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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 2019 Santa Fe LWB -- just bought it about a month ago, actually. I have noticed there is an engine surge or hesitation, mostly when cold, while the engine is floating between 1500 and 2000 RPMs under load (going uphill) and under light throttle. Not enough throttle to force a downshift, but enough to keep it in the current gear. Speeds are usually around 30-40MPH. I asked the service manager at my local dealership about it and he said it has to do with the torque converter remaining locked and causing the lugging feel. I am planning on taking it back to actually demonstrate the issue and make sure we're talking about the same thing. In the meantime, I just wanted to ask if anyone else has noticed this on their late model Santa Fe with the V6?

Thanks!
 

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The transmission does weird things when its cold. I get a hard shift going 1 to 2 and 2 to 3. Also in eco mode under heavy acceleration it seems like it slips. Doesn't do it as often in normal and sport. Haven't tried much up hill. Gotta look for a hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The transmission does weird things when its cold. I get a hard shift going 1 to 2 and 2 to 3. Also in eco mode under heavy acceleration it seems like it slips. Doesn't do it as often in normal and sport. Haven't tried much up hill. Gotta look for a hill.
Interesting. I will say that I have noticed this surge a little bit even when the vehicle is at normal operating temperature, but it is much more evident when cold. My gut is telling me something with the fuel delivery system is at fault. I will have to do some testing in Sport mode when cold to see if the surge/hesitation I am feeling persists. Eco mode in this vehicle, frankly, is extremely anemic and useless to me.

I appreciate the follow-up -- let me know the results of your testing, if you're able to do some.
 

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If you are a light footed / fuel economy driver that can cause the torque converter to stay locked up and the trans to not downshift. Yes, you may feel it lugging and if so then either go down just a bit on the throttle to kick it out of lockup and / or force a downshift or manually downshift.

Lock up has pretty much the same feel as a standard transmission as you essentially have a direct connection between the engine and the transmission. You may feel some additional engine vibrations / light surges at times and those will be more noticeable when lugging the engine. Lugging the engine is not considered to be a good thing to do......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you are a light footed / fuel economy driver that can cause the torque converter to stay locked up and the trans to not downshift. Yes, you may feel it lugging and if so then either go down just a bit on the throttle to kick it out of lockup and / or force a downshift or manually downshift.

Lock up has pretty much the same feel as a standard transmission as you essentially have a direct connection between the engine and the transmission. You may feel some additional engine vibrations / light surges at times and those will be more noticeable when lugging the engine. Lugging the engine is not considered to be a good thing to do......
I do agree with your characterization, I have also noted the same surging/hesitation when running the engine up to 5k RPMs while accelerating briskly. Not floored, but fairly heavy into the throttle. It's not perfectly smooth. Hard to explain, but it's a similar feel as when lugging the engine before the torque converter unlocks.

I find it interesting that the converter is so resistant to unlocking while going uphill at slower speeds, but will gleefully unlock in top gear at highway speeds on flat roads with just the lightest throttle input.
 

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I've noticed a bit of this too, when I'm climbing a hill and give more gas. There's a mild "thud" of sorts when I step on the gas. It's nowhere near the levels described in the 2019 Santa Fe thread though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep, sounds like you are seeing what I am. My service manager said, basically, the transmission under those conditions is trying to decide what to do: unlock/lock the converter or downshift. What I am feeling is it "hunting". He also says his 2016 Ford F150 with a 6-speed does the same thing. I suppose that may be true, just wish it could be a bit smoother. On the whole, though, this transmission is pretty darn smooth. The V6 starts to get a bit "raspy" sounding above 5k RPMs, but it's still not an issue.
 

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If the transmission can't "decide", then maybe Hyundai ought to release a transmission reprogramming.

That being said, I love how quickly this thing kicks down (downshifts) when needed. I used to drive a CVT car and I've always wished for a manual override. Now that I have the Shiftronic feature I don't actually need to use it.
 

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Spira....That is a common issue across manufacturers. More speeds are added into transmission to improve fuel mileage and performance. Much of that time that leads to "busy" transmissions that shift more often than owners like, and can lead to delays in downshifts. That is not only due to the computer deciding what to do, but also because items like torque management are in play. Internal pressures may be being adjusted etc.... Once we moved past 4 speed transmission these types of issues and complaints started cropping up, and they only increase as more and more speeds are added into the systems. On some of thee non Hyundai cars that I drive you can have a one second plus delay in A downshift even going directly to full throttle.

