Hyundai Santa Fe AWD Questions

jimirljimirl Member Posts: 31
Well, I have my new '07 Santa Fe about 2 weeks now. I had debated over getting AWD or not. Previously I had a 4Runner with 4WD and I had to admit I rarely used the 4WD feature. BUt when I did need it, it was a blessing. I live in the NY/NJ area and sometimes we deal with snowy conditions. Ultimately I did decide on the AWD for my Santa Fe.

Yesterday we got some snow ( Friday ). It was an icy, hail type of snow. I work evenings so I was leaving for work well into the messy weather. I saw many vehicles slide on the unplowed roads. Some hit the dividers and some hit each other. It might be a combination of bad driving and poorly handling vehicles.

I started my vehicle, got rid of the snow on the windows and pushed the "lock the AWD" button. I honestly have to say, from the moment I pulled out of my spot, the Santa Fe was nothing but confident on the road. I never drove a vehicle with traction control, stability control or AWD before ( just FWD and 4WD ). I couldn't believe how stable it was on the mushy and icy surface. I didn't want to push my luck, but when I had the chance, I did gas it a bit and was a little aggrsive with the steering. I just wanted to feel it slip and slide a little so I would know it's limits. It just wouldn't. I started to think maybe the road conditions were actually not bad. That was until I started to see other vehicles slide and skid. I did see many accidents yesterday and I am sure the insurance companies are frowning.

I have read a few articles about the Santa Fe and AWD. They never claim the Santa Fe AWD is an off road vehicle in the serious sense. But they do say it is one of the most capable in it's class. Any doubts I had before about it perfoming in adverse conditions are gone. I couldn't have felt safer on messy roads

I am now a very proud Hyundai owner :)


  • pelican19pelican19 Member Posts: 323
    Yep. Two thumbs up from me as well. I was really concerned we were not going to get the conditions here in NY/NJ to test the Santa but yesterday was a trip. My daughter had a sweet 16 to go to and many of the kids cancelled due to the weather not my daughter. From the moment I left the garage it was a dream to drive. We had quite a few fender benders here in Staten Island as well. The AWD is awesome. A very agile and sure footed machine. I too tried to push it beyond its limits. Its hard to do. Well done Hyundai.
  • mrmister2000mrmister2000 Member Posts: 86
    I live in NJ and had to drive home from work in that storm and yes, it was quite a troublesome storm. A number of cars (at least 4) slid off I-295 and into the ditches. The whole time I had the "steering wheel grip of death" as I still currently have my 2WD Ford Ranger (absolutely horrible in any kind of inclement weather). I suppose that by the time that I finally do get my Santa Fe (sometime next month) the bad weather will pretty much be gone, but it's good to hear from others in the area just how capable this truck can be when the nasty stuff hits!
  • tpfilm1tpfilm1 Member Posts: 25
    Ok... People have mentioned the AWD in snow.

    I have to ask... has anyone taken their Santa Fe on a mild off-road excursion? How did it do? Where you nervous?

    Anyone taken their Santa Fe on the beach? Here in NC there are a few places along the coast that you can take 4X4's on the beach. We are not talking beach like Daytona. Soft, loose sand. I have seen CRVs and Escapes out there. Never noticed any Santa Fes.

    Also... anyone used the tow hooks on the Santa Fe? Especially curious about the screw-in hook in the back.
  • pelican19pelican19 Member Posts: 323
    I have used my Limited AWD in 2foot of snow and ice in PA up hills and on medium duty trails with absolutely no issues. It performs better than expected. The OEM tires need replacing if you intend to do a lot of it though.

    My only fear was scratching the paint other wise it is very forgiving and nimble.

    On one snowy night in PA I had to use the tow rope to pull my father in-law out of a ditch. He slid off the road and could not climb back out. ( s10 blazer ) heheheh. We still give him crap about that night. This Santa Rocks!
  • salestrainersalestrainer Member Posts: 1
    I am a new Santa Fe owner with a 2007 AWD model and have a question about the AWD (I haven't had an oppportunity to really test this yet in slick conditions).........the manual isn't real clear on how the AWD locks/disengages and displays at certain speeds.

