2005 Hyundai Sonata Q&A
2005 Hyundai Sonata Question: electrical problem
My daughter is several hours away with a car that is apparently "dead"( no previous problems of any kind). There is not a single sound when she turns the ignition (nothing was left on prior); obviously the first step is a jump - if that doesn't work and it's towed to a repair shop what steps SHOULD be taken to determine if it's the starter/alternator/battery or combination without her being taken to the cleaners because she's young, alone and female? - mom6
Start with a jump if she has to tow it I see several Auto centers close to her location http://www.napaautocare.com/ConsumerNew/index.aspx Usually batteries last 3 to 4 years but it might be the starter. ASE certified mechanics are her best bet. - hemicuda
Batteries can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years so it's possible a cold night drained the battery or it isn't holding a charge anymore. It's possible a dome lamp was left on or something (I know what she said but I have said the same thing in the past myself ;)). First thing to do is charge the battery, ideally with a trickle/slow charger. Jumping will work but you will need to drive at speed a good 20-30 minutes to be sure the battery has charged. Most new cars will set a trouble code (check engine light) when battery voltage is below a certain amount. Once you're sure the battery is charged and the cable terminals are tight, call around to the local auto parts locations and ask if they perform a free charging system test. Also most shops have the tester that will print the results of its diagnostic. It will show battery voltage and voltage with the engine running. Some testers can perform a "load test" on the battery to test the battery's capacity to hold the charge. If it passes the charging system diag, and starts (the starting system is likely not culprit). If you really want to be sure nothing else is causing a problem, a shop (or someone with a multimeter and good instructions) can perform an "Ignition Off Draw" test. This test confirms there is nothing draining the battery excessively when the key is off (and the modules/computers have timed out) hope this helps! - Andy Y
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