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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My wife and I have a Kia Carnival 2022 EX with about 3,300 miles on the clock. We've been having some weird battery/electrical issues. Every so often, the car will refuse to start. When we try to start the car, the starter motor will briefly kick on and then all electrical power to the car will be cut, as though a power breaker flipped in the car. In this state, no buttons or any other electrical anything will work. We can usually get the car to "wake up" again (dashboard / infotainment come back on, power doors work again, etc) by getting out the car and manually opening/closing a power door. This might just be a timing issue though, as the same thing sometimes works when we open and close a door or the car hood.

I took the car to our local Kia dealer on Monday of this week and I showed the service rep the battery/starting issues. The rep offered for one of her "express service" technicians to do a battery test, which he did. The battery tester machine said that the battery is completely fine/healthy and the battery was low on charge. The technician charged the battery to 12.83V and I was sent on my way.

This past Wednesday, I bought a car battery charger and connected it to the car battery. It read 12.7V so I let it charge the battery to full. From Thursday to this afternoon on Saturday, my wife and I have had no issues starting the car. It has started every time and we've driven it a fair distance over the last few days.

However, this afternoon, as we were driving back from having lunch, the car did not start. I waited for 30 seconds, opened the driver side door, closed it, and turned the car on. The car started this time. When I got home, I reconnected the car charger and it read 12.8V this time. I'm going to let the battery fully charge once again.

There is clearly an issue with our car. If the alternator was working properly, I would have expected the car battery to have been kept at 13 or 14V once I fully charged the battery to 14.8V the first time. Since Wednesday, we've only been driving decently long drives (25 to 90+ minutes) - we've not been doing a ton of short stop/start trips.

If the battery was leaking power/not holding the charge, I wouldn't have expected the Kia battery tester to say that the battery is completely fine/healthy. With that said, I have noticed that as my car battery charges, sometimes the battery charger reads a higher voltage (like 13.8V) and then drops back down to a voltage like 12.8 or 13.2V before it eventually climbs back up. I'm not sure if that's just my battery charger mis-reading the battery voltage though.

Before I take my car into a Kia dealer to be looked at again, my next idea is to see what the voltage across the battery reads when the car is running. I understand that this will show me what the alternator is sending to the battery. Is that correct? I don't yet own a multimeter. Can anyone recommend a good one? I'd love an instant read digital multimeter and this could be a good excuse to get one.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for next steps?

Many thanks,
Jon
 

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2022 Kia Carnival SX
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Batteries hold a nominal voltage of 12 volts , so you shouldn't expect to read 14 volts from the battery while the car is off. The only time you will see 14 volts is when the car is on. That additional 2 volts is coming from the alternator which is used to replenish the battery while you drive. Any $20 digital multimeter would tell you if your alternator is providing 14 volts or not while the car is running. Better yet, go to AutoZone and they can test it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great, thanks for the information! What should I ask for when I go to Autozone? I have previously asked for a battery test but the test was when the car wasn't turned on, so the alternator wasn't running at the time.
 

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Great, thanks for the information! What should I ask for when I go to Autozone? I have previously asked for a battery test but the test was when the car wasn't turned on, so the alternator wasn't running at the time.
Ask for a battery/alternator test. They use one machine to test both the battery and the alternator. They should be able to quickly tell you if one isn't working properly.
 

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Mine just starting doing this too! I just hit 9k miles on it. I went to start my carnival on Friday and the battery was dead. Couldn’t open the sliding doors either. My husband charged the battery. I thought maybe one of my kids left a light on or something. Got it charged. Nothing was left on. That night I double checked everything was off and the next morning it was dead again! We charged it and drove it. It didn’t do jt again until today. What’s weird is everytime it “dies” I get a notification from the app that one or more of my doors are unlocked. Then go out to the car and it’s dead. I just had my service oil change done at 8k miles when I took it in for a shattered window. I was driving down the freeway and the drivers side, middle window shattered out of nowhere! The glass landed was all over my 4 year olds car seat. I took it to the dealership. They didn’t cover it, so I paid for it but had to wait two and a half weeks to get the window in. Now this battery issue. I’ve also noticed the passenger side door and sliding door don’t unlock when I press unlock on the key fob, it doesn’t matter how many times. I have to get in and press unlock from the inside of the car. Annoyed is an understatement for only owning this for 6 months with now 9k miles on it and so many issues. I’ll be calling Kia in the morning to take mine in for the battery/alternator issue.
 
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