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I know this thread is just about 7 years old, but no one seems to have actually completed the Big 3 upgrade to their Optima’s. I have a 2015 SXLT and want to upgrade the audio by throwing in a Kenwood XR-10001 which is 1000w RMS @ 2 ohms. I’m a little worried it might put too high of a strain on the factory alternator if I don’t, however above there was mention that KIA has advised against altering the negative terminal of the battery. Has anyone actually completed this or even completed upgrading just the other 2?
I may just bite the bullet and try it out on my 2011 SX. I’ve been running a 1100rms amp with my sub with no real dimming or power problems (not sure if it’s really pulling exactly that in reality, I think it’s got 3x30 amp fuses on the amp), but I’m looking to add another 300 watts on top of that when I install my component speakers and amp in the spring, so I’m worried~1400 watts may be too much.

I think the problem with only upgrading the other two is that the most important one (and usually the most undersized) is the negative battery to ground one...so it may be sort of a moot point to just do the other 2, but I guess it couldn’t hurt to do the other ones. I haven’t really researched a ton or been able to find much info, but I wonder if there’s a way to get the stock sensor installed onto and in line with a new bigger gauge wire...I was thinking of going knukonceptz ofc 0-gauge just to be safe. I mean there’s gotta be a way to do that, just not sure how much work it would entail. I’m not on great terms with my local dealership anymore and will not be going back after they messed with some of my custom LED wiring and didn’t say **** to me when I picked it up after a recall fix, and they broke off or removed the filter from my turbo exhaust/recycler. I’m sure they would probably say it’s impossible or not advised and we can’t do that anyway...maybe a independent mechanic would be able to figure it out. I will give you an update if I find any info or end up just going for it.
 

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I think the biggest problem is that the sensor sends signals to the ECM like voltage current and temperature. Just changing to a battery with different factory specs could give a check engine light. However looking at the cable does seem like it could be upgraded by replacing and re-attaching a new 0 guage wire after the sensor.
 

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I think the biggest problem is that the sensor sends signals to the ECM like voltage current and temperature. Just changing to a battery with different factory specs could give a check engine light. However looking at the cable does seem like it could be upgraded by replacing and re-attaching a new 0 guage wire after the sensor.
Interesting...I wonder if it would give any increase current flow or if the sensor itself would become a bottleneck...I guess it couldn’t hurt things...what do you think that cable is like 4 gauge stock? You think they used ofc or just CCA?

Trying to decide if I need to/should do 0 gauge or if 4 gauge OFC would be enough...in probably going to be running like 1100rms class d and no more than 300rms class AB amp when I install my component speakers.
 

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Hopefully this is helpful to anyone who is trying to upgrade the battery ground part of the big 3.

I was able to add a 1/0 gauge battery ground recently using a "Ultimate Negative Battery Terminal" with a negative top post adaptor (both made by KnuKonceptz). Other than the cable being a tight fit so close to the fuse box, it worked pretty well. The only caveat is that I had to find a stub nose hex key to be able to tighten down the new terminal.

I wasn't able to make the positive 1/0 gauge run to the trunk work with KnuKonceptz's positive terminal because there isn't a way to realign the factory terminal that fits this particular design. I just went with a ring terminal directly under the bolt that tightens down the factory terminal to the positive post.

I'm not sure if I'll hit the other two of the big 3 yet unless I have any problems with power later. It's not obvious where the chassis ground is and I can't even see where the positive comes off the alternator because of the position she's in. I'll probably seek out a mechanic if it comes to that.

Ultimate Negative Battery Terminal
Top post adapter

248483
 

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Hopefully this is helpful to anyone who is trying to upgrade the battery ground part of the big 3.

I was able to add a 1/0 gauge battery ground recently using a "Ultimate Negative Battery Terminal" with a negative top post adaptor (both made by KnuKonceptz). Other than the cable being a tight fit so close to the fuse box, it worked pretty well. The only caveat is that I had to find a stub nose hex key to be able to tighten down the new terminal.

I wasn't able to make the positive 1/0 gauge run to the trunk work with KnuKonceptz's positive terminal because there isn't a way to realign the factory terminal that fits this particular design. I just went with a ring terminal directly under the bolt that tightens down the factory terminal to the positive post.

I'm not sure if I'll hit the other two of the big 3 yet unless I have any problems with power later. It's not obvious where the chassis ground is and I can't even see where the positive comes off the alternator because of the position she's in. I'll probably seek out a mechanic if it comes to that.

