2019 Niro phev (USA) completely dead - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
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2019 Niro phev (USA) completely dead

Unfortunately this uploader only allows for photos so unable to upload a short video I took so you can hear the ticking sound of something stuck like a relay.
Own a 3 month old 2019 Niro phev and today something strange happened. Went into the garage to get something, car plugged in as usual and hear a strange muffled sound coming from the engine compartment. At first I thought it might be the coolant fans running cause it’s freaking hot in Texas. So opened the hood and no fans running but this odd sound coming from the fuse box area. Open the box up and it’s louder. Unplugged the car, went to start it up to see if there were any warning lights coming on and the car was dead! No freaking way to have started it completely dead.
Looked through all the manuals looking for a reset switch but the only mention was for the hybrid. So decided to start pulling out fuses to see if it would stop and it finally did once I pulled out the 40 amp PB fuse. Put the fuse back in, noise did not return but the car was still dead. At this point figured I give it a jump start and soonest the cables connected to the jumper point in the fuse box, the car came to life. Initially I would have thought it was the 12v battery but I have it set to trickle charge off the main battery since the car is mostly used in ev mode. Took it out for a drive and the sound did not return.
Has this happened to anyone or have any ideas what could have caused it before I take it to Kia for a look over? My gut says it’s the 12v battery in the trunk but no idea.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 11:05 PM
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I think the forum limits what you can post until you've been a member for a while. Too bad, because I would have like to see/hear your video.

You said it was plugged in, but how long had it been since you last turned the car on before this happened?

Are you certain that it said PB? My 2018 PHEV owner's manual lists several PD fuses, but nothing for PB.

Keep in mind that the sound you heard might have been a symptom, rather than a cause. For example, if the rear door isn't all the way closed or the vanity light over one of the visors is left on, then this could deplete the 12 V battery. If BS+ is enabled (and you indicated that it is), then the manual indicates that the computer will make a limited effort to maintain the 12V battery with energy stored in the traction battery, but eventually (after so many minutes and attempts) it will give up, potentially allowing the 12 V battery to go flat. If you happen to come along with the key fob in your pocket at just the right time in that process, it's easy to imagine that maybe there was still enough power in the 12V battery for the key fob sensor to detect the key fob and try to trigger one of the relays to wake up the car, but maybe the voltage in the 12V battery was so low at that point that the relay couldn't "pull in" and wound up making the noise you heard instead.

A variant on this idea is that the battery was depleted not because you left a light on, but because of some fault in the car's logic that prevented it from going in to sleep mode, or because your 12V battery is a dud that won't hold a charge. My office is located over the garage and I've often wondered if walking in to my office with the key fob in my pocket wakes up the car and induces an additional drain on the 12V battery.

One other thing to evaluate: it sounds like you drive your PHEV the way I do (I drive for weeks at a time in EV mode exclusively, which means that the ICE doesn't run and the only way to recharge the 12V battery is with the Battery Saver Plus system). If you really have the Battery Saver Plus system enabled, then you should occasionally see a popup message on the dash when you turn the car on notifying you that BS+ ran while the car was off. It typically displays at about the time that the startup tune is ending, and it also makes a chime sound of its own, but it only displays for about 2 seconds. Have you been seeing that notification? If not, maybe it's not really enabled, or not really working, or else maybe Kia changed the behavior for the 2019 model (but I doubt that the behavior changed for 2019).

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 05:29 AM
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On my 2019 Niro I once plugged it in turned it to acc and then started it and did get it to come on in park and then turned it off. The radiator fan came on and would not go off even when I turned the car off. The hybrid battery was depleted and the ICE came on as soon as I started it in park(if i remember correctly). It worried me and I was sure I had managed to screw something up. The vehicle was brand new to me and I was just fooling around with it.

I unplugged it and drove it around the block just to see what would happen. When I returned to the garage it shut off normally and it charged up normally. This behavior has never happened again in the last two months. I think I did some abnormal things during the charge cycle by turning the car on that may have confused some of the cars sequencing? I am going by my memory as to the actual event and order it happened.
Is there a chance it was the radiator fan you heard? Also these Hybrid cars 'wake up' when they sense the key fob is near them maybe the noise was some sort of normal pre start up sequencing?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 12:12 PM
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If it happens again, I would bring it in for service and let KIA check the 12v battery. Sometimes they just go bad. Maybe a manufacturer defect/bad cell. Who knows. The US warranty covers the 12v battery I believe for 3yr/36k miles.

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