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Hyundai Santa Fe Maintenance and Repair (2006 and earlier)



  • Has anyone had recent experience with the cost of replacing the compressor drive belt, also known as a serpentine belt? Dealer keeps telling me it needs to be replaced because temperatures out here (Las Vegas) are so hot. Car just turned 50K and he has been telling me this for the last 40K. Owner's manual says to check it periodically. Dealer quotes $180. Seems like a lot for a belt costing about $35 and around 15 minutes of labor to slip off the old one and slip on a new belt.
  • Hi
    I I did one on my daughters SFit .takes a little more than 15 minutesYou have to remove the tensioner pulley and so forth I would check around on the prices,here in Ny My buddy told me he charges 75 dollars 180 is really alil to muchWhen you here it starting to squeak its timeGo to your dealer for only serious things
  • I have a subtle issue with my 2004 3.5L Santa Fe transmission shifting. I am wondering if anyone else has noticed this. The car does not have a 3-2 downshift (only 3-1). This can be observed in the SPORT mode by slowly coming to a stop and observing that the transmission never passes through 2nd gear (only directly from 3 to 1). During normal driving in the DRIVE mode this is burdensome if I slow down, but do not come to a complete stop, and then accelerate. Under these conditions, the car labors upon acceleration because it stays in 3rd gear. Even if I press on the accelerator, the car never downshifts to 2 (only directly to 1 if I slow down enough). The only work around is to change to SPORT mode and manually downshift to 2 under these conditions. I drove a friend's 2004 3.5L Santa Fe and it behaves the same way, so I am wondering if this is a generic issue. My suspicion is that this is a glitch in the programming of the car and can be handled with a software upgrade under a TSB (like the jackrabbit start issue), if Hyundai addresses it. If I can confirm that this is a common nuisance, I will meet with the district manager to get it referred to Hyundai.
  • If I understand your concerns properly the car doesn't automatically downshift into 2nd gear when the car slows appropriately enough to be in 2nd gear but instead remains either in 3rd upon acceleration(with the resultant sluggish results) or downshifts to 1st skipping 2nd entirely(causing the engine to over-rev for the speed of the vehicle). All this is in the "auto" mode of the shiftronic ? I do know that if you are in the shift-it-yourself or manual shift mode the transmissions tends to remain in whatever gear you choose i.e. if in 5th gear and you desire quick acceleration instead of a forced downshift to 4th or even 3rd the car WILL remain in 5th and I believe this condition exists in all gears if you manually choose them. I am not sure if this is the basis of your concerns or not. I also own a 3.5 liter AWD 2003 S.F. but I cannot say I have experienced this but I will try to duplicate it. At what speeds does this lack of a downshift occur? I presume it is around 20 MPH more or less. And can you approximate a throttle position, by this I mean do you "floor" it to re-accelerate or use a less vigorous attempt. I will update this post once I find more.
  • In my discussion I used the shiftronic mode only to verify what gear the car is in. The anomoly occurs in Drive (automatic) mode. Once you are looking for the effect, it is fairly noticable when "drifting" through a stop sign - slowing down to several MPH (like 3 - 5 MPH) and then reaccelerating. Not a hard acceleration, just the light throttle you would use in every day driving. If you have this "problem" you will sense that you would have liked the car to have downshifted to second gear. When you feel the sluggishness, shift to shiftronic mode and you will see that the car is still in third gear.
  • I re-read your post and I believe a certain response of the transmission as you stated is normal. If left in "manual shift" mode 3rd gear and coming to a stop... since the transmission is esentially "locked" in 3rd it will over-ride your choice, in this case 3rd gear, and default to 1st. I believe this to be the case no matter what gear you may manually choose...if left in any of the higher gears (3rd-4th-5th) and if you were to come to a stop in the shift -it -yourself mode it will default to 1st gear for a restart just as it will automatically shift to a higher gear if you were to exceed the engine redline in, say, 3rd gear if manually chosen. Hyundai has provided an automatic response if stupidity prevails such as downshifting into 2nd at 80 MPH.
  • I verified how my shiftronic mode works. It allows me to manually upshift once the car exceeds a threshold speed for each gear. At a given speed, it WILL NOT downshift in response to increased throttle. However it WILL downshift sequentially as speed decreases (but skipping 2). In other words if I am in 5 going 40 MPH, as I slow down to a stop it will shift 5-4-3-1. I suspect this is the same way it downshifts in automatic (D), with the exception that it will downshift on demand with increased throttle, but always skipping 2. I have no issues with how the shiftronic mode works (after all, if I am in this mode, I want to do the shifting), only automatic. Bottom line is, whether I am in D or shiftronic mode, there is NEVER an automatic 3-2 downshift. Since I find this to be somewhat of a nuisance I would like to refer it to Hyundai, but would like to first verify how widespread and problemetic the quirk is.
