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Kia Won’t Start, Just Clicks—What Could Be Wrong?

If your Kia won't start and it just clicks, it can leave you in a situation where you may be late to your destination. So what could cause a clicking noise when you try and turn over the key? Not to worry, because we have taken the time to explain what the culprits could be in this article!

If you hear a clicking noise when you try to start your car, it could be a faulty starter. However, several components within a car starter could be the actual problem, such as the starter solenoid or starter relay. In addition, the reason this is happening might be due to the following:

  • Dead battery
  • Faulty alternator
  • Bad starter relay
  • Faulty cables/connections
  • Bad battery posts
  • Electrical issues

As you can see, it could not only be your starter that could be the issue. It is important to understand why these car parts will cause your Kia not to start. In this article, we will take a closer look at these parts and how they function. In addition, we will discuss the signs of a bad starter and the average costs to have one replaced in your Kia, so read on!

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car ignition with key. Kia Won't Start, Just Clicks—What Could Be Wrong

Kia Won't Start Just Clicks—What Could Be Wrong?

If your Kia doesn't start then, it can be frustrating and confusing. It can leave you with little to no options, especially if it is at an inopportune time. Some of the most common reasons for this problem are due to a faulty starter or bad cables. Nonetheless, there could be other reasons that this is happening. Let's take a look at each to help pinpoint the problem:

Kia car emblem on top of a car with white hood

Bad Starter

A bad starter is the most common cause for this issue. The starter has an armature that moves back and forth rapidly between magnets to start the engine. If there is a problem with your starter, it might click when you try to start your car, or it may not turn at all.

It can also leave you stranded if this happens because a faulty starter can lead to a dead battery. In addition, this could also happen if the car is not receiving power from the battery, which would mean that there is a problem with your alternator or cables.

Starter for car isolated on a light background

Bad Starter Solenoid

When you turn your key to start your Kia, the starter solenoid receives the signal to send power to the starter. The car will only recognize if there is a problem with this part when you start it. A faulty one may click, but it won't turn over because it cannot complete its task of sending power.

Faulty Starter Relay

This relay is responsible for sending the signal to start your car. This component does not actually power the starter, but it is an important part of why you cannot turn over your engine.

If you notice that your Kia won't start, then there could be a problem with this part. It will either click or make more of a whining sound when you turn the key.

Failing or Dead Battery

A bad or dead battery can cause your Kia not to start. If the battery is too weak, it will not be able to send power to the starter.

It will usually make a clicking sound when you turn it over, but in some cases, the dashboard lights may flicker for this problem. You should also check that Kia or your autosh0p has correctly installed your battery because sometimes it will not make a connection properly.

Try jumpstarting your battery if this is the case to check if it's a dead battery. In most cases, the clicking noise will stop when you have a good charge going through your car. In addition, you can take the battery to a local auto parts store to have them charge the battery to see if it needs replacing!

close up photo of car alternator

Bad Alternator

If you have trouble starting your Kia and suspect an issue with the alternator, it's important to know that the car battery might die. If this happens, it means that your alternator is not sending power to the rest of your car. This can be due to a faulty connection with the cable or an electrical issue within the system.

Bad Cables / Connections

Faulty cables or connections could also cause your Kia not to start. The reason for this is that there wouldn't be any power running throughout the entire electrical system. In addition, the battery cables could be loose. The solution to this problem would be tightening the connections.

bad car battery posts with rust

Bad Battery Posts

If the posts of your battery are corroded, then this could cause them not to connect. The posts must create a good connection for your Kia to turn over. If you see visible corrosion, you can brush it off with steel wool or sandpaper.

Electrical Issues

It is also possible for there to be an electrical issue that causes your Kia not to start. This can be due to an electrical short or a faulty starter relay. You should take your car into the shop if you see this problem because it could also cause other problems within your vehicle.

How to Reset a Kia After the Battery is Disconnected

If you need to disconnect your Kia battery for one reason or another, you may need to reset the computer system. The reason being is because the service light or oil maintenance light could come on. This is a simple fix and can be done by following these steps:

  1. First, turn the Kia to the on position but do not start it.
  2. Once the dash lights come on, navigate to the service menu.
  3. From there, click "ok" to reset the system.
  4. Turn the vehicle off, and the system should be reset.

If, for some reason, this doesn't work, then you may need to go to a local Kia dealership and have them clear the system. Sometimes doing this process doesn't work and will need to be hooked up to a computer scanner. More than likely, the dealer will do this for you for free!

What Year are Kias Being Recalled?

A vehicle recall is when a company finds a problem with a part in your car and will offer to fix it for free. They do this because the problem could cause a safety issue and could be dangerous for you or other drivers on the road. So does Kia currently have this problem?

Unfortunately, some Kia models are currently subject to recall. For example, the 2013 to 2015 Kia Optimas are being recalled. In addition, the 2014 and 2015 Kia Sorento models are also being recalled. The recall is related to engine misfires which have several consumers concerned.

If you personally own one of these Kia models, contact your local Kia dealer to address the issue. Remember that even if an engine misfire hasn't happened to one of the Kia's mentioned above, you should still contact the dealer to have your vehicle inspected!

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Kia Starter?

The cost to replace a Kia starter can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, it will depend on which Kia model you own. In addition, the region in which you live will also determine the labor and parts costs. However, you can expect on average to pay anywhere between $400 and $500!

If you decide to get your starter replaced, try and find a mechanic who is experienced in replacing Kia starters, such as a Kia dealer. The reason for this is because they will be more familiar with the way the part works and how it fits into your car. If you go with someone less experienced, there is a chance they may not accurately diagnose the problem!

Can you Jump-Start a Car with a Bad Starter?

You can jumpstart a car with a bad starter, but more than likely isn't going to help your situation. This is because the car may have another component causing the problem, which you won't be able to see or test for. In addition, trying to jumpstart a Kia with a bad starter will risk causing further damage as well as other issues.

Car key into ignition lock. Kia Won't Start, Just Clicks—What Could Be Wrong

Final Thoughts

Overall, Kia's, like any other vehicle manufacturer, will have issues at some point. However, if you have problems with your Kia not starting but making a clicking noise, then first check the battery. Try jumpstarting the battery and have it tested to see if it is bad.

If everything checks out with your battery, then more than likely, the issue is due to your starter motor or a component within the starter being faulty. If this is the case, you will need to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic to have the issue addressed.

For more articles on Kia vehicles, check out our other articles:

Can You Flat Tow A Kia Optima?

A Look At The Best Oil Options For A Kia Sportage

Can You Flat Tow A Kia Telluride?