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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I've been having a charging issue and I've been searching on forums for days and haven't come up with a solution so I decided to finally ask.

My alternator was showing a bad voltage regulator at the parts store (battery died while at work one day so I was getting everything tested). Long story short I swapped the alternator out and same issue, then tested the removed alt and everything was fine.

There are no check engine lights on, but the alternator seems to only want to match the power draw of the car (+ like .3amps) If I'm using 10 amps, it's making 10.3 amps, if I'm using 20 amps it's making 20.3. This is resulting in my no charge (more accurately too low to matter charging) situation. Also the junk yard alternator, like the old one, is running 13.3 volts when cranked, as stated I had the old one tested after removal and it tested good.

So far as stated I've replace the alternator
Checked all fuses using ohm meter
Checked ground connections using ohm meter
Checked lead wire from alt to bat with ohm meter
Checked engine ground to random body bolt with ohm meter
Then just for sh*ts and giggles I shaved the paint off the grounds anyway as I kept reading that's a common issue
Also cleaned off the alt to batt posts and the posts on the battery

So far I've got nothing, I don't know if the BCM or ECM controls the voltage regulator and that's my issue, or if it does it on its own, and which of the two could possibly the culprit as I can't find any info on what controls it.

Long story short I'm open to ideas, I bought a battery charger just so I can keep a charge and be able to go to work and back without it dieing over a short period of time, but this isn't a very good long term solution.

Anyone have any ideas what else I should check/replace?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Charging is externally regulated.

You may want to review all the charging sections in the -on-line service manual


...and remove, clean, reinstall the battery negative ground cable to the frame.

Yeah I did that to every ground cable I can find, even threw another one in a few hours ago. I did notice after looking at several other Souls in the family that the battery in it when I bought my Soul is an AGM battery, and pretty much the same battery as in my Escalade. I'm unsure if on these cars need to have the battery registered with the system or not (like in my bmw, thing is a pain in the ass to change a battery on), I wouldn't think so but I'm combing through service manuals even still trying to make sure I can nip this.

At this point with everything I've done I think my next step will likely be to charge the battery to full, then keep track of it in the coming weeks and see if it's still an issue.

Also I did look at that page, and if I understand it correctly the bottom chart describes amperage going up with rpm, which is not the case with my current issue, unless that's just what it does without the regulator, which TBH I hadn't thought to unplug it and test it. It's been a long time since I've delt with electronics so my memories a bit fuzzy on some of it.
 

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Does your battery have the battery sensor?

If yes, then there is a recalibration procedure for it...

I wonder if it matters if the battery should be fully charged on bench prior to performing this recal?? Or could it be done as is condition??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does your battery have the battery sensor?

If yes, then there is a recalibration procedure for it...

I wonder if it matters if the battery should be fully charged on bench prior to performing this recal?? Or could it be done as is condition??
TBH I forgot to look and see if it did, got super busy. But first thing in the morning I plan on looking and going from there. I would imagine the battery shouldn't be flat as a door nail, at the very least something to keep the memory to the computer going. So I'll check in the AM, then slap it on the charger, throw it back in, and if applicable follow those steps, and then see if that works. One of the last things I know to do.
 

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There is a battery sensor if you have the Soul Plus that came with the AGM. The battery sensor senses voltage, amperage, and temperature. Your alternator is a "smart" alternator so it gets a lin bus signal that tells it how hard to work. Try turning on your lights and blower motor on high and see what voltage you get.
 

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Back to post one, which parts store checked the alternator/internal regulator?

How old was the battery that died?

If you are getting 13.3 vdc, after the system has settled from starting, I would consider it normal.

Some advantages of the smart system (my 2003 Jeep Wrangler's ICM controlled charging...so it is not all that new):

1. Limiting loading of the battery, rather than dump excess to ground, reduces load on the motor, which saves some fuel.

2. By controlling the voltage output to just over what is needed, saves cooking the battery.

If you want to monitor voltage, see post 1805

 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Back to post one, which parts store checked the alternator/internal regulator?

How old was the battery that died?

If you are getting 13.3 vdc, after the system has settled from starting, I would consider it normal.

Some advantages of the smart system (my 2003 Jeep Wrangler's ICM controlled charging...so it is not all that new):

1. Limiting loading of the battery, rather than dump excess to ground, reduces load on the motor, which saves some fuel.

2. By controlling the voltage output to just over what is needed, saves cooking the battery.

If you want to monitor voltage, see post 1805

It was an Oreillys, they also checked the alt I removed from the car and said it was fine, along with the battery which is maybe 2 or 3 years old (I don't remember off the top of my head, but it was 17 or 18). I never actually bought anything from them either except for some orange hand cleaner, so if it was a sales tactic to get me to buy one of their nearly $500 alternators it didn't work lol. I figured 13.3 was in the right sort of area considering I found most people said 13.5 +/- .3v.

There is a battery sensor if you have the Soul Plus that came with the AGM. The battery sensor senses voltage, amperage, and temperature. Your alternator is a "smart" alternator so it gets a lin bus signal that tells it how hard to work. Try turning on your lights and blower motor on high and see what voltage you get.
Will be doing that tomorrow, my voltmeter doesn't really do to well without someone holding it as I have no alligator clamps and my wife was busy, but I can confirm the amps on my amp meter read .3 amps above what I use even under load. And I believe the Red Zone was a + so when I pop the hood that's the first thing I'll look for. I had no idea they came with an AGM TBH, we have 4 Souls in our family (all +'s [if you include my Red Line] from 2006-2019) and I'm the only one with one.