    -Does the AWD disengage automatically above the indicated speeds in the manual (19-25 mph) even though you have activated the "Lock AWD" button?
    -If this is the case then.......Does the dashboard "Lock" indicator stay on or go off?
    -(presuming the automatic disengage functioanlity) If you reduce speed to less than the 19/25 does the AWD re-engage automatically?

    Anything else I need to know about the AWD function on the Santa Fe?

    Thanks in advance..............

    Salestrainer in Kansas City
  • drwoodrdrwoodr Member Posts: 88
    There was a recent discussion of this in one of the other treads, but the AWD does disengage automatically between the indicated speeds in the manual (19-25 mph). The dashboard "Lock" indicator does stay on, because when you slow down, it will re-engage. I find it does improve traction from a stop in slippery conditions.
  • somedai1somedai1 Member Posts: 416
    right- it is 50/50 power to the wheels front/rear while locked - as u increase speed the 50/50 continuously decreases until it goes back to normal awd...
  • kdahlquistkdahlquist Member Posts: 130
    From what I've read, the AWD lock button locks in a 50/50 front/rear torque split, but only up to 22 mph. Above 22 mph, the system operates on demand, meaning that torque is only sent to the rear wheels when the system detects slippage of one or both front wheels. I live in Minnesota, and we've had a lot of snow, already (there is about 24 inches on the ground right now, with 6 of those falling in the past week), so I've had a lot of opportunity to test out the AWD features of my 2007 Santa Fe Limited. Frankly, I haven't really noticed any benefit of the AWD lock. When you get above 22 mph, the light does stay on. I assume that just means that it is automatically locking up again whenever your speed drops below 22 mph. That makes sense to me, anyway, but I can't actually feel any difference. In any case, I've been driving in a lot of heavy snow, ice and slush, and while things are sometimes slippery, I haven't yet had any occasion where I felt like I might get stuck.
  • somedai1somedai1 Member Posts: 416
    i read up the manual and a lot of reviews because i was big on the capability issue... that's why i think the 50/50 decreases as you increase speed...
  • hatehyundaihatehyundai Member Posts: 2
    My husband and I bought a 2008 Santa Fe Limited on 14Feb09. We purchased on a Saturday. The car went back into the dealers shop on the following Tuesday 17 Feb09 for a severe shaking in the front end. The dealer service manager stated that the tires needed to be balanced and put wheels form another car in the lot on my car. I returned the same day 17 Feb09 at EOB complaining of the same vibration in the car.
    On 04Mar09, the car was sent to the dealer again. After several attempts to balance the tires and vibration not going away they road force balanced the tires but that the tech still felt the vibration and that he would contact a field rep. The service manager then said that field rep from Hyundai said it was due to the torque of the engine at 45 and 60mph. I then called another service manager at Hyundai in Allentown and he laughed. I was told by him that there was an issue with the tires on the 2008 limited and to request that new tires be placed on my car. He also told me to call Hyundai Customer Service and open a ticket to show documentation of the issues I then called back Limerick service manager and told him that this is what I wanted done. He said that he would have to speak to his representative about the new tires and get back to me. The car then had new tires placed on it with my original rims.

