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Old 07-10-2016, 03:25 PM  
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Default Help! My karma won't start

Hi friends, I need some help. For what I think is the first time, my Karma will not start. I will describe what the indicators are, I can't seem to get my photos uploaded (they are sized wrong, I'll have to work on that, but until then...).

​When I get into the car, it wakes up. Starts out normal, but then the 'no foot on the brake' indicator comes up, as well as a battery signal. Last night, there was also a message, something like HV battery error, see your dealer. (We were in a hurry, so took another vehicle, left the car on the charger, hopefully to cure itself, no luck). Today, no other indicators. In addition, the power button does not light up. Foot on the brake or no, nothing happens when I push the button. For diagnostic help, the screen also shows empty gas tank (wrong, it is close to full) and a full battery (correct, it had been on the charger overnight.) The PRNDL has the P lighted.

The car has some power, it wakes up when the door is opened. And it makes the waking up noise, and also the going to sleep noise.

What should I do? Fortunately, my Karma passed the 70 point inspection and I purchased the warranty. So it couldn't be a battery problem, could it?

Thanks for any help. Please term things such that a person who has no mechanical skill and (tries to) purchase cars from a dealer for just such help can understand what to do.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:40 PM  
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UPDATE: This morning I did not have the keyfob with me, which is likely why the power button did not light up. Of course, I did have the key fob with me last evening, when the trouble started.

After JCMerrill was kind enough to give the tip, I went out to see what would happen if I had the key fob in the car. The update is this: I can't even get in. The car has locked itself and will not unlock, with either key fob.

Any help will be much appreciated. I've been searching the forums for info, but haven't found anything. I did replug the car in, but doubt that is going to do much.

Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:09 PM  
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Originally Posted by EVer1 View Post
UPDATE: This morning I did not have the keyfob with me, which is likely why the power button did not light up. Of course, I did have the key fob with me last evening, when the trouble started.

After JCMerrill was kind enough to give the tip, I went out to see what would happen if I had the key fob in the car. The update is this: I can't even get in. The car has locked itself and will not unlock, with either key fob.

Any help will be much appreciated. I've been searching the forums for info, but haven't found anything. I did replug the car in, but doubt that is going to do much.

Thanks for any assistance.
If the car is totally dead, the most likely culprit is the 12V battery. Use the emergency key in the fob to open the passenger side door and open the hood.
You should be able to jump start the car with another car or a portable battery. This will solve the immediate problem, but will not work in the long term and you should consider replacing the 12V battery.

This video describes the procedure:

https://youtu.be/1QKi2zYXm0A

Best of luck.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:54 PM  
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Thanks, Fab, and especially for the youtube video. I had been searching all over for instructions on how to jump the battery. Sadly, the emergency key won't even open the door! That's right! Neither one will.

It did work, once. I got in, closed the door and climbed to the drivers side to see what I could get to work, and try a few things I found when searching the buzz. Then the doors wouldn't open from the inside! I was stuck in the car. I found the emergency O ring release (new owners, you should learn where this is!) and was able to get out. But now, as mentioned, the emergency key will not open the door.

Does anyone know, if you use the emergency release, does that disable the emergency key?
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:53 PM  
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does the key fit and turn and wont open or does it not fit at all?

Worst case scenario you may have to swap the 12v or jump the battery before you gain access to the vehicle.

The emergency pull rings should not have an effect on the emergency key (unless the manual release clip physically came loose). I have heard stories about Valmet using wrong key tumblers when assembling Karma's or not attaching the manual clip release all the way. I assume your manual release clip just came loose (common problem) and the key just rotates or the tumbler gets pushed into the door with little to no effect.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:46 PM  
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Originally Posted by EVer1 View Post
Thanks, Fab, and especially for the youtube video. I had been searching all over for instructions on how to jump the battery. Sadly, the emergency key won't even open the door! That's right! Neither one will.

It did work, once. I got in, closed the door and climbed to the drivers side to see what I could get to work, and try a few things I found when searching the buzz. Then the doors wouldn't open from the inside! I was stuck in the car. I found the emergency O ring release (new owners, you should learn where this is!) and was able to get out. But now, as mentioned, the emergency key will not open the door.

Does anyone know, if you use the emergency release, does that disable the emergency key?
You are welcome; hope it is helpful.

Every car is different, but in my car, the emergency key takes a bit of effort to turn counterclockwise to open the passenger side door, particularly because the key stem is very small and hard to get a good grasp. I tried it very recently and it took a lot more effort than I expected. I don't want to encourage you to damage the lock, but you may want to give it another try with a bit more umph.

The battery is located behind the right front tire. While it is possible to replace the battery without opening up the hood, it would be safer to disconnect the negative cable from inside the engine compartment before disconnecting the battery.

AFAIK, there is no emergency release for the hood, but the real experts like @FiskerPhilly or @Harleyguy need to weigh in on this.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Fabulist; 07-10-2016 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:09 PM  
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The valet key should work the cable that connects the lock cylinder to the inner door lock is very short and very tight you need to turn it very hard I think counterclockwise. Sounds to be you need a new 12 volt battery .
The battery might of had enough energy left to open the doors but not enough to put into ready mode. I've seen many batteries just drop dead for no reason . If you get the car into ready mode with a jump start I would replace the 12 volt battery
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:51 AM  
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Hello again friends. My lovely Karma is ready to be on the road again as a daily driver. You were all correct that the 12 volt battery was dead.

Loath as we are to do work on the complicated Karma, my husband was able to recharge the battery, and then replaced it. And he was able to put everything back together again, somewhat to my surprise.

The valet key issue is something of a mystery. It worked fine for me the first time. Would not work for any of us in the household the second time, but this morning worked again, though a bit stiff. Once in the car, he was able to release the hood to get to the battery terminals to re-charge it.

My spouse doesn't drive the Karma, so isn't as familiar with the forums. He didn't expect that the usual suspects: Sears, O'Rielly, Costco would not know what battery fits the Karma. Batteries Plus has everything, including the exact replacement battery, so he was finally successful.

For those who haven't done so - I advise replacing your battery. I planned to do so when I had my 70pt inspection, but forgot. Big mistake. I have a reminder set to replace mine well before the expected life.

Many thanks for the help friends. I didn't feel quite so alone with Fab, PowerSource, Harleyguy and JCMerrill offering helpful tips. Thank you!
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:14 AM  
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Fantastic! Glad to hear it!
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