Kia Soul Forums :: Kia Soul Owners banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start off, I've had my 2011 Kia Soul since new. It's been one of the most reliable cars I've ever had (170k miles now), but it's only had one gremlin throughout its life.

The issue I currently have, is random no-cranks on random days, like it's got some type of mood. The car has done this twice between 50k-100k miles. Each time I checked the battery out, pulled it out, checked the strut mount grounds, etc. and it would eventually hit the crank and start and be fine for several 10 thousands of miles.

Fast forward to 170k miles, it started doing it constantly in the last two months. Soul is not starting? Just take the other car, it'll start tomorrow! Rinse and repeat. Never no-cranks when it's already at full running temperature. Only the next days, after the car has cooled off from a day of driving (if it's in the mood to no-crank), will it do its no-crank thing.

Most recently, I went to start it with the key fully turned for starter crank. It did nothing, for 1 second, then all of a sudden something stuck while the key was fully turned and it did crank and start. No problem for almost 3 weeks after that, until Sunday the 4th. But of course, it did start yesterday the next day 😑. Note, no amount of jumping (cables, jump box) helps when it's under a no-crank situation. For a little more detail, I have swapped relays to no avail. You can hear things click behind the steering wheel and in the engine bay when the key is turned into crank position as well. The battery also always seems (to me) to be kind of a low resting voltage of around 12.6, both when it's starting fine, and when it is not.

Things I have tried: Cleaned up the strut grounds, and all the grounds I can see from the top of the bay. I have tried moving the shifter into various gears to see if it's a neutral safety switch issue. As far as I know, there is no antenna coil in my particular build of Soul. Starter is 8 months old, alternator is about 2 years old. I have stopped short of going under the thing to access (the pain in the butt location) of the starter to see if it's getting any power under a no-crank situation. I'd like to also note, the neutral safety switch ended up nearly frozen last year when I didn't drive it for a couple weeks during lockdown. All I did was spray some lube and it's been free'd up since with no resistance. Should I just replace it anyway to just weed that aspect out of the troubleshoot?

So mainly I want to ask, if anyone has had similar experiences, and what their solution was. What ground or wires should I check for when I go under the thing to look around the starter? Are there any detailed service publications that provide a diagram with all ground locations? To me it just totally seems like a loose connection somewhere down in the bay. But I scratch my head wondering, how can a loose connection perform so well and horrible at the same time given my wild intermittent factors of this issue?

Thank you in advance!

Matt
 

·
Registered
2015 Soul Exclaim Titanium Sun + Sound, Mid-Atlantic region
Joined
·
21 Posts
You say the starter is 8 months old? What prompted the replacement?

12.6 is normal resting voltage for the battery, after any “surface charge” has worn off from the higher alternator voltage.

My initial thought is starter ground, sometimes there can be some dissimilar metal corrosion between the starter and crankcase. The way to check is measure voltage at the positive termination the starter and then at the starter case during a no crank.

(So when it doesn’t start, drive it up to a lift and check out underneath…) 🧐😜
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You say the starter is 8 months old? What prompted the replacement?

12.6 is normal resting voltage for the battery, after any “surface charge” has worn off from the higher alternator voltage.

My initial thought is starter ground, sometimes there can be some dissimilar metal corrosion between the starter and crankcase. The way to check is measure voltage at the positive termination the starter and then at the starter case during a no crank.

(So when it doesn’t start, drive it up to a lift and check out underneath…) 🧐😜

Appreciate the response. It was the original starter that was replaced 8 months ago. The car hasn't asked for much (other than alternator) besides regular fluid maintenance and the typical evap things since it was new. I'll be checking the starter voltage next time it's giving the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
I am no mechanic; far from the bwdz member; if you took care of all the grounds coming off the battery and you hear clicking when you turn the key to crank (for an instant I considered the ignition key mechanism), seems like there is an effort to get juice to the starter motor; so, last stop is the starter motor itself and then trace backwards; was the starter motor a KIA motor?? Seems like identifying the path from key to starter is necessary. Lastly, maybe there are service bulletins on this condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am no mechanic; far from the bwdz member; if you took care of all the grounds coming off the battery and you hear clicking when you turn the key to crank (for an instant I considered the ignition key mechanism), seems like there is an effort to get juice to the starter motor; so, last stop is the starter motor itself and then trace backwards; was the starter motor a KIA motor?? Seems like identifying the path from key to starter is necessary. Lastly, maybe there are service bulletins on this condition.
Good question. I had a local shop change the starter as it was in the dead of winter. Maybe I should ask them since the starter seems to not be getting power at times?

