Hyundai Santa Fe Audio and Rear Seat Entertainment problems

mazymazy Member Posts: 4
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.


  • jntjnt Member Posts: 316
    On the high pitch noise:

    What you have is the classic "Alternator Whining" problem. This is mostly audible in radio with Power Amplifier option: it has the tendency to boost the noise. When the engine is running, there is a lot of electrical noises being made. The noise could couple to the Audio system and amplify the noise. You probably hear it more during acceleration. The lack of proper Grounding, shield and Noise suppression is the cause of this type of problem. Sometime just some loose Ground cable could make it noticable.

  • mazymazy Member Posts: 4
    Do you have any recommendations for getting this fixed?
  • jntjnt Member Posts: 316
    I do not think you can personally fix this problem. Only Hyundai dealer could do it. They probably have similar complaint on similar vehicle and Hyundai engineers may know how to fix it if they feel this is serious problem for customer satisfaction. Hyundai is well known to care about customer complaints.

    Generically for problem like this, they have to suppress the noise source so that it does not get coupled to the Audio System. Band-aid could be adding Ground trap and/or filter to radio or Amplifier.

    And BTW, sometimes your add-on electronics could cause Electrical Interference too. Such things are noisy GPS module, Inverters (they are all noisy), PC. But normally they are jamming radios, not your CD. If the problem is a function of vehicle ignition on or off, then it is more likely the vehicle itself is at fault

  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    Our 2007 Santa Fe has the same issue. Dealer said "they all do it"
    How do you contact Hyundai for a better answer?

  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    I posted this issue in "" and got the following response from a Hyundai Tech:

    I've not seen any complaints of this and have not noticed it, so I don't
    know whether it's outside my hearing range.

    If this is indeed a situation where they indeed all do it, it would
    probably require an engineering solution on Hyundai's part. The
    discussion in the Edmunds forum seems to be on point. I'd expect the
    radio and antenna shielding would be well-grounded, so any engineering fix
    would most likely involve some sort of in-line filter for the antenna

    Start with the dealer. Make them aware of the issue and have them check
    the vehicle. If they have difficulty repairing, they're likely to call
    technical assistance. If they believe it to be normal they're likely to
    take no further action. You'll want the dealer to call technical
    assistance in either case. If technical assistance tells them it's
    normal, there's nothing more the dealer will be able to do. Technical
    assistance may also propose a solution or report that one is coming but
    not ready yet.

    If the above doesn't solve the problem, make a complaint to Hyundai
    consumer assistance. While making the complaint still won't guarantee a
    fix, it'll at least make sure Hyundai is aware of the problem. The more
    people that call with the problem, the more likely it is that the problem
    will be addressed.
  • bobadbobad Member Posts: 1,587
    Is the sound constant, or does it change pitch with engine RPM?

    If the pitch goes higher with engine RPM, it's most likely the alternator.
  • mazymazy Member Posts: 4
    The sound is the same no matter the rpm. Hyundai is not doing anything to fix the dvd or high pitched sound after a month of my complaining. If you have this problem contact jason at hyundai consumer affairs. He probably won't do anything but it would be nice to have some help on this issue.
  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    Got a contact # for Jason?
  • journey01journey01 Member Posts: 6
    I have been complaining to Hyundai corporate about this issue ever since I got the car in february 2007. (over a year) I have been told that they are aware of it, but don't know what is causing it. They have no ETA for a solution.

    Also, everyone should know that the stereo is on a different warranty than the 5 year bumper to bumper. I was told that it's 3 year, 30k miles. That's an issue for me because I've already driven over 20k miles in the year that I've owned the car.

    I'm still contemplating what to do about this, but am seriously considering taking action under my state's Lemon laws as I am nearing the end of my warranty.

    This issue only occurs in the Santa Fe Limited models with the upgraded audio system, which really pisses me off because a base model car sounds better than mine.
  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    "I have been complaining to Hyundai corporate about this issue ever since I got the car in february 2007. (over a year) I have been told that they are aware of it, but don't know what is causing it. They have no ETA for a solution."

