2000 accent alternator and air bag light issue

My Mom has a 2000 Accent she bought in 1999, 20,000 miles (barely driven). A few months ago she noticed that her lights were brightening and dimming when she went over bumps. Then, this week, her air bag
light came on and stayed on. Her 5 yr warranty is over. She took it to the Hyundai dealer...they said her alternator had spiked and caused air bag system damage. She was quoted $950 for alternator replacement and repairs/labor. Seems high...I saw a few posts about similar problems.
My questions: how confident can we be in dealer's assessment of problem? Is repair cost out of line? Should she get it checked independently?
Thanks so very much in advance for any guidance! Cathy
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I just replaced the alternator on my 1998 Elantra and it actually isnt hard. I assume its pretty close to the same. It cost me $230 for the alternator and all 3 belts. My check engine and airbag light come on sometimes then shut off. I would have a friend replace the alternator for you(might cost you some beer). :)
As for the light, I am not sure on that. Hyundaitech might have a good answer.
Shawn 1998 Elantra

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Thanks, Shawn - I appreciate the info on the alternator costs! From what I understand, if the air bag light is on, then the air bags are not functioning...so we'll see if I get any more advice on what that should cost to fix. Thanks again :) Cathy
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thats a friggin rip off, we paid max of i think 400.00 cdn when our accents alt went, and is common when the alt goes it trips the air bag light... ours is a 1999 accent and all our dealer did was replace the alt, and reset the air bag light. there was zero damage to air bag system, they are taking advantage of u.... go elsewhere!

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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

If your mom's alternator had truly spiked you ECM would have fried and one or more of the main fuses would have burned out as well.
You may want to change the battery along with the alternator if its more than 2 years old.
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$950 for the alternator seems high, but this one isn't as easy as some other vehicles because the 2000 accent has a full subframe which gets in the way. (Keep in mind, $950 still seems high for that job).
The air bag lamp will come on if voltage is either high or low, so, spiking alternator voltage is indeed a plausible issue.
What did the dealer say was the damage to the air bag system? Are some of those repairs included in the $950? Be sure to know exactly what repairs the $950 is to include and the functionality of the vehicle after repair. I'd strongly recommend not driving the car until the alternator is replaced-- it could blow up every solid state device in the car. If that happens, $950 will be a bargain for repair.
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Thanks all - ok, my mom has new info (the car is at the dealer's and she just asked a LOT more questions - I had her ask for the codes!) The dealer said he can do the alternator alone for $398 (that apparently is a "10% discount.") Hyundaitech - you are correct - they said the rest of the cost is to replace the airbag computer. and they will apparently do the whole job now for about $860... the CODES are B 11 11 and P 06 00 (I have not a clue about this stuff - my Mom just gave me this over the phone. Thanks for the good advice about not driving the car! It's at the dealers, so that shouldn't be a problem :) I also told my mom to know exactly what the one year alternator warranty includes - if it covers any damage to other systems. I'll let you all know how this turns out! Any definitions for these codes? Thanks much to everyone! Cathy
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In trying to search for the codes myself, I found this, which pretty much describes my Mom's car symptoms exactly...if there was a service bulletin on the 1999 Accent, wouldn't this issue have been addressed in the 2000 model? http://www.motor.com/MAGAZINE/Articles/062004_08.html So the B1111 code relates to the overcharging (spike). The only reference I could find for P0600 was a "Serial Communication Link Malfunction" - I have worked with computer systems all my life and that sounds pretty general - like it could be anything! Cathy
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id get a second opinion and have the computer scanned at another garage for fault codes.... how do un know those codes were in your cars memory or is the dealer just saying they are to mkae a few $$? then again, im pessimistic... =)

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B1111 is consistent with too high a voltage. I can't find any applicability for P0600 with regard to this vehicle -- It's a CAN error, and I don't believe the computers talk to each other, except for the MIL request line from the TCM. I also checked for a B0600, but couldn't find any. If B1111 is the only code in the air bag computer, it should be able to be reset. You'll need to find out if there's some reason why the dealer can't reset the air bag computer. I.e., have they tried and not been able?
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

I'd suggest replacing just the alternator first, then seeing what effect that has. The alternator and airbag computer repairs are separate items in different parts of the car, so it shouldn't cost any more to have them done separately. You may end up saving yourself a bundle if the airbag computer doesn't need replacing.
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That's what she is doing today - seems like a good idea! Thanks, Brian! I am curious to know if the air bag system can be reset...
Hyundaitech - I SO appreciate your feedback - Mom will get the car back later today, and we'll know the outcome...
Jody - I am like you - very skeptical sometimes! Heck, it's saved me from having my own body parts removed on a poor medical diagnosis!
I own a 2002 Santa Fe myself, so I do actually like Hyundais, and it has had some work done under warranty with no fuss (whole new hitch wiring system and a few minor other items). Of course it's still under warranty. And I think positive!
Thanks all, Cathy
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i love our hyundai =) its great car for where we live, we had no block heater most of the winter and the accents fired up at even -40 f its had a few problems, but so what. what car doesnt? going to buy another sometime soon we hope .. =) i had hyundais since my first car a 1985 pony... if anyone like to see pics:
Hello,
You have been invited to visit a photo album http://photobucket.com/albums/v696/jaaribear72 /
The read only password to view this album is: stellar

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Update - alternator only replaced...dealer said airbag wouldn't reset, and that "the light would stay on."
Of course, my Mom gets in to drive, and the usual dash lights come on for a moment, including the air bag light, which blinks a couple of times quickly, and then goes off and stays off. Go figure!
She hasn't asked them about it (don't ask me why!)...and I don't know if she will...she's not thrilled. I told her she should get it checked out somewhere else, but she's a snowbird and is leaving this week (in another car), so her Accent will stay in the garage for 5 months.
By the way, parts and labor for the alternator (including FL tax 6%) - $420.
Thanks again to all - this will be my last post on the subject! Cathy
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

She didn't take it to Hyundai of Brandon, FL by any chance, did she?
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Nope - Coastal - Melbourne...
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If it's out after servicing, don't worry about it. It'll come back on if it sees a problem. There's likely one of two scenarios depending on how easily the lamp on this system resets:
1. The servicing dealer reset the lamp, or 2. The system saw the voltage was correct and reset the lamp on its own.
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

I'd suggest that you look for a good independent shop to work on the car in the future. Rebuilt alternators are relatively cheap (typically ~$125) and it only takes ~1/2 hour to replace one, so the bill shouldn't have been more than $200.
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