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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
--1/18/2022 UPDATE--
As the weather grew colder here in MI, the issue became more persistent. So much so, that I was able to tie it directly to the outside temperature. Right at 32F, it was a crapshoot on whether it would start immediately after pushing the start button. We had several days of a mix of teens and single digit temps a few weeks back and I was at my wits-end as the car would take a minimum of 3 push button cycles to start and up to 5 minutes of me repeating the process! I began the scheduling process to get it into the dealership (at 15,000mi on the ODO, it's still nearly entirely covered under MFG warranty). Scheduling with a dealership service center is an entire saga worthy of its own post. Most said they couldn't do anything till mid-February and a 'Kia Cares' customer service Rep. suggested that I travel out of state for service- you should note that he wasn't joking!

Last week- late Wednesday(1/12), I was finally able to get my car into a service center. After 4 days of not a single update, I called the Advisor (term used VERY loosely) yesterday and was told that the Tech was able to duplicate the issue several times and that they'd be replacing the starter. I thought it odd that the starter needs replacing at 15,000 miles and in these peculiar circumstances so I asked a few clarifying questions: "Has the Tech diagnosed and directly tied the very strange no-start in cold temps issues to a failed starter?". After a few intelligence-insulting responses, the Advisor finally 'admits' that the Tech is doing a process of elimination- stating: "Well, the Tech says the battery is in good condition and the altenator is working as it should- so it has to be the starter!". I totally disagree but am powerless in that I can't dictate to them how to proceed with warranty work/repairs. So while I am about 99% sure that the starter is not the issue, this is what they'll be replacing. The Advisor is very clearly annoyed with me as a customer and wants my vehicle out of the building as soon as possible- so he/they are planning to slap the starter on as soon as it is received and return the car to me. I requested that they keep the Cadenza after the starter is installed for verification that it was indeed the repair needed (he didn't like that very much). I will keep you all updated. As an aside, I absolutely loathe the thought of some Tech who couldn't care less about my expensive property- just tearing into it to replace parts that I believe will turn out to be perfectly fine. All I can think about are the many fasteners that will be broken, the harnesses that will not be replaced properly, the bolts that will most definitely not be torqued properly and the introduction of potential future issues....SIGH

Tldr: Dealership is replacing the starter at 15,000 miles simply by a "process of elimination". I'm not convinced the issue will be remedied by this. I'll keep interested forum members updated.


-ORIGINAL POST-
Hello All,
This is my first winter with the Cadenza (2018 Premium). Within the last few weeks- only in freezing conditions/temps AND only the first start of the day- my car will go through all of the motions of starting but never actually starts the engine.

To be clear: there is no attempt to start the engine (like a click or clicking from the starter) but the car carries on as if the engine is running.

This will occur for multiple cycles before finally starting (with a significant delay). Has anyone else experienced this in colder conditions?
 

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Not heard of that before. My first thought is low/weak battery. When it does actually spin the starter, are you able to tell if it sounds slower than normal or back when the weather was warmer? Second thought is a possible bad, or going bad, starter or starter solenoid.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not heard of that before. My first thought is low/weak battery. When it does actually spin the starter, are you able to tell if it sounds slower than normal or back when the weather was warmer? Second thought is a possible bad, or going bad, starter or starter solenoid.
It cranks completely normal when it "catches". I should add: when this is happening, it makes no difference placing the fob directly to the Start/Stop button. However, the 10 second bypass push of the start button will work.
 

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I am not familiar with the 10 second bypass push of the start button method to start the car (in case of dead key fob battery I assume). But the fact that you can start the car that way every time does make a big difference in the story. Your dash should show "no key fob present" when you attempt to start the car and the key fob is not detected and therefore will not start the car. I will have to look more into exactly what the 10 second bypass push is designed to do to better understand what is happening here.
 

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Ok, a Google search revealed this thread and an additional one referenced inside this one with a lot of information to read through and a lot of very frustrated folks. I recommend taking 20 minutes and read through the whole thing. What I got out of it is that your problem seems more common then I knew about, just not on Cadenza's but on all push button makes and models.

The short answer of things to try are the R! and/or R2 relays - very cheap and easy to replace yourself then next seems to be the neutral safety switch which Kia refers to as something different like transmission location switch or something. Then maybe beyond that the smart button control module possibly. That last one obviously wlil cost a decent amount of money and was just a suggestion by a tech in that post after everything else was replaced and still had the problem. Seems like a very informative post with a system schematic and all.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks @onlyjeeps ...I came across that thread when the issue first began and it appears nothing new was added. I do, sincerely, appreciate your time, energy and care to search around for me!

That thread is exactly why I've not bothered with the dealerships as of yet. Multiple trips with no true solution, just a firing of the parts cannon each time. Also, my local Kia dealerships are often booked weeks out (SN: they sort of carry-on like Bentley dealers...there's a certain air of inflated egos in at least 2 that I've gone to, locally). My previous vehicles were GM and I didn't experience this at those dealers.

Anywhoo, this is very worrisome for longevity of this vehicle. It was purchased in July 2021 with 9,000 miles on the ODO....now at 14,000ish. The factory warranty time will certainly expire before the mileage. Already, there's this issue and very noisy front strut bushings in wet conditions (car sat in the Texas sun for much of its early life).

