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My wife went to drive our 2018 PHEV Niro and when she pushed the power button the display said "key not detected" Then everything went dead. I got out the spare key fob and no response, the car was still dead. I then jump started it, drove it around a little and everything seems to work fine now so far. Could leaving the key in the car when not in use drain the battery?? We live in a rural area so we think it remote for anyone to jack our car if we left the keys in it unlocked.
 

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One possibility is you forgot to turn the car off when you parked. Normally this would cause an alarm if you attempted to walk away with the fob in your pocket. Leaving the fob in the car would not trigger this car still on alarm.

Mind you, unless you had an unusual battery drain, I don’t think even leaving your car on overnight would have caused this problem.
 

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Yes, leaving the fob within range of a keyless system will cause the system to remain on a higher power level, so certainly possible to drain the 12v battery enough to cause this. I'd say the fob needs to be at least 6 feet away from the car. Notice how far away you can be for the mirrors to auto-unfold as you approach the car. You need to be outside that range.
 

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Doesn't the PHEV have that button to recharge the 12v. battery like the HEV does? That eliminated the need for a jump? Right?
 

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Doesn't the PHEV have that button to recharge the 12v. battery like the HEV does? That eliminated the need for a jump? Right?
Nope, the PHEV doesn't have that feature. It does have an auto aux battery saver that when enabled should in theory automatically recharge the dinky 12V battery from the traction battery. I've seen that in mine perhaps twice since I've owned the car. There is a limit to how many times the car will recharge the 12V battery before giving up to save the traction pack from being discharged too far so if there is a large drain you can still end up with a dead battery.

Not sure if the OP didn't have that feature enabled or if there was another problem that caused the battery to run down.
 

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Nope, the PHEV doesn't have that feature. It does have an auto aux battery saver that when enabled should in theory automatically recharge the dinky 12V battery from the traction battery. I've seen that in mine perhaps twice since I've owned the car. There is a limit to how many times the car will recharge the 12V battery before giving up to save the traction pack from being discharged too far so if there is a large drain you can still end up with a dead battery.

Not sure if the OP didn't have that feature enabled or if there was another problem that caused the battery to run down.

I see, Thanks for the info! Wonder why they did that on the PHEV?
 

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I see, Thanks for the info! Wonder why they did that on the PHEV?
Good question. It could be as simple as the fact that the PHEV battery is much larger than the HEV version and that necessitated a separate 12V aux battery and that in turn made it incompatible with the battery management system from the HEV. Note also that the PHEV (at least in the US) has a (tiny) conventional 12V lead acid battery. On the plus side, the fact that the PHEV can automatically recharge the aux battery is pretty cool and seems like an upgrade over the button on the dash method in the HEV. However, there have been a number of posts on this forum complaining about dead aux batteries in PHEVs. It seems like it's very easy to end up in a situation where the car is drawing significant power from the aux battery and the battery saver can't keep up resulting in a dead battery. In the end I suspect the aux battery is undersized and has little margin if the current draw is higher than expected.
 

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There is something technical about why the 240 volt HEV has a lithium 12 volt battery and the 360 volt PHEV/BEV has a 12 volt lead acid battery that has not been revealed yet in all my reading about these cars. About the only thing I can conjecture at the moment is the more expensive lithium battery in the HEV makes sense in terms of weight savings that would make less of a difference in the heavier PHEV/BEV.

The PHEV lead acid battery issues are a real eye opener for anyone considering buying one. Type of battery chemistry aside, I see no reason why the battery "reset" button (really just opens a tripped excessive current relay) would not work on the PHEV. For anyone who has had an issue with the PHEV, I might suggest disabling the battery saver option. Having it on results in a much higher vampire current paradoxically (presumptively from running an additional computer to monitor battery status) - which seems like it must be a bug or bad hardware.

The BEVs haven't been around long enough, even in Europe, to know if they suffer from the same issue.
 

