Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start?

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The Kia Sorento is a practical and fun SUV you can rely on daily.

Its spacious interior, comfortable ride and high-quality standard features make it the perfect choice for your daily driving needs.

It has been in the market for almost two decades, and Kia has no plans of discontinuing it. Although the Sorento is a great midsize SUV, it is not perfect.

Over the years, it has been a headache for many owners. One of them has resulted in many frustrated owners asking, “Why won’t my Kia Sorento start?”.

I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that this article will help you figure everything out. The bad news is that there may be more than one reason for it.

Let’s take a look at those possible reasons:

  1. Frayed Battery Cables
  2. Dead Or Drained Battery
  3. Malfunctioning Alternator
  4. Blown Fuse
  5. Rodent Damage

Some of the items on this list might concern you, and rightfully so. Well, the good news is, all of them can be addressed.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at all of them and what can be done to fix them.

What Would Cause A Kia Sorento To Not Start?

Learn how to start your Kia Sorento when facing starting issues

I know you might be worried that your Kia Sorento cannot be fixed. Well, I am here to say otherwise.

This section analyzes all problems mentioned in the introduction, so you can know better.

1: Frayed Battery Cables

The battery cables are responsible for connecting the battery to the rest of your car’s electrical system.

If you notice any damage or fraying on the battery cables, which could be the reason why your Kia Sorento is refusing to turn over.

A frayed cable can cause a variety of problems, including starting issues, as well as other electrical issues in your vehicle. Moreover, a frayed battery cable can be easily identified.

All you have to do is look at them and see if any metal wires are exposed. If they are, then that fits the description of frayed cables.

The cables won’t be able to forward current to the starter motor. Fortunately for you, the fix is rather simple.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’re experiencing frayed battery cables on your Kia Sorento, there are a few things to take care of.
  • First, try replacing the wires with new ones of the same gauge. The thicker the wire, the more power it can carry.
  • If you don’t have new wires in your garage, you should be able to find them at an auto parts store.
  • Next, make sure that you’re not settling for low-quality wires.
  • Low-quality wires often break down faster and cause more problems than good-quality ones.
  • Look for ones with thicker insulation and better insulation coating than those that come standard with most cars.
  • Replacing wires doesn’t cost much, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much on them.

2: Dead Or Drained Battery

A dead or drained battery is the most common reason for a Kia Sorento not turning over.

This can result from leaving your lights on, letting the SUV sit for too long without being driven, or not driving the SUV while using its electronics.

If you know that your battery is not dead yet but would like to test it, you can use a voltmeter to check its voltage level. The battery is drained or dead if it registers less than 12 volts.

You can also confirm if the battery is dead by trying to turn the headlights or radio on. If they don’t turn on, the battery is the source of the issue.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your battery has been drained, it’s a good idea to charge it. You can use a trickle charger or take it to a mechanic to have them do it for you.
  • It will take some time, so if you take the SUV to a mechanic, you will have to wait a few hours.
  • If this happens again, then your alternator may be faulty. Failure of that part has been discussed in detail below.
  • If your battery won’t charge at all (or if it charges only briefly), then it’s probably dead and needs to be replaced.
  • The best replacement battery is an AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery, found at most auto parts stores.

3: Malfunctioning Alternator

The alternator is a critical component of your Kia Sorento’s electrical system. It charges the battery, which provides power to start the vehicle’s engine.

If the alternator malfunctions, it can’t charge the battery, and you won’t be able to get your SUV started.

If your SUV doesn’t turn over and you’ve already checked other possible causes (like a bad battery), it could be time to take your Sorento in for a checkup!

But before you do that, you should look for some symptoms commonly associated with malfunctioning alternators.

Some of them are slow accessories and dim lights. If your Sorento is experiencing any of these issues, then the alternator is the part at fault over here.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The most common symptom of a malfunctioning alternator is that the battery will die quickly or not hold a charge.
  • If that is the case with your SUV, you will need to do something. The best possible fix for a problem like this is to replace the alternator.
  • You may want to consider purchasing an OEM alternator rather than an aftermarket one; these are more durable and reliable than aftermarket parts and often come with warranties from the manufacturer after purchase.
  • The warranty may be contingent upon the part being installed by the company. I would recommend that you go ahead.

4: Blown Fuse

A blown fuse could be another reason.

To check if this is the case, simply remove the cover from the fuse box and check each fuse. The blown fuse will have a melted plastic wire inside and will no longer be intact.

There can be several different fuses that can result in your Kia Sorento not being able to turn over. It could either be the ignition fuse or the fuel pump fuse.