Am also going to be charging it up as much as I can before I leave for work thanksgiving morning. One thing I still need to check in amp draw in an off state., if its drawing too much when off then that may be culprit for why it died, but still doesn't explain the voltage regulator test failure, which TBH is what worries me.
 

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If you put in a non AGM Oreilly battery check the positive post, the difference between the Kia battery and the Oreilly is 0.4mm on the thickness of the post and that is just enough so that the post never fully tightens and fully tightened can still be turned on the Oreilly batteries.
 

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If you put in a non AGM Oreilly battery check the positive post, the difference between the Kia battery and the Oreilly is 0.4mm on the thickness of the post and that is just enough so that the post never fully tightens and fully tightened can still be turned on the Oreilly batteries.
Yes and O'Reiily sells shims for that.


Had that issue on son's Elantra, replacing with O"Reilly AGM battery.
 

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bwdz75 has advised that this test has limited application, but the link is posted for the 50 mA parasitic draw limit

It's a good test if done correctly, I have seen too many people not do the jumper right or accidentally bump it off when removing it etc...
The other part is that there is B+ at the battery sensor on a car with the sensor and for some reason it can alter readings, I have no scientific proof of this it is just an observation considering I see about 20-50 Souls a week. It is best to use an amp clamp that is sensitive enough to read miliamps
 

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One little problem I will never forget, I was working on about a 2014 or 15 Ford Escape and the wipers did not come on. It has 2 motors, one for each side. I checked the fuse, good. I looked up a schematic and saw that the wipers are on a lin bus and it shares with the battery sensor, I unplugged the battery sensor and the wipers began to work. So I replaced the battery sensor to fix the wipers.
They behave very strange and a lin bus is based on resistance so the sensors just act a little goofy and throw you for loops.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Unfortunately it took so long to charge with my charger I never got to do any real testing before I lost sunlight. Gotta leave for work and won't be back for like 5 days, but I'll be doing draw test, and checking battery sensor when I get back to see if I'm having those issues or not. I'm also thinking about replacing the cable from the alt to battery. Even though the ohm meter shows it should be good I'm still kinda in the mood to say it couldn't hurt anything.

Thank you all for the guidance and ideas, can't wait till I get back home to try and sort this issue out.
 

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I'll have to try another one to confirm this for you but I seem to remember that the sensor itself will have like 6 to 7 mOhms on it, I will look again at a good one to confirm for you in the next few days.
 

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Ok, so I just got back in earlier this morning, and leave out tomorrow morning again so I'm doing everything I can today. So far I've looked for power drain while off, and turned up with nothing wrong at all. I see no battery sensor, unless its embedded in the cable itself (it has a cable like this one). If that does have a battery sensor in it then color me surprised at the very least, when did they get so small lol. I did do the whole key on key off thing in the service manual and it sat for a while just to be safe.

I did notice a 0.12v drop between alt and battery. My battery with car running sits at 13.34V, from alt to alt housing I'm getting 13.46 (these are idle numbers). So that seems about normal, maybe just a smidge higher than it should be, but tbh at this point I'm just replacing things as I think of them.

Bout the only thing left I can think of is the cable from the voltage regulator so I'm spending my morning coffee looking through service manuals to find out where that cable ends up. I hate replacing wires, and tbh that cable looks like its going to be pain to track through the looms so I'm gonna test them to be sure first.
 

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The battery sensor would be right at the negative post as part of the cable end so if your cable looks like your link you don't have one. Your alternator with lights and blower motor on should be putting out over 14 volts. I am going to assume you don't have an oscilloscope to back probe the lin bus to see if it is sending signals. Check to see if you turn your lights and heater on and you should get over 14 volts.
 

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The battery sensor would be right at the negative post as part of the cable end so if your cable looks like your link you don't have one. Your alternator with lights and blower motor on should be putting out over 14 volts. I am going to assume you don't have an oscilloscope to back probe the lin bus to see if it is sending signals. Check to see if you turn your lights and heater on and you should get over 14 volts.
Ok, so no battery sensor on this car then. Will be doing that (the heat/light test) in the AM before I head off to work, I've lost sun light. Thanks for all your help, I'm truly stuck on this one.
 

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So this is what it looks like at idle, scroll through the data list and look at the voltage, both of these are at idle but the over 14v is when the headlights and blower motor are turned on, it goes back down to the 13v range when you shut them back off.
 

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So this is what it looks like at idle, scroll through the data list and look at the voltage, both of these are at idle but the over 14v is when the headlights and blower motor are turned on, it goes back down to the 13v range when you shut them back off.
Just got back into town, and leaving back out Wednesday morning so I'll be spending tomorrow here and under the hood. When I got back in first thing I did was the test, thing stays at 13.4v at alternator and 13.3 at battery no matter what accessories are on or off. So if my voltage regulator tested good out of the car, but in the car showed bad and the new alt and regulator is doing the same, and it failed that test... Do you think its that 3 prong wire/harness from the regulator being the issue or the actual control module that controls it? Or something else entirely? I know it's not the ground wires at least, I've done everything to improve them and test them.
 
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