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Hyundai Santa Fe Maintenance and Repair (2006 and earlier)



  • ltimmerltimmer Posts: 2
    We have the same model, about 73k miles on it now. Our vibration started at around 65 mph and did seem to go away around 75-80. We just had the front ball joints replaced because you could shake the tired back and forth (they say you shouldnt be able to do this at all, what do I know). But I saw it and they were lying. The left side was bad enough that the inside of the tire was worn to the wire.
    They realigned the front too and well, it's only been one day but the shaking in the steering wheel is gone.

    ps - You can save a little over a hundred bucks by buying two tires are Costco
  • wperlawperla Posts: 3
    New 2005 Santa Fe -- Accelerates slowly (acceptable) and then takes off very quickly. Had it to dealer after only 3 days and they say there are no service bullitins about this condition and that it is "normal" for the 3.5L throttle by wire engine. They did have a tech drive it and he verified the condition as common on this engine and that we would just get used to this condition over time. Anyone else experienced this problem? It does not seem dangerous but is annoying and once you know this sudden acceleration is there, you do compensate; but it just does not seem right. Any ideas??

  • bb32152bb32152 Posts: 9
    I am new also. I just started having battery problems I have a 02 LX Santa Fe 2.7 liter with 93K miles. Have just started having the battery drain down to nothing when the key is on ACC. It seems to charge back up when I drive and then I have no problem. It has drained down 2x in the last week. I am taking it in to the dealer and will post the outcome.
  • anuckanuck Posts: 5
    Thanks. It's nice to know I wasn't imagining this happening or causing it to happen because of something I was doing. It sounds like you've had everything replaced - what a hassle. My car doesn't do the jerk very often, but it sure startles me. It only happens at highway speeds, I've never had it happen after backing up like some of the other posts. Thanks again for the info.
  • kodos7kodos7 Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 LX with the 3.5 L. I think this is just an idiosyncrasy of the Santa Fe. The gas pedal is fairly soft, rather than firm, so it's easy to press harder than you intend.

    Although I am still getting used to it (especially since my previous car was a 1.9 L 4-cyl), I have found that the best way to accelerate is to depress the pedal just a little bit, then freeze. The Santa Fe will continue to accelerate without you needing to press the gas further and further down (until you reach a steady speed of course).

    I think this has to do with the electronic throttle trying to make less work for the driver. One thing is for sure - a slight steady pressure will give you far better acceleration and a much smoother take-off than pressing the gas hard from a standstill.
  • pmriggspmriggs Posts: 3
    I have an '03 Santa Fe with the same thing that occasionally happens. It acts like I tipped it to gear down and then back up really quick.
  • pmriggspmriggs Posts: 3
    I've noticed that my '03 SF just takes a while for the auto transmission to decide to engage. It doesn't race like the mechanics are having trouble or anything. It just waits to perform the task like it's thinking about it for a moment. I think the controller processor chips is slow or the software program that it runs isn't written very well.
  • pmriggspmriggs Posts: 3
    I've had a High pitched wind whine on my '03 Santa Fe. It turned out to be the roof rack bars that go from one side to the other. I just store them in my trunk when not in use now.
  • codata99codata99 Posts: 123
    Hyundai updated the TCM program.
    TSB No. 04-40-007
    For '01-04 2.7L Santa Fe(produced through Nov. 24, 2003) w/ automatic transmission
  • Passenger in back had to point out the noise to me, I am an old artillery man so those sounds are way below my threashold of hearing. I live 15 miles down a gravel road and there is a nasty little rock trap just infront of the outboard disk brake assemby in the rear. It has happend twice now as I now have two polished rings around the hub . Look through the spokes of the wheel to the top of the disk brake pad to see if any small rocks are, or have been, there. Hope this is clear.
  • Hi everyone, I'm a Newbie with a problem :)

    Up until the last month or so I have LOVED my Santa Fe. But recently the vehicle (90,000kms) started acting up, sluggish when I hit 40kms and some stalling. Then the engine light came on and I took it to my mechanic (not the dealership). The diagnostic thingy said it was the cam sensor and he replaced it. A week later I'm getting the same problems with the added bonus of bucking violently and now it can be sluggish at any speed and the stalling is way more frequent. Now my mechanic thinks it's the cam that is screwed and that I should replace it. From what I understand it's a lot of money.

    Is anyone else having these kinds of problems?

    Oh yeah and I don't have the 100,000 warranty, mine came with only 60,000 kms.

