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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


So I have a 3.5L 2006 Santa Fe Limited, car is now dead and giving dead battery clicks when trying to start.


First sign of trouble was a couple weeks ago, car would start but it would crank slowly, I did a battery test and determined the battery was fine, leading me to believe starter was failing, but have not replaced starter yet.


Beginning yesterday I noticed the brake light as well as the battery light start to come on while driving, and sometimes they would be on, sometimes off.



Today the car started up fine this morning, but shortly into the drive my radio started to come on and off, on and off every few seconds, was like that all the way to work, after work the car started up, but it was a slow start up, made it almost all the way home when the radio stopped coming on and off and stayed off, noticed the windshield wipers / power windows operating extremely slowly, then gear shifting became labored, then the gauges stopped functioning, no spedo, no fuel gauge etc, then the car finally stopped just as I pulled into a gas station.


I'm thinking this is the alternator? Perhaps the drive belt?
 

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I'm thinking this is the alternator? Perhaps the drive belt?
I'd certainly suggest you have the charging system checked. The battery and park brake lights illuminating while the engine is running is often a sign of an alternator failure. But it's a little odd that electrical circuits are failing to work properly when your driving yet there is enough capacity in the battery to crank the engine. That suggests to me that the problem might not be with alternator itself, but high resistance in the wiring/connections somewhere.

Did the battery test you had done say anything about the battery's state of charge?
 

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Well, the first thing you need to do is fully recharge the battery. You can't diagnose an electrical problem without a good source of electricity.
 

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Sounds like you have an intermittent alternator/charging system. The alternator itself may or may not be the problem. My roommate years ago had symptoms very similar to yours. Replacing the battery helped somewhat, but once the car overheated on the freeway he finally figured out what the real problem was. The belt tensioner was seizing up intermittently and causing the drive belt to not always run.

I think you're headed in the right direction, start with the drive belt, and work your way towards the alternator/wiring. If it helps, they have little voltimeters you can plug into your cigarette lighter socket that you can buy off of Amazon. This way you can get a real-live readout of what your charging system is doing while you're driving. See how/when you can replicate the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Trying to replace the alternator now. Wrestling with it yesterday and today, a real pain in the ass in the santa fe. Hopefully it works, pulleys don't look brand new but they spin well enough I wouldn't think they are seizing up. If i ever get this new alternator in I will take a while to watch the pulleys with the wheel off to see if they jam up at all.
 

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The pulley bearings should have a slight drag when spinning by hand. And no roughness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advise dudes.


Got the alternator in finally, inspected pulleys - they seemed to be doing their job adequetly, though I think I might not have had quite enough belt tension on before the swap - took it for a test drive, car seems to be more or less working as it should not throwing any parking light/ brake light, Only thing I still have happening strange is a slow start up - doesn't sound like a dead battery clicking, just sounds kindof labored, thinking maybe the battery isnt all the way back to where it needs to be in terms of charge. Hoping that's what it is anyway. Or maybe I need a new starter I guess, hope it's not as hard as the alternator!
 

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You should not rely on the alternator to recharge the battery unleess it is for long distance driving. And then it still is hard on the alternator. You should put a charger on it overnight at low amps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guess I celebrated too soon, car won't crank this morning at all.



You should not rely on the alternator to recharge the battery unleess it is for long distance driving. And then it still is hard on the alternator. You should put a charger on it overnight at low amps.

I did use a charger on it for about a day. So it looks like the battery is probably not the issue.


When trying to start now, I hear a sound like an electrical current, and a single click, but no cranking sound.
 

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The single click would be the relay in the engine fuse box.
 

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Like I said previously, it sounds like there is a high resistance somewhere. Voltage drop testing is the method used to locate where.
Alternatively, you could just disconnect all the main power supplies and grounds, clean them, then reconnect everything. Hopefully you get lucky and it was one of those that was causing the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
high resistance somewhere. Voltage drop testing is the method used...all the main power supplies and grounds.
I'm really not well versed enough in car mechanics to know what most of this means, High resistance to me sounds like ur talking about a broken wire, or highly corroded or something. Main power supplies I'm not sure what is referring to at all, did not know the car had power supplies unless we're talking about battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was looking through older posts just now, and I saw one where a person was mentioning fusible links, and another forum member said:


"Worst case scenario could include an internal short in the
engine J-Block, however, you ought to smell that one. It is
a 50 amp link."


