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How to Fix Battery Discharge Warning in Your Car?

Kia and Hyundai cars often display 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 car battery.

You will get a ‘Battery Discharge Warning‘ if your car battery is continuously losing charge, and it does not matter if your car is switched on and charging.

This occurs when the current into your battery is less than the current out of it.

Battery Discharge Warning Kia and Hyundai

If you are getting a ‘Battery Discharge Warning’ warning while your engine is switched off, then it’s not a big deal. It will probably take a 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 car or by turning off your radio, lights, climate control, etc., you are using at the moment. You may also need to replace your car battery or look for the core reason 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 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 car battery if you get this message while your car engine is turned on or you are driving your car.

The 12 V battery system powers the electrical system of your car.

Following items in your car won’t need a key to be switched on.

  1. Car Lights
  2. Hazard Lights
  3. Dashcams

So, if you turn on these items and your 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 car engine, but the rest of the system is turned on.

  1. Power Windows
  2. Seat Adjustments and Seat Heating
  3. Steering Adjustments
  4. Wind Wipers and Wiper Fluid Pump
  5. Radiator Fan
  6. Radio and Infotainment System
  7. Air Conditioning System (Only fans)
  8. Electronic Control Modul (ECM) with all sensors and system check

You are more likely to get a “Battery Discharge Warning” if you keep your car in this state; the car battery will continuously discharge. After receiving this warning, you should stop doing so or switch on your car engine to recharge your car.

The following Items will withdraw current from your car battery when your car engine is turned on

  1. Steering System
  2. Braking System
  3. Cooling System
  4. Alternator (Only once at the time of starting your car)

The alternator will keep your car battery charged when your car engine is switched on. But, if your car battery is bad and it’s still not charging properly, you may get a “Battery Discharge Warning,” which means you should replace your car battery ASAP.

However, you are more likely going to get this message when your car is standing still with your car engine turned on. This is because the car alternator produces more power and can charge your car battery more quickly when your car is running.

Other factors that can discharge your car battery quickly!

So we discussed all the usual ways to keep draining your car battery, but there can be other factors that quickly discharge your 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 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, which will quickly drain your car battery.

Faulty Alternator and Charging System

A healthy alternator and charging system is a must to keep your 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 car battery charging system.

Faulty Alternator: Although a faulty alternator will not help start your 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 car battery and power up all electrical systems. Make sure your car alternator is working properly. You don’t need to worry about your car alternator if you are getting a battery discharge warning while your car is stationary.

Faulty Voltage Regulator: The output from a car alternator is inconsistant and varies significantly with the RPM of car enginer. A voltage regulator manages the output power and keeps it consistant. A faulty regulator will not properly charge the 12 V battery and you will get battery drainage warning.

Temperatures

Batteries are highly dependent on a suitable temperature to work correctly. Harsh temperatures affect the way a battery responds to loads.

Lower Temperatures: 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 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 car to warm up for the warning to get away. To avoid the problem in the future, try to park your car inside a garage.

High Summer Temperatures: At higher temperatures, the output current and voltage are not affected that much, but the battery’s overall life is significantly affected. This means you will have to change your car battery more frequently if you live somewhere it’s mostly hot.

Bad Battery

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 car engine is switched off and you are using your car radio or other components.

Dry Battery: If you are using a battery that needs regular maintenance by ensuring the electrolyte level remains consistent, you might be getting the batter discharge error due to a dry battery. Lower electrolyte level affects your battery’s charging, discharging, and overall life. If your car battery is completely dry, filling it up again might not work, and you will have to replace it.

Old Battery: Batteries are consumables, and they can charge/discharge a specific number of times before they lose the total capacity of storing electrical power. So, if your car battery is old, it will eventually need a replacement.

If you are planing to get a battery for your car, make sure to get a maintainance free battery.

Other Faulty Components

Alternator Belt: A car 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 there are multiple electronic components in a car. If a component is malfunctioning, it can withdraw continuous current from the battery, also known as “Parasitic Drain,” and discharge your 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 Car

The quickest remedy of all of them is to switch on your car. Unfortunately, you are most likely getting this error due to excessive radio usage, charging devices, or climate control on your car battery while your car engine is switched on.

So after turning on your car, the message will automatically disappear.

Diable the Warning

Different models of cars 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 Hyundai and Kia cars to avoid complete battery drainage. Newer models of Hyundai and Kia vehicles 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 car, you may need a little maintenance on your current battery.

Start with checking all connections, water level, and other factors affecting battery performance.

Replace Battery

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 amount of time.

Conclusion:

So different models of Hyundai and Kia cars can face the problem of “Battery Discharge Warning”. It’s not a problem in totality, but a warning to avoid a problem and shall be considered serious to avoid degrading your car battery’s overall life.

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