2010 Hyundai Elantra Electrical Issues?

Youngest’s car is acting super weird. Battery died completely and probably needs an alternator, but the gremlins have taken hold based on rpms. When car gets over 1,000 RPM several dash lights, including ESC, ABS, hand brake come on. They go off when he is at a stop light and no RPMs but car running. More concerning, around 4,000 RPM, such as accelerating to merge on to a highway, his power steering fails and it becomes super hard to steer. This too goes away when RPMs lower. This used to be our car and has been maintained, but it has around 200K miles on it.

This is completely beyond our experience. Car is worth maybe $2K and his budget is pretty small. Any ideas what may be wrong and if it’s worth fixing given the alternative option of getting a newer car?



Are either of these events accompanied by a squealing noise?

One thing these have in common is the fan belt. Fan belts often squeal as they age and approach failure. And they are relatively inexpensive to replace.


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Thanks Peter. No squealing noise. Belts were replaced maybe 18 months ago. Youngest just told me the car was sitting for a week when he was away, which may explain the battery.

I’d still check the belt tension just to make sure - and because it’s quick, easy, and cheap.

The sitting would explain the battery - although a week isn’t that long. But then again, modern electronics that never really shut off. Electronics may not settle down until the car has been driven long enough to fully charge the battery. They really don’t like low voltages from the battery. (My 2013 car can only sit for 3 or 4 days without killing the battery. My 1999 - with a lot less electronics - can sit for a month or more and still fire right up.)

It might be worthwhile to pay a mechanic to diagnose things. Then you can make decisions from there. I’d expect to pay around $150 for the diagnosis, with some or all of that credited toward any repairs. I doubt that anything is fatal here. Even $1000 or more of repairs can be cheaper than a new(er) car. Depends on the condition of the rest of the car.


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