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Hyundai Santa Fe Towing Questions



  • Plan to order from for $101.59 for self-install on 09 Santa Fe or have Les Schwab do all for #219.30. Appears Air Lift does not offer kit for 07-09 . Appreciate advice on where to drill for inflation valves, psi for when not carrying load, etc. Appears that kit now includes rubber grommets but called "flat washers"?
  • I placed the valves on the 7-pin elec. hookup mounting bracket. One on each side above the plug, I run about 7 psi when not towing and 12-18 when towing. Make sure you keep some pressure above 5 psi at all times to avoid damage to the air bags.
  • Decided to have Les Schwab install and glad I did as took them a long time. They used existing holes behind left rear mud flap for valves as I do not have bracket mentioned by notlawd. Very slow leak on left bag so back to Schwab soon. They had great difficulty removing jounce bumpers and did not like the sharp angle the air line has to take coming out of the mount, and if this results in pinching, they want to install a right angle fitting at no extra charge. As others have mentioned, be very careful adding air to these low pressure bags, as you will overinflate almost instantly with a compressor.
  • I concur with you on the issue regarding the angle of the line as it comes out the jounce bumper and pinching the line. The instructions do not accurately reflect the angle of the suspension arm in relation to the bag and coil spring. I am having to replace one of my bags due to the line finally splitting because of the pinching and a small leak developing from the valve on top of the bag. I'm going to try and enlarge the hole where the jounce bumper bolt threads into and hope that this provide more flexibility in the line as the coil spring is compressed and eliminate the pinching issue with the air line.
  • for regan9663 etal. Les Schwab had to drill a 3/8" hole to reduce the pinching, they fixed the leak on the left side. and no more leaks after two weeks, but I have my fingers crossed. Now I have fairly loud creaking in the rear which may or may not be the air bags since I am more sensitive to rear noises after the air bag installation. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this noise. I carry 11psi in the bags when not pulling the trailer.
  • Creaking noise was the air bags, so I forced silicone grease between coils and bags and creaking eliminated, but will probably have to periodically renew. One bag (or line or fitting ) started leaking again so back to Les Schwab again next week. Merry Christmas to all !
  • Can you tell me where they drilled the 3/8" hole? Was it on the threaded opening that the jounce bumper collar was bolted to? I had to inspect my left side today because it stopped holding air. I discovered it is leaking in the same area the right side one was (out the top of the bag where the air fitting is). I'm disappointed with this product so far.
  • For regan9663 etal. Hole was drilled in side of jounce bumper mount and I was wrong, it is oversize to about 1/2" because the mechanic was concerned with pinching. Les Schwab thinks the 4170 is a poor design. The mechanic called Firestone today and talked to a "Richard", the engineer designer of the 4170. As I understand it, Richard said they had sold 81 of the 4170 this year for, I assume, the 2007-09 Santa Fe, and I am the only one with a problem that has reached him. Richard is sending right angle connectors which may or may not solve the leaks. The upper supports will not stay in place on my Santa Fe, they just float around and are probably part of the problem, and Richard suggested they could be removed, but the mechanic thinks that will just cause more pinching. The mechanic thinks that air shocks would be better, but Les Schwab does not have a listing for the Santa Fe, so it would be a matter of measuring , looking for a fit, and what sounds like some trial and error, which I doubt I will want to do. The Les Schwab manager will return from vacation next week, and I will ask for a refund of the air springs and the installation, and have Les Schwab go after Firestone. However, the jounce bumpers were thrown away by Les Schwab, so I guess I will have to see if they are available from a junk yard or a dealer and, hopefully, not part of a complete coil spring package. Good luck with yours.
  • After about 7 months and 6,000+ miles (with and without loads) with no problems, the driver side bag starting leaking. I have not had time to determine where the leak is but I suspect the top of the air bag where the line connects (like your problem). The line is pinched. It holds air for about a day. I have noticed the spacers do not stay in place. I wonder why Firestone did not design them with a ridge to set inside the jounce bumper mount. I will be writing Firestone and requesting a replacement kit. If they let me keep the old parts, I will try to rout out the spacer to keep it from moving. The passenger side is still fine. Please let me know how you did with the refunds. Do you have a number for Richard? I think it will help for him to hear there are others with problems.
  • For notlawd etal. Les Schwab probably called the phone number of their supplier and went from there, but I do not have that number. With 25psi in the bags, they may have stopped leaking, but I am not sure if I want to keep that much air in there when not carrying a load which is 90% of the time. I am going to wait another week to see if they have stopped leaking before I go back to Les Schwab and either try the right angle connectors or have the bags removed. Obviously, I do not trust the things, so I probably will have them removed.
  • When I received my replacement kit last month I noticed both the bag and the spacer were different than the original one I received. The spacer was black and it did have a ridge designed into it so it would fit better into the top of the bag as the vehicle is compressed down on it when you lower it off the jack. I think it is an improvement over the other ones. I have another replacement kit on the way so we'll see if I received the same bag and spacer as I got last month.
  • snowsailsnowsail Posts: 2
    I pull a 2800lb camper with two sea kayaks and 2 bicycles and the Fe is fully loaded total load around 3700lb. She has absolutely no trouble pulling this even up steep hills. The trick is (and this comes from the Hyundai mechanic) DONT LUG THE MOTOR. At the bottom of the hill shift her to 3500 / 4500 RPM and up she goes, real easy... try it.
  • kevin6119kevin6119 Posts: 1
    I'm trying to find out if the 2010 Santa Fe with pre-installed tow package has the "plug and play" harness for installing a brake controller. The dealer has installed the 4-way wiring for the signal and running lights but I can find no information on installing a brake controller.