  • OK I think I follow now and will try to duplicate it. Since I mostly drive another vehicle I'll have to specifically take the Santa Fe out for a drive and I will let you, and all others here, how mine works under similar conditions.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    OK I have tried this and I have found the following:
    1.) If left in the "shiftronic" mode while slowing from highway speeds it will automatically show a progression of 5th-4th-3rd-1st skipping 2nd as noted.
    2.) If accelerating gently from 5-10 MPH it WILL upshift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd etc.although it doesn't hold 2nd gear very long before upshifting to 3rd (confirmed by starting in auto or normal mode and quickly sliding the shift handle over to Shiftronic to view what gear you are currently in) I think the shifts under light acceleration are smooth and quick and easy to miss so you will be in 3rd before you know it. However, mine and I'm thinking yours too, does use 2nd under a near situation.
  • Upshifting, whether in auto or shiftronic is not a concern - it always upshifts sequentially from whatever gear it is in when I reaccelerate. My issue is with downshifting only, in that it goes directly from 3-1, whether in auto or shiftronic. Auto is the real concern, because if I'm in shiftronic, then my intent is to do the shifting myself. I verified this on another 2004 and maybe its different on the 2003's. However, given that your downshift sequence is 5-4-3-1 (like mine), suggests that in auto you may also go 3-1 directly. Remember, experiment by coming to a near stop (5-10 mph), and then reaccelerate and see if you ever downshift automatically from 3-2. Mine will not.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Yes, correct, mine also skips 2nd gear while coming to a stop however it is already in 1st by the time I am going that slow (5-10 MPH) so accelerating in 3rd doesn't seem to be an issue. Remember that since it seems to skip 2nd it will go directly into 1st then progressively upshift through all forward gears. Also remember that with Shiftronic we have the option to start in 2nd by placing the shifter in "2" so maybe this has some bearing on why it skips 2nd on its way to a stop. I think this skipping 2nd is normal for whatever reason...and I don't know it either. As far as reaccelerating from low speeds it also seems to be in the correct gear for the conditions and I don't think the fact it misses 2nd on the way down is an issue because it will go into 1st at that low speed then 2nd etc. All seems OK with the way it functions to me, I guess I don't necessarily care that I am not catching 2nd in a normal stop.
  • My 2002 SF 2.4 FWD has just blown its clutch at 18000 UK miles. Having searched on the web for other unfortunates I came across this discussion and approached both my dealer- very helpful- and Hyundai UK-very secretive and almost obstructive! However having quoted above TSB and various Consumer Protection Laws Hyundai have agreed to repair under warrenty. By the way there is a later TSB on this subject but I have not found it yet. Can anyone help?Anyone in the UK who suffers the same problem and would like to know how squared Hyundai UK please contact me. Apart from the above this vechile is a firm favorite with me and the wife and as country dwellers its abilities have helped several times.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    My sister-in-law has the following problem. With the igntion key "on" but the motor not running, she can get her AM stations perfectly clear.(The FM stations work o.k. also) Once the motor is "turned on and running" she gets nothing but static in the AM but not the FM. She took the car to her Hyundai dealer and they installed a "glass amplifier". It still does the same thing and the dealer told her they "cannot fix it"!
    I read the previous posts here and that seems to be the "only answer". Can anyone help. I think she needs somd kind of .resistor or surpressor???? hooked up somewhere. Please help if possible.
    She has the antenna that is in the rear window glass.
  • Took my 2001 Santa Fe AWD in for some gearing issues - to the dealer (yikes, but tranie is still under warrant) - simple soln - need new plugs and wire - fair enough but then I am told that all the transmission fluid is gone. Dry as the Sahara. Technician reports no leaks. Any one aware of alien abductions reports on transmission fluids of late??? Also told I needed a new ball joint which I had replaced - not by dealer - in June. I smell something......
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Impossible!!! car cannot drive at all with severely low transmission fluid let alone none. If towed in and there is actually none in the transmission there is a big time,or small time for that matter, leak...fluid does not evaporate... period.
  • That's what I said!!!! Spoke to other more qualified non-patronising mechanics. Finally took it back to dealership, who continued to deny problem. Forced them (service manager now involved) to test drive it with us, (running engine on a hoist is useless evaluation for this problem) only after experiencing the bucking between gear shifts (auto) they admitted there was a problem. Faulty transmission fluid pump. Apparently difficult to detect - so were told. Won't or can't - I question motive. New transmission on order. Will not be returning to that dealership after this.
  • Hi,
    I also own a 2001 and have alot of mileage on my car, I have taken to the dealer for repairs, my warranty has also ran out. I think when you take your car in to the dealer for one thing they do something to your car to cause another problem. Right now I am having a problem with the check engine light which keeps coming on :mad:
  • jntjnt Posts: 316

