Hyundai Santa Fe (TM): Trailer towing - Driving your vehicleHyundai Santa Fe (TM): Trailer towing

If you are considering to tow with your vehicle, you should first know your country’s legal requirements. As laws vary the requirements for towing trailers, cars, or other types of vehicles or apparatus may differ. When you are not sure about a type of winter weight oil, consult an authorized HYUNDAI dealer.

Remember that trailering is different than just driving your vehicle by itself. Trailering means changes in handling, durability, and fuel economy. Successful, safe trailering requires correct equipment, and it has to be used properly. Damage to your vehicle caused by improper trailer towing is not covered by your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.

This section contains time-tested, important trailering tips and safety rules. Many of these are important for your safety and that of your passengers. Please read this section carefully before you pull a trailer.

WARNING

Take the following precautions:

  • If you don’t use the correct equipment and/or drive improperly, you can lose control of the vehicle when you are pulling a trailer. For example, if the trailer is too heavy, the braking performance may be reduced. You and your passengers could be seriously or fatally injured. Pull a trailer only if you have followed all the steps in this section.
  • Before towing, make sure the total trailer weight, GCW (Gross Combination Weight), GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight), GAW (Gross Axle Weight) and trailer tongue load are all within the limits.
  • When you tow a trailer, make sure to turn off the Idle Stop and Go system.

If you decide to pull a trailer?

Here are some important points if you decide to pull a trailer:

  • Consider using a sway control. You can ask a trailer hitch dealer about sway control.
  • Do not do any towing with your vehicle during its first 1,200 miles (2,000 km) in order to allow the engine to properly break in. Failure to heed this caution may result in serious engine or transmission damage.
  • When towing a trailer, consult an authorized HYUNDAI dealer for further information on additional requirements such as a towing kit, etc.
  • Always drive your vehicle at a moderate speed (less than 60 mph (100 km/h)) or posted towing speed limit.
  • On a long uphill grade, do not exceed 45 mph (70 km/h) or the posted towing speed limit, whichever is lower.
  • Carefully observe the weight and load limits provided in the following pages.

Trailer weight

What is the maximum safe weight of a trailer? It should never weigh more than the maximum trailer weight with trailer brakes. But even that can be too heavy. It depends on how you plan to use your trailer. For example, speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature and how often your vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. The ideal trailer weight can also depend on any special equipment that you have on your vehicle.

Tongue load

The tongue load is an important weight to measure because it affects the total Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of your vehicle. The trailer tongue should weigh a maximum of 10% of the total loaded trailer weight, within the limits of the maximum trailer tongue load permissible.

After you’ve loaded your trailer, weigh the trailer and then the tongue, separately, to see if the weights are proper. If they aren’t, you may be able to correct them simply by moving some items around in the trailer.

WARNING

Take the following precautions:

  • Never load a trailer with more weight in the rear than in the front. The front should be loaded with approximately 60% of the total trailer load; the rear should be loaded with approximately 40% of the total trailer load.
  • Never exceed the maximum weight limits of the trailer or trailer towing equipment. Improper loading can result in damage to your vehicle and/ or personal injury. Check weights and loading at a commercial scale or highway patrol office equipped with scales.

Information

With increasing altitude the engine performance decreases. From 1,000 m above sea level and for every 1,000 m thereafter 10% of vehicle/trailer weight (trailer weighter + gross vehicle weight) must be deducted.

Reference weight and distance when towing a trailer

Trailer towing equipment

Hitches

Information

The mounting hole for hitches are located on both sides of the underbody behind the rear tires.

It’s important to have the correct hitch equipment. Crosswinds, large trucks going by, and rough roads are a few reasons why you’ll need the right hitch. Here are some rules to follow:

  • Do you have to make any holes in the body of your vehicle when you install a trailer hitch? If you do, then be sure to seal the holes later when you remove the hitch. If you don’t seal them, carbon monoxide (CO) from your exhaust can get into your vehicle, as well as dirt and water.
  • The bumpers on your vehicle are not intended for hitches. Do not attach rental hitches or other bumper-type hitches to them. Use only a framemounted hitch that does not attach to the bumper.
  • Any part of the rear number plate or lighting devices of the vehicle must not be obscured by the mechanical coupling device. If the rear number plate and/or lighting devices can be obscured partially by any part of the mechanical coupling device, mechanical coupling devices that can not be easily removed or repositioned without use of any tools, except an easily operated (for example, an effort not exceeding 20Nm) release key which is supplied by the manufacturer of the coupling device, are not permitted for use. Please note that the mechanical coupling device that is fitted and not in use must always be removed or repositioned if the rear number plate and/or rear lighting devices are obscured by any part of the mechanical coupling device.
  • A HYUNDAI trailer hitch accessory is available at an authorized HYUNDAI dealer.

Safety chains

You should always attach chains between your vehicle and your trailer. Instructions about safety chains may be provided by the hitch manufacturer or trailer manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for attaching safety chains. Always leave just enough slack so you can turn with your trailer. And, never allow safety chains to drag on the ground.

Trailer brakes

If your trailer is equipped with a braking system, make sure it conforms to your country’s regulations and that it is properly installed and operating correctly.

