Kia Won’t Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to the Most Common Causes

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Let's face it, we've all experienced it, you've got places to go, so you get in your Kia, turn the key, and … drum roll please … nothing! Your Kia won't fire up! This an incredibly bothersome scenario, however don't worry, we've got you covered. There are lots and lots of explanations why your Kia refuses to start, and here in this guide, to save you time we'll go over the most common explanations along with give you useful options to get your vehicle back on the road!

If you're short of time, rather than reading, you can also always consult with a live mechanic 24×7 and get instantaneous help and assistance on figuring out what it is and repairing the problem, by clicking the “ask a mechanic” button in the bottom right of this page.

Understanding the Problem

Car Won't Start?

Before we get stuck into the causes and repair options it's essential to initially understand the issue. When you hop into your car and realize “my Kia won't start”, this could be due to different things being wrong with your vehicle. Perhaps the engine is not firing up at all, perhaps it is cranking partially but then not starting, or maybe it's making a clicking noise when you attempt to start the engine, however, ultimately absolutely nothing happens. Each of these circumstances can be a sign of various problems with your car.

Common Reasons Why Your Kia Won't Start

There are numerous reasons that a Kia won't start up. These concerns usually include a dead or weak vehicle battery, a bad alternator, starter motor failures, and fuel system failures, in addition to electrical or wiring problems. Each one of these problems can show up as different symptoms and require different solutions to troubleshoot and repair, so we can get your car back on the road as soon as possible.

Symptoms of a Kia That Won't Start

Having the ability to recognize and diagnose these symptoms, will help you in finding the root cause of the issue. For instance, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking noise but your Kia still fails to start, it is often a sign that there is a problem with the fuel or ignition system.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Kia Won't Start

The first step to discovering a practical solution to the issue is understanding the underlying cause of that issue, so let's explore the most common reasons your Kia will not start.

Kia Battery Issues

Auto mechanic replacing car batteryIn most cases, the most common reason why your Kia won't start is often because of the battery, it's either weak or dead, and you need to recharge your car’s battery or replace it. The vehicle's battery stores the power needed to start the engine, and power all the electrical components in your Kia. Signs of a weak or dead battery issue in a Kia, are things like the vehicle being sluggish to crank the engine, dim headlights, or a lit-up battery alert light on the dash

Kia Alternator Problems

is my alternator stopping my car from starting?

The alternator is for charging the battery from the engine while the car is running. A faulty alternator can certainly stop your Kia from starting as it will not be able to charge the battery, from the engine, so it will drain fairly quickly until it's completely drained and you only realize it when you get in your Kia and it won't start. Signs that your car's alternator may be faulty can be a lit-up battery or alternator warning light on the dash, poorly lit headlights when the engine is idling, and also a whining or grinding sound from the engine while it's running.

Kia Starter Motor Failures

my car wont start is the starter motor?

When you start your Kia, the starter motor handles turning the engine over (cranking it). If the starter motor is broken in some manner then the engine will not crank, and your Kia can't start. You can find out if your starter motor has an issue or not typically by listening for a clicking noise when you turn the key or a grinding sound throughout the startup, or your car only starts intermittently then the starter motor may very well be the problem.

Kia Fuel System Complications

my car wont start but clicks

We’re not talking about when you merely run out of gas here, but the fuel system itself having issues. Your Kia uses a combustion engine, and because of this to start and run, it requires a mix of enough fuel and air. If your Kia problems are due to a faulty fuel system, this can sometimes be a clogged fuel filter or a damaged fuel pump relay, which could mean the engine might not be getting the fuel it needs to get the car up and running.

Kia Electrical System or Wiring Problems

can electrics be a reason a car wont start

Today’s modern Kia's rely greatly on electronics, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially fail. Even in an older model, you can have regular problems such as blown fuses, spark plug problems, a damaged ignition switch, or a broken sensor, and more. These can be a few of the various electrical reasons why your Kia won't get started. Indications of a wiring or electrical issue can differ widely but can often include the engine not cranking, or your Kia can start but only intermittently or numerous warning lights are lit up on the car’s dash. To correctly identify and repair these kinds of problems, you will need the skills of an experienced car mechanic in your area or online.

Solutions & Repair Tips

As soon as you have diagnosed what the reason for your Kia troubles are. The next logical step is naturally to try and fix it. Here are some suggestions for the common problems we've covered up until this point.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Kia

my car wont start i think its the battery

If you think it's possible a battery issue is the culprit as to why your Kia has trouble starting up, then the first thing you need to do is examine the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded, and tightly connected. If you happen to find that the terminals are corroded you can attempt cleaning them with a mix of baking soda and water. You will need to replace the battery if it's weak or old, otherwise even if you charge it up enough to start the vehicle, it will probably die again in the near future. You can use a multimeter as a battery tester to find out if it’s worth saving or if it needs replacing. You can ask a reliable car mechanic online or in your area to provide guidance on this.

How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a Kia

car wont start, jumped and started alternator

If the alternator is what you suspect is the perpetrator, you can test it. If you can get the car started temporarily (you may need to jump start the car for that), but once it’s going, let the car run, and while the engine is running, disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. It's likely due to an issue with the alternator if you discover your Kia dies pretty quickly when you disconnect the positive terminal. You should be aware however that this method can be risky and dangerous, and may harm the delicate electronic components in your Kia, so it's necessary to consult with a professional car mechanic in your area or online, before ever trying this.

