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ALL Systems GONE

I bought my 2013 Kia Soul last October. There were times when it wouldn’t start, and just seemed dead. It would start after a few tries, but one day, that didn’t work either. I walked the battery to an auto parts place to get a new one, but when they tested it, they said it’s full of charge. So, I walked back, put it in the car, and the car started.
This happened a few more times, so I took it in for a new starter. THey said nothing was wrong with the starter, so I paid the diagnostic and got in the car, but it wouldnt start for me to leave the repair shop.
So, they put in a new starter. I had no problems for a couple of months, but it’s happening again.
When it does it, everything shuts off, not just the engine, but the lights and everything.
I have been lucky that the car is light and easy to push, so I can get it somewhere that it’s pointing downhill. Once I get it rolling, everything comes back on, and I drive away.
This seems like a common problem, because, when I was in college, I remember guys on my street who had cheap cars they had to start by rolling them.
But, they had old beaters. Mine is only 3 years old.
What is going on?

Is rolling it talking about a clutch start?

Oh, yeah… I bought a stick shift

When it fails to start do you hear the solenoid click? If so check the battery ground connection to the engine block, if not might be looking at ignition switch, do not know if starter solenoid is separate, or part of the starter motor.

Bad ignition switch comes to mind, based on OP’s description of the symptoms

No solenoid switch click. So, I’m going to go with ground connection or bad ignition switch, either of which I’ll need to take it in for, but it gives me some idea of what they should be checking. thanks!!

EVERYTHING is dead? No radio, emergency flashers, etc.? If so, that indicates a problem with power getting from the battery to the car. Remember, battery cables have two ends and both ends need to be checked.

I agree with @NYBo, if nothing is working then there is zero power going from the battery to the car, so check all connections esp the ground. On a different note, shouldn’t this car still be under full warranty from Kia (if you are the 1st owner). Maybe you should let them fix it.

gallant: OP bought the car last October so they are not the original owner. If the car is under 5 years old/60,000 miles the standard warranty transfers to the next owner(s). The 10 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty does not.

The trouble could be with the ground side of the power or the power side. Power from the battery usually ties to a main panel under the hood. There may be a faulty connection there. From the main panel it then ties to the ignition switch and then on to the fuse panel in the dash. The trouble could also be in that area. If the brake lights still work when this problem happens then power to the ignition switch needs to be checked.

For no-cranks, which I presume this is, it’s usually faster to diagnose the cause by starting at the starter motor terminals. There’s usually two electrical connections, a thick cable, and a thin cable, on the starter motor. Both should measure above 10.5 volts during attempted cranking, when measuring from the starter terminal to the starter case. If one or both doesn’t meet that test, then start probing the voltages from the starter motor, tracing towards the battery to find out why. Between the battery and starter motor, there’s the battery cabling, fuses, fusible links, the ignition switch, often there’s a small under-dash relay, so you just have to trace your way through all that stuff. It’s very helpful to have the wiring diagram for the car. If this seems too daunting to do yourself, don’t try it. Ask your favorite shop tech instead.

And don’t forget to check the voltage between the starter case and the battery negative. That should be close to zero, no more than a volt. When cranking. Any higher and you have ground problems.

I’d check this first before you start to check other voltages.

You might try disconnecting the battery cables and cleaning both the battery posts and the inner surfaces of the cable ends where it makes contact with the battery posts.

Battery cable ends may look perfectly fine at a casual glance but one undone the connection surfaces may be glazed over.

At this point, don’t panic. The cause is likely something very simple.