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Basic info about car.. Hyundai Elantra 1999 Sedan GLS. Have had it for 3 months not had one problem.. 94,000 miles I just changed the oil.

My hyundai died tonight.. Wiring issue.. Let me explain. Was delivering pizza for about 3 hours so car is on off windows up down ac on and off lights on and off and stuff..

I was driving and I noticed like my lights and dash lights were about %20 percent dimmer don't ask how I can tell haha.. (Dash lighting dimmer knob never worked)

I drove like that for about I'd say 3 deliveries and then I was turning into the lot to one of the apartment buildings and when I hit the brakes the RPM's went to 0 and when I let off them it showed it at idle. BUT when the Rpm's would go to 0 it would still be running a little lower than normal idle. Also as this funky stuff was happening the airbag light would come on and flash randomly and my radio went out. (Still lit up though) Finally after like hitting the brakes with the headlights on it killed it. I tried to start just a tick tick tick.

I pop hood and notice positive wires that are crimped into the terminal are a little loose so I tighten the clamp on the wires. I unhook both terminals for a minute and then put Positive and negative back on. (Being 5 minutes later) the car turned over and started. I got about 300 feet turned on my headlights and hit brakes and seen the RPM's doing that again.. Airbag light came back on again also. It didn't kill itself yet but I shut it off. Popped hood and let it sit for 5 minutes.

This time I made sure no lights at all were on while it was sitting and key was off and out of ignition and dome lights were off. I don't push in brake while starting because I believe one time I tried that and it made it just do the clicking again. I start it with no lights or radio on and It's running right and stuff so I put parking lights on and try to drive like that and I notice it's doing the same thing with the brakes still changing the RPM's..

So I stop and call my work and tell them to come get me and I told them where I was. While waiting like 10 minutes I look for obvious wiring problems or smoke under hood can't smell any burning. But it seems like something is heating up and causing it to happen.. So I start it again and I just put Hazards on and I'm driving in the dark with no hazards I got about 3 miles car seemed to be running ok I wasn't using brakes at all or anything just driving nice and easy. Than a car's behind me and the hazards go out.. Than when I push in clutch and tap brakes I see the rpms go to zero but it's still probably at like 500 rpms and I hit the brakes again and it kills it again. I pull over and leave it there.

I go to call my work let them know where I am guess what NO SERVICE :"( so I had to run 3 miles back to that stupid spot to call him. When he got me I had him drive me to the car. I started the car (half hour later probably maybe more). I drove it I'd say 5 miles home with the hazards on in the dark and I didn't see the brakes affecting anything and when I got home I turned on the headlights and they seemed normal brightness along with the dash lights.. I can't go driving this car 1500 miles with a trailer and all my possessions like this :( I have to work tomorrow I'll be out at 5 buying a multimeter where should I start!

Thanks so much..
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (merryfrankster @ Jul 31 2010, 02:38 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=346392
As a starting point, I would try to verify that your alternator and its circuit are ok.

If you can get the car started, use your voltmeter to verify that you are getting 14 volts or more at the battery terminals with the engine running.
The car would start and before starting it the battery at rest had 12.0v when I started it the battery would stay around 12.6-12.8

If you do not get 14 volts, or if you cannot get the car started, pull the alternator and take it in for testing at an alternator/starter shop or a qualified auto parts store.
If your alternator tests ok, you will need to trouble-shoot the alternator circuit.
I Pulled off the alternator and brought it in to have them bench test it. It passed.. While taking the alternator down I noticed that the wiring for the alternator is in the shape of the letter "U" and there was water trapped in the whole "U". I drained the water and put the alternator back in.

Now after taking alternator out and putting same one back in and letting water drip out of wire loom I got these readings after driving the car back home. Before starting battery was at 12.4v At idle with no extra loads put on it it would stay at like 13.3-13.6v If I turn on A/C High beams all interior lights and radio it read 12.6-12.8v.

And just to cover all the bases, it wouldn't hurt to take your battery in for bench testing and make sure it is still up to snuff.
Battery results were good after every test.


Now that everything seems to be O.K. now should I still change the alternator? I can get it for $81 from autozone after 10 percent off and core return.. Does an alternator go on the Fritz and work sometimes and not work sometimes? Could that water in there have been the problem? All connections on alternator felt right when taking off nothing was loose or anything.. Should I change alternator and try to weatherproof those wires much better?
Good luck.

Thanks for your input it was very helpful I came home to read exactly what I tried today ;)
 

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I apologize, I know this is the 2G forum, but I suddenly have the exact same issue with my 2003. My first roadblock is I can't figure out how to get the metal dome on the positive battery terminal off! :angry:
It hasn't rained here for a month so the water issue is out. Hmmmm.


FYI you get the dome off by cutting the cable and putting a normal clamp on!
 
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