pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
84,600 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace fuel level sensors and gaskets (19 reports)
  2. not sure (13 reports)
  3. replace both fuel sending units (1 reports)
2008 Hyundai Santa Fe fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2008 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Nov 082018

Santa Fe 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


My 2008 hyundai santa fe fuel sensor goes up and down like it's a seesaw... WTH... Hyundai says nothing but the complaints are everywhere on the net.

- Jalon J., Berwyn, US

problem #32

Aug 132018

Santa Fe Es/limited 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,415 miles

I bought a used 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with 99, 387 miles on it from the original owners. I have not had it very long at all, and I noticed right after I bought it that the fuel gauge wasn't reading correctly when I filled it up. As I was driving it, and hadn't went no more than 10 miles I noticed the "low" fuel light was on and the fuel gauge showed empty. Since I just filled up 10 miles ago, I knew that the vehicle has an electrical problem. Shortly thereafter, the "check" engine light came on and stayed on.

A couple of days later, I disconnected the battery to clear the code for the check engine light, and noticed the fuel gauge was working again, but still not accurate though. Just a few short days later, the same thing happened all over again. Since then, from August 13 until the current time (September 5th, 2018) the problem has occurred 4 times!

After during some research on the Internet, and some research with Hyundai mechanics in the local dealerships in the St. Louis area, I discovered that this is a routine problem with Hyundai's, especially this model year and the repair is quite expensive (around $700 to $800 dollars).

This problem can be a safety issue for some consumers who isn't mechanically inclined or for those who are religious about checking the fuel level regularly! I've decided NOT to let my daughter or my finance' drive this vehicle due to this unsafe condition. Since this is an obvious common product failure on almost all of these Hyundai models, one would think that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) would step in and require Hyundai to fix this issue of an safety issue.

I know of one incident that the vehicle ran out of gas while the woman was coming home late at night from her shift as a nurse. Unfortunately, she had to drive through an area on her way home that is considered to be very dangerous area of Illinois. The vehicle had ran out of gas in this area and left her stranded alone. She phoned her husband to come and get her right away, but it took him 20 minutes or so to get there, and the police very rarely patrolled the area due to known drug transactions and severe violence in this area!

She considered herself to be lucky, but it caused her to get rid of the vehicle for good! And she shares her story with everyone she meets and tells everyone NOT to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe because of Hyundai's reluctance to do anything about this issue! Wake up Hyundai...this will cost you in the long run much more than the repair!

DO the RIGHT thing and recall these vehicles before someone files a class-action lawsuit!

- ssm921, Wentzville, US

problem #31

May 172017

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I am also experiencing issues with my gas gauge. I first noticed the problem while sitting in my car with the engine running, the gauge went from 90 miles of gas left, to 80, to 60, to 30, and then to empty and my gas light had then came on, all in a matter of 3 seconds. Now the check engine light is on, and I have to continuously guess how much gas is left in my car because once I fill up it will state the correct amount of gas for a few miles and then drop right back down to empty. One time I miscalculated and my car ran out of gas in a not so safe area, so this is a safety issue and needs to be recalled by Hyundai. Lastly I called the dealership and was quoted $600 to fix. This is insane! I bought the car used and have only had it for 2 years, so I should not have to pump this kind of money into it already.

- Michelle J., Elkridge, US

problem #30

Apr 052016

Santa Fe Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


Fuel gauge shows empty almost all the time and check engine light is always on.

Update from Aug 24, 2016: I went for a NH state inspection/emissions sticker yesterday and it failed. Check engine light being on due to the fuel sensor problem. The technician says the vehicle has NO safety issues but due to the check engine light they have to fail me. They quoted $600. to fix.

I'm not sure if I am more mad at the state of NH due to their stupid laws, or Hyundai for not recalling this problem.

- meltrusty, Wakefield, MA, USA

problem #29

Sep 142016

Santa Fe SE 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

No manufacturer of any vehicle I have ever owned, or my parents have owned, has had the fuel gauge sensor failed until now. No excuses.

- gjohnson15825, Ridgway, PA, USA

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problem #28

Apr 282017

Santa Fe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

Santa Fe is a great car and I have no complainants, except this one... I have just spent $705 dollars to repair both fuel sensors! This has made made the fuel gauge needle to go hay wire as well as the check engine light to come on. This should be a recall. The fact that several other cars are having the exact problem. You cannot get around NOT doing it because it may not pass inspection with those states requiring inspections. Hyundai Please TAKE NOTE!!!

- Michelle C., Hillsborough, US

problem #27

Oct 052016

Santa Fe LX 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


This problem started on a long vacation to the east coast. We thought we had a major problem since the Check Engine Light comes on when the gas gauge goes bonkers also. This problem now is a constant but not willing to spend over $700 to get it fixed since I know of at least 3 other people with same problem with their 07 or 08 Santa Fe. THIS SHOULD BE A RECALL ITEM!!!! Why isn't it?

