Kia often displays a warning message stating “Battery Discharge Warning.”
Technically, a battery discharge warning does not translate into a bad battery, but it is the current state of your Kia car battery.
The Battery Discharge warning on your KIA indicates that your vehicle’s battery is draining quicker than it’s charging, indicating something wrong with your Kia car. This notice will appear on the display, infotainment system, or dashboard.
You will get a ‘Battery Discharge Warning‘ if your Kia car battery continuously loses charge, and it does not matter if your Kia car is switched on and charging.
This occurs when the current into your battery is less than the current out of it.
You don’t need to worry about getting a ‘Battery Discharge Warning’ while your engine is switched off.
It will probably take 6-8 hours of radio usage before your battery fully drains. However, getting this message while driving indicates your battery is bad and will need replacement.
This blog will discuss all possible reasons for a ‘Batter Discharge Warning” and how to fix them.
You can fix the battery discharge warning by switching on your Kia car or by turning off your radio, lights, climate control, etc., you are using at the moment. You may also need to replace your Kia car battery or look for why you are getting this warning. You can also bypass the warning system in a few models.
What does a battery discharge warning mean?
You will get a battery discharge warning to inform you that your Kia car battery is not charging and is being continuously discharged.
In short, a battery discharge warning is not an error or does not translate into the state of the battery being good or bad.
However, in some cases, this can be a sign of a BAD Kia car battery if you get this message while your KIA car engine is turned on or driving your kia car.
The 12 V battery system powers the electrical system of your Kia car.
Following items in your Kia car won’t need a key to be switched on.
- Kia Car Lights
- Hazard Lights
So, if you turn on these items and your Kia car battery is not fully charged, you will get an error of “Battery discharge Warning.” Of course, you won’t get this error all the time if your battery is fully charged.
The following Items will start withdrawing power before you start your Kia car engine, but the rest of the system is turned on.
- Power Windows
- Seat Adjustments and Seat Heating
- Steering Adjustments
- Wind Wipers and Wiper Fluid Pump
- Radiator Fan
- Radio and Infotainment System
- Air Conditioning System (Only fans)
- Electronic Control Modul (ECM) with all sensors and system check
You are more likely to get a “Battery Discharge Warning” if you keep your Kia car in this state; the battery will continuously discharge. After receiving this warning, you should stop doing so or switch on your Kia car engine to recharge your battery.
The following Items will withdraw current from your Kia car battery when your engine is turned on.
- Steering System
- Braking System
- Cooling System
- Alternator (Only once at the time of starting your Kia car)
The alternator will keep your Kia car battery charged when your engine is switched on. But, if your Kia car battery is terrible state and it’s still not charging correctly, you may get a “Battery Discharge Warning,” which means you should replace it ASAP.
However, you will more likely get this message when your Kia car is standing still with your engine turned on. This is because the Kia car alternator produces more power and can charge your Kia car battery more quickly when your Kia car is running.
Other factors that can discharge your Kia car battery quickly!
So we discussed all the usual ways to keep draining your Kia car battery, but there can be other factors that quickly discharge your Kia car battery while everything else is turned off.
Bad Connections or Short Ground
Proper connections in an electrical system prevent energy loss in form of additional resistance. When electrical connections in your Kia car are bad due to being rusty, loose, or broken, it can withdraw more current than your 12V electrical system is designed for.
Rusty connections add an additional resistance to the entire electrical system requiring more power for all components to work correctly.
Broken Connections or wires can also result in power leakage, quickly draining your Kia car battery.
Faulty Alternator and Charging System
A healthy alternator and charging system must keep your Kia car battery fully charged. It’s a complex system interconnected with multiple wires and fuses. There can be a few different reasons for a nonworking charging system.
Fuses: Do check your fuse box to make sure everything is ok. A blown-out fuse box can jeopardize your Kia car battery charging system.
Although a faulty alternator will not help start your Kia car in the first place, there can be a scenario where it’s properly working as a motor but not producing enough power as a generator to charge up your Kia car battery and power up all electrical systems.
Make sure your Kia car alternator is working correctly. You don’t need to worry about your Kia car alternator if you get a battery discharge warning while your Kia car is stationary.
Faulty Voltage Regulator:
The output from a Kia car alternator is inconsistent and varies significantly with the RPM of the Kia car engine.
A voltage regulator manages the output power and keeps it consistent. A faulty regulator will not properly charge the 12 V battery, and you will get a battery drainage warning.
Batteries are highly dependent on a suitable temperature to work correctly. Harsh temperatures affect the way a battery responds to loads.
A fully charged battery won’t be able to provide enough juice at cold temperatures. At lower temperatures, the battery capacity is reduced significantly. Your Kia car computer system can report a discharged battery as the terminal voltages, and max current output is highly affected at freezing temperatures.
So, getting a “battery discharge warning” at freezing temperatures is not a problem, and you should wait for your Kia car to warm up for the warning to get away. To avoid the problem in the future, try to park your Kia car inside a garage.
High Summer Temperatures:
The output current and voltage are not affected much at higher temperatures, but the battery’s overall life is significantly affected. This means you will have to change your Kia car battery more frequently if you live somewhere it’s mostly hot.
Getting a battery discharge warning in case of a bad battery is quite evident.
Quick Discharge: Bad batteries will quickly discharge, and you are most likely to get the battery discharge warning if your Kia car engine is switched off and you are using your Kia car radio or other components.
Dry Battery: If you use a battery that needs regular maintenance by ensuring the electrolyte level remains consistent, you might get the batter discharge error due to a dry battery. Lower electrolyte level affects your battery’s charging, discharging, and overall life. If your Kia car battery is completely dry, filling it up might not work, and you will have to replace it.
Old Battery: Batteries are consumables and can charge/discharge a specific number of times before they lose the total capacity of storing electrical power. So, if your Kia car battery is old, it will eventually need a replacement.
If you are planning to get a battery for your Kia, make sure to get a maintainance free battery.
Other Faulty Components
Alternator Belt: A Kia engine is complex machinery consisting of multiple parts. One of them is the serpentine belt. If it is worn out, it can affect the charging capability of the alternator.
Parasitic Drain: We know a Kia car has multiple electronic components. If a component is malfunctioning, it can withdraw continuous current from the battery, also known as “Parasitic Drain,” and discharge your Kia car battery.
How to Fix Battery Discharge Warning?
Now let’s discuss how to fix this battery discharge issue in totality. The steps you need to take can vary according to everyone’s situation, but the problem is fixable.
Switch On your Kia Car
The quickest remedy of all of them is to switch on your Kia. Unfortunately, you are most likely getting this error due to excessive radio usage, charging devices, or climate control on your Kia battery while your car engine is switched on.
So after turning on your Kia, the message will automatically disappear.
Disable the Warning
Different models of Kia have different methods of disabling the battery discharge warning, which I will not recommend. If you are annoyed, check this tutorial on how to disable it.
Reset Battery Switch
Battery Drain Warning is a preventive measure in a few kia cars to avoid complete battery drainage. Newer models may have battery reset pushbuttons once their main computer disconnects the 12V battery system to avoid further drainage.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.
Maintain your Battery
If you are still getting a “Battery Discharge Warning” after resetting or switching on your kia car, you may need a little maintenance on your current battery.
Start with checking all connections, water level, and other factors affecting battery performance.
The ultimate method of removing the battery discharge warning is replacing your battery if it is bad or too old to hold a charge for a reasonable time.
So different models of kia cars can face the problem of “Battery Discharge Warning.” It’s not a problem in totality, but a warning to avoid a problem shall be considered severe to avoid degrading your kia car battery’s overall life.