Unfortunately no updates on my issue. Car continues to crank and start today. This is why I kind of just dealt with the problem last couple months. I just take my other car because I know the Soul will be fine next day. So bizarre to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quick update on my issue.. Today I had the issue arise, and before I checked voltages, I shoved my arm down there and shook the starter harness around. Sure enough, it fired up after I did that. Somethings off with the starter harness for sure. Wondering how I'm going to access that area to check the wiring out further on my driveway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
So you have 2 wires that are concerned, the S pin and the main power wire. If the main power wire has too much resistance (usually corroded right at the starter post) it will give a click when it is not starting but if you have no click check the pin tension on the S pin. You will need the car on jackstands with the undershield removed to get a good look up there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Quick update on my issue.. Today I had the issue arise, and before I checked voltages, I shoved my arm down there and shook the starter harness around. Sure enough, it fired up after I did that. Somethings off with the starter harness for sure. Wondering how I'm going to access that area to check the wiring out further on my driveway.
My daughter 2011 manual soul is doing the same exact thing! Did you ever figure it out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I had the exact same problem with my 2013 Soul + up until last winter. I replaced the neutral safety switch, the battery, and the starter relay. Nothing made any difference. I noticed that the negative cable from the battery went over to the fender well and that's all the ground thre was. That's not much of a ground. I purchased another cable and connected it to the negative battery terminal and to the engine itself. Problem solved. No problem since then. It worked for me. Your mileage may vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bump and update on this old post of mine.. So after a winter of wiggling to start, it finally had its last wiggle and wouldn't remedy any longer. I got the solenoid connector off, and tested to see if it gets voltage with a multimeter. It indeed gets voltage when the key is in crank (12.07v). I then proceeded to plug the connector back into the solenoid (but not all the way) to test crank, and it cranks.

It's not until I push the connector all the way in, does it not crank. Note, the connector really pushes in hard - can't even hear it click in because there's so much resistance trying to push the plug in to get it to the click point.

Is there any point to try and refresh the connector or should I just look for a replacement? Any ideas which connector I need for the 2011 Soul + 2.0? I found a few pig-tails online but the connector itself looks slightly different than what is on mine. I've attached a picture of the connector. Thanks for all the input on this ol' thread!
Automotive tire Tire Bicycle part Automotive wheel system Rim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You can get the connector from your local dealer.
Thank you. Seems like I can't find much of anything with the part numbers alone on those pictures you attached. I called 3 local dealers and one of them said they'll call me back, and the other two have not returned my voice mail... Going to try my luck with the $15 pigtail from Amazon. If it's no good, then what ever 15 bucks. Until I get a new connector she's just parked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
Every Kia dealership has a "Kia connector repair kit" in stock. It is around 6 bins (they look like large plastic tool boxes) of pigtails, male and female spades, weatherpacks for connectors etc.. etc.. I should probably find out how they are sorted but if you just take 10 minutes to look through those bins you can find nearly any connector you need. I have figured out which bin has like the connectors for headlamps only, which ones are for dash etc... but there are a few bins with sensor connectors and what not that I do not know how they are organized but I assure you that your local dealer likely has that connector in stock. They are not inventoried as Kia makes them just buy the complete connector repair kit as they call it but it is there at every dealership and it will just take the part's guys effort to find it for you.4
Have your dealer look up this part number 1879000811AS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies. So I figured out the plug is not the culprit. It always gets voltage with key in crank, but doesn't always power the solenoid/starter. Barely putting the plug on the solenoid got it to crank the other day, but now it doesn't. It's as if the problem just gets progressively worse, where the remedies to get it to go one by one stop working. Looks like I'm pulling the starter off to bench test next and check grounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
Have you done a voltage drop test on your positive and negative on the starter? It is hard to do with a voltmeter as they don't pick up the voltage fast enough so I use an oscilloscope but also realize most people don't have one. One easy way to do it is with a test light. Attach the clip lead of your test light to the negative post of your battery, have someone try to crank the car as you touch the body of the starter, if it lights up at all you have a bad ground as it should not light up since you are connected ground to ground.
Actually just watch this video, this guy explains it and shows it very well.
(2) Voltage Drop Testing a Starter Motor (Quick Tips) - YouTube
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Sometimes it is simply the starter motor. You replaced it, but you may have needed to replace the battery. They have machines that can do a deep cycle test on the battery.

You can check voltages, continuity, etc, etc, but what's needed is "cold cranking amps." When the starter has had problems, binding, it can take even a fairly young battery with it.

I'm not a pro auto mechanic. But it's battery, relays, and starter. This is why it's nice to have a manual transmission. If the starter is suspect, you can try jump-starting. If it starts easily that means the engine has the ability to run, and that the only question is battery, relays, or starter motor.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top