2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

The electric power steering & stability of this 2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 Classic seem to be badly affected by the car's radio / audio system:

If the radio is kept OFF, the steering and handling become much tauter; the car becomes much nicer to drive.

If the radio is turned ON, especially if it is ON when the ignition is first switched ON; the steering and handling can become much more vague; the steering can become over-sensitive so that it is much harder to keep the car in a straight line. There are also other symptoms which suggest problems with interpreting signals from the car's sensors.

Now, I have experienced similar behaviour with a brand new 2016 Hyundai i20. So it is likely that this fault affects other Hyundai i20s and other models?

Has anyone else seen this? It may have started in late 2014 or early 2015, possibly after a Hyundai GDS update?

1. How to Get the Car into its "Good" Mode:

  • After a previous drive, make sure that the radio is turned OFF before the ignition is turned OFF.
  • On the next drive, make sure that the handbrake is ON.
  • Start the car normally, making sure that the radio does not come ON.
  • Keep the radio OFF during the whole journey.

Note. It make take a couple of trips and a couple of days before the steering reaches its "good" mode. Also, the car may need to have been driven faster than its "threshold" speed?

2. How to Get the Car into its "Bad" Mode:

  • After a previous drive, make sure that the radio is turned ON before the ignition is turned OFF; or turn the radio ON before turning the ignition ON.
  • Start the car normally, making sure that the radio is already ON or does come ON when the ignition is switched ON.

Note. Turning the radio ON during a journey can trigger the "bad" mode, especially after the car is next slowed or stopped eg. at a road junction.

Obviously, none of this should be happening. Especially if it affects other vehicles, Hyundai will need to investigate urgently and to arrange a safety recall.

So, does this affect other Hyundai i20s or perhaps other Hyundai vehicles?

Both of these i20s were simple base models which do not have buttons on the steering wheel for controlling the radio.

Edited by RS2016 on 26/08/2016 at 00:06

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Cris_on_the_gas

Could the driver be distracted by the Radio ?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Could the driver be distracted by the Radio ?

Very funny?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - skidpan

Have to keep checking the date to ensure its not April 01.

Its not but I still had a good laugh.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - SteVee

What does the Hyundai dealer say ?
Do you think the steering is unassisted when it is tauter ?
These EPAS systems are horrible when they go wrong - the motors can easily overpower the driver and push the car to full lock.

Although your model may not have the buttons to set a mode, the actual EPAS steering column is probably the same - and may be switching mode from some interference.

There are other reports of Hyundais suffering EPAS problems - though not related to the radio - it may just be the radio switching on that affects it.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

What does the Hyundai dealer say ?
Do you think the steering is unassisted when it is tauter ?
These EPAS systems are horrible when they go wrong - the motors can easily overpower the driver and push the car to full lock.

Although your model may not have the buttons to set a mode, the actual EPAS steering column is probably the same - and may be switching mode from some interference.

There are other reports of Hyundais suffering EPAS problems - though not related to the radio - it may just be the radio switching on that affects it.

Very disappointing lack of help from Hyundai UK and from the main dealer. I get the impression that none of them understand the detail about how the steering & stability components work on this Hyundai i20. So they are unable to understand what might be causing these symptoms or to imagine how to diagnose the cause(s).

Modern cars rely very heavily on electronics. But I'm finding a very worrying lack of knowledge, training, equipment or technical information about these electronic systems; and about how they interact with each other and the mechanical components.

On those rare occasions when the steering feels "taut" I believe that the steering motors are still operational but are providing the "correct" (small) amount of assistance at normal driving speeds.

When the steering feels vague and oversensitive, I believe that the steering motors are providing the incorrect (large) amount of assistance which should only be provided at very slow speeds: aka "Carpark mode." Presumably the car's stability controls are also disabled in this mode?

I'm guessing that these problems are caused by control & sensor problems, rather than by faulty steering motors: There are other symptoms of electronic faults.

However, I would like to know whether any other people have seen anything like these symptoms, where use of the car's radio seems to affect the steering?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

The electric power steering & stability of this 2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 Classic seem to be badly affected by the car's radio / audio system:

If the radio is kept OFF, the steering and handling become much tauter; the car becomes much nicer to drive.

If the radio is turned ON, especially if it is ON when the ignition is first switched ON; the steering and handling can become much more vague; the steering can become over-sensitive so that it is much harder to keep the car in a straight line. There are also other symptoms which suggest problems with interpreting signals from the car's sensors.

Now, I have experienced similar behaviour with a brand new 2016 Hyundai i20. So it is likely that this fault affects other Hyundai i20s and other models?

Has anyone else seen this? It may have started in late 2014 or early 2015, possibly after a Hyundai GDS update?

1. How to Get the Car into its "Good" Mode:

  • After a previous drive, make sure that the radio is turned OFF before the ignition is turned OFF.
  • On the next drive, make sure that the handbrake is ON.
  • Start the car normally, making sure that the radio does not come ON.
  • Keep the radio OFF during the whole journey.

Note. It make take a couple of trips and a couple of days before the steering reaches its "good" mode. Also, the car may need to have been driven faster than its "threshold" speed?

2. How to Get the Car into its "Bad" Mode:

  • After a previous drive, make sure that the radio is turned ON before the ignition is turned OFF; or turn the radio ON before turning the ignition ON.
  • Start the car normally, making sure that the radio is already ON or does come ON when the ignition is switched ON.

