Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Problems



  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Member Posts: 519
    I've driven a GLS 4-cyl AWD. I did not notice the effect that billaggie describes. There is no Overdrive button, but there is an AWD Lock button. Maybe this is the culprit? Or perhaps the rear Emergency Brake is not releasing? Just my $0.02.
  • billaggiebillaggie Member Posts: 3
    Yes, I'm sure it is AWD. The sticker says so.

    It's not the AWD lock button. I tried that and no difference. I can't for the life of me figure out why such a feature would be implemented. Maybe it has something to do with the anti-skid... but disengaging that also has no effect. Placing it into netural is the only way to freewheel --- as one might do approaching an interstate exit or just coasting into a new lower speed zone.

    THanks for the comments but still wondering about it.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
    Actually... there isn't any automatic transmission that actually "freewheels". All automatics stay in gear.... You may be used to older automatics that stay in top gear for a longer period of time (as the car decelerates), or even have a higher final drive ratio than the Santa Fe.

    Not discounting that there may be something wrong with the car, but a lower top gear, AWD hardware and an electronic transmission that downshifts or holds a lower gear when coasting downhill, probably all add up to a different driving experience than you are used to...

    My wife's SUV (not a Santa Fe) has a 6-speed automatic, and it will hold at 35 mph all the way down a 1/2-mile long hill near our house... My son's '92 Acura would be doing 60 by the time you got to the bottom, if you didn't use the brakes. By the way, I hate her


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  • billaggiebillaggie Member Posts: 3
    I don't claim at all to be a mechanic. But what you are saying does surprise me. Not that I don't believe it... maybe just I don't understand it. Every car I have driven will drop in RPM's (substantially) when the foot is removed from the accelerator. As best my memory serves me, they drop substantially. This SantaFe is truly the first vehicle that the RPM's stay the same on the engine when the petal is released. At 65 I recall the TACH running around 2300 RPMS. Letting go I would expect some drop, but there is none. It stays right at the same RPM's. So I guess I don't understand any of this really. I just know that there is a noticeable drag on the car when coasting. And it's the only vehicle I have ever felt it down shift when coasting up to a stoplight or sign...

    So this is normal? Thanks for your reply.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Member Posts: 2,345
    I guess the difference then is Cda to the USA. Cda didn't get AWD 4 cyl in 2010. Is there a Sport mode? Click it off. Sounds like it might be the nature of the beast tho since another one does similar. I have found (the few times I have driven a new auto) that since DBW has been incorporated, there seems to be less freewheel type feel on deceleration. I suspect that ironically enough, they are doing this on purpose and it is probably shutting of fuel to the fuel injectors. There are numerous sensors that allow the tranny and torque convertor etc etc all measure vehicle speed, rpm, gear, throttle position, throttle pedal position etc etc. So while in the old days, the freewheel feel, was still 'idling up' the engine, which they must have been able to do enough comparisons that the new style uses less fuel. That's my hunch even though it does seem non-conducive to using less fuel. Maybe the torque convertor is hanging more/longer than it should during the message to turn of fuel injectors?
  • bookinu2bookinu2 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same Dead Spot issue on my 2011 Santa Fe Limited V6.
    Here's the FIX. Since Toyota had the runaway accelerator problems, Hyundai built in a circuit on the brake light switch that will defeat the accelerator,(since it a cabless system), same as cancelling cruise control. If the brakelight switch has not been adjusted properly, any slight, and I mean slight motion on the brake pedal, will cause the accelerator pedal to become inoperative. Try driving and accelerating, and while doing that, press the brake pedal slightly. The car will stop accelerating. You'll figure it out. My dealer took 4 visits along with my ranting, they finally discovered the problem. All it takes is an adjustment to your brakelight switch.
  • viper14viper14 Member Posts: 24
    I'll try your idea and see if it works for me. Do you know if your Hyundai dealer has instructions from Hyundai on brake light switch adjustment? My 2010 SF Limited was in the dealers shop for 3 days and after 85 miles of all kinds of different driving could not duplicate a throttle dead spot. Maybe your findings will solve the problem I have. I did notice that my mileage has dropped about 3 - 4 MPG and I'm wondering if my dealer made some kind of adjustmeent.

    Thanks for your input.
  • viper14viper14 Member Posts: 24

    Tried your suggestion with the brake and you are correct. The slightest pressure on the brake pedal will prevent the car from accelerating. So my next step is to show the dealer and see if he knows how to properly adjust the brakelight switch. I'm thinking that a red light forward of the dash coming on when pressing on the brake will help keep me off the brake pedal. Wonder what the effect is by adjusting the brakelight switch?
  • bookinu2bookinu2 Member Posts: 2
    My dealer said the he went to the Hyundai Tech Line and found out about it from another dealership. It's a network thatthey have similar to what we are doing in this discussion. Now that I'm aware of it, I don't have any issues about it. Just don't be a 2 footer.
  • chattachoochattachoo Member Posts: 1
    Hyundai needs to wake up their engineers. I bought my 2010 Sante Fe new. My transmission has 11,000 miles. It is slipping just like the others I am reading about. It started a while back. I asked a friend of mine if his 2009 was slipping and he said it was slipping too.
    Hyundai, you got a problem and we all know it...please take care of it now. It's a nice car but, the transmission has got to be fixed. Thanks.
  • bambewbambew Member Posts: 43
    What do you mean by 'slamming' into 2nd and 3rd gears?

  • dbqfandbqfan Member Posts: 16
    I am working on the same resolution that you got. I am tired of this mess and I have told my attorney to go ahead with the Lemon Law. The dealer called and he wants the district rep from Hyundai to look at the car next week. I will drop it off and see what happens. If they don't replace the Santa Fe then my attorney will file the Ia Lemon Law suit. I have had it in 4 times for the same problem and I am on my 2nd transmission. Lawyer says the law if real strict on this stuff.
  • widg99widg99 Member Posts: 7
    be careful, document all dates, times, and any correspondence you may have with dealer and district rep, a glorified salesman! i just went through same situation with so called district rep, met with him and general service manager, went for a test drive and listen to my vehicles engines problems as well. was told all minor hard shifts in transmission were normal, and denied even hearing engine knock or squeal, mean while the service manager felt the hard shift and wanted to try another relearn on this reman tranny, not happening! and many other dealer employees heard the engine and thought it sounded like 2 squirls fighting. i have been promised many times that this situation would be handled since december by hyundai canada with constance excuses, well no more. going through camvap tomorrow. fyi any body out there that has had 3 or more attempts to have a problem repaired with no success, document all conversations, dates, times, names, etc and if in canada go through camvap asap!!!!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    For those of you following the sticky brake caliper thread, it's been moved.

    ecotrklvr, "Hyundai Santa Fe Brake Problems" #58, 18 Feb 2011 6:31 pm
  • tapdogtapdog Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    Just read your post and I feel for you, it took us 8 months of complaining and about 10 trips to the dealership before they would replace our transmission. I got all the bs about adaptive learning transmission, several resets, break in period and any and all weird things the dealer could think of to get rid of us.
    When a vehicle jumps forward in park when being started, and shifts so hard that it feels like you've been rear ended there is just no way I am going to accept excuses like those.
    Hyundai Canada was downright rude on the phone, the dealership outright lied to me by telling me that the fellow who originally confirmed the problem did not work there anymore and they had to have another mechanic actually experience the problem before they could do anything. He still works there.

    Our 2010 Santa Fe is now about to go back for its 3rd transmission, the dealer has diagnosed and ordered new one and we are awaiting arrival.
    They have also done numerous other things like replace the radio head unit 5, yes, 5 times.
    We had a 2007 Santa Fe and loved it, no problems whatsoever, we took it in for service and went for a drive in the 2010, really liked the 6 speed and the bluetooth, so we left the '07 there and took home the new one.
    I just wish now that we had kept the '07.
    The problem I have now is, my resale value is in the toilet, who wants something that has had this much work done to it?
    No lemon laws here, camvap has no teeth. All the dealer has to say is that they addressed the problem to the best of their ability.

