Hyundai Santa Fe Transmission Problems & Overview

Introduced for the 2001 model year, the almost-midsize Hyundai Santa Fe was the South Korean automaker’s first foray into the SUV market. American sales quickly exceeded production, and made it Hyundai’s best-selling model.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Does something seem wrong with your Santa Fe? Let’s look at some of the most common transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your SUV back on the road.

Hyundai Santa Fe Recalls

2010 Santa Fe – 11V261000 / 102


Hyundai is recalling certain 2010 2wd/FWD models equipped with automatic transmissions and 2.4L engines, that were manufactured between October 15, 2009 through March 5, 2010. It seems that the intermediate shaft may suffer from noise and excessive wear due to a misalignment of the intermediate shaft with the right side output gear. Continuing to drive the vehicle in this condition leads to the development of a whirring/whining noise and can eventually cause damage to the transmission.


Damage to the transmission may cause loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a crash.


This recall began in June 2011, and dealers were instructed to replace the right side output gear and intermediate shaft free of charge. Owners may contact Hyundai’s customer assistance center at 1-800-633-5151, referring to Hyundai’s safety recall campaign number: 102. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Hyundai Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2013 Santa Fe Sport 2.0L / 2.4L – TSB 15-01-009


The end of the cable connecting the transmission range switch to the vehicle’s shift lever pin is fastened to the pin with a rubber grommet. The connection between the shifter cable and shift lever pin is critical to ensure proper gear selection (including placing the vehicle in Park). If the cable becomes disconnected and the vehicle is not in the Park position, the vehicle may roll if the parking brake is not applied.


To fix or prevent this problem, an “E-clip” will need to be installed on the shift lever pin as a supplemental method of securing the cable.

2010 Santa Fe – TSB 11-AT-002


Incorrect operation of the input and output speed sensors may result in the following symptoms:

• Check Engine Light illuminated
• Transaxle held in 3rd gear Fail-Safe
• Diagnostic Trouble Codes P0717, P0721 or P0722


It’s possible that the wiring harness between the PCM and transaxle may have a damaged wire or a short circuit to ground. If there is a damaged pin or a pin is not fully inserted in the connector, it will be necessary to replace the ECM control harness between the PCM and transmission. If these issues are not present, then a new input/output speed sensor will need to be installed.

2010 Santa Fe – TSB 13-AT-007


Some 2010 models equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission can experience slippage during shifts or normal driving.


The most likely cause is a faulty OD clutch.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Transmission Does a Hyundai Santa Fe Have?


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What Problem Does Your Vehicle Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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01 santa Fe. Had a breaking sound (clunk maybe). Now the only wheel that will spun is the front passenger side. Also when in park it will roll.

Also I can manually shift through all gears. It is all time 4wd


I have 2004 sante fe gls ,2.7l, awd/4×4 & around 160,000 miles on it.On long steep hwy hills it starts shuttering like needs drop down out overdrive. I can manually shift down 3rd & stops until I crest the hill & go back in overdrive. I thought replacement of 4-3rd solenoid would fix it but a transmission mechanic said cheaper to replace the trans axle/transmission because of labor cost just to do the solenoid. I need best advice which I should do please..


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. With shift in reverse but won’t move. Took it to a dealer and was told the entire transmission needs repaired. 4,000 remanufactured 3,600 used. How can we know this is really the issue? Car has 105,000 miles and we had extended warranty for 100,000.

karyn gephart

2002 Hyundai Santa fe has 150 k miles on it. Red light comes on for a few days reports po720 then goes off for weeks reorts no codes? Seems to be making noise coming from right rear wheel area and when I step on the gas i hear a faint hissing sound? Drives a little rough on highway lately.
I’m going to change transmission fluid and filter this morning.
I have a 50 mile trip on freeway this afternoon.
Please tell me your advise. Thank U, Karyn

Alhaji m Kanneh form free town

The gear box not Change


Hi i have a hyundai santa fe 2010 model automatic gearbox sleeping in 3 gear also when kiking down. When diagnos no fault code


Please mine is Hyundai santafe 2001 model.the problem on the car is,unstable fire system and unable to pull well.


2017 Hyundai Santa Fe. They are changing my transmission that’s under warranty. The parts have been back ordered and they’ve had my vehicle since January 2019 with an expected completion date by May 2019 (4-5 months). Which tells me my isn’t the only one being replaced. Anyone else have the same issue?


I’ve got a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 155,000 miles I’ve replaced the engine and now the transmission. This vehicle has disrupted of my life I’ll never buy Hyundai again. Lemon !!!


You do realize cars are machines and therefore wear out??? Hardly a lemon if you got 155k miles out of any automatic transmission. Newer CVT’s are busting as early as 63k miles. Generally an automatic transmission should last anywhere between 120k to 160k miles. A very few make it to 200k but these tend to be in larger expensive trucks prior to the latest round of technology upgrades such as ecoboost models that Ford makes. In other words, automatic transmission longevity is on the decline thanks to unproven technology rushed to market. This has been necessitated by federal CAFE standards that are unrealistic. As usual, we the consumer suffer.

Casey h

Most newer cars Transmissions will go to 300,000 miles with no problems I’ve seen Hyundai’s with almost 400,000 miles on them with the original transmissions and engines


Also have a 2017 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T. Just over the 100,000 km. warranty, and transmission has started making nasty grinding, whirring sound. Still works fine, but problems soon, I would expect.
What was the problem with your transmission?


I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata and it don’t have a dipstick, and it sucks because I have no one to help me.

Pam Murphy

2017 less than 60000 milles.shifts hard.not all the time?


04 santa fe with 175k (give or take a few miles), 3.5 l engine, need some troubleshooting help.
At 20 miles an hour it kicks or jars and feels like it is slipping into neutral then after letting off the gas for a second will then drive normally. This only happens at 20 mph every few days. I get no codes from it at all. I have taken it to a transmission shop and they can’t reproduce the problem. It doesn’t happen for them. even though the mechanic said it’s most likely the solenoid for the 2nd to 3rd gear and told me it would be better to replace the tranny not try to repair it. stating my tranny is one of the unserviceable types. another mechanic states it is serviceable. I called dealer to get info from them on what type of transmission i have they only will tell me the cost for replacement with a rebuilt tranny. so i am asking for help figuring this out with the kick/jerk/jar at 20 mph is that the solenoid ?? or more internal? what transmission would i actually have ??

Greg Keenan

2012 2.2 diesel CRDi auto. Drives well everything working properly except no 4WD. No nasty noises. Drive shaft can be turned freely. If front right wheel is jacked off the ground it can be spun without the driveshaft moving. I’d appreciate opinions about what’s wrong and what to do. Likely costs?


is it worth it to spend 2000.00 on a 2002 model this model being santa fe hyundia all wheel drive for a transmission , the frame and motor runs well frame in good shape that is my question ? what would you suggest ?

karyn gephart

Well I have a 2002 Sante fe and it’s a pretty decent car for not having payments like everyone I know does on their NEW cars. I enjoy driving it. It’s resale value is only $2000( with a good transmission) so u won’t get anything for it the way it is now.


I had a 50K mile used transmission installed in my ’05 Hyundai Santa Fe. It shifts hard from reverse to Drive intermittently, but runs very smoothly thru gears when driving. I was told at the repair shop, being it was completely drained to ship, it needs time to get well lubricated and will smooth out. Sound normal after 1st day?