Kia Sportage Fuel Pump Problems: Symptoms!

If you are here it is because you have Kia Sportage fuel pump problems. On modern fuel injected vehicles, the fuel pump sits right in the fuel tank and “Push” the gasoline to the fuel lines.

The fuel pump is in the fuel tank because “Push” fuel to fuel rail is easier than “to throw” of fuel, which is what an in-line pump would do. While being in the fuel tank makes the pump more reliable, it also makes it much harder to get to.

Symptoms of a Kia Sportage Fuel Pump Problem

Sportage Fuel Pump Failure
Kia Sportage LX 2.0 AWD 2013

There are physical signs you can feel when your Kia Sportage’s fuel pump is failing. Before you take anything apart, check to see if your engine computer has any trouble codes stored in it.

The engine may return a P0087 fault code. This fault code detects that the fuel system pressure is too low. Any fault codes that exist could be a clue.

Sometimes when there is low fuel pressure, you can also get an oxygen sensor related trouble code as well. The real problem with diagnosing a bad fuel pump is that it resembles many other vehicle problems in terms of symptoms. Also, the symptoms are almost exactly the same as those of a bad or clogged fuel filter.

Here are the most common symptoms of a bad fuel pump on a Kia Sportage:

1- Moaning noise

One of the most common signs that the fuel pump is failing is a groaning sound. This sound may indicate that the fuel pump is failing before there are performance issues.

Keeping a listening ear can save you from getting stuck somewhere with a bad fuel pump. It will sound like a low frequency buzz.

2- Crackling when accelerating

The only way to know that the fuel pump of your Kia Sportage is failing it’s that it’s no longer providing enough fuel pressure to keep the engine running under heavy load, or at high speed. Normally, if you’re going up a hill (or speeding up) the engine can start to feel like it’s running out of fuel. That’s what it feels like to have a bad fuel pump.

Now a bad fuel pump can also feel like a bad catalytic converter. Both of these conditions will make the engine feel like it’s running out of wind when you hit the throttle.

A bad catalytic converter won’t feel like a jolt. It’s a mild lack of power. Although you should know that if you get trouble codes P0420 or P0430 with a scanner, it is very possible that it is the catalytic converter that is causing these symptoms.

3- Difficulty starting the engine

One of the best indicators of a clogged fuel pump is going to be that your Kia Sportage will have trouble starting. This is because there is not enough fuel pressure to properly atomize the fuel as it enters the combustion chamber.

If your Kia Sportage is hard to start, a bad fuel pump probably isn’t the place to start looking, especially if you don’t get a fuel-related trouble code.

Instead, we recommend taking a look at the ignition system first. Often it’s bad spark plugs, or a bad coil pack.

4- The engine does not start

If the fuel pump has completely failed, your vehicle’s engine will not start at all.

At the most basic of levels, your Kia Sportage needs three things to start: Air, fuel, and spark. If any of these things are missing, the engine will not start at all.

If there has been no warning that the fuel pump might be failing (hesitation, hard starting, etc.) then it should not be automatically assumed that there is a problem with your Kia Sportage’s fuel pump.

How to change a fuel pump on a KIA Sportage?

Bad Fuel Pump From A Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage Pro 2.0 LX 4WD 2008

The Kia company gave the famous Sportage SUV a very relatively simple pump design. The fuel pump on this vehicle is easily accessible thanks to an access cover in the rear trunk.

Many other SUVs must be lifted and supported to gain access to the fuel pump. The fuel pump is located in the same place on all Sportage models, including the facelift model.

  1. You must first release the pressure in the fuel lines before starting the process. You must remove the fuel cap and also the fuel pump relay which is located in the fuse box on the engine.
  1. Now you need to start the engine and let it run until it finally shuts off.. This will relieve most of the pressure and gasoline from the fuel lines. Next you should disconnect the negative cable of the battery after calming the pressure of the fuel system.
  1. The next thing to do is open the rear hatch and lower the rear seats. To then remove the cargo liner and cargo area carpet to expose the fuel tank access panel.
  1. Remove the screws around the fuel tank access cover, then open the cover. Then disconnect the electrical connections from the fuel pump. Now you need to disconnect the fuel inlet and outlet lines from the pump by removing the clamps that attached the hose. If the ducts (lines) are not labeled, mark them so you know which is inside and which is outside.
  1. Remove the screws (or bolts) that secure the fuel pump assembly. You should know that older models have 8 screws. The newer ones have bolts that require a socket wrench to be able to remove them. Don’t forget to wrap the fuel pump assembly with a rag or towel to reduce spillage, and then twist and remove it.
  1. Time to install the new fuel pump and attach with screws or bolts. Again you must reconnect the fuel lines and the respective electrical connections. Reinstall the gas tank access cover and replace the carpet. You should also reconnect the negative battery cable.


It is important that you cover the access to the fuel tank if you have to do something else and you are going to leave the job half done, or if you are not going to install the new fuel pump at the moment.

Items you will need

The things you are going to need to change a fuel pump on a KIA Sportage are the following:

  • New fuel pump.

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