Every driver suffers from a flat battery at some stage, and the go-to solution is a boost start from a donor vehicle, but what if you drive an EV? Can we just jump-start a Kona EV to get it running? I’ve been a mechanic for 25 years. Let’s look at the dos and don’ts of jump-starting your Kona EV.
Kona Electric 12V battery can be jumped. The high-voltage battery can’t be charged using jump cables.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can jump your Kona, why you need to, and items that need to reset after jumping.
How to Jump-Start a Kona EV
Your Kona EV requires two batteries to work. The High Voltage battery, which you charge to achieve your range distance, and also a traditional 12V battery. The 12V battery powers all auxiliary items in your car, such as locks, windows, lights, and audio.
If the 12V is dead, you must jump-start your Kona EV.
It is ok to jump-start your Kona’s 12V battery, but there is a procedure you need to follow:
- Unlock the car
- Release the hood
- Connect the battery pack/booster
- Start the car
Unlock the car
Well, that sounds straightforward enough. However, your 12V battery is dead, and it controls the locking and unlocking of your car. The locks are now unresponsive to your smart key. Thankfully your smart key also includes a mechanical key.
To remove the mechanical key:
- Slide the release button – the opposite end of the chrome
- Pull the key outwards
Then proceed to unlock the car. There is a keyhole on the driver’s door handle. Don’t forget to reinsert the key back into the fob. It’s not fully in until you hear a click.
Release the Hood
You can access the hood release lever now that your car is unlocked. This is located on the driver’s side to the left of the dead pedal. (or foot plate). It has a small illustration on it of the car with the hood open.
Pull it towards you. It may be a little stiff, depending on how much it has been used. The hood will lift open slightly. The is a further hood latch in the center of the hood. Lift the hood slightly and slide the internal latch to the left.
The hood will now release. Ensure that the hood is propped open correctly using the hood bar on the engine’s left. It fits into a small hole towards the top left of the hood.
Connect the Battery Pack / Booster
Now we are ready to check our 12V. First, remove the caps from the battery. It’s located at the front and to the right. Don’t touch anything that has bright orange cables. This signifies high voltage.
Under the caps are a red terminal and a black terminal.
A battery charger/booster pack is the best way to revive your Kona EV. Follow the procedure below:
- Connect the Red (+) to Red (+)
- Connect the Black (-) to Black (-)
- Your battery charger will give you a reading of the voltage in your battery if it’s a digital booster.
- Turn on the battery pack
- When charged to 12V+, disconnect the cables in the reverse order.
- Black and Black (-)
- Red and Red (+)
The voltage should always be 12.65 V. Jumping your car this way is actually charging your 12V battery.
You can alternatively jump your Kona from a gas-powered car, but it’s not recommended. It is done similarly, but the donor car must be left running to send a charge through the booster cables to your flat battery.
Charging in this way could take an hour or more depending on several factors, such as the size of the donor vehicle engine, how low your flat battery is, the temperature outside, etc.
Your 12V battery is not used to drive your vehicle but to power up ancillary components.
Things to Check after Jumping / Charging
Your car is hopefully now running fine. (If it’s not, go to the last section of this article). However, when your 12V battery goes dead or discharges, it can affect other components in the car.
- Climate Control
After a dead battery jumps or recharges, your windows may need to be recalibrated. You will know this because they won’t go completely up or down. If they do, then all is good, and you can jump to the next item.
Recalibration is easily done using the following steps:
- Turn on the vehicle
- In the driver’s seat press the window button to open
- When completely open continue to hold down for 2 seconds
- Pull the window button up and close it fully
- Hold for 2 seconds
- Repeat steps 2 & 3
- Window now recalibrated
Each additional window may need to be recalibrated also. Move to each seat to complete this.
If you have a sunroof in your Kona, it must be reset after a battery discharge. Again this is an easy fix.
