Turning your Hyundai Santa Fe Side Markers into Park/Signal lights Modification

Original idea: twospirits
Idea Enhancements: nomogm and krcooper
Testers: twospirits
Author: twospirits & nomogm
Images by: twospirits

Introduction / History

The Hyundai Santa Fe comes with two side markers. The purpose of side markers is to enable a driver to see another vehicle that is approaching at an angle at night or at a stand still and to see it early enough that the other driver can stop in time to prevent a collision or at least slow down to reduce the severity of the collision. The addition of side markers in vehicles was started in Jan of 1968 and has since been in every vehicle on the road. Unfortunately some of these markers are just that, markers. Some automakers have incorporated making them signal lamps as well. The Hyundai Santa Fe has inboard mounted signal markers in the combination lamp, which are not visible from the side. The vehicle has side markers but are the type that are just static and do not signal.  Side markers that signal give the added security that any pedestrian or other vehicle on your side will realize your intention of turning. This reduces your chances of getting into an accident. For these reasons, I decided to modify the current markers into signal ones. The location of the markers on the Santa Fe depends on the model and or location where purchased. In the USA they are on the front side fenders. In Europe, they are placed up near the metal close to the mirrors. Regardless of location this modification will convert these static non directional signal markers into fully functional signal markers.


Please Read the disclaimer before proceeding

Difficulty level / scale: On a scale of 1 - 10

Easy   Difficult
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  X   X            

Tools and materials needed:

4 3M Quick Connect connectors
Phillips (cross tip) screwdriver
Wire Cutters
2 x 2 feet color wire (14-18 gauge) preferably Yellow.
Optional items:
Electrical Tape
Test light

Time to perform modification:

First set of lights 30-40 min
Second set of lights 20-30 min
Total time for mod: 1 Hour

Step 1: Removing and preparing the Combination lamp.

First off, you should disconnect the negative battery terminal.
The Combination lamp is attached to the body by 3 screws. Two of them are on top of the headlights and one to the inner side of it. (See pic 01). After you unscrew the screws you will need to insert one hand behind the lamp and push towards you to dislodge it from the body to give you more flexible room. There is a rectangular peg that aligns it to the body and it really is tight. (See pic 02).
Once the combination lamp is detached from the body, you will see the two wiring harness connectors. (See pic 02). One is for inboard mounted park/signal light; the other is the headlamp light. Detach these wire harness connectors from the combination lamp by pressing down on their clips. The Park/Signal harness connector connects to a lead (pigtail) wire (see pic 04 A) directly to the Park/Signal light which stays attached to the combination lamp housing for the time being.

After you remove the combination lamp you will see the side marker from the opening. This opening is where you will be able to fish the wires later on. (See pic 03).



Place the combination lamp housing in a comfortable area to work with. Turn the housing so that the big round knob is to your right. This will allow you to see the peg holder that holds the lead (pigtail) wire connector to the housing. (See pic 04 A) You need to take out the connector in order to have ample room to work with it. (See pic 04 B).

I used a hex screw to push in the hole to pull the connector out. You may find something else that is better. Once you dislodged it put it to the side to work on it later.

Step 2: Removing and preparing the Side Marker.

The side marker is attached to the fender by one screw and a hook. (See pic 05 A) Unscrew the screw and push the marker gently towards the rear of the vehicle then towards you.
Once the marker is out you will notice the hook. (See pic 05 B).

Once the marker is detached from the fender, detach the marker light from the side marker housing. Set the housing to the side.

Note: My left marker came out without any problems; the right one was another story. It refused to unscrew. At this point I had to take my dremel tool and cut the screw from the inside to be able to take it out. Use your better judgment if a situation like that comes up.


The side marker has two color coordinated wires. Depending on which one you are working on, the color is different. The left marker has one black and one pink wire. The right marker has one black and one pink w/ black stripe wire. These wires are covered in a wire loom that is also wrapped in electrical tape. (See pic 06 A) Take off the electrical tape. The wire loom will then be exposed. This loom is cut open on one side; carefully take out the wires out of the loom.

As you can see there is not that much room to work with. At this point you will need to cut the Black wire only. Make sure you leave enough room to be able to work on both ends of the cut section. I chose to cut it at the halfway point. (See pic 06 B) Leave the other wire alone.


Picture # 7 shows you the cut black wire. The pink one is left alone.

Step 3: Wire Color coordination.

Both the side marker and the combination lamp have color-coordinated wires. These colors are outlined in the 2002 Hyundai ETM (Electrical Troubleshooting Manual). But the colors of the wires that consist of the lead (pigtail) wires (mentioned in step 1 above) are not in the ETM. The following diagram shows the original and new connections along with the colors of the pigtail wires. The original diagram can be located at https://dcsonline.hyundaidealer.com/customer/tech_info/tech_sevice_main.html

Stock Diagram Clear Light Diagram

Step 4: Wiring the Side Marker.

You will now terminate the black wire that leads back into the chassis by using either a quick connect connector or electrical tape. This will protect it from touching any metal section of the vehicle. Does not matter since that wire is the ground anyway. (See pic 08).
You will take about 2 feet in length of the new wire (Yellow) and fish/route it through the fender side marker hole to the engine bay area (see pic 03 above).  You will attach this new yellow wire to the cut black wire with a quick connect connector. . (See pic 08).

Note: The new yellow wire looks red in the photo.

Step 5: Wiring the Combination lamp.

Take the lead (pigtail) wire harness and take out the rubber cover of the wires. I used an utility knife.

You may want to remove the light to prevent damage to it. (See pic 09 A)

Once you have the rubber cover off you will have better access to the three wires of the lead (pigtail) wire harness. (See pic 09 B)

Both the left and right lead (pigtail) wires have the same colors. Black, Black with White stripe, and a Pink with yellow stripe wire. (See wiring diagram above) You will be connecting the new yellow wire from step 4 above that¡¯s coming from the side marker to the Pink w/ yellow stripe wire only. (See pic 10).
Doing the above step will have the headlamp permanently attached to the wire of the side marker. The best way would be to allow for quick way to  disconnect the lamp from the wires. One way to hook this up is to have a short (4-5") piece of wire with a quick disconnect connector (female on the end of that - male on the end of the wire attached to the side marker light extension wire) attached to the pigtail that plugs into the headlight housing. This will allow for quick, easy complete removal of the headlight from the vehicle - without having one wire dangling and still attached to the side marker lights.
(pics and above suggestion provided by forum member krcooper.
Another way would be to have the connectors that allow you to screw the wires in. This is quick and the connectors can be used over and over. I now end up using these type of connectors in all my projects. They are Swenco (#PL1218-8) Posi-Lock Connectors and are available at your local Autozone or auto parts store.

Step 6: Test the lights.

At this point you should reconnect the wiring harnesses to the combination lamp.
Reconnect the negative battery cable and insert your ignition key and test the lights.
They should at this point work and perform the following functions.


Should come on when you turn on your parking lamps.


Should flash as directional signals with parking lamps are on or off.
(They will work in different / alternating flashes. ex: When the parking light goes on the marker goes off and vice versa.)


Stay on when using the hazards.

Step 7: Perform the steps on the other side.

Perform steps 4 through 6 on the other side of the vehicle and retest them.

Step 8: Reinstall all the lamps.

Reattach all lamps back into their housings and enjoy your new signal marker lights.

This site was last updated 06/10/05