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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You all seem so savy, so please excuse my ignorance here but I am still trying to digest what the dealership told me.

I have a 2018 Kia Niro, 78K on it. So out of nowhere while driving this weekend the Hybrid Battery System warning came on along with the check engine light. Of course it was a Sunday and could get no assistance. My Roadside assist ran out at the 60K. So I just kept on trucking home in the car. They were able to look at it today and have come back with telling me the AC Compressor (no longer covered by warranty) is causing the Battery issue in the power train (still under warranty). The car is running slow and chunky and will be a $2500 fix because it is a "hybrid". Now to me if the battery (powertrain) is failing because of another part that it connects to, then that part should be covered under the powertrain warranty. Has anyone else had this experience? My dealership just throws up their hands and says the computer tells us it is not covered this is all we can do of course, but I am not impressed. Can anyone guide me on this issue and how to get it resolved and fixed under the power train warranty since it is the battery system that is giving me the alert?
 

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Warrantees are very specialized, and specifically call out what is considered a covered part. If it's not explicitly stated, it's generally not covered. The AC compressor is certainly not part of the powertrain warranty, nor is it part of the hybrid battery system. Really not much you can do if that's the way the warranty is written.
 

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Your AC has a high voltage motor connected to the traction battery. So potentially a short in it can cause the battery to fail or not work well (this latter sounds like the case as they are not discussing replacing the battery). I'd call Kia national customer service to confirm that this is how the warranty really works. But if so, and you don't need AC $2,500 worth, I'd ask your dealer if they can simply take it out of the circuit for a fix.
 

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I have no experience with servicing or diagnosing the EV part of the powertrain but I have a bad gut feeling about the info you have received from the dealer...
 

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Surely a $2,500 a/c compressor is made of unobtanium, gold, and platinum?

A/C compressors tend to cost a lot less than that. Sure, depending on how nuttily the car is made, removal and installation labor may be a chunk of the $2,500. But, how much, exactly?

What might drive up the cost of the compressor part could be a voltage converter-cum-electronics box attached to the compressor itself. It might be worth exploring whether this hypothetical electronics box exists, and if it can be sourced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Surely a $2,500 a/c compressor is made of unobtanium, gold, and platinum?

A/C compressors tend to cost a lot less than that. Sure, depending on how nuttily the car is made, removal and installation labor may be a chunk of the $2,500. But, how much, exactly?

What might drive up the cost of the compressor part could be a voltage converter-cum-electronics box attached to the compressor itself. It might be worth exploring whether this hypothetical electronics box exists, and if it can be sourced.
Photograph Product Rectangle Azure Font

I found it a bit cheaper but this is the part they are quoting me for.
 

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So the OEM MRSP is $2,121 plus $300ish labor and fluorocarbon disposal. Unless you live in the desert, I know I would simply disconnect the AC. The times when I've really wanted AC have been rare. I-5 between SF and LA, and I-10 in TX in the summer. After 30 years with no AC, those two drives experienced with AC were much nicer. 99.99% of the time, I never use AC. No doubt that is a minority view, but I'm cheap and open windows usually work nicely.
 

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Bummer, that's a chunk of money !
If I understand correctly your hybrid battery is fine, but somehow the connection between it & the AC compressor is impacting your hybrid drive train & that correcting the AC compressor will have your car running well again.
First, I'd try to go upstream to corporate in hopes of finding a merciful individual.
If that fails and you want to continue to have AC, perhaps you could get the part at a discounted price and have installed by a local mechanic rather than than a Kia dealer. Usually independent shops labor rates are 20-40% less than dealers. Unfortunately for you, I believe this is the 1st report of an AC compressor failure on this forum so it would seem to be an unusual problem and being it is a hybrid may (or may not) require some special expertise.
Curious minds would like to hear how you resolve this. Best wishes!
 

