Tribute. How about Subaru! Sorry, no way, I think Forester is a 4WD Sedan! I want a mid-size SUV! I already have a 5.9L '99 Durango.)
    I'm from BC, Canada. This morning see another 2 new SF on the road, there are more & more smart SF owners in this "most beautiful city of the world - Vancouver".
    "Sure, we are not alone! More SF will out into the city road!". I think a lot of people will buy this car eventually if other SUV makers not lower their SUV prices or follow Hyundai's warranty! The reason is very simple, lot of smart people on the market that they are gonna to purchase SUV but can only afford or willing to pay Santa Fe's price.
  • Hello All:

    Well, here we are 2½ months after purchasing my Black Obsidian LX-2WD-V6...

    What really significant negative comment could I make about my purchase.... Hmm... Still Thinking... Uh, sorry, all I can think about are good things to say!

    This vehicle is really the be-all end-all for those who are looking for a reliable, attractive, and inexpensive SUV.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, YOU CANNOT GO WRONG PURCHASING A SANTA FE! I only wish my other vehicle was worn out enough to justify trading it for another Santa Fe!

    After 3201 miles, 11 full-tank fill-ups, and 143.766 gallons, I am averaging 22.038 miles per gallon based on 75% in-town and 25% highway driving.

    I have had NO additional problems with my Santa Fe as others have reported in the "Poor Man's Lexus?" topic... I have recently added the Medium Burlwood Wood Grain Kit which looks fantastic!

    I am looking forward to participating in new Santa Fe topics here on this "Santa Fe Owners" area. I would like to propose one topic that I am going to be dealing with very soon...

    Should new Santa Fe owners use Synthetic oil or regular oil when changing their oil for the first time? What are the benefits of both? What are the costs of both? Should you stick to one or the other over the life of the vehicle or could you go back and forth? What oil weights would be best to make the engine last longer?

    Please feel free to make comments on this subject as I am interested in what you have to say!

    E-mail me with any other questions you might have regarding the Santa Fe. I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge. Good Luck!

  • I have had my white LX for about a month. It was demoed by the dealership GM's wife and so I have just over 3,000 miles. An occasional clock flicker is the only "problem" I have had. We are getting ready for the family ski trip to Colorado at the end of Feb. we are excited about driving the Sante Fe to Keystone Mountain.

    everyone who has seen or ridden in the SF has been really impressed. I owned a Sonata in 1989 when they first came out. this Hyundai is such a far cry from that one I can't even believe it was made by the same company. Of course that first Sonata cost me only $11,000 so it was fine for the price. I didn't think I would ever own a Hyundai again, I was wrong.

    I traded in my 13 year old BMW 325is in on the Sante Fe. I went from a sports car to an SUV and I have to say I really like the SUV.

    And now I laugh when it snows! I used to get stuck all the time in the BMW.
  • I buy a car about every 7-10 years, so I am certainly not an impulse buyer. Therefore, before buying the Sante Fe, we
    researched ... and researched and researched. Bottem line: If you want a car-based SUV that looks and feels great, is well equipped, looks compact on the road but mid-sized from the inside, and is moderately priced, the Santa Fe is a very good choice. But, you must be able to live without a hard charging engine (but one that is adequate enough). We came mightly close to buying the Tribute/Escape, but after just a little internet research, the multitude of horror stories scared us off. On the other hand, both the professional and consumer reviews of the Santa Fe were universally strong. We were (and are) somewhat concerned about the "first year model" factor, but Hyundai's bold warrenty got over that hump. Price? We got a heck of a deal - about $19,500 +fees & tax for the GLS V-6 two-wheel drive model, with a few added accessories. (and like I said, it comes well equipped anyway - cruise, CD player, split rear seats, etc). We are getting a lot of compliments, noticing a few turned heads -- and 3,000 miles later, the best part is: we are very happy with our decision! My two-bits....
  • mrtwix,

    Sounds pretty positive to me. Bought our silver Santa Fe LX FWD two weeks ago and couldn't be happier.
    Bought the vehicle to replace the wifes car, Eagle Vision. She loves the SF and I have ordered the Medium Burlwood kit from
    Did you install your's yourself or did the dealer do it? How much of a hassle was it if so?
    Still haven't figured out how to get at the right bank of spark plugs yet. But I will as nobody would build an engine that couldn't be serviced without tearing it apart.
    Would they or have they?
    BTW, I really hate driving her old Vision Tsi now!

