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Installing remote door locking (“key fob”) on a 2021 Kia Soul LX Manual

When getting ready to buy my Soul, I stumbled on this forum in my search for information about adding cruise control to a LX Manual Soul – and was so pleased that someone had done all the hard work for me. Little did I know that my other required accessory, a remote “key fob”, would give me my opportunity to return the favor to the group.

Having added remotes to cars before, I assumed that this would be an easy task – install the remote, wire it to the door switch, done! Well, that was before I learned about CANBUS, a computer network that every component in the entire car is connected to. You can’t just tap into the switch, you need a network interface that you can then attach to your remote unlocking device. This is how I did it:

First off, I bought my hardware:

Universal remote door lock/unlock unit ($17 off of Amazon) with remotes that looked KIA like: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HB5M5R2

CAN BUS interface device, I bought a Flash-Logic FLCAN:
FlashLogic FLCAN Module Connects a Code Alarm security system to your vehicle's databus interface at Crutchfield

The FLCAN is available cheaper ($55), but comes unprogrammed. The USB cable to program (FLPROG) it $40… and Crutchfield will program (“flash”) the unit to your car and ship it to you for $77+tax (with a slower shipping discount). I chose that route, but you can certainly buy the unit and the cable and do it yourself.

NOTE: When you order from Crutchfield, they will delay your order until they talk to you to confirm you know what you’re getting into and to verify the car before programming the unit. The Crutchfield rep I spoke to (in April 2021) told me that once their current inventory (60+) of FLCAN units is gone, they will be replacing them with another brand that they will not program for customers. If you are following these instructions in the distant future, you might have to program it yourself anyway. If you do need to program a FLCAN, the flash code selection you will want is for “2020-2021 Kia Soul STD Key Automatic”. It works just fine on the manual transmission cars.

You will also need electrical connectors, zip ties, screwdrivers, etc. I chose to connect the power to the unit through a fuse tap, and used this one in the new MICRO2 fuse size. Also, the wires are 18-22 gauge in size, which is usually the red crimp on connectors. Ring connectors and bullet connectors in this size are not easy to find. I found the new “T Tap” connectors to be useful on this project as well.

Ok, in brief, the wiring consists of the following:

Power to the FLCAN and the remote unit
Ground to the FLCAN, the remote unit, the unlock and lock “source” wires (see below)
The lock and unlock wires between the remote unit and the FLCAN
Ignition from the FLCAN to the car
CAN BUS high and low from the FLCAN to the car

That’s only 7 connections and 11 wires. I list them out now because when you look at the diagrams coming up it will look like there’s dozens and dozens of wires… and you won’t need most of them. The FLCAN is designed to be an interface for a remote start device, but we’re just using it for the lock and unlock function here. (I would not personally install a remote start on a manual transmission car.)

Ok, now that we’ve laid out what we need to do, we will now look at the scary documents that show you the wiring. Let’s start with the install guide for the Fortin EVO All, another CAN BUS interface that comes highly recommended. It has the most illustrated diagrams available. I've attached a copy to this message, but the download link is:

https://cdn02.fortin.ca/download/86491/evo-all_ig_reg_bi_kia-soul_2020_key_a_86491.pdf

See those pictures on page 2? You’ll want to look at those later when you get started. In the mean time, if you are installing a FLCAN, here is the install guide (attached). You want the “Type 3” install that starts on page 9. Download link:

https://images.idatalink.com/corporate/Content/Manuals/DL-HK13/FLC-AL(DL)-HK13-EN_20210217.pdf

Remember, we’re tourists here just looking for a few wires. Step by step instructions:
  1. Disconnect your negative battery cable, making sure it won’t slide itself back over and reconnect.
  2. Connect the following four wires to ground: ground wire on the FLCAN (black), ground wire on the remote (black) and the yellow and yellow/black wires on the remote. I used the bolt right above the hood release lever, where an existing ground wire was located. A 1 / 4 “ ring connector worked well here, if you can find one small enough (in wire size).
    If you use a different remote kit, you want to send a negative impulse (connect to ground) to signal the FLCAN to lock or unlock. We get this on my unit by connecting the yellow and yellow/black to ground. Your kit may be different.
  3. Connect the two “output” wires from the remote opener to the FLCAN. Lock = green/black on FLCAN to white on opener, unlock = blue/black on FLCAN to white/black on opener. I used bullet connectors, butt connectors will work too.

  4. Connect the FLCAN CANBUS high wire (brown/red) to the CANBUS wire on the car (red) and FLCAN CANBUS low wire (brown/yellow) to the CANBUS wire on the car (blue). These are located at the connector at the back of the fuse box (the side that faces the front of the car). Refer to the EVO-ALL instructions, page 2, picture 4A or the picture below. I used T-taps.
    136663
  5. Connect the power wires for the FLCAN (red) and the remote opener (red) to your power source. I used a fuse tap, choosing “Memory” fuse location (2 over and 3 down from upper left corner). This was the only one I could find that was constantly on, and not switched or timed.
  6. Ignition to the FLCAN (pink) to the ignition wire on the car. The only spot I could find this was at the bottom of the steering wheel, as pictured below. It’s not that bad to get to, the bottom cover comes off with three screws. Pop the top of the steering column cover off with squeeze pressure, then turn the wheel to find the screws at the top corners. The third screw Is on the bottom. The wire you’re looking for is on a big blue connector (number 2 on picture) on the driver’s side of the column, and you’re looking for the pink wire inside that bundle. I used the largest (yellow) T-tap on the car wire and then connected the smallest (red) connector to the FLCAN wire and they connect just fine.
136664


[Note: I have a theory that the ignition wire is only used to finish the programming listed below. I didn’t try this, but you might try just supplying 12V+ to that pink wire and the completing the programming, then disconnecting it. It might then just work fine, which means that you don’t have to go into the steering column at all. If anyone tries this, please let me know and I’ll update the instructions.]

Once all the wires are connected, reconnect your battery and start the in-car programming sequence. These are covered on page 33 of the FLCAN install guide and yes, it took me a while to find them.
  1. When you first plug it in, the status LED on the unit should flash green (single flash). Press the button and the LED should flash in patterns of two (double flash). This selects “hard wire” mode instead of “data cable” mode. Hold the button in until the LED goes solid green. This saves the setting.
  2. Now, turn the key to on (but not start). The LED should “triple flash” red and repeat. Press the button once, then turn the key off.
  3. Confirm the settings by turning the key back on. The LED should remain off.
If you have trouble with the system once it is installed and set up, how you can check the FLCAN is by disconnecting the lock/unlock wires and grounding them out to test the CANBUS connection. (This is why I used bullet connectors.) You can test the remote opener the same way with a meter or test light, by seeing a ground connection happen briefly on white or white/black when you activate the remote.

If it works, remember to go into your car's settings in the dashboard and adjust the doors and locks settings to your liking. I found setting to turn off the "double turn", which opens all doors with one press of the remote. I also turned on auto lock/unlock, which locks the doors for me when I drive and unlocks them when I shut the car off. I also enabled the light flash on lock/unlock, which kept me from having to wire that part of the remote up.

You can also turn off the stupid back seat warning. :)

If this all looks like too much work, you can go to a car audio shop and ask them to install a remote door lock setup on a CANBUS car. I was quoted about $350. This setup cost me about $125 including a lot of extra wire connectors for my parts bin.

If anyone has anything to add or suggestions for clarity on this write up, please let me know! I’ll edit it to get it right then post a PDF when the edits are complete. Regards!
 

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