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We bought a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Limited 2.0T in June this year and had no issues until recently. Once the weather turned colder here in Vancouver the car has significant amounts of water condensed on the inside of all the windows after being parked especially overnight, to the extent that when it’s below zero she has to use an ice scraper to clear it off. The dealer was unable to resolve this, the only advice they had was to park it in a garage overnight with the windows open, which may dry it out temporarily but to my mind won’t address why it’s there in the first place. Friends of ours with the same car but 2017 model haven’t had the same issues. Any thoughts? – Cameron

Having to use an ice scraper on the inside indicates that significant moisture is getting into the vehicle somehow, more than one would deem as normal. The two most popular complaint areas for any vehicle are the windshield seal and air conditioning water drain tube. Realistically though, it could be coming from anywhere, like a body seem that was not dealt with properly when manufactured. Check all your carpets for any signs of dampness, if you do find any moisture, note which side of the vehicle is worse. I’m hopeful that this vehicle is still covered under the manufacturer warranty and thus would be Hyundai’s problem to solve. Document/video the scraping of your windows and return to the dealer and insist this is unacceptable. If it is out of warranty, search for a local company that specializes in vehicle water leaks.


I drive a 2017 Hyundai Tuscon. Whenever I activate the windshield washer spray, a very strong washer smell invades the cabin as I drive. The smell, quite strong is evident even with one spray. I have taken the car back to the dealership for correction or repair three times now. The filter has been replaced. Yet the smell continues. Any suggestions for this problem? – Bill F

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My research indicates similar complaints; however, I do not believe that there is anything that can be done about this issue. The ventilation system ducting is near the windscreen and since the ducting joints are not tightly sealed, there is going to be residual air leakage.

Interestingly enough, brand new 2020 Hyundai’s have a built-in configurable option to temporarily switch the ventilation system from fresh air to recirculated air whenever the windshield washer button is pressed. This leads me to believe that Hyundai is aware of the problem and this is there fix for it. My question for the dealer would be if this software modification is backwards configurable to older models. I have my doubts though.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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