    Good luck and I hope your problem is soon solved.


    sorry replied to wrong post this was for dbgfan
  • chucko6chucko6 Member Posts: 81
    edited February 2011
    Afer following the " sticky brake caliper" thread the past couple of weeks,
    I felt it odd that no one has discussed the required Drive Train maintaince requirements that protect our Transmissions.
    Most AWD veichles require a fluid change somewhere around 5000 miles.
    I don't know what Hyundai requires and I'm sure there is info in the Manual,
    but I would like to know the requirments so that they can't cop out when my tranny needs replaced.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    If your manual isn't handy you can look it up in the Edmunds Maintenance Guide.
  • somedai1somedai1 Member Posts: 416
    5k miles to replace fluid in tranny and/or differentials would be insane - that is way too soon... the differentials should not have fluid changed unless submerged in water according to manual- tranny fluid is the only thing that can be changed as a basic service because to replace the filter requires displacing the engine to gain access (unless I'm mistaken) - I'm referring to the '07 limited...
  • widg99widg99 Member Posts: 7
    have u filed a claim with camvap, because here in ontario i've been told by them they have 3 times for a repair and if still not fixed you can make a claim. i'm in the process of having mine go through camvap soon and was told that the 5 attempts to repair my tranny including replacing it once allows me to file a claim. as far as losing some money on the vehicle, because of my high km, i will lose some money if hyundai canada is force to buy back the car, but for anyone else who has less then 25000 km and the car is less than 1 yr old, you will get most of your money back if hyundai canada is told to buy back.
  • dbqfandbqfan Member Posts: 16
    Well, the game is over with me. I gave the dealer one last chance to resolve the problem. The factory rep said he took my Santa Fe for a 50 mile test drive and found no problems. I noted the mileage before and after I picked my car up. He only took it for a 10 to 12 mile test drive. The dealer told me they could not "replicate" the problem. I guess Hyundai is calling me a liar. I am on my 2nd transmission and 3 or 4 ECU updates and the problem does not go away. Hyundai will not accept that they have a bad transmission problem. I will call my attorney today and start the Lemon Law process. I was hoping that this would be resolved. I have talked to the State of Iowa Lemon Law people and they take this very serious and will not put up with any BS from Hyundai or the worthless dealer. The dealer is more concerned about selling a car and once you buy one they could care less about you. I now wish I would have purchased the Ford Escape that I was looking at when I bought this Santa Fe.
  • mike519mike519 Member Posts: 16
    Best to play hardball at this point, and do not back off. Hyundai likes to go to the last minute before doing anything. Make them pay.
  • somedai1somedai1 Member Posts: 416
    Need to start looking into getting these issues on the news - make it as public as possible to put pressure on both the dealers and the manufacturer
  • meggie488meggie488 Member Posts: 4
    I also have a Santa Fe 2004 at almost 80,000 miles...Car ran perfectly then all of a sudden 2 wks ago, as car would go into 2nd or 3rd gear car would kick and get stuck, I took it to the our mechanice who flushed transmission and said fluid was burned, replaced it, problem worsened, took it to Hyundai dealer and they have a better flush machine that does a complete flush said no way its a bad transmission. It was day 11 yesterday no issues working great, then yesterday morning after it had warmed up 10 min I hear a funny whistling sound. Dismisssed it until I started car and drove it 9 hrs later and it was a very loud rattling whistling sound that became louder as I accelerated. 15 min later my car was coasting and it while in drive accelerated by itself! I had my husband drive it without telling him about noise/acceleration, same thing happened to him and he notices a bad smell under hood of something burning. So made another appointment and we shall see what they say tomorrow. My mechanic that has never been wrong in the 11 yrs Ive known him said from the beginning its a bad transmission and itll go bad to worse with a far he isnt wrong.
  • chucko6chucko6 Member Posts: 81
    Sounds like a totally different issue than what is going on with the current 6 speed problems.
    Once you get beyond 50,000 miles, all kind of stuff can happen, even in quality builds. You would think that something as basic as a transmission
    would have been mastered long before a vehicle hits the Showroom.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Member Posts: 519
    Can anyone with any positive experience; I mean where Hyundai has FIXED any transmissions; please post?
  • lynzaylynzay Member Posts: 7
    I posted on here back in Sept/Oct as it took them 32 days to fix my car. I had the same issues that everyone was talking about on here and they replaced my transmission with a brand new one not a rebuilt one. And I have had no issues since and it has been 4 months now.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Member Posts: 519
    Thanks. Hope for us all.
  • royh1royh1 Member Posts: 7
    I have posted this at least twice about my 2010 Santa Fe Limited regarading the transmission problem. I guess I was lucky, but it took the dealer once to look at it and agree with me, and then leaving it for 3 days while they sent the CPU to the factory for re-programming. I was given a new loaner car and I have not had any problems since this fix which was sometime around October, 2010. I believe that the Santa Fe is an excellent buy and good quality. I don't understand some of the people posting here regarding cars that are 7 or 8 years old having problems and expecting them to be related to this transmission issue. I will wait until someone can supply the world with a perfect, never a problem car. I am very happy with my Santa Fe and it did not need a new transmission.
  • meggie488meggie488 Member Posts: 4
    Now they are saying its the alternator...weird coincidenceI guess well see loL! $800 in 12 days why not! Any further issue with transmission however it gets replaced and I get reimbursed..hope you dont have any further issues!
  • meggie488meggie488 Member Posts: 4
    My transmission on my 2004 santa fe was fully flushed and so far so good...and I cant complain its 7 yrs old and has 79950miles and has been really good to its the alternator but it is 7 yrs old so as long as the transmission stays working then its a good experience ;)
  • chucko6chucko6 Member Posts: 81
    The transaxel fluid in my '01 Acura MDX had to be changed early on and it was a Requirment.
    I can't remember weather it was 4500 or 7500 miles.
    ( that was 10 years ago, and the memory ain't quite what it used to be)