  • Karen-Thanks so much for starting up this board. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts.

    I am the lucky owner of two Santa Fes. When the first one arrived home it was tough as all four drivers in our house wanted to drive it. To make a long story short....for someone who didn't even consider a Santa Fe before doing some careful research, and who figured the only good thing about the Santa Fe would be the's a fabulous and fun s.u.v.! It's been so impressive in the snow and ice that after weeks of soul searching a second Santa Fe entered the drive way. Both have been complaints other than I would have liked power seats. Since looking at many higher priced s.u.v.s was part of the search, I almost feel like I got two for the price of one! What a value!

    Time to get off the computer and start driving!!!
  • Hello:

    I installed the dash kit myself. One tip, though; Make sure you have adequate light to install the kit. I installed my kit in my garage at night and, while it turned out wonderfully, the perfectionist in me could see some very small misalignments... Also, make sure the pieces are heated up enough to allow them to bend into their new permanant shapes...

    In addition, I would use a razor blade or pocket knife to peel the backing off of the adhesive as fingernails just don't seem to do it...

    Over all, it looks great! The only bad thing I can say about the kit is there needs to be one more piece made for the space directly below the air vents on the center console (directly above the hazard-fog light switches)...

    This kit was a DEFINITE improvement and makes the LX look even more luxurious!

    Good Luck!

  • lrchomelrchome Posts: 130
    I orderd a dash kit from wood a week ago and have not been told when it will be delivered. How long did it take you to get the dash kit from
  • MrTwix and lrchome

    First thanks for the helpful hints. I'll more than likely be installing the kit tomorrow. I'm in Florida and the temps are great. I'll do it outside and use a heat gun.

    lrchome I ordered my medium burlwood dash kit last Sunday night. Got it this afternoon. Funny but I ordered it from California, it went fro Arizona and was shipped from New York via UPS Ground. That's what? 4 days total from the time I placed the order on Sunday evening?When did you place your order?

    When I ordered the kit it was US $195.00 and free shipping. I checked back the next day and it was now US $200.00 plus Shipping. Lucky move on my part I guess.

    I think they bill seperately as the invoice I got with the kit had the prices blacked out. It arrived in perfect condition by the way. High quality all the way.

    Love the SF, have to plan a way to get it away from the wife every now and then.

  • kph5kph5 Posts: 7
    I purchased my GLS V-6 Crystal Blue Santa Fe in November and have over 4000 miles on it. No problems what so ever....I am looking forward to keeping in touch with other owners who must bond together as we fight off the blank faces when people realize they are staring at a Hyundai.....Happy Posting....
  • I've had my Santa Fe for almost three months now and will be taking it in for its first oil change this coming week. I have 3600+ miles on it. I've been to Tijuana, Mexico twice since I bought the vehicle (I live in LA), and my "Diablito Rojo" is running beautifully. I have nothing but praises for Hyundai's quality.

    As far as the wooddash kit is concerned, I installed the medium burlwood kit from B&I and it looks great, BUT I just found out that different companies have made dash kits for the SF that are, IMO, nicer than the one I have. So I would suggest that new SF owners looking for a dashkit check out in addition to because there are at least three different dashkits for the SF now--including one with trim for the overhead compartment and one that covers the section above the hazard lights button that someone mentioned earlier! I guess that's what I get for being impatient. Anyway, I'm glad that we have this forum and feel free to email with any question you might have. Chau!
  • Thinking seriously about joining your "stead". Curious about the hp. relative to the weight. presuming one goes with the 180hp LX 2.7 ... is the acceleration acceptable ... or when the A/C is engaged does it feel like I set out a boat anchor?
  • lrchomelrchome Posts: 130
    I orderd my dash kit from WoodDash.Com on Jan 26th and have not been informed when it will be shipped. I am surprised you orderd yours 3 days after mine and got it in 4 days.
  • lrchome,

    I know, that seems a bit odd to me as did the quick deliverly time. Noramally I order stuff from CA and use UPS Next day and to them that means anytime that year.
    I was just checking the fit of the parts before installing them and from what I can see everything fits fine.
    Then the wife drove off with the car! Well I guess I have other things to do anyway.

    blkstar. Correct you are! There are lots of other companies that make dash kits but be careful. Not all of them are wood. I've used some of the other makes and although they say they are wood and they look like wood they really are formica. Really expensive formica I'll admit.

