Hyundai Santa Fe Start Stall Idle Problems

gypsystargypsystar Member Posts: 8
I bought an '07 Santa Fe SE AWD about 2 months ago. It has 2300 miles on it and everything was fine -- until last night.

I was walking to my car in the dark and in the rain last night in Seattle and was looking forward to getting in my nice warm, dry car and driving home from a long day at work. It was parked in a small obscure parking lot in "not the nicest neighborhood". The last thing I expected was to have problems starting my car. Here's what happened...

I tried to open the door with the button on the remote, but it would not open. Therefore, I manually used the key to unlock the door. When I put the key in the ignition and turned it, it would not start. The lights on both the door panels (from the window buttons) and a few other dashboard lights were dimly flashing (like strobe lights). The power locks inside the car would not work either. I am now in the dark, in a not so nice neighborhood sitting in my car that will not start and will not lock.

I thought I might have triggered the security system (where if you lock the doors with the remote you must open with the remote), but I don't know. I tried a second key (didn't have the second remote, but did have a second key). It still did not start. I tried locking and unlocking the door with the remote (in case it was the security thing), putting my foot on the brake, and still would not start....lights continued to dimly flash on the door panels and dash board.

I called Hyundai roadside assistance. I sat there for 45 minutes until the tow truck came. I was told by the roadside assistance fellow that they would tow my car to the nearest Hyundai dealer (they didn't care if the dealership was closed .. they would just leave me and the car there, unfortunately there was no one at home to get me).

Anyway, the tow guy brought a flat bed, but we could not get the car in Nuetral to get on the the flat bed. The dimly flashing lights got dimmer and the tow truck guy suggested jump starting the car. With the first jump, the horn went off. I locked and unlocked the door with the remote and was then able to start the car. When the jumper cables were removed, the engine died. He jumped it again, it started and I was able to drive home. This all took about 2 hours in the cold, dark rain. Not exactly what I had in mind when I bought a brand new car.

This morning I was able to start the car as if last night never happened and I drove it to the Hyundai service center. Although I fully described what happened to the gal who checked me in, I don't think she explained it to the Tech as the notes on my paperwork are very criptic (vehicle would not start, keyless entry would not work).

The technician said that he checked the charging system and ran codes but found no DTCS (I think this means the computer did not record an error). What he said he found was that the junction box had build up on the connectors and that he cleaned and adjusted all connectors. He said this was a common problem. (The tag in my car says that it was manufactured in Oct '06, so it had sat around for a fairly long time).

Has anyone had a similar experience or have any information about this that would be helpful? I really don't want to have to worry about my new car not starting. I bought a new car in hopes that it would be more reliable than my 10 year old Buick Century that it replaced. However, nothing like this had ever happened in my Buick.

Thank you very much for any help!


  • gizzer777gizzer777 Member Posts: 335
    Wish I could help but you are better off waiting for tomorrow ...the dealer will have to have at that one. There was a post somewhere here about a similar problem which turned out to be a break switch...again the dealer will do it...

