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Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Questions



  • cresco299cresco299 Posts: 1
    I have a '03 3.5 V6 2WD Automatic Santa Fe that did not come with a towing package. We're planning to use the Santa Fe to tow a Popup tent trailer this summer. I've read the manual a few times and it specifically states that I should not tow in Overdrive.

    So my question is, exactly how do I keep my Santa Fe from shifting into overdrive? There is no button present to prevent this from happening. Do I have to use the Sport Shifting Feature for every trip? I'm on the east coast so I won't be climbing any mountains to speak of. What is the danger, if any, of just hitching up and taking off without worrying about this.

    On a similar thread, there is a small "oil cooler" set up that is placed in the front of the radiator off to the right. Is this a Transmission Cooler?

  • tcharltontcharlton Posts: 2
    Hello- I have a 2009 Hyundai SF and I pull a tent trailer with electric brakes, I installed a Hidden Hitch and wiring code 30159 from etrailerand I purchased7/4 way kit ETBC7 from them. I have not purchase the brake control yet as I did not want to install it on my dash as my wife said no.. My question is what brand control did - gwilly install under the hood and is thsi OK. Thanks, tcharlton
  • tcharltontcharlton Posts: 2
    Hello willyii what brand control did you install under your hood? I have a 2009 Santa Fe and my wife and I both refuse to install it on the dash. I had one on a pickup a few years back and after I adjusted it I do not think I ever adjusted it again.I want to put one under the hood let me know your thoughtsm and how yours is working. My tent trailer weighs under 2600 pounds. Thanks,tcharlton
  • guy27guy27 Posts: 3
    I have a 2008 Santa Fe SE, V6, 242 HP. I am pulling a Coleman Sun Valley Pop-Up trailer, about 2600 fully loaded. Plenty of power to do this, but a very bouncy ride. The trailer and car start to oscillate up and down enough to make a person car sick. No problem with sway. I have been told to get a weight distribution (WD) system and almost bought one until I recently learned that hitches for the Santa Fe will not take a WD system, not even factory installed hitches. Do you know of any hitch that would allow a WD system to be put on the Santa Fe? If I can't use a WD system, will Firestone 4170 Air Springs help to smooth out the ride. I have tried loading the trailer many different ways with little if any improvement. The tongue weight seems to be appropriate. Do I need a new tow vehicle?
    Thanks for your help.
  • djleblancdjleblanc Posts: 1
    I've installed the Air Springs, and they do help significantly, when they stay inflated...

    They come with a plastic spacer, which when installed, tends to contact the release mechanism where the air hose enters the bag, causing it to deflate. I'd taken those out, which seemed to solve the issue - until my last trip, where they deflated on me again. The service center that installed them for me has suggested that the upper bump-stops inside the rear coils need to be cut back as well, as they're contacting the hose release as well when the suspension is under compression.

    I'll let you know how it goes...
  • guy27guy27 Posts: 3
    Thanks for your comment. I am talking with a mechanic who can install them for me. Glad to hear they help (if they stay inflated!)
  • jimbo3946jimbo3946 Posts: 1
    edited July 2010
    I have an 07 Sante Fe Limited AWD, no trailer prep. Hyundai does not offer any aftermarket kit (other than hitch/wiring harness). I was thinking of adding an aftermarket transmission cooler so I could tow a boat I am thinking of buying (1800lb dry weight + trailer, I'm figuring 3000 lb). I will add brakes to trailer. Any opinions on whether that would work? I searched through these forums and saw the factory towing package also had beefier radiator and fans, but thinking that the thing I'd be worried about breaking was the transmission, so the tranny cooler should solve that? I'm not going to be towing more than 2 hrs, most times less than half hour to the local lake.

    Also, what's the logic behind the extra 1000 lbs alloted for boat trailer towing listed in owners manual? It says max w/o towing package is 2,000 lb, then beneath that says boat trailer weight is max towing weight +1000 lb. Does this mean I could tow my 3000 lb boat w/o a towing package? If this is true, then sems like adding the trans cooler would give me enough headroom to be able to tow without frying my transmission...(What's the difference between a 3000 lb boat and a 3.000 camper?)