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Unfortunately for you, I believe this is the 1st report of an AC compressor failure on this forum so it would seem to be an unusual problem and being it is a hybrid may (or may not) require some special expertise.
Since this is a high voltage system, it does require specific training. I would suspect that is rare outside of those who specialize in electric vehicles. Even dealers typically have just one person certified for work on hybrids.
 

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Didn’t the guy with super high mileage on his Niro state that he had to replace the AC compressor too?


My Niro is sitting at 75,000 miles, and I live south of I-10 in Texas so it must have working AC. I hope and pray it doesn’t go out!!
 

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After looking at the schematic picture of the compressor (above), I must say the price is entirely unreasonable. No industrial automotive-grade compressor, which is a simple machine, can possibly cost $1,400 to manufacture and distribute.

The Niro is relatively common in Europe, and sometimes the Europeans come up with interesting solutions to this sort of extortionate prices. Maybe someone over there has come up with an alternative?

Another choice would be to see if in Asia, either in Korea itself or some other country, discount distributors exist that may sell this part new or remanufactured for a reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well here is my update although I am still as perplexed on the price of the part as you all. But get this! So my warranty on that OEM part ran out at 60K. Well they were able to source a used one with, get this, a LIFETIME WARRANTY, for $350 then plus the 2.5 hours labor of course to put it in .. so probably looking at about $800 now instead which is a big relief .. but if this is what parts are going to run with this car in the future .. I am very scared! Thank you for all of your input and help.
 

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Well here is my update although I am still as perplexed on the price of the part as you all. But get this! So my warranty on that OEM part ran out at 60K. Well they were able to source a used one with, get this, a LIFETIME WARRANTY, for $350 then plus the 2.5 hours labor of course to put it in .. so probably looking at about $800 now instead which is a big relief .. but if this is what parts are going to run with this car in the future .. I am very scared! Thank you for all of your input and help.
Lifetime warranty on a used part makes no sense - make sure you get that in writing..in great detail.
Good to see the much better price and I hope that solves the problem completely.
As for parts, I think you can consider all newer cars at this point to be expensive repairs when something goes wrong. All the high tech stuff is great until it fails...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lifetime warranty on a used part makes no sense - make sure you get that in writing..in great detail.
Good to see the much better price and I hope that solves the problem completely.
As for parts, I think you can consider all newer cars at this point to be expensive repairs when something goes wrong. All the high tech stuff is great until it fails...
Thanks I hope so too .. although when they called me a week ago to tell me about this part, they said it would take a few days to get in (the city it is coming from is less than 2 hour drive), so I said ok ... called to check on it today a week later since haven't heard anything and now I was told it was on "backorder" .. how does a used part get put on back order .. I will make for sure the warranty is in writing after all of this .. will update once we are fixed to see if the issue is actaully resolved !
 

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Thanks I hope so too .. although when they called me a week ago to tell me about this part, they said it would take a few days to get in (the city it is coming from is less than 2 hour drive), so I said ok ... called to check on it today a week later since haven't heard anything and now I was told it was on "backorder" .. how does a used part get put on back order .. I will make for sure the warranty is in writing after all of this .. will update once we are fixed to see if the issue is actaully resolved !
I agree - how does a used part get put on backorder.
Is this a Kia dealer or independent repair facility?
 

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So sorry to hear about your AC issue. My Niro just died, they say it is the whole hybrid battery and BMS system... but this last week the AC was not running cold anymore. I wonder if it was a similar issue to you. Please let us know more about where you found the part. The dealership wanted almost $8,000 for the battery, I found one at a salvage yard for only $1500.
 

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So sorry to hear about your AC issue. My Niro just died, they say it is the whole hybrid battery and BMS system... but this last week the AC was not running cold anymore. I wonder if it was a similar issue to you. Please let us know more about where you found the part. The dealership wanted almost $8,000 for the battery, I found one at a salvage yard for only $1500.
The hybrid battery is covered under warranty, don't go paying for anything
 
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