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Hyundai Santa Fe Maintenance and Repair (2006 and earlier)



  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    My Skylark power lock made a springy kind of noise when used, and my Elantra makes a much quieter noise, but still there. It's just the mechanism, but quiet.
  • I have had my 2002 Santa Fe LX for only 60 days and the check engine light came on a few days ago. When I called the service center they told me it would be at least a week till they could look at it and that driving it with the light on wouldn't hurt it. Now 5 days later the car will not shift out of first gear when going up any hill when in automatice mode. Has anyone else had this type of problem?
  • Update to #333. My shifting problems apparently were caused from a boken catalytic converter! I can't imagine how this could be broke on a 60 day old car! So far I am not too impressed with the service record of the Santa Fe! I have already had it in the body shop to have a part of the rocker panel repainted because it was peeling. It started peeling after I had the car 1 week!
  • ....put a post on the NHTSA consumer complaints board. We have 7K miles on ours and only 1 problem with a sensor. That was at 500 miles. Its been fine since. Hopefully this will be the only issues you have to deal with.
  • Please explain how the catalytic converter caused transmission trouble.
  • jimbeaumi....the mechanic said that the shifting problems were caused by the cars computer trying to compensate for the broken catalytic converter. The mechanic also said that it might have caused other problems on the car, I guess I will find out when the part comes in.
  • your mechanic didn't say "torque converter?" That would make a little more sense, because that is actually connected to the tranny.
  • Yes I'm sure the mechanic said the catalytic converter, because I asked him twice because I couldn't believe that :
    1. it had broke after 60 days and
    2. it was causing shifting problems!
    He seemed just as suprised as me that it needed replaced!
  • Still puzzling, but as long as the maladies are gone then that is all that matters. :)
  • Well I still don't have my car back. I called the garage yesterday at 4:30 and they said the part came in and they were just about to starting working on it. I called again today at 3:15 to see if it is done, and they said that they just pulled it in the garage and are about to start!!! They certainly don't seem in a hurry to get my car back. It will be a week in the garage tomorrow and I still have the rental car they gave me. Anyone else have trouble with hyundai garages doing the work once they have the car?
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Something smells a little fishy here. Was the cat physically damaged? If so, between that and the problems with your rocker panel I would speculate that you may have gotten a car that was damaged and then repaired. How many miles were on it when you bought it? Since both the catalytic converter and rocker panels are on the underside of the vehicle it makes me wonder whether someone did a little "off-roading" on a test drive. Sickening, but stuff like that happens - and the dealership can still legally sell it as new! When you get it back, I'd take it to a reputable body shop and ask them if it looks like it has been repainted or repaired - they can tell.

    Oh, and what do you mean by the rocker panels? The rockers on the Santa Fe are covered by that plastic cladding, which I don't think is painted at all.

  • Jason...I bought the car when it was still in Korea. It is very hard to find LX models in my area, so I had to put the down payment down before it was on the lot. I actually did see the car when it firs came on the lot, it was still covered with the plastic, I think the miles were somewhere around 5. The rocker panel I'm referring to is the gray part of the car, right at the base of the drivers door. Actually, I have seen 3 other Santa Fe's in parking lots around here, that have had a problem with peeling in this area!

    However, I am a bit leery that the garage keeps changing the story on the progress of my car. Makes me wonder if there is something else wrong with it that they are not telling me about. Also, I was under the impression that the Catalytic Conerter was part of the exhaust system, and is not that hard to replace. I thought they could finish a job like that in about 30 minutes!....but when I talked to them today at 3:15 they said they didn't think they would finish it today....they are open till 6:00.

  • I am not sure where the catalytic converter is on the SF, but on the Elantra it is up near the front of the engine, where it can heat up more quickly. That would make it much more than a 30 minute job.
  • I've had my 2002 Sante Fe for all of 11 months (6100 miles) and have encountered the following problems and have received no assistance from the main Hyundai Headquarters or the local dealers.

    1) Excessive acceleration (fast idling) on startup - car revs to 1700 RPM for approximately 90-120 seconds.
    2) Premature brake wear - As a result of the above, the car needed new front brakes after only 6000 miles.
    3) Premature paint peeling on 2 spots on the front hood.
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Yes, the catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system. It also has no moving parts - it looks a lot like a muffler, filled with some different metals that react with and convert exhaust gases from bad gases (C0, NOx) into harmless gases (Nitrogen, Oxygen).