    I would also like to complain to corporate, do you have a contact there whom I could pester?
  • journey01journey01 Member Posts: 6
    Hyundai Consumer Affairs
    10550 Talbert Ave
    Fountain Valley, CA 92708-6031

    My letter sent to the above address actually got Hyundai to call me back. (Although it was only to tell me that they were working on it...)
  • mazymazy Member Posts: 4
    Last tuesday i had one of the hyundai regional service managers here in california sit in my car (after months of complaining to my dealership and Hyundai consumer affairs) and when i showed him the high pitched noise in the radio he said he did not hear it. It was unbelievable since i have had a lot of people in my car and everyone can hear it. He did admit that the dvd player should not cut over to the radio on previews but they do not have a fix for that. I will post again if anything gets done to fix either of these two issues.
  • giann763giann763 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a new 2008 Limited Sante Fe with the Infinity sound system in it and I have also been experiencing the same high pitched noise in the radio when the engine is on. It's constant and terrible to listen too! It makes me not want to even turn the radio on!
    I brought the car in for servicing as soon as I noticed the problem and the dealership told me that all the other limited edition cars are doing the same thing, so basically there is nothing they can do about it.
    I purchased the car in March this year and still no one has been able to help me. If I had listened to the radio during the test drive I would have reconsidered my option to buy this car. Have you had any solution or update? Please if anyone else has had this problem, could you help direct me to what to do next?
  • wachsfwachsf Member Posts: 9
    I know this probably won't help, but I just bought a 2008 Santa Fe Limited and it too has the same problem. Based on my experience with electronics design at my day job, the noise is in the 14-15kHz range. I can hear it only when the volume knob is in the low settings, and it gets drowned out when I turn the music up.

    I immediately noticed it during the test drive, but before reading this thread. I asked my wife if she heard the noise. When she asked, "What noise?", I knew it wasn't going to be a show-stopper and we bought the car anyways for all the other great features.

    My guess is the noise is caused by one of the electronics boxes in the car, and I can't pinpoint if it's generated by the Infinity sound system, or if it just gets picked up by the sound system.
  • denvertrakkerdenvertrakker Member Posts: 132
    This is a known problem with the Infinity sound system in Santa Fe's, and has been discussed quite a lot on this forum. "They all do it" is dealerspeak for "I can't be bothered". There is a cure, and I believe there may even be a TSB on the problem. IIRC, it's a faulty ground on the separate amplifier. Keep on your dealer's service personnel until you get an answer. If necessary, call Hyundai's customer service, and don't let them bulls**t you either.
  • wachsfwachsf Member Posts: 9
    Thank you for your insight that it may be a faulty ground on the amplifier. I went through the TSBs at hmaservice, but did not see anything other than a generic description for "Alternator noise", and I'm sure this is not the case. I'll see if I can find any clues in the FSB section.
  • danprtrdanprtr Member Posts: 25
    Hello, I know this is going to make some of you mad but my new Santa Fe Infinity radio sounds fine at low volume. I read this before buying last week and hoped for the best figuring my wife listens to all AM anyway. After fiddling with it though, I can't find a complaint other than the lack of a AUX port.

    Build date was 12/17/07. I just hope this noise doesn't pop up later.
  • denvertrakkerdenvertrakker Member Posts: 132
    Speaking only for myself, I'm certainly not mad. In fact, your post proves that, contrary to what some dealers say, they're not "all like that." Glad to hear yours works properly. Rock on.
  • wachsfwachsf Member Posts: 9
    I still don't have a solution to the high-pitced noise, but I only notice it when audio is playing, regardless of source (XM, FM radio, CD/RSE). It is much less audible when loading the 6-disc changer or switching between sources. This would lead me to believe that it is a noise problem within the amplifier.

