Vibration on 2017 Santa Fe AWD Limited Ultimate

nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
edited January 2017 in Hyundai
Less than a week after I got the car, I detected vibrations in the seat, in the floorboard and when I rest my elbow on the arm rest while driving 55 mph or over. Over 70 mph, I can feel the same vibrations (a little less intense) in the steering wheel. When I take an exit, as the road curves to the right, I feel the vibration is a little more pronounced but this increase is not there when the road curves to the left.

The dealer re-balanced and road-force tested the tires. No change.

The dealer tweaked the alignment on all 4 wheels. Slight improvement.

Dealer brought up another new 2017 Santa Fe AWD Limited Ultimate and I test-drove it. Same or similar vibrations above 55 mph, but much worse. (I give the dealer credit for efforts made to-date trying to fix this.)

Dealer says that Hyundai says that is standard for the Santa. It's very difficult to accept this because this is a $40k car and while is comes with all the bells and whistles, that doesn't mean it should start vibrating when you drive at 55 mph or thereabouts. We drive on most interstates (and some state highways) at 55 mph or more.

Anyone else run into the same issue with a 2017 (or even a 2016) Santa Fe AWD? If so, please can you share your experience and how you resolved this? If you still have this problem, please register a complaint with Hyundai so they know it is affecting multiple owners and will fix it.


  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Poked around a bit and some owners have described almost exactly the same feeling as you did with prior model years ( I found mention of this going back to 2007 & 2008 models) Among the possible suggested solutions I've run across:
    - Road Force Balancing
    - Have the engine mounts checked
    - Have the timing checked
    - Have the alignment checked
    - If you had the under coating have them check that none got on the rear wheel drive shaft.
    - Bad tires could also be the problem

    The whole going right vs left thing could be related to the crown in the road. Since you're dealing with a brand new vehicle, some of those suggestions would seem to be ruled out, but strange things do happen.

    My first thought was that maybe there's some belt separation in one of the tires or one is slightly out of round, although road force testing might have smoked that out.

    Have you tried rotating the tires to see if the vibration changes? If it does, I'd definitely lean towards a tire issue or maybe even a slightly bent wheel.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks for the insights, pf_flyer.

    I havent tried rotating the tires as yet. The first oil change comes up in 2 weeks or so; maybe I can have them rotate tires at that time. In the meantime,I am going to reach out to Hyundai directly to see what they would be willing to do to solve.

    I was also wondering if it could be a drive train problem, either with the propeller shaft being out of balance or the U-joints being out of alignment........ Your thoughts?

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,603
    Vibration diagnostics can demand a lot of experience, while anyone could throw out a list of possibilities what you really need is to establish some limits first. One of the first things you wrote is that you were feeling the vibration in the seat and door panel at about 50mph, then you said you feel it in the wheel at 70.

    The first thing someone has to do is feel this sensation, or should I say these sensations themselves and then see what can be done that can have some kind of influence on them. One thing someone should try is driving the car in a different gear to see if the sensation is related to engine speed as opposed to vehicle speed. The next question that needs to be answered is whether the vibration feels like its about ten times a second at 70mph, or if it feels like 35 times a second. At ten times a second, wheels , tires, even brake rotors are in play. At 35 times a second the driveshaft is in play since it spins about 3.5times for every rotation of the tires.

    The fact that you feel a vibration from two different locations at different speeds suggests you are noticing more than one condition. I would have to approach this with that possibility in mind until direct observation either confirmed that to be the case or else ruled it out.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks for joining the conversation, thecardoc3. Very helpful!

    Yes, the vibrations are in the seat, on the floorboard (where the heel of my foot rest near the pedals) and on the center console arm rest at 55 mph and higher. As I go faster than 55mph, the frequency increases too. At about 70 mph, same vibrations start appearing in the steering wheel (in addition to what I am feeling thru the seat, floorboard and center console arm rest).

    Hard part is that I am not able to say if the vibrations are at 10/sec or 35/sec. I tried using the SmoothRide app on my phone to get a reading but it didnt register anything (maybe operator error on app and also I didnt have a way to secure it to a hard suface on the car; will try again after securing it to a hard surface on the car).

    I did switch into manual model and used the paddles to shift gears when the vibrations were on. Vibrations did not change when I manually shifted gears. I put the car in neutral and let it roll at between 55mph and 60 mph - no change in vibrations.

    One additional observation that I have made in the process of trying to resolve this: after I have driven the car at 55mph or more and had those vibrations show up (they show up every time I drive 55mph or more) and then I slow down to about 15mph, the car seems to gently rock sideways maybe 2 times/second as the car rolls along.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,603
    nit2 said:

    One additional observation that I have made in the process of trying to resolve this: after I have driven the car at 55mph or more and had those vibrations show up (they show up every time I drive 55mph or more) and then I slow down to about 15mph, the car seems to gently rock sideways maybe 2 times/second as the car rolls along.

