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Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Questions

135

Comments

  • erickxkidderickxkidd Posts: 1
    I just bought an 08 Santa Fe Limited w/ Touring pkg. I negotiated a tow hitch into the sale of the vehicle. My dealership is outsourcing the hitch install because of the recall.
  • kdahlquistkdahlquist Posts: 130
    My harness blew up, too. I heard it go while my Santa Fe was parked in the garage. Smoke poured out of the left rear wheel well. It was replaced under warranty, but this is the first I heard of a recall. I'll be stopping by my dealer soon....
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    I have been waiting for three months for a tow hitch to be installed by my dealer, on my 08 Santa Fe. It was part of my negotiated price. Service manager called today and stated that Hyundai is not sending dealer's any hitches or wiring harness because of the recall of the wiring harness. I will be talking to my salesman to see what they are going to do. Will post results. We will see just how good Hyundai and its dealers take care of its customers. This is my first Hyundai purchase and so far I'm not very impressed.
  • jake54jake54 Posts: 2
    Update on trailer harness: I recently had a problem with a leaking boot on the front left drive shaft. When I brought the car in to have it fixed the service manager noted that I had a hitch with the defective harness. He then ordered a new harness for me along with the new drive shaft. It took 5 days for both parts to arrive, when I brought the car in it took only 2 hours to replace both parts. Thats called a good dealership.
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    This is an update on my tow hitch problem. Service manager stated that he has spoken to the area rep. and that he is aware of the problem, but get this, he has no idea when or if this problem is going to be corrected. So far the dealer has offered me $165.00 as a refund. They say that is their cost. The local U-Haul dealer quoted me a price of $345.00. I called Hyundai consumer Affairs, and the only thing they said that they are aware of the problem. Big Deal, I already no there is a problem, I want the solution. I bought this Santa Fe to tow my ATV this summer.
    Right now this vehicle is useless to me. If their is any one else having this type of problem I would like to hear if they have gotten any help from Hyundai. Thanks rjr2565
  • nat8794nat8794 Posts: 1
    Hello Everyone:
    I'm a newbie to this forum. You have all provided fantastic information. I have seen everyone mentioning 2007 and 2008 Santa Fe's regarding towing packages, but is anyone familiar with the older models and the accessability/effectiveness of mounting a towing package onto one such as my 2005 Santa Fe? Any and all comments would be welcome.
    Thanks!
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 131
    with what I believe is the tow package. At least it looks like the tow bar was factory installed. Now call me stupid, (which, by the way , has been done before), but I cannot find the harness wiring to plug my trailer lights up to. Can anyone tell me where the harness is located :confuse:
    Thanks to all! :)
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 131
    list the location of the harness...? Could someone tell me if the harness has to be purchased separately? I'd believe that if the towing bar was installed by the factory, the harness would be as well. I have a 2004 Santa Fe GL with 3.5 L V6. Thanks to anyone!
  • amzeusamzeus Posts: 8
    Look near the receiver on your hitch. If there is 4-pin trailer connector you're ready to go. If there is no connector, then you will most likely need to install a harness.
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 131
    Why would the trailer hitch be installed and not the harness, too? Seems a little a strange to me :confuse: I cannot find any harness what-so-ever by the hitch.
    Thanks for your reply!
  • roudy1roudy1 Posts: 36
    I installed a hitch but no harness because I only use it for my bicycle carrier; no lights required.
    Check in the left rear wheel well--that's where the connection is for installing the harness.
  • jgallantjgallant Posts: 7
    I just bought a new Santa fe (my third) and the dealer threw in the hitch and wiring harness parts. I was to do the install. I did it on my 2006 and it was a snap. The hitch for the 2008 was also easy but I am having trouble locating the plugs that are supposed to be there. Both the owners manual and the instructions that came with the kit say there should be two plugs under the rear bumper on the drivers side. I can not locate these plugs. Do I have to actually remove the bumper to get at them? I assume that all the models come with this plug set up. The new harness is partially wrapped in heat resistant foil cloth so I assume it gets installed over the muffler. If any one can help me locate these plugs I would be appreciated.