How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a  Kia

car wont start starter and battery good

Its most likely a problem with your starter motor if you can hear the clicking sound, however the engine doesn't crank. In this case, the solution is to have the starter motor changed for a new one by a professional mechanic.

How to Deal With Fuel System Problems in a Kia

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect the issue to be due to a fuel system problem, listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting the car. You should be able to hear a humming noise for a few seconds. It may be there is an issue with the fuel pump if you are unable to hear this noise. If you discover your Kia is hard to start, it stalls, or it has weak acceleration, it could be due to a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely require a professional car mechanic in order to correctly fix.

How to Fix Electrical or Wiring Issues in a Kia

fuses to check when car wont start

If you think it's a circuitry or electrical system issue, initially check the fuses associated with the ignition system, and replace any that have blown. If your Kia starts after this, then it was an effective, cheap and easy fix! However, if the vehicle refuses to start, even intermittently it might be a problem with the ignition switch itself. It could be a faulty sensing unit if numerous warning lights are visible on the dash. These issues can be really complex and a professional car mechanic is likely needed to diagnose and repair it.

Preventive Steps

As my father always stated “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are some preventative measures to ensure you avoid any Kia starting pains again!

Routine Maintenance of Your Kia:

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Routine upkeep of your Kia is of the utmost importance to preventing future problems. This consists of things like routine oil changes, checking your car battery, cleaning the terminals, replacing the fuel filter as advised/needed, and having your Kia inspected by a reliable car mechanic routinely. You can speak with a mechanic locally or online if you are unsure or confused about the routine upkeep jobs required for your particular automobile.

Drive Your Kia Frequently:

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If you happen to leave your Kia off for long periods of time without taking it for a spin now and again, the battery will waste out of charge as it's not getting any charge from the engine running regularly. Try to drive your Kia regularly to keep the battery charged. Take it for a fast spin to make sure there is still charge in the battery if you remember you haven't driven your Kia for a while. Worth noting: letting the battery totally drain, is also damaging to the longevity of the battery, try not to do this.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs:

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you observe anything odd like uncommon sounds, changes in how it drives and the performance, or alert lights showing on the dash, do not disregard them and get on with your day. These can be early indications of an issue and are best being attended to ASAP before they end up being larger issues down the line. Chat with a car mechanic locally or online about these problems and find out if they need to be addressed.

When to Ask a Kia Mechanic Online

If you want to save time, would like a specialist Kia mechanic on hand to guide and to advise you, or you've tried to resolve it for yourself, however regardless of your best efforts your vehicle will not start, then chatting with a Kia mechanic online can be a terrific option.

Advantages of Online Mechanic Services

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, provide a number of benefits. You can get professional Kia mechanic recommendations 24×7 and without leaving your house, which is particularly helpful if your vehicle will not start and is stuck in the driveway. It can also help you save money as online mechanic consultations are more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get the answer quickly, which is terrific if you're in a hurry, require a second opinion, or you simply prefer having an expert Kia mechanic on hand.

How Solutions Like Can Help You

Ask a mechanic online about my car not starting connects you with accredited expert mechanics who can offer immediate assistance, guidance and recommendations. You're able to describe the issues you are having with your car, ask a Kia mechanic unlimited questions, and even upload photos and videos so you are able to show the mechanic what you mean. You can speak to them by means of online chat or by phone call, whichever you choose. The Kia mechanic will help you detect the issue, advise you on the best course of action for your specific circumstance and even assist you through easy maintenance and repair work step by step.


In a nutshell when your Kia won't start, it will likely be a major downer and an enormous inconvenience. However, knowing what might be triggering the problems, having the ability to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are needed in each case, and where to get help if required, will be a huge help. Keep in mind that routine maintenance is key to avoiding the majority of vehicle problems.

Should this guide not completely resolve your car troubles, our ‘mechanic advice online‘ feature is here to assist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if my Kia wont start? 

First of all, do not panic. Attempt to identify any symptoms that might suggest an issue, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the issue is most likely one of the most common causes discussed in this guide. If you can't find the issue yourself, you will need the help of a Kia mechanic locally or online.

How to tell if my Kia wont start because of the battery?

Signs of a battery problem in a Kia include the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and tightly connected. It may be best to simply swap it out for a new one if the battery is old or weak.

How can I prevent my Kia not starting issues?

In order to ensure this annoyance never happens again, regular upkeep is crucial. This consists of things like oil changes, inspecting the battery and cleaning it's terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended / required, and having your Kia inspected by a mechanic frequently. It's also a fantastic idea to drive the car routinely so the battery remains charged.

Can I ask a mechanic online if my Kia wont start? 

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can supply immediate expert Kia mechanic assistance and recommendations, without you needing to leave your home. If your Kia wont start and is stuck in the driveway, this is especially useful.

How can services like help if my Kia wont start?

We connect you with certified expert Kia mechanics who can offer guidance on your particular circumstance. You can inform them about your vehicle issues, ask unlimited questions, and even submit images and videos so you can correctly show the problem and describe it fully. The mechanic will be able to help, troubleshoot, identify the problem, recommend the very best course of action and guide you along the way.

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