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For anyone who has had an issue with the PHEV, I might suggest disabling the battery saver option. Having it on results in a much higher vampire current paradoxically (presumptively from running an additional computer to monitor battery status) - which seems like it must be a bug or bad hardware.
I've had the battery saver enabled since I bought the car and over a year and a half it's activated maybe a couple of times, mostly when the car has sat for several days. I've never had an issue with the battery going dead.

My suspicion is that people having problems are either harder on the battery through connected devices, sitting in accessory mode for extended periods of time or leaving the fob in the car. The other possibility is, as you say, that there could be a hardware problem that results in excessive drain. Time will tell presumably.
 

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There certainly is an issue with the PHEV. The HEV has had no such reported problems, and indeed, the PHEV has higher vampire drain with battery saver enabled. If you are going to park it for more than a couple days, you are far better disabling it. More than a couple of weeks, be prepared to jump it either way. Some owners carry a jump start portable battery with the car.
 

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There certainly is an issue with the PHEV. The HEV has had no such reported problems, and indeed, the PHEV has higher vampire drain with battery saver enabled. If you are going to park it for more than a couple days, you are far better disabling it. More than a couple of weeks, be prepared to jump it either way. Some owners carry a jump start portable battery with the car.
See, that's the thing, we don't know enough to make the claim that it's really an issue. There's no way to know with such a small sample size. Heck, we don't even know if all or even most of the people who've experienced battery failure even enabled the bat saver in the first place.

For a counter example I've parked it for two weeks or longer more than once and never had an issue with the bat saver. In fact, most of the time after the car is parked for an extended period the battery saver hasn't even been triggered. So it's clearly not an issue in every situation. Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe there are other factors at play.

I wouldn't recommend people disable a factory feature based on such sparse data. Kia included it for a reason. Presumably they identified cases where the aux battery would die and provided a way for the car to automatically recharge it. Seems like an upgrade doing it manually with a push button on the dash.
 

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This issue has come up many times here, and on the larger Ioniq forum (and the Ioniq PHEV was released before the Niro). One guy actually measured the vampire drain with and without the BS enabled. I'm only passing the info on.
 

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See, that's the thing, we don't know enough to make the claim that it's really an issue. There's no way to know with such a small sample size. Heck, we don't even know if all or even most of the people who've experienced battery failure even enabled the bat saver in the first place.

For a counter example I've parked it for two weeks or longer more than once and never had an issue with the bat saver. In fact, most of the time after the car is parked for an extended period the battery saver hasn't even been triggered. So it's clearly not an issue in every situation. Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe there are other factors at play.

I wouldn't recommend people disable a factory feature based on such sparse data. Kia included it for a reason. Presumably they identified cases where the aux battery would die and provided a way for the car to automatically recharge it. Seems like an upgrade doing it manually with a push button on the dash.
I think the PHEV 12v battery is recharged by either the starter/generator on the ice or the traction battery as necessary if the ice is rarely on. All 12v accessories and ecm help to drain the 12v.
 

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If you drive your PHEV like I do (going for weeks without starting the ICE, running 12V loads like lights, ventilation fan, plus all the other stuff like computers, brake pressure pump, etc), you begin to understand why Kia opted for an automatic way to recharge 12V from traction battery, rather than a mechanical switch.


I get the battery saver alert almost every other time I take the car out. I'm less likely to get it the day after I've plugged in (because the charging logic will charge the 12V if necessary when it's plugged in, apparently without triggering the BS+ alert logic), but I don't plug in every day. I'm also less likely to get the alert the day after I've been using the ICE (I assume that when the ICE is running, the system can charge the 12V without triggering BS+ logic).


We can also begin to speculate about why Kia might have come up with a different design for the 12V battery with the PHEV. Perhaps they were looking for a 12V battery with certain characteristics, such as being able to run all likely 12 V loads for a time period than would be likely to outlast the time period required to use up the 26 Mile all electric range, being able to tolerate deep cycle draw down and recharge (most conventional 12 V batteries are damaged by deep discharge), and finally, being reasonably replaceable (mechanically easy to swap out, comparatively inexpensive).