    Thanks :sick:
  • amzeusamzeus Posts: 8
    The two plugs (if they are there) are on the driver side beside the muffler, not in the rear bumper but on the side. You don't have to remove anything to see them, get underneath to get a good look. The wire harness can be routed around the muffler to the rear bumper, it won't touch, but the foil protection is added protection since it will get hot in there and if the wires aren't tied properly they could touch.

    Not all models have the plugs though. I believe only the models with the trailer prep package had the wiring connectors. Non-trailer-prep models (like yours) need a different wiring harness without the connectors. This one you have to splice into the signal wiring and run power directly from the battery. If the dealer can't get you one, it is available aftermarket specifically for this vehicle at etrailer.com (they have both kinds of harnesses).

    Make sure the harness you get from the dealer is the new harness as the old ones are on recall since they short out and can cause a fire. Mine blew, and I've been waiting 3 months for a replacement, so I bought an aftermarket one myself (which works great by the way).

    Hope this helps,
    Cheers
  • amzeusamzeus Posts: 8
    Is anyone else towing with WDH with their Santa Fe? I know the manual says only use a weight carrying hitch, probably because Hyundai is being conservative since it is a unibody frame. I want to use a WDH (Reese mini 350) for a camper trailer which weighs about 2500lb with a 340lb tongue weight so I'd still remain in spec for overall towing weights. This shouldn't put too much stress on the frame I would think. I know there are other posts about getting custom made rear shocks, but that doesn't help getting the weight back onto the front axle. I know there are thousands of other unibody framed vehicles out there using WDH without any troubles.

    I may get the hitch reinforced so that part doesn't twist.

    Has anyone else towed with a WDH? Any feedback?

    I've got a 2007 FWD Limited with touring and tow package.

    Thanks,
    Mike
  • oscar_gataoscar_gata Posts: 96
    All 2008 Santa Fe's should have the wiring harnesses, but not all of them have the trailer prep package. However, only 7-passenger 2008 models get the trailer prep package, which includes a larger radiator, more powerful fans and a transmission fluid cooler. Not all 2007's had the wiring, but all 2008's do. The wiring should be located on the driver side between the rear wheel well and the bumper. The wiring and connectors are held to the sheet metal with zip ties. ;)
  • jgallantjgallant Posts: 7
    I was back at the dealership today and was told that only the 3.3 V6 engined cars have the plugs for the trailer harness. Mine is a 2.7 V6.
    I gave them back the Hyundai harness and they gave me the one that plugs into each tail light. It's an after market unit that they just put a Hyundai parts sticker on. It was extreamly easy to hook up...just unplug the tail light and plug in the harness. It took abot 15 minutes.
    I'm off to the lake tomorrow with the boat.

    TTYL :)
  • jgallantjgallant Posts: 7
    While I was doing the wiring for the trailer, I decided to also make those two reflector lights at the bottom of the bumber active. I bought two rubber sockets from the auto parts store and created the appropriate shaped hole in the back of the units. I wired them into the tail lights (not Brake lights) and used 12V leds for the bulbs.
    They look good. I believe in Europe these are called rear fog lights. Mine will just be on whenever the lights are on.
    :)
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    This is a follow up to my earlier post of the problem with getting a new harness from Hyundai. I settled with my dealer and they are giving me $220.00 so that I can get the installation done from an outside vendor. I ordered all my parts from E-Trailer. I talked to Hyundai consumer affairs again this week and they were no help at all except to say they expect to have the problem corrected. But they would not give any indication when that will take place. I waited for four months and got no satisfaction from Hyundai or its area rep. So if you are buying this vehicle for towing, buyer beware. This is my first purchase of a Hyundai and it has not been fun. Should have stuck with my Chevy dealer
  • livimaurilivimauri Posts: 6
    Thanks for your pictures and details on the installation of the hitch, My wife and I are planning to get the hitch next month and install it ourselves.
    :)