Ultimate Negative Battery Terminal
Top post adapter

View attachment 248483
 

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Good lookin our Skuba. Let us know if you ever get around to doing the others. I did happen to order both of the KnuKonceptz pieces already and have them sitting in the garage. I’ve been waiting till I pick up a new Optima battery before I install them
 

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Hopefully this is helpful to anyone who is trying to upgrade the battery ground part of the big 3.

I was able to add a 1/0 gauge battery ground recently using a "Ultimate Negative Battery Terminal" with a negative top post adaptor (both made by KnuKonceptz). Other than the cable being a tight fit so close to the fuse box, it worked pretty well. The only caveat is that I had to find a stub nose hex key to be able to tighten down the new terminal.

I wasn't able to make the positive 1/0 gauge run to the trunk work with KnuKonceptz's positive terminal because there isn't a way to realign the factory terminal that fits this particular design. I just went with a ring terminal directly under the bolt that tightens down the factory terminal to the positive post.

I'm not sure if I'll hit the other two of the big 3 yet unless I have any problems with power later. It's not obvious where the chassis ground is and I can't even see where the positive comes off the alternator because of the position she's in. I'll probably seek out a mechanic if it comes to that.

Ultimate Negative Battery Terminal
Top post adapter

View attachment 248483
very cool...no issues with warning lights popping up or charging issues due to the added line bypassing the negative terminal voltage sensor?

keep us updated, I will definitely be looking to do this upgrade this summer, especially if you report no issues with the negative wire...the one I was most concerned with. Did you ground it to chassis or the engine block?
 

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very cool...no issues with warning lights popping up or charging issues due to the added line bypassing the negative terminal voltage sensor?

keep us updated, I will definitely be looking to do this upgrade this summer, especially if you report no issues with the negative wire...the one I was most concerned with. Did you ground it to chassis or the engine block?
I used the same chassis ground location the factory ground uses.

I was pleasantly surprised to have no warning lights or charging issues as of yet. I've probably put about 100 or so miles on it like this and haven't noticed any charging issues at all. However, at the moment, I only have one amp running for the four new door speakers pushing around 75 or so RMS each (if the manufacturer specs are correct). I'll be adding another amp this weekend and some subs that will add an additional 650 or so RMS. I'll also be installing an audio capacitor for the larger amp to help with the sudden amperage draws. But, I'll find out after that whether or not I'll need to look into doing the other parts of the big 3.
 

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I used the same chassis ground location the factory ground uses.

I was pleasantly surprised to have no warning lights or charging issues as of yet. I've probably put about 100 or so miles on it like this and haven't noticed any charging issues at all. However, at the moment, I only have one amp running for the four new door speakers pushing around 75 or so RMS each (if the manufacturer specs are correct). I'll be adding another amp this weekend and some subs that will add an additional 650 or so RMS. I'll also be installing an audio capacitor for the larger amp to help with the sudden amperage draws. But, I'll find out after that whether or not I'll need to look into doing the other parts of the big 3.
Oh cool. I’d say do the rest of the big 3 before getting a cap...but most people won’t benefit at all from a capacitor.
I’ve been running 1100watts rms to a 15” sub for the past 6 years with no need for a cap...really no dimming either, but since I’m planning on adding a second 300 watt amp for front component speakers I figured I’d try to do the big three, since I wanted to upgrade my KK 4awg ofc wire to 0awg. I figured buying another 10-15ft with some connectors and adapters isn’t that expensive when shipping is pretty much flat rate from KK from having to order 0awg wire already for my trunk run.
That’s good to hear about no charging issues or warning lights...keep me posted!
 

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I have a 17 base model... I had a kicker component system installed 300 watt amp, 3 years ago. Two weeks ago roughly I had compvr kickers 12’s and Kenwood 1000 watt amp installed that I got from my nephew. Let me tell you, it was hitting hard as ****. That is until I volunteered to cover a shift and sat in a parking lot for too many hours with the car running. First light to come on was the steering light, then when i moved the car, the abs and and traction light came on. Turned the car off, tried to start it and dead. Still had enough power to lock doors put up windows etc. jumped it and made it 20 miles and then the Christmas tree of lights. So jumped it again and let it sit for 30 or some minutes and made it the rest of the 40 miles home (barely). Let it sit on the charger overnight and took it to a friends shop, replaced the alternator (nope)...and the belts because why not at 86k. Then we changed the battery (nope). So calling the shop I had the subs installed they tell me nope you can’t sit idle for long, because the alternator isn’t going to handle it, it’s gotta keep moving (insert expletive and I’m too old for this (expletive). So, the folks at Kia tell me the same thing. So now we are at the Kia dealership (yay). I didn’t do the big 3, **** didn’t even know about it until all this happened. I'll keep you all posted when I find out the cause, but I won’t be sitting idle anymore beyond 30 minutes.
 

