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Hyundai Santa Fe Interior Questions and Problems

Wife came home the othernight. Stated the drivers side window won't come up all the way. Confirmed the same.
Will go up & down, but stops ~ 3/4 of the way up. As it stops, it actually slows down and sounds like the motor is straining. In took the inside door coverings off to expose the guts of the door. Couldn't visually find any issue.
Nothing seems to be in the track & can't see any obvious obstruction.
Dealer wants $182 for the motor alone, but I found a motor and gear assembly on for $79.
I'm hoping that it will be a motor issue. Plan to take it off of the replacment unit and then just swap the motors and keep my fingers crossed.
It seems like the Motor and gear assembly with be difficult to replace as a whole unit. Seems like it may be more than merely unbolting the old and bolting on the new. Might have to take the window support frame off to align the windw lift gears with the motor assembly gears. (Gosh I hope not)

Anyone have a similar event happen to them? any tips?
Not too sure were to look for a diagram of the window system.
Hoping my local library has a copy of Chilton's SUV Mannual 2002 and that I can find it there.



  • Hello. I appreciate a place to get some input on an alarming issue we have. We bought a 2007 Sante Fe SE in November and have had our share of minor problems. The most annoying problem we have is a vibrating noise that occurs when only the two backseat windows are rolled down, and we are driving down the road. (We do this for our German Shepard to enjoy) The sound is deafening, and hurts. The dealer states that this is common on all Sante Fe's, an engineering defect. We have to partially open the front windows to reduce the noise, apparantly equalizing the air pressure. I can't imagine that no one else complains about such a horrific noise. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • That's just a pressure build up. It happens in the majority of cars (especially suv's). People with sunroofs complain all of the time and that's why wind deflectors were invented. It's simple physics.
  • Hello, I appreciate your response. Couple questions on your reply. If the window is open, doesn't this release the "pressure"? I haven't had a sunroof before, but it isn't an issue that I know of. I had a 95 Corolla that had a similar vibration, noise, in the windshield. The dealer corrected it. I guess I would have thought Hyundai wouldn't let this type of issue go into production.

    By the way did you ever get your Sante Fe? Does it have the same noise? Thanks.
  • Your dealer is WRONG! This is not an engineering defect. Its common in a large variety of cars and trucks. It happens on my 92 bonneville but its more of an issue with suv's. Its simple physics.

    Search the internet for links to the Helmholtz effect to read and understand whats happening.

    Hyundai went to a lot of trouble to make your truck very quiet on the open road. Roll those windows up and enjoy the fruits of their labor. ;)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Search the internet for links to the Helmholtz effect to read and understand whats happening.

    Here's a simplfied version of that: tidester, "Volvo XC90 SUV" #930, 3 Jan 2003 9:19 pm

    tidester, host
  • Had the same rear deafening noise in my previous Toyota Highlander when only the rear windows where open. Solution was to also open the front window a touch but it was still loud only less so.

    That being said, I’ve recently purchased a Santa Fe so I’m curious as to what share of minor problems you’ve encountered?
  • Didn't get it yet, hopefully ordering this weekend. I have the same noise at certain speeds in my Liberty. Like other said, just crack another window and it's gone. If you have a sunroof, just vent it.
  • Sorry not to have replied sooner. We had a crack in the plastic cover over the speedometer, warped side moldings, frozen headrests, lots of detail work, small scratches, and stains on the seats. We were missing the floor mats, and couldn't unscrew the cover to the spare tire. We also had the protective Xzilon protectant applied inside and out, which left streaks, almost scratch like appearances until they were properly buffed out. Quite a lot of frustrations for us, given it was a New SUV. Still thinking that the Santa was our best choice. My advice is get out and wash your new truck by hand, best way to spot any imperfections. ;)
  • jimirljimirl Posts: 31
    I just got my '07 Santa Fe last week and I am loving it more and more. I know the 3rd row seating deletes the rear storage and I don't need the seats so I am happy for the extra space.

