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2010 Hyundai Elantra issue

I have a 2010 Hyundai Elantra with about 150,000 miles that I paid cash for about 2 months ago. Until yesterday the car drove absolutely perfect. Never had one single sign that anything was going bad in the car.

Then yesterday I’m in a drive thru at a fast food restaurant and I notice like every single dash light come on. Check engine, battery, etc… all of them. So I got my food and went to drive off and notice the car is now incredibly hard to steer. Like it has no power steering. Then I notice my headlights aren’t on… my windows barely had power to go up and down, and my interior lights were extremely dim when turned on. Also, the car wouldn’t come out of 1st gear. I was only less than a mile from my house so I drove it home, and it won’t let me put the car in park. And obviously… the car won’t start now… I know nothing about cars and have never experienced something go from 100 to 0 in an instant like that. Any help would be appreciated.

Go by an auto parts store that can test your battery and replace if needed. Make sure they use a memory saver if they replace the battery.

I would guess that the serpentine belt has failed. It is the big belt on the front of the engine that runs everything. If the belt is still in place, I’d guess the alternator has failed. either way it needs to be towed to a service shop.

If that ever happens again, do NOT drive it home, you might do a lot more damage to the car with those actions!


Typically the battery light will turn on when the alternator is not providing electrical power to meet demands of the vehicle. That you lost power steering assist along with the battery light coming on, leads me to think the one common thing between them, the serpentine belt system is at fault. The belt is driven by the engine via the crankshaft pulley. It drives the air conditioning compressor, alternator, water pump, and power steering pumps. If the belt broke or came off due either to age, or if possibly the belt tensioner If the belt came off or broke, the alternator will not provide power and the battery warning light will come on. Also, you will lose power steering assist, air conditioning, as well as the water pump will not circulate coolant and cause the engine to overheat.

+1 to @Mustangman. Your Elantra has electric power steering. Either you have a problem with the serpentine belt or a bad alternator.

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If you have a DVM, measure the battery voltage and report what it says here.