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2002 Hyundai Santa Fe Speedometer problem

My 2002 Santa Fe has about 40000 miles on it and I just started experiencing intermittent problems with my speedometer/odometer. It sometimes just drops to zero mph, no matter what speed I'm driving, what other electric components are on, or what outside temperature is. Hyundai service had no answers and, as you would expect, when I took it in for them to look at it, it worked. It has messed up several times since.

Any helpful suggestions?


  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    1st thing i think of is speedometer cable is going bad...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Does a car of that recent vintage even have a speedometer cable though? Seems like most use sensors that feed electrical signals to the ECU.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    possibly- not 100% sure how it works but if it is not a cable then it would still be easy enough to find the problem at the dealer - if it is a signal driven system - then you might have to look at where and when the malfunction occurs - possible electromagnetic interference from somewhere might be affecting the speedometer- i have an aftermarket setup that uses electrical signal and it used to malfunction going over a specific draw bridge for some reason... and have no problem anywhere else. is there any other malfunction? svc engine light? abs light? awd light? if your not there at the dealer they can always say they can't reproduce the problem but if your there and it presents itself - they should be able to figure out what is malfunctioning and why...
  • My speedo went on my 2001 Santa Fe twice. The first time it was the fuse, the second time it was an intermittent fault and was traced to a speed sensor. This was changed for about £130 by a main dealer.
  • chiwlfchiwlf Posts: 6
    The most common problem is a loose connection or moisture in the connection at the speed sensor on the transaxle. the next thing that I have seen is a worn speedo driven gear on the sensor itself. Provided the gear isn't when due to worn diff side bearings not a real complicated job or excessively costly. An experienced Hyundai tech would find the problem pretty quickly.
  • tjg00tjg00 Posts: 5
    I bought a used 2003 Santa Fe with 59000 miles in December and I am having the same problem. Please let me know what the outcome is.
  • dreber1dreber1 Posts: 2
    Thanks to all who submitted replies to my original speedometer problem. I took my Santa Fe back to the dealer and told them to keep it until they found and fixed the problem. It only took one day for them to see the problem. At first, they said it was the speedometer gear (in the speedometer) and they replaced it. When they took the vehicle out to test the "fix", the speedometer failed two more times. This time they replaced the sensor in the transaxle (which I and several of you suggested was the problem). That did the trick - it has worked ever since. Apparently they have an inherent problem with the early Santa Fe speed sensors, but for some reason, don't want to notify their customers to come in and have the sensors replaced. Thanks again.
  • As I approach junctions etc and slow down, there is a grinding, clunking noise with the brakes. The brakes are also ineffective. If I remove my foot the sound will continue, but if i tap it sharply it will go away. It's quite dangerous. Has anyone any ideas?
  • lobo3lobo3 Posts: 2
    Hey.I have a Santa Fe 2004 with 148000 or so..and that happend to mine also, the speedometer drops to zero..I'll ask about that speed sensor...
  • lobo3lobo3 Posts: 2
    I decided to change the spark plugs on the vehicle and I can only get to the front three plugs..cant get to the other I have to remove the intake???
  • Does anyone have any new information on whether or not Hyundai is doing a recall? My tachometer went a few months ago and now my speedometer is no longer working either. I have a 2002 Santa Fe. After getting it checked out, it appears there's a cluster inside the dash that controls both and the part alone costs $800 to replace. Insane!
  • i have santa fe 2001,my speedometer is malfunctionin means theres a time that suddenly drop down. i decided to open it and brought a gear. at the time i change it my speedometer is doing the same, now i want to change the upper portion of speedometer assemble. now i want to ask if i already change the whole speedometer assembly and if it will do same thing what is the other factor that affecting my speedometer
  • any please teach me how to change bushing stabilizer of hyundai santa fe
  • I had the problem twice. The first time i changed a fuse, then the second time i changed a speed sensor.
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    When you changed the speed sensor, did you do it from underneath the car, or did you go down through the engine compartment? Seems very hard to get to from the top. Too many things in the way.
  • 4rhodes4rhodes Posts: 2
    I'm having a problem with mine (2002) & I want to know which fused you changed & where can I locate the speed sensor?
