Charging Fault error.

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I just got the charging fault error very late on 12/12/17 and continued to get this error several charging attempts in a row where the car's LEDs wouldn't light up and the level 1 charger would say it was charging for a minute and then click off. Only once of these attempts the level 1 charger also reported a charging fault. I already had a service appointment for the morning of 12/13/17 for something less serious, so I took my car in to Southwest Kia of Dallas. No Dallas/Fort Worth area dealer is "EV certified" but I bought the car from Southwest Kia of Round Rock (near Austin) and the Dallas dealership seems willing to coordinate the transport of my vehicle with Kia and support me with a loaner car. (Dallas wanted to do the warranty work too, but apparently Kia said no.)
So on 12/14/17 my vehicle was transported from Dallas to Round Rock; nobody told me this, but I discovered on the UVO app where it reports a 0.6 mile trip from 6:44 to 6:45 from point A in Dallas to point B in Georgetown TX. (A-B actually being 161 miles apart) At this point I do not have a timeline for this repair and I am a bit nervous about it potentially impacting some travel plans, but so far so good.
Hi All

I have discovered and solved the charger (OBC) problem in Soul EV
it's need to change some parts in the OBC
Kia have never acknowledged that there is a problem with the OBC unit so the following is entirely speculation.

1. There is a problem that maybe has a 50-50 chance of occurring in the first 4 years of owning the car. It is 'fixed' by replacing the OBC.

2. The problem is caused by hairline fractures in the cooling pipes allowing liquid coolant to leak onto the electronics.

The inlet for the coolant looks like this.

If this is true, then a simple fix is obvious. Don't run coolant pipes through the electronics.

Here's a photo of the new K ona EV. You can see the coolant reservoir (green on the right) and the water pump ( on the left).
Very similar to the system on our cars.

But the new motor and electronics look like this. There are no coolant pipes going into the electronics.

A speculative theory is that the coolant is used to cool the battery not the OBC and EPCU.
Amazing video by Rich Rebuilds showing him taking apart a T esla M odel S OBC.
It is really difficult to access, and very, very difficult to take apart.
They use multiple hammers and a heavy duty plasma torch!

You can see the inlets for the liquid coolant. I assume it's glycol like ours, but dyed blue.

There is a heavy aluminium base plate below the main unit that was firmly glued to it, the coolant lines are on the underside of the main unit.

The main conclusion. The T esla OBC is over-engineered. It is much more expensive to build than ours.
If it went wrong it would be really expensive to service.
Our OBC however is easy to access, and to replace if something does go wrong.

However the coolant lines on our OBC are inside the main unit. If it leaks, this is a major problem.


Here's a video by T eslaBjorn discussing an OBC failure on a T esla M odel S

It seems the number of cars requiring new OBCs is much lower than before.
Perhaps most of us have had a replacement by now and these newer OBCs are working.

This thread is one of the longest and probably contains the most useful info on this forum.
But it is now too long for anyone to reasonably go through.
Also the search functionality on this site is awful. To find anything it is quicker and more effective to use Google.
Hence I am considering starting a new thread which has a first post that summarizes everything here.
Until I do I will just add interesting videos I find about other EVs and the OBC to keep bumping up this thread into the list of current pages.


Here's an interesting video from New Zealand about fixing a faulty OBC in a N issan L eaf.

In the previous cases of this fault that we are aware of, the solution was always to replace the entire on-board ch arger. However, when we were asked to diagnose and repair a 2011 N issan L eaf that had a charging fault we decided to take a look at what was actually failing in these ch argers. As it turned out, it was able to be fixed for less than a dollar worth of parts. The ch arger still needed to be completely removed from the vehicle for the repair, but that would needed to be done for a ch arger replacement anyway. We hope that this video helps other people from around the world with the same problem. PLEASE NOTE: The high voltage system on electric vehicles needs to be treated with extreme caution - we recommend this repair is only undertaken by people with the knowledge and experience to work on these vehicles safely.


I can charge fine on CHADMO, the granny lead and also my own tethered 16 AMP home charger.

However if I plug into a 6KW charger with my own lead supplied by kia, it stops charging.....

Does this look like an lead issue or an OBC issue, thanks, Car is a late 15.

Back in Dec 2017 I got the OBC firmware 'fix' on my original OBC. It didn't fix anything and I had my OBC replaced a few days later.

Here's the display from Kia's KDS tablet showing the new ROM ID.

I took my car in for a 50,000km service yesterday and asked them to check if there were any updates needed.
The only 1 was the OBC firmware 'fix' to update my new OBC.
It updates to the same ROM ID as the previous time. I am surprised the new OBC didn't already include the latest version.