    I was wondering what you guys put in there. I got some of the things from my previous vehicle and organized them. Inside the storage ( which has a movable partition, nice feature ) I have a spray bottle of water for bird droppings. Letting them sit for any length of time at all on the paint can be pretty corrosive. Some 100% cotton rags for wiping and some bug and tar remover. On the other side I have jumper cables in a tight coil and in a bag, an E-tool, a small toolbox with 3 road flares, flathead and phillips screw drivers, serrated folding knife, small hammer and pliers. I have a small pouch with local maps ( I live in NY/NJ area and have maps of NYC, Penn and some large local park reserves ) and a small first aid kit which actually fits in the jack compartment. I have a ton of room left over too so I am not sure what else to include.

    I know Hyundai comes with 5 year free roadside assistance, but if I could fix the problem myself in 10 mins rather that wait an hour for help I will do things myself if I can.

    Just wondering what everyone else is using that space for? :)
  • pelican19pelican19 Posts: 323
    Im also in the New York area and keep a few other things since I do a lot of traveling. I always keep a few bottles of water ( Careful about this in winter ) 2 flashlights, fire exstinguisher, small air compressor, cell phone charger, extra belt and wipers. Last but not least, TWINKIES. They have a long shelf life. :)
  • tidalwavetidalwave Posts: 25
    Well, here goes without looking. I have the basics for maintenance/emergency situations: jumper cables, a small tool bag with tools, a roll of paper towels, and a collapsible shovel. But, I also have a compartment or two filled with golf supplies!! There are two pairs of golf shoes, three or four boxes of golf balls, assorted club covers, and at least two hats. Fore.
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    I have pretty much everything you mentioned plus a couple old bath towels and a tarp to lay on shoud I need to stay clean.
  • pelican19pelican19 Posts: 323
    Never thought of a tarp. Thanks for the idea...
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    You're very welcome!

  • Hi jimirl,

    You might want to consider putting a few hooked, cargo bungee cords in there as well, just in case you ever need to keep something tied-down and secured to the roof rack.
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    I'm in the market for a new compact SUV and the Santa Fe has been getting good reviews. Is anyone carrying 2 full-sized adult bicycles inside without piling the bikes on top of each other? How do they fit?

    I'd like to use a rack like this: 35.htm
    It holds the bikes upright with the front wheel off. This rack requires a cargo area about 3 feet tall and 5 feet long. Is the Santa Fe's cargo area (with all the seats folded down) big enough for this? Thanks.
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    You should have enough length, I just measured it at 5 feet. The problem will be the height. You only have about 30 inches from the floor to the ceiling with the rear seats folded down. I measured my bikes, and my smallest one measures 36 inches with the seat on. Unless you have them angled from vertical, they won't fit up and down.

    I wanted an easy way to carry 2 bikes so I installed a bolt on trailer hitch (very easy to do, took about 30 minutes and cost $128). I have installation pictures here: Hitch Installation.

    I then shopped around for the easiest to use hitch mounted bike rack that did not cost a bundle. I ended up with the Swagman XC 2 bike rack (I bought it from Amazon: Swagman XC . I just finished setting this rack up today and my two bikes go on and off in a jiffy, and are securely held.

    I know it would be nice to keep the bikes inside, but I think this rack is actually easier to use than putting the bikes inside. In addition, I don't have to worry about getting the inside dirty. By the way, I've had my Santa Fe for 6 months now and absolutely love it. It's a pleasure to drive and is my favorite car that I have owned.

    2007 Santa Fe AWD Limited with Touring and Premium packages
    Dark Cherry Red with beige leather interior
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    Thanks for the reply. If I had to rely on external bike racks, however, I'd rather just get nice sedan with its better performance and better gas mileage. I never drive off-road.
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    Have you looked at the Veracruz and the Pilot? The 2008 Highlander might also be big enough. Of course we had no problem fitting 3 bikes inside our Odyssey minivan ;)
  • canuckercanucker Posts: 19
    You did not mention which size or type of bikes you intend to carry but I can fit two upright mountain bikes with front wheels and seats removed inside. My bike is a 19” with a 100 mm fork and my wife’s a 16” with an 80 mm fork, it’s a tighter fit then it was in our 02 Toyota Highlander because of the Santa Fe’s rear slanted roof line.

