Intermittent Start/Battery Dead Issue - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Intermittent Start/Battery Dead Issue

I have a 2003 Sedona and every so often the battery acts as if it's dead. I'll go out to start and no lights come on at all nor will it turn over. It's completely dead but if I hook up jumper cables to the battery there's spark. I jump it off just fine. The starter was replaced last summer and the alternator and battery were replaced this year. I may happen once a week or month. I had all three check and I'm told they're good. Any ideas what could be causing this issue? I purchased and keep an emergency jump starter just in case.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 02:28 PM
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A few things come to mind...

Bad battery (even new ones can go bad with intermittent internal connections)

Corroded battery terminals or battery connections...
Clean with this to a bright finish...
Battery Terminal Cleaner
and apply some motor oil to the freshly cleaned terminals..

A parasitic current draw (usually from add ons or accessories) from (GPS/non-OEM radios/radar detectors/cell phone chargers/etc... Also there could be a problem with a microcomputer/microprocessor like the BCM (body control module)...KIA Spectras had this problem where the Auto-Headlights would come on in the middle of the night and the owner would come out to a dead car...An upgrade to the firmware in the BCM cured this problem...

You said you replaced the alternator...If the "re-manufactured" alternator came from advance or AutoZone they have been selling "re-manufactured" alternators that were really only repaired and cleaned up...These repairs were done in Mexico and if the alternator you got was intermittent or the problem did not show up during their "testing" they just cleaned/reboxed/and sent them to these stores...You loose!
They have a "Lifetime Warranty" because they are sooo profitable and have a high defective return rate....

A truly re-manufactured alternator will have these parts replaced... Bridge rectifier pack...Voltage regulator module...both bearings...new brushes...new insulators...
Then the armature and the commutator would be "turned" on a lathe and the alternator would be checked for a period of time in a "real life" scenario...

This repairing/rebuilding problem happens also with starter motors repairs....

I would not buy one of these "gems" and would buy either a NEW alternator on ebay or have mine rebuilt by a local starter/alternator rebuilder.

I base my diagnosis on the information of "clipping on another battery source" bypasses the current battery and battery connections and also provides a source to start the car that could recharge a dead/flat battery...

I would also suggest you do a specific gravity test on the battery BEFORE trying to start the car...This will tell you "if" the battery is charged (or not)...
Battery Specific Gravity Test: Battery Hydrometer Test
You want to do this BEFORE starting the car so you will know the results before the alternator has a chance to recharge it...

Bring your results back to the forum so we can provide more help to you or others...
Dave
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 02:31 PM
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also...
because clipping on to the battery leads allows you to start the car that eliminates other ground problems as the "other" battery source current flows through these connections to start the car...
Dave
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! I will start off with cleaning the battery terminals and posts real good and see. I checked for a battery parasite the last time it happened but didn't come up with anything.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-07-2014, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Okay so the no start issue happened twice yesterday in less than one hour span. I took it up to Advance to be tested and the starter and battery both show to be good as well as the alternator. The only thing about the alternator was with the lights on and revving the engine up, the alternator showed small spikes on the report. The rep said a bad alternator would have bigger spikes on the chart. I took it home and cleaned the battery posts and terminals with the the brush as recommended. This morning, it started up just fine and I used a battery/alternator testerAlternator/Battery Tester and the alternator readings read strong (14V) and the battery read Good (12.5V) so I guess we'll see what happens today.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Problem solved! the battery had bad cells so when it was hot outside it was hit or miss if the vehicle would start. The battery was still covered under warranty and I explained what was going on and they gladly exchanged it. Since then there has been no issues with no start.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 02:51 PM
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My Sedona did this. It turned out that the rear hatch, (boot, trunk, whatever you call it) was slightly open, the courtesy light was draining the battery.
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