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My Hyundai Santa Fe Won’t Start – Common Causes And Possible Solutions!

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My Hyundai Santa Fe Won't Start

Hyundai Santa Fe is a sport utility car designed for comfort. This can easily be converted from an SUV to a minivan by removing the third-row seats. However, all these and other benefits associated with Hyundai Santa Fe can be short-lived as it often experiences starting problems.

So, why my Hyundai Santa Fe won’t start? The main reasons for your vehicle not starting when ignited are a dead car battery, a faulty alternator and a broken or damaged starter. It may also be due to poor electrical connections, a faulty fuel system, or a blown fuse.

In this guide, we shall discuss the main problems causing your Hyundai Santa Fe not to start and the possible solution to these problems.

Hyundai Santa Fe Won’t Start – Quick Summary

Hyundai Santa Fe Won't Start

Before settling down to repair any part, diagnosing the exact problematic parts is essential to avoid unnecessary repairs and replacements. Let’s look at the reasons causing starting problems and their solutions at a glance.

ReasonsPossible Solution
Dead car battery or poor battery connectionRecharge or replace the battery
Ensure proper connection on the battery terminals
Scrub corroded battery terminals
A faulty alternatorReplace it with a new alternator
Faulty starter or dead key fob batteryReplace the starter head
Replace the key fob battery
Damaged or blown fuseReplace the blown fuse
Check the wire connection for any faulty connections
Empty fuel tank or clogged fuel filtersTop up the gas tank
Clean clogged filters and replace if needed
Faulty electrical connections between battery and the starterInspect the wire connections and repair broken or loose connections

Common Causes And Possible Solutions Of Hyundai Santa Fe Won’t Start

Common Causes Of Hyundai Santa Fe Won’t Start

Below are the causes of your Hyundai Santa Fe not starting and solutions you can DIY at the garage. For complex issues, consult a qualified mechanic at a fee.

1. Dead Battery, Poor Connections And Corroded Terminals

The car battery provides start-up power to the electrical components that cause the engine to start. If your battery dies, the ignition switch doesn’t get enough power to start the engine. The battery may suffer from loose connections at the terminals, mainly when corrosion occurs.

Corroded terminals reduce current flow affecting the starter powering unit.

Hyundai Santa Fe Dead Battery


Before replacing or recharging the battery, check the battery voltage to determine whether it is a causative problem or not using the process below.

  1. Switch off the car and open the hood to access the car battery
  2. Unscrew the cover casing on the battery to expose the battery
  3. Remove the plastic/rubber casings on the battery terminals
  4. Disconnect the wire connections on the terminals
  5. Connect the terminals of the voltmeter to both battery terminals
  6. Check the readings on the voltmeter. If the voltmeter reads between 12.4 and 12.7 volts, the battery is in good condition, and you should proceed with further diagnosis.

If the voltage reads below 12.4V, recharge it with a trickle-slow process. For voltage above 12.9, turn on the high beams to remove the excess charge.

For a dead battery, replace the battery with a new battery and use the recommended type and size.

If you confirm that the battery is in good condition, move on to check and tighten any loose connections. Clean the battery terminals to remove any corrosion using a soft brush.

Your vehicle should now start without problems.

2. A Faulty Alternator

An alternator recharges the car battery by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. A faulty alternator affects the charging system, and the battery dies even if it’s new.

Hyundai Santa Fe Faulty Alternator


Replace the faulty alternator with a new alternator and ensure it has similar features as recommended by the manufacturer.

To replace the alternator, follow the following steps.

  • Step 1: Turn off the car and disconnect the battery terminals
  • Step 2: Locate the cable connections at the back of the alternator and disconnect them carefully
  • Step 3: Remove the belt attached to the pulley on the front end of the alternator
  • Step 4: Locate and unscrew the bolts and screws holding the alternator
  • Step 5: Get the new alternator and replace it and hold it in position using bolts

Replace the belt and tighten it to the required torque, connect the cables and reconnect the car battery’s connection. You can now check the connection by igniting the vehicle.

3. Faulty Electrical Connections Between Battery And Starter

For the starter to operate, it must be supplied with power from the battery. If the connections are loose or damaged by rodents, your vehicle will not start. You, therefore, need to check the wiring connection from the battery to the starter head.


Repair the broken or damaged parts along the connections. Also, replace any cables and accessories that are destroyed beyond repair.

Insulate the delicate cables and accessories, such as the fuses and joints. Tighten any loose connection or joint that may be losing power.

