Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Inverness, Florida
Drives: 1999 Hyundai Elantra Wagon, 2003 Kia Sedona, 2012 Kia Sedona, 2007 Hyundai Tucson
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Intermittent Stalling No Start Air Conditioner Electrical Gremlin Ghost Kia Sedona
Hello all! Have I got a post for you. Probably you want to make a sticky out of this.
Is your Kia Sedona family road-barge experiencing weird intermittent electrical problems? Does it stall for no apparent reason? Does the air conditioner do weird things like shut off on “high”? Do the headlights dim, the battery acts like its bad, and the starter won't turn, then wait a while and it starts like nothing happened?
Yes, I've seen these problems. I have a 2003 Kia Sedona AND a 2012 Kia Sedona. BOTH of my cars have this problem. My 2003 failed to start 50 miles from anywhere in Northwoods Maine, and my 2012 likes to die going down the road when I drive my Mom around with AC blasting.
THE PROBLEM IS CAUSED BY INSUFFICIENT GROUNDING OF THE MOTOR TO THE BATTERY.
This was a known problem that I was aware of on the Hyundai XG350, which shared nearly the same drivetrain with the early Sedonas, I believe there was a Hyundai recall. My guess is this problem is also found on Hyundai Santa Fe with 3.5 V6, Kia Amati, and other cars which share this motor.
On 2012 Kia Sedona ( and probably all models) there are cheesy little ground wires that connect the battery to the body, and the body to the engine. I believe the Sedona, being the electricity hog it is, is gets insufficient grounding when the threads on the attaching bolts to the body get a little corrosion.
The cost-free fix is to identify the ground connections to the body and disconnect them, grind the paint off the surface of the body where the connector contacts, clean up the bolt and the wire connector, put it back together, and maybe smear it with some die-electric grease. That should eliminate the problem.
An even BETTER fix, but could cost a few pesos, is get yourself a piece of negative battery cable and create a new ground independent of the cheesy grounds. Simply bolt the battery cable from the negative terminal on the battery to a solid bolt on the motor, preferably the intended grounding bolt on the motor. This is on the other side of the motor from the battery, so I used a six foot piece of cable that cost $22. Instant relief. It's still a good idea to clean up those grounds on the body even if you use a battery cable.
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