Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
129,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 102012

Santa Fe LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles


Had 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. Never seemed to ran right, but dealer always claimed they couldn't find anything wrong. Give it gas, it would rev, but wouldn't excell? Timing belt was changed at 70,000 miles.

Lost power while excelling on an enterance ramp- dealer claimed it was a sensor-replace under warranty. By 129,000 miles, it started loosing power, or compression-- it still ran, but would only go 40 mph up hill. Diagnostic says--timing belt. Found out via internet that this was a common problem with many of todays vehicles. Upon further investigation I found out Hyundai uses an INTERFERENCE MOTOR on their cars.

INTERFERENCE MOTOR-means if the timing belt slips or breaks- it will eat up your motor-Bent valves, burnt pistons, etc. Yep, that's exactly what happened to my 2004 Santa Fe. Took it to a reputable shop-1st 2 valves they looked at were bent-quoted 26 hrs labor-$3500 to fix. (a trickle test can be performed to find out if timing belt caused more damage to engine-recommend you do this before paying for any repairs). $5000 for a rebuilt motor. It 's less expensive to buy a whole other car. Started researching INTERFERENCE MOTORS on internet.

FOR ALL YOU CONSUMERS OUT THERE, here's some FREE advise.....before you go buy any car, suv, truck, lawnmower, tractor, go to "GATES" TIMING BELT website (this is who makes all timing belts) enter your make, model and it will tell you if the vehicle has an interference motor in it, or not.

You WANT a NON INTERFERENCE motor, so if your timing belt slips, or brakes, it will shut down your engine and avoid further damage.

The interference motor is used because it fits better into these compact cars.. (at our expense! Let them find another less inexpensive way to the consumer to fit that motor under the hood!!)..lets boycott these makers that use INTERFERENCE MOTORS by NOT buying their crummy, cheap made cars. They charge us out the ying-yang when purchasing, insuring, repairing these pieces of junk. What a waste of our hard earned money!!!!

My next purchase will NOT have an interference motor! If they put enterference motors in all of them, then I will be riding a bike or horse, cause I'm tired of being ripped off by all these businesses!!!! Good help is hard to find and honesty is obsolete now days!!!!

What ever happened to quality in this country? Is quota more important then the consumer who keeps you in business, or can those shareholders support your business without us consumers???

Missery in Missouri!

- , Festus, MO, USA

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