hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,433 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 112014

Santa Fe

  • 102,000 miles


Car stalls without warning while driving. First occurrence was over a year ago. I was driving down I5 going 70 mph when the car suddenly died. I lost my power steering and brakes. I managed to coast to the next exit. It started after sitting a few minutes. And I was able to make it home. I've received codes for camshaft sensor, misfires, low catalyst. I've changed the cam and crank sensors, coils, spark plugs, timing belt and assembly, fuel pressure regulator and fuel pump over the past year. Still having the issue. Car drives fantastic for about 10 miles and stalls out. After waiting about 5 min. It can be driven for another few miles before stalling out again. Check engine light does not turn on when it stalls now. Very dangerous when trying to drive in town or attempting to merge into traffic. You never know when it will stall out.

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 262015

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. While driving at 55 mph, the gear shifter failed and the vehicle accelerated. The contact had to keep her foot on the brake pedal in order to avoid crashing. The check engine light illuminated. The contact coasted the vehicle over to the side of the road, turned off, and restarted the engine. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown. Updated 02/12/16

- Flora, IL, USA

problem #9

Nov 092015

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was awaiting diagnostic testing and repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #8

Nov 022008

Santa Fe

  • 28,000 miles


Car shuts off while driving, losing power steering and brakes, while traveling at highway speed or braking down a windy canyon road. Problem includes intermittent jerking, jumping, hiccupping - whatever you want to call it, it's not safe to drive. First month, after brand-new NY dealership purchase, I replaced my throttle position sensor 3 times. Trouble with my current problem began at 4 years, well under 30,000 miles. For a year I had to fear for my life every time I drove, never knowing if this trip would kill me or other motorists. Why did I have to drive it" because the Hyundai dealerships in los angeles couldn't diagnose the problem if they couldn't cause it to happen and there is no error code when tested. A year of fear. Just the hesitation jerking is scary enough while driving, but when it actually shuts down" when your RPM indicator drops from 2,000 to 0 and you're fighting for your life turning the stuck steering wheel and pulling up the emergency brake hoping you don't careen off a winding cliff or coast head on into unsuspecting traffic or clicking your hazards on and praying no one hits you on an oily rain slick pavement at night on the 101 freeway - that is when it really makes your heart jump out of your chest. After 11 months of shutting off, it got so bad it wouldn't turn on again and finally my check engine light came on and they were able to diagnose the crank shaft sensor. In the process of fixing, they made a leak in my power steering hose and damaged my pump. Because it was days after my warranty, the van nuys dealership charged me for the crank shaft sensor and other damage! 33,000 miles on my car. Well, that was November 2009. It's now 2015 (70,540 miles) and once again, I'm okayed to drive my unsafe car. The performance of these vehicles put drivers at an unreasonable risk of accident and since there is no error code, Hyundai will do nothing.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 062015

Santa Fe

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, an abnormal noise emitted from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Lexington , TN, USA

problem #6

Jan 192015

Santa Fe

  • 155,000 miles
As I approached a stop light and my car began to slow, it didn't shift all the way into first gear. While stopped at the light, it remained at a high RPM while the brake was pressed. When the light changed, and the gas pedal was pressed, my car "kicked" down into first and immediately back in to second. A few days later while at a stop light, my car died. After a few minutes, it started back up. After bringing it to the dealer (it had died on my three times at this point) to have it serviced, I was told that they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. They were able to "feel" the shifting issues when stopping but they couldn't tell me what was wrong with it. Since I've had my vehicle back from the shop, it has been having high idle surges where the resting idle RPM is at 2000, in addition, when the vehicle is in neutral it acts as if something is pushing the gas pedal while my foot is on the brake going back and forth between 800 and 2000 RPM. When the vehicle is in drive and my foot is on the brake, it also feels like my vehicle wants to get up and go (again like something is pushing on the gas pedal). I have taken my vehicle to two different places and both places can't pinpoint what is wrong with my vehicle. It's starting to become a safety concern. What if whatever is going on with my vehicle overrides the brake system and I end up hurting someone?

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #5

Jan 262015

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


This vehicle was driven approx. 1/2 mile from home when power steering and brakes failed. It was pulled off of the road and stopped with the emergency brake. Immediately flames shot up the windshield. The entire interior was completely destroyed as well 3/4 of the exterior.

- Lawrenceburg, KY, USA

problem #4

Nov 192014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 69,500 miles
The vehicle accelerated to a high rate of speed when just touching the gas pedal. The brake must immediately be engaged to slow the car. Once the car is moving the accelerator works. While cruising the engine RPM surges forcing the brakes to be engaged.this is a dangerous situation in traffic. The previous owner said the vehicle has been doing this for years and she just lived with it. It is unsettling to have a vehicle surge whenever it wants.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #3

Oct 212014

Santa Fe 6-cyl

  • 55,400 miles
The first occurrence was tues. Oct. 21 backing out of a driveway and went to put the car in drive. It stalled right in the middle of a very busy road. I put it in park and tried to start it again. It did start but did not feel like it would continue to run. However, it did. The second time was yesterday when I was driving down a four lane road at 40 miles an hour and it just stopped running. I was so thankful it was later in the evening and traffic was very minimal. I put it in park and it did start but again did not feel like it would continue. It felt like it would stall again but did not, 2 more times before I got home. I called this morning to get it right in and never heard back. I am afraid to drive it because of the traffic on most of these roads. I do not feel like I was taken seriously even though I received a recall notice in Sept. But have managed to misplace it. I do not remember what the recall was for. The second time this happened a panel light did come on. It was the malfunction indicator light. I am worried about an accident and possible death with this happening to the car.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #2

Oct 152013

Santa Fe

  • 70,863 miles
After starting vehicle and while driving, engine shuts down immediately and without warning. Was able to steer to the side of the street it as it was still rolling. No indications came on as to what the issue may point to. I shut the engine off and waited for a tow to my home which I total took about 45 minutes. Once at home the vehicle started with no issues. For the next two days my vehicle was at my mechanics and he could not reproduce the problem. I went ahead and had the transmission. Flushed as him and I had discussed as one of the last things to get serviced before winter. Later that day I drove a longer distance with top speed about 65 mph with no issues. Just as I was returning home the car shutdown as I was crossing a busy intersection. Luckily, again I was able to steer the rolling vehicle to the side of the road. I attempted to start a few times but after a not so pleasant sound left it off. After being completely off for 30 to 45 minutes the vehicle was able to start again. This time the check engine stayed on. My search on the issue points to a crankshaft protection sensor, but this is not a clear solution and a costly thing to fix if this does not resolve. I see many complaints on the issue with no definitive resolution for Hyundai owners even by Hyundai technicians as they troubleshoot the problem. This is a scary thing to have happen and some of the vehicle jerks are rather hard and violent. Before these shutdowns become deadly please address. My last experience was 10/18 my vehicle is at my mechanic today.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 172013

Santa Fe

  • 51,000 miles
I left my car parked in the parking garage at school. When I came back to my car at the end of the day, the car was on and running. I had my keys with me. It had somehow spontaneously turned on while I was away from it.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

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