My "affordable" luxury sedan is starting to cause many doubts... which is unfortunate because I love the vehicle
 

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@MotorCityCadenza you are welcome. Still, the first thing I would do is replace both R1 and R2 relays as they are very cheap and a super easy DIY. Also easy to check is if your brake lights are working when you experience the problem next as mentioned in the thread and above by joegr. If your problem persists then I would look into how easy/expensive for a mechanic (doesn't have to be a dealership) to replace the neutral safety switch. Seems like you might want to make a list and check things off as you test/check them. Hopefully, this will lead you toward a solution.

The noisy strut bushings also seems like an odd issue. I would take it to a dealer on a rainy day when they're making all the noise and have a tech drive your car. Any such noises should be covered under warranty in general but even if they give you a hard time, EVERYTHING is covered under the 12 month/12,000 mile new car warranty. There is no such thing as original owner vs used car owner either! Don't let them throw that at you. Oh, just realized you have 14,000 miles. It still should be covered, period.
 

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Gotcha. Great update! Thank you. I don't think (or at least hope not) that the Tech is going to display all those traits. I just think either he isn't very knowledgeable or has to follow a predetermined procedure for your issue and hopefully he won't do those things you stated and will be cautious and through with your car. Seems like the advisor is the non caring guy to me.
 
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... All I can think about are the many fasteners that will be broken, the harnesses that will not be replaced properly, the bolts that will most definitely not be torqued properly and the introduction of potential future issues....SIGH
...
Looking at the service manual, very little has to be removed to get to the starter to change it out. I don't think you have much to worry about. I would check the under engine cover just to make sure that it is correctly reattached.

I too would be surprised if it is actually the starter itself. I would guess that the neutral safety switch on the transmission would be more likely to be temperature sensitive. Anyway, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looking at the service manual, very little has to be removed to get to the starter to change it out. I don't think you have much to worry about. I would check the under engine cover just to make sure that it is correctly reattached.

I too would be surprised if it is actually the starter itself. I would guess that the neutral safety switch on the transmission would be more likely to be temperature sensitive. Anyway, good luck.
Agreed. I think between the neutral safety switch, the push button switch and relevant relays (the brake lights work, so I dont suspect it)....one of these electronics are being impaired by freezing temperatures and the repeated attempts sort of 'jolts' them into working. I've looked at some push to start diagrams and it seems the only system/signal being affected is that which sends the voltage to the starter. In fact, the vehicle sends the signal/voltage but it doesn't make it to the starter motor. The key to me/my thoughts on this- is the fact that the car throws no errors and seems to think it's running.

The issue with a service center doing adequate diagnostics and resorting to "the parts cannon" is that they simply refuse to listen to the customer's concern/knowledge. I'm sure it's because most aren't knowledgeable in the field but they shouldn't approach all with the same bias.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dealer Service Advisor called this evening and said that the starter was changed yesterday (1/19). He says they kept it, as I requested, to ensure the problem was fixed...goes on to say: "BUT, we want to keep it another day just to be sure it starts fine since it's going to be really cold again" (we've been in the high teens/low 20s all day). I'm glad that they are keeping it to verify but I have a sneaking suspicion that when they went to start it this morning...nothing (he won't admit to that of course). This suspicion isn't unfounded- as the Advisor casually and swiftly says "..at that point, we'll give you the car back and if there are any issues just bring it back and we'll go from there"...not a reassuring sentence lol
 

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I agree with your suspicions! I hope they figure this out.
 

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Yeah, I think that's code for "we're not so sure that was really the problem, now."
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Picked my beauty up yesterday. This morning, the outside temperature was about 17F...it fired right up with no delay!
The warranty invoice reads: "Customer concern verified; battery charged tested good; starter replacement recommended; starter bench tested starter removed and replaced.
To anyone following this to reference for the future, I would be remiss to not point out a few things: I DO NOT think the starter was the issue, in fact- I did a quick underhood inspection and nothing looks out of place. There are no hand prints in the dust covering on the engine, the radiator hose clamps looks unmolested...there are just no signs of repair.
Oddly enough though, I noticed my navigation system wasn't on the screen so I clicked the navigation app and it said no SD card present. Flip the cover up and find that my SD card had been ejected so I clicked it back in. I didn't bother going back to the dealership because it has been a nightmare experience with them.
Though I don't believe they listed everything tested and replaced, I am ecstatic to be back in my Cadenza!
 

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... There are no hand prints in the dust covering on the engine, the radiator hose clamps looks unmolested...there are just no signs of repair.
...
Do note that there would be no reason to remove the cover over the engine or disconnect any radiator hoses. Why do you think they would be? The starter is removed from below. Put the car up on ramps and remove the under-engine cover. Then you can see the starter and it will be very clear if it is new or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Do note that there would be no reason to remove the cover over the engine or disconnect any radiator hoses. Why do you think they would be? The starter is removed from below. Put the car up on ramps and remove the under-engine cover. Then you can see the starter and it will be very clear if it is new or not.
Agreed, I've changed at least a dozen starter motors in my lifetime and this was the case for most if not all. My observations were based on a YT video where the guy changed it from the top (removing hoses, the airbox, etc) With the limited information on the Cadenza, I took this method to be the "standard".

 
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