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|1986 - Hyundai Excel||United States||Base|
|2012 - Hyundai Accent||United States||GS|
I have a 2005 Tucson with 70,000 Miles. I am about to write my final car payment check and want to make sure i'm taking care of my car so it can start working FOR me rather than AGAINST me!!
Any tips for helping me keep this thing running for years to come are overwhelmingly welcomed. This isn't something I learned growing up.
Here are my two primary concerns:
1.) When I turn on my a/c, it squeaks LOUDLY when i'm not accelerating!
2.)I know I am due for a timing belt replacement at 60k but it's super expensive on a student budget -- any tips for
doing it myself or finding the most reasonable shop in my area? I am pretty illiterate on these issues and don't want to be ripped off! I don't know what fee's are typical of this sort of thing.
OK - Get quotes for the timing belt job which is a must do and not for you from the read. Change out all called for, for that now late 60,000 mile items.
Squeal from turning on A/C may just be a belt stretched beyond limits, poor belt or tension is inadequate OR could be a warning of A/C trouble so let someone hear it soon as if compressor (heart of the system) seizes up it's not going to be close to cheap,
Follow your maintenance schedule in your owners manual. If you have a shop do your oil changes, have them inspect the vehicle over to be sure nothing is falling off or is about to blow. Don't drive it like a raped ape all the time and it should last a while.
Do understand that things are going to break on it. That is just the way it goes. As Tom stated it is very important you change that timing belt.
Second time posting, big fan. I have a 1997 Hyundai elantra wagon with a 1.8 l 4 cylinder engine. I started having some issues with overheating, and identified that the cooling fan was not operating. After replacing/checking the fusible links and relays, it started working. Then the car started dying while driving. I replaced the alternator belt, the alternator, battery, battery terminals, ground wire from the battery, and checked the relays by replacing each with one I knew worked. I also saw the clip that plugs into the alternator was frayed and corroded, so I rebuilt that as a replacement is not available, even through salvage yards. I also found a wire that was corroded in the wiring harness, and spliced in a new wire. These repairs have happened over the course of a week, and after each one, the car has died while I was driving. The symptoms while driving are: the dashboard lights get dim, the headlights dim, the radio cuts out (before I stopped using it), the blinker stops working, then the abs light comes on. And it dies. I have been unable to locate a hanes or similar manual, but I'm still looking. I also have no experience doing electrical diagnoses with tools or sensors, so any direction in that area would help... Also, I'm out of ideas of what the problem could be. Any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated, I'll be making a parts/tools run tomorrow if necessary, and will be working on it over the next few days if I/we/you can figure out the problem. Thanks!
Oops, forgot to mention the horn hasn't worked since before I started on any of this, and I checked those fuses/ links/relays as well.
I'm not sure how much help I can be on this but thought I'd give you some info on a place to get a repair manual. It's an online manual but it's the same repair info/manual that most dealerships and private shops use. It's just a version for a single vehicle instead of a program for all makes and models. Just google alldatadiy. You can purchase a one year membership for I think $16.95 or a 3 year membership for around $29.95. The first thing I do once I purchase a new vehicle (well, new to me) is purchase the manual. It blows the Haynes or Chilton's out of the water.
Be sure to check the cables that run from the battery to the alternator. If you have found corrosion in other places I'd check all the main wires and cables. Also check the grounds and clean them. There are different grounds all over, including under some trims pieces, so you just have to look real good. I know I've seen grounds under the trip piece that's located below the door on the floor board beside the driver's and passenger's seat. There may also be some grounds that are bolted onto the transmission. Just clean on connections on the battery, starter, alternator, under hood fuse box, etc. I don't know if any of it will help but at least look for corrosion.
You might want to pickup a multi meter when you're out and about tomorrow. You can find them for as cheap as $10 to $20. You might end up needing one if this turns out to be electrical, which it kind of sounds like it is. I know you said you already replaced the battery and alternator but I'd take them to the parts store and get them checked. Even new parts can be bad. It has happened to me in the past with both an alternator and a battery. If you get them tested you know for a fact they're good. With the symptoms you're having the first thing you want to do is get the battery tested and then the alternator. The testing procedure is sometimes process of elimination.
