Q: While on the interstate, displays lit up and steering locked

asked by on

While on the interstate yesterday, the info screen displayed with the following message: Power System Failure - Urgent Service Needed. Then the battery light came on, as did the small red exclamation mark “!” that is in the middle of the gauges. The drive belt appeared to be loose and there were small rubber-like shavings (reinforced like a belt) all around the compartment that is directly above the alternator. The car did go down and when it did all lights came on and the power steering locked; I could hardly manage to get out of traffic. Very dangerous! Is this just a belt that needs replacement or is it something more serious?

The engine peripherals that are driven by the belt need to be checked to make sure that they are all able to rotate without issue. If the engine peripherals check out okay, then the belt can be replaced and this will likely correct the issue.

If there are any issues with a drive belt component and its ability to rotate, replacing the belt will not help. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the expertise to access the drive belt system, and can diagnose both your warning light issue and steering problem.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. While on the interstate, displays lit up and steering locked

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

Q: i have a high pitched squeal from the area behind fan. 2006 explorer. have replaced tensioner and idle pulley, applied dressing to

The problem may be the a/c compressor pulley bearing going bad or is bad. They will lock up sometimes and cause belt squeal. If the noise is always there then remove the accessory belt and start engine to may sure...

Q: Power steering fluid groaning noise. Power steering leak?

Hello. A groaning noise is an indication of low power steering fluid. If you had your power steering fluid serviced about 5 months ago and it is making a groaning noise again most likely means your power steering pump has...

Q: What do you call the plastic water tank fitted on the sides of the radiator.

This water filled plastic tank is sometimes referred to as an overflow tank, an expansion tank, or a reservoir. The expansion tank is a vessel that is designed to allow anti-freeze and air that are inside your coolant system to...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...