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Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Problems



  • After the dealer replace a refurbished transmission, that problem is fixed. However, I noticed that the MPG is lower than before.
  • It's official. My brand new '08 Santa Fe with 3,800 miles is getting a new transmission. Not happy... :mad:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Is Hyundai paying for it or does that come out of your own pocket?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Well... at least they are replacing it, instead of arguing with you or calling it "normal" (which is what some carmakers might try). I have a friend who is a lemon law attorney, and has plenty of these stories.

    Did they hassle you much before offering the new transmission?

    - Bokonon
  • Hyundai is paying for it and they give us a new Sonata as a loaner while the Santa Fe is in the shop. They didn't give us any "hassle" at the dealer and handle it in a very "matter of fact" way but it doesn't make me feel any better about the experience.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    it doesn't make me feel any better about the experience.

    I can understand that but I know I'd feel a LOT better about not having to pay for it myself. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Do you get a brand new transmission? I got a refurbished one which I was not happy, but the dealer said Hyundai will only give you refurbished parts under warranty.
  • considering buying SF 2008 new. Now after reading tranny problems, worried if I should buy it or not. Any suggestions.
  • lucky15lucky15 Posts: 72
    I believe all the reports of tranny problems with the 2007 Sante Fe, and I don`t think there were that many, were on the SE or Limited, which have the larger engine and a 5 speed tranny, on the GLS, which I own, it has a smaller engine and there is a 4 speed tranny, and I have not had any problems at all with it and I have 10,000 miles on it. So, for what it is worth this may help you decide on what to do.
  • lucky15, thanks for the reply. Actually looking at the 2008 SF, SE model. Were the problems with the 2007s only?
  • paulnzpaulnz Posts: 16
    I have a 2008 SF Limited 3.3 AWD that shifts hard when the engine/trans (see the thread I started about the problem).

    The 2007 and 2008 appear to be essentially the same, so I would think the trans problems would apply to both years.

    Even though I am really upset with my trans problem, so far the diagnostics that have been run on it show that it is working properly. And it DOES work properly once warmed up.

    When you are looking at problems with the Santa Fe trans (5 speed auto), they fall into two areas: 1.) Poor shifting under certain conditions or trans failures and 2.) a 'slow' 1st to 2nd shift.

    There have not been many posts related to #1 (mine falls into that category), but there have been a lot about #2. Mine does have the #2 problem, but it has never bothered me. I had a Villager minivan that shifted from 1st to 2nd in exactly the same way, so I am used to it. Other people absolutely can't stand it. I suspect that problem #2 will never be eliminated (although it is possible that there could be a future software upgrade that might help).

    So, I think that unless you are unlucky like a few of us have been, you probably won't have a trans failure or other trans weirdness. However, you should put a lot of test drive miles on one before you buy to be sure that you can live with the way it shifts from 1st to 2nd.
  • I don't know if the replacement transmission is new or not. I did not ask the question when it was getting serviced. The truck seems to be running well now and I hope it holds up. We've been very gentle with it since it was new and only to be rewarded with a problem.

