Kia Sportage Won’t Start: Causes And Fixes

Getting in your car to go somewhere only to find out that it won’t start is one of the most inconvenient problems. 

Kia Sportage is one of the more reliable SUVs on the market. However, that does not mean it is indestructible or won’t have any problems, including refusing to start. 

There can be several reasons why your vehicle is not starting, and identifying the problem may be the first step to the solution. 

Let’s go through the possible reasons and solutions why your Kia Sportage won’t start. 

Why Your Car Won’t Start-Reasons 

There may be more than a few reasons your Kia Sportage won’t start. Understanding the potential list of problems may help you identify what’s wrong and figure out the correct solution. 

Kia Sportage Won’t Start: Causes And Fixes

Fuel Problems 

Your Kia Sportage may not start because of insufficient fuel. That is not to say that you’ve been neglecting your vehicle and not pumping it with enough power. Instead, your car may not receive the fuel it needs due to internal issues. 

For example, there may be a problem with the fuel pump. If the fuel pump isn’t working correctly, insufficient or no fuel enters the engine preventing your car from starting. Similarly, a bad fuel filter or faulty fuel injectors may stop enough power from getting into the combustion chamber. 

The Battery May be Dead

A dead battery may be the most common reason behind your car not starting. For example, your battery may have died of old age, or you may have left your headlights or any of the interior lights on for an extended period causing the battery to drain. 

Other reasons for a dead battery may be 

  • Battery charging issues
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Your car may have been parked for a very long time 
  • Loose or corroded terminal connections 
  • Electricity drainage even when your vehicle is off

Problems with the Alternator 

The alternator is an essential part of any vehicle. It converts chemical energy into electrical energy, which charges the car’s battery and other electrical components. 

If the alternator isn’t working correctly, your battery will not charge, causing your car not to start. Another symptom of a failed alternator is that your lights may flicker or appear dim. 

Ignition Problems 

In this case, you’ll observe your car crank but not start. 

Because there’s no spark, your engine won’t start, which may be why your vehicle won’t fire up. 

Ignition problems may result from several things such as faulty spark plugs, plug wires, coil packs, computer problems, and others. 

Starter Motor 

The starter motor is a vital part of your vehicle, without which your engine won’t start. Unfortunately, this is when the starter motor goes bad, and your Sportage may not begin to. 

Your car’s engine cannot begin to rotate on its own, and the starter motor helps it start the first cycle. In other words, it helps the engine start. 

Engine Timing 

When an engine works appropriately, it ignites the fuel and air mixture just as the piston reaches the TDC (top dead center). The engine fires the spark plug, which creates the spark needed for ignition. 

The engine must do this at the correct time and not before and after. This is called ignition timing or engine timing. 

If the spark plug fires at the wrong time, your vehicle won’t start. 

Damaged Cables 

Loose and corroded terminals on your battery won’t just cause the battery to die but may also directly prevent your car from starting. This is because the corrosion causes the cables to become loose, preventing the battery from operating correctly. 

Apart from corrosion, rodent bites may also be a reason for faulty cables. 

Dead Car Key

Another reason why your Kia Sportage won’t start may be because your car key is dead. If the car cannot detect the vehicle’s key, your car won’t start. 

Why Your Car Won’t Start-Solutions  

If you’re worried your Sportage may be facing one of the abovementioned problems, not to worry. Here’s how you can deal with each problem. 

Dealing with Fuel Problems 

Get those internal parts looked at. You’ll know if the problem is with your fuel pump, fuel filter, or fuel injectors. Get them fixed or replaced, and your Sportage will quickly start without a problem. 

The Solution to a Bad Battery 

A temporary solution to a dead battery is to jumpstart it. Here’s how you can jumpstart your Kia Sportage. 

  • Find a suitable car; the car should be as big as your Sportage or larger. Make sure it has a good and working battery 
  • Next, you’ll connect the two batteries. Simply connect the two positive terminals of the batteries
  • Then, connect the negative terminal of the other car’s battery to a metal ground of your Sportage’s engine
  • Once the connection is made, start the car with the working battery and let it run for a few minutes 
  • Your Sportage should start after this. Carefully disconnect the two batteries after you’re done 

If jumpstarting your battery doesn’t work, it may be time to buy a new one.

Generally, replacing the battery is easy, and you can even do it yourself if you’re up to it. The battery for this lies under the hood and is easy to find. However, Kia Sportage has a lot of computers on it, so you must be careful. 

We recommend getting your battery changed by a professional mechanic if you’re unsure of how to do it yourself. However, if you’re up to the task, do your research and go through the manufacturer’s step-by-step procedure, which you can find in the repair manual. 

The Alternator Problem 

It may be possible that the problem is with the Alternator’s belt than with the alternator itself. If you find the belt loose or broken, you’ll have to replace it. 

If you find the belt satisfactory, you may use a multimeter to test the alternator. Unfortunately, there is no other way than replace the alternator if it isn’t working right. 

Ignition Issues

Like the fuel problem, replacing the faulty car parts is the only way to fix your Sportage’s ignition issues. 

Dealing with your Starter Motor 

Using a multimeter lets you see if your starter motor has gone bad. The only solution is to replace this device, after which your Sportage will begin to work normally. 

Fixing Engine Timing 

One reason why you’re facing this problem is that the crankshaft sensor has gone bad. Replacing these sensors can help fix the problem. 

The Solution to Damaged Cables 

If you see any corrosion on the poles of the battery (the corrosion will appear green or white), you can clean it off if there’s not too much damage. However, if the cables are far too damaged, you’ll have to replace them. 

In case of rodent bites, you’ll have to take action immediately and replace the damaged cables with new ones. 

When removing the cables, remove the negative terminal first, followed by the positive one. The negative cable is the ground cable, so you can safely disconnect it without causing sparks. 

When you have the new cables, reconnect the negative terminal first, followed by the positive one. 

Dealing With Your Dead Key

You can always replace the battery of your key. You may also keep a spare key fob to help you in emergencies. 

 However, if you can’t go for either option, you can start your car using another way. 

All you have to do is place the key fob on the start button and start your car as you usually do. However, this method will only work on Kia Sportage models 2015+. 

This works because of a sensor present under the start button. This sensor detects the key fob when it’s in close proximity. 

Is Kia Sportage a Good Car? 

Kia Sportage is a good-looking and compact SUV. However, like all vehicles, it comes with a list of pros and cons. If you own this car but are unsure of your opinion of it, let us help clear up any confusion. 

First introduced in 1993, the car has had four generations, with the fifth being a recent release. It comes in both all-wheel and front-wheel drive. 

Regarding the Pros of Kia Sportage, the SUV is equipped with an impressive exterior and interior. The roomy seating plus the good leg space makes for a comfortable ride, and the intelligent infotainment system is fun to explore and use. 

It’s considered a reliable car with a 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 6th among 26 compact SUVs. 

As for the cons, the SUV is known to have a poor fuel economy and insufficient cargo space compared to its rivals. 


It may seem frightening to learn your car won’t start, but as you’ve seen, there may be several reasons, and all of them have easy solutions. 

However, if you’ve had a look at the possible problems but none of them seem to be causing the main issue, or if your car still refuses to start after you’ve fixed what was wrong, then maybe it’s time you take your vehicle to the mechanic so that they may adequately diagnose the problem and fix your car. 

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