really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,642 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.

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Nov 092018

Santa Fe

  • 74,936 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. The contact received a notice for TSB: SB-10058931-4495 and the vehicle was taken to the dealer where the campaign was completed. The contact stated that while an oil change was being performed, she was informed that the valve cover gasket was leaking. Additionally, the check engine warning light was illuminated. The fuel senders and O rings, the spark plugs, and the valve cover gasket were replaced; however, the failure recurred. The dealer replaced the oil sending unit; however, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, where the valve cover gasket, the valve cover gasket kit and the spark plugs were replaced. The contact stated that the dealer later replaced the oil pan due to oil leaking. Additionally, the contact stated while attempting to make a left turn from a complete stop, the vehicle chugged and started losing electrical power. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, where the contact was informed that the alternator internally shorted, the vehicle was stuck in drive(D), and the key was stuck in the ignition switch. The battery warning light was illuminated. The dealer performed an unknown repair. The contact stated that she then received a notice for TSB: 23-01-076H and the vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed and determined that the right bank valve cover gasket was fractured, distorted, and was leaking onto the alternator. Additionally, the dealer informed the contact that the left valve cover gasket was leaking; however, the part was not covered. The dealer only replaced the right bank valve cover gasket. The contact stated that the failure persisted. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and a case was opened. The failure mileage was approximately 74,936.

- Salado, TX, USA

problem #51

Oct 222022

Santa Fe

  • miles
Pulling into driveway. Car engine accelerated suddenly. Was just coasting in. The car wouldn't stop. Hit front of a home. The engine sounded like a race car.

- Honeoye, NY, USA

problem #50

Sep 232022

Santa Fe

  • miles
I was decelarating after going highway speed on the highway and the car stalled electrical still worked but braking power steering acceleation all stopped working and engine lights turned on and esc and other lights i retarted the car and no engine lights turned on i went to my mechanic he said it dosnt show on diagnostics so he cant fix it this is just one incident its happend numerous times and it almost caused accident its dangerous and must be dealt with right away

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #49

Aug 092022

Santa Fe

  • miles


January 2022, I had to have the car towed to the dealership after the car came to an abrupt stop in the middle of driving. Once at the dealership, it was determined that oil leakage from the engine had coated the alternator. I researched this to only discover Service Campaign SB-100058931-4495 (08/15/2015) had alerted dealerships to cylinder head gasket and alternator challenges as described in Campaign 15-01-031 (July 2015). Also referenced was Service Campaign 936. I had not received a notice from my dealer, nor had the 17-point "inspection" revealed this problem any service in the last 6.5 years since the Hyundai alert. This week, 08/09/2022, I drove to the dealership after two days of calling. Eight calls - no answer. I requested the service director (Mr. Matt) look at a video showing smoke rising from the engine compartment after a 30 minute drive and ask him to look at the engine area where oil spray has returned. I am concerned about driving the vehicle for fear of fire hazard, particularly since I must make a 12-hour roundtrip drive next weekend. I was assured there was not fire hazard or safety issue to be concerned about and was scheduled for the next available service appt on August 31, 2022. I drove the car this morning 17 miles and the engine compartment again was releasing visible smoking oil fumes. Apparently, this repair needs to be done again to ensure the engine gasket problem (likely caused by the different metals used on the bolts and screws through the engine block causing the components to loosen) needs to be completed again....under the original Bulletin. I have read the filings and it appears some vehicles have required the service repair up to 3 times. I expect the labor and parts to be covered. In the meantime, rest assured I have plans to rent a vehicle for that long required drive. The dealer has refused to provide any assistance with the loaner. Terrible service. No fire hazard" Really"

- Maryville, TN, USA

problem #48

Jun 302021

Santa Fe

  • miles
While exiting highway, decelerating but still going mid-range speed (about 40 mph), car stalled and all power was lost. Could no longer control direction and almost slammed into median the first time (two days ago) and today, almost slammed into oncoming traffic.

