Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Hyundai Santa Fe Radio

I have a 2007 Santa Fe, great vehicle but I've noticed that very frequently the 'stereo' sound goes in and out. There's no static but it's comparable to someone holding their hand over the speaker causing the sound to be muffled (if that makes any sense). I read the owner's manual and it indicated that when a radio signal from the source station is not very strong this is likely to occur....the problem is it happens on all the radio stations in the city where I live. In any other vehicle the reception is perfect and this doesn't happen?? Anyone have the same problem or suggestions?

Thanks, Chris


  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Your owner's manual is correct but there are some other factors that influence whether the signal is "very strong." One is the orientation of the antenna which will vary from one vehicle to the next. Another is the quality of the ampifier in the radio. Also, the type of antenna can make a difference. If you have a decent portable radio you may want to test your reception with it in your Santa Fe.

    Let us know what you find out!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Thank you very much for the info, I will try that. It just seems a bit odd that such a technologically advanced vehicle in this day and age would have problems with something so simple as an FM frequency. Not to mention the fact FM radio has been in every vehicle I've ever owned over the past 15yrs and this is the first time I've encountered such an issue. Do you find that a little curious?

    Also, not sure if you noticed but the '08 Santa Fe has a different design of roof aerial from the '07...could this be the necessary fix they've identified and corrected?

    Thanks again, Chris
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    could this be the necessary fix they've identified and corrected?

    Definitely! Let us know what happens with your testing.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    Most older analog and all Aftermarket radios do not use FM audio processing: they just spits out what they receive without affecting the audio (Stereo or High Frequency content) regardless of signal conditions (strong or weak, clear or noisy).

    In the 90, Lexus started the LOW NOISE trend where FM radio actually blends aggressively from Stereo to Mono and High frequency content gets chopped off whenever the radio signal is weak (middle of nowhere in Texas) or signal is corrupted by Multipath fading (in middle to LA downtown). So the result is LOW NOISE in these situations. But the drawback is temporary loss of Fidelity. On AM, they also muffled the sound to about 2KHz max (eventhough US AM has 5KHz audio bandwidth)

    For better or for worse, most OEM radios have followed this trend. Some may go a bit more LOW NOISE, while other would go toward more FIDELITY. But normally, they will not have both or LOW NOISE and HIGH FIDELITY at the same time

    For those who like HIGH FIDELITY all the time and do not care about Audio Processing, there are some options: cheap analog radio (do not have hardware for Audio processing) or Aftermarket radios (FIDELITY at any cost).

  • Thanks very much for the info, sounds like that's what's happening to mine. So if I understand correctly the only option is to change to an aftermarket radio? Changing the roof aerial won't do?

  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    The better antenna does help in keeping signal stronger and "sometime" less signal fading. Most OEM car antennas are usually good anyway except when the factory forgot to snap the connector in properly then you lose signal, especially AM.

    You may find something not so good about Aftermarket radios:

    1. Not so good reception range ( can't hear FM stations further than 40 miles due too much static).

    2. May hear excessive ignition noise, especially in AM since every OEM radio was tuned to reduce this effect. Without ignition noise suppression in radio coupled with electronically noisy vehicle, your AM reception likely be affected.

    3. One year warranty only vs. 3 years for OEM products. In designing consumer grade Aftermarket products (vs. Automotive grade OEM), manufacturers normally skimp on materials (cheapest possible, narrow temperature range (0 C - 70 C vs. -40C - 85C for OEM), no vibration tests, no testing below 0 C or above 70 C.). So you may luck out on some products, but not others. They want you to buy new product every couple years.

    But if you care only FM Fidelity and listen to strong local FM stations, then Aftermarket radio may fit your taste. Stay away from Chinese brand names even if they are offered by Circuit Cities or Best Buy. Some of them looking good on the outside until you open them up: "fire prone". The best bet is pay for Japanese brand name like JVC, Alpine or Panasonic. JVC has a AM/FM/HDRadio/CD w MP3 for sales off on on at for ~$190 (sometime as low as $120). This thing has decent electronic content and well built. It has advanced OEM tuner chipset but tuned for Aftermarket taste. You may like the HDRadio simucast on FM and full "fidelity" on AM in HD mode.