    My point was, other than checking the fluid level and getting the updates,
    what does it take to keep the Tranny under Warranty ?
  • iv6teciv6tec Member Posts: 14
    Good for you! I guess you don't need to wait for the "perfect, never a problem car", whatever that means. I think you are stating the obvious. Clearly not every 2010 Santa Fe has a transmission problem. However, the high number that does is worrisome for some existing and potential/future Hyundai customers. Check out the Kia Sorento forum on this web site and you will see some of the 2010 vehicles equipped with the V6 6 speed auto experience the same issues.
  • dhimdhimdhimdhim Member Posts: 3
    My 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe has 22000 KM on it and the problem was resolved with replacing the main computer unit followed by the replacement of the Transmission with a brand new one. The problem was first discovered at around 2000Km and Hyundai of Oakville , who are the local dealers that I have purchased the car from have provided an excellent service and step by step resolution of this problem. I am happy to report that the car drives like its supposed to and I am very happy with the outcome. Its been a month since the transmission has been replaced.
  • meggie488meggie488 Member Posts: 4
    Not every car company has a tran warranty, but if you contact your car dealershio they can tell you and print out a maintenance log as well. Apparently though having flushes done every so many milesis helpful to the car and may be a warranty requirement.
  • diamond22diamond22 Member Posts: 13
    I posted more than 3 months ago about problems I experienced with my 2010 Santa Fe Limited V6 transmission problem with less than 1000 miles. I took the car into the dealership and they said there was a new software release for my car with was TC7 upgrade to the ecm. They installed this around 1/21/11. This week I experienced the problem with the transmission slamming into gear twice. I took it in today and after keeping it all day, they called me and said that Hyundai service techs had authorized a new transmission. They ordered it today and said they would need it for 2 or 3 days to install. I asked if it was new or reconditioned. He indicated that Hyundai's policy was to only supply refurbished transmission, not new ones. i'll let you know what happens. This is about the 4th time this has happened. I also noticed after the software upgrade that the transmission shifted rougher when downshifting to the lower gears after the upgrade. Anyone else noticed or experienced this issue. I have less than 10000 miles on my car and feel as if I bought a lemon.
  • viper14viper14 Member Posts: 24
    Get a lemon law lawyer before you reach 12,000 miles. You do have a lemon.
  • royh1royh1 Member Posts: 7
    Regarding having a lemon or not, I don't think that having one problem warrants calling the car a lemon. My 2010 Santa Fe Limited with 15,000 miles had the same issue and I had the ECU reprogrammed last fall and have had no problems since. I sure hope that the new tranny works for you, but a lemon is a car with many problems. Toyota has had to recall how many Lexus which is a very fine car, but they are not lemons just recalls. I still thing that the Hyundai is the best value in a SUV or crossover.
  • chucko6chucko6 Member Posts: 81
    edited March 2011
    I beleive that many of us 2010-2011 Santa Fe owners are experiencing the same tranny problems, only at various stages.
    Anyone who expects computer updates to correct "mechanical slams, jerks, hesatations or racing" is experiencing wishful thinking .
    I think that you will find the problems laying low for various periods of time only to recur once again.
