Hyundai Santa Fe Electrical Problems

dorvasondorvason Member Posts: 3
2001 Hyundai Santa Fe, with only 57,000. I bought it 5 months ago, and noticed when I drive at night (mainly) if I press any button in my car, and even the brakes, the car lights with dim, and almost sound like it is going to kill my car. Then a few days ago while idling my RPMs would drop really low, and the radio as well as lights would dim, and the car almost sounded like it was about to stall. Please some one help me.


  • retiredpilotretiredpilot Member Posts: 16
    Sounds to me like you probably need a new battery. Could be your alternator is starting to go also but I would have the battery checked first.
  • dorvasondorvason Member Posts: 3
    Thank you I will get that checked
  • pelican19pelican19 Member Posts: 323
    I agree. Have them both checked but your issue sounds like the alt. Once the car is started you can disconnect a battery. The alt. will run the car on its own. If this problem has persisted for some time your battery may be beyond the point of holding a good charge.
  • jcwsbltdjcwsbltd Member Posts: 167
    07 Santa Fe Limited FWD 3.3L - after many months it finally rained here in Phoenix (bought the S.F. on 4/30/07 - hasn't rained at all 'til tonight!!!). After going through heavy water, I looked down and noticed the "ESC Off"warning light was on. Went to turn it back on and it wouldn't go off.

    When I got home and turned the engine off, I re-started and everything was fine. Turned the ESC off then back on and it worked normally.

    Assuming it wa a temporary short from high water spraying up, and after I had to have my external Temperature Sensor replaced after going through a car wash when i first got the car, I'm wondering if there is any shielding to the on board computer and wiring.

    Anyone else had similar problems in the wet - i.e. temporary shorts, replaced temp. sensors?
  • jcwsbltdjcwsbltd Member Posts: 167
    If the "ESC Off" warning light comes on after being shorted by the rain, how likely is it that it is just the sensor, and how would you really tell if the ESC had turned itself off? 'Cause that's a safety issue. I'll just have to see if it happens again and whether it left an error code on the computer when I next take it to the shop.
  • jcwsbltdjcwsbltd Member Posts: 167
    Hmmmm - turned out to be a faulty brake light switch at the brake pedal - rain had nothing to do with it- the ESC circuit was detecting a short at the switch breaker and gave the correct code to the computer- switch was replaced under warranty - all is well again. Not too hapyy, though, that I've had it just under 3 months and had a temp. sensor and the brake light switch replaced. Hope that's all to do with electrical stuff.
  • shadowsplayshadowsplay Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Santa Fe: I started having a problem with it blowing the 10 amp ECU fuse under hood. It had only done this once before and the fuse was replaced. Now it blows the fuse after I try starting it up. Any suggestion on where to look for the short that could be causing it to short-out?
  • swscamperswscamper Member Posts: 1
    I have an 2004 santa fe. I've had it for 3 months. When I bought it the digital clock in the dash wasn't working. The garage I bought from wasn't hyundai and tried to fix the problem but made it worse, afterwards the radio, interior light, clock, ignition light and remote central locking/alarm didn't work. This garage in turn then sent it to a hyundai garage. The problem was cured... or so I thought, they said it was a fuse behind the dash? Anyway after the repair I only did short runs to and from work without problem. I then went on a long journey lasting 3-4 hours in which the problem returned but reset itself about 30 mins, where the clock, and radio were reset to original settings (Total lose of power to clock and radio)?. Now its happening intermittently, I took it to a hyundai dealer but by the time they got round to looking at it the problem had reset itself and the garage cannot find nothing wrong hence they take no action to fix it. Any ideas?
  • lostvannerlostvanner Member Posts: 1
    Have a 2005 Santa Fe. Battery-altenator-fuses-starter all check out ok. Wiring appears solid. I'm getting juice to the starter but it won't turn over. Can hear the relay clicking into action but not getting starter; though "sometimes" it will kick in.

    Any ideas for a "shady tree" wrencher to try???