  • pelican19pelican19 Posts: 323
    I have the same antenna on my 07 with XM. Does your 07 have XM?
  • No I don't have XM. Did you put the XM in as an aftermarket option or was it already there when you bought the truck? Any suggestions on what to do about the sound quality for the FM stations?
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    You could try to boost the TREBLE setting to max. It may help

  • Good idea...will give it a try.

  • kirk1234kirk1234 Posts: 2
    :lemon: I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe also and live in a medium sized city with plenty of high power FM stations. My FM radio is muffled sounding (treble loss also) about 70% of the time, and sometimes it switches back and forth several times a minute. You can really notice it if you hit the station button for the station you are currently listening to, and it will sound normal for a few seconds. IT IS VERY ANNOYING especially considering none of my other car radios have this "new" design feature. Hyundai claims the radio was intentionally designed to do this yet I can't find a single aftermarket radio with this design "FEATURE". I ended up filing a small claims court case.
  • Finally! Someone else that understands this stupid problem...thank you for the response. It boggles my mind that FM radios have been in vehicles for decades and Hyundai seems to have completely screwed up old technology. Did you approach the dealer about the problem? If so, did they just brush you off? Under what law did you file in small claims court? Any information you can provide would be very helpful. I'll let you in on another little secret that Hyundai is not forthcoming about....check the alignment of your rear doors by looking from the rear of the vehicle to the front, there's a good chance they're not flush with the rest of the body. I fought with them for 4 months after 2 independent body shops told me the rear quarter panels were cut wrong and welded wrong. Hyundai even sent up a technician from the plant in Alabama to have a look at it. They ended up giving me a brand new one. The day I picked it up (the second one) at the dealership I went over it with a fine tooth comb and it seemed ok....oddly enough now the rear driver's side door sticks when you open it from the inside. Unless they drastically improve these problems, my next vehicle will have a big 'H' on the front grill, but it will stand for Honda NOT Hyundai. If you have any questions please don't hesitate.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I seriously doubt that any manufacturer would design a radio to be inaudible. Let us know how your case turns out.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kirk1234kirk1234 Posts: 2
    :lemon: I approached the dealer about the problem, but they just refered me to the national customer service hotline since they had a service bulletin stating that this is how the radio was designed. (to drop off the treble if the new digital signal is weak). A copy of the service bulletin is available at any Hyundai dealership (comment to host) It boggles my mind too that this was intentionally designed/built this way. I would recommend getting a second opinion from your local radio retailer about whether anyone else is designing radios this way if you pursue this matter further. I checked and couldn't find any other manufacturers that offer this "feature", probably because it's not something people like. I liken it to having someone randomly turning the treble all the way up and all the way down for no apparent reason. I noticed the last time I was in the dealership that the new Santa Fe's have an Infinity radio system (I doubt that the Infinity system has this special "feature") (PARDON THE SARCASM). The fact that they have a service bulletin on this issue to me indicates that they probably have alot of people are complaining about the problem!
  • I may be wrong, but I think this is an antenna problem, not a radio problem. Virtually all FM stereo radios for the last 40 years have two ways of coping with inadequate signal strength - when the signal gets noisy they can A) drop back to mono or B) cut the treble. I think the situation with Hyundai is that the antenna is coiled (as opposed to the conventional full length) and that it's all the way at the back of the vehicle. And it's not really Hyundai's fault, it's the radio supplier - good old Delphi, once upon a time a subsidiary of GM but now an independent manufacturer. If you want decent radio reception, replace the OEM head unit with one from Pioneer - they have had the best FM reception in their car stereos since, oh, 1969 or so!
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    All Aftermarket radios emphasize Fidelity (Stereo all time time regardless how noisy the FM signal is). OEM radios like Hyundai's are normally tuned for Low Noise tendency. What it means is when the radio sees some signal disturbance, it automatically switches to mono or reduces audio bandwidth to hide noise. Believe it or not, all OEM radios are doing that today. Some are tuned more subtle than the others. In the case of Santa Fe, may be it is too obvious and caused complaints. It is an act of balancing two conflicting requirements (Low Noise vs. Fidelity)

    And another thing: it is easier to design radios that have 100% Fidelity all the time since they do not have to do anything with the tuner audio.