Well, it looks like I’m joining the parade here. We have a 2016 which we leased in September of that year. It currently has a little under 31,000 miles on it. This morning my wife went to go to church and saw “charger error” on the dash display and “External Charger Error” on the infotainment screen. We cleared the message and she went down to church.

Upon her return I plugged the EVSE in (Clipper Creek level 2 that we’ve been using for all but the first six weeks or so of having the Soul). It indicates it is starting to charge, the dash display gives a silly charge time (as if it were level 1) then in a minute or so it just stops. I reset the EVSE (cycled the breaker). No change. No errors on the charger. The three blue LEDs flash once in unison as it kicks off.

So I dug out the level 1 that came with the car and tried that. Same result. It starts to charge then a minute or so later it just stops.

Our plan had been to buy the 2020 Soul EV when the lease was up on this (assuming that they are available here by mid-September). How the dealer handles this will have a big influence on whether or not that’s what we do. Nothing much else will happen today, it being Sunday.

There’s plenty of charge to reach the dealer at least. However their online service scheduling tool shows the first available slot almost a week away. I will just have to call them in the morning. *sigh* update: When I called the dealer I leased from this morning (Kia of Puyallup). I got offered a service slot late NEXT week for diagnosis. I told them that was not acceptable as the car was essentially useless to me and I was told a service advisor would call me back. So far (this has been about four hours) none has.

I also took the car down to the nearest Blink Level 3 charger (2.7 miles away per PlugShare) and found, much to my relief, that I CAN charge it on level 3 (to 80%, of course). So at least I have a way to still use it while I wait to get it "diagnosed". Interestingly I am still getting "charger fault" and sometimes "external charger fault" messages upon starting up, even after coming off the Level 3 (which I've used twice so far today).

I further called another dealer which has a good reputation around here (Lee Johnson in Kirkland) - and was offered a service appointment on May 10th!! I don't know what's going on with Kia service in this area, but something certainly is.

Just now I went back on the leasing dealer's online service scheduling tool and found an opening for Thursday afternoon - so three days from now. That's better than next week. We shall see what happens then.

In the meantime, I have 74% charge when I get back up the hill from the Blink charger at Walgreens, so we have effectively a 60-mile range at the moment (and much more expensive electricity than charging level 2 at home).

On a related note, I got a look at the Niro EV at the other dealer yesterday. Interesting....but starting at over $40K for the base trim. :shock:
I'll have to keep an eye on this, since Kia of Puyallup is the closest dealer for me, also. I bought my 2016 from Lee Johnson a couple months ago, but going there for service from Tacoma would be a hassle. The sales manager at Lee Johnson suggested going to Puyallup for service, I hope they know what they are doing!
I’m not surprised you got it at Lee Johnson. There were over a dozen 2015 and 2016 Soul EVs on the used car lot down in front of the Chevy store when I was up there yesterday. That along with at least four new Niro EVs and probably at least two dozen new Chevy Bolts and that was the most EVs I’ve seen in one place, ever.

One couple who took a test drive in a Niro EV told me they had a Soul EV, a Nissan Leaf that’s about to come off lease and a Tesla Model 3 (in which they left after their test drive). But it IS Kirkland, Washington after all.... ;)

I’ll update here when there is more to tell. I still haven’t gotten my call back, and I even requested a check for stock on the OBC via a chat session after I made my online appointment. Crickets so far. *sigh*
Well, our Soul EV is at Kia of Puyallup and I have a 2017 gas base Soul in the driveway as a loaner. While they didn't explicitly confirm that their testing was the OBC, they did tell me that due to the cost of the part they believe they need they have to do some calling tomorrow. That, to me, confirmed it. Until I hear the results of those calls I don't know how long I'll be feeding the loaner. The service manager who filled out the loaner paperwork put "????" in the "expected return" field on the form.

We shall see what comes next. But so far, other than the lead time to even get the car seen, things have been going about as smoothly as they could under the circumstances.

While I was waiting on the diagnosis I chatted up a salesman and also the financing manager around alternatives when the lease is due on 9/15. One data point is that they just received their first four Niro EVs....but they don't know when/if they will see the 2020 Soul EV. I see comments on the Soul EV Facebook page group that it may not be for some time.
I repaired my OBC.
The problem in capacitors 1mkf








Replaced by this


Changed both

Now charge ;)
Now under repair one more. The fault is the same, burnt capacitors. There will be a result, I will write.
So the question as I see it; is this the common problem with the OBC failures with our cars and has Kia updated the replacement parts to avoid this problem in the future?