Hyundai Santa Fe (DM): For safe all wheel drive operation - All wheel drive (AWD) - Driving your vehicleHyundai Santa Fe (DM): For safe all wheel drive operation

WARNING - All wheel driving

When conditions demand the use of four-wheel drive, all functions of your vehicle are exposed to extreme stress. Slow down and be ready for changes in the composition and traction of the surface under your tires. If you have any doubt about the safety of the conditions you are facing, stop and consider the best way to proceed. Do not exceed the ability of yourself or your vehicle to operate safely.

• Do not try to drive in deep standing water or mud since such conditions can stall your engine and clog your exhaust pipes. Do not drive down steep hills since it requires extreme skill to maintain control of the vehicle.

• When you are driving up or down hills drive as straight as possible. Use extreme

• When you are driving up or down hills drive as straight as possible. Use extreme caution in going up or down steep hills, since you may flip your vehicle over depending on the grade, terrain and water/mud conditions.



Driving across the contour of steep hills can be extremely dangerous. This danger can come from slight changes in the wheel angle which can destabilize the vehicle or, even if the vehicle is maintaining stability under power, it can lose that stability if the vehicle stops its forward motion. Your vehicle may roll over without warning and without time for you to correct a mistake that could cause serious injury or death.

  • You must consciously take the effort to learn how to corner in a AWD vehicle. Do not rely on your experience in conventional 2WD vehicles in choosing safe cornering speed in AWD mode. For starters, you must drive more slowly in AWD.
  • Drive carefully off-road because your vehicle may be damaged by rocks or roots of trees. Become familiar with the off-road conditions where you are going to drive before you begin driving.


Reduce speed when you turn corners. The center of gravity of AWD vehicles is higher than that of conventional 2WD vehicles, making them more likely to roll over when you turn corners too fast.

WARNING - Steering wheel

WARNING - Steering wheel

Do not grab the inside of the steering wheel when you are driving off-road. You may hurt your arm by a sudden steering maneuver or from steering wheel rebound due to impact with objects on the ground.You could lose control of the steering wheel.

  • Always hold the steering wheel firmly when you are driving off-road.
  • Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts.

WARNING - Wind danger

If you are driving in heavy wind, the vehicle's higher center of gravity decreases your steering control capacity and requires you to drive more slowly.

• If you need to drive in the water, stop your vehicle, set your transfer to the AWD LOCK mode and drive at less than 5 mph (8 km/h).

WARNING - Driving through water

Drive slowly. If you are driving too fast in water, the water can get into the engine compartment and wet the ignition system, causing your vehicle to suddenly stop. If this happens and your vehicle is in a tilted position, your vehicle may roll over.


  • Do not drive in water if the level is higher than the bottom of the vehicle.
  • Check your brake condition once you are out of mud or water. Press the brake pedal several times as you move slowly until you feel normal braking forces return.
  • Shorten your scheduled maintenance interval if you drive in offroad conditions such as sand, mud or water (see “Maintenance under severe usage conditions” in section 7). Always wash your vehicle thoroughly after off road use, especially cleaning the bottom of the vehicle.
  • Since the driving torque is always applied to the 4 wheels the performance of the AWD vehicle is greatly affected by the condition of the tires. Be sure to equip the vehicle with four tires of the same size and type.
  • A full time all wheel drive vehicle cannot be towed by an ordinary tow truck. Make sure that the vehicle is placed on a flat bed truck for moving.

WARNING - AWD driving

  • Avoid high cornering speed.
  • Do not make quick steering wheel movements, such as sharp lane changes or fast, sharp turns.
  • The risk of rollover is greatly increased if you lose control of your vehicle at high speed.
  • In a collision, an unbelted person is significantly more likely to die compared to a person wearing a seat belt.
  • Loss of control often occurs if two or more wheels drop off the roadway and the driver over steers to re-enter the roadway. In the event your vehicle leaves the roadway, do not steer sharply. Instead, slow down before pulling back into the travel lanes.

CAUTION - Mud or snow

If one of the front or rear wheels begins to spin in mud, snow, etc. the vehicle can sometimes be driven out by depressing the accelerator pedal further; however avoid running the engine continuously at high rpm because doing so could damage the AWD system.

ALL Wheel Drive (AWD) transfer mode selection
✽ NOTICE When driving on normal roads, deactivate the AWD LOCK mode by pushing the AWD LOCK button (the indicator light goes off). Driving on normal roads with AWD LOCK mode(especially, when cornering) ...

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