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Hyundai Santa Fe Maintenance and Repair (2006 and earlier)



  • Took my wife's 2003 Santa Fe (16,000 miles)in for service for the following issues.

    1) Front axle leak

    2) Rear hatch handle inoperable

    3) Rear wiper arm getting stuck/not pressing against glass

    All repairs performed under warranty with no problems.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I recall that Hyundai put their factory service manual on line for free and I found this link for the Hyundai's Technical Support Department. I'm assuming that the service manual is there if you want to register (I didn't go that far). Hopefully a d-i-y'er can get signed up.
  • Hopefully someone can help me with my car question. I recently bought a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5L with full-time 4WD. It was a dealer demo. Since I bought it in July of this year this has only happened about 4 times. When I am completely stopped with my foot fully on the brake, it will bump like someone lightly hit me from behind. My husband says he thinks it has to do with the 4WD. I am worried it is the transmission b/c sometimes it shifts hard. Any clues to what the problem may be, if it is a problem? Thanks!
  • The material beneath the inside door handle on my (1 month old) 2007 Santa Fe has come loose. Seems that their is not enough material used to cover the small section in the middle of the door panel. Dealer said I'm not the first with this problem, and he has had to order new door panels, which I have been informed are "back-ordered". Anyway we checked his inventory and a bunch of 2007 Santa Fes in his stock have the material pealing away just under the inside door handle. You may want to check yours!!
  • I signed up for it! It is great, not as in depth as a Hayes or Chiltons, but it works. You need some mechnical know how to use it. But very helpful.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    At least the price is right. ;)
  • wjanerwjaner Posts: 25
    I have a 2003 Santa Fe 4 Cylinder with 5 speed manual tranny. This Santa Fe has 30,000 miles and I want to change the Radiator coolant.
    The drain valve on the left side of the radiator when opened will only drain one half of the system coolant which totals two gallons.
    The 2003 Santa Fe factory service manual does not show where the engine drain plug is located on the 4 cylinder engine. I do all of my own preventive maintainance and religiously keep a accurate log of all work done.
    Would someone please advise where the engine coolant drain plug is located. I found a plug on the rear of the engine block which in a logical location for a drain plug but it is difficult to reach. Help with this item would be greatly appreciated. Sparcap54
  • I have the same exact problem. Its just a minor nuisance so I am not going to have the dealer try to resolve. Mine is a 3.3 2WD.
  • I have an '02 Santa Fe V6 with 102K on it. Until very recently, it was
    running very well, never had any major issues or service. Recently had
    major service (details below.)
    Would really be grateful for suggestions. The powertrain warranty is
    good for 120K miles (due to the horespower class action), so I still
    have time left for warranty work.

    Primary Issue/Symptom:

    Recently it has been stalling when idling to a stop shortly after after
    being shut down for several hours. It doesn't do it every time, but
    when it does, it almost always happens in the first 5 minutes after
    starting. I'll come to a red light, be idling in "D", and it will very
    suddenly stop. It doesn't do a "sputtering stop", it just dies. I can
    restart immediately without any issue, and it will generally behave the
    rest of the way. It has not aciviated the MIL light in all this time.
    (I tried to pull a stored code with a generic code reader, but

    Secondary Issues/Symptoms:

    Since the "repairs": Some belt (or belts) is squealing (not always, but
    often). In addtion the shifting at highways speeds is sometimes (though
    not always) rougher than usual, sometimes a "stumble" shift, other
    times it races a bit, then jumps into the next gear.

    All of the issues are intermittant -- the idle is a once every two or
    three days problem, the shifting issues a bit more, although only
    blatantly obvious ocassionaly, most often more subtle.

    History: (aplogies for length, but want to be thorough.)

    As mentioned, until very recently the vehicle was performing quite
    well. It had regular service, though not always at the dealer.
    Unfortunately about two months ago I learned too late (my wife was
    driving at the time) that it was losing coolant, and it overheated.
    Long story short, the heads were sent out to be resurfaced, and at the
    same time, I had them go ahead and replace the timing belt and water
    pump, in addtion to the other major service items (tranny flush,
    replace filters, spark plugs, belts, etc.).

    Getting the work done was a long, painful 10 day ordeal at the SF
    delearship. The day I was due to finally pick it up, they could not get
    it to spark, and they spent several hours trying to get it to start. In
    the end, I had to return the next day, when they reported back to me
    that there had been a sensor problem (unfortunately, I don't
    specifically remember if they mentioned the crankshaft sensor.)

