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Hyundai Santa Fe (2006 and earlier)



  • I would have to say that my Santa Fe has poor mileage but I am still happy with it. It is a FWD V6 GLS. I get 20 City, 23 Hwy. I have about 15,000 miles to this point.
  • I have a 2001 Santa Fe LX with 4900 miles.Today I checked the Trans. fluid(Automatic) and noticed it was low.I tried to find the brand the manual describes but couldn't find it.I added about half a quart of AC Delco Dexron III fluid.I would just like to know if I added the right stuff.Thanks
  • bchinbchin Posts: 5
    Hello everyone,

    Well, I've had the Santa Fe for 3 1/2 months now but only have 2000 miles on it. The manual says to change the oil at 6000 miles(?) Should I wait till it gets to 6K or should I change it at the 3 months interval like I do with all of my other cars? I have always put a lot of miles during the first 3 months of my cars until my santa fe since this is the car my wife drives for getting around town with the kids. If I wait until the SF gets to 6K it might be 6 more months down the road before it hits that. So I am stumped.

    Also what has been the experiences of those who have had their Santa Fe oil changed at a Jiffy Lube or other non dealer places. Is the filter easy to get at. I understand there is cover that needs to be removed to get to the filter am I correct? Thanks for your replies?

  • hyundaimahyundaima Posts: 197
    Hi, you need to drain the transmission and refill it with SPIII ATF as soon as possible. Dexron III has completely different frictional characteristics than the OEM fluid. It will damage the internal components of the Hyundai transmission.
  • hyundaimahyundaima Posts: 197
    Unless you live in the boonies with no traffic lights, you should follow the "severe usage" schedule in the owner's manual.

    About the oil change, only AWD Santa Fes come with the skid plate, which needs to be removed to get to the oil filter from the bottom if it doesn't have the filter access panel.
  • lrchomelrchome Posts: 130
    I change my own oil it takes me about 15 min, the oil filter and oil drain plug are easy to reach. I change my oil every 4500 miles. I have a FWD LX so I dont have the skid plate to fool with.
  • Has anyone else had a problem with their automatic transmission? I have an FWD LX with about 11k miles and the transmission started 'slipping' and would not upshift unless I put in in manual mode. This was accompanied by the 'CHECK' light coming on.

    As of today, they put in a new 'valve body' (I think that's what they called it) but it is still acting weird - ie., a very hard upshift from 3rd to 4th and once it would not shift out of second until I put it in manual mode. This time the 'CHECK' light did not come on.

    Has anyone had a similar experience??
  • hyundaimahyundaima Posts: 197
    Does the "hard shift" occur every time it shifts to the 4th or intermittently?
  • I had a similiar problem, but, along with this my Santa Fe was hard to start. It then ran rough and would not shift until I went to the manual mode. The check light never came on. I limped it home and then had roadside assistance tow it to the dealer. This was on a Saturday. On Monday, the service department called saying that it was the crank sensor. It took an extra day to get the part. So I got it back midafternoon Tuesday. This all started on Sept 9. It has run very well since then. I have a FWD GLS with 15k miles.
  • Update - I went by the dealer and the mechanic made some sort of adjustment that seems to have fixed the slipping problem but the hard upshift from 3rd to 4th is still there. The Service Mgr. is going to check with Hyundai today and let me know what the next step is. I will pass on what they tell me.

    Hyundaima - the hard upshift occurs every time but some are worse than others.
  • For some reason Consumer Reports really hates Hyundais. If you look on page 76 of their Winter 2002 New Car Preview, you will see they have actual reliability ratings listed there. In 14 total areas, they rate the Santa Fe as "excellent" in 11 areas and "very good" in 3 areas. This actual, real world history caused them to say "but first-year reliability was just below average." How do they come to that conclusion? What do you owners think? I would be upset because this bias is why so many people who have never even sat in a Hyundai before automatically assume they are junk!
  • I have only one problem with my FWD GLS. When the AC is on, the air flow varies without adjusting the fan speed. The air itself is still cold, and you can still hear the blower, but the air seems like it is being blocked by something. Is anyone else experiencing the same problem.
  • After they replaced the Valve Body in the transmission they had to re-program the computer so it would know when to up/down shift. This seems to have solved the problem.

    This is the first real problem I've had in the year and 11k miles since I bought it.

    claywaterfill: What do I think? I think CR's reputation just went down a notch. I understand when Motor Trend, Road & Track, Car & Driver overlook the obvious advantages the SF has over the Escape et al because Hyundai doesn't buy as many ad pages as Ford and the rest but I expect more from CR.
  • Consumer Reports states "the reliability of new models based on data we collect each year from extensive surveys of our subscribers." I don't think Consumer Reports is bias but I don't know how accurate their data is. Their info is probably self-selective, in that only Consumer Reports readers who write in are consider. My family has subscribed to CR for years and we have never filled out any surveys. Maybe someone here know where they really get their info and whether it means anything.
  • The "Frequency-of-Repair" chart in the April issue of Consumer Reports displays 14 catagories. Problems reported by comsumers are rated five ways.
    2% or less is much better than average, full red dot
    2% ~ 5% is better than average, half red dot
    5% ~ 9.3% is average, open circle
    9.3% ~ 14.8% is below average, half black circle
    More than 14.8% is a full black circle

    This year the 'average' new car has 11 areas solid red, 2.0% or less problems reported, and 3 areas half red, 2.0 to 5.0% problems reported after one year, exactly as Claywaterfill states for the Santa Fe above. Maybe at mid-year the 'average' new car now rates higher, say 12 solid red and 2 half solid red, causing Santa Fe to slip just under average.