    It is a mere software calibration to change the personality of the radio nowaday. Car makers change them all the time to address customer complaints. So check with the dealer for update.

  • I just got an 08 SF FWD Limited with the Infinity sound system. As soon as I drove it off the lot, I noticed a problem: no sound coming from the stereo! Try as I might, I tried multiple FM channels (FM1, FM2, FM3), XMs (XM1, XM2, XM3), and although the display on the radio looked like it was working, nothing was coming from the speakers (even at max volume ).

    As we got about half way home, out of nowhere while pressing buttons the sound came back on.

    When I started the car up the next day, sound worked fine from the "get go". Later at the mall, though, the sound didn't work when I first turned on the car.

    Today, good sound in the morning, in the afternoon there was no sound at all. I finally stumbled onto something, which I don't think is how it should be, but seems to be consistent:

    - If I'm listening to FM or XM, the "Logic7" mode must be turned on; if it's turned off, I get no sound in any speaker.
    - If I'm listening to a homemade MP3 CD (as in DATA mode CD burned with subdirectories with MP3 files), the "Logic7" mode must be turned off; if it's turned on, I get no sound in any speaker.

    I could have sworn that I toggled "Logic7" on and off while I was driving the car home the first night (once it started working), but now it seems it can't toggle without taking out the sound with it.

    I'm going to take it in on Saturday to see what's wrong with it. Also, anyone else notice that it looks like the Infinity system can't handle accented characters in MP3 file names? It gives up trying to show a name and just reports "FILE 155". (My Lord of the Rings disc is a disaster, as nearly half the tracks all use accented characters in their titles...)

    I love the car, but this stereo system leaves a lot to be desired. I'm assuming that my problems are related to the head unit or wiring, as I can't believe it's designed so that I have to keep turning Logic7 on and off repeatedly if I'm switching mode into and out of CD.)

  • I toggle my logic button all the time because it sounds better with it and doesn't seem to be on by default. I've never had the sound cut out at all in any mode at all. Something is wrong with your unit I'm afraid.
  • You're definitely right...and I think it's a heat issue.

    If I drive in the morning (car in the garage overnight), then the radio works as expected. If I get in after work (car in sun from 7am until 3pm), the radio either doesn't work at all (no Logic7 mode matters), or works in the odd way I described earlier. Once the A/C has run for a bit and cooled off the interior of the car, then the radio seems to behave a little better.

    Off to the dealership it goes! (Kind of annoying to pay for a brand new car and have an issue as soon as it leaves the lot. I'm hoping that'll be my only major issue....)
  • Night I pulled vehicle off lot we heard a buzzing sound coming from stereo. Took car in to be fixed and they said that the buzzing sound is coming from the tweeters. They told me all the vehicles on their lot with the Infinity stereo system have the same buzzing sound. I went to a second dealership and was told their Santa Fe's with the Infinity stereo also have the buzzing sound. It is mostly heard when the vehicle is on and the sound setting on one 1-4. I have been dealing with the dealership and the service center for 6 months. Today I was told by a man from Hyundai Motors America that there are no futher actions they are contemplating on our vehicle. He said the stereo is operating within the designed parameters. We cannot stand to listen to the radio because of this high pitched buzzing sound. We have to shut it off. Is anyone else having this same complaint? Any suggestions, please help.
  • Please search this forum. We keep discussing this over and over. It is a known problem and is curable. Not all SF's with the Infinity stereo do it, but many do. Do some research on this forum and educate yourself.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Unfortunately the buzz posts are scattered over several discussions here and didn't see a cure thread when I did a quick search of all the Santa Fe discussions. Maybe you or someone can summarize the fix since this discussion is solely about the radio? Thanks!
  • This forum hold topics like Stereo goes in and out, Muffled sound, Switches back and forth, FM radio, 07' to 08' changes, antenna problems, XM, Treble all the way up and all the way down, no sound from speaker, heat issue. My problem and the problem with every Santa Fe I've been in is that there is a Constant buzz that comes from the tweeters. It happens no matter what your listening to FM, AM, a CD. Doesn't matter. Dealership said it was a design flaw all the Santa Fe's are that way. Only fix they gave me was to unhook my tweeters.
  • This forum has a "search" function and it works very well. I put in "Infinity" and got one hundred and eleven posts that mention Infinity. Not all relate to your problem, but most do. Try this:!keywords=allin%3Amsgtext%2- 0limit%3A.eea499a%20infinity&count=20