Some of pro's on here will be able to give you better advice than what I can so be sure to check back in. I do know they'll tell you to get the battery and alternator tested first though.
Thanks for the resource on the manual, that's awesome. I have checked the parts of the wiring harness I can see, but I'm going to rip it apart tomorrow and check as much of it as I can. Same goes for the grounds, I've checked/cleaned 2 so far, but I'll look for more. The battery should be good, I've driven it multiple times since I installed it, and the car usually goes 50-75 miles and several starts before dying... Then I've fixed whatever the next issue that pops up has been, charged it on a trickle charger, and it goes for a day or 2 and dies again... I'll drive it up and get the alternator checked tomorrow. Is there any other name for the multi meter you mentioned, or is that a common term? Thanks again, this gives me a few more places/things to look at.
I have checked the parts of the wiring harness I can see, but I'm going to rip it apart tomorrow and check as much of it as I can.
I hope you don't mean that literally. You don't rip harnesses apart for no reason other than exploration. You test at connections until you have a reason to believe something is broken in that harness and you have narrowed down the exact spot.
Sorry, no I didn't mean the harness, I meant the car... Take out things like the air filter housing, plastic protective pieces underneath, etc. to get a better look at the wiring harness. Honestly though I don't know how to pinpoint the problem, so I'll be taking the above suggestions and go from there... Any other testing materials/tools that I would need? Or any other places/parts to look at specifically? Thanks for all the help so far, its all appreciated!
Don't purchase an alternator without having it tested first.
All good suggestions - just adding that your splices need to be good and wire needs be of correct gauge and type and any eyelets or whatever used up to par for that item or area being repaired,
Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I haven't yet hit all of them but so far today I picked up the multimeter, as well as some wiring (I think) I needed, an extra fuse and relay, got the battery charged and the battery and alternator tested. Both tested out good, and I have the car ready to roll when I get home from work to start testing and narrow down the problem. I'll follow up as soon as I know more, and thanks again!
Just to verify, are the dash lights coming on right when it dies? Kind of like before you get read to start a car. You turn the key into the accessory position and all of the cluster lights come on. Or, are they coming on before the car even dies. You did say the blinkers stop working so that leads me to believe that it happens before the car even dies. The reason I ask is because when a car dies in sense the key is once again in the accessory position so those cluster lights will be illuminated. Know what I mean? If this is the case it may not be electrical at all. If that's what's happening the blinkers should still be working though.
All I can recommend is really cleaning up the connections from the battery, to alternator, and to the starter. Check and clean all grounds that you can find. When you unbolt or take the nut off of the grounds don't only clean the eyelet but also where the eyelet makes contact with the vehicle. You'll probably have to use a piece of emery cloth or sandpaper to shine it up.
If none of that works the pro's on here will have to take over. Automotive electrical issues can be tough to figure out and they know a heck of a lot more than I do. They're even the ones who have taught me most of what I know. If you ever want to learn more about automotive repair be sure to stick around this site even after your car is fixed. I've learned quite a bit not only from asking questions but by just reading the questions and answers. The mechanics here really know their stuff. They even talked me through the rebuilding of an automatic transmission.
Just follow the instructions they give you and I'm sure you'll get it figured out.
The dashboard lights (ABS and battery lights) start coming on just before it's about to die. When they come on, it means I have about 5 minutes before it dies, less if my headlights are on.
Ok, so today and yesterday I have cleaned one more ground, tested all wires coming from the alternator to the fuse box and all were good, tested all relevant fuses, also all good, spliced a new wire into the wiring harness (I had already done this, but I made the splice better), and rechecked the plug that goes into the alternator, which when I took it apart, one of the connections came apart. This is also something I had already rebuilt, but I have now done it again, and improved the rebuild. One new issue: when I was checking the pre-excitation resistor (labeled as the ALT relay in the engine fusible link box,) I noticed it only has two plug-in receptors, while all the others have 4. Further, the relay only fits into one of the two. I checked the alldatadiy site and I can't figure out what that receptor is supposed to look like, or if there is a different type of relay that goes in this relay receptor... Any one have any idea of what this is supposed to look like?
