Reasons a Kia Won’t Start: How to Troubleshoot and Fix the Problem

by parker
YouTube video


Have you ever experienced the frustration of a car that won’t start? It’s even more aggravating when the problem occurs randomly, leaving you guessing what could be causing it. In this article, we will discuss the common reasons why a Kia won’t start and provide step-by-step troubleshooting and fixing tips. From a 2012 Kia Forte to other Kia models like the Soul, Sorento, and Forte, these tips can help you get to the bottom of the issue and potentially save you from unnecessary expenses. So, let’s dive in and find out how to solve the mystery of a non-starting Kia.

Troubleshooting an Intermittent Starting Problem

The story begins with a young lady who experienced her Kia Forte not starting intermittently. The issue occurred when she went to the gas station, filled up the car, and made a quick stop at the convenience store. When she came back to the car, it wouldn’t crank and start. After waiting for a while and allowing the car to sit, it magically started, and she was able to drive home. However, later that night, the car again failed to start. Frustrated, she reached out to a professional mechanic for help.

Step 1: Checking the Vehicle’s Grounds

When diagnosing an intermittent starting problem, it’s essential to start with the basics. The mechanic in this case decided to inspect the vehicle’s grounds. Grounds refer to the connection between the vehicle’s electrical components and the car’s chassis, ensuring a proper flow of electrical current.

To test the grounds, the mechanic used a multimeter to measure the voltage. He started by connecting the multimeter’s negative lead to the negative terminal of the battery and the positive lead to the positive terminal. The measurement came out to be 12.87 or 12.88 volts, indicating a healthy battery.

Next, the mechanic located the first chassis ground, testing the voltage again. A reading of 12.88 volts confirmed that the ground connection was solid. He continued searching for more chassis grounds, testing each one with the same results.

Step 2: Identifying a Problematic Ground Connection

As the mechanic explored further, he discovered another chassis ground on the opposite side of the engine near the strut tower. Testing this ground connection, he noticed a slightly lower voltage reading of 12.2 volts. There was also some corrosion present on the terminal.

Step 3: Clean and Reconnect the Ground Connection

Realizing that the slightly lower voltage reading and the corrosion might be the cause of the intermittent starting problem, the mechanic decided to clean the terminal. He removed all four blades attached to the terminal, cleaned them, and reconnected everything. After taking another voltage reading and getting 12.88 volts, the car started right up.

Testing the Fix

To verify whether the ground connection fix was successful, the mechanic allowed the car to become completely cold and tried starting it again. To his relief, the car started without hesitation. He repeated this process multiple times, and each time the car started smoothly, with no check engine lights or irregularities.

Common Problem Across Kia Models

Researching the issue, the mechanic found out that intermittent starting problems are quite common among Kia vehicles. This issue is not limited to the Kia Forte but affects other models like the Soul, Sorento, and more. Many Kia owners have shared their frustrating stories of cars failing to start and the struggles they faced while trying to fix the problem.

The Pitfalls of Randomly Replacing Sensors

The forums are full of people attempting to solve this problem by replacing various sensors, spending a significant amount of money on unnecessary fixes. They often replace batteries, starters, or other expensive components, only to have the problem resurface.

The Importance of Checking Ground Connections

The mechanic emphasized the importance of inspecting the ground connections, especially those connected to the vehicle’s chassis. In some cases, corrosion may not be immediately apparent, and it’s necessary to disassemble the connectors and use a wire brush to clean them thoroughly. Applying dielectric grease can also help prevent future corrosion.


In conclusion, if you find yourself facing an intermittent starting problem with your Kia, it’s crucial to begin troubleshooting by checking the ground connections. As demonstrated in the case of the Kia Forte, a slightly lower voltage reading and corrosion on a ground terminal can cause the car to fail to start at times. By cleaning and reconnecting these grounds, you may resolve the issue without resorting to expensive sensor replacements or other unnecessary fixes. Remember, while intermittent starting problems can be frustrating, some patience and a systematic approach can help you get back on the road without breaking the bank.

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