    Here - this is a good basic explanation.

    My point is that the only way cats really go bad is from

    1. Age - the catalyst is slowly used up. This generally takes well over 100k miles to happen.

    2. Physical damage - you ran over a rock big enough to crack the sucker.

    I'd ask them about exactly what's wrong with the cat - better yet, have your brother/uncle/cousin/father-in-law who knows cars pretty well call them - someone who will be able to tell if they're blowing smoke. I would imagine it would take some damage to the O2 sensor (generally mounted just upstream of the cat) to cause the check engine light, etc. you've been seeing, so ask them if the oxygen sensor is being replaced as well.


  • Well I finally got my car back today. It seems that they actually repalced a lot of parts that they didn't tell me about. Here's what they did:
    1. Manifold Catalytic
    2. Gasket Exhaust MA
    3. Sensor Assy-Oxygen
    4. Gasket exhaust PI (X2)
    5. Pipe-Exhaust FR
    6. Gasket-Exhaust PI
    I talked to the mechanic to find out what kind of damage that the Cat. actually had. He described it as being burned out. When I asked him what could burn out a Cat. he said he didn't know, but he assumed it was probably defective from the day it came off the ship. I just hope it was something defective with the Cat., and that the engine didn't somehow make it burn out. I am also hoping that now that I have the new Cat. I might get better gas mileage. I have been getting approx. 16/gal so far.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Minor side point:

    1. Age - the catalyst is slowly used up.

    Technically, a catalyst isn't used up as it does not change in the chemical reaction. It becomes depleted only in the sense that "erosion" carries it away. Your conclusion is correct though!

    SUVs; Aftermarket & Accessories
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Erosion or contamination describes it better than "used up". Of course on older cars you also have the rust factor. My 15 yr old Alfa is due for a new cat as well - a bad distributor caused some severe backfiring, enough that I found several walnut sized chunks of substrate (the honeycomb looking stuff that houses the catalyst) on the garage floor behind the muffler. Don't call the EPA on me - I haven't replaced it yet, because the reduced backpressure makes it sound really cool ;-) Emissions inspection due in a couple of months, tho.

    Shawn- Good to hear they got it fixed, and that they replaced the oxygen sensor. Things actually make a little more sense now. If your cat was faulty from the get-go, the increased backpressure and excess heat could easily nuke the O2 sensor, which in turn would cause the check engine light / poor running you encountered. MPGs should improve with time - ours has improved to about 22 in mostly city driving. We have 24k on the clock.

    Good luck,
  • Is there anyone out there experiencing a strange grinding noise when the air conditioner is turned on. Seems this only happens at first start up of the day, and only for a second .At the present there are no Tec. Bullettins or Service letters on this problem. Thanks,,
  • Experienced exactly what you're talking about. After sitting for long period of time. First time turning on the A/C, I get a large grinding clunk sound. A/C works fine so I never took it in. The Hyundai service dept here is a joke. And being that it only did it after sitting awhile (a day or more), they'd never figure it out. One other odd thing I've noticed, when the compressor kicks on the headlights and driving lights dim. And on one occasion had total electrical shutdown for one split second (radio, lights). And lately it's been hard to start in the mornings like the battery's going dead. It's not a daily driver and it's a 2001 with 21K miles. If you've read my older posts, you'll know that this vehicle has spent at least 2 months total in the shop since I bought it Feb 2001. I'm not dissing the car. I like it a lot, but you can bet I will be trading it in before my warranty's up... :)
  • I recently purchased a 2002 GLS. I have 2000 miles on it. My Santa Fe has a noise that becomes very obvious at 35-40 MPH. I can best describe it as a TEA KETTLE WHISTLE sound. It is not over-powering but is very annoying. The noise reappears at speeds over 65MPH. The dealer has said it is not wind noise, but rather comes from the drive train and is normal. I drove another new santa fe at the dealership and sure enough the noise is there at 35-40 MPH. However it is not as loud as mine. I cannot believe that this is normal. Any input from anyone with a similar problem is appreciated.
  • I have a early 2002 and do not have this noise as you are talking about. I know you said it is not wind noise but just to make sure if you have the crossbars for the roof rack, make sure they are mounted in the right direction and reposition them futher back and see if this helps. It clearly shows what direction on the bottom of the bars as to what direction they should be facing.