4. Faulty Starter Or Dead Key Fob Battery

If you check the electrical system and confirm it is in good condition, but your car won’t start, consider inspecting the starter head and the key fob for possible problems.

Check if the starter key is broken or damaged so it fails to complete the electrical circuit. Also, check the key fob battery.

Hyundai Santa Fe Dead Key Fob Battery


Replace the damaged starter with a new one that fits the starter groove following the process given below.

  • Switch off the vehicle and disconnect the negative and the positive cables from the battery terminals
  • Using a screwdriver, unscrew the bolts and clippers holding the starter in position
  • Disconnect the cables attached to the starter from the dashboard carefully to avoid damage to the cables
  • Remove the starter from the vehicle by pushing it into the dashboard
  • Get a new starter and fix it in the groove. Hold it in place using bolts and clippers and ensure its tightly held
  • Replace the cable connections into the new starter following the order as indicated in the manual

Also, replace the key fob battery and test if the vehicle will ignite and keep the key fob within range for efficient functionality.

5. Damaged Or Blown Fuse

A fuse may be damaged in cases of excess current in the electrical system, especially if the alternator is faulty. Open the fuse box and inspect the fuses with a testing screw to check for current flow.

Blown fuses are often discolored with a burnt effect due to the excess current. At the same time, the current doesn’t flow through the blown fuses.

Hyundai Santa Fe Blown Fuse


Locate and replace the blown fuses. You can also inspect the electrical connection problem that caused the fuse to blow.

6. Fuel Pump Failure Or Clogged Fuel Filters

A faulty fuel pump reduces the amount of fuel reaching the engine for combustion. In high-demand situations such as heavy loads, the engine fails to start as it requires more energy.

Fuel filters may be clogged by contaminants in the fuel or particles sucked in through leakages. Such contaminants clog the fuel filter and reduce fuel feeding into the engine.

Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Pump Failure


Replace the fuel pump with an equivalent OEM spare pump and ensure no leakages along the fuel system. Also, replace the clogged fuel filter for efficient fuel supply to the engine.

To replace the fuel pump;

  • Start by disconnecting the pump hoses and brake lines connected to the pump
  • Unscrew the bolts and nuts holding the pump in place and carefully remove it without damaging attached accessories
  • If the fuel pump is in good condition but won’t start, check the fuel filter for any clogged parts
  • Open the fuel filter portion by unscrewing the bolts and replacing the fuel filter with a new one. For a completely damaged fuel pump and filter, replace it with the new fuel pump
  • Use screws to hold the new pump in position and ensure that the pump is correctly placed
  • Connect the hoses and other accessories attached to the fuel pump
  • Ignite the vehicle to check if the newly installed pump functions properly
If your Hyundai Santa Fe is refusing to start, you’re not alone in facing this frustrating issue. Similar starting problems could also occur in other models, like the Nissan Xterra, which might experience a clicking noise when attempting to start. Our article on Nissan Xterra won’t start clicking noise provides insights into diagnosing and resolving this specific problem. Additionally, if you’re dealing with starting issues in a Subaru Ascent, our article on Subaru Ascent won’t start offers valuable guidance for addressing starting-related concerns in that model. By understanding these issues and their potential solutions, you’ll be better equipped to overcome starting challenges.


Here are a few more additional questions you might be asking now regarding your Hyundai Santa Fe.

Q: Why Does My Hyundai Santa Fe Engine Crank But Won’t Start?

Your engine may crank but not start due to low voltage in the battery or a loose connection that supplies little power to the starter but not enough to start the engine.

Check the battery and related connections for a smooth start to your Hyundai Santa Fe.

Q: After How Long Should I Replace My Hyundai Santa Fe Car Battery?

Replace your car battery after 3-5 years. The battery may be extended for up to 7 years with proper care and maintenance, depending on the usage frequency.

Q: How Do I Know My Hyundai Santa Fe Battery Is Running Low?

A dead battery has dim or flickering dashboard lights and can be observed when you start the vehicle. In extreme conditions, the vehicle doesn’t start or cranks slowly and goes off.


Hyundai Santa Fe starting problems can easily be rectified if detected early enough. There are many reasons why your Hyundai Santa Fe won’t start, but most of the starting problems are caused by power supply problems or connections in the electrical system.

Ensure proper maintenance and servicing of your car to avoid starting problems. You can safely repair or replace the damaged parts in your garage. However, seek mechanical assistance for complex issues such as engine repairs.

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