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Hyundai Santa Fe Maintenance and Repair (2006 and earlier)



  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I think it needs to be noted that the drivetrain is covered for the 100K mile warranty. That is, the engine internals, transmission internals and possible other driveline components NOT the various items that "hang" on the engine to include power steering pump, AC compressor, alternator etc. It can be normal for AC problems to crop up on a vehicle with nearly 100,000 miles and it normally is low "freon". Due to the harsh underhood environment..heat..vibration etc the o-rings at the various joints can leak. stew5, you say the compressor "kicks in" but does it remain engaged for any length of time or does it kick right back out? I'm not an AC man but there are only a limited number of items that will cause the AC to blow hot. number one is low freon followed by various items including a bad transducer...low pressure switch...compressor...clutch on the compressor..evaporator, correctly located by bumbles as being in the heater box under dash. The only problem caused by the evaporator is a leak. There probably are several other sensors and switches that allow the AC to function when certain parameters are met. Have either of you actually returned your cars to the dealer or an independant AC shop for evaluation before condemning Hyundai for failure to warrant their entire cars forever or 1 million miles whichever comes first?? I'm sure the $69 or $89 spent for a professional evaluation will quickly find the problem.
  • miker2miker2 Posts: 3
    I've had my Santa Fe for 27 months & have put 76K trouble free miles on it. The only problem I'm having is that a little piece of the foam on the steering wheel (right upper spoke) has come off. I know I'm pushing it, but I'm just now taking it in for the timing belt service. Other than oil changes (using a synthetic blend now) & pads & tires at ~50K it has been great. :)
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    sunny7 I think that the roadside assistance program is contracted out by Hyundai. Some of your problems I can understand and the fact that the the airport refused to release your car (without your being there) to a tow driver was probably a good thing as many cars are hooked up never to be seen again. It may have seemed a terrible inconvience but security was doing their job. With regard to not receiving a loaner..the fact that the lot was full of cars is no indication of the dealer having or not having a loaner. Those cars are for sale. I'm sure no dealer would give a customer a "for sale"new car off the lot, most dealers only have a few loaners and they may well have all been in use especially in a larger city dealer environment. So, I would say most of your problems stem with an unreliable contractor (the towing company contracted by Hyundai) and yes Hyundai needs to know that some of its contractors are doing a poor job.
  • rwatersrwaters Posts: 2
    I could agree is the sticker didn't show 18/24. That makes my highway mileage below the 4 mpg tolerance. I don't drive my SF hard, yet a friend who drives hers at 80mph gets 20mpg hwy. I also don't accelerate rapidly from a stop, etc. Still would like to hear other experiences - is mine unusual or .........
  • I have the same problem with my 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe. There is a whining noise but it is only when the AC is on and when you make a turn. I found that the power steering pump is leaking fluid and am wandering if this will be covered under the warranty. i have almost 80k on it already so only the 100,000 mile warranty is left.
  • My 2003 Santa Fe recently passed the 60,000 mile mark. In checking the owner's manual for guidance on when to change to timing belt, I read that for California vehicles, changing the timing belt at 60,000 miles is "recommended but not required." Mine is a CA vehicle. The folks at the local dealership were not helpful, stating without explanation that I need to change the timing belt to avoid damage to the engine. Does anyone know why Hyundai only recommends a change of the timing belt in CA vehicles? What effect does this have on the extended 100,000 warranty? If the timing belt broke at, say, 40,000, I would guess I'd have a good argument that it's covered by the warranty. But, what if the timing belt on a CA vehicle breaks at 70,000 miles? Or 80,000 miles? :confuse:
  • lori6lori6 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Sante Fe and have the same problem. My car also feels like it almost downshifts when I take my foot off the gas. I called a dealer today and he is going to look at it Friday. He mentioned something about a reflash where they download sofware to your car. I'll let you know if it works.
  • falmarfalmar Posts: 7
    When a friend of mine sat in my Santa Fe's rear seat he noticed that the section on your back was too far forward. Almost to the point that you felt you were being pushed forward and not sitting staraight. I looked for a way to lean the back portion of the seat to tilt a little back. Could not find how or if it can be done. Any suggestions?
  • prohjacprohjac Posts: 2
    Hey guys,