    I drove the car for several days and found that the right rear tire seemed to be banging loudly after going over regular manholes or bumps in the road and bouncing like it would not recover from said bump. All the while, still feeling a vibration, when the speedometer hit 45, 60, and 70 mph. I again called the customer service hotline and took it back to the dealer and the service manager rode in the car with me. He agreed that he felt the same issues and thought it was the right rear strut causing this and that it may or may not fix the vibration issue but he would order the part . While I was there I also told the service manager and the tech that I felt and could hear a click in the front of the car when I made a turn from a dead stop. The tech stated that this was a tech service bulletin and that he would order the par to fix it. Again on Mar18, 09 the car went in for repair of the right rear strut and the front end click.
    I picked it up that same day and drove away feeling the same vibration. A few days later I again called the customer service hotline and the service manager at Limerick Hyundai stating that I could feel the vibration and the there is now what sounds like a bead rolling around in the glove compartment area when the temp is around 30 degrees. The service manager stated that he was going to have to call his representative and give me a call back My husband drove the car for a whole day and he said there is a vibration still in the back.
    When I go 70 mph the front seems to jump or vibrate for and extended amount of time after going over normal highway bumps and there is now what sounds like a bead rolling around in the glove compartment area when the temp is around 30 degrees and the original vibration is still there. When I had not heard back from Limerick service manager, I again called the customer service hotline, complained about the vibration, the bead noise in/near the glove compartment and the paint defect on the roof above the driver windshield of the car .A yellowish defect in the paint about 3” wide by 6” long and was told that my issue was getting escalated to higher supervisors. I got a call back the next day stating that a Hyundai Field Rep would be in contact with me in 24 to 48 hours after his call. On 31Mar09 I received a call from Hyundai Customer Service to inform me that the Field Rep denied my case regarding the vibration in the car since the tires were replaced with new tires. I told them that the field rep never contacted me and had never driven my car so how did he deny the case and they stated he reviewed my folder and since the tires were replaced, there was no case. Since then I took the car to another dealer and they found that the left front tire was wobbling secondary to the 'band' in the NEW tire was broke. They have told me that the carpet is suppose to be that way(pliable and creased) and they can not fix it. Oh and here is the best comment yet. I am to drive the car for a while because it is in the service managers experience that once a person has all these issues with a new vehicle. The new owner tends to start making issues up. IF I could have crawled throught the damn phone and grabbed his neck I would have. Vibration STILL THERE as well as all the other problems minus the paint issue, they buffed that out. CAN U SAY L_E_M_O_ N :lemon: :mad:
  • cherrmancherrman Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2007 santa fe with 27400 miles the rear left caliper will seize the to disc from time to time. On my first appointment with the dealer they told me everything was fine and sent me home. 2 miles away from the dealer the noise started again. Back to the dealer. The service man went with me for a drive. It made the noise!!!!
    There are going to cover a new caliper rotor and pads for that side only. But at least it us covered.
  • highridgehighridge Member Posts: 2
    I know it's been a long time since your post... but if you're still out there... do you still feel good about being in 2 ft of snow in your Santa Fe? How about snowy hills? How's the ground clearance? I'm in VT so it's a big issue for me. Conditions can deteriorate quickly around here!
  • hatehyundaihatehyundai Member Posts: 2
    Hi ,
    I live in Pa. and with the storms we have had in the past week the car did well.
    however, I did not go up steep mountains. The Santa Fe limited does have a stick shift feature on it that will help in the snow and ground clearance has never been an issue. We have had issues with the car ( bad tires, right back strut was bad) but they were finally all fixed. Overall I am happy
  • tomato418tomato418 Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for responding. So... you no longer "hate Hyundai" ?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,704
    edited February 2010
    hatehyundai. I am curious, do ya still hate Hyundai? :D

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • glucoseglucose Member Posts: 10
    Hi there my Santa Fe AWD 2010 brand new drove off and it was vibrating on the highway it has been back to dealership 4 times and Im told first they cannot feel it or do want to hear this one "that's how suv's drive." I had an independent mechanic test drive it and there is definitly a vibration between 60km and 110km. I plan to take this further until it gets fixed because I know another customer that went through the same problem and they fixed it .
  • jerseyanjerseyan Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    I have the 2009 GLS 2.7L AWD. I went from a 4wd Silverado to the SUV with no regrets. My major construction days are done, and driving around paying a fortune for fuel with an empty truck bed 94% of the time seemed like a good reason to let it go. I wanted a new vehicle, without breaking the bank. I opted for the GLS vs. the upscale version not because of affordability, but it had all I needed, why pay more for the more expensive model? It came with the hands free Bluetooth and I added a trailer hitch for those occasional trips to the home centers. The roof racks and crossbars came with the vehicle, but if I had to purchase them, how often do you travel with items on the roof?

    The 3.3L engine to me wasn’t worth the added cost. The 2.7L has more than enough power, and with the AWD and autoshift, it is excellent in the snow. I have averaged on the highway anywhere from 18 to almost 24mpg. For a vehicle this size I feel it is pretty good. The newer models claim to get 28.

    Some reviews have said the cabin noise is loud with the windows down. I think most cars at 70mph with the windows down have a lot of cabin noise. Adding air deflectors / vent visors around the windows helps keep the air noise to a minimum when the windows are open.

