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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my 2013 Sport 2.0L FWD since new in 2012. I've recently purchased a third car (2003 BMW 323i with sport package) and that vehicle absorbs bumps SO much better than my trusty Santa Fe. I know the Santa Fe has never been a soft ride, but I do think it's much much harsher than when new. I drive about 100 miles a day (25K a year) with mostly rural back roads and city driving. Plenty of bumpy roads and starts and stops.

If I wanted to restore the factory ride (or better), what should I consider replacing this spring? Recommendations on brands that will give me the best bang for my buck? Not looking for cheapest, necessarily. The folks at the brake place showed me how my front ball joints are worn a bit but not dangerously so, FYI.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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I've had my 2013 Sport 2.0L FWD since new in 2012. I've recently purchased a third car (2003 BMW 323i with sport package) and that vehicle absorbs bumps SO much better than my trusty Santa Fe. I know the Santa Fe has never been a soft ride, but I do think it's much much harsher than when new. I drive about 100 miles a day (25K a year) with mostly rural back roads and city driving. Plenty of bumpy roads and starts and stops.

If I wanted to restore the factory ride (or better), what should I consider replacing this spring? Recommendations on brands that will give me the best bang for my buck? Not looking for cheapest, necessarily. The folks at the brake place showed me how my front ball joints are worn a bit but not dangerously so, FYI.

Thanks for any advice.
What size tires?

I know Hyundai stiffened up the suspension in the 2014 vs. 2013 model year.
I test drove the base 2017 model which has 17" tires. I found its ride to be smoother than the "fully loaded" model I have (2017 SFS 2.0 T Ulimate) with 19" tires.

Same thing when I test drove the 2016 Ford Edge. The base model at 17" tires was much smoother (IMO) than the higher end trim (Titanium) with 19" tires. I can't imagine driving either vehicle with 20" tires, but folks do it.

There's supposedly some Koni struts that may work, but their website didn't list the 2017 SFS and they never responded to my email.

I plan on switching down to 17" rims/tires when it's time to replace mine (it'll cost like $1,000 for rims and another $800 or so for tires, I think). Ugh. So that's why I'll wait until the 19" tires are needing to be replaced.
 

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I think he just wants to restore his ride to that when he first bought his SFS. If he’s never replaced his shocks I’m sure they are worn out and he should replace them.
 

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It's time to start replacing suspension components. At 121K, control arms, end links, strut/shock mounts, struts and shocks would be on my list. I replace rear shocks every 30K and front struts 45K - 60K.
 

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For ride quality struts / shock absorbers would get you the most bang for the buck and should be needed at that mileage, although they typically go soft over time and miles.....The other components mentioned will affect steering and handling if worn, but should not alter ride quality. Tires can also be a big factor as different brands and models within the brands can also make a ride harsher or softer. I am mentioning that only on the chance that you may have installed new tires recently and felt that the ride is nor harsher. Do make sure they are at the proper inflation as well as over inflation can make the ride much harsher.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
For ride quality struts / shock absorbers would get you the most bang for the buck and should be needed at that mileage, although they typically go soft over time and miles.....The other components mentioned will affect steering and handling if worn, but should not alter ride quality. Tires can also be a big factor as different brands and models within the brands can also make a ride harsher or softer. I am mentioning that only on the chance that you may have installed new tires recently and felt that the ride is nor harsher. Do make sure they are at the proper inflation as well as over inflation can make the ride much harsher.
Thanks. Tires are newish because it ate the last ones quickly. It's been a rough ride for a while, though. I think I may do the rear shocks and then the strut/spring assembly on the front. Then evaluate from there.
 

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If it's the suspension, anyone know if there's some magic number/rating on a strut that indicates it's "smoothness"?
(ie, some are more firm than others)?
 

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MJ....Absolutely.....Struts and shocks are tuned by the manufacturer. If the OP wants a return to OE ride quality he should use OEM components. In the aftermarket you can get shocks and struts designed for a softer ride, something close to OEM, and firmer and / or sport shocks and struts or plan to go rock climbing.

Part of the problem in making recommendations here is that without driving that vehicle we are all guessing. At that age and mileage the shocks should be fairly worn out and replacement would be a safe bet as being a good investment, but there is no way to know if it will solve his concern. Now if during removal they find that any of the shocks or struts are leaking badly or partially / fully seized.....Then you know they are at least a good part of the problem.

Something the OP might want to consider....If it hasn't been done lately have someone he trusts put it up on a lift and give the entire vehicle a good once over. That way you'll know if there are any obvious concerns in any other areas that might need attention first or might change you mind about investing in the vehicle, or they may be able to see something that would directly affect ride quality and you could start there instead. Just make it someone you trust and not someone who sees an opportunity to sell a bunch of steering and suspension parts based solely upon age and / or mileage.
 

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MJ....Absolutely.....Struts and shocks are tuned by the manufacturer. If the OP wants a return to OE ride quality he should use OEM components. In the aftermarket you can get shocks and struts designed for a softer ride, something close to OEM, and firmer and / or sport shocks and struts or plan to go rock climbing.

Part of the problem in making recommendations here is that without driving that vehicle we are all guessing. At that age and mileage the shocks should be fairly worn out and replacement would be a safe bet as being a good investment, but there is no way to know if it will solve his concern. Now if during removal they find that any of the shocks or struts are leaking badly or partially / fully seized.....Then you know they are at least a good part of the problem.

Something the OP might want to consider....If it hasn't been done lately have someone he trusts put it up on a lift and give the entire vehicle a good once over. That way you'll know if there are any obvious concerns in any other areas that might need attention first or might change you mind about investing in the vehicle, or they may be able to see something that would directly affect ride quality and you could start there instead. Just make it someone you trust and not someone who sees an opportunity to sell a bunch of steering and suspension parts based solely upon age and / or mileage.
Thanks! The reason I ask (in case anyone wonders) is that I find the ride in the 2017 (especially with the 19" tires) to be a bit "harsh" compared to the Ford Edge for example (although according to my G-force meter readings on the phone, it wasn't a big difference).

I think the last time I replaced 2 struts on my Equinox it was like $700, so doing all 4 would be a bit pricey, IMO, so that's why I was leaning towards the tires (in my case), but only when they "expire".

I'd probably have to go to a specialty shop vs. the dealer for a "softer" strut? (I doubt the Hyundai dealer would want anything other than OE parts).

Hence my asking.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I am finding plenty of options on the rear shocks (probably go with KYB) but I'm not finding complete strut assemblies (spring and strut preassembled.) I've never replaced struts myself before, so I'm not sure what I'm getting into if I have to remove and recompress/replace the old spring onto the new strut. In looking at the Hyundai site, it says it requires special tools. This is why I thought it'd be easiest to just buy the assembly and swap it in, but I'm not finding anyone offering the assembly for sale. I've found 2012 and earlier models, but no 2013+. Any ideas? Is it difficult to move the existing spring to at new strut? I don't mind doing these repairs/upgrades myself as long as I know what I'm getting into.

Watched this guys swap a spring out/in on a strut. Didn't seem too hard.
 

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Attempting to replace a strut cartridge only without the special tools and the knowledge to use them is dangerous. Since I don't know your background or mechanical aptitude.....Have to advise caution on that as a DIY job.......
 
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