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Discussion Starter #1
I x-posted this in the LWB forum as well. I think the AWD systems are interchangeable across DM platforms, so hopefully I'll get some answers here as well as the 7 seater forums.

My wife's 2013 7 passenger SF 3.3 AWD started making a faint tapping sound from somewhere in the drivetrain yesterday. I made an appt with the dealership today and drove it about 12 miles there. I heard the sound the whole way, especially while under load. They diagnosed it as the AWD coupler with a $630 labor and $929.12 parts estimate for a grand total of $1,559.12. I'm worried that it's actually the entire rear diff though, and not just the coupling. From what I've gathered, if the coupler fails, you lose AWD and maybe hear some sort of constant bearing noise or whirring noise. Please listen to the noise in the video and see if it's anything you've heard before. I've searched all the threads on here and it doesn't seem like the issue I'm experiencing is a common one. Thanks all!

 

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I don't know what a bad coupler sounds like, but it does sound like what I would expect a bad differential to sound like.
Some have said if you unplug the coupler the sound should go away if it's the coupler, but it would disconnect the Diff as well, so I am not sure whether this would help troubleshoot the problem 100%
 

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hear is a link that might be helpful, what did the dealer do as far as diagnostics and did they say it wasn't the rear diff ? If you disable the clutch pack the rear diff is still operational, if you get increased noise while turning that's usually a tell tale sign of a diff issue, ring or pinion gears perhaps. The differential is more complex than the clutch pack, but you still have bearings and stuff in the clutch pack that can fail, but more likely to hearing a whirring or humming sort of noise.

 

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0t limited
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There is a chance it's only the coupler, but since it's constant it could be the rear diff and/or the front transfer case.

The dealer just said the most common thing that normally happen, but it doesn't mean that the others parts can't fail. I would ask them to prove its the coupler,because if it's not they will make you pay for it anyway and pay for the the other part too..

I had the exact same noise/pattern on a 2003 Nissan Murano (worse piece of junk ever) and it was the front transfer case. Had to get whole engine and tranny out to replace it. POS.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't trust the dealership, so I took it to a local transmission shop for a second opinion. They diagnosed it as the transfer case and not the AWD coupler like the dealership said. I got a complete used rear diff from a junkyard in Indiana for $700 and the shop put it in for $400. Glad I didn't let the dealership touch it.
 

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0t limited
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You said they diagnosed as the transfer case, but you bought a complete used rear diff. Transfer case is in the front. Was it the front transfer case or the rear diff the problem?

Front ( Motor - Transmission - Transfert Case ) -> propeller shaft -> (AWD clutch - Rear differential) Back

Glad you saved money, stupid dealer...!
 

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Hope you received some sort of warranty with that used diff.
 
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