Note. Turning the radio ON during a journey can trigger the "bad" mode, especially after the car is next slowed or stopped eg. at a road junction.

Obviously, none of this should be happening. Especially if it affects other vehicles, Hyundai will need to investigate urgently and to arrange a safety recall.

So, does this affect other Hyundai i20s or perhaps other Hyundai vehicles?

Both of these i20s were simple base models which do not have buttons on the steering wheel for controlling the radio.

Interesting. Which does this mean?

  1. No-one else has noticed this problem?
  2. Hyundai owners do not visit this forum?

Hyundai owners in USA & India seem very vocal. Those in UK do not.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - bolt

If the steering motor is controled by sensors and an ecu then its either a problem with a sensor or the ecu/motor

I would think anything else that is thought to cause the problem is coincidence rather than the real cause, also possible Hyundai know not what the problem is?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

If the steering motor is controled by sensors and an ecu then its either a problem with a sensor or the ecu/motor

I would think anything else that is thought to cause the problem is coincidence rather than the real cause, also possible Hyundai know not what the problem is?

...or with the wiring ...or with the earthing ...or with the power supply...?

I'm observing that this steering / stability problem seems to be triggered by use of the car's radio - and perhaps other things?

I am NOT claiming that the problem is caused by use of the car's radio.

I was very surprised to experience a similar problem on a brand new 2016 Hyundai i20, although that vehicle's steering is very different to my 2012 i20. That is why I am asking whether anyone else has noticed anything similar?

Unfortunately, instead of Hyundai simply responding that they do not yet know the cause of these steering / stability problems: Hyundai is adamant that there is no problem with my i20 and is now even refusing to communicate with me.

So, is this only a problem with my i20 (less likely now I've experience it in a different i20) or is it a more common problem with Hyundai i20s or other Hyundai cars?

However far fetched it might seem, there are possible ways that use of the radio might well affect the steering / stability, unless Hyundai has taken suitable precautions. It's also possible that this behaviour happens only when there is a specific fault in the vehicle?

Edited by RS2016 on 28/08/2016 at 16:22

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - skidpan

Despite my sceptism about the validity of the post here is some advice.

Go on the Hyundai forums (there must be at least one in the UK) and ask the same question in the relevant section. If there are others with the same issue they are almost certain to be some of them there.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Despite my sceptism about the validity of the post here is some advice.

Go on the Hyundai forums (there must be at least one in the UK) and ask the same question in the relevant section. If there are others with the same issue they are almost certain to be some of them there.

Thanks. I can understand scepticism. It took me a long time to guess why the steering of my Hyundai i20 kept varying and why it apparently always behaved for Hyundai mechanics. Because there is so very little reliable technical information published about these i20s, I may still be wrong?

I'm also astonished that most vehicle inspection and vehicle inspectors are unable / unwilling to deal with the vehicle's electronics: What is the point of a pre-sales inspection if it does not cover the car's vital control electronics?

I've not yet found a suitable UK forum for Hyundia problems. Any ideas?

USA car forums have many reports about Hyundai steering problems, but the i20 is not sold in USA. Indian car forums also have many reports, but mostly about the electric power assistance being lost.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - skidpan

I've not yet found a suitable UK forum for Hyundia problems. Any ideas?

The best idea is to use Google.Its a commonly used search engine, ask a question and you will get many valid answers.

But I have had a look and guess what, found several UK based ones.

This one even has a specific i20 section hyundaiclub.co.uk/forums/index.php Its called the "The UK Hyundai Club Forums"

How hard can it be.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - bolt

I've not yet found a suitable UK forum for Hyundia problems. Any ideas?

The best idea is to use Google.Its a commonly used search engine, ask a question and you will get many valid answers.

But I have had a look and guess what, found several UK based ones.

This one even has a specific i20 section hyundaiclub.co.uk/forums/index.php Its called the "The UK Hyundai Club Forums"

How hard can it be.

some posters say,although the motor/control unit has been replaced in certain cases, the cause has not been mentioned?

plenty more to read though

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

I've not yet found a suitable UK forum for Hyundia problems. Any ideas?

The best idea is to use Google.Its a commonly used search engine, ask a question and you will get many valid answers.

But I have had a look and guess what, found several UK based ones.

This one even has a specific i20 section hyundaiclub.co.uk/forums/index.php Its called the "The UK Hyundai Club Forums"

How hard can it be.

some posters say,although the motor/control unit has been replaced in certain cases, the cause has not been mentioned?

plenty more to read though

Thanks gentlemen, not sure why my searches missed that forum. But the Hyundai i20/ix20 section seems to have more questions than real answers.

I'll look at the other sections, later. Thanks.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

The electric power steering & stability of this 2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 Classic seem to be badly affected by the car's radio / audio system:

If the radio is kept OFF, the steering and handling become much tauter; the car becomes much nicer to drive.

If the radio is turned ON, especially if it is ON when the ignition is first switched ON; the steering and handling can become much more vague; the steering can become over-sensitive so that it is much harder to keep the car in a straight line. There are also other symptoms which suggest problems with interpreting signals from the car's sensors.

Now, I have experienced similar behaviour with a brand new 2016 Hyundai i20. So it is likely that this fault affects other Hyundai i20s and other models?

Has anyone else seen this? It may have started in late 2014 or early 2015, possibly after a Hyundai GDS update?