I miss the days of the old Hydromatic 350 and Chrysler Torqueflite transmissions. Those things shifted lightning fast despite have mechanical linkages to control the down and up shifts. Today you are at the mercy of multiple computers to get the job done.......Yes, some will still shift fast at certain speeds, but that same transmission in a different gear / different situation may not be as fast...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If the transmission can't "decide", then maybe Hyundai ought to release a transmission reprogramming.

That being said, I love how quickly this thing kicks down (downshifts) when needed. I used to drive a CVT car and I've always wished for a manual override. Now that I have the Shiftronic feature I don't actually need to use it.
I agree with you. It's one of the better 6-speeds I have driven for sure. It unlocks the torque converter very readily and doesn't take too much coaxing to downshift. The shifts themselves are nearly imperceptible, but are still quick and smooth. It's actually pretty well done except for the hunting issue I pointed out. My service manager said that any transmission updates would be covered under the 10 year/100k mile part of the warranty so that if Hyundai does release one it would be free to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Spira....That is a common issue across manufacturers. More speeds are added into transmission to improve fuel mileage and performance. Much of that time that leads to "busy" transmissions that shift more often than owners like, and can lead to delays in downshifts. That is not only due to the computer deciding what to do, but also because items like torque management are in play. Internal pressures may be being adjusted etc.... Once we moved past 4 speed transmission these types of issues and complaints started cropping up, and they only increase as more and more speeds are added into the systems. On some of thee non Hyundai cars that I drive you can have a one second plus delay in A downshift even going directly to full throttle.

I miss the days of the old Hydromatic 350 and Chrysler Torqueflite transmissions. Those things shifted lightning fast despite have mechanical linkages to control the down and up shifts. Today you are at the mercy of multiple computers to get the job done.......Yes, some will still shift fast at certain speeds, but that same transmission in a different gear / different situation may not be as fast...
Yep, I can tell you with first hand experience that all of the 8-speed transmissions I have driven, from a 2019 Subaru Ascent (CVT with fake shifts imposed) to a Lexus RX-350, are all garbage. Yes, even the Lexus had a terrible transmission. In fact, so bad that I will never own another Lexus vehicle again since they failed so hard. But the Ascent was another big fail. They spent millions of dollars developing a CVT only to hobble it with fake shift points without any option to allow the CVT to be a CVT, which I would've preferred.

So, you're absolutely right: 6 speeds is 50% more than 4 speeds and that translates to a lot more shifting. The problem gets worse and worse as you add more speeds. It will shift more and more, interrupting power delivery and transmitting that to the driver.
 

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Indeed this is why I didn't buy a Honda Pilot or anything with those wizz-bang seven-eight-nine-ten speed autoboxes. Six speeds bodes well for long-term reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello,

I'd like to necro'd this thread as I have learned a little bit more of the condition I am experiencing in my 2019 Santa Fe XL. It's called low-speed torque converter clutch (TCC) chuggle. It happens under low engine RPM, higher load (like going uphile) before the transmission downshifts. I feel a shudder (chuggle) in the vehicle that feels like an engine misfire, but it isn't; it's all in the transmission. After speaking with my service manager, he said he's seen the issue on other Santa Fes and other makes and models of cars. Indeed, if you google TCC chuggle, you will see this, but usually it's a problem that develops over time, not one that exists on a new vehicle. The fixes vary from replacing solenoid valves to TCM reprogramming. My question to you all: is there anyone else with a 2017 or newer LWB Santa Fe with the 6-speed transmission experiencing this "chuggle" under the conditions listed above? Incidentally, it can happen at highway speeds as well under cruise control. If you have CC engaged and are going up a hill that isn't quite steep enough to force a downshift, the problem will happen.

Thanks!
 

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I have a 2018 XL that I’ve now put 13000 miles on. It is AWD. I also happen to live in a hilly area so I experience the load conditions you are talking about. That said, I have never felt anything like chuggle or shuddering or any of the sort. Mine has been smooth as glass. I would think there is something out of sorts with your transmission that you would feel this on a new car. Mine does not do this, neither at low or high speeds, cold or hot drivetrain.

We have a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica with the 9 speed ZF automatic and it will occasionally do a funky shift on a hill. But no hesitation or chugging feeling there either.

Seems to me you have something going on. Just my feeling on it.