    But if you're happy with what you have then so be it. That's all that really matters and everyone should shop around. The net is loaded with goodies and maybe because I ordered from the website I got my order faster? Who knows?

    Now if only the bloody car would come back I'd install the dash kit. Wife loves the thing and I'll admit rightly so.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  • lrchomelrchome Posts: 130
    Richard are you associated with I posted my question to you and 12 min later there was an answer, and you cautioned people to be careful who you order from,because they might not get real wood.
    I dont mean to insult you but that quick an answer with a caution attached seems funny.
    If you are associated with that is ok but you should let us know.
    If you are not associated with I apologize in advance because I am having a small problem with them on delivery time.
  • Hi lrchome,

    No I'm not associated in anyway with them. I'm just maintaining my own web pages and writing up my weekly column. I check all the boards frequently and as a new Santa Fe Owner I'm here a lot right now. Like yourself I'm only trying to learm as much as I can about these automobiles.

    No offense taken as I didn't see any given.

    My suggestion would be to call them on the phone and scream like hell! Ask them why I got mine so fast and you've been waiting so long. I placed my order on Sunday the 28th and got my dash kit Thursday the first of February around 14:00 hours. Seemed really fast to me as well.
    Use my name if you wish, it's Richard Redfern and I'm in Rockledge FL.

    Sometimes when all my medications are working correctly I even give the right answers too!

    Good luck.

  • Hi again lrchome,

    The mention of the not really wood was because I've "been had" more than once by other compaines that sell wood dash kits for other cars I have owned. Ordered a rather expensive dash kit for my 1986 Fiero GT back in the early 1990's and it came and looked like the real wood but when I peeled off the backing paper it said formica all over it!
    Even the stuff that looks like it's coated in epoxy can be something else.
    Nothing at all wrong with formica either, might even be better who knows? The formica dash still looks great in my Fiero and it's almost ten years now. Stuff works great on kitchen counter tops doesn't it?
    Bought that through the Fiero Store I belive or possibly the Fiero owners club in CA. I'd have to look it up.

    Like I said, call wooddash which is really Protrim by any other name and ask them what's up? Or cancel your order if you can get another kit faster that's better as was mentioned earlier. You have choices to make and the freedom to make them.
    I don't endorse anyone or anything. I drive a Fiero and that's an Edsel if there ever was one! LOL!
    Hey remember the elections? I live in Florida so that puts me in my place anyway. :-)

    Good luck,

  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    As of October 2000, I have tried to sell my RAV4 4WD to get a medium SUV. I need to upgrade to a bigger size because I currently have 2 babies. I am usually a fan of Toyota and have driven Toyota for the past decade. I want to buy the Highlander but realized that the car won't be available until Spring 2001.

    One day I drove by the City Hall of San Francisco and suddenly I saw the White SUV with the size that I have been looking for. It was nice but when I saw the sign of Hyundai and it was a question to me. So I went into the website and locate all the mid-size SUV from every manufactures and compare. This is how I compare!
    Look of car, Room Space, Warranty, Price, and most important to me Options. I was looking for the Full-Time 4WD. The only choice was left for me to choose was the Highlander, RX300, Santa Fe. Finally I went to test drive all of them! I found out that the ride in the Santa Fe was better than the other to me. Santa Fe built with a sound proof as well similar to the RX300. The options that I really want for the car are as follow:
    ABS, Traction Control, AWD, Leather Seats, Automatic Climate Control, Combo Stereo System, Something to match the Navigation system in the RX300. I found out that the Santa Fe does not have the Automatic Control, Combo Stereo System, and Something to match Navigation System. But when I found the site I was so excite to buy the Santa FE right away. I have deposit $250 to order the Santa Fe and the manager of Hyundai Dealer told me 1 month but I got it within 2 weeks.