    A little frustrated with my 2001 Santa Fe. I hav 94,000 miles on it and the power stering pump when when I had 40,000. No problem under warranty. Well it just went again and it is not covered under warranty. In fact, the service guy told me that the expected life of a power steering pump is only 50-60,000 miles. Anyone have any similar problems? I had a toyota camary that when 230,000 that never need a power steering pump? The bill for this repair is $650. Oouch.

  • prohjacprohjac Posts: 2
    There is a little tag of nylon fabric that sticks out of both corners of the rear seat. You should be able to pull it and adjust the seat. Use this to fold the seats down in the back.

  • wperlawperla Posts: 3
    Got the same problem - really pisses me off and it's a shame because everything else about the vehicle is great! I also contacted them and got the same reply -- just wait for the first parking lot accident and see what happens! I'm going to reposition the throttle position sensor and see if that alters the acceleration curve.

  • jcradiojcradio Posts: 2

    Maybe if more people complained and filed a complaint it will get their attention. If they admit to the problem they will have to do a recall to fix it and that cost money and money is the bottom line. Funny I almost ran over a elderly man and that is what prompted me to complain about the problem. Like you said great car with a bad problem.

    Let me know how you make out with the reposition idea.


  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    It is unwise to post your email address in an open post - spammers harvest them. It's better to simply make your email address visible in your user profile and members who want to contact are free to look it up.

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  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    This may have been answered but it isn't only California cars that require a timing belt change. We live in Pa and the owners manual for our 2003 SF, 2003 Elantra, and our son's 2000 Elantra all state that a 60K mile timing belt change is recommended. So far only the 2000 Elantra has exceeded 60K and I had it changed at something over 75,000 miles. The car was used so when I asked to see the old belt the fact that it looked like new may have been an indication it was previously changed although a search on the Hyundai data bank for the serial number didn't confirm this. I suggested that a permanent label be affixed to the valve cover indicating a timing belt change with date/mileage for subsequent owners. Anyhow, yes if the belt broke at less than 60K it would be covered however if it broke at say 70K you would be on the hook for an expensive engine rebuild. The $350.00 or so spent is insurance for continued warranty coverage...on the other hand I personally believe the belt will probably last for at least 100K but do you want to take that chance??
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    the newer...2003 and up models now have a lever on the top outer edge of both rear seatbacks that adjust the rear backrest angle.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    For at least a few years the Santa Fe 3.5 liter, and maybe the 2.7 by now, have had a "drive by wire" throttle system. This means that the throttle pedal and throttle body are NOT directly connected by a throttle cable and every twitch by your foot isn't transmitted to the engine. While that method has been in use for around a million years and while it produced more or less linear throttle response it ain't in these Hyundai's or in many other brands (VW, Audi, among others) any more. Hyundai has issued several TSB's addressing this issue. Most of these were reflashing the engine and or transmission management computers. I would have thought the 2005 models would have been refined to the point where this isn't as big an issue or maybe there are some "old dogs" driving these cars and they cannot adapt to new "tricks". I own a 2003 and have noticed some of this but it generally dosen't bother me although I have considered having some of these TSB's applied. Maybe I'll have it done while waiting for an oil change one day.
  • Can you tell me more about this timing belt problem occurring on the 4 cylinder Santa Fe? I have a 2002 and the engine has locked up. How did the dealer/manufacture resolve this timing belt problem? I checked the recalls and didn't see anything and the dealer hasn't said anything about it when I've taken it in for service. I'd like to find out more about this timing belt problem with the 4 cylinders.
  • Hi, my a/c starting doing the same thing about a year ago, I took it to the dealer
    they stated if my car shows signs of an accident that it was not covered under
    warranty.They called me and told me that my car had been in an accident and stated that I had a hole in my compressor which is located in the front of the car.
    I have never had an accident, the dealer stated that while I may have been parked someone may have backed into my car the bumpers are retractable that may have cause the hole. He that said I needed a compressor, transcooler, and a bumper guard total 1245.00 :mad:
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    stew5...fairly unlikely that the compressor would have had a hole, more likely the condenser which is in front of the radiator. The transmission cooler is also in the same area. It must have been a fairly large hit to damage both items and I would have thought you would have noticed the damage. My wife rear-ended a pick-up in our 2002 Santa Fe causing over $4000.00 in frontal damages to our car. I think the condenser fins were crushed and the bracket bent but the AC still worked fine until we were able to have the car repaired BUT you could absolutely see the car was wrecked...grille broken...fog lamp knocked around...headlamp damaged...bumper out of kilter etc. The bumper did return to more or less its original shape but you couldn't miss the damage. Point is...your front end should have been noticeably damaged, if nothing else the painted bumper scratched and scraped. This is something I couldn't have missed but I survey the car several times a week scrubbing off bug splats..etc. Maybe I'm overly pickey.
  • kyrhettkyrhett Posts: 2
    For what it's worth this problem has been reported to the NHSA. No action taken as far as I know
  • Hi stew
    You are right it was the condenser, my car did not show any signs of damage until after the dealer stated it was in an accident as I explained to the dealer I know every bump, dent on my car I feel the dealer did some damage problem was could not prove it. :(
  • miker2miker2 Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 SF & I'm sure the rear seat is identical. The same lever that releases the seat back to fold down, will also allow you to adjust the rear seat back angle. You can also adjust the position of the hide away screen to match the seat back angle. If you purchased the vehicle new, I would suggest that you return to the dealer & have them do a proper presentation of all of the features. Did you know that the shoulder belt anchor point can be adjusted on the door pillar?