    Mine is a GLS FWD so there may be a difference in the transmission noises, not sure but this is all I can think of for now. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks Blue but it is not the roof racks already checked that out.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond
  • I posted my words of advice about two months ago regarding this problem. At 2,000 miles and at the time that the AC was needed i got a grinding clicking noise from the compresssor. An earlier post from a retired NYPD guy alerted me to this. What i did find out from MY Hyundai service dept was that there is a "pattern" of defective compressors in the LX models. Why LX? no idea. BUT it necessated changing out the AC compresor and another serpentine belt. After the problems encountered. Definitely go after that suggestion first.
  • harry31harry31 Posts: 128
    emen7: I have an early 2002 GLS FWD and do NOT have a 'tea kettle whistle' noise. Or anything like a 'tea kettle whistle'.
    You might try folding the outside rear view mirrors in and see if that makes a difference at speed. I remember reading a thread (who can remember where) about a failed/missing gasket on an outside mirror, causing a whistling noise, on a Santa Fe.
  • Thanks Harry bu it's not the mirrors.

    Let me try to explain again.

    I described this noise as a tea kettle whistle. It might also be described as more of a whining noise. I used the term tea kettle because it is not a smooth clean sound, more a little garbled as a tea kettle sound.

    The VERY ANNOYING NOISE becomes apparent at speeds of 35 to 40 MPH. When I accelerate to 40 and they let off the gas and slow to 35 it is the loudest and most obvious. I did drive another new 2002 GLS and noticed the same noise at the same speed. It was however very faint, mine is louder.
    If I have the radio on or the fan set at the number 3 speed the noise cannot be heard. Maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing but to me it is without a doubt a VERY ANNOYING NOISE.
  • EMEN7,

    I have been thinking of your problem with more thought and I have serveral ideas. Seems maybe a door gasket air leak, Check and make sure the A/C fresh air vent is closing all the way and not making a whistle from the outside air. Also does it make the noise if the air is off completely with the a/c fresh air vent closed with no air comming through your vents? Also check and make sure that the foam rubber gaskets that meet the door and dash close tighly when the door is closed. I had a problem with passanger side. The foam gasket would whistle with the air on and the door vent closed causing back pressure and the air would whistle around the foam gasket. If not If I think of anything else I will let you know.

  • Blue

    thanks for you input but the gaskets are not the problem.

    I am amazed that I could drive another new GLS FWD and hear the same sound. I initially bought into the suggestion from the dealer that the sound is normal coming from some place in the drive train. I live in Florida and the dealer is a very large one. The problem is that not a single person has responded saying they have a similar noise. This leads me to believe that the sound is not normal. If you had it you would know it unless you never drive without the radio on. When I test drove the car, it was 90 degrees outside so the AC was on full blast making it impossible to hear the noise. I was hoping and expecting to find several people that have the same problem. I have searched the internet but as yet have had no luck. I intend to make this an issue with the dealer but have this bad feeling that when everything is said and done I will still be stuck with this VERY ANNOYING NOISE.
  • My co-worker bought a 2001 GLS around the same time I purchased a 2001 LX model. We compare notes all the time. I had problems with hesitation prior to the recall notice and Hyundai fixed it. My co-worker had his back in the shop 3 times for a noise problem as you described. They found that the exhaust system was the cause and replaced the entire system. Hence, no more noise.
  • Thanks rbnator

    if your co worker had the noise fixed as I defined in Msg. #357. I would love to get a little more info. I do not know if the name of the dealer can be posted, but maybe the town & state location. I would love to speak to the dealer about the repair. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My dealer has a tendency to try to dismiss this problem. I really love the car

    By the way today I received in the mail, a letter from Huyndai describing the error in the HP rating that was published at 181 when in fact it is only 173. Hyundai offers an apology and to back it up an offer to increase one of the following.
    Extend roadside assistance to 10 yrs
    Extend 5yr 60,000 to 6yr 72,000 mi.
    Or extend powertrain from 10yr 100,000 to 12yr 120,000.

    I am taking the extention of 5yr/60,000 mi. to 12/yr. 72,000mi

    WHAT A WARRANTY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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