    That would have me looking at runout of a wheel/tire assembly both on the car and off. The road force balance should have detected an issue if it was related to a wheel and or tire, but the issue could be with a wheel bearing hub.
  • ramjet238ramjet238 Member Posts: 2
    On all wheel drive You are probably experiencing problems with the fluid coupling at the read differential. I have a 2010 Santa Fe and I am having problems with my second unit at 160 000 K . The first one was installed under warranty at 96000 but the dealer mistakenly replaced the transmission first not being aware of this frequent problem on all wheel drives. Vibration especially occurs on acceleration but is evident at other times as well. Hyundai will now supply a kia part # replacement for more than $ 1500.00. Replacement has only lasted 60 000 this time.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks thecardoc3. I will mention to the dealer when I take the car in.

    ramjet238, were you seeing the vibrations when your car was new or only much later?

  • ramjet238ramjet238 Member Posts: 2
    much later; around 96 000/ 5 yrs and again now @ 160,000/ 6+ yrs
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Has anyone had luck getting the manufacturer to facilitate finding a solution when you find that the dealer is only willing to do so much? Pls can you share your experience? TIA
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,603
    The hidden issue is that the techs get paid one time (and quite poorly at that) to try and resolve a problem like this. Each subsequent investigation is unpaid time for who-ever is then assigned to look at the car. The dealer only loses profit from other work that the tech could have been doing, the tech loses even basic wages for the time and quite often has to make up that time somewhere else if possible. Meanwhile someone sitting in the office only knows that a given tech only generated XX paid hours for the week and the fact that he/she was assigned work like this has always been overlooked. If a tech has too many weeks being short of the expected hours (aka gross profit) they find themselves unemployed no matter how good they might actually be. So yeah, you can't blame the techs for not wanting to be involved. Getting good at this kind of work only means you get rewarded with being assigned more cars that represent unpaid hours and you eventually either quit or lose your job because of it.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    So what's is the path with the best likelihood of getting it fixed? Take it to a tire and transmission place and see if they can figure it out and fix it (and pay out-of-pocket)?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,603
    This is where there isn't really an answer. There is actually no legitimate reason for the tire store to have someone skilled in diagnosing something like this either. You will eventually have to find a tech that is so dedicated to the craft that he/she can not only solve problems like this without getting to earn a living while doing it, he/she is also has to be capable of performing other work so efficiently that he/she can compensate for the losses that the unpaid work lays at their feet. There are some out there, but they are few and far between. With a new car like this you almost have no choice but to take it back to the dealer over and over again, and maybe have the zone get involved which could escalate this to engineering and maybe result in a buy back.

    There is every possibility at this moment that regular service routines might not be able to identify and solve the issue, but of course it could just be another example of where it is cheaper to buy back a car every once in a while then it is to have fully trained and capable service technicians.

    Did you come up with a way to detect the frequency of the vibration at a given speed? There are some cell phone app's that might give you both a number and an X,Y, or Z axis direction.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    I tried SmoothRide, an IOS app. Placing the cellphone on the floor of the car, I let it record as I drove on the highway. On this car, it gave an 8 (on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is a REALLY rough ride) and pointed to the tires (though it didnt ask me what make/model/tires.) I did the same routine (same stretch of highway, same style of driving, approximately same speed) with my other CUV and the result was a zero (= really smooth ride).

    I downloaded Vibsensor today. It will give X, Y and Z measurements, ISD for X, Y, Z (not sure what ISD is, but will google it) and also resonance measurements for X, Y & Z. Havent had a chance to use it, but will share results as soon as I do.

    There appear to be a number of other apps out there measuring vibrations, but other than NVH (which says it does a preliminary diagnosis and says if the vibration frequencies point to the wheels or engine or drive train, but it is pricey at $399). Any suggestions on an app? TIA
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,603
    Both Smoothride and VIBsensor look just fine. In fact the website shows that Smoothride Pro is written by Christopher Greenwald for ProCut Oncar brake lathes. If it pointed to the tires, then without actually feeling it myself for a first hand perspective I would have to consider it trustworthy. That means we are right back to the original impression. If the road force balance didn't pinpoint an issue with the wheels/tires then I'd be looking for run-out in the hubs/axles.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,603
    If you find a shop that has a tech who is keeping up with technology, you might find they have PICOSCOPE with this accelerometer attachment.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks thecardoc3. Much appreciated!
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 901
    This doesn't sound like a tire issue. The fact that many other vehicles are reporting the same issue tends to say it is something inherent in the vehicle.

    So I would suggest you elevate this above the dealership level. Cardoc3 is right, the mechanics at a dealership aren't paid for diagnostics - and this even appears to be something that requires a change in vehicle design.

