Why Won’t My Kia Sportage Start?

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Kia Sportage is a compact SUV manufactured by the South Korean manufacturer in 1993.

The car’s popularity peaked when it launched its third generation in 2010 and the Sportage won the 2011 car of the year.

The following generations continued to be a huge success even today. Like many cars, this one also has problems that are not always easy to find.

You might have to ask, ‘Why won’t my Kia Sportage Start?’ which can be frustrating as not all of us are seasoned mechanics who might know what’s wrong.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why you might be facing these problems.

  1. Weak Or Dead Battery
  2. Key Fob Issue
  3. Defective Alternator
  4. Electrical Issue
  5. Fuel Supply Issue

These are some common problems related to the Kia Sportage that you might face. I’ll talk about them in this article and I’ll try to answer some of the questions you may have.

What Would Cause A Kia Sportage To Not Start?

Kia Sportage doesn't turn over, how should I fix it? Learn from my guide to solve the issue

There are numerous reasons why your Kia Sportage can have these starting issues.

Some of the most important ones I have named above.

Let’s talk about them in some more details, and I’ll try to give you possible solutions in case you ever encounter a similar problem.

1: Weak Or Dead battery

Your car’s battery is the most important component as it gives power to the entirety of the car.

Many factors can cause your car’s battery to wear out, even as cold weather can affect the battery’s performance.

If your battery becomes weak, it might not generate enough power to turn on the engine. If you hear a clicking sound while you try to start your Kia Sportage.

This is because the starter motor rotates with difficulty as the battery isn’t generating power.

Common reasons your battery might be weak include keeping your lights on for too long, the water inside the battery evaporating, or keeping the fan on while the engine is off.

You need to make sure that you maintain your battery to prevent getting into this trouble at the wrong time.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Measure the battery’s voltage if you’re unsure whether your battery is dead and if you need to replace it. If the voltage is below 12V recharge your battery.
  • If you’re stranded and need help with your car, try jumpstarting it.
  • If your battery is older than three years and causing frequent problems, get it replaced to avoid future problems.
  • Make sure to maintain your battery well, check its fluid level, and get it checked twice a year.

2: Key Fob Issue

Many modern cars have an ignition switch activated by the remote-controlled key. The key sends a signal to the receiver unit in the car.

These days many cars use electrical key fobs rather than mechanical ones. The signal causes the car to turn on.

Therefore it must work properly otherwise you will have to manually get your Kia Sportage started.

It is a sensitive device powered by a battery carefully wrapped inside the remote. If it doesn’t often work, the battery might be dead.

Other times, the key fob won’t work if damaged, and you might have to take it to the dealer.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Fobs rarely go bad but if they do it’s because of the battery. If your push button start doesn’t work, your battery is dead.
  • Key fobs use a watch-sized battery that is carefully concealed, so with the help of a small screwdriver replace the battery yourself.
  • Sometimes if you change your battery and it still won’t work, you might need to reset the receiver in your Kia Sportage.
  • This might happen because the receiver cannot recognize the signal and maintain a connection.
  • To start your car, you can also use the physical key kept neatly inside the key fob.

3: Defective Alternator

An alternator works as a generator; it charges the car’s battery and powers the electrical system when the engine is working.

It works by turning mechanical energy into chemical energy.

The alternator gives all the electrical components of your car the power they need, for example, the lights, radio, windows, wipers, dashboard instruments, and most importantly, the engine.

Normally, the alternators are usually designed to last for as long as you can use a car.

However, heat damage, overuse, faulty parts and wires, exposure to water, and general wear and tear can cause the alternator to become defective.

You need to get your alternator replaced as soon as you encounter this problem as it can affect the working of other electrical components of your Kia Sportage.

What Should You Do About It?

  • In case of a bad alternator, you can try jumpstarting your car, this can give you enough time to get to the nearest auto shop to fix it.
  • If jump starting doesn’t work get your car towed to an auto shop.
  • Another temporary solution would be replacing your current battery with a charged one.
  • Your car can work until the battery dies so it is best if you rush to the auto shop.
  • If the alternator goes faulty, replace it rather than get it fixed, it might cost you more, but it’ll protect other electrical components of your car from permanent damage.

4: Electrical Issue

Your Kia Sportage might get a lot of electrical issues which is common in any automobile electric vehicle.