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I have a 17 base model... I had a kicker component system installed 300 watt amp, 3 years ago. Two weeks ago roughly I had compvr kickers 12’s and Kenwood 1000 watt amp installed that I got from my nephew. Let me tell you, it was hitting hard as *. That is until I volunteered to cover a shift and sat in a parking lot for too many hours with the car running. First light to come on was the steering light, then when i moved the car, the abs and and traction light came on. Turned the car off, tried to start it and dead. Still had enough power to lock doors put up windows etc. jumped it and made it 20 miles and then the Christmas tree of lights. So jumped it again and let it sit for 30 or some minutes and made it the rest of the 40 miles home (barely). Let it sit on the charger overnight and took it to a friends shop, replaced the alternator (nope)...and the belts because why not at 86k. Then we changed the battery (nope). So calling the shop I had the subs installed they tell me nope you can’t sit idle for long, because the alternator isn’t going to handle it, it’s gotta keep moving (insert expletive and I’m too old for this (expletive). So, the folks at Kia tell me the same thing. So now we are at the Kia dealership (yay). I didn’t do the big 3, * didn’t even know about it until all this happened. I'll keep you all posted when I find out the cause, but I won’t be sitting idle anymore beyond 30 minutes.
****, hope you get it sorted...but definitely keep us posted what the weak point turned out to be. I have an older model 2011sx, but I’m assuming a lot of it is very similar. I still haven’t done the big 3 yet but I’m thinking of doing it before I reinstall my 1100watt amp...currently just running an old 12” infinity sub while I build a new box for my 15” sub. I’ve run the 1100 watt sub for years on stock electrical with no serious issues besides maybe draining my battery once or twice. I’ve usually don’t run it for more than 20 minutes or so idling with moderate to loud volumes. If I am sitting for awhile I usually was just playing at lower volumes. But yea once I reinstall my 1100 watt and sub and then put my component speakers in with the old 300rms amp I’m currently using I’m seriously considering doing the big 3. With my current job I literally work 2 mins away and I rarely drive anywhere too far lately so I think my alt probably doesn’t spin up high enough with my current commute...so I’m thinking with 1400watts my electrical system could use a little help with that. I hope skubasteve provides an update about the big 3, I’m curious to see if he’s had any issues with engine lights from voltage sensor abnormalities, due to the extra wires “siphoning” off the current and running on the bigger upgraded wire instead of the smaller stock wire.
 

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I used the same chassis ground location the factory ground uses.

I was pleasantly surprised to have no warning lights or charging issues as of yet. I've probably put about 100 or so miles on it like this and haven't noticed any charging issues at all. However, at the moment, I only have one amp running for the four new door speakers pushing around 75 or so RMS each (if the manufacturer specs are correct). I'll be adding another amp this weekend and some subs that will add an additional 650 or so RMS. I'll also be installing an audio capacitor for the larger amp to help with the sudden amperage draws. But, I'll find out after that whether or not I'll need to look into doing the other parts of the big 3.
Hey, could I get an update about the big 3? Has it given you any trouble with charging or sensor lights due to the extra wiring?
 

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Heard from the dealer, first there were 2 recalls, so you all might want to look into it. As I never received any information about a recall.. imagine that. Anyway, so they are replacing the battery sensor.. unknown if this will fix the issue I’m having, but they can’t go any further until this is replaced. So I’ll update in the next few days hopefully with the solution to my issue.
 

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ah ok. Not sure if I was on the same recall or not. I recently had my car serviced so they would’ve fixed it either way.
 

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ah ok. Not sure if I was on the same recall or not. I recently had my car serviced so they would’ve fixed it either way.
Verdict is the battery sensor. Now the issue is back to the alternator that was just installed is apparently bad. I can’t win I tell you... $1,400 in now.
 