If your trailer weighs more than the maximum trailer weight without trailer brakes loaded, then it needs its own brakes and they must be adequate. Be sure to read and follow the instructions for the trailer brakes so you’ll be able to install, adjust and maintain them properly. Be sure not to modify your vehicle’s brake system.

WARNING

Do not use a trailer with its own brakes unless you are absolutely certain that you have properly set up the brake system. This is not a task for amateurs. Use an experienced, competent trailer shop for this work.

Driving with a trailer

Towing a trailer requires a certain amount of experience. Before setting out for the open road, you must get to know your trailer. Acquaint yourself with the feel of handling and braking with the added weight of the trailer. And always keep in mind that the vehicle you are driving is now longer and not nearly as responsive as your vehicle is by itself.

Before you start, check the trailer hitch and platform, safety chains, electrical connector(s), lights, tires and brakes.

During your trip, occasionally check to be sure that the load is secure, and that the lights and trailer brakes are still working.

Distance

Stay at least twice as far behind the vehicle ahead as you would when driving your vehicle without a trailer. This can help you avoid situations that require heavy braking and sudden turns.

Passing

You will need more passing distance up ahead when you’re towing a trailer. And, because of the increased vehicle length, you’ll need to go much farther beyond the passed vehicle before you can return to your lane.

Backing up

Hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand. Then, to move the trailer to the left, move your hand to the left. To move the trailer to the right, move your hand to the right. Always back up slowly and, if possible, have someone guide you.

Making turns

When you’re turning with a trailer, make wider turns than normal. Do this so your trailer won’t strike soft shoulders, curbs, road signs, trees, or other objects. Avoid jerky or sudden maneuvers. Signal well in advance.

Turn signals

When you tow a trailer, your vehicle has to have a different turn signal flasher and extra wiring. The green arrows on your instrument panel will flash whenever you signal a turn or lane change. Properly connected, the trailer lights will also flash to alert other drivers you’re about to turn, change lanes, or stop.

When towing a trailer, the green arrows on your instrument panel will flash for turns even if the bulbs on the trailer are burned out. Thus, you may think drivers behind you are seeing your signals when, in fact, they are not. It’s important to check occasionally to be sure the trailer bulbs are still working. You must also check the lights every time you disconnect and then reconnect the wires.

WARNING

Do not connect a trailer lighting system directly to your vehicle’s lighting system. Use an approved trailer wiring harness. Failure to do so could result in damage to the vehicle electrical system and/or personal injury. Consult an authorized HYUNDAI dealer for assistance.

Driving on hills

Reduce speed and shift to a lower gear before you start down a long or steep downgrade. If you don’t shift down, you might have to use your brakes so much that they would get overheated and may not operate efficiently.

On a long uphill grade, shift down and reduce your speed to around 45 mph (70 km/h) to reduce the possibility of engine and transmission overheating.

If your trailer weighs more than the maximum trailer weight without trailer brakes and you have a automatic transmission, you should drive in D (Drive) when towing a trailer.

Operating your vehicle in D (Drive) when towing a trailer will minimize heat build-up and extend the life of your transmission.

NOTICE

To prevent engine and/or transmission overheating:

  • When towing a trailer on steep grades (in excess of 6%) pay close attention to the engine coolant temperature gauge to ensure the engine does not overheat. If the needle of the coolant temperature gauge moves towards “H” (HOT), pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so, and allow the engine to idle until it cools down. You may proceed once the engine has cooled sufficiently.
  • If you tow a trailer with the maximum gross vehicle weight and maximum trailer weight, it can cause the engine or transmission to overheat. When driving in such conditions, allow the engine to idle until it cools down. You may proceed once the engine or transmission has cooled sufficiently.
  • When towing a trailer, your vehicle speed may be much slower than the general flow of traffic, especially when climbing an uphill grade. Use the right hand lane when towing a trailer on an uphill grade. Choose your vehicle speed according to the maximum posted speed limit for vehicles with trailers, the steepness of the grade, and your trailer weight.

Parking on hills

Generally, if you have a trailer attached to your vehicle, you should not park your vehicle on a hill.

However, if you ever have to park your trailer on a hill, here’s how to do it:

1. Pull the vehicle into the parking space. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the curb (right if headed down hill, left if headed up hill).

2. Shift the gear to P (Park).

3. Set the parking brake and shut off the vehicle.

4. Place wheel chocks under the trailer wheels on the down hill side of the wheels.

5. Start the vehicle, hold the brakes, shift to neutral, release the parking brake and slowly release the brakes until the trailer chocks absorb the load.

6. Reapply the brakes and parking brakes.

7. Shift the gear to P (Park) when the vehicle is parked on a uphill grade and in R (Reverse) on a downhill.

8. Shut off the vehicle and release the vehicle brakes but leave the parking brake set.

WARNING

To prevent serious or fatal injury:

  • Do not get out of the vehicle without the parking brake firmly set. If you have left the engine running, the vehicle can move suddenly. You and others could be seriously or fatally injured.
  • Do not apply the accelerator pedal to hold the vehicle on an uphill.

Driving the vehicle after it has been parked on a hill

1. With the gear in P (Park), apply your brakes and hold the brake pedal down while you:

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