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2019 Kia Niro PHEV
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. The battery in my 2019 Kia Niro PHEV died due to keeping an interior light on. I got my car jumped but it has died again. I did some research and now understand that the alternator alone should not be used to fully recharge a dead battery. I'm thinking about getting a smart battery charger. I'd appreciate some input from this great community.

Any general suggestions about this situation and using a battery charger?
Any suggestions on a specific smart charger?
Do you need to remove the battery to do this? (I might go ahead and do this anyway because it's quite rainy here now and I don't have a garage).

Thanks so much for any input!
 

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2020 Niro HEV EX+
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Hi. The battery in my 2019 Kia Niro PHEV died due to keeping an interior light on. I got my car jumped but it has died again. I did some research and now understand that the alternator alone should not be used to fully recharge a dead battery. I'm thinking about getting a smart battery charger. I'd appreciate some input from this great community.

Any general suggestions about this situation and using a battery charger?
Any suggestions on a specific smart charger?
Do you need to remove the battery to do this? (I might go ahead and do this anyway because it's quite rainy here now and I don't have a garage).

Thanks so much for any input!
You are going to have to replace the battery and then a smart charger several times per year would be a good idea. I personally like the Battery Tender charger but there are many others out there. You do not have to remove the battery to charge in fact, removing is a bit of a pain.
The Niro does not have an alternator per se but rather a DC to DC converter and the charging algorithm is not good - Kia's fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are going to have to replace the battery and then a smart charger several times per year would be a good idea. I personally like the Battery Tender charger but there are many others out there. You do not have to remove the battery to charge in fact, removing is a bit of a pain.
The Niro does not have an alternator per se but rather a DC to DC converter and the charging algorithm is not good - Kia's fault.
Thanks for this reply, and thank you to the other posts as well. Yes, my battery is the original and probably will need to be replaced. I've got an appointment at the Kia dealer this week. Interesting about the Niro not having an alternator. I haven't even heard of a DC to DC converter; will have to do some research to understand that. One more question regarding your Battery Tender use. You said you use it several times a year. How do you decide when to use it? Do you test the battery and use the charger if it's low, or do you just do it on regular intervals? I'm considering getting such a device, but a bit hesitant as it's one more thing to add to a long house / cars routine maintenance list. :( Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for this reply, and thank you to the other posts as well. Yes, my battery is the original and probably will need to be replaced. I've got an appointment at the Kia dealer this week. Interesting about the Niro not having an alternator. I haven't even heard of a DC to DC converter; will have to do some research to understand that. One more question regarding your Battery Tender use. You said you use it several times a year. How do you decide when to use it? Do you test the battery and use the charger if it's low, or do you just do it on regular intervals? I'm considering getting such a device, but a bit hesitant as it's one more thing to add to a long house / cars routine maintenance list. :( Thanks again.
I understand the routine maintenance list and I guess you have to weigh the possible benefits of a smart charger vs battery life and is it really worth it.
I have 2 motorcycles and a convertible that spend the winters indoors. I simply hook a battery tender (smart charger) to each one for the whole winter and leave the charger plugged in.
When I purchase a 2023 Niro PHEV, I am going to add a dongle to the battery posts and then plan to connect the smart charger every 2 - 3 months for a 24 hour period and should be good to go.
Lead acid batteries do not like being drained even slightly and then not charge up immediately and that operation was well handled by an alternator.
Hybrids and EV do not have an alternator so the immediate charging does not always occur.
The Niro HEV has a lithium battery which does much better with not being fully charged for periods of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand the routine maintenance list and I guess you have to weigh the possible benefits of a smart charger vs battery life and is it really worth it.
I have 2 motorcycles and a convertible that spend the winters indoors. I simply hook a battery tender (smart charger) to each one for the whole winter and leave the charger plugged in.
When I purchase a 2023 Niro PHEV, I am going to add a dongle to the battery posts and then plan to connect the smart charger every 2 - 3 months for a 24 hour period and should be good to go.
Lead acid batteries do not like being drained even slightly and then not charge up immediately and that operation was well handled by an alternator.
Hybrids and EV do not have an alternator so the immediate charging does not always occur.
The Niro HEV has a lithium battery which does much better with not being fully charged for periods of time.
Thanks so much for the explanations. I'm going to seriously consider getting a smart charger.
 

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The 12v batteries are only warranted for 3 years and they are known to die soon after that and can't be recharged. If it dies before the 3 years is up and you report it in time, you'll get a free battery from Kia. The DC to DC charging is a converter from high voltage (356v) to low voltage (12v). Your Niro recharges the 12v battery automatically whenever the voltage drops ever so slightly. When it can no longer be recharged, it's dead and needs to be replaced. You can always 'jump start' your Niro to start it. It requires 12v to start. See your owners manual for procedure. I now carry a portable lithium-ion jump kit (battery) because it happened to me.
 

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and now understand that the alternator alone should not be used to fully recharge a dead battery.
Just a point to mention. The Niro doesn't have an alternator. Most hybrids today use a DC-DC converter, just like an EV does, and keeps the 12v charged from the main traction battery. Yes, they are not as good as an alternator driven by the gas engine. And the Niro PHEV battery in particular is undersized (it doesn't actually have to spin the engine to start it), so three years is about all they last.
 