    My interim solution at this point is to put the key in Auxilary position, go into the fuse thing and remove the EC fuse. This resets my check engine light and the vehicle seems to respond better for a time then it starts acting up again.

    Help!!! I love my Santa Fe and my husband wants me to get rid of it ASAP!!!!
  • codata99codata99 Posts: 123
    No, it's not the "cam" refers to the protruding metal part of camshaft and there's more than one cam on a camshaft.
    What you need to do first is... TO STOP DRIVING THE CAR. Have it towed to a nearby Hyundai dealer.
    The most likely cause is failing timing belt tensioner. Also you might want to get your money back from your mechanic. It is very obvious to me that he is not competent enough to service your SF and even sounds somewhat shady... :(
  • wperlawperla Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info! But I did call Hyundai America and reported the problem. And you are correct, you do learn how to compensate, but what about winter driving -- sure hope that traction control works cause that annoying jump could be a problem. Thanks again.

  • ltd1837ltd1837 Posts: 2
    :confuse: I'm not sure what the 2.4 thing is...but I have a 2004 6 cyl 4WD that I bought about 1 month drives and runs great...I love the car...I have noticed tho that when I stop or am sitting in traffic the car jumps...the first time I thought someone had hit me in the rear service guy at the dearlership tells me there is nothing wrong with it...I KNOW that I'm not crazy :confuse:
  • ltd1837ltd1837 Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 6 cyl 4WD that I bought about 1 month drives and runs great...I love the car...I have noticed tho that when I stop or am sitting in traffic the car jumps...the first time I thought someone had hit me in the rear service guy at the dearlership tells me there is nothing wrong with it...I KNOW that I'm not crazy ... any suggestions??????
  • Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question.

    I'm going to tell my husband what you said and take it to another mechanic.

    One other thing, I stopped turning on the air conditioner (when the truck would get sluggish and feel like it was going to stall the air would go really low) last night and didn't have any problems on the way home. Same thing this morning. I'm going out at lunch and see how it runs.

    Does that make any sense to you?
  • I have a 2004 2.4 L 5speed Santa Fe. It is slightly overweight and underpowered but the gas mileage can not be faulted even at 85 to 90 mph that the left lane tends to run on I 10 in Southern AZ. Does anyone know where I might find and print out the hp/torque curve for this engine? Running on the level 2000 rpm will maintain headway but with any sort of incline 3500 seems to be needed to gain any speed. The graph would be a help in driving either for power or economy, whatever is called for.
  • avtcmavtcm Posts: 1
    :confuse: I'm a newbie that can't figure out how to change a Fog Light bulb in my 2004 Sante fe. I can't see paying the dealer the price of labor to change a .25 bulb but can't figure out how to access the burnt out bulb.

    If anyone can help with a hint as to how to get to the bulb, I'd appreciate it.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    So here we are 15 days later and our Santa Fe is still at the Hyundai dealer. They had to order all new valve train parts. They are rebuilding the heads. Why they didn't just put new ones on I have now idea. I'll keep you updated.
  • falmarfalmar Posts: 7
    I just bought a 2004 with 10,000 miles on it. This past week as I was pulling out of space I noticed a hesitation or slight "bucking" feel. It has happened at least 3 times in the week that I have owned it. Any ideas or suggestions?
  • richsaprichsap Posts: 93
    If you've got a car that occasionally stalls or bucks, don't overlook the electrical and fuel system. Usually the engine and associated electronic controls (sensors, computer, etc.) either work or don't, so your engine either runs or doesn't. With a bad fuel delilvery system (pump, filter) you can get erratic performance issues that come and go. Same with the electrical system... a battery that is intermittedly shorting out (more common on hot days and cheap batteries) or a loose battery or ground cable can cause these symptoms as well. FYI
  • jlanctonjlancton Posts: 1
    I have 2003 Santa Fe with 24K miles. 3.5 V6. Recently, the rear brakes have begun making a piercing squeal/whistle after 15 to 20 minutes of driving. The dealer told me this is something that happens due to brake dust buildup. I pulled both rear wheels, cleaned all the components. Even so, when putting the pads back into the clips, they are really tight. The dealer said that when the brakes get hot, they expand, and come into contact with the rotors. He also said this is not a covered item, but a chargeable maintenance item. Problem is, cleaning doesn't seem to do anything. I just can't believe something like this normal, yet a quick look at this forum shows many others having a similar problem. What if anything can I do? The pads aren't even 50% worn. I think the pads are too tight in the clips, but then, if they were loose, they'd rattle. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. This noise is horrible.