    I went to order about $2500 of accessories and options from With all of these stuffs was well match better than the RX300 simply spend about $28k total for the car. I have not received the accessories/options yet! But It should be really soon. I will post the pictures and other stuffs as well. I have not install my 17 pieces wood dash yet because I am waiting to install the Digital Multimeter System, Automatic Climate Control, and the Best Hyundai Stereo System. I order my 17 pieces of wood dash from I choose the real wood dash exactly similar to the 2001 MDX.

    I was not worry about the quality of the manufacture at all. To keep a car realiable is mostly depend on the driver and road condition. I am so confident that the Santa Fe will match the RX300 or better in the future long run. Simply by looking at the Hot&Cold Gauge the temperature is below the center and I have not even need to speed over 3500 rpm. This car run very low rpm, Amazing! I enjoy driving the manually gear sometime too. I just love to drive this car and have not reach a 1000k mile yet! I will try to drive away every weekend.

    So far I have added the all season floor mats and the trunk carliner ( I love the heated seats and have use it 3 times on raining/cold days already. It really help me from coughing.

    My neighborhood is in the process of selling his old car and want me to help him purchase the Santa Fe as well. A few of my relatives are also in this process too. "This is not a lie". True Story.

    The Santa Fe won't go wrong: Design in USA, German Transmission, Korea Engine, and some parts are Japan. All good countries combine to make this car. "Driving is Believing". This commercial is not a lie!
    Some to the dealer in the Bayarea already have the Highlander which they even said is available in Spring but I get to test drive that was fun. The car ride is almost similar to the RX300 and there is not much different. I am talking about the Top-of-Line Modern.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    I've started a few discussions. Please take a look and jump in if you like.

    I'm still building discussions and open to suggestions!

    Owner's Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • I also ordered my Medium Burlwood Kit from Protrim, Inc. a/k/a

    I ordered mine in early January and received it about 2 to 2½ weeks later. I called them at least once and they told me that the manufacturer was creating the kit as we spoke. They also said it would ship directly from the manufacturer.. It was worth the wait...

    Also, to you out there who might want to purchase a wood dash kit; I paid exactly $175.50 for mine from This was after receiving a 10% discount after E-mailing the sales department inquiring about a less expensive trim package... Just a thought for you... You might also try E-mailing them and tell them a "friend" bought from them and received a 10% discount. Tell them you also want this discount... It can't hurt anything and you might end up saving some cash...

    Btw, I was at the local Hyundai dealership here in Springfield, Missouri earlier this evening and they had 4 GL's (Silver, Black, Merlot, White) on the lot and one LX AWD (Blue).. They told me that after these are gone, they will have to wait for at least two months to get the next shipment... They are selling FAST!

    In addition, they also told me that the 2002 models will have the sunroof option.. The reason the 2001 models do not have this option is because the U.S. Government didn't approve it in time for the 2001 model year so Hyundai went ahead without the option...

    Take Care!

  • There is no reason not to use a synthetic oil if you so choose. New BMW's, Corvettes, etc. have a sticker in engine compartment encouraging use of Mobil 1. It is almost five times as expensive as a good regular oil, so I'm not certain it's worth the added expense. Perhaps for really high reving performance engines one could make a case for using it, but the SF engine (mine is V6) is far from that.

    I also own a 2001 Acura CL 3.2 coupe that has a V6
    with 260 HP. It is a real pocket rocket but the Acura dealer didn't feel use of a synthetic was called for. I've owned five Honda's over the past years and used regular oil in them all with never an engine problem of any kind.

    The real key to long engine life and performance is to use a good premium oil like Castrol and keep the oil clean! A long time Acura/Honda mechanic told me if I changed the oil and filter every 3500 miles religiously, I would never have an internal engine problem. So far, he's been right.

    Use the weight and specification of oil recommended by Hyundai in the owners manual. They are the ones backing the warranty and their engineers are going to recommend what will make the engine run and last the best. Again, whatever you choose to use, keep it clean.


