Hyundai Santa Fe Owners Manual

Driving with a trailer
Driving your vehicle / Trailer towing / 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 a good deal longer and not nearly so responsive as your vehicle is by itself.

Before you start, check the trailer hitch and platform, safety chains, electrical connector(s), lights, tires and mirror adjustment. If the trailer has electric brakes, start your vehicle and trailer moving and then apply the trailer brake controller by hand to be sure the brakes are working. This lets you check your electrical connection at the same time.

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

Following 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

Youll need more passing distance up ahead when youre towing a trailer. And, because of the increased vehicle length, youll need to go much farther beyond the passed vehicle before you can return to your lane. Due to the added load to the engine when going uphill the vehicle may also take longer to pass than it would on flat ground.

Backing up

Hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand.Then, to move the trailer to the left, just 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 youre turning with a trailer, make wider turns than normal. Do this so your trailer wont strike soft shoulders, curbs, road signs, trees, or other objects near the edge of the road. Avoid jerky or sudden maneuvers. Signal well in advance before turning or lane changes.

Turn signals when towing a trailer

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 youre 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. Its 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.

Do not connect a trailer lighting system directly to your vehicles lighting system. Use only an approved trailer wiring harness.

An authorized HYUNDAI dealer can assist you in installing the wiring harness.

WARNING

Failure to use an approved trailer wiring harness could result in damage to the vehicle electrical system and/or personal injury.

Driving on grades

Reduce speed and shift to a lower gear before you start down a long or steep downgrade. If you dont shift down, you might have to use your brakes so much that they would get hot and no longer 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 transaxle overheating.

If your trailer weighs more than the maximum trailer weight without trailer brakes and you have an automatic transaxle, 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 transaxle.

CAUTION

  • 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 across the dial 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.
  • You must decide driving speed depending on trailer weight and uphill grade to reduce the possibility of engine and transaxle overheating.

Parking on hills

Generally, if you have a trailer attached to your vehicle, you should not park your vehicle on a hill. People can be seriously or fatally injured, and both your vehicle and the trailer can be damaged if they unexpectedly roll down hill.

WARNING - Parking on a hill

Parking your vehicle on a hill with a trailer attached could cause serious injury or death, should the trailer break loose or the brake stops working.

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. If the vehicle has an automatic transaxle, place the car in P (Park).
3. Set the parking brake and shut off the vehicle.
4. Place 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, reapply the parking brake and shift the vehicle to P (Park) for automatic transaxle.
7. Shut off the vehicle and release the vehicle brakes but leave the parking brake set.

WARNING - Parking brake

It can be dangerous to get out of your vehicle if the parking brake is not firmly set. If you have left the engine running, the vehicle can move suddenly. You or others could be seriously or fatally injured.

When you are ready to leave after parking on a hill

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

  • Start your engine;
  • Shift into gear; and
  • Release the parking brake.

2. Slowly remove your foot from the brake pedal.
3. Drive slowly until the trailer is clear of the chocks.
4. Stop and have someone pick up and store the chocks.


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