    Just make sure you have a "paper trail" of your problems and their solutions, so that when your tranny is ready to be replaced you can say "I told you so "
  • julie41julie41 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe 4-Cly. auto with 32000 kilometers on it and yesterday the transmission went...I'm waiting for Hyundai to replace the transmission now.
  • hyundaistnkshyundaistnks Member Posts: 1
    Are you sure it is a new Trans? Mine just went and they said it was due to the transaxel and they have and "internal memo" about it. But they only replace the transmission with remanufactured ones.
  • diamond22diamond22 Member Posts: 13
    This is a follow up to diamond22 post of March 25. After experiencing the transmission slam two more times, I took it in yesterday and they replaced the transmission 9,990 miles. I picked it up this morning and was fine on the way home. I know Hyundai is aware of this problem, but doesn't choose to do a recall, but so far the dealer has been very responsive. They got permission from the regional tech guys (whoever they are) to put in the new transmission. Therefore, you know they are aware of the issues or they would never authorize replacing the transmission with this few miles on it. Stay tuned and still interested in hearing other problems/solutions with the 2010 Santa Fe Limited, V-6. Thanks
  • dbqfandbqfan Member Posts: 16
    I am taking my Santa Fe to all the local dealers and telling them about the transmission problems and the problems that I have had and the poor factory and dealer response. I am sick of Hyundai treating this like there is no problem. At least the competing salesmen can warn the potential customers about Santa Fe problems. I have stopped at 7 dealers so far and talked to the service managers and sales managers. The Ford dealership was very interested as the Hyundai dealer is almost across the street and they get a lot of customers looking at Escapes. There sales people were very eager to talk to me. I have the complete service history of my lemon to show them. I do not know if I am going to sue Hyundai or not. It is a lot of hassle. My Hyundai is the biggest piece of crap that I have ever bought.
  • ccpbccpb Member Posts: 6
    Santa Fe 2010 V6 GL, same tranny problems, mine started at 500km, I now have 14000km, I kept getting "no error codes" "cannot duplicate customers concerns at this time" from the service dept. Seriously? I went to another dealership to learn there was a tsb on the problem. I'm a little afraid, my crappa fe almost jerked me forward out into traffic but they weren't the least bit concerned.
    From what I understand, the trannys came in with low fluid levels, this caused the hard shifting, hard shifting was recorded in the learned memory/history ( I believe its called TCM). Technical service bulletin (TSB) was released October 2010 with a protocol, 1st top up fluid level, if that doesn't correct the problem clear or reset the learned memory, if that doesn't solve - new transmission (thanks for posting that they install remanufactured I would never thought to ask that), followed by new computer.
    Seriously disappointed with my vehicle, and a weak customer service team which could have compensated for the problems I've experienced.
    I've just recently had the TCM reset so we'll see what happens next, it's difficult to be optomistic. Any reason resetting the TCM does not appear on my invoice?
    Lastly, anyone experience a funny noise from under the car from a cold start? Dealership says it's intermittent cannot duplicate but it happens everytime I start it up? They replaced a part of the exhaust system but it still happens, brand spanking new car and sounds like crap when it starts up. disappointed
    @ going to the competition, I'm right behind you, when it makes financial sense that is :)
  • mikea11414mikea11414 Member Posts: 33

