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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.
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
  • 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.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Check out Leather vs Cloth Seats too.
  • 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
  • rwm2rwm2 Posts: 11
  • 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.
  • mleone7mleone7 Posts: 7
    Hi sirmoxie,

    We own a 2007 limited with black leather interior package. We had the leather package in our 2005 Santa Fe and it held up nicely to the beating the kids bestowed upon it. It's been muddied up, spilt on, thrown-up on, you name it. I found the leather much easier to clean than the cloth and will never go back. The leather in the 2007 is nicer in my opinion and so far has held up great to all the spills, etc. Hope this helps.
  • lv2drvlv2drv Posts: 132
    My sister has leather seats in her Odyssey. She has two children, ages 5 and 2. If they have spilled, she just cleans it up, no problem. On the other hand, and this may sound tacky, but when our children were smaller, we had cloth seats (now I get leather-we couldn't afford leather then). I put a large hand towel or bath towel under each seat. You could get a color to match the interior. If they spill, you won't freak out.

    I really love my Golden Beige SF Limited FWD Premium.
  • sirmoxiesirmoxie Posts: 4
    Thanks everyone for the tips! Great stuff.

    davesuv: Thanks for the info on the materials. I guess you're right. About the cows. I suppose a huuuuge thread could be started on that subject of the morality of leather and I don't dare instigate that here!!! :) Maybe I should do some research into that to make my decision there but your argument for it is certainly a valid one to consider!

    mleone7 and lv2drv: Thank you both for sharing your experiences about spills. Sounds like it would be ok. And of *course* its not tacky to use towels! Hey, when you've got kids, you do what you gotta do to keep things clean. I won't tell you what happened at bathtime earlier today but it was pretty gross. If someone told me 5 years ago that today I'd be cleaning up what I clean up, I'd never have believed them... but its all worth it. But I digress... back to cars...

    I test drove an SE w/Premium Package today with fabric seats and, though they were nice and the price was less, I must admit that they weren't *quite* as comfortable as the leather. So I guess at this point it depends, when I'm ready to buy, what colors they have in stock with which options at the time I go in and how much $$ I'm in the mood to spend.

    Thanks again to all at this forum, its made this round of car buying much more pleasant and I feel more confident about my decision making.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't dare instigate that here!!!

    Correct! :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    Well, I live in the south, and leather in the south is considered stupid unless your vehicle is one of those that have an AC built into the seat. That said, the beige cloth seats on the Santa Fe will stain just by looking at them. So be forewarned.
  • My husband I are planning on purchasing a 2007 Santa Fe Limited and cannot decide on beige leather or black leather. He thinks that beige leather will stain and will show dirt over time (as well as the light beige interior getting scratched and stained with dark marks and being difficult to get off).... BUT I heard black leather can wear out after time just the same... not to mention the Texas heat baking my black leather seats to a scorching 200 degrees. We have only owned cloth interior up to now, and I have no idea when it comes to leather...

    Does ANYONE have any recommendations???

    Thanks for any opinions! :)
  • lv2drvlv2drv Posts: 132
    I would go with the beige instead of black simply because of the heat. Even with one of those window shades, the seats will still be too hot. If you purchase a good leather cleaner and conditioner, you should be able to keep your seats looking good. There are cleaners available for the vinyl also. Simple Green is relatively inexpensive and should do the job. If you have children, use some towels on the seats, or keep some wipes on hand for spills.

    Also, the black interior will show the dust all the time!!!!

    I have beige interior leather. When the sun is shining (not lately, since I'm in the midwest) the seats are pretty toasty. Imagine the black leather in Texas heat.
  • kontentkontent Posts: 12
    Grey leather is the way to go. Less dust shown, not as hot in the sun and doesn't stain as easy as others...
  • Thanks for the feedback thus far, this really helps in making a decision!
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    I have found the beige leather interior to be easy to keep clean. Any dirt wipes easily off. I think it's a matter of what your personal preference is. After seeing the same color car in both beige and black interiors, I thought the beige created a much more open and spacious feel to the interior.

    2007 Santa Fe AWD Limited with Premium and Touring packages
    Dark Cherry Red with beige leather interior
  • deejaldeejal Posts: 1
    I have had cloth and leather in all my previous cars. I like cloth because it keeps my butt cool but I like leather because it's easier to clean up spills after having sex in the car. The Sante Fe that I am buying, however, is going to have cloth seats because I bought a black one and I hate getting into a black car with black leather seats because of the heat in Ohio during the summer months.
    My current car has cloth seats and the main reason I like them is because I have 3 giant dogs and leather and dogs do not go together... period.
  • I'm just the opposite. I have 2 black dogs that shed and after having cars with cloth seats, I can attest to the fact that dog hair sticks to cloth but slides right off leather. I'll never have anything but leather seats again. And I agree, gray is the way to go.

    2007 Santa Fe Limited with Premium Package
    Platinum Sage with Gray leather interior
  • mikes2mikes2 Posts: 47
    We've got two small kids (2.75 & 7 years old) and went with the Biege Leather in our '07 Santa Fe. In our prior car, we also went with leather and the spills and crud were astonishing, even though we tried to be careful. The leather was a god-send since we could wipe things up that would have permanently stained fabric. Even when things went unnoticed (e.g. cups with milk or juice casually dropped onto the seat, we could clean it up long after the fact without too much harm.

    I too noticed the performations and could just see milk being spilled all down into the cushion, and then fermenting away (i.e. curdling) and creating a massive stink without any way of cleaning it. Given that, and the fact that's it's new (and so nice and clean for now!), the amount of spills, crumbs and food dropped, etc. that we decided to get a car seat cover for the back seat this time around. They came in all sorts of colours and we found one that's similar to the biege leather. They appear to be for when you have dogs in the back seat, but it also works beautifully for two small kids in car seats! ;)

    It completely covers the seat, is water proof, and made of very durable material. It doesn't look bad at all really, and has already saved us from one major accident.

    Worth a look in any event.


  • jimirljimirl Posts: 31
  • jimirljimirl Posts: 31
    I did use the bungee hooks this weekend and they worked great with the built in loops in the back. Thanks :)
  • My partner and I are interested in purchasing a 2007 Santa Fe, but we are too embarrassed to visit our local dealer (crawling with obnoxious salesmen) prior to knowing the Santa Fe's seating/seatbelt capacity, lest we find ourselves too large to fit in its front seats.

    Are any of my fluffy (or formally fluffy) counterparts out there willing to shed light on this sensitive inquiry? Your sincere input is greatly appreciated!
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    I am a big guy. 6'1" 260 and it fits me fine. That is even with a sunroof. Good luck.
  • k377k377 Posts: 1
    I am afraid this reply might be too late, but I am a woman, 5'6" and 250 lb. I LOVE my 2007 Santa Fe, very roomy, and lots of extra length in the seat belt. On the SE at least the steering wheel telescopes if you need extra room and the seat has a fair amount of adjustment possible. I have lost some weight, but at 290 lb, I needed a seat belt extender with my Volvo. Not with any other car, and not with the Santa Fe.
  • Love the 07 SF, but the seat belt buzzer is driving me nutz!

    I'm in real estate and it's really frustrating to have to strap-in when i'm just going a couple doors down... I click it behind me, but that is no fun. Otherwise i'm a seat belt addict, but no reason to have my ears rung with the reminder!

    the buzzer is SO loud! Dealer says there is not a legal way they can disconnect, but I know there must be!
  • never thought about it - i guess it depends on what the switch is... maybe get a belt buckle from a junk car to stick in the receptacle???
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