Given how often BS+ seems to run when confronted with my driving habits, I have in mind that if I programmed the computer to disable the battery saver plus system, I'd be likely to regret it, perhaps within a few days.
 

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If you drive your PHEV like I do (going for weeks without starting the ICE, running 12V loads like lights, ventilation fan, plus all the other stuff like computers, brake pressure pump, etc), you begin to understand why Kia opted for an automatic way to recharge 12V from traction battery, rather than a mechanical switch.
Not exactly a mechanical switch. What the HEV does if the 12 volt battery gets low from vampire current is open a relay to the 12 volt circuits. Now the car is dead as it cannot run without 12 volts to the ECU and other computer systems. The dash button closes this relay allowing the car to start normally. Works, I've used it twice when a OBD device drained too much battery while parked.
I get the battery saver alert almost every other time I take the car out.

Given how often BS+ seems to run when confronted with my driving habits, I have in mind that if I programmed the computer to disable the battery saver plus system, I'd be likely to regret it, perhaps within a few days.
Try it! From what I read, with your driving habits, you will be unlikely to have a problem. If you do, plugging in will likely restore 12 volts. If it happens even once, go back to BS as running the voltage too far down on a lead acid battery is indeed damaging.

But that is actually what is happening each time the BS is activated, just not all the way dead. So each one of those events is damaging as well.
 

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I plug in at every opportunity, so I too can go for days without the ICE starting. So far I've only seen the BS+ message once, or maybe twice at most. It appears keeping it plugged in helps ensure the 12v battery is well charged.
 

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If you drive your PHEV like I do (going for weeks without starting the ICE, running 12V loads like lights, ventilation fan, plus all the other stuff like computers, brake pressure pump, etc), you begin to understand why Kia opted for an automatic way to recharge 12V from traction battery, rather than a mechanical switch.


I get the battery saver alert almost every other time I take the car out. I'm less likely to get it the day after I've plugged in (because the charging logic will charge the 12V if necessary when it's plugged in, apparently without triggering the BS+ alert logic), but I don't plug in every day. I'm also less likely to get the alert the day after I've been using the ICE (I assume that when the ICE is running, the system can charge the 12V without triggering BS+ logic).


We can also begin to speculate about why Kia might have come up with a different design for the 12V battery with the PHEV. Perhaps they were looking for a 12V battery with certain characteristics, such as being able to run all likely 12 V loads for a time period than would be likely to outlast the time period required to use up the 26 Mile all electric range, being able to tolerate deep cycle draw down and recharge (most conventional 12 V batteries are damaged by deep discharge), and finally, being reasonably replaceable (mechanically easy to swap out, comparatively inexpensive).


Given how often BS+ seems to run when confronted with my driving habits, I have in mind that if I programmed the computer to disable the battery saver plus system, I'd be likely to regret it, perhaps within a few days.
I have the same driving profile as you and I never see the Battery Saver activated during my normal usage. I can go weeks without ever running the ICE. I charge almost every day and at least every other day. The only time I've ever seen it is if I park the car for more than a couple of weeks and even then it's not every time.

Also, the 12V battery is charging all the time when the car is on just like in a normal ICE vehicle with an alternator. I just went out and checked and with the car off I measure 12.3V at the battery. With the car on the voltage is 14.3V. This is true whether the ICE is running or not. I assume the 12V systems are powered from the traction battery when the car is on through a DC/DC converter and this includes the auxiliary battery. This also explains why Kia went with a conventional lead-acid battery vs a Li-Ion like in the HEV. Charging an Pb-Acid battery is dead simple, just connect a slightly higher potential than the battery voltage and current flows into the battery charging it back up. So when the car is on accessory power is supplied by a DC/DC converter from the traction pack with an output of around 14.3V. This both runs all of the accessories and recharges the aux battery. I assume the BS+ does nothing more than enable the 14.3V supply when needed to charge the aux battery back up.

