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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I am having electrical issues with my 2004 Sorento LX and I'm looking for some help. We purchased this Sorento new in 2004 and currently have around 90K miles on it. I believe we are up to date on all service campaigns from Kia and have had all the recall work done.

The other day my wife was driving the car and could not turn off the windshield wipers. She was away from home, so I had her pull the fuse for the wipers and come on home. I put the fuse back in and all was fine, so we wrote it off to a fluke. Two days ago she was driving it, stopped off at home for a moment, and when she went back out to the car to leave it would not start. All she got was an electrical buzz when trying to start it and sometimes not even that. When I looked at it I got the same. I checked the battery voltage and it was a little low (the batter is 2 years old and is a 6 year Bosch battery), so I put a charger on it. While charging the battery if I try to start it the starter clicks like it does when a battery is too low.

I finished charging the battery, checked to ensure it had 12.6V, and tried to start it again and got nothing. Put the charger back on it and got the same starter clicking when trying to start it. I did a few hours of research and came across a post stating they had a similar problem and replacing the starter fixed it, so I ordered a new starter. I just installed it, and I'm having the same problem. I've read through about every electrical post on this site and have cleaned the two ground bolts on both sides of the engine compartment near the front, and I've looked over every inch of the wiring harnesses I can see (including pulling out the center console and the kick plate by the pedals) and don't see any burnt wiring.

Help!

Additional information: In the past year we have had the water pump replaced (warranty), and have paid to replace the TPS ($186), timing belt and all other belts ($480), coolant purge control valve ($158) and the coolant reserve tank. The dealer quoted me something like $150 to replace the coolant tank, but I just purchased the tank myself from the parts department for less than $40 with tax and spent the 30 minutes installing it myself. What a rip off that dealer is. I also realized just looking at the paperwork for the above service that when we had it in a another shop the month before we had the warranty work done on the water pump, that the other shop replaced the serpentine belt that the dealer re-replaced a month later - for about $80. Thanks Kia Service.

Oh, and we have also replaced a dozen or so headlights and tail lights, and have had intermittent issues with the dome light. I could go on and on with other issues we've had, but I think you get the point.
 

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Just want to provide some more information and try and bump this up. Last night, after taking off the battery charger, I tried rolling up the power windows and as soon as I hit the window button the power started shorting. The dash lights would flash and the window would creep up a little bit at a time. It was moving so slow I gave up half way through getting one window up. I'm sure if I put the charger back on the battery that it will allow the windows to be rolled up, but I'm pretty sure this means there is an electrical short somewhere that is drawing too much power to allow the windows to function.

I'm still looking for thoughts and input. I'm desperate to get this resolved. I really don't have enough $ to take this into a dealer. I have downloaded the 'wiring harness' drawing from this site and will look over the harness ends that I have not gotten to, but if anyone has suggestions on where to look I would appreciate it.

Thanks,
Patrick.
 

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2005 Kia Sorento EX
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Have you tried cleaning the battery terminals with a wire brush to ensure a perfect connection. Also, try installing a battery from a Friend's car to eliminate the possibility of a weak battery
 

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04 Sorento LX 4-wd
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It may be possible that you missed a key item -- you mentioned that your wife could not turn off the windshield wipers. Was she driving in a significant rainstorm? If so, water may have gotten into the main fuse box under the hood and several points could be shorting with high resistance shorts (leakage). That would account for the dead battery and other anomylous effects. Look under the fuse cover and see if anything looks wet or there is any condensation.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Patrick...
The older posts in the Sorento area of these forums are your friends.
A very common problem with Sorentos is the ground wire from the battery terminal to UNDER the battery frame.... Remove the battery and the frame and clean where this wire is bolted down. Fairly common problem covered in older posts.
I hope this helps..
Dave
 

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First, thank you for the replies and suggestions.