    07 StaFe AWD GLS
  • Hey! I'm new here and trying to find out if anyone knows how to install the wiring for an electric brake box. I have a 2007 Santa Fe with the tow package. The manual says you can't wire anything into the brake system, but I need to get this thing hooked up. I am towing a '69 Shasta camper with electric brakes and would really like to get these things working! Thanks!
  • Hi everybody,

    just a few comment here about the towing capacity. The 2000# rating without the towing package is a joke, any VW Rabbit can tow that legally. Even the 3500# is still underrated for warranty reasons. If anyone cares to check, in Europe the tow rating for the Fe with the 2.7 Liter engine is 5000# at a max. 10% grade, 4400# at 12% grade in Germany and on the UK site it is still 4400# braked and #1653 unbraked! link title. The only limitation they give is the tongue weight, which is limited to about 176#. The hitch system in Europe is also using the holes on the side of the rear frame (check, they are their on US/Canada versions as well) to give a more solid mount, then with the two bolts used on our version of the hitch system. Check page 2 of the .pdf in this link link title
    As for the bigger radiator with the tow package "BS"! My vehicle doesn't have the tow package and it still has the mounting holes for the transmission cooler present. So why would the cooler without the transmission cooler have these holes pre fabricated! I checked to get the factory transmission cooler and it is not available from Hyundai Canada. I sent back a message telling them how would they fix a vehicle with the tow package, if they can't get the part! What a bunch of (insert your preferred word)! Anyhow, I just needed to rant and put this stuff out there, because I don't like how Hyundai is treating it's customers.

    Cheers
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    Yep your right Hyundai sells these with tow pkg. but try and get tow parts from he dealer. I got an 08 Santa Fe and had to get all my part's from on line at e-trailer. I also had no luck in dealing with Hyundai "supposedly customer" service. Other than that I like the vehicle
  • bcme136bcme136 Posts: 21
    Is everyone still waiting on the replacement? Dealer keeps telling me back ordered due to the national recall still today.
  • rjr2565rjr2565 Posts: 27
    I waited five months and then finally I bought the wiring harness at etrailer for $50.00. It plugs right in to the existing plugs on the 08 Santa Fe. Its hard to understand that Hyundai can't get the part out to it's dealers but you can buy one from an after market vendor.
  • Hi,
    We recently bought a 2008 Santa Fe GLS. Question...how can I tell if it has a tow package or not...note the trailer harness is present near the left rear tire and there is what appears to be 2 coil oil cooler behind the grill in the left front as you look at the vehicle. Also ther are two fans for cooling the radiator. What do you'all think and what should I look for?

    Thanks

    Ron
  • Sorry, but the GLS does not come with the Trailer Prep Package. Only the 7-passenger models came with it and the '08 GLS did not offer the optional 3rd row.
  • Thanks for the info

    ron
  • par721par721 Posts: 14
    Hi -
    Just wondering if the dealer has a better tow hitch for the '08 Santa Fe than what I can get, say from Hidden Hitch. Does anyone one know if the dealer-supplied tow hitch is true Hyundai parts or Hyundai-approved? Also, is the one from the dealer similar to after-market in that there are no holes to drill and the frame extends under the dual exhausts? I don't particularly care for that look and if the dealer-supplied hitch doesn't go around the exhausts and looks more "original equipment", I would just go to them. Thanks for the help!
    Pete
  • Pete,
    Don't know about the dealer hitch, but I just installed one from E-trailer and it went on "without a hitch" (sorry) in 15 minutes. The only time you you see the under muffler part is from directly behind. Feels very secure. I know that E-trailer offered another one that goes on differently. I thought it looked clunky and appeared to be harder to install. Be sure to order the wiring that plugs into the connections supplied adjacent to the driver side muufler along the inner body.
    have Fun.

