Intermittent Heat -- Help

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by JFree, Oct 23, 2019.

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  1. I posted this under another discussion "couple of issues" but wanted to give it a bit more attention so I can get some feedback.

    We live in NYS about 1hr north of NYC. We have a 2019 Kona EV Limited. My wife drives the car mostly and mostly to work and back, about 25 miles each way.

    We got the car in early September and as the weather started to cool, we noticed that the heat would not stay on for very long—after about 10-20 miles the heat would stop and the car would blow cold air (no matter how high the temperature is set). The heat works fine when you first start the car and is fine around town. But as soon as it is driven at least 10 miles or more, the heat stops coming out and only cold air blows. We have

    We have tried varying the settings, changing into different drive modes, turning the temperature as high as it will go, manually turning on the heat, using auto climate control and re-circulation, toggling the button, you name it, but once the heat stops there is no way to get it to come back on until the car is shut down and re-started.

    We finally took the car into a local Hyundai dealer and after two days they can't figure out what is wrong—they were able to re-create the problem by driving the car about 10 miles or so. They had to call Hyundai for ideas and Hyundai suggested draining anti-freeze to see if a bubble was interfering with something (no luck). At the end of the day they called to say that Hyundai then asked what the State of Charge was. When I dropped the car off, it had about 80 miles and maybe 4 white bars. Not sure how low it was when the dealer asked Hyundai, but they (Hyundai) said as the car loses its charge some systems like heat start to shut down. I don't yet know how low the dealer got the battery, but they wanted to charge overnight to see what happens with a full-charge.

    Unless the battery is in the red, I hope that heat or AC doesn't start to shut down around 80 miles or so. We haven't paid close attention to the battery level and whether or not we have heat (it hasn't been that cold yet), but we also haven't let the battery go into the red either. It also seems that if this was the case, plenty of people would be complaining. And yet, I can't find much online about this.

    I keep thinking it has to do with the temperature gauge/thermostat in the cabin--that perhaps the air reaches the target temperature and then is turning off the heat and then it stops working. They haven't checked that yet, but the dealer thought it was an interesting theory.

    In any case, sorry for the long post, but is anyone else having anything like what I described? Any suggestions?
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  3. robxb

    robxb Active Member

    Hi, are you in Eco mode? It could have to do with the limits that were either factory set or that you have changed in your settings. By limiting max temperature you get more range, so check through those settings first.
  4. We have been in Eco mode, but we changed the setting for heat to normal, plus we've tried all the drive modes and no change in normal or sport. Once the heat is off it does not come back on.
  5. Francois

    Francois Active Member

    About the "(Hyundai) said as the car loses its charge some systems like heat start to shut down."... While technically true you would have to be tremendously low on charge for this to shut down. Or in ECO+ mode (notrregular ECO). And if you were in ECO+ the heating would not have worked right away.

    So unlikely scenario.
  6. I agree. Doesn't seem like the SOC should make a difference unless it's super low. And as I mentioned above, we have tried all drive modes and same thing happens in all of them.
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  8. nigels

    nigels Active Member

    Getting heat from the US spec Kona Electric seems to be a dark art. In all other cars I set the temperature and usually end up turning it down after a while. With the Kona, I get cold air blowing through the vents when the car is cold, tepid air after a few miles, but never enough for the cabin to feel toasty. Recirculate is a fickle friend in that it cuts out the flow of cold outside air for a few minutes before self-canceling and blasting you with cold outside air.

    The description by the @JFree sounds like there’s a bug in the heating system where it never cycles back into heat mode after reaching temperature. Thanks for your detailed description of the issue. I’ll be following this thread with interest. I’m regretting not waiting for the 2020 model with the heat pump!
  9. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    It hadn't been cold enough yet for me to run the heater for more than a few minutes.

    The fact that they were thinking of a bubble in the coolant suggests that they have no clue. I thought it was just a basic resistive heater in a US car.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Inside EVs mobile app
  10. GPM432

    GPM432 Active Member

    So US kona's don't have a heat pump correct.. In Canada we have a heat pump. Correct so that could be the problem no heat pump. Mine work great and heats up quick.
  11. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    Correct. It has what is called a PTC heater as in positive temperature coefficient. Meaning, as it heats up. The current draw goes down, so it sort of self regulates. That's the way I understand it.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Inside EVs mobile app
    electriceddy likes this.
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  13. SkookumPete