  • I just bought a 08 Santa Fe with 29000 miles. It came with a tow package. I drove a few without the tow package before I got this one and they drove very smooth. This one is much stiffer. Drives more like the Jeep Liberty. My question is dose the tow package come with heavier struts and springs which would cause it to have a stiffer ride in normal conditions. It also has the humming wheels that Jeeps have. I got it because of a great deal thinking I can fix these problems. The humming wheels I will just get highway tires instead of A/T. Any suggestions about the ride.

    Thanks for the help

  • The trailer towing package includes a transmission cooler, upgraded radiator and fans with trailer pre-wiring. It makes no mention of modifications to the suspension. I have a 2008 with the 3.3L V6 engine and prior to the 2008 I had a 2007 (2.7L) and a 2004 (3.6L). All of them have had the same ride. I however prefer the 3.3 and 3.6 to the 2.7 due to those engines having a timing chain rather that the belt of the 2.7L. The belt requires servicing at 60K to maintain the warranty.

    Road noise has been a problem with the tires and rotate mine every 4-5K miles to ensure even wear. Be sure the have your alignment checked on all wheels when you get the new tires. I replaced the factory tires at 46,825 miles.
  • Thanks for the info. I'm ordering new tires Monday.
  • jdl51jdl51 Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Santa Fe w/the 2.7 engine and no towing package. I'm considering getting a new Santa Fe w/the 3.5 and adding the tow package. I live in Colorado and am wondering how, even w/the larger engine, the Santa Fe will perform with a load (probably ATVs) over the high Rockies. Thanks in advance for your input.
  • What exactly does "allowable towing weight" mean? Is the 1650#s the total max?
  • I have the exact Sante Fe and tow a Trail Sport Hybrid approx. 3200 loaded. I have a weight distribution system installed with sway control. Never had a problem towing anything. I live in Newfoundland, Canada, lots of hills and windy conditions. The trailer has never swayed and I have never had any doubts about the ability of the machine to tow. I can check tomorrow for the brand name of the wd system and the name of the hitch as well.
  • Boat hulls are aerodynamic and so add much less drag that a typical boxy trailer. This accounts for the increased towing capacity for boats.
  • I know this is an old thread, but I am now at that point. I have 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe that needs stiffer rear coil springs. I am outside Philadelphia PA yet unable to find local solutions. Is the product still going well for you bwd1970?
    would like to talk more drop me a line [email protected] thanks
    Is there monroe air shock that works for 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe ?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Please don't ask for an exchange of information via email. We all benefit when a problem is discussed on the open forum. (Plus you may get spammed). Thanks.
  • lani1lani1 Posts: 1
    New to Santa Fe's and towing. Will be purchasing a camper trailer (< 3000#) and there are so many new/used Santa Fe's to choose from. Are the newer models better with better engines or do any of you have success with the 2.7 engines. THANKS!
  • par721par721 Posts: 14
    Go for the bigger, V6 engine (3.5) if you plan to tow a camper. If you were simply using a bike carrier in the tow hitch, the smaller engine would be fine. In normal driving, I still get about 22 mph overall with my V6 Santa Fe. Actually love my SF and it passes the ultimate test of a vehicle...I would buy it again. Hope this helps.
  • 2005 Santa Fe 2.7 is it able to be towed on the road or only a trailer.
    Anyone have information?
  • ymmot11ymmot11 Posts: 8
    I would like to use my 2007 Santa Fe, V6, 3.3, for towing some equipment. The Trailer is 500lbs, and the equipment is another 1650lbs, for a total weight of 2150lbs. My manual says that unless the trailer has a seperate braking system I should not tow more than 1650. Can anyone confirm this?
  • dutchy1dutchy1 Posts: 2
    Last post is 2 1/2 years old. Does anyone have a more recent experience with the F4170 airbags on a '08 Santa Fe? Are there now 90 deg. fittings included in the kit? With the Santa Fe not being rated for weight distribution, the airbags are my last resort.
  • regan9663regan9663 Posts: 7
    When I got my replacement kit back in 2010 I think, it did include a 90 degree fitting. It seems make a big improvement, I haven't had any issues since.
  • dutchy1dutchy1 Posts: 2
    Thanks Regan 9663! Another question I have is that when I pull my trailer (Flagstaff Micro Lite XLT) 350/3200 lbs, the gas mileage drops to about 18L/100KM per the computer (15 miles per Imp Gallon or 12.5 miles per US gallon) and the transmission is hunting on level road between 4th and 5th gear when doing 90kmph or 56 MPH. Is this in the ballpark for this set up? When I bought the SF, I only ensured that the loads on the TV were within the specs without considering that the frontal area of the trailer is about 90" wide and 105" high! (~ 65 square feet) Is this part of the equation when Hyundai specs that the SF can pull 350/3500? My son-in-law has a 2005 Dodge Caravan and the manual specifies that you can only have a frontal area of 40 square feet when pulling a 350/3500 lbs trailer! Would driving in 4th gear put less strain on the engine and tranny? (~2500 rpm at 90kmph or 56 MPH) What about doing this in hot summer weather?
  • regan9663regan9663 Posts: 7
    I really don't have the expertise to answer that. I pull a 10" popup and don't think I could pull anything much bigger. I always use the manual tiptronic and shift down to 4th or 3rd quite frequently if I'm going up an incline.
  • nib1nib1 Posts: 1