I had a Chevy years back (maybe 10 years ago) that was bought new with front drive V6. I noted a hesitation under this exact kind of condition you are discussing, even highway speeds. The dealer kept pushing me off. I went to another dealer and they found it had a weak coil pack on one of the cylinders. Replaced the coil pack on that specific cylinder and the problem was solved. It felt exactly as you described. My feeling is that what you May be experiencing is not related to the transmission at all. The Hyundai 6 speed is a pretty soft shifting and smooth unit. My bet is you have a weak coil pack or something in the ignition causing this - could even be a bad spark plug. Under higher load at light throttle the coil if not functioning properly can feel like you describe due to high resistance and not getting a proper burn in the cylinder. On the GM it didn’t show up as a misfire either. Because it was firing. Just not properly under that condition. 2nd dealer found the issue.

Problem nowadays in a lot of cases is that the mechanics no longer know how to diagnose properly. It’s a shame.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I have a 2018 XL that I’ve now put 13000 miles on. It is AWD. I also happen to live in a hilly area so I experience the load conditions you are talking about. That said, I have never felt anything like chuggle or shuddering or any of the sort. Mine has been smooth as glass. I would think there is something out of sorts with your transmission that you would feel this on a new car. Mine does not do this, neither at low or high speeds, cold or hot drivetrain.

We have a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica with the 9 speed ZF automatic and it will occasionally do a funky shift on a hill. But no hesitation or chugging feeling there either.

Seems to me you have something going on. Just my feeling on it.

I had a Chevy years back (maybe 10 years ago) that was bought new with front drive V6. I noted a hesitation under this exact kind of condition you are discussing, even highway speeds. The dealer kept pushing me off. I went to another dealer and they found it had a weak coil pack on one of the cylinders. Replaced the coil pack on that specific cylinder and the problem was solved. It felt exactly as you described. My feeling is that what you May be experiencing is not related to the transmission at all. The Hyundai 6 speed is a pretty soft shifting and smooth unit. My bet is you have a weak coil pack or something in the ignition causing this - could even be a bad spark plug. Under higher load at light throttle the coil if not functioning properly can feel like you describe due to high resistance and not getting a proper burn in the cylinder. On the GM it didn’t show up as a misfire either. Because it was firing. Just not properly under that condition. 2nd dealer found the issue.

Problem nowadays in a lot of cases is that the mechanics no longer know how to diagnose properly. It’s a shame.
Interesting! One dealership already looked at the real time data under the conditions stated and it didn't show any misfires. I wonder how they determined the coil pack was weak?

My car was looked at for misfires while duplicating the "chuggle" and nothing registered. I have asked whether it is possible to test the coil packs. I don't have much confidence in either dealership I have been to. The next dealership is 60-70 miles away, so it's terribly inconvenient for me to get the vehicle there.
 

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Interesting! One dealership already looked at the real time data under the conditions stated and it didn't show any misfires. I wonder how they determined the coil pack was weak?
I don't know how they determined the coil pack was weak, other than they said the technician "put it on the scope" because the computer and scan tool did not read anything as being wrong. But the technician experienced the issue during a test drive with me and agreed that it was not right.

It was similar to what you are describing. Not sure of the cause is the same, but the symptoms are alike. If I were at full throttle, it did not have the issue. It only had the issue under load where the engine was pulling but the transmission remained in a higher gear. Just as you describe.

I am somewhat doubtful of the transmission being the culprit, as I live in a very hilly area and in 13,000 miles, I have not experienced anything like this at all in our Santa Fe. I am the only driver of the vehicle, so I would have noticed it.

As I said, our Pacifica transmission (the ZF 9 speed) will do hard shifts or other strange things on the hills. But never the Santa Fe and the Santa Fe has never felt any stumbles or hesitation of chugging or anything of the like.

Hope you find the problem.
 

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As stated above, I have experienced similar phenomena while accelerating gently and while slowly going up a hill.

It might have something to do with the torque converter, as Karate pointed out.

I can reliably reproduce this behavior. I'll bring it in if it gets worse at some point. Right now it seems to be getting "better" (i.e. softer). Either it is, or my subconscious is filtering it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As stated above, I have experienced similar phenomena while accelerating gently and while slowly going up a hill.

It might have something to do with the torque converter, as Karate pointed out.

I can reliably reproduce this behavior. I'll bring it in if it gets worse at some point. Right now it seems to be getting "better" (i.e. softer). Either it is, or my subconscious is filtering it out.
I have a Pedal Commander in my possession, but my Santa Fe has been under repair for the past almost 2 weeks at a dealership on unrelated items so I haven't been able to test it. While it won't solve this issue, it may mask it enough by forcing a downshift sooner. Hyundai did a great job overall with the transmission tuning, but missing this was a failure on their part and should have been resolved in testing. Considering that the Santa Fe 3-row is done, I don't expect any further updates or support from Hyundai to fix issues like these.
 
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