    I'll be reluctant to recommend Hyundai to people I know base on my experience but I don't know if I am "one in a million" or "one in a hundred". So as to a new car buying decision, I would ask you to weight the cost saving (if any) to say an equivalent car of a more reputable brand. If the SF is 2 or 3 grans cheaper then an say Honda CR-V, is that 2 to 3 grans worth the headache to you? Or maybe 4-5 grans saving?
  • How did your new transmission work out? At about 300 miles my 08 SF SE started having problems shifting, it would stutter or lurch when the gas was pressed just a little. If you punched it, it would stutter once and then accelerate, it seems that the transmission is shifting up and down. I dont' know though, it's in the shop right now. I'm obviously not happy at all, this is the second time it's been in the shop for this issue. Just wondering if other 08 SF are having the same syptom, and how yours turned out.
  • The last few weeks in Minnesota has been very cold, 20+ below zero. I have a 07 Santa Fe Limited. Today it shifted so hard from 1st to 2nd gear that the check engine light came on. The Hyundai Dealer I bought it from went out of business, so I called another one. The early st I can get it in is 4 days. I told them that was unacceptable, and any further damage would be their problem. I'm sure that my not buying it from this dealer has put me on the bottom of their list. I guess i'll halfto wait and see.
  • iand2iand2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Santa FE with 2.7 with 96000km on the clock, the problem I am having is that when you are travelling and you take your foot off the accelerator the car decides to shift down from 4th to 2nd and starts breaking. It feels as if you have the speed control set (which is not the case here) the car is trying to maintain it’s set speed.
    Anyone know what the would be causing this to happen
  • Hi! I just had almost the exact same situation happen to me. I just bought a 2008 Santa Fe SE and just picked it up last Thursday night. We were going out of town on Friday so we got to our destination (about 200 miles from our home). We were parking in a parking garage to go to dinner when the car wouldn't reverse by that I mean it would go into reverse but it wouldn't move backwards it just sounded like it was in neutral. So we finally got it out of the parking garage as it would still drive. We were trying to take it back to the place we were staying and all of the sudden the car jerked like it was having problems switching gears and than the check engine light came on. We pulled over right away and called the roadside assistance. At that point the car had 290 miles on it and I had the car for almost exactly 25 hours. They towed the car to the nearest Hyundai dealer. Since it was a Friday night it didn't get looked at until Monday morning. They said that the transmission needed to be replaced.

    My issue is that I paid for a new car not a car that had to be ripped apart to have a new transmission put in at 290 miles. I'm currently in the beginning stages of fighting for a completely new vehicle. I was just wondering how you got the dealership to buy back your car and if you had any suggestions on dealing with this issue. Where did you buy your car from? Did they buy it back? Everyone at Hyundai that I've talked to said that have never heard of this happening before an it's such a freak incident but honestly if it is I don't understand why I can't have my car replaced. It doesn't seem normal to me.

    I really appreciate any information and advice you may have. I'm shocked to have found someone else that has had a similar situation happen to them.
  • parag1parag1 Posts: 6

    I have also bought the new '08 Hyundai and I was talking to someone from Hyundai customer support about some accessories I wanted which do not come on GLS (Fog Lights) and the customer associate told me if my car is less then 500 miles then dealer ship should be able to fix me up with the new car since less then 500 miles is considered as new car. You should check this out.
  • shmshenshmshen Posts: 20
    See my old post:
    The dealer where I purchased found that the transmission has problem and needs to be replaced. Wow, it is a brand new car!!

    Should I just accept the replacement? Or can I do anything else? It is a brand new car with only 1650miles!!!

    You are not alone.
  • rectechrectech Posts: 1
    Emission check revealed a code referring to the torque converter. My mechanic friend says it indicates the transmission is not shifting to overdrive.
    Can anyone tell me if this is true and what causes the shift to overdrive? Hydrolic pressure and or electronic controlled valve?
  • I bought this car new (but with 5k miles on it where the dealership manager drove it). I love the car, but I keep having this issues where 1st the check engine light comes on then the ESC light and there is another light right under it that looks like the car chassi..four wheels, etc. anyway it starts blinking, I lose all acceleration. The only fix is to pull off on the road, turn the car off, turn it back on and go again until it stops. This last time that didn't even fix it until I put it in gear and then back in park, turned it off and back on and it let me go about 4 miles and I had to do it all over again. I have had it to the dealership three times in the last year I have had the car. I have contacted Hyundai for statistics on this issus. Has anyone else experienced this? I don't know if the throttle sensors they keep replacing is a band aid for a BIGGER problem or if this is just a know issue that will keep happening.
  • I had the same problem on my new 2008 Santa Fe. Transmission was replaced at 36,000 miles. This morning big jerk when I stopped at a red light. Called Hyundai, they want me to bring it in. Do not believe them they will say that they have never heard of this but they are lying. This is the second time I am having trouble. I am also starting procedures to get my money back.
  • espo35espo35 Posts: 144
    Reading this thread, I see TWO people complaining about their transmissions in a YEAR'S worth of thread.