    When I finally got the SF back, I immediatley noticed the squealing
    belts. When I mentioned this, I was given "looks", and asked to wait a
    few minutes. Not knowing I was watching, I observed the mechanic spray
    the belts with lube. I remeber thinking at the time that this seemed
    like fixing a symptom, not a cause, but after not having the car for 10
    days, after having to fight them to pay for part of my rental due to
    the length of repairs (they admitted to screwing up on ordering parts,
    and then delayed sending out the heads due to other issues, I just
    wanted to be done with them.)

    My wife initially drove the SF afterwards, and complained to me of
    hesitation issues. I did notice that ocassionaly (but not regularly),
    when giving it "quick acceleration" from a full stop, it would indeed
    stumble and recover. However, it was very intermitant, and the dealer
    could not recreate the problem to capture on the flight recorder, nor
    could I recreate it for them on demand. That problem seemed to lessen
    after a while, but the "death on idle" situation seems to have taken
    it's place.

    I have not yet taken the car back into the dealer officially, but I did
    speak with the service writer. He has already hinted that "I shouldn't
    expect much on a car with this milage" and poor service history. When I
    asked what that was supposed to mean, he said that they assumed I never
    changed the tranny fluid, becuase when the did they tranny flush, "even
    when we flushed -- it still came out dark and never went pink."


    SO, based on what I have described, any thoughts on what could be the
    problem? I've heard/read/gotten the general ideal the crankshaft sensor
    can be a delicate thing, and since it sounds like it came up at the
    time the heads were rebuilt, might be a likely candidate? I'm thinking
    it probabbly is not a fuel issue, based on the "quick" nature of the
    stall, and the other shift issues that come up.

    My big concern is that this doesn't become a fishing trip for them--
    simply swapping out parts, especially non-powertrain (non-warranted)
    parts. I'm not very confident in them based on my history with them,
    but feel like I should go back to them first, before moving on to
    another dealer. Thoughts again?

    Many thanks in advance to all who reply,

  • You don't NEED an engine drain plug. You clean out the cooling system the same way you clean out an automatic transmission or an air conditioning system, you FLUSH it out. The flushing procedure is unique for each system.
  • Anyone else experiencing Radio sound cutting out slightly on a 2007 Santa Fe? It almost sounds that every once in awhile one of the left side speakers just shuts off. Then it will come back. I haven't noticed it with CD yet, but happens on just about any radio station. Thanks.
  • My 2004 Santa Fe has the most intruiging problem! Last weekend, I was running some errands, and after leaving one of my short stops, I discovered that it wouldn't start. The dash lights all came on, and the radio came on, but the engine did not turn over. I called roadside, and while waiting over an hour, decided to keep trying. After sitting for about 60 minutes, the car started up with no problem. I figured that it was maybe just a computer glitch, and didn't think much of it, until I had to run more errands after work on Monday night. The same thing happened! It seemed that I could let the SF sit for several hours after driving it and not have any problems with starting it, but if it was just a short rest between turning it off and then on, nothing. I took it in on Tuesday, and they found some electrical shorts, which they dealt with, but on my way home that day, it happened again. I took it back in on Wednesday, and they have had it ever since (it is now the following Tuesday). They were able to replicate the problem by the end of the day Wednesday, and decided to replace the ignition switch. That then caused the entire fusebox to burn out. They replaced that yesterday, and thought the problem was solved. Today, while it was still at the dealership, it happened again. Luckily, they had kept it an extra day to be absolutely sure it was fixed. What do you think the problem might be? The mechanics seem pretty confused by the whole thing... I have a rental, but I just want my own SF back!!!
  • jbadjbad Posts: 3
    My 2001 4cyl. has what sounds like the identical problem. This problem just started in the last 2 days. It will also stall while driving and approaching a stop. Please post the outcome as my dealer seems to love "fishing expeditions". Thank you in advance...
  • gbxk86agbxk86a Posts: 12
    My explanation can be completely wrong, but I had one time a similar problem with an Infiniti I30. The car had one time a problem starting. It would not crank. The dash lights were all on, so I did not think it was the battery. After a couple of hours, I tried again and it started. This goes on very occasionally once or twice a month for two or three months. Then one time, after I filled in the gas tank, the car would not start. Again, the dash lights were on so I did not think it was the battery. Left it at the gas station overnight. Next day, I tried to jump the car thinking that that was all I could do. The car did not crank. Towed it to the dealer in the weekend. The service manager called Monday and said I needed a battery which was about 1 year old from Sears. She said it was not charging. I disputed that and brought it to Sears for testing and the battery was good and they recharged it. The mechanics then determined it was the terminals, being corroded. They charged me $30 to clean the battery terminals real well. Car was started and brought home. For two years, the problem did not show up again.