    Good luck,
  • mwine79mwine79 Posts: 2
    Anyone have the clutch burn up in their Santa Fe? Mine is a 2003 2.4L Santa Fe purchased in Sept. 03. To date it only has 23,000 miles on it. I was on my way to a wedding Saturday when the my husband felt the clutch "snap" under his foot and then stick to the floor. Monday I was told I needed a new master clutch cylinder. Today I was told my clutch is burnt up and I need a new fly wheel and release bearing. This is NOT normal wear and tear or abuse by the driver. Warranties on clutches are 12 mo or 12,000 miles. I'm waiting to see if they will cover it under the warranty.

    I found a TSB today from 9/04 for poor clutch durability on 03 manual transmissions.

    Anyone else have a similar problem or have any advice?
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I suspect that the manual transmission Santa Fe (4 cyl. only) has a hydraulic clutch system. A separate "master" cylinder controls the clutch release action. It may be that since yours failed it may have started with a leak the when all the fluid (automatic transmission fluid/power steering fluid/ or something special?) leaked out the clutch became unuseable. I can't say why the dealer thinks you need a flywheel...clutch disc...throwout bearing also unless the leak of that fluid somehow contaminated the clutch. These items, unless subjected to abuse or improper use (some people drive with their foot resting on the clutch pedal) or if you live in San-Francisco or drive "city" type use will usually last over 100,000 miles. Clutches, along with brake pads are NOT warranted for a long time simply because each use diminishes the amount of friction material, in other words, normal use wears them out and a manufacturer cannot say how their prospective buyers will use those systems. I will state however that a clutch system should last more than 25 K miles
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    in reference to the "clutch problems" post: TSB # 04-40-013 dated Sept 2004 states..
    "to increase the durability of the clutch replace the dual mass flywheel plus associated components (clutch, clutch cover, various pins etc) with single mass flywheel and all its associated components on vehicles made through July 16 2003" It goes on to state to replace these items on complaints of abnormal noise or abnormal wear. Maybe your dealer decided to apply this TSB based on other complaints you may have had or maybe the clutch pedal dropping to floor problem required a transaxle/clutch removal and he is just upgrading your car per the TSB. I note you purchased the car in Sept. 2003 but if you look you will find it was manufactured several months before that thus putting it squarely within the time frame of this TSB
  • nick22nick22 Posts: 2
    I know this might not be the place for this but since this is a forum on Santa Fe's I am just curios on what anyone's opinion is on the purchase price of a '04 Santa Fe. Here are some details about it:
    I live in Minneapolis, MN
    2004 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS
    2.7 V6
    23,000 miles
    no major options
    medium scratch in front bumper. Seller says dealer can buff out for $100.
    tires about 50%
    no accidents
    haven't done a CarFax report yet
    seller asking $15,500
  • at 15,000 miles, less than a year after purchasing my '02 santa fe i heard this awful whistling from the rear of my car ... the technicians (?) at the dealership i bought the car replace the front brakes ... why? ... i don't know ... while it was there the guy at the desk had them replace the roof rack cross rails stating that they sometimes cause that noise ... since it was so soon after buying the car, he did not charge me ... pretty cool ... by the time i got home, the noise started up again and the car went back to the dealership (a good 45 minute ride from my home) and they replaced the rear brakes ...
