Hyundai Santa Fe (TM): Winter driving - Driving your vehicleHyundai Santa Fe (TM): Winter driving

The severe weather conditions of winter quickly wear out tires and cause other problems. To minimize winter driving problems, you should take the following suggestions:

Snow or icy conditions

You need to keep sufficient distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

Apply the brakes gently. Speeding, rapid acceleration, sudden brake applications, and sharp turns are potentially very hazardous practices. During deceleration, use engine braking to the fullest extent. Sudden brake applications on snowy or icy roads may cause the vehicle to skid.

To drive your vehicle in deep snow, it may be necessary to use snow tires or to install tire chains on your tires.

Always carry emergency equipment. Some of the items you may want to carry include tire chains, tow straps or chains, a flashlight, emergency flares, sand, a shovel, jumper cables, a window scraper, gloves, ground cloth, coveralls, a blanket, etc.

Snow tires

WARNING

Snow tires should be equivalent in size and type to the vehicle’s standard tires. Otherwise, the safety and handling of your vehicle may be adversely affected.

We recommend that you use snow tires when road temperature is below 45°F (7°C).

If you mount snow tires on your vehicle, make sure to use the same Inflation pressure as the original tires. Mount snow tires on all four wheels to balance your vehicle’s handling in all weather conditions. The traction provided by snow tires on dry roads may not be as high as your vehicle’s original equipment tires. Check with the tire dealer for maximum speed recommendations.

Tire chains

Since the sidewalls of radial tires are thinner than other types of tires, they may be damaged by mounting some types of tire chains on them. Therefore, the use of snow tires is recommended instead of tire chains. If tire chains must be used, use genuine HYUNDAI Parts and install the tire chain after reviewing the instructions provided with the tire chains. Damage to your vehicle caused by improper tire chain use is not covered by your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.

Fabric-type chains must be used on the vehicle with 19”/20” tires.

When using tire chains, attach them to the drive wheels as follows.

2WD : Front wheels

4WD : All four wheels

If a full set of chains is not available for an 4WD vehicle, chains may be installed on the front wheels only.

WARNING

The use of tire chains may adversely affect vehicle handling:

  • Drive less than 20 mph (30 km/h) or the chain manufacturer’s recommended speed limit, whichever is lower.
  • Drive carefully and avoid bumps, holes, sharp turns, and other road hazards, which may cause the vehicle to bounce.
  • Avoid sharp turns or locked wheel braking.

Information

  • Install tire chains only in pairs and on the front tires. It should be noted that installing tire chains on the tires will provide a greater driving force, but will not prevent side skids.
  • Do not install studded tires without first checking local and municipal regulations for possible restrictions against their use.

Chain Installation

When installing tire chains, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and mount them as tightly possible. Drive slowly (less than 20 mph (30 km/h)) with chains installed. If you hear the chains contacting the body or chassis, stop and tighten them. If they still make contact, slow down until the noise stops. Remove the tire chains as soon as you begin driving on cleared roads.

When mounting snow chains, park the vehicle on level ground away from traffic. Turn on the vehicle Hazard Warning Flasher and place a triangular emergency warning device behind the vehicle (if available). Always place the vehicle in P (Park), apply the parking brake and turn off the engine before installing snow chains.

NOTICE

When using tire chains:

  • Wrong size chains or improperly installed chains can damage your vehicle’s brake lines, suspension, body and wheels.
  • Use SAE “S” class or wire chains.
  • If you hear noise caused by chains contacting the body, retighten the chain to prevent contact with the vehicle body.
  • To prevent body damage, retighten the chains after driving 0.3~0.6 miles (0.5~1.0 km).
  • Do not use tire chains on vehicles equipped with aluminum wheels. If unavoidable, use a wire type chain.
  • Use wire chains less than 0.47 in. (12mm) thick to prevent damage to the chain’s connection.

Winter precautions

Use high quality ethylene glycol coolant

Your vehicle is delivered with high quality ethylene glycol coolant in the cooling system. It is the only type of coolant that should be used because it helps prevent corrosion in the cooling system, lubricates the water pump and prevents freezing. Be sure to replace or replenish your coolant in accordance with the maintenance schedule in chapter 9. Before winter, have your coolant tested to assure that its freezing point is sufficient for the temperatures anticipated during the winter.

Check battery and cables

Winter temperatures affect battery performance. Inspect the battery and cables, as specified in chapter 9. The battery charging level can be checked by an authorized HYUNDAI dealer or in a service station.

Change to “winter weight” oil if necessary

In some regions during winter, it is recommended to use the “winter weight” oil with lower viscosity In addition, replace the engine oil and filter if it is close to the next maintenance interval. Fresh engine oil ensures optimum engine operation during the winter months. For further information, refer to chapter 2. When you are not sure about a type of winter weight oil, consult an authorized HYUNDAI dealer.

Check spark plugs and ignition system

Inspect the spark plugs, as specified in chapter 8. If necessary, replace them. Also check all ignition wirings and components for any cracks, wear-out, and damage.

To prevent locks from freezing

To prevent the locks from being frozen, spray approved de-icing fluid or glycerin into key holes. When a lock opening is already covered with ice, spray approved de-icing fluid over the ice to remove it. When an internal part of a lock freezes, try to thaw it with a heated key. Carefully use the heated key to avoid an injury.

Use approved window washer antifreeze solution in system

To prevent the window washer from being frozen, add authorized window washer anti-freeze solution, as specified on the window washer container. Window washer anti-freeze solution is available from an authorized HYUNDAI dealer, and most vehicle accessory outlets. Do not use engine coolant or other types of anti-freeze solution, to prevent any damage to the vehicle paint.

Drive your vehicle when water vapor condenses and accumulates inside the exhaust pipes

When the vehicle is stopped for a long time in winter while the engine is running, water vapor may condense and accumulate inside the exhaust pipes. Water in the exhaust pipes may cause noise, etc., but it is drained driving at medium to high speed.

Do not let your parking brake freeze

Under some conditions your parking brake can freeze in the engaged position. This is most likely to happen when there is an accumulation of snow or ice around or near the rear brakes or if the brakes are wet. When there is the risk that your parking brake may freeze, temporarily apply it with the gear in P (Park). Also, block the rear wheels in advance, so the vehicle may not roll. Then, release the parking brake.

Do not let ice and snow accumulate underneath

Under some conditions, snow and ice can build up under the fenders and interfere with the steering. When driving in such conditions during the severe winter, you should check underneath the vehicle on a regular basis, to ensure that the front wheels and the steering components is unblocked.

Carry emergency equipment

In accordance with weather conditions, you should carry appropriate emergency equipment, while driving. Some of the items you may want to carry include tire chains, tow straps or chains, flashlight, emergency flares, sand, shovel, jumper cables, window scraper, gloves, ground cloth, coveralls, blanket, etc.

Do not place objects or materials in the engine compartment

Putting objects or materials in the engine compartment may cause an engine failure or combustion, because they may block the engine cooling. Such damage will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Special driving conditions
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