2017 Kia Soul - Electrical glitches

My wife’s 2017 Soul has some of the same issues as the 2017 from Hillsboro. Dash lites brightens after driving a bit. Now seems to after setting a day or so try to start motor turns over start/dies 3rd on the third try the starter will turn over twice then stop dead and will not turn over, The headlite switch is on, fan was on also, normal thing done many times never a problem before as those would kick off a few secs. Set in car with radio on motor off less than 5 mins radio shuts off battery save mode comes on. Took to an an Auto Zone did a Battery/Alternator check both in very good shape. Car has done that radio thing now three times. Yes the car has been driven regularly. Wife’s work car 30 plus miles per day 5 days per week plus trips. 30,000 miles. What am I in for here. I am going to do the 30000 mile maintenance at a KIA dealer (Weston KIA Gresham OR) so we will see what they have say. Really just looking for some kinda heads up here as this is grandmas taxi and this car MUST remain reliable or out it goes. Thanks for any info

I vote alternator. Let us know what the dealer says. This one is interesting. Good luck!

Loose or corroded connections at the battery. Intermittent internal problem with the battery. Three years is a short life for a battery, but not unheard of.

Sounds like a battery issue to me or a case of corroded/scaled over battery cable connections.
Most battery checks are done with a capacitance checker now and frankly, I do not trust those checks mainly because over the past 15 to 20 years 3 batteries of mine were diagnosed as good when they were anything but that. And believe me on this. I know how to test batteries.

And batteries can and do fail prematurely. It’s possible yours could be 4 years old depending upon date of manufacture and I’ve seen a few totally bad batteries in new cars while working at several car dealers. It happens, so 4 years if applicable is not way out of line at all; and make sure the cable connections are cleaned.
I bought a motorcycle battery from Sears once and it died and stayed dead the very next day. Wouldn’t even begin to take a charge at all.

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The BCM could be failing.


If a lead-acid battery sits a few days or longer discharged, that can be a death sentence, even if it was new.

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Same here. With the traditional tools you can 1) measure the specific gravity (state of charge) of each cell and 2) test its ability to put out a lot of amperage/power a la running a starter motor.

Other traditional tools can disconnect and clean the connections at the battery.

One thing to remember nowadays is to be ready to enter the numerical code into the (used to be called) radio after disconnecting the battery. Either that or hook up a power saver so the car’s electronics don’t experience a no-power moment.

Actually, batteries are tested today using a conductance battery tester.

What is a conductance battery tester?

Using the Battery Conductance Tester . Conductance is a measurement of the plate surface available in the battery , which determines how much power (or current) the battery can supply. As a battery ages the plate surface can sulfate, or it can shed active material.


Had a similar episode with my daughters Kia, stopped in for gas and would not start, click which is unusual to me, if you can get first start of the day you are usually good for the day. It was a 0 degree evening. Gave her a jump and the car has been fine since. I have not heard the results for the battery and alternator check, but thanks @Tester for something to keep in mind if the problem surfaces again. Terminals for the battery were clean and tight.

Brings to mind my days in the '70s working in TV repair shops.
The best technicians rarely used the tube tester.
It can’t always show how well the tube actually does its job in circuit.

Capacitance, conductance, or whatever you want to call it, I’ve seen 3 of my batteries tested in this method and in all 3 instances those tests were dead wrong.

In one instance they blamed the starter, the alternator, the ignition switch, radio problem, and even shorts in the wire harness for the problem. They always insisted the battery “just needs to be charged and it will be fine”.
Apparently they were not listening when I said repeatedly (3 times) that the battery was going dead on the bench in an hour after being on the charger all day long. It’s not even in the car at all…

In one case, the battery had 4 dead cells and it was still claimed “to be just fine” according to their printout. Take it home and charge it for a few hours they say. Again, did you not hear me; it’s dead now and was on slow charge all night long until an hour before I brought it in.
I told them to charge the dxxx thing and I’d be back in 3 or 4 hours. When I returned it was “Yeah, the battery was really bad”. What a surprise…
And that was at 13 months on a 3 year, 800 amp battery purchased a month after manufacture.


“You’ve got 2 dead cells and the other 4 are marginal.” That’s authoritative, and only found out by testing each cell’s fluid’s specific gravity and referring to a chart that relates SG to % of charge.

It takes a couple minutes. You have to be careful about dripping battery acid. It’s the kind of thing mechanics can do day in and day out. It’s more than an employer can confidently expect from a sales clerk.

Where are you folks finding batteries with removable cell covers? I haven’t seen one in 20 years.

I’ve never had anything else. My cars now are a 1999 Honda Civic and a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country. Before that a 1999 Plymouth Voyager and 1979 Toyota 4X4. Ad infinitum caps, caps, always caps. (Of course in recent decades it’s been 2 big rectangular caps, not 6 round ones.)

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I have a Plews auto battery filler in the shop.


I can’t remember the last time I used it?


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I can’t remember the last time I saw one :slightly_smiling_face: