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Discussion Starter #1
Hello - My 2012 new model Kia Ceed SW has a sporadic ISG operation - some days it works, some not. Twice so far the dealer identified the issue as battery charge level, charged the battery and all was well - but only for a couple of days. Two proposals I had from the dealer are to switch the lights from automatic operation to manual, and drive at high engine revs. Sound to me like KIA a design issue never seen since alternators replaced dynamos, so other users should have come across them as well. Any one suffers from dropping battery charge levels deactivating the ISG ?
 

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Cee'd 2 CRDi(126)
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My experience of ISG is very limited, having only owned my Cee'd for 3.5 weeks, but when I bought the car, nearly new from a dealer (85 miles on the clock), the battery was almost flat. So flat that the engine would not crank without a booster pack. Since then I drove around 250 miles over the course of three weeks and still no ISG. I checked fault codes and saw a "System Voltage Low" fault, which was no surprise, so I cleared the fault and stuck a charger on the car for a few hours. The following day it was 3 degrees out and still no ISG. The day after it was 7 degrees and ISG started working. It has continued to do so since.

Here are the trouble codes revealed by my £9 bluetooth ELM327 OBD2 reader and my £2.95 (free version available) Torque Pro app for Android....



Low battery is one of many reasons for ISG to become deactivated. Another one is cold ambient temperatures, but there are several others documented in the manual. If low battery is indeed the reason for deactivation then I guess you have to consider environmental conditions and driving situation. If it's winter and you are doing short journeys in the dark with a lot of stop/start, lights on, heated seats/screen on and little opportunity for the battery to get charged I can see the potential problem. If the worst that happens is that ISG deactivates I guess that's not the end of the world. Far better that ISG deactivates than you get left with a battery so flat that you are stranded and can no longer start.

On the other hand, if your driving is daytime, in milder conditions, and you are doing longer journeys with only occasional stop/start activity and still the battery is failing it sounds like you have a problem. Maybe it's the battery itself, or the alternator, or the alternator belt.

Have you been to a dealer or run a diagnostic to check for fault codes or any other more thorough diagnostics? Is it possible that air temperatures are simply the cause, rather than battery problems - assuming it's winter where you are, as it is for me?
 

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ISG, stop/start, call it what you like needs many conditions to be met before it will operate. Battery voltage is one, engine temp is another, ambient air temp yet another, the list goes on.

Had our BMW with stop/start now for over 5 years and during the winter months you are lucky for it to work more than once a week. Nothing wrong with the car, its a simple fact. Even during the summer it only operates a max of 4 stop/starts before the battery is too low and it needs a run to get it back up to the charge required.

With regards to charging the battery, the battery on ISG equipped vehicles is a special one and need a unique charger, use a standard one and you will knacker the battery, hope the dealer has not done this.

The dealer appears to know very little about alternators, even at idle an alternator will charge the battery unlike an old dynamo. This talk of driving at high revs is complete nonsense.

I would find a new dealer, the one you have used is a complete numptie, he has proven this with his advice and failure to explain the way ISG operates.

Even when ISG operates as designed it saves very little if any fuel, its just a sales gimmick that all manufacturers feel the need to fit. providing the car is OK don't worry about it, when the weather warms up it may work occationally.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments !
I drive 16Km mostly at 100 Km/h to work and same back, during the day, with just a little traffic most times at both ends.
When the battery is charged, the ISG has worked at -1C (outside temp. displayed on the dashboard) - all it takes is about 2 min. driving for the engine to worm up a bit. Perhaps a lot of the reports about the ISG de-activating are actually low charge or incorrect battery charge sensing, the one parameter you can't see for yourself...
 

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Ceed 4tech 1.6 petrol 2013 MY
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The ISG on my Ceed has worked only once near the end of a 130 mile trip, then it took me by surprise. It always says "Autostop Disabled" each time I stop, it makes no difference whether the inhibit button is pressed and the button light is on or not.

I had it into my dealer last Thursday (21 March 13) for investigation, also for low MPG.
No fault found! "So you got the ISG working?" "No but there is no fault on it, just that there other parameters to meet before it will work". "Like what? I already know about engine temp, outside temp, load on battery, battery charge state" "Well there is also time since last discharge as well and this has not yet reached the required value. It could take another 4.5 hours of driving time or so to reach the right state"
The battery, an AGM type has a mind of it's own and it is apparently discharged and re-charged when it feels like it.