Per the suggestions, yes, I did take off the battery terminal connectors and clean them all off to make sure I had good connections. And I just got done taking the battery out and removing the frame under the battery and saw no ground connections, so I must have misunderstood that suggestion. Perhaps there is a ground wire connected under the frame that you can only get to from underneath. I'll check that next.

Before removing the battery I did try eliminating a bad ground by running a separate ground wire (ground side of a jumper cable) directly from the negative battery terminal to a bolt on the starter. Nothing changed when trying to start it. Without charger on the car it does nothing, with the charger the starter clicks. I have not tried a different battery, but I have a portable jump box that should do the same thing and it works the same as with the charger.

I also got more/better information from my wife. I thought she said she had the wipers on and then couldn't turn them off. It turns out that they came on by themselves after a stop for gas. She never turned them on and there was no rain at that time. I'm going to try taking the cover off the wiper motor area and have a look at the wiring there. There has to be a short there somewhere. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks again, Patrick.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, last night I took the wipers off and removed the cover to get to the wiper motor and to look at the electrical connections and nothing looks amiss. I also reread the post regarding a ground below the battery frame and I have reconfirmed there is no ground there on my car. Could that be for a different year? Anyway, I believe the short is behind the dash somewhere. Any hints or tips fr finding the short are welcome.

Thanks, Patrick
 

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I now drive a 2003 S-10 Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
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Start at the source. Get a different battery. When buying a new one get the biggest(amp capacity)one that will fit under there. It solved my headlight and lamp issues. Have not changed a headlight in over 3 years. The ground wire from the battery I believe splits into two wires. Trace those out and you will find the ends. Don't make this harder than it is. And in regards to the wiper. Many a times I and my wife while driving have hit the stalk withour realising it and turned them on. It just takes a bump. Deplete all your possible fixes that ARE NOT under the dash before you go down that rabbit hole.
 

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Regarding the battery - I ALWAYS buy the biggest/highest rated (in months/amps) battery that is available. I find the the $/month winds up the same as the lower priced batteries, but it saves me from having to worry about it again for a long time. Also, when I connect my portable jump box to the battery when trying to start the car I am in effect adding a second battery to the system in parallel, so it eliminates the possibility that it is a bad battery causing the problem. Also as originally stated, I did already trace the ground wires and clean them up prior to being told there was another ground beneath the battery, which turned out to be faulty information.

Given that I have been unable to locate any short at this point and have been able to look at all the connectors in the engine compartment, the connections by the fuse panel in the cab, and the connectors at the wiper blades, any more suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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pdm4320...
First let me apologize for the "errata data"... I was thinking of a different KIA Model..
Your use of a separate ground return from the starter to the battery negative terminal would eliminate the "battery to frame" problem... the battery voltage in your first post does look low as you said... Have you checked the voltage across the battery terminals during an attempted crank. If it drops a couple of volts during this time the battery has a week cell or hasn't been charged fully.

You said "I tried rolling up the power windows and as soon as I hit the window button the power started shorting. The dash lights would flash and the window would creep up a little bit at a time. It was moving so slow I gave up half way through getting one window up. I'm sure if I put the charger back on the battery that it will allow the windows to be rolled up, but I'm pretty sure this means there is an electrical short somewhere that is drawing too much power to allow the windows to function."

This is not an indication of a short but does indicate low voltage that may be from a bad battery or a corroded connection somewhere in the car.

A short would cause a burnt wire or blown fuse. An open would be closer and a poor connection (corrosion/loose wire/ bad crimp) is what you are experiencing.

Because you are having problems with Wipers/windows/dash lights AND starting problems... SOME of these items have their own ground returns to the body of the car so I think I would next look at the +12v feeds... A few KIAs have had problems with the positive (+) battery feed to the fuse box under the hood (near the 120 Amp charging fuse). Check the feed wire and under side of this fuse box for corrosion The cab fuse box is also fed from there.
The flashing dash lights, the weak power feed to the windows, the clicking starter relay indicate low voltage...you are just going to have to keep looking till you find it.
Again I'm sorry for the wrong info...
Dave
 
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