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My original 12v battery lasted 4 yrs/4mos before I decided to proactively replace it last fall (dealer cost $222 battery & labor). I use a battery tender year round on my Honda scooter but never used a smart charger on the Niro battery. For the past year I did check the 12v battery bi-monthly with a voltmeter. The reading was down to 12.1 volts with the engine off when I was already scheduled for an oil change and decided it was time for a new 12v battery. I should note I never once accidentally left an interior light on or the rear hatch door open for hours at a time or not shut completely. I've owned a portable lithium jump battery from the start but I still never want to be in a position where I need to use it and even more so the tire sealant kit. I gladly keep my AAA membership current.
 

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My original 12v battery lasted 4 yrs/4mos before I decided to proactively replace it last fall (dealer cost $222 battery & labor). I use a battery tender year round on my Honda scooter but never used a smart charger on the Niro battery. For the past year I did check the 12v battery bi-monthly with a voltmeter. The reading was down to 12.1 volts with the engine off when I was already scheduled for an oil change and decided it was time for a new 12v battery. I should note I never once accidentally left an interior light on or the rear hatch door open for hours at a time or not shut completely. I've owned a portable lithium jump battery from the start but I still never want to be in a position where I need to use it and even more so the tire sealant kit. I gladly keep my AAA membership current.
Yes, leaving a hatch light and/or interior light on is a quick way to shorten the life of the battery.
Your battery lasted well and you made a good choice in replacing before it gave you problems.
I will use a smart charger occasionally as it is quite easy to do. I also carry a lithium battery pack as that again is very easy to do and I know how to use it and will use it. As for the tire sealant I totally agree with you - will not use it - ever.
 

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The 12v batteries are only warranted for 3 years and they are known to die soon after that and can't be recharged. If it dies before the 3 years is up and you report it in time, you'll get a free battery from Kia. The DC to DC charging is a converter from high voltage (356v) to low voltage (12v). Your Niro recharges the 12v battery automatically whenever the voltage drops ever so slightly. When it can no longer be recharged, it's dead and needs to be replaced. You can always 'jump start' your Niro to start it. It requires 12v to start. See your owners manual for procedure. I now carry a portable lithium-ion jump kit (battery) because it happened to me.
In Sweden the batteri garanti is 2 year, i have just need to change mine In my 2020 Kia Niro, not cheep,400 dollar,a lot of problem widh this, not so good fore so expencive car
 

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2019 NIRO PHEV EX
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Our 2019 Niro PHEV had its battery discharge almost completely a couple of years ago. The BatteryMinder trickle charger did a very good job of bringing it back to life. I've had no other problems with the battery since then. I put the trickle charger on ours quarterly - it does a very good job.

I have a Noco Portable power unit I carry with us if we ever need it. Have trained the other drivers in the family on how to use it if necessary.

I am going to take a different path on our battery and keep using the original battery forever if I can. The Niro PHEV doesn't demand a lot of the battery and I am interested in how long it will last.

The BatteryMinder is a smart charger with a desulfate feature. I also use it on our other vehicle a Hyundai Santa SEL quarterly. I am interested in how long these batteries will last with the maintenance charges quarterly. With a Car Battery now approaching $200 I look forward to saving the combined $400 it would cost to replace them.

The Noco Battery Boster makes it a non-event if the batteries do fail and hopefully, I can spend the $400 on something else.

Out of curiosity I had the NIRO battery tested recently by a parts store Battery Load Tester = good condition - no problems.

I will not hesitate to replace the batteries if they fail or indicate they are becoming weak.
 

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Our 2019 Niro PHEV had its battery discharge almost completely a couple of years ago. The BatteryMinder trickle charger did a very good job of bringing it back to life. I've had no other problems with the battery since then. I put the trickle charger on ours quarterly - it does a very good job.
What model of BatteryMinder do you use. In a quick Internet search, I see them priced from $15 to $180. The $15 one is here:

So far, my battery has worked. but since reading about 12V battery problems, I've been checking it both with a $ 5.49 meter that plugs into the lighter socket and with a Klein Tools multimeter with leads on the battery terminals in the trunk. When the traction battery is charging or the car is "ready to drive", I see up to 14.4V but when car has been off, the small voltmeter reads ~11.8 to 12.1 while the Klein reads 12.3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The 12v batteries are only warranted for 3 years and they are known to die soon after that and can't be recharged. If it dies before the 3 years is up and you report it in time, you'll get a free battery from Kia. The DC to DC charging is a converter from high voltage (356v) to low voltage (12v). Your Niro recharges the 12v battery automatically whenever the voltage drops ever so slightly. When it can no longer be recharged, it's dead and needs to be replaced. You can always 'jump start' your Niro to start it. It requires 12v to start. See your owners manual for procedure. I now carry a portable lithium-ion jump kit (battery) because it happened to me.
Thank you very much for this explanation. I really appreciate this forum.
 

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A boating community of which I'm a part strongly prefers Noco chargers. I use a Battery Tender on the boat and one motorcycle, and a small Noco on another motorcycle.
When I get 'round to doing a desulfation/conditioning cycle on the Niro, it'll be another small Noco.

BTW steer clear of a cheap Harbor Freight tender. Supposed to do the same thing, yet they can and will cook your battery - happened to me with two different chargers and batteries. Not immediately but when left on for a couple months.
 

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The one thing I don't yet understand is the difference (to battery life) between manually maintaining the 12V battery charge periodically vs. having its charge maintained automatically from the traction battery.

Is it an issue of going a long time without charging the PHEV via AC, and given the lack of alternator, discharging the 12V battery too deep too often?
 
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