  • I have posted this question a couple times, without a response. I have a vibration in my AWD SF LX in speeds over 60, has anyone had this problem? I took it back to the dealer, but they told me to drive it more and it should fix itself. I have almost 1200 miles on it, still there. Does anyone know how this can be remedied or is it normal?
  • Is it just me---or do others think they have hit upon one of the best values on the market today? Between driving in others suvs and going to several dealers I've probably seen 95% of what's on the market. I love my Santa Fe! IMHO there is nothing as good looking, roomy, comfortable and just plain fun available....especially for the $$$. I've never been this excited about a vehicle before...and wonder if some strange chemical emitted for inside my SF may be getting to my brain. I've had cars that cost twice as much that didn't give me this much joy! Even though several dealers told me, "Just wait a year and see how you feel about the Santa Fe-You'll be back to buy something else." far I keep patting myself on the back for finding and buying. Oh yes, the way it handles in the snow, and the warranty just add to the excitement! If you are just browsing this site, and are looking for a new suv...beware you might just get hooked on the SF! Wheeeee..time to go for a ride! Am I crazy?
  • Hi losthat1

    I was wondering the same thing and thinking about first year vehicles. We take a chance on any first off car or what ever. But then again where else can you get the same value as we have from the Santa Fe? I checked a lot of message boards and did two months of homework before making the purchase.
    I also bought a new motorcycle, first year model (1999) and it runs fine, no problems. But the price has increased by more than US $1,100.00 on it since then and it's only the thrid year and no changes other than colours.
    Could the Santa Fe be the same? I'd guess the answer is going to be yes! If the vehicle holds up as well as it seems to be and people are buying it like they are I bet we have a winner here for certain.
    Look for price increases and that should change everyone's mind about Hyundai quality. I don't see how anyone who buys a Santa Fe this model year could lose. Just my opinion any way.

    If you're crazy you certainly are not alone!

  • No we are not crazy. I have 3 friends who have seen my SF or ridden in it and they are all thinking about buying one! (One is an attorney friend who could buy just about whatever he wanted to buy.) BTW I believe that the SF has been out in Korea longer than in the US so while it is a first year model here, there was some shake out time before it hit US markets.

    A side note: A co-worker was looking to buy and thought about purchasing a Ford Escape. She has a relative that works in the Clacomo Ford plant (on the F150 line but the Escape is built there on another line). All the workers talk and he told her absolutely not to buy an Escape! I found that interesting.

    As for the vibration question by tnichols69. NO! The dealer is wrong! check back through the poor man's lexus discussion and there were a couple of others that had the vibration problem. There is a fix I just cannot remember what it is! I know that one owner in the Poor mans Lexus discussion got it fixed by replacing a part. I am guessing you have a 4wd model...that seemed to be the model that had the problem. Find the messages and print them out for your dealer. I want to say that it was mid December when this vibration issue came up.

    Car and Driver just came out with a mini-ute comparison. The SF was #6 out of 11. They really knocked the styling, especially interior dash styling. They must all prefer boxy truck styling. They didn't really have any bad things to say but the CRV, Forester, RAV4, and Tribute/Escape were rated above the SF. Of course they didn't mention all the recalls and problems the Escape has had in their rankings. I think the styling of the SF is one of the things that really makes it a great choice. It dosen't look like every other SUV out there.
  • toeouch - 08:46am Jan 1, 2001 PST (#682 of 988)

    Vibration resolved

    In several previous posts I have mentioned the vibration at around 60-65 mph phenomenon in more than one SF that I have driven (and the one I own). The replacement of the rear differential HAS made a significant difference, whereas balancing and driveshaft replacement did not. I am still convinced that the SF is somewhat more sensitive to road conditions than other similar vehicles.

    I recently drove a Tribute, whose steering wheel seemed less prone to road generated vibration. My other car is an Acura MDX and is completely rock solid, relatively unaffected by road crowns, grooves, etc.

    However, even after all I have been through trying to resolve this issue, I am still convinced that the SF has the most desireable combination of features within its price range. The Tribute is too cheaply made, loud, and not as comfortable. The RAV4/CRV both suffer from an idiotic design, placing the spare tire on the rear hatch, which pulls to the side rather than straight up. Both are relatively expensive for smallish, 4 cyl. plain jane vehicles. The RAV4 can't even be obtained with ABS yet! The CRV is in its last year prior to a makeover. Thus, my advice to would-be buyers is to stick with the Santa Fe, but just to carefully test drive the actual vehicle you are considering. If it does vibrate, the rear differential fix takes about one week, so that's not the end of the world. Good luck!
  • Thank you for replying to me, I appreciated the information. I will get back with my dealer instead of waiting.
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