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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My 17yo daughter recently picked up a well used (190k Florida miles) but teen-driver appropriate 2007 Santa Fe GLS. She's been eager to learn to care for her own car, so we spent a recent Saturday doing brakes, repairing the fuel door switch and replacing the rear lower bumper reflectors. She's previously done her "101 training" how to change a tire, check fluids, and pull OBD2 codes. This past Labor day weekend we took her training to the next level.

Brake Pads:
My 35yo trolley jack wasn't tall enough to overcome the suspension droop, but the OEM scissor did just fine. Showed her a trick to use an impact socket and a drill to quickly lift/drop the scissor -- it pays to be smart in 95+F afternoon heat! Rear brake pads on this car are pretty basic. The rear caliper is a single-piston slider. To replace the pads, remove the two retaining bolts on the slider and lift out the caliper/piston unit and lay on top of the disc/spindle. The random rotation of the rear coil springs can make access with a ratchet difficult (total luck) so we went old-school with a closed-end wrench for two bolts. Pads slide out parallel to the axle. Compressing the pistons required a little help from Dad, but a c-clamp or channel lock will work as well. Showed her how to clean the discs with some CRC and avoid contact on the friction surfaces to avoid noise. Reassembly was smooth. Road tested perfect and no squeaks! Biggest lesson of the day after using gloves to keep hands clean: righty tighty, lefty loosey! :cool:

Fuel Door Switch:
The electric fuel door switches located on the driver's door card must be a common failure point on these cars... they drive a solenoid at full 12v and amps (no relay) so the contacts inside the switch take full power, arc, and end up with carbon/oxide deposits that result in intermittent failure. In her case this switch worked maybe 1% of the time, and the prior owner had already left the "emergency" release pull dangling in the back, so it had obviously been bad for some time. Purchased a new OEM switch and some replacement plastic door clips (3 different colors/sizes) on Ebay for ~$35 total.

Next lesson: always disconnect the battery before doing electrical work. The door card is held in by four screws, two or three behind small covers (one of them was 6pt torx, which may not be OEM, but she easily removed it with an allen wrench). She popped off the door card using a Harbor Freight interior trim kit. An extra set of hands helps a bunch here when unplugging the powered bits. She removed faulty switch on a table, which is held by two screws in a metal bracket (one for the bracket, the other into the switch itself). Trim tools help again here when removing the broken plastic push pins and unhooking the catches on the switch itself. Made sure to test the new switch (temporarily reconnecting the battery). Reassembly here was also smooth, and we said so long to the manual emergency pull as we tucked it back into it's hidey hole and snapped the cover back in place for the next 100k+ miles.

Final lesson: Check YouTube. We found an excellent vid that documented the switch replacement process very well - saving a LOT of time and effort, reducing stress and improving confidence considerably!

She did her father proud! (y)
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