    I have installed a brake controller in my GM vehicle where I had to manually splice into my brake pedal wiring and run the leads to the battery and run the blue lead to the 7-way plug. I do not wish to do this on the Santa Fe as it will probably void the warranty and I am not the owner of the Santa Fe.

    As well, are there any "air bag" helper springs available for the 2010? I phoned Michigan Truck Spring and they phoned Firestone who did not have an answer at this time.There are air springs listed for the 2007-2009 models but I feel the design on the 2010 has changed.
  • hippie76hippie76 Posts: 1
    Hi There,

    Do you pull this with a weight distribution system or any sway control? If so, what is your solution. Thanks for your help.
  • roadrunner70roadrunner70 Posts: 241
    i am considering purchasing a 2010 santa fe with v6. on edmunds, there is no tow option. has anyone towed with it, and what about the fifth wire. thanks. rr70
  • I have a small winnebago that i want to tow my santa fe behind and travel the country. i am about to purchase a hitch for it and was told that i would burn up my tranny if i dont have a special pump installed. what kaind of pump is there and where can i get it?
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    if your model doesn't have the towing package that includes a transmission cooler - you may want to install an aftermarket one before towing....
  • nash71nash71 Posts: 1
    Through most of these questions & answers, there is mention of a towing package. I purchased a 2009 Sante Fe used & don't recall anything mentioned about a towing package. How does one determine if it has the towing package or not? Also, I'm only looking at pulling a small trailer for minimal hauling. If my Sante Fe doesn't have the towing package, is it still ok to pull a small trailer basically around town.
  • ron71157ron71157 Posts: 11
    As far as I can tell, the only model with the so-called "towing package" is the limited. We have a 2008 SE and it has a small transmission oil cooler in the front of the radiator on the bottom left as you look at it. It also has the factory wiring at the driver's rear of the car which made installation a snap. No problem towing our 19.5 ft bayliner, as mentioned earlier; downshifting when needed for hill-climbing. Satisfied owner

    Happy Towing!!
  • azjazj Posts: 18
    For 2009 the SE also has the towing package, at least mine does.
  • 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.
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