    Financing all those add on items over time adds up. When you buy a vehicle you are paying a ton in interest for the mud flaps, fog lights, cargo cover, etc. being somewhat handy, I buy the aftermarket items as I can afford them, or get them on e-bay at a reduced price. As far as resale, after five years it’s a moot point after that, and if you plan on keeping a vehicle 7 to 10 years, who really cares about resale?

    At 26,000 miles, I have had no major problems, and have not been back to the dealer for any repairs. Changing the oil, filters, rotating tires at regular intervals for any vehicle, along with regular maintenance is key to longevity of any vehicle.

    If you’re looking for more power, heavy towing, or going from 0 to 60 in 30 seconds, this isn’t the vehicle for you. The Santa Fe is a great all around vehicle, quiet, comfortable, elegant and has plenty of storage, with the seats down it is more than adequate. It handles bad weather like a walk in the park.

    Hyundai is underrated, and is a very versatile all-around vehicle. This SUV is very capable of handling rough, gravel, dirt, muddy and off the beaten path roads. It will hold your camping gear, ski’s, golf clubs, kids, soccer gear, and is able to tow your ski doodles, motorcycles or trailerable items such as moving furniture for your kids.

    If you are looking to cross over 12” streams, boulders, tow a 40 foot Chris Craft, and drive across the Appalachian Trail, go purchase a Jeep or adequately equipped pickup. Or if you want to be gone in 60 seconds the minute the light changes green why are you looking at a Santa Fe?
  • jogataujogatau Member Posts: 4
    I'm new to this forum and seems the place to get good answers / advise.

    I have a AWD, 2005 SF - 3.5L and which I had rear differential changed because of annoying winding noise and got it back today and the noise is gone. I have 248,000 km on it and they installed a used rear differential with 50,000 km (at least, that what they told me). When I pick up my SF the driving was totally different, like unstable/unsafe on snowy / icy roads; note that the driving was nice sturdy and straight before I brought it in for the diff. replacement Now, even on dry pavement it wants to pull left and my steering wheel is turned slightly to the right to keep it straight. I believe, changing the rear diff. is pretty straight forward and with no adjustment to the wheel alignment. When I started driving on my way back home, I immediately notice a difference; the SF is pulling toward the center lane with a slippery / swerving effect on icy/ snowy back roads, even worse when moving very slowly (5-15 km/hr); like its dancing side to side. I called the mechanic upon my return home and told him something was wrong or very odd and describe the driving. His response was that he thinks my rear shocks are done which I think makes no sense, they might need to be replaced although not the problem here. To me it seems like the gear ratio between to front and the back may be different with front and back wheels working against each other which would make more sense that the rear shocks; is there a way to test this/ration between front and back wheels? I was told that the used rear diff. they installed came from a 2005 SF - 3.5L. Is there a possibility that more mileage / wear at front trans-axle verses rear diff. would cause this? or are there different gear ratio in those 2005 3.5L SF model. Is it possible to put in 2.7L diff. on a 3.5L, would it fit? and do they have same gear ratio? Anyone else had this problem? I'm really baffled by this problem and don't feel good and safe driving my SF this way. Any tips or advises are welcome. Thanks in advance

  • jogataujogatau Member Posts: 4
    I've done much search on the Internet and this Forum and can't seem to find the as manufactured rear differential gear ratio for a 2005 Santa Fe 3.5L - AWD. Any Idea where I can find this information? Thanks
  • jogataujogatau Member Posts: 4
    OK I Called my dealer and he confirmed that I have a 3.8 rear differential ratio and the guy that installed the used diff on my SF 3.5L AWD said he put in a 3.62 gear ratio; now, what will this do to my drive train? will this screw up my front transaxle and transmission? Not sure where he got the 3.62 rear diff., according to the dealer, the rear diff. of the SF 2.7L is the same as the 3.5L although two type for either the ABS and No ABS which one has a limited slip diff. the other none. As it is now, my SF drives crazy on snow and ice, just like driving on ball bearings as if you don't have full control of the vehicle. Any comments or experience in this regards? :confuse:

  • bigmac1223bigmac1223 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, just had a quick question. I understand the whole thing if the AWD is locked and if you are driving over the 19-25MPH range that the AWD will disengage. My question is when the AWD light in not locked how is the power distributed to the wheels in normal driving condtions and also with a somewhat wet road? Thanks
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