    What threw me off was the dash lights were all on, so iniitially I did not think it was the battery. Apparently, when the terminals were corroded, the battery could not get charged but there was enough juice to light up the dash but not enough to crank the engine.

    I don't know if this would help, but thought to mention to you since it is quite easy to check out the battery terminals, continuity and voltage.
  • I have similar problems with my 01 santa fe 6cyl. awd. I bought this car a few months ago and started having these problems shortly after. I have notice that when the car is in this mode of shorting out for a second, it might only happen once or several times within a few minutes, if the car is stopped and restarted it seems to stop acting up for a while, maybe days or weeks. I read with interest about the alternator amps being too low for the 2003 and was wondering if you thought this could be the problem with my 2001. Should I invest in a 120 amp alternator for it and should the voltage regulator be changed also.
  • After replacing the ignition switch, the fusebox, and several wires, the mechanics came up with a faulty assembly box (I don't remember exactly, and there were a lot of abbreviations on my receipt). They replaced that, and Ta-Da! Everything was fixed. I guess it was a lot of electrical problems all combined to make it extremely confusing for all of them, but, after 8 days, I have my SF back, and everything is running well. I hope my problem can help someone else solve there's!
  • cnycny Posts: 1
    Someone! PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE, let me hear from anyone who has had a similar problem! I had been having a serious problem w/ my '03 Santa Fe for MONTHS. {the specific problem is not the issue} The dealer tried numerous times over the past 18 mos. & couldn't "fix" it. The problem became worse and worse, so I contacted HMA and expressed just how dire the situation had become, because it was not only a safety, but a health issue also. The rep. "acted" with GREAT understanding & concern & assurred me she would get right on it and solve the problem once and for all. She went so far as to give me a case number & the date she'd be getting back to me. Then, POOF!! NOTHING!! Not only did I not hear from her on the date promised, but each of the NUMEROUS times I called her back, they made a million excuses as to why she couldn't take my calls. The other reps that i settled for subsequently [ attempted call to the regional mgr.who never answered the message i left] did the exact same thing until finally they wouldn't put me through to anyone!! Even attempts thru the dealer's serv. manager yielded NO HELP. They STONEWALLED me re:my still very valid warranty! Am I HMA's only sucker? Thanks, but right now it won't help , so i don't need to hear from those fortunate enough to want to sing HMA's praises! I'm on a fact finding mission here! AM I ALONE IN THIS !!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You may be interested in this discussion: Warranty Claims Administration

    tidester, host
  • Glad they got your electrical problem straightened out, hope it keeps starting well for you.
    I thought I would mention something that may help some of you that may have similar problems, should your car not want to start. The dash lights may light because they only draw a very small anount of electricity. A bad connection or partially corroded battery terminals may allow a small current to flow to light the dash lights, but if you hit the starter, the large current tries to flow through the corrosion, it's resistance instantly builds up heat, and the connection opens, and no current flows to the starter. SO, when you have a no start condition, try adding more electrical 'LOAD' to the battery to see if you can get enough 'juice' out of your battery. Turn on your dome lights and headlights and watch them to see if they dim when you try to start the car. This puts more load on the connections, and will not mislead you with a false reading, the battery will either keep the lights bright enough or they will get very dim. If headlights stay almost as bright as normal, then it would be safe to say the battery has power, and there is something else causing it not to start, like a bad starter or starter/control connection. But, if headlights get very dim or go out, then battery power is low OR battery connections are bad.
  • I traded in my 03 for the 07 Santa Fe. My 03 would do the same thing. Not all the time. Took it to the dealer several times but they could not fix what wasnt broken at the time. Its a hard problem to diagnose. I went as far as to call roadside assistance only to look like a fool when it would start up once they got there.