1. How to Get the Car into its "Good" Mode:

  • After a previous drive, make sure that the radio is turned OFF before the ignition is turned OFF.
  • On the next drive, make sure that the handbrake is ON.
  • Start the car normally, making sure that the radio does not come ON.
  • Keep the radio OFF during the whole journey.

Note. It make take a couple of trips and a couple of days before the steering reaches its "good" mode. Also, the car may need to have been driven faster than its "threshold" speed?

2. How to Get the Car into its "Bad" Mode:

  • After a previous drive, make sure that the radio is turned ON before the ignition is turned OFF; or turn the radio ON before turning the ignition ON.
  • Start the car normally, making sure that the radio is already ON or does come ON when the ignition is switched ON.

Note. Turning the radio ON during a journey can trigger the "bad" mode, especially after the car is next slowed or stopped eg. at a road junction.

Obviously, none of this should be happening. Especially if it affects other vehicles, Hyundai will need to investigate urgently and to arrange a safety recall.

So, does this affect other Hyundai i20s or perhaps other Hyundai vehicles?

Both of these i20s were simple base models which do not have buttons on the steering wheel for controlling the radio.

Perhaps there is something more involved in this?

This nasty problem seems to happen less often when there is someone sitting in the passenger seat, with their seatbelt buckled. So I wonder whether the passenger seat sensor and passenger seatbelt sensor are also involved?

Usually I drive alone in the car; often with a bag on the passenger seat; often with the passenger seatbelt NOT buckled.

Also, sometimes I have weighty items on the rear passenger seats; usually with the rear seatbelts NOT buckled.

I'm now trying to discover whether having the front passenger seatbelt buckled (or not buckled) when there is a weighty bag on the front passenger seat, makes any difference to these symptoms?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - bolt

I have doubts the radio has anything to do with it, I still think the control unit/one of the sensors, is probably the problem and remember the Fiat punto years ago had strange happenings to the steering before the motor burned out.

its possible they are all made by the same company with problems they know nothing about at the moment?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

I have doubts the radio has anything to do with it, I still think the control unit/one of the sensors, is probably the problem and remember the Fiat punto years ago had strange happenings to the steering before the motor burned out.

its possible they are all made by the same company with problems they know nothing about at the moment?

Thanks. Do you have any suggestions about how to locate the problem(s)? This car contains a large number of sensors.

So far, Hyundia's efforts at diagnosis have depended on looking for stored "fault codes" and brief "test drives."

Apparently, this car has no stored "fault codes."

When I'm driving, the steering/stability behave differently on different journeys, and even during different parts of the same journey. So trying to locate the problem(s) simply by brief "test drives" is too hit&miss... as well as potentially dangerous.

I do have one of those Chinese OBD2 / Bluetooth dongles & the Torque Pro app. But those seem designed mostly for monitoring engines? Also, that type of device seems unlikely to capture anything strange which might be happening at the instant the car's ignition is turned ON?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

The electric power steering & stability of this 2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 Classic seem to be badly affected by the car's radio / audio system:

If the radio is kept OFF, the steering and handling become much tauter; the car becomes much nicer to drive.

If the radio is turned ON, especially if it is ON when the ignition is first switched ON; the steering and handling can become much more vague; the steering can become over-sensitive so that it is much harder to keep the car in a straight line. There are also other symptoms which suggest problems with interpreting signals from the car's sensors.

Now, I have experienced similar behaviour with a brand new 2016 Hyundai i20. So it is likely that this fault affects other Hyundai i20s and other models?

Has anyone else seen this? It may have started in late 2014 or early 2015, possibly after a Hyundai GDS update?

-----

Note. Turning the radio ON during a journey can trigger the "bad" mode, especially after the car is next slowed or stopped eg. at a road junction.

Obviously, none of this should be happening. Especially if it affects other vehicles, Hyundai will need to investigate urgently and to arrange a safety recall.

So, does this affect other Hyundai i20s or perhaps other Hyundai vehicles?

Both of these i20s were simple base models which do not have buttons on the steering wheel for controlling the radio.

This car still suffers from this puzzling, dangerous problem. Even driving with nothing on the passenger seat and the car's radio kept OFF does not guarantee that the steering / stability will remain in its "good" state.

Latest information:

Bad State: Placing a shoulder-bag onto the front passenger seat and turning the car's radio ON, almost always triggers the car's "bad state"; especially if the front passenger seat is slid forwards with its backrest set upright.

Good State: Leaving the front passenger seat empty, or with a "human" passenger belted into the front seat, often triggers the car's "good state"; even simply latching the front passenger seatbelt sometimes improves it, as can sliding the front passenger seat backwards with its backrest slighlty reclined.

Temperature Sensitivity? The "bad state" is less obvious when first starting in cold weather: Perhaps some component or sensor is temperature sensitive and doesn't misbehave until the car's cabin or engine bay is warm?

Air Conditioning: I rarely use the car's air-conditioning. But using it seems to make the car's "bad state" less obvious. Perhaps this explains why the "bad" symptoms are less obvious in cold weather... when the air-conditioning is being used to demist the windscreen?

Symptoms of Bad State: The most obvious & frequent symptom are over-sensitivity & lack of damping in the steering: When driving along a straight road at about 50MPH, the speed-sensitive steering should feel pleasantly "taut" and it should be easy to keep the car travelling straight. But when this car's steering / stability is in its "bad state" there is no resistance or damping if the steering-wheel is moved a couple of inches around straight ahead: This means you have to hold the steering-wheel rigidly and concentrate very hard, making driving much more tiring.