    There is a little button like affair at the top of the shift console. You are supposed to be able to pry the cap off and press the button to release the tranny...never tried but I read it somewhere here
    good luck and please let us know the outcome
  • kdahlquistkdahlquist Member Posts: 130
    The symptoms that you described are exactly what happens in a modern car when the battery is dead. Either your battery drained, or there was enough corrosion on the battery connectors that insufficient current was being delivered. If your battery connections are clean now, and the battery and charging system test out fine, then don't worry about it. If it happens again, though, you need to consider the possibility that an electrical short somewhere in the system is allowing the battery to drain while your car is parked.
  • stocker1stocker1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 4 cyl 2002 santa fe. While driving it just stalled, and wouldn't restart. It won't turn over. Seems like the battery is fine, all of the lights work. Any help would be appreciated
  • prezaxlprezaxl Member Posts: 1
    You probably should or started your own thread. I just got done with a similar symptom (stalled while driving) and a Mass air flow sensor was replaced to make the car start again. But with only a few weeks of goodness the no start problem is showing up again (symptom of unknown problem).
  • ruspy1ruspy1 Member Posts: 1
    I had the Timing belt and the Alternator replaced. The Timing Belt was due to be replaced at 60k. I noticed that there was a whining noise, thinking it maybe the Timing belt, which I had it changed at 63k; however, the Hyundai Service informed me that the whining noise was the Alternator, it was on its way out, and the bearings caused the noise. My Santa Fe was occasionally hesitating during start-up, I'm thinking it was the Timing belt or Alternator, however, I had both of them replaced and car still hesitates during start-up sometime when sits for a while. Called Hyundai service and explained that the Santa Fe still hesitates during start-up after replacing the Timing Belt and the Alternator, could it be the Spark plugs that needs a Tune-up, he said that the Santa Fe doesn't need a Tune-up until reaches 80k, where I'm at 63K miles. He thinks that the Battery needs to be recharged because the Alternator was defective and replaced. I'm still not convinced, because the car hesitates during start-up and runs rough for little while before it warms up. I still think it may need a Tune-up. Has anyone had a similar problem?
  • boz8boz8 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Santa Fe aprox. 120,000 miles. A while ago the car started hesitating (jumping mildly) at 40-45 mph. Then one day, at normal driving speeds, started severly hesitating (feeling like it was choking out) and stoped running and would not start up. After towing to a mechanic who did not find the problem because it would not act up for him, I continued to drive it for a month or so with no problems until now. It drives fine for a few miles then chokes out and stops running, won't start back up unless it sits overningt. Then this patern is repeated. I have put a fuel pump in it but that was not the problem. Any solutions out there?
  • zithazitha Member Posts: 1
    I get a bearing noise when driving at 65-75mph but die out when I reach 80mph. The noise actual builds up on 3rd gear and worse at 65+ mph.
  • psykoconnellpsykoconnell Member Posts: 3
    2001 GLS 2.7 V6, 103K miles. Did waterpump and timing belt back in August. Just did spark plugs and new plug wires a couple weeks ago. Ever since then, the car has to crank over for up to 10 seconds now before starting, and it's starting really rough, either too much fuel or not enough. Smells more like too much. Also, at idle, it cuts out a bit every now and then, idling rough. Accelerates and drives totally fine, just at idle, whether in nuetral or in gear. Bad injector maybe? Malfunctioning PCM? Fuel pump takin a dump? Or did I screw up the valves because the timing belt slipped 1 cog on the cam gear and it's an interference motor (which I've already fixed, now problem seems to be getting worse)? Also, now the cruise control won't turn it linked in somewhere and not turning on because of the rough idling/starting problem? can anyone help?

    *Also, the car is NOT showing check engine light and has NO codes."
  • psykoconnellpsykoconnell Member Posts: 3
    I found a light at the end of a tunnel (another forum). FUEL PRESSURE REGULATOR. It's vacuum operated so when the diaphram starts leaking, it's three problems together....incorrect fuel pressure monitoring, vacuum leak, and pulling unmetered fuel directly into the intake manifold and causing the car to run rich (which would also be like the car is choking out because of too much fuel). Best part is, fuel pressure regulator is only $35 or so, found it on
    For that price, I would say it’s worth it to change out, especially 200-2003 year Hyundais.
  • rkbellrkbell Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for this tip. Changed the Fuel Pressure Reg. on my 2005 santa fe 3.5L and this was the issue. Easy and cheap fix and now runs like new again!
  • empowernvempowernv Member Posts: 3
    For a few days now, the car either starts normally, or I have to shake rattle and roll with gear shift, key in collar, etc. (I have no idea which of these might be helping, but they make me feel better) to get it to 'catch'.

    Radio and fan and indicator lights all come on; and sometimes it starts to turn over. I've been able to get it to GO but right now status is NO GO

    Of course I have appt at dealer shop tomorrow - but I need to get through today -

    Anything I can do on my own?
  • cpguillcpguill Member Posts: 1
    My 03 Santa Fe has been very well maintained, has a new battery and full tank of gas. Driving out of my neighborhood two days ago the engine died and would not restart. When I turned the key to start it I can hear the fuel pump priming and there is plenty of battery power to crank the engine, but it wont take a spark. Had vehicle towed to mechanic and he hooked it up to scanner and the code read "will not communicate" Does this code indicate a bad ECM or some other computer related problem? If it is a bad ECM, how costly and difficult is that repair? Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  • empowernvempowernv Member Posts: 3
    Alternator, according to dealer
  • ptw016ptw016 Member Posts: 1
    My '08 2.7 has difficuly starting in the morning. It makes the normal cranking noises but won't fire up immediatly. I typically let it try to catch for 5-10 seconds, pause, and try again. Then I wait a minute, try again, and everything starts fine. Then it'll start normally the rest of the day.