    things were fine until a year later when the noise recurred ... the guy at the desk told me it was probably the rear brakes ... when i told him this would be the third set of rear brakes, including the original, in two years, he told me that i was probably riding the brakes ... i don't ride the brakes ... he also said that this wear is normal ... the brakes on santa fe can go in 9, 12 or 15 thousand miles ... not covered by america's best warranty, however ... i left and went to another ddealership where i'd hoped they be less rude ... at that point the car was due for a very expensive 30,000 mile check-up ... there they replaced really good windshield wiper blades that i had just put on two days before with some rally crappy ones and cleaned my rear brakes ... the same rear brakes that caused my vehicle to fail ny state inspection the next week ... that dealership did indeed refund my money for the cleaning when i brought them the pads my mechanic had replaced ... as far as the windshield wipers ... the guy at the desk told me there's no way his technician could know they were new blades ... wait ... this gets better ...
    this year ... only 10,000 miles later ... less than a year after the third set of rear brakes had been replaced ... you guessed it ... they needed to be replaced again ... when i called the 800 hyundai number, the woman was nice, but i got nowehere ... she said she'd call the dealerships and i asked her to ask them #1 why, if i ride my brakes do my rear brakes, not the front ones go ... bozos? ... even i know that the rear brakes will take the abuse of a bad driver and #2 why they cleaned brakes that had been worn down to the metal instead of replacing them ...
    my advice ... don't buy a hyundai ... ever ...
    i put a sign on my car ... it says, "ask me why you should not buy a hyundai" ... :lemon:
  • Hi there!

    Here's my it in on a new 2005! There are great deals to be had at the moment--trust me, I just did this very thing--and I didn't want to lose the unique body style that the Santa Fe has to the new 2007's due out soon. I traded in my 2002 and they completely paid it off ($12k) and still gave me an owner loyalty bonus plus dealer incentives.

  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    My Santa Fe had 65,000 miles when I traded it in for a Tucson. Original brakes and tires. It seems you have a bad dealer, not necessarily a bad car!
  • philhphilh Posts: 1
    I have a Santa Fe Turbo Diesel over here in the UK. We brought it new and almost straight away had intermittant problems starting. After a couple of months it got worse and went to the dealer. They have had it back several times, now 10 months old and 7800 miles. It has failed to start for 2 of their staff on their forecourt and they still cannot fix it. So far thay have replaced the immobiliser unit, the ECU, the pickup for the signal. It still does nt start properly. Engine just turns over, you have to take teh key out and start over until it fires. So, we have a £18k car ($34k) that does nt work. Its in the dealer right now, been there a week. Not impressed - Has any one on the forum had a similar problem ? as Hyundai tell us we are the only problem of this kind, and I am having difficulty believing them. :mad:
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