So really Kia ought to change their brochure descriptions and add that there are so many parameters that need to be satisfied for the ISG to work that it really should be described as a feature that may work in rare circumstances but only if a certain pattern of driving styles coincides with the right weather and time of day.

Strangely though and this seems to counter all the above mentioned parameters, if I stall it re-starts the engine when I press the clutch pedal. This completely nullifies all the battery protection parameters which prevent autostop working.

RE low MPG, the highest I have got is 37 mpg on a long run on main roads and motorways, but again "No fault found" on the engine diagnostics.
 

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The KIA ISG needs a battery charge level of more than 80%.
The alternator gives you a max. charge level of approx. 75%.
For the missing >5% you have to use coasting!
no coasting = no ISG
 

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I agree, the only way to fully charge a car battery is with a battery charger. The car charging system is designed to never fully charge it. Once the engine is running the alternator provides the cars electrical supply. If a battery is fully charged it gasses, (produces hydrogen), not good in a hot engine compartment.
 

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I always thought that alternators charged to about 95% of capacity normally which is much more than any old dynamo ever managed.

You should not need to drive anything but normally in any car with ISG to get the system working but as with all stop/start systems how often and how well it actually functions is down to many parameters. Some cars now have charging systems that normally only charge charge when slowing down (coasting?) but even on those once the battery level is below a certain level they charge to get the battery back to its correct level.

Cars with stop/start are normally fitted with glass mat batteries instead of the normal lead acid type. Because of this you need a specialist charger, use a standard one and it will probably kill the battery and once dead the battery needs to be replaced with the correct type which are very expensive.
 

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My car is attached to one of these at the moment, it does not have an AGM battery although this charger would be suitable for one. I charge my cars battery most weekends during the winter, it has been on charge for four hours and is not fully charged yet. My car has not shown any symptoms of having a low battery but does not have ISG.

MXS 5.0
 

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Other than charging the battery on my classic occasionally during the winter I have not charged a car battery since the 1970's, no need to. The classic needs a new battery every 4 or 5 years, hardly surprising when it only does about 2000 miles a year but on our normal cars I have only bought 2 new batteries since about 1975 and the last one was in about 1994.

Batteries that are fitted to cars that are used regularly and are fitted with alternators that are operating correctly do not need to be charged.
 

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Batteries that are fitted to cars that are used regularly and are fitted with alternators that are operating correctly do not need to be charged.
But what is the most common breakdown - a flat battery. Try charging your daily driver, you may be surprised how long it takes to fully charge.

My battery is now fully charged, It took about five hours at five amps, about average for either of my cars regardless of use.

http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/breakdown_advice/top_ten_causes.html
 

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But what is the most common breakdown - a flat battery. Try charging your daily driver, you may be surprised how long it takes to fully charge.
In 39 years of driving I have never broken down due to a flat battery. In the 4 instances I have had to replace a battery one was because it was a probably ancient (on a car I had recently bought - very slow turning over in the morning), another the car was 6 years old and had done 100,000 miles, another was faulty and replaced under warranty (car never let me down - in fact the dealer found the fault during a service diagnostic) and in another a faulty starter motor buggered the battery and both had to be replaced.

Whilst my car starts I am not going to begin worrying about is the battery fully charged or not. My commute is 15 miles each way, the wifes is 19 miles each way, the alternator will look after the batteries, if it won't the cars have been poorly designed.

Before the wife swapped jobs her commute was 6 miles each way, did it for 5 years, no problem with the battery.
 

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Cee'd 2 CRDi(126)
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I've only had my Kia for a month, but in my previous vehicle (Nissan 200SX S14a), owned for 13 years from new, the battery need replacing after six years and after twelve. Previous vehicle to that was 200SX S13, owned for eight years from two years old. That needed a new battery once during my ownership (fairly late on, I think), but I don't remember in which year. It seems to me that six years is a typical lifespan for a battery, at least in my experience. Maybe a diesel engine and ISG will change that experience, but I hope I have a long way to go before finding out. I expect to keep my new Kia for at least ten years.

