The Hyundai Kona is one of the favorite subcompact SUVs in North America.
As with any vehicle, the Kona’s alarm can be triggered for mysterious reasons.
In this article, we’ll dive into the causes and solutions identified by real-life Hyundai Kona owners.
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Why Does My Hyundai Kona Alarm Keep Going Off?
The Hyundai Kona’s alarm can be triggered by a faulty key fob, a dying or weak 12V battery, or accidental pressing of the panic alarm.
1. Faulty Key Fob
A dirty or faulty key fob or low key fob battery can trigger the Kona’s alarm to go off randomly. It can also prevent you from locking/unlocking the car, or starting the car.
Key Fob Battery
The leading cause of intermittent false alarms and the alarm going off randomly is a dying key fob battery.
This happened to one Kona owner who shared their experience on HyundaiKonaForum.com:
“2020 Limited USA. Has this happened to anyone else. Several times now after shutting down via push button my car gives me message that “key fob not in car” and keeps an alarm going. This has happened with both fobs. My key fob was in the car. To stop this alarm I needed to start car again and shut down?”
Another poster shared the solution:
“Sounds like a loose or defective battery in the key fobs.”
Replacing the battery of the key fob was reiterated by another commenter in the thread.
“If you’ve either not replaced the battery in the fob or just replaced it after a year, I’d replace it with a new battery just to eliminate the possibility of a weak battery or lose battery connection in the fob and go from there.”
The Hyundai Kona’s key fob uses a CR2032 battery, which is cheap and readily available – even in supermarkets.
Ensure that the battery position is correct, and the battery connects to the contact points.
If the problem persists, it is best to take it to a dealer or an auto-electrician to test or replace the fob.
Dirty Key Fob
A dirty key fob can also cause alarm issues, its easy for dirt, dust and bits of fluff to enter the fob and impede the electrical contacts.
Open your Kona’s key fob (as if to replace the battery) and clean any debris that may have entered the fob.
Clean the battery contacts carefully with some rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth.
Reinstall the battery cover and fob case. You can test the key fob by locking/unlocking your Kona.
2. Dying or Weak 12V Battery
If the 12V battery is dying or has an insufficient voltage, it can trigger the Kona’s alarm.
This is a leading cause of intermittent false alarms and mysterious nuisance alarms.
A 12V battery usually last 3 – 5 years before needing to be replaced.
Before swapping the battery, inspecting the one under your Kona’s hood is worthwhile.
A loose or faulty connection can also cause the battery to malfunction.
If you have a multimeter, check the battery yourself. If not, head to your nearest AutoZone – they offer free battery health checks.
You can also try disconnecting the battery, cleaning the battery’s terminals, and then reconnecting the battery. When reconnecting the battery, ensure the connections are tight and free of any obstructions on the terminals.
You can clean the terminals of your 12V battery using a toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture.
3. Accidental Press of Panic Alarm
One simple and often overlooked reason for a false alarm on the Kona, is accidentally pressing the panic alarm.
This can be easily done when the fob is in your pocket especially when wearing tight clothes or bending down to pick something up.
Here is what the manual says:
Panic button (if equipped)
Press and hold the Panic button for more than one second. The horn sounds and hazard warning lights flash for about 30 seconds. To cancel the panic mode, press any button on the remote key.
If you have the Bluelink app you can check this for clues as to why your alarm is going off.
It is best to check the app when the alarm is going off.
Disconnect the Battery
Sometimes mysterious alarm problems can disappear with a simple reboot, there are no guarantees here but it’s worth a try.
Disconnect the battery for 20 seconds and this resets many of the electronics in the vehicle.
Make Sure All Doors Are Shut Properly
This is sometimes overlooked, but make sure all doors, trunk and hood are shut properly.
Check For Warning Messages
When the alarm occurs can you see any lights or warning messages on the instrument panel?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the alarm e.g. ‘Hood Ajar’.
Take it to a Hyundai Dealership
If needed, take your Palisade to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
If you’re car is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.
Check for Recalls or TSBs:
By entering your car’s VIN number on Hyundai’s recall page or the NTHSA’s Safety Issues & Recalls page you can determine whether or not there is a TSB or recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it addressed.
A recall is issued by a vehicle manufacturer for issues that are safety-related, while a TSB covers components that may be malfunctioning but don’t compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Interestingly, Hyundai (and sister company Kia) issued a massive software update and recall for 4 million vehicles across both manufacturers after a TikTok video went viral and showed how easy it was for would-be robbers to gain access to the vehicles and start the cars without a key.
Kona models years 2018 to 2022 were affected, and a security software update will remedy the situation.
Kona owners are requested to visit the Hyundai dedicated website at hyundaiantitheft.com for more information.
Owners can type in their vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine when their Konas are eligible for this security software update.
The update applies to Kona models without the keyless feature. A Kona owner on the HyundaiKonaForum.com shared that the software update was available:
“I had the software update installed this morning on my 2019 Kona SE with mechanical ignition switch. Took about 30 minutes. Each of the front windows now have a new anti-theft sticker.”
Test the 12V Battery
How to Test the Battery
- Before testing, remove the surface charge from the battery, this allows for an accurate reading.
- Simply turn on the headlights for 2 minutes then turn off.
- Set the multimeter dial to the ’20 Volts’ setting.
- Make sure the car is turned OFF
The multimeter will have a red probe and a black probe:
- The red probe is for making contact with the positive terminal
- The black probe is for making contact with the negative terminal.
Measure across the battery terminals.
- The meter should display a reading, if the battery is fully charged the voltage should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.
- Anything under 12V and the battery should be charged or replaced.