    So I'm recommending you ask to have a Hyundai district service manager look at the car. I'm not saying he will be able to fix it, but he will be in a better position to do so than the dealer - plus, this will put Hyundai on notice.
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks capriracer. Food for thought - especially since I spent good money to get this new car!
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 901
    Just an FYI:

    If the vibration is something inherent in the vehicle - that is, pretty much every vehicle has it, and you've gotten a hint that is so - then it might not be possible to fix your vehicle. The district service manager may know this. Nevertheless, he is in a position to do unconventional things.

    I knew a guy who used to be a district service manager (DSC) for General Motors (I forget which division), but he tried welding a stiffening panel to a vibrating car in an effort stiffen the chassis and change the resonant frequency. It worked! - and he passed that information back to headquarters.

    I will also say, that I have encountered more DSC's that think inside the box - more or less parts changers - unlike the guy mentioned above.

    Good Luck
  • nit2nit2 Member Posts: 40
    Thanks for sharing your insights, capriracer. Much appreciated.
  • fstaggs1fstaggs1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2017 Santa Fe Ulitmate FWD and it does t also. At first the dealer thought the tires had flat spots so they replaced with new tires. We still notice the vibration at certain speeds. We have had 3 Santa Fe with no issues in the past. But after paying 40K for this one and it vibrates. I will give them time to fix it, but if not I will be taking legal action to have this resolve.
  • jv_nj_17jv_nj_17 Member Posts: 1
    I have a similar vibration at highway speed in my new 2017 Santa Fe AWD Limited Ultimate. It seems worse on very smooth roads. Normal imperfect roads feel typical bumps that mask this vibration. My 2013 Sante Fe Sport AWD never had this problem.
  • vwethanvwethan Member Posts: 1
    I also have this issue with a 2015 FWD Santa Fe GLS Ultimate edition. Have had it since the week I purchased it in May 2015. Have 30k miles on it now. Goes away after every tire rotation and balance for about 200 miles then comes back. Dealer has no clue how to fix it and just says "it's the way these are". I'm about to escalate to Hyundai corporate. Any other thoughts?
  • cruise_spaincruise_spain Member Posts: 1
    Hello nit2:

    I also have this issue with a 2016 AWD Santa Fe.

    Have you solved the vibration issue ?

    Greetings from Spain!
  • santafexl2k18santafexl2k18 Member Posts: 1
    Looks like nothing has changed. I am completely surprised with all the sad stories reported by owners with their brand new purchase and unfortunately I have added myself into this list. I recently took delivery of the brand new 2018 Santa Fe XL Limited trim in April 2018 in Ontario, Canada and noticed the rattling/vibration in the car from the day one.
    I spoke to the dealership briefly(before reading the blogs) and they informed to monitor for few days and bring the car to the dealership in case the issue persists. Would like to seek your opinion to determine whether my warranty will get affected in case I delay taking the car to the dealership and what options do I have?
    Thanks in advance folks.
  • rachelle10rachelle10 Member Posts: 1
    I also am experiencing this issue on my brand new Santa Fe sport. It has just over 1,000 miles on it. Did anyone ever find a solution? Sounds like Hyundai needs to get on the ball and figure this out. 
  • ShelleyP_69ShelleyP_69 Goderich Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2017 Santa fe Sport 2.0T....same issue...shakes at speeds from 60 and  up. Both sets of tires summer and winter both installed and balanced at the dealership. I've complained for 5 months now...and here  I sit and wait again! Mechanic can feel it but has no idea....NOT ACCEPTABLE HYUNDAI!!! 
  • Andreea1321Andreea1321 LAMember Posts: 2
    edited November 2019
    I have a 2019 Hyundai santa fe xl and I feel vibrations since day one. It has 2000 miles on it. I changed all 4 tires and it still vibrates all the time not just at high speeds. Any suggestions please
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 901

    I have a 2019 Hyundai santa fe xl and I feel vibrations since day one. It has 2000 miles on it. I changed all 4 tires and it still vibrates all the time not just at high speeds. Any suggestions please

    Does it vibrate standing still in gear?
    Does it vibrate standing still out of gear?

    If yes to either question, engine! Take the car to a Hyundai dealer.

    Does the vibration show up at slow speeds - say 30 mph? Does it change when you speed up? Is there a speed where it peaks?

    And did you buy this new or used?

  • Andreea1321Andreea1321 LAMember Posts: 2
    edited December 2019
    I bought it new. I took it to the dealer and they said there is nothing wrong with it. It vibrates while driving low and high speeds.out of gear it has a slight rough idle but the Rpm are constant and it doesnt vibrate. It's a limited ultimate
  • Keith2014Keith2014 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2014 Sant Fe Limited and it has the same vibration, spent $1200 at the dealer for a rear bushing, DID NOT fix it, just got new tires, DID NOT fix it Still no answer, one guy said the axle could be out of balance and could be balanced. frustrated
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