    Unfortunately, it is likely vehicle related problem: too much vehicle electronics noises and they jam certain AM frequencies that you tune to. The source of the noise could be: Electronics Injector noise, ignition noise, fan noise, electrical motor noises,...The fact that you hear more "static" sounds with the vehicle running confirms it: the noise level is higher than the signal level and radio latches on noise instead. AM is very vulnerable to these types of noises by nature of its modulation and its frequency range (near the noise frequencies). In fact, FM is susceptible to them too but may be at lesser degree.

    I agree that the Glass antenna module is not the cause of the problem since her AM radio works while engine is off. So replacing either radio or antenna module is useless. So the difference is the absence of noise sources when ignition is off.

    Now on the solution:

    1. It is best to control noise at the source. Normally, car maker add filter caps (noise suppressor) on noise source like across motor terminals, I/O lines. But you must know which is the noise maker. Do not attempt to filter the antenna since you will reduce the sensitivity of the radio for both AM/FM. Routing noisy cable away from antenna cable is helpful. Sometimes, adding Ground cable between some critical locations underhood could reduce the noise significantly. If other Santa Fe's have the same problem at the same frequencies then it is common design problem. If it is unique on your vehicle only: some electronics module in your vehicle is likely defective

    2. Glass antenna is nice for lower wind noise and some other things. But it has two significant drawbacks: directionality for FM reception and susceptible to vehicle electronics noises. That is why on the Hydrid Accord and Civic, Honda engineers are using the mini-whip antenna on the roof vs, their usual rear Glass antenna. The reason is these vehicles are very noisy since they have the big inverter that switches DC-AC for electric motor. Inverter is "Mother" of all noise. So, changing antenna type is helpful if you must have a better AM reception. The best antenna for AM/FM reception is the fender whip antenna that you see by a miliions on Chrysler minivan, Ford F150 or Chevy Silverado. You could do away the Glass antenna with the mini-whip antenna like the 05 Santa Fe. This is a compromise.

    3. Does your vehicle has some Aftermarket Electronics (DVD player, Portable Charger for Phone)... hooked up permarnently to the car? PC, or Inverter for PC are also the culprits for making noises that falls on to the AM frequencies. Unhook them to see if that will help. BTW, that is why the airliners have you turn off all electronics during Taking Off or Landing since they worry about Electronics Interference between these things and the aircraft electronics

    Good Luck

  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Just a note to let you know that my sister-in-law is takeing your advice and will pursue either a mini-whip antenna (she seems to think this would be expensive); however, I told her to call bestBuy or an electronic automotive type outlet and get a price and to also print out your suggestion and show it to the Hyundai Service Advisor.
    Thankyou for your very informative reply. That's what makes this Edmunds site such a good place to get an exchange of knowledgable info. Again, THANKS.
  • I was driving to work on Tuesday in my 2004 Santa Fe GLS (2.7L, 4WD) and the saw the yellow "Malfunction Indicator Light" come on and stay ON. It is apparently emissions related when you look at the manual. I was also following two "smoky" vehicles at times that morning.
    The vehicle has around 15.7 K miles, and it was purchased in May 2004. I've not had any issues prior to this one, other than a rear dome light that only comes ON around half the time I open the back door.

    I'm thinking of getting one of those diagnostic things to check the code, clear it, and then see if it comes back. It should be under warranty. I've done searches in a couple of forums, but haven't been able to come up with much.

    Good to post again. It's been a while...
  • So was I. Could be anything simple (new O2 sensor) or major (trans). Suggest getting a diagnostic at any local trustworthy garage (not dealer).
  • Would you mind relating what the problem was when your car's sensor went on?

