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Surrey, Canada

#1 Jun 25, 2006
have a 2004 santa fe and love it except for one problem. each year when I begin to use the air conditioning, I get a sick sweet smell from the vents. It even continues if I shut off the AC. I took it to the dealer thinking maybe the ac coolant was leaking but he said no. anyone else have this problem

Belton, TX

#2 Jul 7, 2006
I also have an 04 Sante Fe. About 1 out of every 10 times I start the engine (after I previously had the air conditioner on) it smells like vinegar.
I open the windows, turn the A/C on high and it blows out in about a minute. I haven't mentioned it to the dealer yet. This is the first year it has happened. It hasn't happened in awhile. I live in Texas so my A/C is on from March till October.
At least it does not smell like gas. I wonder what it is?

Lisbon, Portugal

#3 Jul 28, 2006
My english is not so good as I,m from Portugal... Do you already recharge the air conditioned and did it a test? sometimes when the AC is not much used the smell apears... other times you just need to recharge the ac and do a test to all the tubbing!

Salado, TX

#4 Aug 4, 2006
Hello Portugal. I have never had a recharge or a test done on the A/C. It still cools great. I only smelled the vinegar smell once last month. I have a 30,000 mile service in September. I'll ask the mechanic at the dealership to check it.
However, my transmission has been slipping a bit between 20-40 miles per hour. It probably just needs to have a band adjusted.
Overall, this is the best car I have ever owned.
smell and slipping

New York, NY

#5 Nov 14, 2006
I have gotten that smell. also
I don't know if it is AC related or O2 sensor or something else.
I haven.t got it looked at a great deal.

I had a bit of a slip, the the dealer reprogrammed the chip after i found a bulletin about it on the net.
CD jammed

New York, NY

#6 Nov 14, 2006

CD jammed in monsoon system after warrany over
Bad smell

New York, NY

#7 Feb 13, 2007
There's a filter inside the vents. It get's mildewed, and then broadcasts the smell all over the cockpit. You need to pull it out and wash it. (or have the dealer do it for $$$)

Los Angeles, CA

#8 Mar 6, 2007
Interesting. I have the smell too and never put much thought into I'm wondering
IL 2004 Santa Fe Owner

Costa Mesa, CA

#9 Jun 21, 2007
We've had the smell (bacteria/vinegary) since we first used the A/C. I brought it into the dealer around 12,000 miles to see what they could do and they said they could only put air freshener in the system. That lasted a few days. Whoopee! I put up with it last summer, but now this summer it is so bad and I'm fed up with it. My husband did research and found that GM and Ford had a fix for this problem in R-134 systems. It turns out that bacteria, fungus, and other microbes are growing inside the evaporator core. They have a installed evaporator dryers to dry the core so the bacteria doesn't grow. Hyundai's answer to this problem is for ME to spend $150 to install their 'In-Cabin Microfilter' to cut down on the 'dust, pllen and other airborne particulates'. This does not address the bacteria growing in the evaporator core. I recommend calling Hyundai Corporate 1-800-633-5151 and put in a complaint. I did today and hopefully, something will get resolved. I do not like the idea of my 3 year old son, my husband, or myself breathing in this bacteria filled air every day.

Dauphin, PA

#10 Aug 13, 2007
I just purchased a 2007 Hyundai Sonata and it stinks. It smeels to me like body odor, other people say it smells bad but like some chemical.

Any other 2007 Hyundai owners out there with a bad smelling car. I feel like Seinfeld with the Car with B O HELP!!!!


#11 Aug 14, 2007
No abnormal smells here, but it is Colorado and a bit dryer....
Magic NJ

United States

#12 Sep 6, 2007
I also have this smell when I have the vents on in the car. This usually goes away when I put on the AC, but if I only use the vent, it stinks. Don't pay Hyundai to put in the Microfilter, because it doesn't work. I'm not sure if anyone knows it or not, Hyundai has a compartment behind the glove compartment where you can put an air filter. US Hyundais have the compartment, but do not provide a filter, go figure. If you bring it to the dealer, they charge you about $150, you can get the filter yourself, and put it in for about $30 or less. I did, but here's the catch, it WONT solve your smell problem. The smell will still come with or without that filter being there. The smell is coming from the evaporator.

Berwyn, IL

#13 Sep 8, 2007
I am equally frustrated. I have a 2005 Hyundai XG350 that stinks. It's been happening all summer. Sometimes worse than others. I had it into the dealer twice and they could not find the problem. I don't think Hyundai wants a recall. The issue is still unresolved. I thought it was mold or bacteria but Hyundai acts like there's nothing wrong.

Berwyn, IL

#14 Sep 8, 2007
Actually the smell in my car is like garbage. Since Hyundai is in denial we need to be more forceful. It should not be the consumers responsibility to fix this problem and do tons of research. We paid good money for our vehicles!

Paramus, NJ

#15 Sep 24, 2007
My 2007 Sante Fe also has the objectionable odor when the car is first started. I also have a 2002 Santa Fe that I have had no odor issues with.

New York, NY

#16 Sep 27, 2007
I have the same problem with my 04 Santa Fe. I called Hyundai and lodged a complaint. They said the more people they log the issue the more likely that Hyundai will do somehting about it

Lewisburg, TN

#17 Oct 1, 2007
My car smells like urine when I turn on the car...if I run the AC it helps..but has less than 12,000 miles

Toronto, Canada

#18 Oct 5, 2007
I also have a urine smell ... appeared the very day I drove off the lot.

Houston, TX

#19 Oct 8, 2007
We've had the same problem with our Santa Fe. We will have had the car 2 years in December. We noticed the bad smell a few months after purchasing the car. This last time we complained to the dealer they said it was mold from the evaporator and all cars have the problem. They offered to treat the problem for $75. We declined the offer. Funny but none of our other cars ever had a smelly A/C. I think it's a flaw in the design and Hyundai should offer assistance in correcting the problem for unhappy customers.

Birmingham, AL

#20 Oct 21, 2007
2006 Elantra had a terrible odor coming through vents as well, Dealership says they cannot find the problem. Yet everyone else who rides in the car complains about the foul odor as we;;. It gets so bad the windows has to be rolled down or you cannot stay in the car long. FED UP !!!!!

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