    SkookumPete Well-Known Member

    So far I'm finding the heat pump works rather slowly and doesn't produce a blast of toasty air. But I do recall being comfortable in last February's frosty conditions, when the resistive heater must have kicked in.
  14. So still no car back. The dealer has tried everything Hyundai has suggested and nothing has really solved the problem. Without driving, the dealer said they could not measure a temperature hotter than 76 degrees coming out of the vent. According to Hyundai this temperature is normal as they said they have limited the amount/temp range of heat in the US in order to maximize miles. So the dealer was telling us that our no heat problem might be normal. The dealer pushed back with Hyundai so Hyundai asked the dealer to try another Kona EV on their lot. Hyundai said if the other Kona does the same thing then there is nothing wrong with our car. Our problem is that the heat completely stops after a number of miles. If the temp would stay at 76 degrees we could probably live with that. Last I heard was they were going to drive around another Kona EV. We shall see....
  15. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    If you were to watch the energy consumed by climate, what kinds of numbers are you seeing? (Yeah, I know you don't have the car right now). My understanding is that the heater can draw as much as 5 kW. It sort of sounds like you get that much initially, but then it shuts down.

    Another thing - if you get some kind of external thermometer (like a thermometer app on your phone), what kinds of cabin temperatures are you seeing?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Inside EVs mobile app
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  16. Our car is still at the dealer with no resolution. They drove another Kona EV and temp was warmer and heat didn’t stop working. They are now starting to give us a Hyundai corporate response that car was designed with a lower temperature heater to maximize mileage. They even tried telling us that the reason the other Kona EV they tested may have worked better is because it is newer — less miles on it. WE ONLY HAVE 2,000 MILES.

    We could deal with the modest heat. But not with no heat at all which is what happens. They are saying we might have to take this up with Hyundai directly. Sounds like we may have a battle coming up.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  17. Francois

    Francois Active Member

    Total bullshit excuses from the dealer about the kilometers.

    I feel sorry for you and wish you the best of luck in getting this fixed.
  18. Paul DeLeon

    Paul DeLeon Active Member

    The solution is,I think, obvious. Hyundai should and must replace the inadequate electric heater with the heat pump used in the rest of the world.
    All Hyundai EV users should band together in support of JFree and all of us who were sold an inadequate product.
  19. What exactly have they done to figure out your problem? It honestly sounds like a problem with the PTC cabin heater itself or possibly the temperature sensor. The 5.5 kw PTC heater should put out loads of heat. Honestly it sounds like the service department has no clue. Irregardless what Hyundai corporate says you may need to try another dealer if you get no joy with your current one.
  20. Stopped by again today. They do think it has something to do with the PTC cabin heater and yes they have no clue how to fix this car. What they told me this morning is that they tested it against another Kona EV on the lot using their computer. They could get the other Kona to get the heater to turn on/off with the computer, but could only get ours to turn on/off once and a while. So they were talking about having to replace the PTC heater, which they told us is located behind the dashboard, which would require them disassembling the dashboard in order to get to it. They were waiting to get permission from Hyundai to order the parts they needed. As first he said they could probably get the part in 1-2 days. This afternoon my wife stopped by to extend the loaner car and was told we might not get the car back for 3-4 more weeks. Not sure if this means the part isn't readily available or not. I had been pushing the theory that there was an issue with the temperature sensor from the start, but after a week and a half they are finally getting around to this idea--apparently they were going through a series of steps that Hyundai was directing them to try.

    After hearing this, I called Hyundai Consumer affairs and opened a case on this issue. We leased our car and it is only 2 months only with maybe 2500 miles. I raised the issue that we have a lemon and want a new vehicle or some kind of monetary compensation since we are paying for a car we do not have and cannot drive--possibly for a total of 6 weeks. Was told they are looking into what can be done for us and that a case manager has been assigned and should reach out to us in two days.--Ugh.

    We like the car and have enjoyed driving it. Also installed a home charger and we now have to buy gas for a basic Elantra courtesy car which isn't even close to the Kona EV in amenities. The saga continues
    BC-Doc likes this.
  21. I'm not surprised they have yet given the go ahead from Hyundai. The PTC is a $1600 part, they will probably bill Hyundai at least the same in shop labor . If I was Hyundai I would want to be sure it was the PTC. That said it really does sound like the PTC.

    Looks like in NYS if the same problem cannot be repaired after four or more attempts, or if your car is out of service for 30 or more days, you may be entitled to a new car or refund under you lemon law. I think your options are to sue Hyundai or go through an approved arbitration program. I believe the better business bureau provides free arbitration (To file a complaint through the Bureau's AUTO LINE program call (800) 955-5100) and New York State Attorney General's provides an arbitration program with payment of a $200 filing fee.
  22. Sounds like you are doing everything properly on your part to have the problem resolved. Hyundai has been pretty good so far with warranty repairs although a little on the slow side when parts are required to be replaced.
    Hopefully they compensate you for your lost lease time and repair the car in a swift manor.
    It would sure be nice for Hyundai to start stocking some spare parts for these cars on our continent, or start sending them from S.Korea by air.

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