    Not too bad.
  • Im not sure if anyone can help me with this, but I have a 2004 Santa Fe 2.7 with a 4 speed automatic transmission and 79,000 miles. Recently, I have had a time getting it to go into gear when I first start it up. It is cold right now so I thought maybe that would factor in a bit, but it seems to get worse. I will put it in reverse to back out of my parking spot and it will sit there and not engage, and once it engages and I put it into drive, it wont engage into drive for about 5-8 seconds.

    Just today, I went to put it into reverse and it just sat there....and sat there.....and sat there. I would rev it up and nothing would happen and finally I would hit the gas and it would start to crawl back like I am driving a manual vehicle.

    I've also noticed that it shifts hard from 1st-2nd and if i dont have my foot fully on the gas at slower speeds (under 45) it seems like it slips out of the gear. I checked the transmission fluid and I put more in it, but it hasn't helped.
  • pounpoun Posts: 1
    Hi Guys

    My SF 2008 SE is driving me crazy. On one day the car drives very smooth and shift very well, on another day it drivers like if I'm polling a truck behind me, stiff and slow shifting from gear 1 to 2. I took it to Hyundai dealer three time , and every time they told that the car is perfect and there in no error or code to duplicate. I don't now what to do anymore. I will lose lot of money if I try selling it. Any help appreciated.
  • my 2003 has a jerking issue that has just recently started jerking when i put it into gear it will jerk then few seconds after will drive. when i slow down at a light or anywhere the car will loose power and shut off. hyundai canada doesn know or see any problem but that will happen at the wrong place ,wrong time. It did it when i was about to make a left turn and it shut down i could have been in a terrible accident
  • my 2008 santa fe ltd with 15,000 miles has develop some issues with the transmission from the moment they change the tps sensor ( GOT CODE P2135.) . well the car ran find after for about a day,then while slowing down to a light the car would kick hard, took it back, they re-calibrated the tps sensor. and 3 tech took it for a ride, according to them the car was fin. yesterday, while driving around 20 mph you can hear low rattle and slight moan coming from under the car and once the car gets to fifth gear all those the noises disappear .. at that point frustrated, thinking why i bought a Hyundai. i jack the front wheels and to my surprise i find a side to side free play from the passenger side front wheel, at least a 1/4 of inch of free play is noticed. it seems i also need an inner tied rod. totally unrelated problem.. in a lighter note, t the transmission is shifting perfectly even thougth those noises and rattles, since i have awd i was thinking it could be the tranfer case. any how this car is going back on monday. :mad:
  • I made a post in here about a year ago about my santa fe shifting from 1st to 2nd badly. Well its done it 3 times so far this winter, and of course the dealer cant find any problems with it. I'm about ready to trade it off on something befor the tranny blows up. :mad:
  • well, the dealer states they need more time to diagnose the problem, according to the service advisor they are not sure if it is a transfer case or transmission internal issued.
    either or is under warranty. i have a feeling this guys are going to change the transmission. Has anyone being thru this before, any idea how long that takes? :(
  • I have the same car where same problem just developed, 14k miles. Can you tell me how your problem was resolved? Thanks very much.
  • omar6575omar6575 Posts: 24
    Well I got the car back, the dealer replace the entire transmission, flush the transmission cooler, radiator and change the coolant. To be really honest the car runs better than it did when it was new. The car its now very,very,very smooth. The shifting logic is perfect, it goes tru all gears seamless, no noises or grinding, even when you shift out of park you cant feel anything its scary smooth...
    i find my self checking if its in reverse drive or in park. ill will keep you guys posted with any issues, but so far it feels like i have a new car again. :)
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