    Here's an example, the very first post under "Audio and rear seat entertainment problems":

    "Hello and thanks for the help! I have two huge problems with my 2007 limited touring and ultimate santa fe built 10/06. I have the infinity 605 watt system but do not have xm radio.
    Problem 1: When i listen to the radio(or cd player) at low volume levels (anything under 15) i hear a high pitched tone that is almost as loud as the radio itself. This tone is not present when i use the radio with the car off. So i am annoyed and do not use my radio.

    Problem 2: When i put a dvd in the rear entertainment system it starts to play the previews just fine. Then about half way into the preview it will flip over to the radio which is much louder and that is really horrible. I have to push the rse button to get it to go back to dvd.

    Both of these problems have been acknowledged by the service manager after 2 weeks of my car being at the dealer. In fact i sat in another santa fe that was right next to mine that had the same annoying tone and did the same thing with the dvd. I have put in a call to hyundai because they are making their service department look bad by putting their cars out this way. Since there were at least 2 santa fe's on the lot built in different years that had the same problem i would imagine that other people have noticed this. If you have noticed this please reply with what you have found out because i am tired of dealing with it and want both issues fixed.
    thanks "
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I found several posts like that too. What I didn't find was the cure that you mentioned, unless disconnecting the tweeters is the "cure."

    [edit] Ok, I found your recent post about the ground:

    denvertrakker, "Audio and Rear Seat Entertainment problems with 2007 santa fe" #18, 7 Sep 2008 11:33 am
  • Boy, I sure am glad I only got the basic radio and not the Infinity. Anyone else want to chime in? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    OK, one last time. The cure is not disconnecting the tweeters. The issue is a grounding problem with the external amp that allows alternator noise to enter the system. Go to "Hyundai Santa Fe Maintenance and Repair (2007+) and go to post #128. The information is here if you look for it....although maybe not a solution.

    It's very annoying that the dealers blow everybody off on this. I worked in the audio business for many years, and if someone had a problem it was addressed. How do car dealers get away with "they all do that, sorry can't help ya."?
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    Does anyone here know how to remove the radio head unit from a 2007 Santa Fe? I have a small rattle that sounds like it may be coming from behind the radio. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue as to how to pull the radio out. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
  • Your best bet on this is to visit a car stereo installer. If you catch one in the right mood, chances are they'll tell you how to pull it. It's likely just a pop-off trim panel, after which the radio de-mounts with 4 or 5 bolts, but I'd make sure before fiddling. If you tell me where in the country you are I might be able to recommend someone to try.
  • I did some searching and found this:

    As you can see, it's a bit involved. I'd still suggest going to an installer for help.
  • I picked up my 08 Santa Fe Limited AWD with Nav. August 21st and experienced the same problem. The audio "mutes" for no apparant reason. It's only happened twice. After shutting off the car and restarting it, the radio worked. I thought it might have been an anomoly but I guess I can expect it to continue. By the way what and where is the Logic 7 mode toggle? Thanks.
Sign In or Register to comment.