Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light: Common Causes and Solutions

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Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light

Imagine the check engine light in your Hyundai Santa Fe suddenly turns on, and you’re unsure about what could be wrong with your car. It can be a disconcerting experience, but the first step is to ease your mind and identify the cause of the issue. If you’re uncertain about why the check engine light has illuminated, there’s no need to panic.

In this blog article, we will provide detailed explanations for the common reasons behind the check engine light coming on in a Hyundai Santa Fe and offer valuable information on how to resolve the issue.

1: Causes of the Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light Flashing

There are various potential reasons for the Check Engine Light flashing in a Hyundai Santa Fe, which are given below:

1.1: Faulty Oxygen Sensor:

Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light Due to Faulty Oxygen Sensor

A faulty oxygen sensor is the most common cause of a check engine light. The oxygen sensor assists the car’s computer in calculating the precise fuel quantity required for efficient combustion in the engine’s cylinders. Your car may run badly and lose valuable fuel economy if it isn’t working properly.

Symptoms: Symptoms of a faulty oxygen sensor include decreased fuel economy, rough idling, and poor acceleration. 


  • Replace or clean the oxygen sensor.
  • Ensure it’s actually faulty and not just dirty or corroded.
  • Have a professional mechanic inspect your car to rule out underlying issues.

1.2: Loose or Damaged Gas Cap:

Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light Due to Loose or Damaged Gas Cap

If your vehicle’s gas cap is loose or damaged, it can also trigger the check engine light. The gas cap closes off the fuel system and helps keep the necessary pressure for the system to work efficiently. When the gas cap becomes loose or damaged, it becomes a reason for a drop in pressure, leading to the check engine light. 

Symptoms: Symptoms of a loose or damaged gas cap include fuel vapors escaping, decreased fuel economy, and a noticeable fuel odor. 

Solution: Check your gas cap and tighten it if it’s loose. Replace it with a new one if it’s damaged.

1.3: Malfunctioning Catalytic Converter:

A malfunctioning catalytic converter can cause a check engine light to flash. The catalytic converter’s role is to transform noxious emissions into exhaust gases that are less harmful to the environment. When it’s not working properly or efficiently, it can lead to reduced engine performance.

Symptoms: Engine performance declines, a discernible drop in fuel efficiency, and a sulfur-like odor are all indications of a broken catalytic converter.

Solution: Replace the catalytic converter.

1.4: Faulty spark plugs or ignition coils:

Faulty spark plugs or ignition coils can trigger a check engine light. Spark plugs and ignition coils collaborate to generate the spark necessary to ignite the fuel within the engine’s cylinders. Engine misfires and poor performance can result if they’re not working correctly.

Symptoms: Symptoms of faulty spark plugs or ignition coils include rough idling, poor acceleration, and decreased fuel economy.

Solution: Replace the faulty spark plugs or ignition coils.

1.5: Failed Mass Airflow Sensor:

A failed mass airflow sensor can cause a check engine light to come on. The mass airflow sensor gauges the volume of air that goes into the engine and assists in calculating the appropriate amount of fuel required for effective combustion. If it fails, it can result in diminished engine performance and fuel economy.

Symptoms: Symptoms of a failed mass airflow sensor include rough idling, decreased engine performance, and a noticeable decrease in fuel efficiency.

Solution: The solution to this problem is to replace the mass airflow sensor.

1.6: Battery is Low or Dead:

A low or dead battery can cause a check engine light to come on. The battery powers the computer, sensors, and other electrical parts of the car. If it’s not functioning correctly, it can lead to reduced engine performance and inefficient fuel consumption.

Symptoms: Symptoms of a low or dead battery include slow engine cranking, dim headlights, and a dead battery.

Solution: The solution to this problem is to charge or replace the battery.

1: How do I reset the Check Engine Light on my Hyundai Santa Fe?

When the Check Engine Light illuminates your Hyundai Santa Fe, it can be a cause for concern. However, there’s no need to panic as most of the time, and this warning light appears due to minor issues that can easily be resolved.

The first step in resetting the Check Engine Light is to diagnose and fix any underlying problems with your vehicle. After dealing with these problems, you can reset the warning light by following a few simple steps.

Start by switching off the ignition and removing any diagnostic devices that may be plugged into the OBD-II port on your vehicle. Locate the fuse box under your Santa Fe dashboard and remove both fuses labeled “ECU” and “BATT.”

Wait for about five minutes before reinserting both fuses back into their respective slots. Then turn on your engine without starting it fully until all dashboard lights come on (including the check engine light), and wait 10 seconds before turning off everything again.

Start up your Hyundai Santa Fe normally – if everything went well during these steps, then you should find that The Check Engine Light has been successfully reset!

2: Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light Codes

Below is a list of common check engine light codes that you might encounter in a Hyundai Santa Fe. 

