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2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies


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DasBus
Novice

Jun 3, 2016, 1:52 PM

Post #1 of 17 (718 views)
2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

2003 Kia Spectre - While waiting at drive thru, all electrical stopped working (power windows, a/c, radio), but engine still running. Parked car, shut it off, tried to start again, and nothing. Waited an hour, car started, drove fine for a while, then electrical went out again and steadily lost power to engine. Pulled over, called tow truck. Tried searching online and came up with some possibilities: alternator dying/blown fuse, ignition coil, fuel filter/injectors,and a few others. Ck engine light did NOT come on.
Husband works out of town all week, and we live in very rural area. Just trying to get some suggestions before he heads home tonight and can pick up parts. He has a code reader with him, so I'm unable to check it myself.
What part would you bring home?
Thanks!


kev2
Veteran
kev2 profile image

Jun 3, 2016, 2:36 PM

Post #2 of 17 (714 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

diagnose before spending.
Yes a scan Is a first step even if light is off - reason 1) the light may not work 2) not all codes will turn on light. A DVOM ( digital volt ohm meter) would be a go to tool for elec testing... would do a basic charging assessment.


Somethings to consider- recent work, modifications ie remote starter added alarm - basically anything electrical added is suspect. How old is battery.? Any other issues something ignored?


DasBus
Novice

Jun 3, 2016, 3:04 PM

Post #3 of 17 (709 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Thanks for responding!
Battery is less than a year old. Had problems with the connections, but they are screwed down now. We have 4 miles of dirt road to our house, so sometimes things shake loose.
Husband has basic code reader, but is picking up a higher end one on his way home. He's thinking it might be the brain/computer. Unfortunately, we're 40 miles from the nearest town/mechanic/Kia dealer, so he has to figure it out himself. (The tranny on his van is messing up, do hopefully he makes it home!)
I'll let you know what he finds out. And thanks again for the response!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 3, 2016, 3:24 PM

Post #4 of 17 (707 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

If you get this in time and battery cable ends were trouble a year ago they are probably worse now. If still time I'd have splice ends picked up on his way home just in case they are really gone now you would have something. May or may not fix the total problem but if not power because of plain lousy connections not much will test out or work.


Good time to have a "memory" saver for battery if any codes still stored it would save them if battery is disconnected for cables ends.


You do have at least a slow battery charger for this? If not anyone can or should have one that does any work on their cars,


T



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jun 3, 2016, 3:32 PM

Post #5 of 17 (703 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In


Quote

Quote
Had problems with the connections, but they are screwed down now.


What do you mean by screwed down? Can you take a picture of the battery and the connections and post the link in here?


Driving around with loose battery cables can be a bad thing for electronics.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


DasBus
Novice

Jun 4, 2016, 9:16 AM

Post #6 of 17 (685 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Tom: Husband says not the battery, and yes we have a battery charger. We live off the grid, so it's a necessity to have a battery charger, generator,etc...
He's working on his van right now, but picked up a new code reader that he can do a 'live' test.
DiscreteSignals: Husband says its battery clamps.
Will update later. And Thank you again, for responding.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jun 4, 2016, 9:32 AM

Post #7 of 17 (682 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Battery clamps? Can you be more specific?

Battery clamps are these:



If you lost all power inside of vehicle it probably isn't a control module issue.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 4, 2016, 11:03 AM

Post #8 of 17 (678 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Quote">>
Battery is less than a year old. Had problems with the connections<<"


That and before that you said NO POWER as suggesting nothing electrical worked - right? If so those cheap crap OE cable really stink and all do. If not greased periodically they fail either totally break or don't snug up at all - can look OK be tight and no electrical passes thru - not kidding.


If that and really had ZERO power it's nasty to the car if it was running and could be a total disconnect. Don't allow that or try that ever with a running engine -- some think it's a test for alternators and was back when only generators (for vehicles) were used ended in about 1962 or so!


At any rate just charge that battery while power is available. Not sure what you mean living "off grid" but think you mean another power source than most of a very rural area? If you live on 12v alone then you must be used to dealing with stuff. I have for a couple weeks at a time just an A/C-D/C powered large boat fridge and all was 12v. Auto switch when 110v plugged in, nasty expensive stuff.


Don't rule out cable ends yet. You'll see that with a plain voltmeter even a test light maybe,


T



DasBus
Novice

Jun 4, 2016, 6:21 PM

Post #9 of 17 (668 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

It's the Alternator! Gonna pick up new one tomorrow. Husband says it was a b*&ch to pull out. So we will see what happens.


Off Grid = Solar power, and live in a water haul area. Nearest neighbor a mile away.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 5, 2016, 1:35 AM

Post #10 of 17 (659 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

OK - Hope the diagnosis is correct. It's tricky with you on the web, husband being hands on we still get some info going.


Know this: Battery having gone that low or super dead because of any reason should be charged up by charger FIRST and fully. Do not allow any alternator to do all the work to charge up a battery that low. Road services will and have to just start you all the time and if just some light left on for way too long can wreck an alternator new or not working way too hard it would get too hot to touch in just a few minutes even - don't allow that.


Tough locations - It's out apparently so your husband found the way. Tricks - not really but assorted ways or assorted vehicles and can't know each one. Down and out, tilting engine, thru wheel wells. You do what it takes.


