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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All - I drove my Soul to a doctor appointment earlier today and when I got home, decided to park on the street thinking I was going to run more errands in an hour but didn't. Walked out to my car a couple of ours later with the intention of putting it in the garage. I pushed the Start button and my car started up but within a second, my dash display flickered and went dark; the tachometer and speedometer dials were illuminated. What went dark was the display in between. I tried again and this time the display turned on and "Key Not Recognized" was displayed and then when dark again. Tried Start button again, dials lit up but display in the middle was constantly flickering and I heard clicking sounds which made me think I might be dealing with an electrical problem.

With each attempt at pressing Start, I would get different results--dash all dark, dials illuminated but middle display dark, whole dash flickering; all indicator lights showing are solid (engine malfunction indicator, charging system, engine oil pressure, electronic stability control, immobilizer indicator). The only indicator light blinking is the Low Tire Pressure Warning Light. Headlights don't turn on but parking lights do, all the cabin lights turn on and controls are illuminated, entertainment unit display doesn't work but other times it will and turn off again. Both key fobs have fresh batteries and locking and unlocking is not always working. Was able to lock my doors at one point but couldn't unlock and had to use the emergency key to get in. Aaaarrrrgh, WTF is going on???!!!

Called AAA for roadside assistance. They confirmed my battery level was normal and then confirmed my car still would not start. AAA guy decided to give me a jump and my car started immediately and stayed on. He told me to keep it idling for 15 minutes or drive around if I wanted to. I drove around for 15 minutes in my neighborhood and when I got home, I parked in my garage and turned off the engine. Could not start it up again. Same symptoms.

So now, I can't really do anything except write this post and will have to wait until tomorrow morning to call the service department at my dealership. I'm in San Francisco and the nearest dealership is across the bay in Oakland.

If any of this sounds familiar with you guys, please chime in cause I could use the help when talking to the service department tomorrow. I have a video that shows some of what I was describing but it's late and I'm too exhausted to post it right now.

Thank you!
 

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They said the battery was normal. But my bet is still on a bad battery, either the connections need to be cleaned and/or check the battery ground. If they're clean, then I would get that battery tested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They said the battery was normal. But my bet is still on a bad battery, either the connections need to be cleaned and/or check the battery ground. If they're clean, then I would get that battery tested.
Thanks, suv_drift. I'm thinking I should call AAA again tomorrow and have them replace the battery. It's the best place to start. If the car still won't start with a fresh battery, then we go on to something else. My Soul is 4 years old with only 7900 miles.
 

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Do not get the AAA battery, they are good batteries but they do not fit the Soul correctly. The positive post on the AAA battery is smaller than the Kia and does not tighten up properly. No matter how much you try to cinch it up the cable will still move on the post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do not get the AAA battery, they are good batteries but they do not fit the Soul correctly. The positive post on the AAA battery is smaller than the Kia and does not tighten up properly. No matter how much you
Hmmm, first time hearing this. I've always been satisfied with battery replacements from AAA for my other cars. I think I will still call them, mention this post and make sure all is properly tightened before he leaves. Thank you for sharing this. I better locate my manual. Wondering if I need to reset anything after a battery replacement. Crossing my fingers it's just the battery!
 

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Do not try to tighten the post on the AAA battery too hard, it will snap and never tighten. The post is not thick enough, the difference is miniscule at 0.4mm when I measured it but it does not work and you will have odd issues because at times it won't make good contact. There are multiple threads on problems with aftermarket batteries on here that were all solved with using the correct battery or garbage spacers from auto parts stores, I don't recommend the spacers only use them if you already bought the wrong battery and don't want to spend the money on correct battery
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do not try to tighten the post on the AAA battery too hard, it will snap and never tighten. The post is not thick enough, the difference is miniscule at 0.4mm when I measured it but it does not work and you will have odd issues because at times it won't make good contact. There are multiple threads on problems with aftermarket batteries on here that were all solved with using the correct battery or garbage spacers from auto parts stores, I don't recommend the spacers only use them if you already bought the wrong battery and don't want to spend the money on correct battery
AAA was just here and replaced the battery. There were no issues at all with the posts; they were exactly the same size and no extra tightening. Only difference is AAA battery has recessed corners where the posts are and millimeters bigger all around which made a tight fit for the battery cover/heat shield wrap to slide over it and back in place.

So glad it was just the battery. I guess what threw me in a frenzy was how everything was flickering on an off inside the cabin and doing weird things. Now I know. In my Honda Element, when the battery is dead nothing turns on inside the cabin. It's quiet and dark.

Many thanks, guys!
 

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Lift up the plastic tab and grab the positive post and try to twist it, if you are able to get it to move you will have problems. I work at a dealership and have seen this 100s of times with AAA and parts store batteries. I think Interstate is the one brand that fits
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lift up the plastic tab and grab the positive post and try to twist it, if you are able to get it to move you will have problems. I work at a dealership and have seen this 100s of times with AAA and parts store batteries. I think Interstate is the one brand that fits
Believe me. The posts are the same size. Measured with caliper. They are not moving. Mentioned your post to AAA guy even before he installed. He has not personally experienced the issue you mentioned.
 