It never occured to me to mention it, but my car does have a faint plastic burning smell sometimes, I always thought it was from a cheap rubber wire protector hose that i used to try to protect one wire inside the car whch is slowly melting because it is near the engine block, but now I am curious if it is normal for a fusible link to smell like burning plastic as well when it goes out, and could a fusible link be the source of the resistance mentioned by AUTOSPARK... Also, if it is a fusible link, anybody have a clue as to where I would start to look for it / what it might look like and how to replace it?
 

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If you have a wire that's too close to the engine block, wrap the final layer in foil tape. The reflectiveness of the the tape is what will reduce the transfer of radiant heat.

Few more comments to add after reading what you've posted.

First, as a result of the poor charging capability of your previous alternator, it could have worn out the battery (lead-acid batteries degrade/sulfate when they aren't left at full charge), so don't completely rule out replacing the battery at some point. As long as it can still crank within a few minutes of disconnecting the charger though, then the battery is still good.

second, voltage drop test is how you can determine where a lot of wire resistance might be. Google for more info/instructions, but basically, you should only see your voltage drop significantly at the source that is using the power. the voltage shouldn't drop at some random wire junction. If it does drop somewhere it shouldn't, it's likely producing a lot of heat as well. Finding hot spots where they shouldn't is another method that can help locate problems.

Third, I'm not sure where you live and if it's humid regularly, but a car as old as yours, it's a good idea to clean the ground points regardless. Hyundai's and most cars typically have 3 points, one where the negative side of the battery connects to the frame of the car, the second where the frame of the car connects to the engine block, and a third will connect the transmission body to the frame of the car. The big two to worry about are the engine-frame and battery-frame (as that's where your alternator current is traveling through). Remove the bolts connecting the wire to the frame of the car, sand down the surface of the wire and frame contact point. Reconnect the contacts/bolt it down, and then apply any sort of electrical compliant grease.
 

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It never occured to me to mention it, but my car does have a faint plastic burning smell sometimes
That's probably another symptom of your high resistance. When you pass electrical current through a resistance the resistor will heat up.

The poster in the other thread you read was talking about heat generated by high current flow (a short circuit). That's a completely different fault from high resistance.

Here is a video explaining how to diagnose a starter circuit that's failed due to high resistance :

 

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Starting Click

Lara,
Everything these members have shared with you are areas you might need some help to investigate. You need to have a reliable volt-ohm meter and know how to use it to get into the depths of repair needed to fix this gremlin. If I read your posts right, you have replaced the alternator and eliminated the idiot lights. That should allow your system to charge, take the volt ohm meter and verify you have a little more than 12 volts across the battery with the engine off. After engine start, see if the voltage increases to around 13.5 or above, 14.5 would be an excellent value to see.

Regarding the no start click, you might have an electrical connection that needs a little corrosion removed. Last winter I thought I might need a starter, but after visual inspection of the battery lead at the starter, I noticed a dull finish or film on the connector.
Took a little sandpaper and "Scuffed" the connector and after hooking it back up, the starter cranked and it has been working fine ever since. Resistance talked about earlier can be in many forms, open/broken wires, thin films covering connections of faulty wires that are corroded. Take a deep breath and verify your battery and charging system are performing. After that, look at the electrical connectors that transfer electricity in the starting system and stay in that system until you find the culprit. It may take you a while to isolate the gremlin, but if you focus on it, you will eventually trip over it (find it) and fix it.

Good luck,
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Did get a lot done today, looked around for the ground spots, found one of them, where the battery negative cable bolts into the car, and found one underneath the fuse thing in the engine compartment where a bunch of cables ground against the car, sanded some gunk away and reconnected though they really didnt look too bad. Also took out the starter and tried to power it off of a battery charger, found that the little gear would pop out but it would not spin. So thinking whether I have resistance or not the starter is probably done for as well.


May try to mess around with voltage testing though admittedly messing with electrical stuff in the car while they are powered on scares me a bit :D
 
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