Q: Battery light, steering wheel, rattling noise, and emergency brake

asked by on February 08, 2017

I just went to turn my car on just to move it to another spot and it made this weird rattling noise when I went to start it. After it was started, my steering wheel felt really tight and I couldn’t move it without a lot of force, my battery light was on, and the emergency brake light was on. I don’t know anything about cars, like literally nothing, and I have to drive far for work tomorrow. I just want a sense of what is potentially wrong with it and is it safe to drive?

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a weak battery, a failing voltage regulator or failing alternator which may be causing the battery light to come on. If the voltage in the car is weak and it is not able to maintain at a certain level, this can also cause many other lights (such as the brake light) to come on. As a result of this, if the engine RPM’s decrease, this will also cause the power steering to reduce the amount of power it puts out as well making the steering more stiff as you describe. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your charging system.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

How do I maintain the drive belt?

The drive belt on your engine is crucial – it runs all of your accessories, from the alternator to your power steering pump, water pump and more. While it’s designed to last for a very long time, it will eventually...

Glitter like flakes in radiator

Hi There, Unfortunately, this may be a couple of potential issues. This could be leftover remnants of a stop leak fluid that may have been put in the radiator at some point. Additionally, it may be small particles of potentially...

How do I use the trip odometers?

Your vehicle has two trip odometers, which tell you the distance you have traveled since the last reset. The vehicle displays one trip odometer at a time, directly below the standard odometer. To toggle between the two trip odometers, press...

Related articles

2012 Kia Soul vs. 2012 Nissan Cube: Which One Should I Buy?
While technically these two vehicles fall into the “small wagon” classification, they look like nothing more than boxes on wheels. Some people are really into this design, while others are completely opposed to it. If you’re in the former camp,...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan Juke
The The 2012 Nissan Juke is part crossover, part sports car, and part radical looking car. It has five doors, folding rear seats, and a rear hatch for easy access to the cargo area. The seats fold flat offering extra...
2012 Kia Optima vs. 2012 Nissan Altima: Which One Should I Buy?
Mid-size sedans can be pretty basic, with four doors and simple and straightforward options, decent but not stellar gas mileage, and an uninspired interior. They can also have great design and fight off boredom through sporty suspension and exciting technology...