Extra Danger: If the shoulder-bag on the passenger seat moves, or if other things happen, the characteristics of the steering / stability can suddenly change, taking the driver by surprise.

Conclusions:

1. Increasingly, this looks like an electrical / electronic / computer fault. Perhaps something as simple as an earthing fault, where an unrelated component passing extra current through a shared bad earth connection is affecting the electronics?

2. My previous habit of driving alone in this car with a shoulder-bag on the passenger seat, the car's radio ON, and the air-conditioning OFF appear to make this "bad state" more obvious. Perhaps other users (and garage mechanics) don't drive like this?

3. Other faults with this particular car's steering, probably highlight the steering / stability issue?

Any helpful comments are very welcome.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Harish

Finally someone else observing similar problem as mine. However mine is a Hyundai ix35 which I bought from new last year and I observed the same thing though I'm sure is not related to Radio. I have been to two Hyundai dealers and they re-iterated the same thing that its the way steering works in Hyundai vehicles: I haven't seen this problem with other makes (Honda/Citroen/BMW/Jaguar/Land Rover) so obviously this is a specific problem with Hyundai vehicles. I have lowered my tyre pressures as well but this problem appears some times and at other times it feels manageable. The steering ruins the driving experience every time as I'm not confident when travelling high speeds and adjusting the steering more than required.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - SLO76
I test drove a Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi a few years back and it was the vague steering which required constant correction at speed which put me off. It's a common thing on modern electronic steering systems, they lack feel and I find many of them a little over sensitive when trying to drive at speed on a straight road. I much prefer a hydrolic system but sadly the quest for ever greater fuel economy and lower emissions has pretty much killed it off.

A quick drive in a MK I Focus, Mondeo or Puma will remind people what we've lost in steering feel. Modern cars feel artificial and over sensitive by comparison.

Your dealer is correct I'm afraid, it is sadly a characteristic of the car.
2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - injection doc

The link between a radio and steering is the speed sensor PMW signal

The radio volume when driving is increased and decreased by a signal from the speed sensor.

The steering sensativity is also controlled by the speed sensor signal.

As the speed of the vehicle increases the steering effort is reduced.

The signal may be pulsed from a gearbox sensor or the ABS

all are interconnected.

Even something as simple nowdays as an incorrect or incorrectly fiited side/stop lamp bulb can cause feed back signals to the ECU causing the ECU to think the brake pedal is depressed causing throttle issues or weird fault codes and on autos even put the gearbox into limp mode !

Vauxhalls were always a nightmare when an aftermarket radio had been fitted and the speed sensor signal wire was iether earthed or used as a power supply.

It used to cause flat spots and hesitations and EGR issues.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

The link between a radio and steering is the speed sensor PMW signal...

...all are interconnected.

Even something as simple nowdays as an incorrect or incorrectly fiited side/stop lamp bulb can cause feed back signals to the ECU causing the ECU to think the brake pedal is depressed causing throttle issues or weird fault codes and on autos even put the gearbox into limp mode !

Thanks. Yes, the car's radio is connected to a CAN bus. I did try disabling the radio's speed-sensitive volume setting, hoping that this might help, but noticed no difference to the steering / stability problems.

I hear that some Hyundai cars, "earth" things through a brake-light bulb, so can be affected oddly by faults in the brake-light switch or bulb?

The UK's car maintenance / repair industry does not seem to have kept up with the electronic complexity of even modest modern cars. There's certainly a major problem with the type of pre-purchase inspections offered to buyers of used cars: They exclude electronic checks.

Right from the beginning, I've suspected problems with the car's wheel-speed sensing components / systems; as that could also explain why the car's MPG readout becomes so over-optimistic. It could also explain the loud continuous "clatter" which sometimes comes from the front of the car, possibly from the HECU / ABS module?

However, the car seems to perform self-checks which should discover eg. any obvious permanent faults in wheel-speed sensors or wiring.

Maybe, faulty data is somehow being stored in the car's short-term or long-term steering / stability memories? These memories are part of the car's continuous self-calibration system which attempts to record what is "normal" for the car so that it can recognise what is "not-normal": The car's "Electronic Stability Program" is set to react to anything "not-normal."

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Finally someone else observing similar problem as mine. However mine is a Hyundai ix35 which I bought from new last year and I observed the same thing though I'm sure is not related to Radio...

...but this problem appears some times and at other times it feels manageable.

Sorry to hear that you also have problems, but glad that I'm not alone.

The peculiar (and dangerous) thing is the way that the steering / stability characteristics of the car can change dramatically and without any warning.

Many times, I've been told that poor steering / stability is "normal" for many modern cars, or for these cars, or for this particular year of this particular car. But at times, the steering / stability of my car feels much better.

Interesting that experts prefer to blame the driver... or the terrible roads... or the political... ; rather than accepting the possibility of a fault?

Surely, the fact that the steering / stability of my car sometimes feels very much better, proves that I am experiencing a fault... rather than an inherent characteristic of the car?

However unbelievable, after many months of careful testing, the steering / stability of my car really does seem to be affected badly by the presence of a shoulder-bag on the front passenger seat when the car's radio is turned ON.

Turning ON the car's air-conditioning seems to improve the steering / stability; as does latching the front passenger seat-belt across an empty seat; as does sliding the front passenger seat backwards.