    Ron
  • par721par721 Posts: 14
    Hey Ron, thanks so much for your reply! I plan on only towing a bike rack and no real towing, so I don't need the plug connections (but maybe that would be good for resale...). There are two hitches, one by Hidden the other by ??? that look the same and have an extended piece next to the 2" connector to mount a wiring harness, and since I don't plan to use that feature (again only for bikes), that adds to the unpleasant look, I believe (ok, maybe being too critical here).

    E-trailer seems to be the vendor of choice among those commenting in this particular forum. One guy quoted the price as $128 for the '08 SF, but it's about $179 as of last night when I checked, so not sure why there would be such a swing in price, unless the $128 figure in incorrect...

    Thanks again for the advice!
  • No problem,,
    I didn't like the the extra piece either so i ordered the curt hitch which does not have it: Part Number: 13538 at e-trailer 159.95 includes shipping...at my house in four days. Going to tow my boat home soon i'll lst you know how it goes.
  • par721par721 Posts: 14
    Thanks Ron. I just ordered the same one from e-trailer, so thanks again for the advice and look forward to hearing from you again.

    From reading some of the previous posts in this forum, it sounds like ordering this part from the dealer is not a good idea. They probably will use a similar type installation (no drilling, around the mufflers) hitch anyway. When I asked at the dealer before picking up my '08 SF, they gave me a loose answer. I specifically asked if they have the true Hyundai tow hitch to put on at the dealer (per the options list for the SF) and they said "maybe or we'll put on a "Hyundai-approved" after-market hitch." So you know they probably go to places like e-trailer, mark up the cost and charge for installation as well!

    Buyer beware?! ;-)

    Pete
  • par721par721 Posts: 14
    Ron,
    I just realized that the hitch (as well as my Thule bike rack) on my old car is 1 1/4", not 2", which seems to be a standard? I guess since a new Thule bike rack that fits a 2" receiver hitch is minimum $200+ and the adapter offered by etrailer.com is $40, I will also buy the adapter.

    Do you know if 2" is the standard? My old car is a Ford product (Mazda Tribute), and they all seem, inlcuding the full size Explorer, to have 1 1/4" receivers instead of 2".

    I didnt see any hitch other than 2" offered by etrailer.com for the '08 SF

    Thanks
    Pete
  • I plan on getting a Motorcycle carrier that attachs to the hitch w/o any wheels. Would the tongue weight be 100% of the bike and carrier? Would a class 3 hitch work with the 08 Santa Fe SE to support this weight?
    Thanks for any help.
  • Pete,
    No idea...I've just seen the two inchers and since it suited my needs that's what I went with. BTW just got with my boat in tow..got 19 MPG and the SF performed well save for some of the steep hills -to be expected - very satisfied.

    Good Luck Ron
  • Hi,

    Certainly seems like it would be...i'm no expert...just a regular guy. Good Luck

    Ron
  • I bought the Hidden Hitch from E-Trailer and it was simple to bolt on with the four bolts supplied. I also got the plug in wiring harness. I tow a 5x8 aluminum trailer with a 600 lb ATV. In my opinion E-Trailer is the place to buy all your towing needs. The prices are good and shipping is fast. Ron2565
  • notlawdnotlawd Posts: 11
    Besides Firestone, does anyone know who makes air springs for the 2007 or newer Santa Fe? I have a SE AWD and I want to improve leveling and ground clearance when towing my trailer. The FIrestone 4170 Coil Rites have been on backorder since last May.

    Thanks
  • gwillygwilly Posts: 51
    Wow, a post relating to what I was thinking about. Another season pulling my tent trailer with major rear end sag on my 2007 AWD SE. Are you saying that those air bags you mention are compatible?