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Perhaps they have changed suppliers, that's good to know. I have a friend who does towing and batteries for AAA and he tells me that they take back and give him a new battery for any that has been on the shelf for 30 days so that way you are definitely getting a fresh one and not one that sat for months or a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Perhaps they have changed suppliers, that's good to know. I have a friend who does towing and batteries for AAA and he tells me that they take back and give him a new battery for any that has been on the shelf for 30 days so that way you are definitely getting a fresh one and not one that sat for months or a year.
Could be they have changed suppliers. The towing company they use is definitely different from previous years. My AAA guy was very knowledgeable and a good listener; I was happy with the way he double-checked battery size to make sure it fit properly. He listened to me when I mentioned your post and was generally interested in the "smaller post" issue which he had never experienced personally. What's important to me is you shared some valuable information that kept me on my toes and had me ask questions to make sure I had a battery the fit properly in every way. I really appreciate that!
 

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I wouldn't have used AAA simply because you could have got a better battery and dropped it in yourself for half the price somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I wouldn't have used AAA simply because you could have got a better battery and dropped it in yourself for half the price somewhere else.
Of course. I can't argue with that and it makes sense. But looking at the tools he used to replace the battery, which I didn't have on hand, I didn't mind getting it done and out of the way. I plan on getting an extender for my ratchet wrench long enough to reach the clamp bolt at the base of the battery so I can replace it myself next time.

The battery has a 3-year warranty and I paid $148.99 + tax. Where is a good place to get a battery for half that price so I know for the future?

As said earlier, I've never been dissatisfied with AAA batteries and their service. At least not yet!
 

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Of course. I can't argue with that and it makes sense. But looking at the tools he used to replace the battery, which I didn't have on hand, I didn't mind getting it done and out of the way. I plan on getting an extender for my ratchet wrench long enough to reach the clamp bolt at the base of the battery so I can replace it myself next time.

The battery has a 3-year warranty and I paid $148.99 + tax. Where is a good place to get a battery for half that price so I know for the future?

As said earlier, I've never been dissatisfied with AAA batteries and their service. At least not yet!
That's a good price and an excellent price if you consider it was installed at your home.
Just FYI if you want to fiddle with battery yourself pop the 2 tabs with your finger and open top of air filter box and even a short extension will reach the 12mm bolt that holds the battery down.
 

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...
I guess what threw me in a frenzy was how everything was flickering on an off inside the cabin and doing weird things. Now I know. In my Honda Element, when the battery is dead nothing turns on inside the cabin. It's quiet and dark.
...
Several years one Sunday I try to start a Honda Accord - lots of crazy flashing of the dash instrument lights. I tried a handful of times to start car - sometimes dash would flash, maybe sometimes not.

The crazy flashing made me fear I had a serious electrical problem beyond a simple dead battery as I had never seen that before in my prior experience with dead batteries.

Called AAA and the service guy- after running a diagnostic check - said I had a bad battery. He said something along the lines of sometimes the dash will flash like that when a dead battery is trying to throw out / when a car is trying to draw out all at once what little bit of juice the battery has left.

Since it was a Sunday and I had errands to run I bought the AAA battery which took care of the problem.
 

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Wow, 4 years old and not quite 8,000 miles! I wonder if the battery was actually fine (although it was 4 years old) but it was not charged enough--driving around for 15 minutes on surface streets may not have provided sufficient energy to recharge the battery sufficiently. Driving less than 2,000 miles per year may have lead to the eventual insufficient battery charge that you first noticed when you thought you were going to repark your car.

In an ideal world, there should be zero battery discharge when vehicles are powered off. That may have been true when there were no onboard computers, relays, sensors etc (like when I was first learning to drive). Modern vehicles always have a small current running throughout some of the electrical circuitry, which will result in a drained battery if the vehicle is not started and driven periodically.

Since you are fortunate enough to have a garage for your Soul, you could put a battery maintainer on the battery when you have prolonged periods of vehicular inactivity. If you don't like the idea of having a battery maintainer attached to your Soul (car, not your own), you could take your Soul out on a more spirited weekly outing on one of the local freeways--if you are keen to maximize the amount of current available to the battery, turn off the sound system and a/c (probably not used much in SF) and go 55-65 mph for around 30-45 minutes.
 

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Where is a good place to get a battery for half that price so I know for the future?
I have a local guy that I trust. I send everyone to him.
I have sent my wife and daughters when I couldn't go.
When in a situation I can't go to him ..... Wal-Mart.
Their Everstart brand is made by Johnson Controls and is the best passenger battery no one has ever heard of.
The Everstart cheap Soul battery is less than 90 bucks and I think most Wal-Marts that have a service center install free.
The Good battery is 120.
Funny thing is the good is 600 cca and the cheap one is 700 cca.
The good battery comes up as the suggested group size (121R).
The cheap one come up as a different size (124?) But indicates it does fit.
Battery group size is more than just physical size.
It's amps, terminal location, etc.

BTW - The AAA price was better than I expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's a good price and an excellent price if you consider it was installed at your home.
Just FYI if you want to fiddle with battery yourself pop the 2 tabs with your finger and open top of air filter box and even a short extension will reach the 12mm bolt that holds the battery down.
Aha! Good to know that. Thanks for the tip!
 
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