I had noticed that the steering / stability was sometimes better for a short while after starting the car in cold weather; so suspected that temperature was a factor. A car heater outlet ends right next to the car's Yaw / Lateral G sensor, under the driver's seat. But it is also possible that I run the air-conditioning to demist the windscreen when first starting the car, so it might be that rather than the actual temperature?

The change from "good" to "bad" can happen very suddenly; but the change from "bad" to "good" is usually slower and more gradual.

The actual cause of these strange problems might be as simple as an earthing fault somewhere; perhaps a change in electrical current causes a small change in voltage which upsets some sensitive electronic module?

As there apparently are no stored "fault codes," presumably the car's electronics "think" that they are behaving properly?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Harish

Thank you for your advice. I'll try these in my car and check if those make any difference.

Turning ON the car's air-conditioning seems to improve the steering / stability; as does latching the front passenger seat-belt across an empty seat; as does sliding the front passenger seat backwards.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - MikeM100

Hi,

This may not be as daft as it sounds and as an electronics engineer I have a theory.

You say the car has a CAN Bus which allows mutiple electronic devices on the vehicle to 'talk' to each other over what could be considered as a shared 'telephone line' - the Bus.

See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus

Devices can become 'masters' taking control of the communications and assigning priorities for messages to and from everyone else.

Safety functions are usually given the highest priority whereas comfort controls or the radio controls for example, may wake up and have a 'chat' from time to time as their messages are not time critical.

I SURMISE that, perhaps a device on the bus may be going into some sort of 'jabber' mode and in doing so may severely affect other communications.

It's like a conference telephone call when everyone starts talking at the same time. Usually the participants 'back off' and then try again in a more orderly manner. They call this process 'arbitration' and it is rigourously defined for obvious reasons

The effects you experience sort of make sense as the response to important messages would become slow but only at certain times or conditions.

I have absolutely no idea how you 'fix' this ! The average dealer will 'not have a clue' either and to be honest I would not expect them to. It's complicated.

However I am sure that there may be some auto electronics wizards on this forum who will have the tools to diagnose such problems ?

I would definitely be a little worried about this !!

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

I SURMISE that, perhaps a device on the bus may be going into some sort of 'jabber' mode and in doing so may severely affect other communications.

.....

The effects you experience sort of make sense as the response to important messages would become slow but only at certain times or conditions.

Thanks. I think that this car actually has more than one bus, but your suggestion is sound.

For example, if my shoulder-bag on the passenger seat happened to have a weight (or happened to contain particular items) which made the seat's occupancy sensor generate lots of extra messages, that might eg. disrupt messages from the Yaw / Lateral G or wheel-speed sensors? This might lead to faulty values being accumulated in the car's self-calibrating short-term & long-term stability memories? Faulty values in these stability memories would make the car's Electronic Stability Control program do strange things.

Although the car's radio is also on a CAN bus, it is harder to understand how that influences the problem; unless perhaps it injects interference / noise onto the CAN bus, or its current drain (or heat) is making something else more sensitive to errors?

But, why would these not trigger error messages and stored fault codes in the car's ECU(s)?

Mechanics at Hyundai dealers seem to be taught that:
"No fault codes = No fault!"

Also, how does running the car's air-conditioning improve the car's steering / stability? Is it a temperature effect, or simply a side-effect of switching the current which operates the solenoid for the A/C pump's clutch?

Connecting an oscilloscope to the car's CAN bus(es) should show whether the bus(es) are noisy or overloaded? (But my oscilloscope dates from the 1940s...)

I'd like Hyundai's design team to be asked about these symptoms. They should understand what is likely to be happening. But this would require cooperation from Hyundai; which so far has been disappointingly absent.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Thank you for your advice. I'll try these in my car and check if those make any difference.

Turning ON the car's air-conditioning seems to improve the steering / stability; as does latching the front passenger seat-belt across an empty seat; as does sliding the front passenger seat backwards.

I'll be very interested to hear the result, or whether other ordinary operations seem to make even a small difference?

BTW. It now seems that my i20 also has faulty wheel-alignment, although possibly (almost) within the wide range Hyundai permits. It now seems very possible that this faulty wheel-alignment is magnifying the effect of the electronic fault(s) by increasing the need for the driver to make constant steering corrections?

So it might be worth getting a (free) check of your car's wheel-alignment?

Tonight, I again also carefully checked the tyre pressures to ensure that they are the same on both sides of the car.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Finally someone else observing similar problem as mine. However mine is a Hyundai ix35 which I bought from new last year and I observed the same thing though I'm sure is not related to Radio...

...but this problem appears some times and at other times it feels manageable.

Sorry to hear that you also have problems, but glad that I'm not alone.

The peculiar (and dangerous) thing is the way that the steering / stability characteristics of the car can change dramatically and without any warning.

Many times, I've been told that poor steering / stability is "normal" for many modern cars, or for these cars, or for this particular year of this particular car. But at times, the steering / stability of my car feels much better.

Interesting that experts prefer to blame the driver... or the terrible roads... or the political... ; rather than accepting the possibility of a fault?

Surely, the fact that the steering / stability of my car sometimes feels very much better, proves that I am experiencing a fault... rather than an inherent characteristic of the car?

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Turning ON the car's air-conditioning seems to improve the steering / stability; as does latching the front passenger seat-belt across an empty seat; as does sliding the front passenger seat backwards.