    I did just send for the OBDII code reader, but I also have been using a good Colorado brakes outfit called "Brakes Plus" for more than just brake and suspension work on my 1994 Concorde.

    The dealer did a "complimentary" oil change and didn't re-install one of the bottom cover bolts. I've been doing the oil changes since then, as it is a thing with me anyway.

    I guess the "MIL" the closet thing the Santa Fe has to a Check Engine light, but Hyundai refers to it as a "malfunction indicator" - at least that is the lingo in my 2004 Santa Fe manual.

    I can't recall if I mentioned it, but the vehicle just has around 15.5K miles and was purchased 1 yr and 5 months ago.
  • miker2miker2 Posts: 3
    I just went thru this on my 2003 Santa Fe w/ 80k miles. I would hold off (if possible) until the timing belt change at 60k. Have them change both of the drive belts and the tensioner at the same time as the timing belt & its tensioner. This will save you almost all of that labor since all of the belts have to come off to get to the timing belt. Check with your dealer about some kind of extended warranty if yoy get the timing belt changed before you hit the 60k mark. My dealer mentioned it, but I was way over. I do mostly highway driving (35k per year) and some parts will last longer.

  • falmarfalmar Posts: 7
    I filled my 2004 4-cyl (13,500 mi) with gas and later that night I noticed the check engine light came on, or was on. My first thought after reading the manual was I did not close the gas cap properly. After repeated attempts of removing and replacing the gas cap the "mil" light would not go off. Is there a way to reset this light without going to the dealer? The manual also states it could be a "exhust gas related component" what ever that is.
  • I just did this tonight! (learned on another forum).

    I did this "warning light reset" on my 2004 Santa Fe (2.7L, 4WD GLS) by disconnecting the negative battery terminal for abot 30 seconds. The radio stations and settings are maintained, but you'll need to reset the clock on the dash.

    The MIL indeed went out after I restarted the Santa Fe. I'll drive it a bit tomorrow and see what happens. I saw at least one other forum post that once his light cleared it stayed that way. Since mine has just around 15.5K miles I'm hoping it was an anomoly.
    I also sent for an Actron OBD II code reader so I can check (and clear) the codes myself.
  • kyedenkyeden Posts: 1
    I was driving home after office. When I was about half way my santa fe stopped in the middle of the road all of sudden. I tried starting santa fee but couldn't do so. I called one of the mechanics and he tested all the fuse. The fuse are ok.

    Santa Fe was dragged to the workshop and no one in the work shop seem to have faintest idea about santa fee. I called the dealer and the dealer has sent mechanic. Even this mechanic doen't seem to know the problem. It been almost a week now since I have left my car in the workshop.

    This car was purchased 1 yr and 2 months ago...Strange...the sole dealer is taking so long to contact the manufacturers and find out the problem.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    What kind of "loaner" vehicle did they give you???
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    First off, if a vehicle just stops it usually is one of three things...SPARK(plugs, battery, alternator, wiring, coil packs, ignition module,engine management module AKA computer) FUEL (fuel pump, filter, injectors, and again engine management module) AIR (filter, throttle body and associated parts).One other thing..a broken timing belt...but it seems your car doesn't have enought miles for that to be a problem. There are also a mess of sensors in modern motors. The thing is, if there is a hard failure, enough to cause engine stoppage there most certainly be a fault code logged and for sure a Hyundai dealer will be able to diagnose the problem by accessing this code or codes. For a dealer to have the car for a week without a clue, well, not a reasonable prospect because they have acess to TSB's diagnostic code readers factory rep assistance if needed so really no reason for that.
  • just have a santa fe GLS 3.5L 4wd, now just 800 miles on it.

    the city mpg is around 14, and high way ( ~70-75mile) around 17, with AC off,

    is this just normal or problematic? will it increase later after the break in ? thanks
  • The same thing happened to me today. I filled my tank with gas this morning before work and had no issues on the 30 mile drive to the office. Left work this evening and as soon as I turned the car on (2004 Hyundai Santa Fe - 17,800 mi) the "MIL" light is on. It stayed on all the way to my daughter's daycare and came back on when I started the car back up to head home.

    I've had no issues with the vehicle. I'm wondering if it could be a sensor coming on because I am behind on my oil change? I'm taking it in first thing in the morning to my neighborhood car service station for the oil change and will hope that will take care of it.

    The manual is less than helpful as far as giving possible reasons for the MIL light.
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