If for any reason I felt the need to replace my existing battery charger, which at the moment I don't, the Ctek MXS5.0 is the one that is at the top of my shortlist. It is a very short list.
 

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In 39 years of driving ...............

Whilst my car starts I am not going to begin worrying about is the battery fully charged or not.
I am not saying there is going to be a problem with a car that has a charging system working correctly and a battery in reasonable condition. The roads are not littered with cars with flat batteries.

In the context of this thread, all I am saying is just because your car is working well, it may not have a fully charged battery, (or one well enough charged to enable ISG).
 

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In the context of this thread, all I am saying is just because your car is working well, it may not have a fully charged battery, (or one well enough charged to enable ISG).
Once the weather warms up I am 100% confident that stop/start on my BMW will start working again without needing to charge my battery. It will only work a few times before it quits because the battery has dropped below the threshold percentage but after a few more miles it will work again.

Manufacturers design the charging systems to be maintenance free. In the 5 years I have had the BMW it has rarely worked between November and March because of the temperature and extra drain of lights etc. but charging the battery would make no difference to that.

Over the 5 years I have owned the car I would guess that stop/start has saved me very little fuel. Its just a sales gimmick and one that only the truly gullible will fall for.
 

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Over the 5 years I have owned the car I would guess that stop/start has saved me very little fuel. Its just a sales gimmick and one that only the truly gullible will fall for.
I certainly agree with that, and would add that it helps the manufacturers get lower CO2 levels during tests, making them more attractive to business users.
 

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I certainly agree with that, and would add that it helps the manufacturers get lower CO2 levels during tests, making them more attractive to business users.
Why only business users? I've just gone from "wasting" well over £200 per annum on road tax with my previous car to paying nothing at all. Car parking at my local country park where I walk the dog has dropped to zero (for tax exempt vehicles) from the current £2.20 per day or £70 per annum. That's going to add up to a good £3,000 saving over the expected ten year private ownership period, no doubt more when you factor in inflation.

If I made a habit of driving through London's congestion zone, which personally I do not, that would save me £10 each and every day that I made such a journey. For many people that could be a further £2,000 per annum, which ISG can save them.

Tot that all up for a best case (worst case?) scenario and you could be looking to save £23,000 over ten years, give or take, just for choosing to drive an ISG diesel, and that's before you factor in economy and associated fuel costs. Go even 1g/km over that magic 100g/km figure and those savings are lost.
 

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My new Cee'd 4 Tech 1.6 CRDi did not go into ISG mode for the first 150 miles, when temperatures and air con etc. should have allowed it. I checked the battery and it looked to be about half charged. Put it on charge and after a few hours, it reached about 90% charge. I drove it for two days and ISG worked perfectly all the time, even when the engine temperature gauge was still at the left hand side.

I did not use the car for four days and now ISG no longer worked again, even after driving for 40 miles in one trip without using any lights or using high current accessories. Just checked the charge level and it is down to 50% again. Nothing shows as being powered up when the car is parked. I know AGM batteries must not be charged to the point where they start gassing but surely the car should maintain it at about the 95% level. I recharged the battery again and ISG worked at the first stop after driving for less than half a mile. It never worked again for the rest of the 12 mile journey. Do I have a charging problem or are all Cee'ds like this?
 

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@JMB - May I ask how you are determining battery charge level? Does the 4 Tech display that information, because my Cee'd 2 does not. I can get a voltage reading from the OBD2 port, but not a charge level, and the vehicles own instruments give no clue about anything related to the battery state.

I've only been doing short journeys - 4.5 miles each way - for the past fortnight and my ISG will kick in every time I would expect it to, which typically would be anywhere from 1-4 times per trip. It might well be more, but I evaluate the road conditions and avoid needlessly brief stop/start ISG operation with considered use of the clutch. Even if I don't stop at all on the route ISG will stop the engine immediately when I park up at the end of the trip, pulling forwards into a parking spot.

Anyway, if your battery is dropping charge like that it doesn't sound like an ISG problem, but either faulty battery, alternator or an undiagnosed drain. I guess also that since there is some logic to battery charging related to coasting and braking that there could be another source of problem there. Maybe the car does not detect coasting/braking situations with respect to charging the battery. I'm just guessing here. I'm certainly no car technician.

So, it's not all Cee'ds, certainly. Time for a chat with your dealer, I think.
 
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