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Old 11-26-2017, 03:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Power steering pump, alternator?

2004 Hyundai Elantra.

Replaced both belts a while back. A little after that the steering became harder. It gradually got worse to the point that it started squealing when turning at low speeds & the battery light would come on. Once you stopped turning, the light would go off. I figured the pump was dragging, causing the alternator to drag. A couple of weeks ago while driving a belt broke. Figured the belt finally broke but when I got it home & popped the hood I found that the power steering pump belt was intact & still in good condition but the alternator/water pump belt had broken. Was it the alternator all along dragging & causing the power steering pump to struggle or could they just be separate unrelated issues?
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like your crank belt was slipping, aka, not tensioned right or your tensioner backed out a bit. Knowing the proper tension is a whole crapshoot in itself depending on the belt design so I'd rather not spread misinformation.

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Old 11-26-2017, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I really couldn't comment "for sure" on the power steering for that car, but typically you will hear a weird grinding/mechanical noise coming from a failing pump.

As to the alternator, spin it by hand and try to wiggle the pulley. See if there is any play. If/when you replace the belt use a broomstick to listen to it. If you set the broomstick to the pulley end and back end you should hear a soft winding sound. If you hear any manner of "grind" to it, the bearings are bad and needs rebuilt replaced.

I would imagine you probably didn't have the belts tensioned properly. My 300z used to freak me out at how tight the belts had to be. Normally when that is the case you will hear belt squeal on takeoff, high acceleration, or when they get mildly wet. A short amount of driving under that condition would wear and break the belt.

Edit, you may also want to check the water pump. It's rare for them to have issue without leaking first, but it can happen.

Last edited by punkncat; 11-26-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I didn't actually replace the belts myself. I had a mechanic do it. No leakage from the water pump. It did squeal quite a bit at low speeds (mostly when backing out of a parking space when the wheel had to be turned almost to its limit) & the last week or so before the belt broke it would occasionally start squeaking while I was on the road but would stop if the rpms increased.
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Check to see if it's possible any fluids leaked out onto the belt. Otherwise I would consider that the mechanic may not have tightened it/them enough. Generally speaking, if you are going to a mechanic and anything is even mildly wrong they will suggest replacement.

I would (without looking) assume that car uses a tensioner pulley. It's not uncommon for those to need replacement and may not be applying the correct pressure to keep this from happening. Once again though, it would have been a pretty big miss for the mechanic.
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Manually tensioned belts usually need to be tightened after a short break in period.... it's not unlikely that yours wore in enough that they needed readjustment and that the amount of slippage destroyed the belts but it's possible that there's a deeper issue as well.
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Old 11-27-2017, 09:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ignore, I was looking at newer Elantra steering issues.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. I guess I might need to take it to a new mechanic.
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Old 11-27-2017, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. I guess I might need to take it to a new mechanic.
To be fair, it does sound like this problem is self inflicted... why didn't you go back when the noises started?
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And God turned to Gabriel and said: “I shall create a land called Canada of outstanding natural beauty, with majestic mountains soaring with eagles, sparkling lakes abundant with bass and trout, forests full of elk and moose, and rivers stocked with salmon. I shall make the land rich in oil so the inhabitants prosper and call them Canadians, and they shall be praised as the friendliest of all people.”

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