If your car’s electrical system is malfunctioning, for example, your lights are dim or if one is working and the other is not, it may point towards loose wires or faulty cables.

If the cables are loose or faulty, the spark plugs won’t be able to provide enough power to the engine, which is why you might be facing this problem.

Another such problem exists when the battery is charged but the power is not being delivered, this can be a result of over-oxidization of the battery clips or corrosion of the battery terminals.

However, sometimes the cables might spark because the insulation might be damaged. The damaged insulation on these cables can cause some serious damage to the engine.

Therefore, they must be replaced as soon as possible.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Tighten any loose wires and get them checked by a professional for a more detailed examination.
  • In case your battery is corroded, you can simply clean it.
  • First, clean the connections with a wire, and grease the poles to prevent further oxidation.
  • With the sparking cables, a temporary fix can be done using insulation tape but you still need to get it replaced at the next opportunity.

5: Fuel Supply Issue

It is very important to maintain the fuel pump as any damage would inhibit the Kia Sportage from starting.

If your fuel tank has enough fuel to power the engine but the car still doesn’t work, the fuel pump may have failed.

Furthermore, if the fuel is not reaching the injectors, this can be caused by a clogged fuel filter or a defective fuel pump. A fuel filter removes any debris or sediments from the fuel.

If left in for a long time without cleaning, it can cause blockage and reduce the engine’s performance or, worse, introduce fuel contaminants into the engine.

Moreover, if the fuel lines get clogged, they can leak, which can be very dangerous for your car, and the reason behind this is the lack of maintenance and old parts.

The newer fuel pumps are electric so when they get clogged they malfunction. If the motor overheats, it can burn out, and the engine won’t be able to get any gas.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The fuel pump needs to be maintained regularly as any problem can become very serious.
  • Since fuel is flammable, any leaks in the pipes need to be administered and checked immediately.
  • If the fuel pump has burned out, get it replaced rather than getting it fixed to keep you safe.
  • Get the fuel filter cleaned regularly to eliminate any impurities getting into the engine and causing further damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you have changed your batteries and the Kia Sportage isn’t working.

Check for any loose wires and make sure the battery is installed properly.

Also, ensure your new battery is properly charged before installation.

If this doesn’t work get professional help it can be any other problem of a clogged fuel filter, a bad starter, or an alternator.

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

Once you jumpstart the vehicle, it gives the engine the power it needs to start and the rest of the charging system to recharge.

If jumpstarting doesn’t work for you, it can result from a dead battery. It might also mean that there is a malfunction in your ignition switch.

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

The battery provides the car’s engine and other electrical components with power. Some accessories, like the lights, need a small amount of power to work.

Therefore, even if the battery is low on charge and cannot power the engine, it would still be enough to turn the lights on.

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

Many different issues cause this problem. Your Kia Sportage might have a bad fuel filter which is not letting the fuel pass through to get to the engine.

This can also result from a bad ignition coil, as your engine would not spark.

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

If your Kia Sportage makes a clicking sound it is probably due to an electrical malfunction or a dead battery. The power won’t reach the engine if there is a loose wire.

If the battery is weak, it won’t be able to send power to the starter, and the motor rotates, making a clicking sound when you turn it on.

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

I had covered earlier that batteries can be affected by cold weather. The battery produces less current due to the slower chemical reaction on a cold day.

Moreover, the cold can cause the oil to become thicker, causing more friction. It is better if you let your Kia Sportage get warm before starting it.

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

If your car struggles to start after getting gas, there might be a problem with the fuel system. A clogged fuel filter can be a reason the fuel isn’t reaching the engine.

Get your fuel filters cleaned and look for any other leakages in the fuel pump to fix this problem.

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

This problem is similar just like the lights being working on a low battery. The radio does not demand a lot of power to turn on.

Therefore, a weak battery or a faulty alternator might not affect the radio and other accessories.

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


Since its third generation, the Kia Sportage has continued innovation, and with every model, the Kia has outdone the previous ones.

Even though it had many competitors and was compared to many cars, especially the Hyundai Tucson, it proved to be better in terms of speed.

However, as with any other car this one also has shortcomings that can make you go, why won’t my KIA Sportage start?

Well, I hope this article helped you get the answer to that question and also enlightened you with some solutions in case you were ever in a similar problem.