  1. P0101 – Indicates that there is a problem with the “Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor Circuit.
  2. P0110 – Intake Air Temperature Sensor Circuit Malfunction
  3. P0122 – Means that there is a “Low Input” issue in “Throttle Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit
  4. P0123 – Indicates a “High Input” problem in the “Throttle Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit.
  5. P0130 – Indicates a “Circuit Malfunction” in the oxygen sensor (O2 sensor)
  6. P0136 – Indicates a “Circuit Malfunction” in the oxygen sensor (O2 sensor) of “Bank 1, Sensor 2.
  7. P0141 -Indicates a malfunction in the heater circuit of the second oxygen sensor (O2 sensor) located on “Bank 1.
  8. P0171 – System Too Lean (Bank 1)
  9. P0174 – System Too Lean (Bank 2)
  10. P0300 – Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
  11. P0325 – Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1)
  12. P0401 – Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Flow Insufficient Detected
  13. P0420 – It signifies that the catalyst system’s efficiency on “Bank 1” of the vehicle’s exhaust system is below the required threshold.
  14. P0500 – Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction
  15. P0505 – Idle Air Control System Malfunction
  16. P0510 – Closed Throttle Position Switch Malfunction
  17. P0606 – Control Module Processor
  18. P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction
  19. P0720 – Output Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction
  20. P1128 – Long Term Fuel Trim B1 System Too Lean
  21. P1129 – Long Term Fuel Trim B1 System Too Rich
  22. P1130 – Long Term Fuel Trim B2 System Too Lean
  23. P1131 – Long Term Fuel Trim B2 System Too Rich

3: Hyundai Santa Fe Check Engine Light Gas Cap

If the check engine light in your Hyundai Santa Fe is related to the gas cap, it’s likely indicating a problem with the fuel vapor system, which can be triggered by an improperly tightened or faulty gas cap. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Check the Gas Cap: Make sure the gas cap is securely tightened. Turn it until you hear multiple clicks to ensure a proper seal.
  2. Inspect for Damage: Look for any visible damage or cracks on the gas cap. If you find any, it’s a good idea to replace it with a new one.
  3. Clean the Gas Cap Seal: Sometimes, dust or debris can accumulate on the rubber seal of the gas cap, preventing a proper seal. Wipe it clean and then securely tighten the cap.
  4. Reset the Check Engine Light: After you’ve checked and secured the gas cap, you can reset the check engine light. This can often be done with an OBD-II scanner or by disconnecting the car’s battery for a few minutes. However, keep in mind that if there’s an underlying issue beyond the gas cap, the light may come back on.
  5. Drive the Vehicle: Drive your Hyundai for a few days to see if the check engine light remains off. If it stays off, the issue may have been resolved by tightening the gas cap.

4: Conclusion:

In conclusion, the check engine light on your Hyundai Santa Fe is a critical warning system that you shouldn’t ignore. Understanding the underlying causes of the check engine light, its symptoms, and possible solutions is vital. It’s advisable to seek the help of a certified mechanic if the light comes on and not ignore it. Regular vehicle maintenance can help prevent problems that might trigger the check engine light.

5: FAQs

Q: Why is the check engine light blinking on my 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe?

A: The flashing check engine light on a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe typically indicates a severe and potentially damaging problem with the engine or emissions system. It’s essential to take immediate action by reducing speed and avoiding heavy acceleration. You can check your vehicle by an expert mechanic, or use an OBD-II scanner to read the trouble code for more specific information about the issue.

Q: Why is the check engine light flashing on my 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport?

A: A flashing check engine light on a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport usually signals a serious problem with the engine or emissions system. It’s essential to pull over, turn off the engine, and have the vehicle towed to a mechanic. If you are continuing to drive with a flashing check engine light, it can lead to more extensive damage. 

Q: Why the Check Engine Light May Come On Again?

A: After successfully resetting the check engine light on your Hyundai Santa Fe, you may feel a sense of relief. However, It is always possible that the light may come back on again in the future.

One reason why this might happen is if the problem that triggered the check engine light hasn’t been completely fixed. While resetting the light can temporarily mask any problems, it will not fix them permanently.

Another reason could be due to a faulty sensor or electrical connection within your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system. If these components malfunction, They can produce inaccurate data and lead to the activation of the check engine light when there’s no real issue.

Additionally, regular wear and tear on certain parts of your vehicle could also lead to issues that trigger the check engine light. So, It is important to keep up with routine maintenance and resolve any potential problems as soon as possible.

While resetting the check engine light can provide temporary relief from worrying about potential issues with your car, it’s important to stay vigilant and address any recurring problems promptly.

Q: What Should You Do When the Check Engine Light Comes On?

A:When the check engine light comes on, it’s important to address it immediately. 

Here are some steps you can take:

  • If the CEL comes on, check the gas cap to ensure it’s tight and undamaged. If it’s loose, tighten it and see if the CEL goes away after a few trips.
  • Check Your Owner’s Manual: Your Hyundai Santa Fe owner’s manual can provide more information about the CEL. It may also offer some tips for resolving the issue.
  • Schedule an Appointment with Your Mechanic: If the CEL remains on after checking the gas cap and consulting your owner’s manual, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your mechanic. They can use a diagnostic tool to identify the issue and make any necessary repairs.

Q: When the Hyundai Santa’s Check Engine Light is flashing, Is driving still safe?

A: If the check engine light comes on in you Hyundai Santa Fe, it’s best to exercise caution and have the vehicle inspected as soon as possible. If you continue driving with the light on, it can result in more harm to the vehicle and potentially create safety risks or expensive repairs in the future.

It’s best to have the vehicle diagnosed by a qualified mechanic to identify the reason behind the check engine light and promptly resolve any problems.

Q: Will the check engine light automatically turn off?

A: The check engine light will not automatically turn off on its own in most cases. The check engine light is designed to alert the driver when there is a problem with the vehicle’s emissions system or other critical components. After the issue has been resolved and repaired, you can use a diagnostic tool to manually reset or turn off the check engine light.

It’s important to note that even if the check engine light goes off on its own, it’s still a good idea to have the vehicle checked by a professional to make sure that everything is functioning properly. Some issues may not cause the check engine light to come on right away but can still cause damage to the vehicle if left unchecked.

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