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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wifes 2011 Hyundai Sonata would not start yesterday at the clinic. I purchased a new battery went there today to replace the battery. Before I started the work I tried starting the car. When I turned the key to the on position the radio came on and the dashboard lit up like normal. As soon as I turned the key to start the car the battery went completely dead. The starter did not engage and the electrical went out.

I replaced the battery. When I turned the key to the on position nothing turned on. Not the radio or any of the dashboard lights. I tried starting the car and there was not response, exactly like a dead battery. I purchased a new battery and they tested it right in front of me before giving it to me so I feel like I can rule out the battery.

I double checked that he connections were tight. I tried jiggling the shifter, pushing the brake pedal, jigging the steering wheel around, jiggling the key in the ignition. The positive battery terminal connector has a fuse, it appears to be intact. I also checked the fuse panel in the engine compartment. All of the large fuses are intact (I only looked at the 3 or 4 of the large ones that were visible from the top). I didn't check the smaller fuses, I wasn't sure which ones to check.

A little background;
For a couple days in a row my wife was noticing that the car was struggling to start (she didn't mention this to me right away). I noticed that when we were driving it the head lights had a very suttle flicker. When were idling at a stoplight it appeared as if the lights were dimming and getting brighter rapidly. I noticed it from the reflection of a license plate and dismissed it as maybe just the wind causing the license plate on the car ahead of us to wobble. It was suttle and not very pronounced. Yesterday my wife went to the clinic and when she was leaving the car would not start. Someone helped her with jumper cables but she was not able to get it started. Even after letting it sit for 5 minutes before trying to start it.

My buddy thinks it's the ignition switch itself, but that sounds quite a bit beyond my capacity.

I suspected that since the lights were fluttering/dimming that it was an alternator problem. Even if the alternator is bad wouldn't the car still run on a fresh battery?

Can anyone suggest some other troubleshooting steps? Any ideas what the issue could be?

Please help!!!
 

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May not be much help but let's start with this, have you taken it to have the brake light switch replaced? Hyundai has issues a recall on all affected models whether or not it's still under warranty. Take it to a dealer and have them fix this if it hasn't already been done.

Oh btw welcome to the forums
 

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Don't know what the problem might be with your electrical system but some ideas if your still not fixed and running. You need to make sure the battery is good, the indication you provide sounds like the battery is dead or at a very low charge state. I doubt if its a fuse but the fuses are identified inside the cover for the fuse panels. One fuse panel is on the right side of the engine, the other panel is inside the auto in front of the driver position left knee. Flickering of lighting could be a poor ground. Check the battery ground cable to insure its tight at the battery and where it grounds to the auto body at the lower right side. Loose or corroded connection could be the problem.

To insure the battery you installed is good try it in another auto and see if it will start up. Your question regarding the battery is correct, I think the auto should run awhile on the battery, but not very long. Of course all bets are off if it won't crank.

You may need to get some help from someone with test equipment to determine the problem. Good luck. Let us know what the problem was for future information.

If you need professional help I would suggest the dealer. They may have to tow you to the shop.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have a multi-meter. I mostly use it for doing wiring around the house so I don't have much experience using it on cars. When you say to check the main power fuse, how would I do that? Is the main power fuse the one positive batter wire?

The warranty period was up about 6K miles ago.

I triple checked that I was hooking up the positive and negative cables correctly.

My next steps are to head out there and inspect the grounding cable on both ends. Make sure it's secure to the body. Also I'm going to have the battery tested at a different auto parts store. I don't have anyone to help me until later so I won't be able to test the voltage while starting the car.
 

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Put your meter on DC volts setting. Put the leads on the battery terminals. If it's good (battery) the meter will read out 12.5-13 plus volts (or somewhere around there) on the DC scale. And yes, a new battery will not only start the car, but also keep it running for a bit, depending upon MPH speed, whether or not you're using the A/C, heater blower motor, radio, lights, etc., all of which accelerate the power drain.
 

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The multi-meter won't be of much use. A dead battery (discharged to where it won't start the car) will still read up around the full charge voltage. The battery needs to be tested under load to determine if its good. This is like the tester the auto parts stores connect to test your battery. If you have or could borrow a battery charger it would help. If when placed under charge the battery charges at high rate for some time it indicates the battery is not fully charged. Could even be bad if the charge does not decrease after a period of time. After the charger decreases to a low rate of charge the battery should be good.

Your idea of taking the battery and having it tested is good and might lead you in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The old battery read 12 volts with the multi-meter. I put it in my other car and it started right up. With the battery ruled out I'm going to disconnect the ground in the engine compartment, clean it up and re-attach it and go from there.

I will still have the battery tested at the auto parts store to make sure it's still good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The ground cable on the car side did not appear to be corroded and the wire didn't have any visible corrosion. I still disconnected it, scraped up the metal on the car side and the plate at the end of the ground cable, added dielectric grease to all the connections. The car started right up. I swapped out the new battery with the old battery and it started right up. Everything seems to be working great now. I'm hoping that was the cause.
 

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The ground cable on the car side did not appear to be corroded and the wire didn't have any visible corrosion. I still disconnected it, scraped up the metal on the car side and the plate at the end of the ground cable, added dielectric grease to all the connections. The car started right up. I swapped out the new battery with the old battery and it started right up. Everything seems to be working great now. I'm hoping that was the cause.
Forum member sbr711 has been preaching this to us Elantra owners for, at least, 3 years. This should convince everyone that "Tech Knows Best."

For those of you that haven't already done this simple task, it's a great pro-active counter measure. Ten to fifteen minutes performing this PM can save you hours of diagnosis headaches.

Once again, Occam's Razor proves its point. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CDgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmath.ucr.edu%2Fhome%2Fbaez%2Fphysics%2FGeneral%2Foccam.html&ei=RVHcUunWBIbuyAHciYCADQ&usg=AFQjCNFysPkaek23TFWRT7QlA36ymhDPVw&sig2=KmRZkl7LFHYCUiRoHPZnZQ&bvm=bv.59568121,d.aWc
 

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I have a new 2014 sonata hyundai limited hybrid, and the battery guage on charges to bout half way... The service people say it's ok... But it not go over 20mph on ev... Others say it should charge to 70-90 percent..what's the deal..?
 
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