    On the other hand, I found out how to use the RSE's AUX jack (at the 2nd row console) to connect my iPod. Use a standard 3.5mm A/V phone plug to RCA cable (I used one from my Samsung camcorder) with these connections:
    1. Plug 3.5 mm phone plug into iPod.
    2. Plug the red RCA plug into the RSE's yellow RCA jack.
    3. Plug the yellow RCA plug into the RSE’s white RCA jack.
    4. Plug the white RCA plug into the RSE's red RCA jack.
    5. Set the RSE input to AUX.
    Now you can use the RSE for both audio and video playback from most portable A/V devices.
  • oscar_gataoscar_gata Member Posts: 96
    Aren't you clever! Using a 3.5mm to RCA cable would work fine for a Santa Fe with the RSE system. Just make sure that you get the right type of 3.5mm plug - there is one type for stereo and another for A/V. Nano's would only work with the stereo plug. Any way, great idea wachsf! :)
  • evwahooevwahoo Member Posts: 1
    Just bought the 2008 Santa Fe and my wife and I cannot believe how annoying the interference is from the stereo at low volumes. I took it into the dealer and the deaf servicemen could not hear the problem. The service manager knew nothing about stereos, could not hear it, and blamed it on something else. PLEASE PLEASE, can someone who has had this problem tell me how they fixed it? Has anyone tried replacing amplifier with an aftermarket one?

    Email [email protected] for solution...
  • shawntshawnt Member Posts: 7
    Any fix for the DVD problem. I have been having the same problem with my DVD player and my dealer says it is working fine.
  • jtajta Member Posts: 17
    I have an '07 Limited with the Infinity system, and I have the DVD problem, but thankfully I do not have the audio problem. It seams to be dependent on the DVD. I have several that play just fine, and I also have several that won't play at all. So, it might be an issue that is difficult to diagnose back at the "home office". As far as the dealers being knowledgeable enough to find a fix.....GOOD LUCK! I have found most dealers to be uneducated and uninformed. Most of the repair techs are what I call parts changers. If you can tell them what's broke, and it's not an intermittent problem, you home free. Have a problem that's a bit of a grey area, you'll be SOL.

    The techs these days don't want to spend time trying to find and diagnose problems, that is even "if they can". Things may have changed, but I know techs used to get a bonus based upon the # of "booked" hours. IE....They may work 40 hours a week, but a good tech can book 60-80 hours of repairs. That meaning, lets say Hyundai allows (for warranty repairs) and/or charges customers for 1 hour labor, for a repair, and the repair gets done in 30 min, that tech booked 1 hour of work or 30 extra minutes. So you see, there is no longer any incentive to spend the extra time require to diagnose the tough problems. While some of you may have also found (though you were not told) at times that your vehicle was "put to the side" while other vehicle were worked on before yours. They wanted to get as many repairs booked as they could, before they "waisted" time trying to find your problem, which isn't described in a TSB.

    Thus is the sad state of automotive repair. I am fortunate that I have excellent diagnostic skills, and don't need to rely on my dealer as much. I am however at their mercy for all warranty repairs, of which a lot of the time I need to diagnose before I bring it in.