I had noticed that the steering / stability was sometimes better for a short while after starting the car in cold weather; so suspected that temperature was a factor. A car heater outlet ends right next to the car's Yaw / Lateral G sensor, under the driver's seat. But it is also possible that I run the air-conditioning to demist the windscreen when first starting the car, so it might be that rather than the actual temperature?

The change from "good" to "bad" can happen very suddenly; but the change from "bad" to "good" is usually slower and more gradual.

The actual cause of these strange problems might be as simple as an earthing fault somewhere; perhaps a change in electrical current causes a small change in voltage which upsets some sensitive electronic module?

As there apparently are no stored "fault codes," presumably the car's electronics "think" that they are behaving properly?

It's possible that these mysterious problems are being triggered by a battery charging fault?

Right at the beginning, I asked Hyundai experts to check that the battery etc. were OK; in case low battery voltage was triggering the problems. Hyundai experts claimed that all was well... and that there were no problems...

Recently, after disastrous work at a Hyundai main dealer, this car has behaved very strangely for the first miles after being started, and has then improved. Also, the engine has often run unevenly. As before, there are no indications on the dashboard and no stored fault codes.

Now, non Hyundai experts have reported that the battery charge is low, despite the car having done regular medium-length journeys.

So I am hoping that at least some of these bizarre symptoms are being triggered by nothing more mysterious than a battery charging fault?

Perhaps it's possible that turning the air-conditioning ON, puts enough extra load on the car's serpentine drive belt to stop it slipping? But if this belt is slipping, perhaps there's a problem with the engine's water-pump?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Surely, the fact that the steering / stability of my car sometimes feels very much better, proves that I am experiencing a fault... rather than an inherent characteristic of the car?

-----

The change from "good" to "bad" can happen very suddenly; but the change from "bad" to "good" is usually slower and more gradual.

The actual cause of these strange problems might be as simple as an earthing fault somewhere; perhaps a change in electrical current causes a small change in voltage which upsets some sensitive electronic module?

As there apparently are no stored "fault codes," presumably the car's electronics "think" that they are behaving properly?

It's possible that these mysterious problems are being triggered by a battery charging fault?

Right at the beginning, I asked Hyundai experts to check that the battery etc. were OK; in case low battery voltage was triggering the problems. Hyundai experts claimed that all was well... and that there were no problems...

Recently, after disastrous work at a Hyundai main dealer, this car has behaved very strangely for the first miles after being started, and has then improved. Also, the engine has often run unevenly. As before, there are no indications on the dashboard and no stored fault codes.

Now, non Hyundai experts have reported that the battery charge is low, despite the car having done regular medium-length journeys.

So I am hoping that at least some of these bizarre symptoms are being triggered by nothing more mysterious than a battery charging fault?

Perhaps it's possible that turning the air-conditioning ON, puts enough extra load on the car's serpentine drive belt to stop it slipping? But if this belt is slipping, perhaps there's a problem with the engine's water-pump?

Sure enough, this car's steering / stability works much better after the battery is fully charged, using a trickle-charger.

Obviously, having been told something by a confident professional, there is a risk of then (wrongly) re-interpreting symptoms so that they fit the professional's tempting theory; especially if this at last seems to explain the very strange behaviour.

Also, just the action of disconnecting this car's battery in order to recharge the battery safely, will also reset eg. the stability memories in the car's ECU(s). Disconnecting the battery has always resulted in (temporary) improvement of the car's steering / stability.

Although electronic units might well be affected by low battery voltage; surely they should contain voltage regulators which overcome this? Especially for any electronic units involved in the safety of the car?

If this particular car is oversensitive to low battery voltage, perhaps its voltage regulators are faulty?

Also, if this car is not recharging the battery properly... why?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Sure enough, this car's steering / stability works much better after the battery is fully charged, using a trickle-charger.

-----

Also, just the action of disconnecting this car's battery in order to recharge the battery safely, will also reset eg. the stability memories in the car's ECU(s). Disconnecting the battery has always resulted in (temporary) improvement of the car's steering / stability.

Although electronic units might well be affected by low battery voltage; surely they should contain voltage regulators which overcome this? Especially for any electronic units involved in the safety of the car?

If this particular car is oversensitive to low battery voltage, perhaps its voltage regulators are faulty?

Also, if this car is not recharging the battery properly... why?

Another day... another problem...

Despite the fancy battery diagnosis machine rating the battery as "good" but with "low charge"; the battery has been declared faulty and is due to be changed. In any case, replacing the battery is a reasonably low-cost task, so does seem worth trying.

The voltage across the battery terminals with the engine idling, with & without headlights, looks healthy; suggesting that the battery should be charging OK.

I hope that replacing the battery really does resolve some problems.

I last trickle-charged the battery on Thursday 9th March. Since then, the car has done several 10, 20, 30 mile trips. Today it went about 20 miles to the garage; 20 miles back; then about 17 miles elsewhere. But after re-starting the car for the 17 mile drive home, when it had been idle for a couple of hours, the engine started OK but the steering / stability was terrible:

For several miles of straight-ish 50 MPH restricted country roads, the car was alternately pulling slightly to the left for a few seconds then pulling to the right for a few seconds:

Presumably something was (wrongly) triggering its ABS / HECU / Stability control?

I think the car improved a little later, but even if the battery voltage was low, shouldn't voltage regulators in the car's electronic modules be able to compensate?