  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    Could be the Throttle Postion Sensor. Have the dealer check that out. My wife's Elantra had the same symptoms, and this was the culprit.
  • teacher447teacher447 Posts: 21
    I have the same year and model Hyundai. My mileage is 18-24 Highway. In traffic I get 15-18 MPH. I believe the use of A/C has a lot to do with my gas mileage. My last car, a V-6 Camry lowered mileage about 2 MPH when I used the A/C. The Santa fe lowers the mileage 4-5 MPH. Don't worry about the gas mileage so much. It's the cheapest thing about owning the car. Deprecation, Ins. and maintenance are the real expenses.
  • jcradiojcradio Posts: 2
    Greetings All,

    I recently bought a 2005 Santa Fe in April of this year. I got the 3.5 V6 engine. I have experienced delayed acceleration since day one. I brought it back to the dealer 3 times already and they even acknowledge the problem but say there is no fix for it and is a characteristic of the car. Hyundai is absoulutley no help. In fact last time I spoke to Hyundai USA they gave me the phone number to the Better Business Bureau Auto Line 800-955-1838 Needless to say that ticked me off. I called about a problem and their answer was call the BBB. I filed a complaint and had a arrbritration and lost. Although the problem exist they consider it a characteristic of the car and not a defect.
    Has anyone had the same problem and if so are there ay fixes I am not aware of? I love the car but the delayed acceleration stinks big time.

  • sunny7sunny7 Posts: 2
    I just had a very bad experience with both Hyundai roadside assistance and XXX Hyundai dealer (name omitted because I'm not sure if it's allowed here).
    I live in Wisconsin and am doing some business in NY. I parked my 2004 Santa Fe in Newark airport and after I got back 5 days later, the battery is completely dead. Called roadside assistance and after waited 2 hours someone came with a battery to jumpstart but the car is completely dead. This is now 3:00 in the morning and I have to work in the morning so I took a taxi to go home (in Long Island). Before I left I called roadside assistance again and they instructed me to leave my key under the driver side seat and paid parking ticket on dash board, I was told that the tow truck driver will be able to tow it without my presence. (first lie!)
    The second morning I called roadside assistance agian just to check how the towing is going and surprisingly they told me that I have to get back there or the airport security won't release my car to the tow truck. I got there around 12:00 and arranged to meet the tow truck at 12:30 but the it doesn't come until 3:00! Not only that, the driver came in NOT in a tow truck but a small pickup. He told me the big truck is not ready but should be there in about 1 hour (second lie!). Also he assured me that I don need to wait there for the truck but can wait at the car dealer which is about 10 miles away. So I gave him the keys and parking ticket and called another taxi to the dealer. I waited at the dealer for 2 hours and no one showed up. The dealer also refused to give me a loaner car citing that they're all out (Isn't this against the warranty?) although I see hundreds of cars in their lot.
    So I rented a car and went home.
    Now it's the third day and roadside asistance and the tow company still haven't got my car to the dealer. What's the best I can do now? Is there anyway I can get reimbursed for all the taxi bills, car rental and 2 full days without a car?

    A furious Santa Fe owner
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    It's ok to name the dealer and location. See the Rules of the Road link above for more details. Good luck!

    Steve, Host
  • sunny7sunny7 Posts: 2
    the dealer is Maxon Hyundai in Union, NJ. The service staff there are very rude and unprofessional.
  • stew5stew5 Posts: 3
    Hi everyone!! I own a 2002 Santa Fe. It is the only vehicle my family and I own, and consequently we drive it a lot. Right now it has 92,732 miles on it. 3 days go, as I was driving, the A/C stopped blowing cold air. The A/C's no longer under warranty, so hopefully I can repair it myself. I checked out automotive A/C books from the library, but I don't see a lot of the components they describe in my vehicle. The R134 isn't low, and the compressor still "kicks in" when I switch it on, and no leak has been detected. Does anyone know what type of A/C system the Santa Fe has, like a Fixed Orifice Tube system, or Expansion Valve System? Or could the compressor still have a problem even though it comes on when I switch it on? Any helpful advice or information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
  • stew5stew5 Posts: 3
    You should be seething over that decision. I sure would be. The A/C on my Santa Fe started blowing warm air about a week ago, and when I took it to the dealer in my area I was informed the warranty for the A/C expired at 60,000 miles. I have 90,000 miles on the vehicle and thought that it would be covered under my 100,000 mile/10 year warranty. Do they even know where the evaporator is located? It's encased in a housing right behind the glove box. Don't know how in the world leaves could get into it. So much for service after the sale, huh? Good luck!!
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