    I made my own custom rack with a piece of wood, two Swagman Claw Fork Mounts and some straps. The only way I could fit my bike because of its length and height was to attach the claws sideways to the wood. A bike with a longer travel fork would not fit.

    Actually the best thing to do is to bring your bike with you and try it out in the vehicle of your choice before purchasing. They will let you do that if it means a possible sale.

    Good luck,
  • dmuttdmutt Posts: 48
    Another vehicle you may want to look at is the New Mitsubishi Outlander. It has a fold down bumper that allows a bike to stand up in. May have to remove the front tire to fit length wise.
  • dmuttdmutt Posts: 48
    Oh! I see you already checked out the Outlander! I bet you have to remove the front wheel, unless you can cris/cross them somehow. Maybe put one in front ways and the other back ways with wheel turned.
  • sirmoxiesirmoxie Posts: 4
    Hi everyone. I'm new here and considering buying an '07 SF. Ideally, I'd really like to get an SE with the Ultimate Package only (no touring) but I don't see too many configured like that. So I might have to opt for a Limited.

    My question here is about leather vs fabric interior. Can you tell me how each has worn for you so far? I'd rather not have leather as I have a small child and I think that those little holes in the seats might suck up any liquids (juice, milk, etc) that might spill and I'd never get it clean again. But I'd like to know people's real world experiences with the durability of either the leather or the cloth. I also worry about tears and punctures in leather. Obviously, I've never owned a car with leather seats before. :-)

    Also, does anyone know how much is real leather and how much is vinyl? I've heard that 'leather' seating usually doesn't mean *all* leather but just certain pieces of the seat is leather and the rest is vinyl. Anyone have any details on that?

    Thanks very much! This forum has been a great help in my decision making thus far!
  • rwm2rwm2 Posts: 11
    Are the second row seats removable in the Santa Fe? I'm thinking how this would result in more cargo room, like how seats in a mminivan are removable.

  • sirmoxiesirmoxie Posts: 4
    Thanks! I did read that thread and that was helpful, but if anyone has any specifics for the 2007 Santa Fe that would be awesome. I'm mainly concerned because of these 2 things...

    1) These seats (the leather ones) in the Santa Fe have lots of little pinholes in them and, though I can see that it would maybe allow for more stretchiness to the material, I'm wondering if that design choice has caused any issues due to spillage and cleanup of spilled liquids that might get soaked through those holes.

    2) Not to sound like one of them thar hippies, but I'm not crazy about wrapping up all of my seats in genuine leather. It just doesn't seem necessary. A little trim would be ok (sorry cow!) but its just a personal thing that I would not want that much leather. I think I would lean toward the Limited (or not) if I knew more about the materials being used.

    Thanks again all!
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    Hi Sirmoxie,

    I had always had cloth interiors prior to my 1996 Avalon. Once I had leather, there was no way I was going back to cloth. That's why I bought the 2007 Santa Fe Limited with leather seats. I find leather to be more comfortable and easier to take care of. I've not had any significant liquid spills with my current leather seats, so I can't comment on that. I do find leather much easier to clean, from a dirt perspective. The small perforations in the seats are both cosmetic (perforated leather seats seem to be the trend nowadays) and supposedly the perforations help keep you cooler in hot weather. I've never been bothered by hot sticky seats in my Avalon, and I certainly did not notice any problems during my recent visit to Florida with my Santa Fe. I also prefer the look of leather seats. For whatever reason, I think they look richer and more substantial than cloth.

    Most of the seat, except for the back of the seat-back are covered in leather. Only the central portions of the seat and back are perforated. I have no problem with leather seats from the cow perspective. I'd rather see the hides of the cows we eat put to good use instead of being wasted. Now if everyone decided to stop eating beef, that'd be a different story.

    It comes down to your personal preference. You could always put a seat cover over your kid's seats if you're worried about spills. With either seat material, you still get a really nice vehicle. Good luck with your purchase.

    2007 Santa Fe AWD Limited with Premium and Touring packages
    Dark Cherry Red with beige leather interior
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    No, they are not made to be removed. Of course, you could always take out the bolts that hold them in if the space was really needed, but that's something that would be difficult.
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