    I too have a SF with a rear sagging problem. My last resort currently is also the air bags.

    How are they performing?
    Do you recommend them?
    Did you install them yourself? Would you do it again?

  • notlawdnotlawd Posts: 11
    I had to make some mods to the spacer to make them work. The first set didn't last very long. Firestone set me a new kit and I modified the blue spacer with larger holes for the hose. They have been working great for several years now without any leaks. I could never figure out the new angle connectors that came with the second kit but I heard others have had success with them.
  • chris916chris916 Posts: 3
    Hello, I just bought my new Santa Fe Limited (long wheel base)

    All 3.3L v6 Santa Fe come with prewired trailer. Most local dealerships don't have the hitch and when they do its over $500 to aquire/install.

    I found the the entire solution at ( for $246 delivered to my door for a 6000lbs hitch, wiring pre connect , Non drill bracket and Universal plug.

    You can probably find these parts scattered other places on the net, but its one stop shopping and a very competitive price, Free Shipping.

    Anyone looking to add a hitch to there Newest Santa Fe (Not Sport but Long wheel base) should check out the homework I did and benefit.

    (I have no affiliation with trailer)

    C13153 Hitch
    118269 Wiring
    18140 no drill mount
    C57674 Quality 4/7 pole hook up.

    Instructions say, its an easy do it yourself installation. No moving exhaust or lowering tire. No drilling. Will have to drop by Harbor Freight and pick up a Torch Wrench and some electrical tape, and that is it.

    Worthy of your 37k vehicle
  • Can someone help me with a towing question. I have a 2010 Santa Fe and I want to buy and tow a lightweight travel trailer to Alaska. It is my understanding that this model and year is rated for 2000lbs. I have looked everywhere on the websites trying to find out if there is some kind of towing package upgrade that will change this to a higher rating. It is almost impossible to tow anything with only 2000lbs, unless it is no bigger then a cardboard box. What changes would need to be done to make it safe? I love my Santa Fe and do not want to trade it in. Thanks for anyone's direction on this.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729

    What you need to consider is the trailer total weight, frontal area, and tongue weight. Usually a standard tow package relates to cooling, hitch, and wiring. Even a small travel trailer, unless it's a pop up has a large frontal area which creates a lot of drag. At minimum I'd look into an external transmission cooler. Plus any gear and people you carry will eat into your towing capacity.

    If your Santa Fe has a v6, it should safely handle a small trailer up to 3,500lbs or so. If it's a 4cyl model, then you really will be limited, particularly if attempting to tow long distances.

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