I am still worried that there is something else going on here. But if a piece of electronics does actually fail - assuming it does not trigger a fatal crash - at least there will be something obvious which could be fixed?

Tonight, I've placed the battery back on trickle-charge, hoping to limp on until the battery is replaced in a few days.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

I don't know where you live, but Halfords do 3 year warranty batteries for an i20 from £52. Which is cheap imho and usually have them in stock for immediate fitting..'Limping on' sounds dodgy.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

I don't know where you live, but Halfords do 3 year warranty batteries for an i20 from £52. Which is cheap imho and usually have them in stock for immediate fitting..'Limping on' sounds dodgy.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

I don't know where you live, but Halfords do 3 year warranty batteries for an i20 from £52. Which is cheap imho and usually have them in stock for immediate fitting..'Limping on' sounds dodgy.

Many thanks for the suggestion.

But because this i20 is still under Hyundai's warranty, and I'm not yet entirely convinced that a new battery will solve the problems, I'd better wait until the dealer can fit it.

Tomorrow I have another longish trip, and will be returning after dark. So another test of my and my car's stamina. I don't want to over-charge the battery. I'll give it a few more hours of trickle-charging before I start tomorrow.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

Many thanks for the suggestion.

But because this i20 is still under Hyundai's warranty, and I'm not yet entirely convinced that a new battery will solve the problems, I'd better wait until the dealer can fit it.

Tomorrow I have another longish trip, and will be returning after dark. So another test of my and my car's stamina. I don't want to over-charge the battery. I'll give it a few more hours of trickle-charging before I start tomorrow.

Ever more puzzling:

After a ten mile journey, my normally reliable digital multimeter reported that there was about 30Volts ac across the battery while the engine is idling. It gave the same reading both on its 200 VAC and on its 600 VAC settings.

But an older cheaper auto-ranging digital multimeter reported no ac voltage across the battery.

While I was fetching a trusty electro-mechanical multimeter, the engine's cooling fan ran. After this, neither the electro-mechanical meter nor the original digital multimeter reported any ac voltage across the battery.

So I wonder what was causing the strange reading, and whether it is relevant to any of the strange symptoms?

At present, I do not have access to an oscilloscope. But presumably my digital multimeter was detecting some kind of voltage "spikes" across the battery?

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

Halfords do a battery for £52 with a 3 year warranty. Better than 'limping on'

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Ian D

RS, you need to set your voltmeter to Vdc not Vac, then you should get 13.8v to 14.8v when the battery is charging (i.e. engine running) and over 12v when static

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

RS, you need to set your voltmeter to Vdc not Vac, then you should get 13.8v to 14.8v when the battery is charging (i.e. engine running) and over 12v when static

Thanks. I had already done the normal Vdc checks across the car's battery

  • Engine running / not running
  • On load / no electrical load
  • On load / no electrical load, measured periodically over several hours, to detect battery self-discharge
  • dc current drawn by the car while everything was switched-off

This Vac check was to look for any "ripple" voltage across the car's battery which might indicate faulty diodes in the alternator: I believe that the digital multimeter should report less than about 0.5 Volts ac.

While I don't entirely trust this measurement method, especially when using cheap equipment; I've seen this strange 30 Vac reading on more than one occasion.

  • What could it mean?
  • Why did it "vanish"?
2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

RS, you need to set your voltmeter to Vdc not Vac, then you should get 13.8v to 14.8v when the battery is charging (i.e. engine running) and over 12v when static

This Vac check was to look for any "ripple" voltage across the car's battery; which might indicate faulty diodes in the alternator: I believe that the digital multimeter should report less than about 0.5 Volts ac.

While I don't entirely trust this measurement method, especially when using cheap equipment; I've seen this strange 30 Vac reading on more than one occasion.

I've now repeated the measurement, before and after two 10-mile journeys. This time, I did not see the effect "vanish."

  • The cheap digital multimeter reports 30Volts ac across the car's battery
  • The old but high-quality electro-mechanical multimeter reports about 260Volts ac

I tried to take precautions against any direct inductive coupling into the test leads, or any direct coupling into these multimeters' electronics or mechanisms. But consistently saw the same readings.

Presumably something is injecting high levels of electrical noise into this car's electrical system.

  • Could this high level of electrical noise explain any of the car's strange symptoms?
  • Can anyone suggest likely causes, or what to check next, please?
  • Could a faulty earth be causing this?
  • Or, is what I'm seeing... normal?

Unfortunately, I don't have access to an oscilloscope, so cannot easily see the frequency or pulse-shape of any noise.

Two obvious possible sources of the noise are: The alternator, and the car's high-voltage ignition modules.

The battery's earth and the engine's main earth both seem OK. Voltage drop from the alternator's B terminal to the battery's positive terminal seems OK.

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

RS, you need to set your voltmeter to Vdc not Vac, then you should get 13.8v to 14.8v when the battery is charging (i.e. engine running) and over 12v when static

This Vac check was to look for any "ripple" voltage across the car's battery; which might indicate faulty diodes in the alternator: I believe that the digital multimeter should report less than about 0.5 Volts ac.

While I don't entirely trust this measurement method, especially when using cheap equipment; I've seen this strange 30 Vac reading on more than one occasion.

I've now repeated the measurement, before and after two 10-mile journeys. This time, I did not see the effect "vanish."