  • somedai1somedai1 Member Posts: 416
    possibly a relay going bad - do you have an aftermarket alarm on the car?
  • whattheheck3whattheheck3 Member Posts: 1
    My Hundai Sante Fe 2002 has been having strange electrical issues when I am not in the car. Lights flashing, Tom Tom GPS always has fallen off the window when discovered, the emergency flasher is pushed in by itself. The most recent time the GPS was knocked down, and the flasher in but just a blinker was going and not all the lights were flashing. It does not have a remote starter but does have an alarm and electonic key. It has happened three times now when it is parked. Very wierd.
  • 2003santafe2003santafe Member Posts: 1
    I bought my 2003 santa fe last year,*** At the beginning of this year nothing but problems, the clock goes on an off when it wants, anytime it rains the car acts weird. If you go through a little water the car freezes up, steering and brakes, --the latest problem is 1 month ago the car just would not start, i had it towed to the dealer, they had the car for 3 days- couldn't figure out what the electrical problem was, then the car just started. SO LET ME BE CLEAR, they did nothing!!, car started, then they wanted to charge me $300. I talked them down to $215, still they did NOTHING!! It is now 3 weeks later, my wife was driving the car with children in the car. The car completely froze while the car was in motion, the dash lights came on, steering locked, and brakes ENGAGED, --she was almost hit by the car behind her ----and the car still will not start. I would usually ask for advice on how to fix it, in this case, I'm warning others to beware of this vehicle, there must be some type of electrical short that the manufacturer is hiding or unaware of, either case, don't risk your families life. I personally am looking for a new car.
  • amyforman3kidsamyforman3kids Member Posts: 1
    I was driving and my abs, batterie, and several other lights came on. I drove it home because it didnt act like anything was wrong. Once i got home i turned it off and then tried to start it again. Nothing happened. We did all the little test to see if it was the alternator and it failed all of them but when we took it off and had it tested it was good. we had the batterie tested to once again it was good. What could be wrong :confuse:
  • gailmoravskygailmoravsky Member Posts: 1
    I'm so glad i saw your review, I was just about to close a buy on a 2004 Santa fe. I have a daughter i was going to use this santa fe to drive her. Thanks to your warning i won't be purchasing this car.

    Thanks you

  • carebear13carebear13 Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2003 Sante Fe. Bought it brand new in 2002. In 2004, two years later, I started having issues when it rained. When I go through puddles, my steering wheel locks up and the battery and break lights come on. For anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds, I am not able to steer, can only go straight and it's now starting to make a bad squealing sound when this happens. I have taken it to the dealership 3 times in the past few years and even tried a new mechanic. No one seems to know what's wrong. All I know is this issue IS NOT SAFE and I am frustrated that not even the Hyundai dealership has been able to fix this. It's interesting to know that this same exact issue is happening on the same year Sante Fe.
  • frozenhistoryfrozenhistory Member Posts: 1
    Am having similar problem with 2007 Santa Fe. Does anyone know more about this? Dealership says it cannot find cause / problem. I don't think they believe me. Is Hyundai America aware of this issue?
  • jsweneyjsweney Member Posts: 4
    I have an 05 Sante Fe and started having this same issue....Lostvanner....did you find anything?
  • pops26pops26 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 03 Santa Fe and had no problems. The other day the headlight went out and I re-placed it today. I had to disconnect the battey to get to the headlight. No issues replacing the headlight. After words I was driving the car to the store 10 mins away, i was pulling into the parking lot and the car stalled....That was the first time that has happened. Now the car is idling rough everytime i am at a light and is stalling. I put the car in nutural to keep the RMP up, which seems to help. It is running fine when it is moving. Any one have these issues or now whats the problem.
  • plantinumsonplantinumson Member Posts: 6
    im a hyundai line tech 9 out of 10 times its the brake switch causing the issue there is a recall in process but if it annoys you and the esc ligt cam on a 1315 code would store long short take it to hyundai thers a simple fix
  • plantinumsonplantinumson Member Posts: 6
    when you removed the battery the adaptive learn gets erased in order to re zero thethrottle plate you ned to turn ign to on (not start) and within 3 sec or sooner turn it off then waait 3 min the throttle will go to wide open and then to closed resseting the zero point ive seen this before it should take care of your concern
  • plantinumsonplantinumson Member Posts: 6
    im new to this forum and sitting here reading a lot of conditions that should be easy to fix what ive seen on your make / model witj the rain stalling condition is that the crankshaft position sensor rund by front exhaust manifold and when the heat and steam from road water get up there the sensor craps out you loose ckp siginal so the ecm stops driving the injectors and spark sometimes it sets a p0335 code but not always
  • utiuti Member Posts: 1
    2.4 santa-fe, 2004 model. My inbuilded stereo Cd/radio player failed to come on, no power to the set. I took it to my electronic technician who fixed the problem but now a new problem developed thereafter. The parking light is permanently on even when the ignition is off and key out of ignition. I have to constantly unplug the battery terminal when I park to aviod draining the battery. This is really giving me great concern.

    Is there a connection between car stereo and parking light?

    If not what may be the course of this kind of problem?

    How can I fix this kind problem? I do not want to rush to an electrician again without doing some findings.

    Please, information from any body is appreciated.
  • lil_doclil_doc Member Posts: 9
    Just received my new 2009 Santa Fe Limited this evening. Notice that when vehicle is unoccupied and no key or anything in the ignition that the driver side auto light sensor blinks. The passenger side does not. Is this normal? The auto light sensor on the light bar is not engaged.