    Finally on my third trip to the deal to express my irate opinion on the issue it would not start for them while on the diagnostic computer. AHA! Turned out to be a bad crank sensor. Hope this helps...
  • It sounds like you may be having the same problem my wife and I are experiencing with our 2001. Our experience happens while we are on the freeway. The car will suddenly down shift from 4th-5th gear down to 3rd and stay there until we actually park and restart the vehicle. So far we have rebuilt the transmission (no fix), and they have changed the speed sensor (still not right), so now the shop is checking it out again. Their feeling is it might be the actual computer, but I don't know how the computer would make it shift down to 3rd and stay there. Have you gotten it fixed yet?
  • Yes I got it fixed. It was the sensor on the transmission. Apparently there are two sensors and mine (the broken one)was the outer one. They fixed it at a cost of around $250 at a highly recommended transmission shop here in the San Fernando Valley. If you need more specifics let me know and I will look up the receipt. I haven't had a problem since but it does seem to shift a little differently. Good Luck. By the way, it sounds like you have the same exact problem I had but they didn't do anything to the actual transmission, just the sensor.
  • My Santa Fe normally used to get between 600-800 kilometers per tank, depending on city v. highway driving. Then last month, I noticed a sudden drop in overall mileage. I am at the most getting 475 km's. I don't leave it idling to warm up for any more than 5 minutes, and I have been driving the same speeds in the city and on the highway. Is anyone else having this problem, even with a vehicle other than a Santa Fe or a Hyundai? I am puzzled, and have had the dealer look it over. They can't figure it out, and have told me to keep an eye on it. It sure isn't getting any better! Please help!
  • I have noticed the exact same problem on our 2007 Sante Fe.
    It doesn't seem to do it playing a CD or MP3's. I have no idea what is causing the problem. I will be glad to pass along any information I find out.
  • You would think the dealer could be able to find out what the problem is. I assume that all maintenance is kept up, clean air cleaner element, etc. The biggest cause of lost gas milage is weak or bad oxygen sensors (located on the exhaust pipes), they measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas and tell the computer how much gas to give the engine at any given instant. They should be able to read them on their service computer connected to your car. Other problems that can reduce gas milage are clogged catalytic converters or clogged exhaust system, dirty air filter, and gas leaks. If they can't find the problem, try taking it to another dealer.
  • Don't take NO for an answer from the dealer .. TRUST ME!!
    My check engine light kept coming on and EVERY TIME the dealer said everything checked out. So off I went. Then the warranty expired .. and all hell broke loose!
    Now My 2001 SF has almost 150,000 miles on it. Impressive .. not really. At 121,000 the engine lost compression and needed to be replaced. My warranty was extended to 120kmi for the horse power issue. So ONE THOUSAND miles over warranty ..Hyundai said "nothing we can do since the warranty is up" I was speechless but at the same time not really surprised. So my advice, while you have your warranty .. keep all your paperwork and make them keep looking at the same problem until they fix it!! :sick:
  • Oh no you're not alone! ONE THOUSAND miles after my warranty expired - my 2001 SF lost compression and the engine needed to be replaced! Guess what HMA said ..
    "Sorry there is nothing we can do since you're warranty has expired" You can imagine what my reply was %&#@!%
    Bottom line is they don't care .. they got your money.
    But don't give up!!
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    Sounds like any company. Our HP Laserjet was 4 days out of warranty and HP wouldn't cover it.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Well, not any company. There is such a thing as goodwill repairs, and dealers can and often do pick up the tab, or a significant portion of it for regular customers, or when the problem is indicative of something systemic and you bring them documentation.

    For example (for the owner of the vehicle) did you always or the majority of the time have your vehicle serviced at their facility?

    You probably have to find and speak with someone in the position to help you with the matter; you know you're in trouble when your speaking with someone who's basically empowered to say "no".

    Sometimes putting people in the position to help you is important. I can't say how that is done, but it starts with the initial rapport established when you first make contact with a representative of the company, in your case HP.

    Perhaps some research and a different approach will get positive results.

    You didn't happen to purchase the printer with a Credit Card (like AMEX) that automatically extends the warranty period by 1 year for these sorts of purchases did you? This won't work with a vehicle, but maybe with a computer printer.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    It was company purchased. We have maintenance agreements on other more expensive printers too.

    Usually in the case of more expensive repairs such as cars, it depends on how many others have had similar problems. Usually goodwill repairs depend on how much damage is perceived against a company's reputation.
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