    I have a 2011 SF limited with 2000 miles. I also hear rattling everytime I start up cold. It's on my list for when I bring it in for my first oil change. I'll let you know what happens.
  • joe919joe919 Member Posts: 4
    After becoming aware of the tranny issues we were hesitant to get a Sante Fe but finally decided to do it. We picked up a 2011 Sante Fe Limited AWD in January hoping the issues were resolved on the new ones.
    So far so good - no problems whatsoever after 4k miles. And I notice everything. No rattles, no noises. The transmission seems fine.
    If anything the paint has a few minor blemishes in it and the gaps between the body panels / doors & hood while OK could be better and more even.
    Someone above mentioned a Ford Escape. We looked at them too last summer and this one we were checking out had the hood out of line (lifted up near the wiper area) almost .25" vs the other side. It blew me away it was so obvious. I pointed it out to the sales guy and he was stunned and at a loss for words. But I hear they are improving.
  • dbqfandbqfan Member Posts: 16
    I was pulling away from a stop sign yesterday and the transmission made a real loud bang going into 2nd gear and the transmission made some very strange noise so I pulled into a chevy dealers lot and got out to look under the Santa Fe to see if any fluid was leaking out due to the strange noise. A salesman came over and asked me what was going on so I told him about all the problems I have had with the Santa Fe. He had a mechanic come out and look under it also and nothing was leaking. I had the whole sales force and a couple mechanics there so I showed them all my service history and told them about my crap transmission. The mechanic has a brother who bought a Santa Fe and he has the same problems. The sales team was unaware but they know all about it now. I told them it they have a customer who is considering a Santa Fe to have them call me first before they buy one. They will save themselves a lot of trouble. I am on my 2nd transmission and the last time I had my Santa Fe in the service manager told me they could not "duplicate" the problem. I will never "duplicate" my problem again by buying another Hyundai or Kia product.
  • mike519mike519 Member Posts: 16
    I had the same problems with my 2010 Sante Fe at 2300 miles, including the dealers stubborn refusal to acknowledge a problem even after several visits. Finally I pulled up all I could online and dumped it on the managers desk. Next thing you know they were "able to duplicate the problem" and replaced the bad transmission with a new (not refurbished) one. So far so good but I don't trust Hyundai to do the right thing now, and find it strange they have avoided a recall.
  • chris373chris373 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    My 2010 Santa Fe tranny just self-destructed this morning on my way to work. Only 21,780 miles on the car and just over a year old. I was at a stop light and when I went to accelerate, I heard a loud pop followed by a bunch of grinding in every gear including neutral and park. The car was on a hill and started to back up while in park. Had to engage parking brake.
    Waited on hold for nearly 30 minutes with Hyundai roadside assistance. Tow truck showed up an hour later and took me and the car to the dealer. The service manager asked if I had my car serviced there before and I said no because I perform all of my own oil changes. He said there was a recall on my vehicle. I told him that I had not received any notification of a recall. He proceeded to tell me that since I change my own oil, I should call in every six months to see if there are any new service bulletins or active recalls. Really?????
  • z71billz71bill Member Posts: 1,986
    Can anyone list the Technical service bulletins that are out for transmission issues - my dealer still claims no bulletins have been published.

    Service department claims they never heard of anyone having a problem -
  • ccpbccpb Member Posts: 6
    From what i've seen on the internet, no one posts the full bulletin. You can google the tsb and you will find a tsb # and nhtsa #, it only has a very short intro to the bulletin, that should be enough. if your dealership ignores it...go to another.
    hope this helps
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