    The audio issue is definitely a ground loop issue. It might not be directly caused by the external amp, but the amp is picking it up. It is possibly also being introduced by the radio itself ?
  • denvertrakkerdenvertrakker Member Posts: 132
    Just for fun, I did some research to see if there's been a TSB issued on this problem, and there hasn't. To me, this means one of two things: either too few occurrences have made it to NHTSA, or Hyundai still hasn't a clue as to what's going on. I'd bet on the former - people, if you have this problem and the dealer is no help, file a complaint with the NHTSA. If enough people complain about it to the government, something WILL get done. I remember some years ago how awful the headlights were on my wife's Dodge Stratus, the dealer was no help, then lo and behold six months later there was a TSB on the headlights and the dealer replaced them with improved ones for free. Granted, that's a safety issue and this isn't, but still....
  • torscottytorscotty Member Posts: 8
    Hello. Has anyone heard anything further on this issue. I too have the problem in Canada on my Limited as have others. I have been searching this and other boards and posting messages but no one offers any solution only speculation. In fact I believe on this board someone said they got it fixed through the dealer but still no one has posted the solution. Only when we have the solution can we go to our dealers and tell them what to do. For now I can only assume that everyone is just living with the problem. Unless there is a definite fix I don't want the dealership poking around, plus it seems some people can hear it more then others so trying to have other hear the sound can be frustrating. I have enough "other" problems with my car that are noticable I need to get fixed......
  • iwonder3iwonder3 Member Posts: 1
    Just got on-line and searched for anyone having problems with their FM signal dropping to monotone??? I have a 2007 Santa Fe 3.3 with the standard radio and just off the phone with Hyundai Canada. Dealt with a very nice lady on this issue but bottom line - I have to live with the "feature" of the radio dropping to monotone. If I want, I can on my own expense, replace it. Any others wish to share their experience and what resolution, if any, have you received?
  • denvertrakkerdenvertrakker Member Posts: 132
    Almost every FM stereo in cars today - OEM or aftermarket - has the "feature" of going from stereo to mono when signal strength drops below a certain level. The alternative is keeping the stereo signal, but with increasingly intrusive noise levels. The problem in the Santa Fe may be related to that stubby little antenna not having enough gain, coupled with a less-than-superlative front end on the stock radio. If I were annoyed enough by this (I'm not - I don't listen to over-the-air FM since I'm in a rural area 100 miles from anything), I'd consider an aftermarket stereo - specifically Pioneer, which for years has had the best FM front ends available. OTOH, depending on where you live, there may be NO solution - there certainly isn't one in the mountains of Colorado.
  • turtle100turtle100 Member Posts: 3
    I recently bought an 08 Santa Fe Limited with the rear seat entertainment system. I am unable to get any picture/video when trying to play a DVD, although the DVD sound is fine, and the menu displays on the RSE monitor (for brightness, contrast, etc.) appear fine. Just no picture.

    Before I take this into the dealer, other than turning on the RSE power and inserting a DVD, is there anything else I need to get the video to display?
  • majbachmajbach Member Posts: 12
    OK, I can't seem to find these answers directly so here goes:
    For the stock stereo on a Canadian '08, are the rear speakers riveted in? And if so, are they a real [non-permissible content removed] to replace? Are they 2-way or single cone?
    Here's why I want to know, I am looking to replace them with a 2-way pair of speakers that are more sensitive. I find the stock stereo to be just fine with the exception that I find the rear speakers to be very weak. I like to hear an even balance from the front to back but the rear speakers seem so soft in volume and bass that the only way to even hear them is to turn the fader to the rear so much that the front speakers lose their punch. I am hoping to find a pair of speakers that with a higher sensitivity so they will sound louder without having to amp up the signal. At the same time, I will attempt to tap into the rear wires for a self power low profile sub. However, if the speakers area real pain OR if they are decent speakers but rather the door mount sucks, I wont bother to try and replace them.
    Thanks a heap in advance!
  • luvmysantafe1luvmysantafe1 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone. My 2007 Limited Santa Fe had a high pitched whine at low volumes. Turns out - they all do! Hyundai is aware of the issue and has no plans to do a re-caIl. I contacted Harmon International (owner of Infinity) and discussed the issue. After my conversation, the local dealer (Ed Voyles in Marietta, GA) contacted me and told that Infinity had contacted them with a solution. The wiring harness that contains the audio cables to the amplifier was inducing noise into the cables because Hyundai did not use shielded cables for the amplifier inputs. The fix consists or removing the passenger seat, the center console and the radio and running new shielded audio ires to the amplifier and separated from the wiring harness. The noise was nearly eliminated and I am very thankful because it was driving me crazy! (even if your repair man can't hear it, it is there unless it has been fixed. I hope this post helps someone!
  • wachsfwachsf Member Posts: 9
    Thank you so much for being persistent and getting it fixed. It is very helpful indeed!

    We also had a bad experience with the CD changer going bad after only 5 months. The Ford/Hyundai tech that replaced it ended up mutilating the center console and all the trim around it. It was very unprofessional and I'm sure the installers at Best Buy would have done a much better job. I'm afraid to risk sending the car back to the dealer to have shielded cables installed.

    My radio reception has degraded over the last month, so this replacement radio may be going bad too. Do you know what kind of wires they used between the radio and the amplifier so I can give the dealer this info if or when I need another replacement radio?