If you don’t know which fuse is responsible for starting your car, consult your owner’s manual or call a mechanic for help.

Make sure to check all fuses so you don’t miss anyone. Even a faulty ECU fuse will result in the engine not starting.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can fix a blown fuse on your Kia Sorento by replacing it. The fuse is located in the engine bay, so you’ll need to open that panel to reach it.
  • You should be able to access the fuse box with the SUV parked on a level surface, and the engine turned off.
  • Once you’ve opened the panel, you’ll see a diagram of where each fuse goes and what type of fuses are used in your vehicle.
  • To replace a blown fuse, simply replace the old one with one of similar size, shape, and voltage rating.
  • If you’re unsure which type to buy, ask at an auto parts store or look up your vehicle’s specs online before purchasing new ones.

5: Rodent Damage

Rodents can be hard to find, but they’re not hard to eliminate.

If you notice some starting problems and the battery is still in good shape, it could be because rodents have chewed through the wiring.

If you see any unusual smell coming from the engine compartment or droppings on the ground near the engine compartment, check out the wiring for signs of damage.

This is a pretty common issue. Many manufacturers shifted to making wires with better materials for the environment.

Well, that decision certainly backfired in this case. This problem is not only annoying but can get extremely expensive to fix.

Read below about all possible solutions.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Rodents can chew through your wiring, and it’s not cheap to replace.
  • A full-blown rodent infestation can cost you a few thousand dollars or more in repairs, depending on the damage.
  • And even if you don’t have rodent damage, there’s still the risk of them getting inside and chewing up the wires.
  • How do you avoid this? Spraying rodent repellants around the outside of your vehicle should help keep them out.
  • If that doesn’t work, you will have to deal with the infestation by calling an exterminator.
  • This is the only possible solution, so make sure you do that before any more damage is done to your Sorento’s engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start With New Battery?

If the new battery has not solved the starting issue of your Kia Sorento, then you need to make sure it has a charge first.

New batteries that have been on the shelf for a few months lose their charge completely.

If that is the case, you must attach a charger or use another car to jump-start the engine.

Q2. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start Even With A Jump?

If jump starting the Sorento is not working, the battery terminals are corroded, or the cables are frayed.

If it is the latter, the solution has been discussed above. If there is corrosion, you will need to use vinegar and baking soda to clean and break it up.

Q3. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start But Lights Work?

If the lights are working, but the engine is not turning over, the battery may be drained. This can happen if you forget to leave the lights off overnight.

Another reason could be a faulty alternator, which may result in the battery getting drained. I suggest that you read the article above, so you can identify the issue.

Q4. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start But Cranks?

The cranking sound can be produced due to a failure of one of three things: the spark plugs, the fuel pump, or the fuel filter.

The filter has the highest chance of being the source of the issue. Regardless of which one it is, if proper combustion cannot take place, then the cranking sound will be produced.

Q5. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start Just Clicks?

An electrical problem is probably resulting in a clicking sound being produced while trying to start the engine.

A dead or drained battery, a blown fuse, or rodent damage could result in the starter motor being unable to turn the engine over.

You need to check all of these components one by one, so you can narrow the issue down.

Q6. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start In The Cold Weather?

Cold weather conditions cannot be handled by all batteries. You need one that has enough CCA (cold cranking amperes) to reliably start the engine in low temperatures.

Well, if you are new to the place, then chances are that your battery is not capable enough. Make sure to get one that has at least 800CCA to start the engine.

Q7. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start After I Get Gas?

The fuel filter or the fuel pump may be at fault here. If it is the latter, then you may be looking at some very expensive replacement costs.

The fuel filter, which is more likely to be the source of the issue, is easy to replace, and the process is something that can be done without involving a mechanic.

Plus, it’s pretty inexpensive too!

Q8. Why Won’t My Kia Sorento Start But Radio Works?

If the radio works, but the engine is having starting issues, then this means that the battery is probably at fault.

It may be refusing to hold a charge, which is a common issue with batteries that are nearing the end of their lifespan.

The starter motor could also be faulty, but the battery has a higher probability of being the source of the issue.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Kia Sorento?


In conclusion, it is important to understand that there are a number of things that could be causing the problem. The most common cause of this issue is a dead battery.

However, if you have been having trouble with your car’s battery for some time, it may be time for a replacement.

Other possible causes have been listed and discussed in detail in this article.

I hope you finally got the answer to your question, “Why won’t my Kia Sorento start?” and you can get back on the road as soon as possible.