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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
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: High idling, car jumps when put into gear

When the vehicle surges such as what you have described and has a high idle, they are generally related. A few different items can cause this fault such as the MAF sensor, a vacuum leak, a throttle body fault, or...

Q: Help with power steering

Hello, thank you for writing in. The leak you are having may be caused by the threads on the line, the power steering pump side, or from a poor installation. The line's replacement needs to be verified. If it was...

Q: Q: Check engine light staying on

The definition of the fault code you are seeing signals back to a problem with the system fuel pressure. The fuel pressure may be too high or too low. The pressure readings from the sensor to the ecm may be...

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...