    Think I found the answer. It appears it has to do with alarming the vehicle. The driver side sensor is the alarm and the passenger side is the automatic light sensor. Anyone wish to confirm my thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.
  • spider33spider33 Member Posts: 1
    Lil Doc,
    I have a 2009 Santa Fe SE and mine does the same thing as yours when the alarm is activated. Only the driver side blinks red. Hope this helps. :)
  • alancrashalancrash Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Santa Fe and I also had a problem when I went through a big puddle.At the time my car had 27,000 miles. I changed the serpentine belt and the problem went away. To make sure I drove through some puddles the next time it rained and it drove perfect.
  • mrsnarkypantsmrsnarkypants Member Posts: 9
    2008 Santa Fe... tonight the dashboard lights and tail lights would not go on when the headlights turned on until you turned on the left turn signal. Turn off the left turn signal, they turn off with it. Weird. Taking it to the dealer in the morning. The dash lights being off is annoying, but the tail lights being off isn't safe (and will get me a ticket).
  • skiddersskidders Member Posts: 1
    I have an 06 Santa Fe and this has started happening for me too. Did you find an answer to the starter problem?
  • jsweneyjsweney Member Posts: 4
    We haven't found our much...just something is draining the battery...we jump the car and it works fine....can't figure what is drainign it....brought in to get checked and they say they can't mimic the problem and there for can't fix it...the computer shows no problems....something is draining the battery on occasion and we don't know why. I noticed it last night....went into the garage to get something and the vehicle was almost making a humming noise.....started it up and then turned it off and the sound went away. my wife and I are finished with Hyundia...we are in the process of trying to trade it in.
  • justagirl29justagirl29 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Santa Fe and had the same thing happen. The engine stops running while driving down the road and the car just stops. This is very dangerous! I towed it to a mechanic and they figured out it was the ecu 10 amp fuse, but not why. I got the car back for the holidays knowing it could happen again and it happened 3 more times. Every time you replace the fuse and it starts right up. It's been in the shop again for over a week now and they still don't know what's making it blow.
  • justagirl29justagirl29 Member Posts: 2
    So if you replace the sensor what's to keep it from happening again?
  • virtuousladyvirtuouslady Member Posts: 2
    I have the same problem does anyone know whats wrong? this may happen to us at the wrong place at the wrong time.. approx how much were you driving when you cross those puddles?
  • jpmvmijpmvmi Member Posts: 1
    You are not alone. I have a 2001 Santa Fe. The dash lights and entire tail light group operate off of the same bus. The bus is located on the back side of your fuse panel above your left knee when you are sitting in the drivers seat. I have replaced this bus 3 times only to have the same issue return. The old busses that I have removed have blueing on the buss prongs. Your problem will increase in occurrences if you turn the heat on in the winter and direct your heat to the floor boards. If you get any responses please share with me!