- Turn on Power (Hyundai recommends you reset the sunroof in Ready Mode)
- Push the Sunroof lever forward to close completely
- Release the lever
- Push and hold for 10 seconds
- The glass should tilt and move up and down momentarily
- Hold until it stops moving
- Within 3 seconds, check the sunroof is working correctly
Your clock may or may not be affected by the battery discharge. If it is:
- Select Setup – Clock
- On the Audio System
- Select Date / Time
- Set the time
- Choose 12hr or 24hr
Radio / Audio
The same can be said for your radio after a battery discharge. Your presets or favorite stations might have disappeared.
On your touchscreen
- Press Radio
- Check if your Favorites are still there
- If not, tune the station you want with the Right-Hand knob
- When it appears in the list on the Left Hand Side – press and hold until it flashes slightly
- Repeat for any other stations you require
Your Kona’s Auto Climate Control might need to be reset:
- Turn on Power
- Press the Auto Climate Control Button
- Select your preferred temperature
- The car will then acquire that level and remember it for future journeys
Why Was Your 12V Battery Flat?
Now that we are up and running again, we must find the root cause of the flat 12V.
It’s generally caused by open doors/tailgates and interior lights left on. If you have the Bluelink App, this will actually tell you that a door or tailgate is open. But you might not always use or check the Bluelink App after you return home.
So how does a door being open drain a 12V? As you know, when a door is open, the interior lights usually come on; during the daytime, you might not notice that they are on.
When you return to your car the next morning, you realize that your 12V is now flat.
I often find it’s not the driver’s door that has been left open but a passenger or rear door. If small children can leave the car themselves, the door might not close completely. The doors of modern cars car are heavy, and they don’t fully close with a child’s push.
Also, older children, i.e., teens with ear pods, are so preoccupied they don’t shut the doors properly, and the battery gets drained.
Or it could simply be an object blocking the tailgate latch from fully closing. It happens.
The other possible reason your battery is drained is that you were listening to music, but the car wasn’t running; audio will kill a 12V.
However, your battery may have discharged because it’s not functioning correctly. I wrote a post about Kona no-start, which you may find helpful – Kona won’t start
12V batteries last about 3-4 years. After that time, they start to degrade. If you find that you have had to boost or charge your 12V a few times recently, you will likely need a replacement 12V.
All new Kona EVs have an Auxiliary Battery Saver. This is where the onboard computer is monitoring your 12V. If it seems a little low, it gets a boost from the high-voltage battery.
You know that this is happening as the Hyundai Badge at the front of the car illuminates with a yellow dot.
If it has happened when you have been away from the car, there will be a notification to say, ‘Aux Battery Saver+ was used while parked. So why, then, would my battery be flat? Well, there might not be enough charge in your High Voltage for this to happen, and so your 12V will die.
If you find that you are returning to your car and seeing this message frequently, it is worth getting your 12V checked with your Hyundai dealer.
What if the Jumping Didn’t Work?
The last thing we’ll look at is if your Kona EV doesn’t respond to a jump or boost. The 12V battery may have completely failed and will not respond to a boost. If this happens, you must get a tow truck to transfer you to a Hyundai Dealer for further investigation.
You must not try to push start your car. You may irreparably damage the drivetrain.
When you call the Tow truck company, you must inform them that your car is electric. An EV must be towed by a flatbed tow truck or a truck using dollies. It can’t be towed with two front wheels on the ground.
Before transferring your car to the tow truck, you must do the following.
- Put the power button on ACC
- Depress the Brake Pedal
- Select Neutral (N)
- Your car can now be moved to the flatbed
I’ve covered a few of the other common Hyundai issues which you hopefully won’t experience, but if you do, we have you covered with these posts:
- Hyundai Kona won’t start
- Hyundai Kona won’t lock
- Hyundai Kona won’t charge
- Hyundai Kona charge door won’t open
- Hyundai Ioniq won’t unlock
- Hyundai Ioniq won’t unplug
- Hyundai Ioniq won’t charge
If you are curious about other EV models, check out the EV FAQ category.
EVs are fantastic and, without a doubt, the future of motoring. But if your Kona won't charge well, then what good is it to you? Don't panic! There's always a solution. Common reasons your Hyundai...
Owning an EV is fantastic and good for your pocket and your emissions, but no car is good if it won't start! I've been a mechanic for 25 years. Let's solve why your Kona EV won't start and get you...