What To Do When It Doesn’t Turn On!

The Kia Sportage is a mid-size sports utility car that is manufactured and sold by the Kia Motors America company. This large vehicle can have some starting problems. Stay until the end and find out what happens with a Kia Sportage won’t start.

The Sportage may occasionally require troubleshooting as, like any other car, there are times when it may do not start. At such times, it is necessary to perform some simple checks before going to a mechanic.

Symptoms of a Bad Start in a Kia Sportage

Starting Problems in a Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage LX 2.0 AWD 2013

Noises coming from the starter motor and the vehicle not starting are the most common symptoms of a bad starter motor in your Kia Sportage.

1- Noises

Your ears are the best diagnostic tool you have. You can tell a lot about what’s going on with a vehicle by listening carefully to the changes. A bad starter motor often clicks, but doesn’t engage the flywheel/separator plate. It can also make a screeching sound.

If you hear a high pitched whine, it could indicate that your Kia Sportage’s starter motor is bad, or it could mean that the starter motor is turning, but not making contact with the flywheel. This is often caused by under-tightened starter motor bolts, or a broken flywheel/flexplate tooth.

2- Your Sportage does not turn on

If your Kia Sportage won’t start it can be a very strong indication of a bad starter motor. The thing is, it can also indicate other problems. You don’t want to go through all the trouble involved in replacing your starter only to find out that it wasn’t bad at all.

3- There

Smoke coming out from under the hood is a good indication that the starter motor has stopped working. It may be burned out, or the wiring associated with it may have burned out. If you see smoke, stop trying to start the vehicle. Make sure your Kia Sportage isn’t on fire and have a mechanic take a look at it.

Why won’t my Kia Sportage start?

Kia Sportage won't start
Kia Sportage LX 2.0 2017

Finding out if your Kia Sportage has a bad starter is a do-it-yourself task:

1- Verify the address

Check that the steering column is not blocked. If the steering column is stuck, then the key will not turn and cause ignition. You should turn the steering wheel left and right until you hear a click to indicate that it is located in the correct position, and then try to start the engine.

2- Check if there is fuel

Add a gallon of gas to your Sportage to make sure there is enough fuel to get the Sportage started. Without the necessary fuel, the engine may misfire or die completely and not start again. After pouring the fuel, try to start the engine again.

3- Check fluid levels

The next step is to check the fluid levels in your Kia Sportage. Check your owner’s manual for the exact location of your oil and transmission fluid dipsticks, and check your coolant reservoir.

You must be sure that each of them is filled or filled between the minimum and maximum lines. Without proper fluid levels, the engine can be damaged and may not start.

4- Engine sounds

Try to hear the sounds while the motor is turning. The Kia Sportage may make some noises that will tell you why it is not starting properly. If you can’t hear a sound when you turn the key, then the ignition lock could be bad.

If you hear a clicking noise, the fault may be with the starter (starter motor). Now, if the engine starts and then hesitates or stalls quickly, the fuel filter or fuel line could be the problem, maybe even fuel pump failure.

5- Turn the key to “Accessories” mode

Put the key in the ignition and turn it to “Accessories. Proceed to turn on the headlights and the lights inside your Sportage. The lights have to come on even if the engine is not running.

If the above does not happen, the battery will have to be charged, skipped or changed. It is necessary that you read the owner’s manual so that you know which battery is ideal for your car.

Other causes that make your Sportage not start

Starting Failures In A Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage EX 2.0 AWD 2011

Other common reasons your Kia Sportage won’t start include:

  • Bad battery cables or terminals: Throughout the life of your Kia Sportage, the battery cables and terminals can corrode. This corrosion prevents proper voltage from reaching the starter motor. If your dash lights dim or go out completely when trying to start your Sportage, it could indicate a bad battery or cables.
  • bad battery: A battery that is too depleted will not start the engine. If the starter turns slowly, but not fast enough for your Kia Sportage to start, it’s most likely a bad battery (rather than a bad starter).


These tips can help you:

  • You can call a mechanic or dealer for more advice on starting problems.
  • Have the Sportage towed to a professional who is trained to diagnose the fault.

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