Kia Sorento Starter Problems [Causes and Solutions]

Is your Kia Sorento making clicking noises or dimming the dash lights while attempting to start the engine? There are many reasons your Kia Sorento won’t start, and you are about to discover those reasons in this article.

New Kia Sorento

You will also learn how to overcome starting problems. Let’s get started.

Reasons Your Kia Sorento Won’t Start (Plus Fixes)

Here are some reasons your Kia Sorento may refuse to start:

1. Bad Starter Motor

The starter motor is the mechanical component responsible for cranking or turning over the engine to start a vehicle. If your Kia Sorento doesn’t start, you may have a malfunctioning or worn-out starter motor.

A bad starter motor makes a clicking noise when you start your Sorento but doesn’t turn the engine.

To resolve this issue, replace the bad starter motor with a new and functioning unit. Your mechanic should help you do this.

2. Low or Dead Battery

The starter motor of your Kia Sorento needs sufficient voltage from the battery to operate. Therefore, if the battery is low or dead, it won’t produce the required current for the starter motor to function.

Check the battery to see if the terminals are loose or corroded. If the terminals are loose, tighten them up using the appropriate tool. If corroded, you may have to clean the terminals using a wire brush plus solvent if the corrosion has gone far.

However, if all these do not work, recharge the battery to see if it is still functioning. You may need to jump-start your battery to check if it is a dead battery. If all these do not work and your Sorento won’t start, replace the battery.

3. Faulty Fuel Pump

A faulty fuel pump can prevent your Kia Sorento engine from getting sufficient fuel. In this case, it will be difficult or practically impossible for your vehicle to start.

The fuel pump is primarily responsible for pulling gas from the tank and to the injectors with enough pressure. Get your mechanic to check the condition of the fuel pump.

If it is no longer working properly, replace the failing fuel pump with a new unit.

4. Faulty Ignition Switch

The ignition switch of a Kia Sorento can fail over time, and when it does, it becomes difficult to start the vehicle.

At times, the ignition switch may become so hot that it sears human skin. In this instance, the ignition switch wiring is the culprit preventing your Kia Sorento from starting.

So, get your mechanic to check if the ignition switch is still working, including the wiring. A failing ignition switch will need to be replaced immediately, and that includes the ignition switch wiring.

5. Damaged Alternator

If your Kia Sorento won’t start, the alternator may be the culprit. A faulty alternator won’t charge the battery. As such, your car battery won’t have the required charge to start the engine.

Get your mechanic to inspect the alternator to confirm its working condition. If the alternator is bad, replace it with a new unit.

6. Fouled Spark Plugs

The job of spark plugs is to create the needed spark that allows a vehicle to burn fuel. But when a spark plug is fouled, starting the vehicle becomes challenging.

As electrodes wear down over time, the voltage needed to jump the gap in order to ignite the fuel increases drastically. This results in prolonged cranking before the engine will even start.

Check to see if the spark plugs are fouled when having problems starting your Kia Sorento. If they are, replace them immediately.

7. Bad Relay Wiring

The cables between the starter and battery can get broken or loose. This affects how electricity travels within that system and prevents the starter motor from functioning adequately.

Your mechanic will need to inspect the wiring and repair or replace them as required.

8. Bad Starter Solenoid

The starter solenoid is the device that receives the signal to send adequate power to the starter. When a solenoid goes bad, it can negatively impact your Sorento starter system. As a result, your vehicle won’t start easily.

Get your solenoid carefully examined in order to determine if it has gone bad or has something to do with the starter. If the solenoid has gone bad, replace it immediately.

9. Contaminated Fuel

Contaminants such as debris or dirt can pollute the fuel that enters your tank during refilling. But not only that, there can be too much water or alcohol in the fuel, preventing your Kia Sorento from starting.

Even if your Sorento eventually starts, the contaminated fuel can cause severe damage to your engine. Therefore, if your vehicle fails to start and you suspect the fuel may be contaminated, get your mechanic to inspect your vehicle immediately.

The fuel may need to be drained from your Sorento’s tank and other repairs carried out, depending on the severity of the situation.

10. Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter removes any particle or contaminant in the fuel that travels to the engine.

However, fuel filters can become clogged over time, preventing the injectors from getting sufficient fuel when you are about to start your Sorento. This makes it pretty difficult to start your engine.

Check the condition of the fuel filter; if it is clogged, replace it immediately with a new unit.

11. Broken Crankshaft Bolt

The crankshaft bolt of your Kia Sorento may have broken, causing difficulties with starting your vehicle. This is one of the known issues associated with the Kia Sorento, including many other Kia vehicles.

A broken crankshaft bolt will not only cause starting problems but may cause warning lights to appear on your dashboard.

Get your mechanic to examine the crankshaft system and remove the broken bolt. This bolt must be replaced in order to resolve this starting problem.

12. Bad Connections/Cables

Faulty cables or connections can prevent your Kia Sorento from starting. As a result, no power will be running throughout your vehicle’s entire electrical system. Moreover, the battery cables may have come loose.

Check the connections/cables to see if there are any disconnections or loose cables. Then, tighten all loose connections, and replace damaged cables.

How to Prevent Kia Sorento Starting Problems

Here are recommended ways to avoid experiencing starting problems with your Kia Sorento:

  • Replace your Sorento’s coolant every 60,000 miles.
  • Replace the air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
  • Change the spark plugs every 100,000 miles unless it’s a copper spark plug. A copper spark plug should be changed every 30,000 miles.
  • Check your Sorento’s gasket from time to time and tighten it up if found loose.
  • Avoid buying gas from old or unkempt gas stations to prevent contaminated fuel from fouling up your filter.

Related Posts:


As you can see, there are several reasons your Kia Sorento won’t start. Most of them have been highlighted in this article, including how to resolve them.

You should also consider the quick tips for preventing starting problems with your vehicle. This may prevent frequent trips to the auto repair shop in order to solve your vehicle’s starting problems.