So if your battery is running down in normal use then it sounds like you have a problem. I would check the battery voltage with the car on and off and confirm that it's charging when the car is on. If that checks out I would check for excessive battery drain. In any case if the BS+ is activating frequently it's likely an indication of a problem.
 

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Decades ago when you turned off the ign the car was off, period. The only exception would be the dashboard clock and most of them stopped keeping time a few weeks/months after leaving the dealer. A car could sit for months and still start, but no longer today.
I had a 2004 STI. I added satellite radio and an alarm system with remote start that would work around corners or over half mile away, line of sight. Add in the standard blackboxes the battery would be dead in five days, dead. The cars of today have tons of stuff that's still on in standby even though they are off. Vampire amps can definitely draw a battery down and then combine that with the type of trips you make.
My wife once did a 6 mile round trip twice a night for a week. By the end of the week the battery was dead. Each trip was a net loss for the battery.
 

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Last Thursday I drove my 2019 Kia Niro PHEV 150 miles from my home in Massachusetts to a folk festival in New York, where we camped in a field. The 26 miles of traction power were, of course, depleted by the time we arrived. I left the headlights on while setting up our tent. On Friday afternoon I got the "Key not detected" message, then lost all auxiliary power and the car would not start. (Perhaps I should have driven in HEV mode to preserve the charge in the traction battery, and that would have recharged the 12V battery?)

I was hesitant to jump start the 12V battery, as page 8-39 of the manual says "recharge it by slow charging (trickle) for 10 hours." There is a reference to jump starting on page 7-7, but I thought this might refer to the Niro HEV, not the PHEV. After speaking with KIA roadside assistance by phone for advice, I decided to go ahead with a jump start using a Chicago Electric portable charger Model 38391 provided by the festival security team.

Although I believe I could have attached the charger to connection points under the hood, I was hesitant to do this, so I attached the charger directly to the 12V battery in the rear cargo area. This, of course, required crawling from a side door over my cargo to manually release the rear liftgate! (The mechanical key works for this as described on page 4-26.)

The car started immediately upon connection to the portable charger. I drove the car 20 minutes in one direction on a state road and 20 minutes back to the festival site, not daring to turn off the car once until I had returned. The Malfunction Indicator Light (page 4-98) remained on for the entire trip. After I turned the car off, the auxiliary functions all worked properly (locks, interior lights, etc.) for the rest of Saturday and into Sunday.

On Sunday, I kept the load on the 12V battery to a minimum by turning off the interior lights, but we did open and close the doors and liftgate frequently. On Sunday evening we loaded up the car and prepared for our return home. Just as we were about to leave, the car went dead again. I unloaded the cargo, crawled into the cargo area, released the liftgate, borrowed the portable charger again, jump started the car again, and we were on our way home. The Malfunction Indicator Light remained lit again for the entire trip.

The car operated normally on Monday and Tuesday and the Malfunction Indicator Light did not come on. I waited until Tuesday night to charge the traction battery.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. I admit it was unwise to leave the headlights on to set up our tent. But I fully expected that driving for 40 minutes would be enough to return the system to normal. Apparently that is not the case. I am wondering what precautions I should take for future camping trips. As I mentioned above, perhaps the best strategy would be to travel in HEV mode to preserve the charge on the traction battery, and switching to EV mode only when on the way to a charging point or home.

Would anyone advise me to have the car checked out by my dealer, or does this all sound like expected behavior?

My car remains at the factory setting with the "Aux. Battery Saver +" function enabled (page H35, 4-84). According to my interpretation of the manual, there appears to be a separate "Battery saver function" on page 4-116. This page describes a way to override this feature by turning the parking lights off, then on again. I may very well have performed this override when setting up my tent--further contributing to the depletion of my 12V battery on that fateful Friday night.

Thank you.
 

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I was always under the impression that the PHEV (plug in) operates as a normal hybrid once the plug in battery is depleted and doesn't require any special imputs from the driver? Is that not the case? If the plug in is so finiky I'm glad I just got the regular ole hybrid.
 
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