    Pardon my ignorance, but isn't there some sort of compartment that holds fuel into the engine with a check valve that keeps it from releasing back into the tank? Could it be that this valve is leaking?

    Or does it sound like I need a whole new fuel pump?

    Any help would be very much appreciated.
  • citycash227citycash227 Member Posts: 1
    On Jan. 4th, my Santa Fe 2002 was driving along fine and all of a sudden it started squealing and completely shut off...It started right back up and began to squeal even louder and then I smelled something burning and saw smoke...I happen to be next to a large parking lot... I immediately drove it into a parking spot and turned it off...Had it towed home dreading that this must be an expensive fix...Any ideas as to what this could be??? Engine light never came on...Working overtime now trying to get cash together before I take it to the dealer(dealer maintained since 2002)...Thanks
  • kdconodkdconod Member Posts: 53
    Hard to say - maybe just the serpentine belt needs to be replaced?
  • maineventmainevent Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe has issues starting every time you attempt to start the vehicle, the motor turns over but does not crank, you have to try at least 3 times EVERYTIME. It normally cranks on the 3rd time. I have replaced the plugs and plug wires but that had no effect. This has been an on going issues since I purchased the vehicle used about 3 years ago. It has progressively gotten worse. Recently I have noticed that the headlight, taillight and seat warmer are all out on the driver side and the radio cuts off at random while going down the road. Any suggestions?
  • atreides096atreides096 Member Posts: 1
    Purchased a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe with 149k miles on it a couple of months ago. Work we did to it includes:

    * Replaced most of the filters, hoses and belts (including timing belt)
    * Replaced spark plugs, cables, and 2 of the 3 ignition coils
    * Degreased the engine

    After that, when not moving (such as a red light), the engine would rev up and then slow down and/or stall. That lasted for about 100 miles, and then stopped.

    Note1: The spark plugs were AutoLite Double Platinum, not NGK.
    Note2: The fuel gauge was wrong the first time we filled the vehicle up. After letting it run out of gas and then filling it up again, the fuel gauge started working - so we never checked the condition of the fuel pump.

    Since the rev/stall problem stopped, the vehicle has had a really rough idle and is consistently getting under 15MPG on the freeway, 12 city (EPA rated at 19 FWY, 15 city)

    We've heard the following theories raised:
    1. Got water on the spark plugs when degreasing
    2. Throttle Body is bad
    3. Should have used NGK Iridium spark plugs (note: OEM was double platinum)
    4. Common problem with that vehicle - no way to repair it

    Do any of these theories make sense? Any other ideas as to the problem? Before we spend 1/2 a day taking the car apart again, I'm hoping to get an idea of what to look for... especially if the rough idle problem is really just a "feature" of the vehicle.

    Thanks a lot for your help!!!
  • pinky84pinky84 Member Posts: 1
    have u tried the mass air flow sensor , the throttle body . the oxygen sensor on my there are 2 oxygen sensors it a 2003 4cylinder manual transmision.....take it to a shop they have to know what is wrong with it if they cant fix it sue hyundai for ur money back ....
  • feelie75feelie75 Member Posts: 1
    ptw016, this sounds just like my 2003 sante fe! Did you solve this problem? Mine cranks over and over but doesn't start, though eventually it does. Then for the rest of the day, it starts just fine. Only after sitting overnight does the problem seem to occur.

    Please let me know if you solved this so I have some clue how to proceed without paying a mechanic for diagnosis. Thank you!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    Might check the coolant temperature sensor? Perhaps you arent getting a rich enough mixture in the morning.

Sign In or Register to comment.