About an hours worth of driving, the charging system fails, I replaced the
battery as per Sears diagnostics recommended that the batter was dead.
(battery was still under warranty, so it was a free replacement) they
indicated the alternator was working just fine......... Next day, the same
thing happened, dies on me and after an hour or so of driving. After it if
cools off, I can jump start it, and runs fine for about an hour again......
I'm guessing the alternator needs replacing.???.. but I've heard there's a
separate voltage regulator ??? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
A couple of things come to mind Dave. With a car that old, grounds and
connections always become areas of suspicion. Clean, tight, and solid
mechanically at the connector. It's even plausible for faulty connections
to be heat related, which would be consistent with it running for an hour
before having a problem.
Did you have Sears test the system during a failure period? That would be
appropriate. I think, given the description, I'd initially be lean towards
an alternator, even though the diagnostics did not point that way. When an
alternator is not working properly, the car will run off of the battery
until the battery voltage drops too low. At that point, the world ends.
I'll bet it's not so much a matter of it cooling off as it is that it takes
time to recharge the battery by jumping it.
As for the voltage regulator - I don't know if the 98 Sonata has an external
regulator. It's been a long time since I've seen a car with one, so I'd
kind of doubt it, but that's a guess. Have you looked at www.hmaservice.com
yet? It's a free website by Hyundai and it has service manuals for all
American Hyundai's. You'll need to use IE (Mozilla and other browsers won't
work), and you'll need to download the Adobe SVG viewer - go to the site
requirements link, you'll see. There's a world of information on that site,
although it's one of the worst sites that has ever been written, from a web
site development perspective. Oh well - guess you can't have everything.
That site may answer the question of the voltage regulator.
I would assume since after you replaced your battery that the problem
would be the alternator. I had my sister's 99 Elantra alternator which
began failing at 70k miles. The problem with the Hyundai was that I
didn't get any indication from the battery light on the console like I
would get on my Hondas. From what Hyundaitech was saying, it is a
common problem in which the Hyundai alternators (Hyundaitech correct
me if I am wrong) will continue to partially work even with a failure
which most other car manufactures the alternator will just go.
Don't rule out the possibility that it could be dirty contact
terminals to the battery. Make sure to clean these because I have
never seen so much corrosion as I did on our Elantra. I ended up
replacing the terminal a few weeks ago because it was so corroded that
it wouldn't stay on the terminal.
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