Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Puddles = No Power Steering?

I have a 2006 Hyundai Tucson with 31,000 miles, and my 5-year power train warranty will expire in mid-September 2011. Recently, and consistently, when I drive through a puddle my power steering suddenly quits, the battery light comes on, the brake light comes on, and my blood pressure rises a bit. After a few seconds, the power steering will come back on, or I’ll pull over and re-start the car for the power steering to come on.

What do you think is happening? And, the big question before I take this to my dealer, how much do you think this will cost (or is it under warranty)?

Thank you for any input you might have.


If the serpentine belt has never been replaced you might start there.

If the belt is worn to the point where water can get between the belt and the pulley’s, the belt will hydraulic off the pulley’s and slip. You then lose power steering, the alternator stops turning which will cause the battery light and the brake light to come on.


Tester is correct.
All of the symptoms mentioned are the result of a badly slipping serpentine belt.

No, it is not covered by warranty, so you might just want to skip the dealership.
Any competent mechanic can replace your serpentine belt–at lower cost than the dealership.

This is a simple slipping belt or belts. Many Hyundai/Kia vehicles still have manual tensioners and multiple belts, so your mechanic may be able to simply tighten up the belts. If they have never been replaced, though, now would be the time to replace them.