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    There actually 3 sensors on the transmission. The Output Speed Sensor, the Input speed sensor and the VSS, Vehicle Speed Sensor. The first two are right on top of the transmission, the VSS is toward the firewall and down lower. It is hard to see because of the hoses and wires in the way. It is on the differential section of the transmission. The VSS is actually the one that controls the Speedometer I am almost sure. Look straight down from the throttle valve and you should be able to see it. Looking from the front of the vehicle it is a little left of the Master Cylinder and down lower of course.
  • 4rhodes4rhodes Posts: 2
    Do you know of a link where I can find a diagram of all this? Thanks!
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    I have searched and have never really found a site for it. I found one that showed the Output Speed Sensor, and the Input speed sensor, but not the VSS sensor.
  • I have a 2003 Santa Fe and the speedometer quit, Just lays on 0. I took it to the Hyundai dealership and they told me the speedometer cluster was bad and I replaced it at some cost. Well the speedometer still doesn't work. What else is left,, the Vehicle speed sensor? I can't find a shop that sells the VSS. I can buy the input sensor and the output sensor. But from what everyone tells me the problem is the VSS. Where do I buy a VSS and is hard to change?
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    It is neither the output speed or input speed sensor. There is a Speedometer sensor on the lower part of the transmission Yes it is the VSS it is hard to see from the top, but you can get to it from under the car. That is what runs your speedometer. I replaced my about 3 months ago. There is a Korean Auto parts store on the web where you can get it.
  • Thanks for the input. I found a parts dealer,FourGreens, that has the VSS. They sell through E BAY. I haven't got it yet but I believe this will fix my problem. From all the other posts this seems to be a common problem with the Santa Fe. Thanks again, Tom
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    edited March 2011
    I assure you that will fix your problem. I see you located where it was on the transmission right? Actually it is very easy to install from under the car. One bolt and it comes out. Push the new one back in the hole, put the bolt back on and install the connector and you will be good to go. "Note" Do not over tighten the bolt it is fairly small and you could bust it off. Just snug it up.
  • I have searched the transmission over and over and the only senser I can find is located on top of the transmission just under the air filter box. I removed the air filter box and the senser is looking me right in the face. If there is another senser, I can't find it. This is a 4WD drive transmission and I am sure there is a difference between it and the 2 WD. If you have other input I would greatly appreciate it Four Greens auto parts had a picture of the speed senser and it looks exactly like the one I pulled out.
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    topcat: If it looks exactly like the one you pulled out, then it is probably the right one. Does it look like the one on this web page, the second one from the top? And costs $32.90? le+speed+sensor&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    And say it is a Santa Fe Vehicle Speed Sensor Sonata Sedona Kia Amanti? If so it is the VSS that you need.
    Didn't know yours was a 4WD, so they could be located in different spots. But if it looks like the picture then it is it. The other sensors look different than that one. ">
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    Topcat: Does the one you pulled out have a gear and a shaft coming out of it?? If so it is probably the right one.
  • Finally found the right sensor. After seeing it I felt like a fool for not seeing it before. However I ran into trouble getting it out. It was so stuck it was almost like it was welded into the shaft hole.. I had to take it out in pieces. Hope I never have to change another. The teeth were broken so it couldn't have been spinning so the Hyundai dealership couldn't have tested it because they told me it was the speedometer cluster that was bad. Spent 300 dollars that was unnessary. Anyway thanks a lot for your help
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    edited March 2011
    So I take it you had to replace the gear also? If so, where did you get the gear, at the Hyundai dealership? I bought one, but mine was good so I really didn't need the new one, but replaced it anyway.
  • verno1verno1 Posts: 13
    Another question topcat, did you take it out from the bottom of the car or come down from the top?
  • carcapcarcap Posts: 5
    Can you tell me if the vss speedometor sensor also controls the radio,gas gauge, fan for the air cond and speedometor? I am having problems with all of these things. The hyundai service center is saying I have to spend $99. to do a diagnostic test to find out.
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