- Berrysburg, PA, USA

problem #47

May 192021

Santa Fe

  • miles
While driving on the interstate, I approached my exit. As I am slowing down, the engine shuts off and steering becomes very hard. I quickly shifted into neutral to restart the car to avoid a crash. There were no warning lights on the dash before shutting down. I immediately took it to a mechanic to see what the problem was. He said he saw none. This has been going on since September 2020 and it is happening more than one time a day. Since then, I have taken it to 4 other mechanics who have all told me that they don't see any problems. I take chances everyday not knowing when the car will shut down on me while driving because this is my only vehicle that I just bought in April of 2020. This is a very serious problem that should've been looked into.

- Napoleonville, LA, USA

problem #46

Apr 122021

Santa Fe

  • 98,000 miles


The fuel gage is broken, it reads empty when full. The ABS light came on and took it in to fix it. $400 later it was fixed. Now I hear clinking sound from engine. I think the pistons rings are bad. I've read other similar complaints about this vehicle. NHTSA needs to investigate!

- Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #45

Oct 012020

Santa Fe

  • 135,232 miles
Randomly hesitates and then stalls while driving.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #44

Oct 052020

Santa Fe

  • 88,109 miles
Two times my car has stalled while driving, one at 10 mph and one at 20 mph. There are no signs that the car is going to stall. Have no lights, brakes, steering, can't even use hazard lights.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #43

Aug 012020

Santa Fe

  • 130,000 miles
Just bought a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. I didn't even make it out of town before it stalled on me several times. I would hurry up put in park and start up. I took it to the Hyundai dealership and they said they seen this a lot of times before. Its the timing chain and tensioner. 2375 dollar fix.

- Carthage, IL, USA

problem #42

Feb 082020

Santa Fe

  • 130,000 miles


2 issues - (1 )while turning, loses power steering momentarily, battery and seat belt lights come on temporarily (2) while driving straight at low speeds, car "bucks" as if transmission jammed or brakes locked up momentarily --both issues are intermittent, and may be unrelated--

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #41

Jul 052019

Santa Fe

  • 197,000 miles
I purchased this car used in 2011. Over the years, at random times, the radio will "pop" off and back on again. It doesn't seem to affect the rest of the electrical system in the car, but it's a little scary when it happens - mechanic can't replicate. Now, twice in the last week, my car has stalled while slowing down, once on a multi-lane street and once after decelerating coming off the expressway (complete loss of power, steering, brakes, etc). I put the car in neutral and it started right back up, but this has happened in heavy traffic and scared the cr out of me! I'm terrified that this might happen at a higher speed on the expressway. I have seen several mentions of similar power losses for this same vehicle. I have no check engine lights and no codes come up when scanned. No recalls reported either, although a power loss at the wrong time could kill someone. Not sure if this is electrical, engine or fuel system related - I had over a half a tank of gas in the car during both occurrences.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #40

Jan 062015

Santa Fe

  • 105,000 miles
Vehicle stalls while slowing down. When this happens, headlights and power steering and braking are lost, and the check engine light and battery light come on. Imagine driving down a dark windy road at night and losing power steering and braking and not being able to see the road. This is accurate to the experience. If I turn car off and back on, it starts just fine. It happens everywhere, on the freeway, while parking, etc. Every person I have talked to with same vehicle confirms the same. I have yet to find anyone with a fix. There is a recall out for 2010 and on for a similar issue. This issue started happening in 2015 when I purchased the car, and it has continued to happen for years.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #39

Jul 012019

Santa Fe

  • 98,000 miles
After driving at highway speeds and decelerating, Hyundai Santa Fe 2009 vehicle abruptly stalls with no warning. No error codes show. This is extremely dangerous as vehicle immediately shuts down and is an accident risk. All power steering and brake operation shut down.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #38