    I have tried to locate a buss that has an increased rating but without any luck!
  • jambon222jambon222 Member Posts: 1
    my sante fe is a 2008 and I have a similar but more longer standing problem. Just three months after buy ing the vehicle the check engine light went on and then shortly after that the esc off light came on and would not go out. In addition once the latter had occurred I hd no brake lights and no cruise control set. The dealership replaced a relay switich but this happenend again and again the swtich had to be replaced. Over the last 13 months this occured 6 more times and becuase the vehicle is illegal to srive and damgerous in this condition I asked for a different vehicle. The dealer has told me that Hyundai will not do anything and he has offered me a new 2010 Sante Fe for an additional $16,000 dollars. Needless to say I am not thrilled and am contemplating legal action. Any help out there?
  • auntcarolauntcarol Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Santa Fe and a few months ago the ABS & AWD lights came on. My mechanic could not find anything on the computer. Last week it wouldn't start without a jump, but the others lights no longer come on. I heard that humming too. Think it's time to trade. But then, what car doesn't come clogged with computers and electrical systems? Any ideas for a more reliable vehicle? It's not like I can afford to keep buying cars...
  • jsweneyjsweney Member Posts: 4
    I went to a different mechanic (not via the dealer) and they found a ground problem with the fuel pump....stated it would probably cost 1500 for a new computer brain in the vehicle....instead we put a toggle switch inside the vehicle and the fuel pump on that toggle switch....cost me less than 100 bucks...and the vehicle seems to work now. not sure if this helps or not
  • lilian848lilian848 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Sante Fe as well and I am having the same issues, car won;t start, took it a Hyunda Dealer and they said they couldn't find anything as well. They want me to leave the truck with them to see if they can duplicate the problem. I replaced the alterntor twice thinking that was the problem, does anyone know what the problem could be Thanks
  • jsweneyjsweney Member Posts: 4
    like i said problem was found to be an issue with the ground, fuel pump. as the mechanic stated....the brain wasn't alway telling the fuel pump to shut off (never had a flooding problem) the fuel pump would drain the car battery over time. they fixed the problem by putting the fuel pump on its own circuit with its own on/off switch. works like a charm now
  • valsdadvalsdad Member Posts: 1
    Head lights will not dim. They stay on bright. Took it to a mechanic and he said it's probably the multi-function switch. Turn signals and head lights are all on the same switch. It's a 2003 Santa Fe. Has anyone had this problem and what did it take to fix it?
    Thanks for any help
  • bkertzbkertz Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Santa Fe with the dash light issue (please be aware that your tail lights are also affected). I've had this problem on and off for years. I took it in to the dealer back when it was still under warranty and they couldn't reproduce it. I've also taken it to other shops and no one has been able to isolate the problem. I will say that the problem seems random. Sometimes the lights come on and stay on. Sometimes the lights flicker on and off. Sometimes they stay off. After a little of my own investigation and problem solving, I might have isolated the problem. I know that when the problem occurs, adjusting the tilt steering wheel at the "right" level will cause the lights to come back on. I also noticed that when the weather is very cold, it happens more often. This would leave me to believe that perhaps the wiring harness is a bit too short and gets pulled on causing a loose connection. The cold weather may be causing the wires to shrink a bit suggesting the short wiring harness theory may be correct. I am by no means a mechanic, but I am very frustrated with the issue. This is what I have determined with my own experiences. Hopefully this will lead someone with the mechanical/electrical know-how to truly resolve this problem. Any thoughts?
  • losdog30losdog30 Member Posts: 1
    I've replaced the fuse and it keeps blowing. Not sure what would cause this any ideas? :(
  • wes1761wes1761 Member Posts: 1
    Its my wifes car, for the last 3 days the fan blower in the Santa Fe will not shut off. Even if you hit the Off button. I just removed the whole control panel from the dash, the connections look good, I also pulled the "brain box" off the mounting and everything inside on the front panel looks fine. After I pulled the control panel out, I turned on the power , the blower was still running, even with no AC/heater panel in the car.......Any ideas? THanks!!


  • tinkerbell07tinkerbell07 Member Posts: 28
    I own a 2001 Sante Fe which I bought in Aug. of 2001. Have 110,000 miles on it. Unfortunately, mine has had issues, including 2 failed alternators. Definitely sounds like your alternator; symptoms are much like mine when each of my alternators was on its way out. Hopefully,will turn out to be an old battery, instead.
  • coachtimcoachtim Member Posts: 1
    Same thing just started happending to my 2004 Santa keeps blowing even when Air/Heat is turned off. There must be a short in the blower or something...The Air still seems to work, but I'm concerned the fan will burn out if left to run on high for too long.

    Let me know if you found the problem...I plan to take it in tomorrow to my mechanic.
  • rmattssonrmattsson Member Posts: 1
    battery light and brake light came on while driving. Gauges cut out when brake applied. car seems like it will stall. Need to boost to restart. very rough idle and bucking when braking to stop. gauges and signal lights cut out.
  • chiamakachiamaka Member Posts: 2
    edited June 2010
    My 2004 santa fe has been stalling after driving a while and you have to wait for some minutes again to cool before it can restart. I took it to workshop, they changed the fuel pump, cam shaft sensor and the problem was solved for some days. Now it has started again...what can be responsible for this problem....i think they changed the crank shaft sensor too....but the problem came up again few days ago after just one month......what could be responsible.
  • balesbales Member Posts: 1
    I have at least two bulbs out on my 2003 Santa Fe center console - one is for the heated seats. How do I get access so I can replace the bulbs?
  • patskypatsky Member Posts: 1
    I too am having this issue. my 04 santa fe only needs a few moments to start again, however the main issue is the same, mostly when traveling on the freeway.
  • luvmysuvluvmysuv Member Posts: 1
    My 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe starts with out a problem but it shots down after a few seconds. What could it be?
  • brackbillbrackbill Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Santa Fe and have the exact same issue. I just love how no one can ever duplicate the error. I am taking my car to a local garage who has a former mechanic from a Hyundai dealer. I will let you know what he says.
  • bkertzbkertz Member Posts: 2

    I'd love to hear what happens with your lights. I recently took it to a shop and they thought it was the light switch. They replaced it and still had the problem. Luckily they put the old one back on and didn't charge me a thing. I've read on other forums that the dealer will replace the BCM (body control module), and it doesn't always fix the problem. That runs over $1000, so I'm not willing to take that kind of an investment on something that may not work. I've also read somewhere that someone had the problem fixed by cleaning the grounding straps. I tried talking a shop into doing this for me, but they wanted nothing to do with the problem outside of replacing the switch. I'm going to try and find another shop to go to and see what they say. I'll keep posting any new info I get on here.

    Hopefully we can get this straightened out together.
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