  • The cheap digital multimeter reports 30Volts ac across the car's battery
  • The old but high-quality electro-mechanical multimeter reports about 260Volts ac

I tried to take precautions against any direct inductive coupling into the test leads, or any direct coupling into these multimeters' electronics or mechanisms. But consistently saw the same readings.

It's possible that the 30 Volts ac was mostly a measurement error?

Placing a capacitor in series with this cheap multimeter, or reversing its measurement leads seems now to greatly reduce the Vac reading.

So a cautionary tale about using cheap tools?

Edited by RS2016 on 25/03/2017 at 10:12

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

RS, you need to set your voltmeter to Vdc not Vac, then you should get 13.8v to 14.8v when the battery is charging (i.e. engine running) and over 12v when static

This Vac check was to look for any "ripple" voltage across the car's battery; which might indicate faulty diodes in the alternator: I believe that the digital multimeter should report less than about 0.5 Volts ac.

While I don't entirely trust this measurement method, especially when using cheap equipment; I've seen this strange 30 Vac reading on more than one occasion.

I've now repeated the measurement, before and after two 10-mile journeys. This time, I did not see the effect "vanish."

  • The cheap digital multimeter reports 30Volts ac across the car's battery
  • The old but high-quality electro-mechanical multimeter reports about 260Volts ac

I tried to take precautions against any direct inductive coupling into the test leads, or any direct coupling into these multimeters' electronics or mechanisms. But consistently saw the same readings.

It's possible that the 30 Volts ac was mostly a measurement error?

Placing a capacitor in series with this cheap multimeter, or reversing its measurement leads seems now to greatly reduce the Vac reading.

So a cautionary tale about using cheap tools?

Here's an excellent technical note with diagrams and explanations of "good" and "bad" alternator voltage ripple waveforms:

www.microcharge.de/downloads/Understanding_Generat...f

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - Firmbutfair

Hi there RS2016 - Sorry to hear of your problems with your 2012 Hyundai i20 1.2.

It is nearly 2 months since your last posting so wonder if you have had the battery changed plus the advsiory re-test of the alternator/charging system.

Have you owned the car from new? Have you ever given anyone a jump start via jumper cables - if so then there is a possibility that your alternator and/or charging system may have been damaged in the process. I ran a 2011/61 plate i20 1.2 for 5 years with none of the problems you describe - however I NEVER offer anyone a jump start from my i20 car battery. My car had slightly vague steering from new but was given 'a free ECU software update at its first service in Sept 2012 which transformed the car into a really stable and responsive drive with more obvious assistance at parking speeds plus the ability to turn the wheel under power assistance when stationary with engine off but ignition still on.

I am assuming that your car has had this upgrade or was fitted with it from new.

Your car is fitted with a clever alternator management system (AMS) which modulates the alternator output which, once the battery is sufficiently charged, allows the battery voltage to float down from the normal 14.4 volt into the 13.5 to 12.8 volt region when the throttle is closed or when descending hills etc - as a fuel saving device apparently. Thus any damage done to your alternator/diodes/charging sensors/AMS system could result in inadequate regulation of voltage across the battery whilst driving - which could induce your steering fault plus many other things. I have been able to observe this AMS in operation whilst driving by plugging my Maplin Gold DVM set to DC volts of course into the cigar socket via a suitable cigar adapter plug. Drive carefully but on any reasonable stop start journey and with a healthy state of charge in your battery to start with - you should see evidince of this AMS working as desribed above - especially when pulling to a halt or descending a long hill - the voltage will fall to around 13.5 volts and then fall slowly as the battery powers everything with no support from the alternator. Pull away from astandstill and the voltsgae will quickly return to 14.4 volts - as alternator replenishes the lost charge. Hope this adds to your solution. You need an oscilloscope to view the ripple voltage across your battery - DVMs can tell lies. However since there can be voltage spikes of between 100 and 300 volts between the battery terminals - it would be advisable to place a suitable transient absorber across the oscilloscope probe leads to prevent damage to the 'scope!

Edited by Firmbutfair on 24/05/2017 at 16:02

2012 Hyundai i20 1.2 - Steering Problem - Affected by Radio? - RS2016

It is nearly 2 months since your last posting so wonder if you have had the battery changed plus the advsiory re-test of the alternator/charging system.

Many thanks for that helpful response. Sorry that I'd not returned to see it.

Yes, I bought this i20 new; each service has been done by a Hyundai main dealer; they claim to have installed all GDS (ie. software) updates. But although sold in UK, apparently this particular i20 originally had Australian setting? So there may well have been some confusion. Unfortunately, Hyundai's customers are totally dependent of the skills (or lack of skills) of Hyundai's main dealers.

Yes, Hyundai did replace the battery, but the Hyundai main dealer refused to check or inspect the i20's charging system or even its auxilary drive belts because they claimed that "there was nothing wrong with this vehicle or its battery"!

If fact, paying a tyre specialist to re-align the front wheels properly to "parallel", to resolve the mess left by the Hyundai main dealer; has made one aspect of the steering much better: The i20 now usually has better directional stability.

But this i20 and perhaps this whole model / model year still has an underlying fault in its steering / stability; possibly affected by its electrical problems?

The handling of this i20 continues to vary alarmingly, but with no obvious pattern. As soon as I can find a suitable alternative, I plan to change the vehicle. I'm very unlikely to trust Hyundai again.

When Hyundai's main dealers show such a lack of suitable diagnostic equipment, competence and basic customer service; Hyundai's "5-Year Warranty" is worthless.

 

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