I just finished these repairs, and I'm waiting for the silicone on the rebuilt part to cure before putting everything back and testing it, so I don't have an outcome yet... I was also hoping to hear about the relay before trying to drive it again. Last, is there anything I missed?
Thanks for everything so far, I think we're getting close!
Just some quick thoughts: If you are already re-fixing splices you made you need to use better materials and procedures. Soldered, correct wire and or plug items. If these are not good it will interfere with testing.
Dash warning coming on before engine quits. Possibly just going into the bulb check type mode of ignition on, engine off in part, voltage drops below norms apparent as engine stalls out. Alone that observation isn't conclusive of the source of troubles IMO,
Tom, thanks for the input on the procedures and materials. I replaced the splice that i had done prior because I had used a thicker gauge wire, as that was all that was available at the time... Certainly this repair has made me look at my procedures, and I've been taking my time to make sure I'm doing things correctly. I took off the connector that plugs into the alternator in order to test it, and it broke again as I took it apart. I repaired it again and tested the repair, and it tested good. I reconnected everything today, and tested the battery at 80% charge. I drove it to and from the gas station, and when I came back, tested the battery at 65% charge, so it seems the issue hasn't been resolved... I honestly have no idea where to go from here. Any ideas?
Not sure how you came up with % of charge. First rule out some basics. Can you just charge this battery with a charger so more testing can be done where it's located?
You can get one that will take quite a while for $20ish bucks called a battery maintainer but they charge too, nice and slow so you get a good charge. They have lights red, amber then green is done and self shut off.
Now you should see 12 and a little volts at battery. Start the engine and it should pop right up to perhaps 13.5 to 14 and some volts. If no change, it's not charging.
Easy checks first. Belt tight enough? Whether self tensioned or manually adjusted must be tight enough of course.
You need to know if it charges at all, a little or none. Alternator could be mad at you () for having corroded connections and worked intermittently so suspect of problem but test plain voltage the belt tension first,
Sorry for the hiatus, life caught up with me there. I had come up with the % of charge using a battery jump starter, and it just read out the % of battery life left. After this a friend and I tested to see if it was charging at all and it wasn't. I wound up bringing it into a shop because this is getting over my head. They found that it was a bad alternator after all, so after having brought it back to the store and them telling me it was good I'm not too happy with them. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, I definitely learned a lot through this repair even though I couldn't get it fixed myself this time.
Glad that's fixed and sorry you had a bad test of alternator earlier
It definitely sounds like it's the alternator. If your alternator isn't working your battery isn't being charged while driving. If your battery isn't being charged, once it's completely drained, there is no juice to power your car. No power means no spark. No spark means no running engine.
A spark plug ignites the fuel to create combustion. It's the combustion that causes your engine to run. No spark = no combustion which = no go on an engine running.
If the alternator checks out good follow all wires/cables running from the battery and alternator. They're not going to be the plug in electrical connectors but the ones that are attached with a nut or bolt. Pull them off, hit them with a wire brush until they shine, and put some dioelectric grease on them. The grease will help keep water and moisture off of the connections which will help prevent corrosion. You can get dielectric grease at the auto parts store. I use it on almost all electrical connectors that I happen to unhook when working on my vehicles.
A multimeter is what the device is called. Some have more functions than others but a basic one should have just about everything you'll need to do basic testing. You can get them anywhere from Wal-Mart to Radio Shack or even an auto parts store. Here's a like to a video on youtube on how to use one. It'll show you what one looks like and also a quick rundown on how one works.
Sweet, I'll pick one up. I'll start on the grounds I can see and make sure there aren't any corroded end or anything. I'll post again once I get the alternator looked at. Thanks again.