When I talked to service dept. at our local Hyundai dealer he agreed with me and said he wouldn't get it fixed either but to just keep track of the mileage so I know when to fill up the tank again. What a hassle!!!! This should have been recalled a long time ago and I can assure you that neither I or any of my friends will ever buy another Santa Fe unless they fix this problem!!

Duane Beers

- dmbeersdb, Colorado Springs, US

problem #26

Feb 282017

Santa Fe Limited 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Looking on the web, there are thousands of these going out from 2007 to 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. Hyundai should have recalled these I think. The repair is expensive.

- Richard S., Bray, OK, US

problem #25

Feb 012017

Santa Fe J9 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,260 miles

I never seen this kind of problem in other cars I owned before.

- Phillip C., Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #24

Oct 292016

Santa Fe LXE 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,021 miles

When refueled, fuel gauge goes to empty and may or maybe not return to proper indication. Usually does not return to proper indication. Indicates empty every time fuel is added. Never know the true amount of fuel.

- lupul, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada

problem #23

Jan 072013

Santa Fe XL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


I've waited at least three years for Hyundai to put out a recall on this as I see multiple complaints about the problem. I really did not want to shell out $500 to fix this known issue. Since I never know how much gas I really have, I reset the odometer to 0, fill the tank and fill up every 200 miles. A pain, but it was working. Until a gas station attendant didn't fill my tank all the way and I ran out of gas on a dangerous entry ramp last week. I ordered the part and am getting it fixed next week. How can Hyundai ignore this very dangerous problem?

- Mary Ellen C., Maywood, NJ, USA

problem #22

Oct 112016

Santa Fe GLS 2.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles

After experiencing my fuel gauge going up and down my check engine light came on. I then took it to AutoZone and the code said it is the fuel gauge sending unit that needs to be replaced. I've read several complaints about this same issue so I filed a complaint with NHTSA.GOV and I'm hoping Hyundai will issue a recall in regards to this matter. I think if we all filed a complaint we could get this resolved.

- msdallas35, Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #21

May 012014

Santa Fe ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I personally know 3 other Hyundai owners who have had this same problem. Two paid in the $500 range for the repairs. Myself and the other Hyundai owner just reset our trip meters. So many owners have had this issue, it's irresponsible of Hyundai to not repair the faulty parts given so many complaints.

- wauchula1km, Fleming Island, USA

problem #20

Jul 172016

Santa Fe Limited 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

as with those who have had the same problem regarding fuel gauge failure /check engine light, could run out of gas a cause serious problem.

check engine light comes on ,goes off ,fuel gauge register on empty with light indicator anytime tank is less than full.

- jmdock3jm, Stone Mtn, GA, USA

problem #19

Mar 052016

Santa Fe LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Whenever my daughter fills up the vehicle (it is hers), the check engine light comes on and the fuel gauge shows as empty. The gauge starts to go up towards full once she has driven 50-75 miles. Very annoying since she never really knows how much rule is in the tank. I've seen many other complaints about this on this site. When will Hyundai take ownership for this and make it a recall?

- bradaz, Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #18

Jan 152016

Santa Fe GS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Just bought this car today, payed almost $7,000. Within 10 mins the service engine light came on and my fuel went to empty. Took it to service station, they put on computer. Said it reads almost full tank of gas, but my gauge still shows empty. The manufacturer needs to recall his problem. I don't know when gas will be empty and don't have the money to stick into this. Recall this problem.

- Robin S., bath, PA, USA

problem #17

Jun 112015

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I bought my car used so I don't know if the previous owner had the same issue and had it repaired but I'm not the only person who has reported this problem. This is a manufacture issue and should be fixed by such not the consumer. This is a safety issue and should be taken as such. I also smelt smoke as if my car was on fire while I was driving on the highway on 1/3/15 with my daughter in the car I was near an exit so I quickly pulled over and turned my car off and let it sit for a few minutes before restarting it and continuing home. Unknown what the issue is or what caused the smell. A few moths back I got a letter from Hyundai about some recalls on my car and had them all fixed, in November had a diagnostic done on my battery, alternator and starter and all where good. I'm very concerned because of the distance I have to travel to work.

- charliemo, Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #16

May 052015

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,594 miles


- Celina S., Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #15

Oct 012015

Santa Fe

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I think it is ridiculous how many people are having the fuel sensor issue and Hyundai has done nothing to fix this. This should be a huge recall. This should not be happening. This is the only reason I will NEVER buy another Hyundai again.

- Kathy D., Chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Sep 032015

Santa Fe Limited 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The issue happened several times and the check engine light would illuminate/ go out... I thought it was not closing the fuel cap properly. The fuel gauge also bounced from empty to proper amount regardless of recently filling the tank. I took it to the dealership and was told it was something with the fuel sensor.

Extended warranty covered it, thankfully.

- Edmund A., Millville, NJ, USA

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