    All in all, I am not very impressed by the performance and quality of the Infinity head unit/CD changer and Rear Seat Entertainment DVD player. Both the CD changer and RSE will frequently crash while playing back CD and DVD discs created on various PCs. I have a feeling one or both may be LG or other mass consumer unit re-branded as Infinity.
  • herngulleyherngulley Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone found any solutions to the RSE system involving that it has sound but no video on the LCD? Even when I plug my sons game system into the three ports there is no video. Everything else works on the LCD (source, xm, cd, display).
  • 2008santafe2008santafe Member Posts: 2
    I'm suddenly having the exact same issue - sound but no picture from the rear entertainment system. Anyone else have this issue?

    Turtle100 - did you get this fixed? What was the problem?

    Thanks for the help!
  • herngulleyherngulley Member Posts: 2
    2008santafe, have you had any luck???
  • map113map113 Member Posts: 1
    I just traded in my 2008 Entourage Van Limited. I had the rear entertainment problem as well along with a rear passenger door that would not open or close properly. I took it to the dealership and they told me they (dvd, door) were both recall issues and they fixed them under warranty with no expense to me. The unfortunate thing is I never got a chance to use them or make sure both of them worked because I traded the car in that day due to all the other "issues" with the vehicle. I hope this helps :)
  • 2008santafe2008santafe Member Posts: 2
    WOW - Thanks for the message. I'm going to call the dealership and see if they are aware of the DVD player recall. Do you have any details on the DVD recall that I can reference - maybe a recall number or the exact vehicles that the recall applies to? I would appreciate any additional information you have.

    Thanks again.
  • buzzard340buzzard340 Member Posts: 1

    Any updates on the DVD issue? I got an estimate for $1100 to replace the whole dvd system by the dealer. They played dumb when I mentioned that there were all kinds of people with the problem and a possible recall.

    DVD info and sound, but no pucture
    Aux jacks do not seem to work.


  • mtorc88mtorc88 Member Posts: 1
    Currently having the same issue with no video signal. Has anyone found a solution?

  • ballz50401ballz50401 Member Posts: 1
    mtorc88 said:
    Currently having the same issue with no video signal. Has anyone found a solution?

    I had the exact same problem on my '07 Santa Fe. I first tried replacing the DVD player, but that didn't fix the issue. I decided to try and replace the monitor next. That fixed it! Found a new one on eBay for $72. Description below.

    OEM 2007-2009 HYUNDAI SANTA FE

  • UselessUseless Chicago, ILMember Posts: 1
    Ballz50401 is right.
    Your gonna have to replace the monitor. The dvd player is fine. Don't replace it.

    Some audio place was trying to get me to replace the dvd player saying one of the lasers went out. Psst no dvd player has two lasers.

    To remove it is fairly easy.
    you can to it you're self. Get a dry wall edger tool. Slip it in between the head liner and the edge of the monitor cover on each side. You need to release the plastic clips holding the plastic surround in place. Wiggle it around until it pops loose.

    Once you get it off. Look for four hex style screws one on each corner of screen, they are 10mm in size. Take them out. It still won't come loose yet. You got two more metal clips still holding it up get those loose. Use a tiny flat screwdriver. Once you get those to left go the monitor should pop out. Just pop out the one harness connecting to monitor then your done removing it.

    To install new monitor. Just do everything you just did in reverse.

    Congrats you just replaced your monitor and got dvd video again. And it only cost you $80 - $110. You just saved yourself $1000! Not too shabby.

    I even did this repair In the middle of blizzard. Freezing cold outside.
    Took me about an hour to do. I know nothing about car audio/video.

    Good luck y'all

  • azeraltdlvrazeraltdlvr FloridaMember Posts: 4
    Anyone have a video or picture to remove the monitor cover. I don't want to break the cover.

  • azeraltdlvrazeraltdlvr FloridaMember Posts: 4
    I figured out how to remove the cover. If you start in the back of the cover (facing toward the front seats), slide the flat sheet rock tool in and turn clockwise or reverse, the cover will begin to separate. As I went around the cover I did the same thing but with a little more force.
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