May 012019

Santa Fe

  • 117,000 miles
Finally got Hyundai to replace my rusted subframe engine cradle (took almost 8 months to get parts) and after they had the car for 2 days, I went and picked it up. Everything seamed okay, but apon starting the vehicle and shifting out of park into drive, there is a loud clunk when letting off the brake to start moving. Also when backing out of my drive, going from park to reverse the same sound happens. The sound also emits when going from drive to reverse and vise versa.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #37

Sep 052018

Santa Fe

  • 103,275 miles
Purchased used w/ 103K mi on it from a dealership. Engine light came on at dealership - alternator and purge valve replaced - thought it was fixed. Drove home and just before turning right into driveway and still on 55mph busy county road, engine shut off (all dash and console lights on and wipers running) right in the middle of the road. No steering or brakes. I had to coast to a stop on the side of the road. I put it in park, turned the key off and turned it right back on. Was able to back up and pull into my driveway without incident. Check engine light came back on as it was being taken back to the shop the next day - no sign of fix. I had just driven from the dealership service (about 25 miles) on a major interstate...a number of right and left turns, on and off ramps, stop lights, stop signs and residential roads. This could have been a fatal accident and this vehicle should be totaled out and sold for parts. Hyundai should return our money - we will never buy another one.

- Tipton, IA, USA

problem #36

Jan 012010

Santa Fe

  • miles
Multiple failures of the valve cover gaskets on the 3.3 V6. Hyundai replaced twice under recalls. Gaskets have failed again and Hyundai refuses to replace. Rear brake calipers are constantly locking up. Have been since new. Hyundai refuses to acknowledge that there is a serious safety concern with this.

- Millbrook, NY, USA

problem #35

Apr 012018

Santa Fe

  • 122,000 miles
First problem, gas gauge stopped working. Fluctuated up and down, then would read empty right after filling the tank. Had to have 2 sensors and fuel pump changed. Very expensive!! now the car stalls when slowing down. Every morning when I leave for work it stalls at least once, it has started back up, but this morning the motor felt very groggy and I did not feel safe in driving it anymore. Took it home. I've brought it to mechanics and it never dies for them and they can not find anything wrong with it, did it two more times after that, taking it tonight to see if they can figure it out. This is extremely unsafe!! it died the first time in the middle of the street! I was so afraid someone was going to run into the back of me! this is a huge problem and all over the internet with other Santa Fe owners for this year. I want Hyundai to step up to the plate and recall these cars! they are unsafe!!!

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #34

Apr 072018

Santa Fe

  • 51,800 miles
Engine stalled at traffic lights with no brakes and no power steering.I am scared to think what would have happend driving at 55mph on freeway.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #33

Jun 282014

Santa Fe

  • 61,000 miles
While traveling on the interstate at speed (70 mph), car stopped responding to throttle with no warning. As I merged to right lane, car died completely and I had to maneuver to shoulder with no power. Stuck here with wife and 2 toddlers until towed to mechanic. The alternator was dead and had to be replaced. One year later, same thing (luckily not on interstate this time, and warning light did come on this time). Alternator replaced again. Later in 2015, Hyundai announced a maintenance campaign (#936), and I was reimbursed for initial 2 events, and local dealer completed the required maintenance in Nov 2015. 2 years later, same thing: Warning lights, oil on alternator, etc. Local dealer again completes the work (thankfully at no charge to me). As of today, oil is on the alternator again, and I feel it is only a matter of time before the issue occurs again. As my wife is typically driving the kids around in this vehicle, I do not like the thought that it could cut off at any moment. I am hoping Hyundai will announce a permanent fix or recall. I am reaching out to them for advice on the latest recurrence. Initial event: 6/28/14 (mileage: 61020) 2nd event: 6/1/15 (mileage: 79800) Hyundai campaign completed: 11/19/15 (mileage: 89512) 3rd event: 08/30/17 (mileage: 119929) Feb 2018 (mileage: 127177) - notice oil building on alternator again

- Cumming, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?