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Verdict is the battery sensor. Now the issue is back to the alternator that was just installed is apparently bad. I can’t win I tell you... $1,400 in now.
Ouch. None of that was covered under warranty? Or are they claiming you voided it by simply installing a **** stereo? I’m nervous my 10 year/100k powertrain warranty is set to expire next year I think...I really hope this car doesn’t turn into a money pit like some cars do, but knock on wood, so far the 2011 SX hasn’t been too bad...besides a few recall repairs and routine maintenance the only other thing I had to get repaired which actually got covered anyway due to creative omission was when I blew the wastegate on the turbo by accidentally pressing the paddle shifter with my knee. I think my idiot ass was using my left knee to steer and downshifted and then jamming the gas blew the wastegate. The younger version of me was so stupid and careless lol. Good luck with the repairs...I’d inquire about warranty though, at least on the replacement parts. Make sure they aren’t going to not cover it because there is aftermarket stereo (just in case something turns out to be defective again). The only thing a properly installed stereo should do to a good alt is maybe cause it to wear out a bit quicker, and the sensor should be unaffected.
 

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Ouch. None of that was covered under warranty? Or are they claiming you voided it by simply installing a **** stereo? I’m nervous my 10 year/100k powertrain warranty is set to expire next year I think...I really hope this car doesn’t turn into a money pit like some cars do, but knock on wood, so far the 2011 SX hasn’t been too bad...besides a few recall repairs and routine maintenance the only other thing I had to get repaired which actually got covered anyway due to creative omission was when I blew the wastegate on the turbo by accidentally pressing the paddle shifter with my knee. I think my idiot ass was using my left knee to steer and downshifted and then jamming the gas blew the wastegate. The younger version of me was so stupid and careless lol. Good luck with the repairs...I’d inquire about warranty though, at least on the replacement parts. Make sure they aren’t going to not cover it because there is aftermarket stereo (just in case something turns out to be defective again). The only thing a properly installed stereo should do to a good alt is maybe cause it to wear out a bit quicker, and the sensor should be unaffected.
Yup! Basically after all said and done I’ve learned a now $1,525 lesson. Do not by any means sit idle with your amp on, as the alternator will get hot and melt internal components and the positive terminal where the alternator fused link is will get hot and start melting some **** too. As I understand it, once you have drained your battery from sitting, the alternator starts to attempt to charge but it’s not going to be able to and will then overheat. So the alternator, battery and battery sensor was all replaced. Also learned do not attempt to get a non Kia alternator, as you’re just better off spending the extra money. So long as you’re driving around and such you’ll be fine, but sitting for long periods of time.... it’s going to cost you in repairs.!

I asked the audio shop about doing a capacitor, he didn’t feel it would really do anything to help. He did recommend adding the biggest ADM battery and putting that in the trunk.
 

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ouch. That’s an expensive lesson. Were you using a non-Kia alternator when this all happened? I’ve been using the stock one for like 8 years, and have sat idle with the car running (and even just off battery) with an 1100rms amp playing. Granted I don’t usually blast it while idle and not moving, or at least not for more than like a song or two. I have played at Low-moderate volumes for like over an hour before just idling. Worst I’ve ever had was a drained battery from playing too much and then not letting it recharge the battery enough before shutting off.

I’m definitely going to look into adding the big 3 though once I reinstall my 1100 watt amp with my 15” sub and repurpose this old 300watt amp for my old set of component speakers from my previous car. I never got any dimming so I’m thinking the 1100 rms amp probably doesn’t put out quite that much rms, but I think adding that with a 300 watt amp might be a bit too much on stock wiring.
 

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ouch. That’s an expensive lesson. Were you using a non-Kia alternator when this all happened? I’ve been using the stock one for like 8 years, and have sat idle with the car running (and even just off battery) with an 1100rms amp playing. Granted I don’t usually blast it while idle and not moving, or at least not for more than like a song or two. I have played at Low-moderate volumes for like over an hour before just idling. Worst I’ve ever had was a drained battery from playing too much and then not letting it recharge the battery enough before shutting off.

I’m definitely going to look into adding the big 3 though once I reinstall my 1100 watt amp with my 15” sub and repurpose this old 300watt amp for my old set of component speakers from my previous car. I never got any dimming so I’m thinking the 1100 rms amp probably doesn’t put out quite that much rms, but I think adding that with a 300 watt amp might be a bit too much on stock wiring.
if you’re asking about the alternator I had when my car was in the shop, it was the original alternator.

I’m not talking about sitting for a few minutes or even an hour. I’m talking about several hours of idling.

I’m running 2 12’s on a 1000 watt amp, and my component system on 300 watts. So yeah that extended idling isn’t good at all. Driving around I’m good cause I didn’t have issues until I was sitting for several hours.
 
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