    Consumer Reports should change their baseline. In April, better than average is 12 and 2, average is 11 and 3, below average is 10 and 4. The line is too thin! But as years go by, the report reveals much. A 1993 GMC Jimmy is solid black in 11 areas!!. A 1999 Elantra is above average at one year old but below average at two years old. (Overall it's ok in most areas but SOLID black on Transmission.)

    From Consumer Reports... "Reliability information is based on readers responses covering more than 500,000 vehicles." .... It's truly an excellent chart because YOU, the owners, create it by responding the their questionnaires.

    Consumer Reports ratings on test-drive is another area completely. Edmunds rates the XTerra high in the last two tests on SUVs but Consumer Reports places it just above the Sportage, at the bottom. So I read Edmunds comparison tests closely to find out why this SUV winner should be dropped from my short list. The XTerra is so loud on the street one editor here suggests cranking the radio to drown sounds. hmmm. Another reports the Escape rattles and vibrates from bow to stern off-road. ouch!! That doesn't qualify either as 'best'

    The Santa Fe is reported to have excellent road manners. It's quiet but doesn't handle corners or zoom like the Escape. It does dirt without complaint but doesn't climb like XTerra or Liberty. Hey I can live with that. And the Santa Fe as the most beautiful SUV out there!! Edmunds doesn't agree with me on that point. Some editors found Santa Fe a little numb. How do you owners feel about Santa Fe's driving manners. Is it boring? Numb? Anyone take theirs off-road?
  • As I suspected these ratings are based on what Consumer Reports readers report, which is not the most objective or accurate way to determine reliability.
  • You may see these two new SUV in the States next fall.

    Hyundai Terracan V6 3.5

    Ssang-yong Rexton I6 3.2


    Hyundai Santa-Fe

  • Roadkill55: I had the check engine light come on - as the car stalled at a traffic light. It didn't want to start right away but did after I gave it a bit of gas. Anyway, the 'check' light went off two days later (and before I could take it in for service) but Hyundai read the stored computer codes for the problem which pointed to the Crank Sensor. The Service Manager said that Hyundai has put out a technical bulletin about it. Fortunately, they had the part in stock and replaced it while I waited.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Hyundai Motor expects 15% increase in exports to U.S.

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • If you don't think Consumer Reports use of survey answers from its readers is very good in determining reliability, what would you suggest?

    Also, I don't know how Consumer Reports determines who gets sent a survey, but they sure can't report what they don't get. One of your post implies that CR is at fault for reporting only what they are told.

    As I asked, what do you suggest is a good source for checking on a car's quality and reliability?
  • That's a good question. reliability ratings should be based on statistical analyses of good, valid samples of actual repair data. You can interpret the dot-color charts in whatever way you want; If I remember it correctly, Consumer Reports does not claim they rate the reliability of the cars. They just report the results of the survey from their subscribers who chose to respond to it.The coloring is just one way of representing the tally, simple arithmetic, which is statistically meaningless.
  • And how would you suggest this data on actual repairs be collected and collected from whom? Also, how would you encourage participation.

    I think that the Consumer Reports survey should be sent to every subscriber AND included in an issue distributed to newsstands. To encourage participation, prizes should be awarded, but to keep things on the up and up, VINs should have to be provided.
  • MS Carpoint offers reliability ratings provided by AIS. AIS is the largest repair information provider to repair shops and technicians in the US. They collect the actual repair data from the technicians woking on the cars in the field.
  • A better way to determine reliability would be to gather information from service centers on how many vehicles they service, the model numbers and years, the nature of the repairs and compare that to how many of those vehicles are actually on the road. Self-reporting, especially if you don't take a truly random sample, is one of the least accurate ways of gathering statistical data. People who subscribe to Consumer Reports are not representative of all American consumers. I subscribe to Consumer Reports and value their information but whenever you hear a statistic you have to question how they arrived at that number.
  • The problem I have with your suggested solutions is that there seems to be very big gaps in the information that AIS provides. If a car is fairly recent (two years or newer), it does not seem that AIS has information on it. Does this mean that the cars are problem free? No, it probably means that AIS subscribers aren't doing the work on the vehicles in question.

    Take the Hyundai Santa Fe, the subject of this thread, for example. There is no reliability information on it on Carpoint, but there is initial quality/reliability information on it through Consumer Reports and JD Powers.

    Also, AIS says they get 250,000 calls a year from service techs. Compare that to the 500,000 vehicles that someone said Consumer Reports receives responses on. Also, think about the fact that some of these calls that AIS get could be on the same vehicle, over and over while Consumer Reports is reporting on 500,000 DIFFERENT vehicles.

    Yes, Carpoint and AIS gives you a more detailed breakdown than Consumer Reports and JD Powers, but I think that is due more to the medium and not necessarily due to the quality of information each receives.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    You make a good point!

    I thought that Consumer Reports did testing but do rely on consumer input on some reliability issues.

    On the other hand, I doubt if CR could have survived and thrived all these years if the information they published were itself not reliable. Perhaps CR readers tend to be more discerning than the "average consumer."

  • Every year, I get a car survey form from Consumer Report. The survey asks various questions concerning the vehicles that you have owned in the previous year. I have never filled one out before but you bet your bippy, I will be filling it out on my Santa Fe. I know that CR uses this survey as part of their report on the vehicles in April magazine
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    Do we get a sneak preview? What will you tell them?

  • So far my Santa Fe has been behaving nicely. The only problem was the fan belt. I had to get it replaced.
  • lrchomelrchome Posts: 130
    I have had my Santa Fe LX fo a year now and have over 10,000 miles and it has been flawless in every way. I would have to say my reliability has been way above average.
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