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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Soul+ has been having an intermittent issue when starting recently, with no particular pattern that I can discern to date. Sometimes when I start it, nothing electrical is working, including power locks and windows, heating/cooling system, and interior/exterior lights. If I turn the car off and back on again, the issue resolves. Has anyone had this issue? I took it to the dealer today but they couldn't replicate the behavior. It's kind of a safety issue; when it happened one day last week, I had stopped to get gas at night at a very brightly lit gas station. I didn't notice that the electrical had all failed again until I pulled out onto the road and realized that I had no lights at all. I pulled over quick, turned the car off and back on again, and resumed my travel. So far, it never happens in the middle of a drive somewhere, only upon starting.
 

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My friend who owned a new sportage had this problem after only a month. He took it to the dealer. It was detected by connecting a maintenance laptop on the vehicle and it was resolved


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My Soul has 59,675 miles on it. I'm not sure if this would be covered under the "basic" part of the warranty, which is up at 60,000 miles. It occurs to me that they might be trying to let that expire, although a friend of mine said that it should be on record that I brought it in for the issue before 60,000. I think I'll try a different dealer and see if they can do the laptop analysis thing...
 

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In 2009, I bought a brand new Suzuki SX4, right off the lot, that only went one mile and quit with a dead battery. I cell-phoned my dealer to come and get me, with a new battery. Five days later, I got my new car back, with a new battery and the report that they found a loose connector, UNDER the battery. They only found that by accident when one of the mechanics moved that cable and the battery started charging. Once fixed, I never had an electrical problem again, in three years and 40k miles.

I traded that SX4 off on a new Soul.(for details, see my sig. line)
Then after reading several Soul forums, I found that electrical problems abound. One guy in the UK found a solution to his own starting failure problem.
The entire electrical system on the soul grounds back to the battery through the one little cable that runs from the NEG terminal on the battery to the nearby shock tower.
That may be enough, IF the electrical contact were better, but the contact point on the shock tower is "Painted". Paint is a very poor conductor of electricity, so all the power has to flow through the small bolt that holds that connector down to the tower. *
* Oh yes, the threaded hole where the ground cable retainer bolt threads into the shock tower is painted too. :confused:

On the other side of the engine, there is a similar small cable that connects (grounds) the engine to the body of the car, again to a painted shock tower. Yikes!
It's almost as bad as having painted battery terminals. #[email protected]!!!

The guy in the UK reported that he fixed the problem himself, by removing the ground wires from the shock towers and cleaning off the paint under the cable-ends.

When I examined my own grounding, I realized it was minimal at best. Besides cleaning off the paint under the ground straps, I went one step further and ran a heavy ground cable from the NEG terminal on the battery to a bolt on top of the engine.
* The starter grounds to the engine, and now the engine is securely grounded to the battery, assuring a good start every time.

At the battery:

* Note: The anti-corrosion felt washer under the battery terminal. It DOES prevent terminal corrosion.
I also have one on the positive terminal.

And at the engine:


I had a discussion about this, with my Service Manager one day, and he admitted that they have seen this grounding problem before and they too have cleaned the paint off under the ground points on the shock towers. It seems like they have really played this down. He seemed like he was embarrassed to admit that KIA had made such a huge mistake. There should be a service bulletin on this problem, but if there is, I've not heard about it. I'd be interested to examine a 2014 to see if they've fixed the problem. ???

TIP: If you just take off the ground wire on the driver's side shock tower, you'll have to reset your clock, etc. But if you run a wire from the NEG terminal on the battery to any spot on the engine first, you'll keep the car's electrical system grounded while you work on cleaning the paint off of the contact point on the shock tower.

Increasing your car's grounding is a very small thing, that any guy or gal can do to eliminate a possible problem later on.
This is NOT the only car with grounding problems. A Grounding KIT was very popular with SX4 owners. I never bought the KIT, but I did make sure that all my ground points were clean and tight.

BUT: Be careful with that little black bolt that holds the ground cables to the shock towers. They are small and very brittle and just a little bit too much torque and they will snap off. Please, don't ask me how I know that.

Good Luck!
TM :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you SO MUCH for the detailed explanation on how you solved this really ridiculous design flaw. I will give this a try and report back if it seems to solve the issue. Thanks again!!!
 

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Thank you SO MUCH for the detailed explanation on how you solved this really ridiculous design flaw. I will give this a try and report back if it seems to solve the issue. Thanks again!!!
Albany, NY! I was born there, was there for five days but have never been back. Story is that I was born under a stop sign on the way to the hospital, we lived in Voorheesville. If you get a chance, post some pics of your car with some down town land marks. I would love to see what it looks like.
 

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There's NO guarantee, that my fix will solve all Soul electrical problems, but at least it's someplace to start.

If the grounding under the hood is seriously lacking, can it be perfect throughout the rest of the car?

Every circuit in the car, terminates at the car body.... a painted car body.

So, find as many ground terminals as possible and make sure they are all clean and paint free.

Good Luck,
TM :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll check into the recall, I didn't know about that. And sure, I can take a few pictures of my car around Albany. Great story!
 

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I'll check into the recall, I didn't know about that. And sure, I can take a few pictures of my car around Albany. Great story!
I don't know why I did not think of that. I had a 98 Mustang that did just exactly what your car is doing. I went nuts trying to figure it out. Sometimes it would start, sometimes not and I would sit there twisting the key in the middle of WalMart trying to get it going. Then it would start and not show up again for days. Turned out that it was the brake switch hooked to the peddle up behind the dash. If you did not press the brake, the car would not start. If this turns out to be your problem, thank the person that thought of it.
 
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