Please hit back that it worked out or not. Good luck,


T



DasBus
Novice

Jun 5, 2016, 9:27 AM

Post #11 of 17 (650 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Husband (Gordy), should be on his way back with the part. (I heard him leave this morning, not sure what time it was). Normally, I would have steered him to this forum, but with only 2 days off to work on both our vehicles (and it's extremely HOT this weekend), I'm just relaying the info from you guys. Been married 28 yrs, so I know better than to bug him too much when he's working on something! Tongue


DasBus
Novice

Jun 5, 2016, 12:08 PM

Post #12 of 17 (645 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

So far so good! Old alternator tested good, but not voltage regulator. Had battery on charger for a while, now in car idling. Gordy's getting out multimeter to check battery cables. When he comes in for a break, I'll dictate what he's found so far.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 5, 2016, 12:28 PM

Post #13 of 17 (643 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Oh, oh. I just looked and can be wrong but there is not voltage regulator for this. It probably get a ground signal from PCM (computer) to act as a regulator.


I'll let you two check and double check that out for specific alternator used - none showed as said and if it had one would 99% chance be inside alternator.


Does alternator get battery positive power all the time? Most of those are fused one way or another - fusible link or other may be right at battery cables? I plead I don't know first hand for these at all.


Problems come as mentioned earlier from a power disconnect for any reason while an engine is running. No one way it harms what.
This can also happen from screwed up "jumping" of a battery especially from a running other vehicle vs a jumper box or just charge the battery also suggested.


I hope the others are watching as need to know - I don't off hand how to trigger alternator to quick test output while installed as you said it works bench tested.


If what I suspect you can with some serious thought and work use a regulator if PCM failed in just this function on mostly hear of that on Chrysler products.


Otherwise this could be a real nasty problem and quite costly. Hope not. I don't like that way if so of regulating an alternator but could be it - unsure at this time,


T
(edit in) This could blow PCM if battery cables for any reason were disconnected or totally didn't make contact with a live battery is the same. I'll delete this post if it's going to upset everyone and get personal at your request)



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jun 5, 2016, 12:31 PM)


DasBus
Novice

Jun 5, 2016, 1:09 PM

Post #14 of 17 (635 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Voltage regulator/or similar object is inside alternator. Everything working now. Battery cables tested perfect, battery charged, alternator putting out 13.4vdc test drive fine. Annanovic (sp?) giving green lights (good) on all tests. Also had it idling for an hour - nothing overheated or shut off. Gordy says the whole thing was confusing because the engine was still running after the power went out.
I'll take it for another test drive when it starts to cool off a bit. (probably getting close to 110 outside)
Thank you for all of your help! I'll be referring Gordy to you guys for his 1985 Chevy G20 van! LOL


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 5, 2016, 1:23 PM

Post #15 of 17 (630 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

I AM SO GLAD IT HAD A REGULATOR INSIDE ALTERNATOR!!!! Said the look up was not showing one?


If it ran with seemingly power out it had power just not things you use or engine couldn't run. No spark, no fuel pump - you understand.


Another reason if power lost to other items may still lurk? Can't know that stuff when it's all working.


Hey - I'll be better with the '85 Chev. Van. Gordy should know already - don't forget when removing the engine cover the two screws in where the ash tray is - almost all are broken from forgetting those and pulling hard wondering why it's still stuck.


Works without them just pointing out I know it better.


Cross fingers on the Kia for no return of the problems. Just FYI for you if not info or warning from gauges about battery charge you can usually tell by turn signals go slow or don't blink at all something is way under voltage just running on what's left in a battery alone you only have so much run time, worse if using lights or anything electrical if so.


Hit back as needed. Please start a new thread for a new vehicle if you do. It would just confuse this thread to add another to it,


T



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jun 5, 2016, 2:37 PM

Post #16 of 17 (622 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Interesting the engine still ran even after everything else died out. There is really nothing special about the electrical system on this vehicle. There isn't a body control module or some other power mode module that can turn power off to certain non critical systems when it detects a low charging system voltage. It does use a control module that can turn power on for the power windows and lighting systems through a power window and TINs relays. Maybe the voltage got low enough where those relays de-energized and the radio couldn't function anymore. Maybe the control module is designed to shut off if it gets to a predetermined voltage level? Who knows.

I've seen PCMs keep the engine running when battery voltage gets around 7 volts, but any lower and the fuel pump isn't turning fast enough and strange things start happening. If the battery voltage was low enough, even rolling down the window or hitting the brake pedal should of killed the engine.

Glad to read you hubby found a charging system problem and was able to correct it. Wink





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Jun 5, 2016, 2:51 PM)


DasBus
Novice

Jun 5, 2016, 6:42 PM

Post #17 of 17 (611 views)
Re: 2003 Kia Electrical goes out, then engine dies Sign In

Just did a test drive to our small town, 12 miles away. Made 4 stops, and drove back home. Problem appears to be solved! Ran everything, a/c, radio, etc... Gordy checked the system when I got back - no codes!
I have a couple of trips to make this week, 100+ miles round trip. So we'll see how it goes. Just very glad we have AAA. Definitely worth $200/yr.






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