    I just looked at the firestone catalog pg. 20 and you are right. I have been waiting for these. I just hope they are not vaporware as you mention.
  • notlawdnotlawd Posts: 11
    I sent an email to Firestone asking the status of the 4170s. I hope to hear from them soon. I ordered a set on ebay but the seller cancelled the order because he could not get them from his vendor.
  • notlawdnotlawd Posts: 11
    Here is the response from the manufacture about the coil rite 4170 springs. I hope they are available by May so I can tow my trailer without the sag.

    "We completely redesigned the Coil-Rite product line and should have all
    part numbers available by mid April at the latest."


    Sincerely,
    Ride-Rite
    Tech Support
    www.riderite.com
  • gwillygwilly Posts: 51
    I hope the redesign involves making them less likely to pop. I talked to my trailer guy today and he said he could order them(probably not until April after reading the above) but I would have to install them.

    He has had customers with air bag blow outs on the same vehicle twice in a row, even with him the professional installing them. I could see that upper "jounce" bracket popping the bag. But this is the only option for me at the moment, my fingers are crossed.
  • paul1003paul1003 Posts: 1
    Ron (and others)
    I am about to order and install a Curt hitch (#13538). During my research it seems different hitches get torqued differently. I don't have a torque wrench but have watched several install videos at etrailer.com and seem to have a feeling how much force to use. What did you do? :confuse:
    Paul
  • ron71157ron71157 Posts: 11
    Paul,

    I don't have a torque wrench either...I just tightened the bolts up as much as I could using a 1/2 ratchet and a 12 inch extension..also needed a universal for the bolt on top of the support bar. All is well as I recently towed our 19.5 ft bayliner home from the shop with no problems. Don't forget to get the wiring harness that plugs into the factory harness along the frame driver side rear...very slick.
    ">

    Have fun

    Ron
  • I have read just about every message on here and still don't understand exactly what to do. I have a 2007 Limited with tow package.
    1st question: should there be a wiring harness under rear bumper on driver side?
    2nd: if there is, does it plug directly into trailer (flat four) wiring or is there some kind of adaptor i need to buy? where?
    3rd: if there IS an adaptor should I get it or just forget about it and buy the "universal" kit on eTrailer?
    4th: I like the Hidden Hitch best - anyone had any problems with these?
    5th: Anyone ordered from JC Whitney lately or should I stick with eTrailer for a few bucks more?
    Any answers would be much appreciated!
    Thanks!
  • ron71157ron71157 Posts: 11
    Hi,

    Indeed there should be factory wiring plugs (2) along the driver's side rear well. There you plug in the appropriate harness:

    http://www.etrailer.com/pc-VWH~30159.htm?vehicle=2008 Hyundai Santa%20Fe %20With%20Tow%20Package

    works like a champ.

    I installed it and this hitch:
    http://www.etrailer.com/pc-H~13538.htm?vehicleid=20089809

    four bolts and you're good to go.

    hope this helps
  • salmousalmou Posts: 4
    Firestone have it in stock at last!! I have just receive my kit for my 2008 Santa-Fe. I hope it's good !!!!

    Salmou
  • gwillygwilly Posts: 51
    Is this the same part number as before, or is it a redesign?

    I finally relented 2 months ago and got a reese weight distribution hitch for my 2005 Fleetwood pop-up trailer and 2007 Santa Fe AWD / touring and couldn't be happier. Yeah, I know that they are not recommended for uni-body frames but I couldn't deal with that rear end sag for one of our many trips this year.

    No issues whatsoever and the trailer behaved far superior to what I dealt with before, no swaying and far less bounce. Now that I have this setup, of course the airbags would become available ;-).
  • notlawdnotlawd Posts: 11
    Where did you find them? I would like to order the kit.
  • salmousalmou Posts: 4
    Firestone say that they have 4 in stock (i've receive a e-mail from them last wednesday) !! Just look on there web site to find a store near you and order from them !!
    Me, i live in canada and i order it from a store that they sell parts for cars and truck in Montreal. They order it and it took 3 weeks to receive it.

    Hope you find one !!!

    Excuse my poor english, normaly i speak french !!!!!!!!

    Salmou
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