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2018 Sportage EX
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Its not just a KIA thing either - we also have an Odyssey and the same thing has been reported over there. My 'fix' worked for that owner as it did for me but this one here seems to really have a bad case of it. It would be easier if the starter did not crank the engine but it does, which rules out many avenues of interest, such as the start switch, battery, starter, starter relay, etc. Now we should be looking for what is missing on the starting cycle; fuel or ignition. I think its the fuel that is not getting turned on but it could be the ignition or even both.
Whatever, it is an ECU programming problem and it will probably take a flash to fix it.
If it was getting fuel but no spark wouldn't there be some accompanying smoky start-up? Unless they use much less fuel on starting that I thought.

The unburned fuel should cause excess soot.
 

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Meaning you don't see a problem or it's not a good video?
I couldn't make out the grinding "The car...grinds(?) for several seconds before turning on " , or the amount of time the starter was cranking before it fired up.
 

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2019 Sportage EX AWD
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
When I said grinds I meant cranking, I just couldn't recall the terminology. If you turn it up pretty loud you can her it cranks several seconds. If you still can't hear it, I can tell you it is cranking from the time I push the button until the time the radio comes on.
 

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I couldn't make out the grinding "The car...grinds(?) for several seconds before turning on " , or the amount of time the starter was cranking before it fired up.
The starter cranks for a few seconds before the engine starts.

Mine were followed by a very brief (1/2 second or less) bumpy idle as the engine catches then smoothed out to normal. Something like cars used to do when being started after a long period. A little bumpy then everything smoothed out to normal.
 

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2019 Sportage EX AWD
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Discussion Starter #27
Y
The starter cranks for a few seconds before the engine starts.

Mine were followed by a very brief (1/2 second or less) bumpy idle as the engine catches then smoothed out to normal. Something like cars used to do when being started after a long period. A little bumpy then everything smoothed out to normal.
Yes, it feels much like a car that hasn't been started for a month, or like cars struggle at negative degrees, except that the car does also shake when it does it which I haven't experienced in the other situations.
 

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2017 Kia Sportage
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Have you guys ever thought it might be bad gas or condensation in the gas tank? That happens more often than people think. It might take a tank or two to get over the problem and it would not be diagnosed by the dealer. Always use top tier gas from a known brand and go to newer gas stations. If the gas station is not well kept, the owner might be supplementing the name brand gas with a truck or two of cheap gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Have you guys ever thought it might be bad gas or condensation in the gas tank? That happens more often than people think. It might take a tank or two to get over the problem and it would not be diagnosed by the dealer. Always use top tier gas from a known brand and go to newer gas stations. If the gas station is not well kept, the owner might be supplementing the name brand gas with a truck or two of cheap gas.
I actually did try several different gas brands, and i only even go to well known stations. The one closest to my house is a big brand name but when this started I stopped going there and switched to a different one. It made no difference unfortunately.
 

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Most areas have to use at least E10, so water in the gas simply goes into solution. It can cause corrosion but in order to cause a no-start, it probably would have to be over 30% water, which is not very likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Have you actually tried holding the button down until it starts or was my post poorly worded?
Yes, I have. The length of time the button is held seems to have no impact on starting. When it starts with no issues it starts virtually simultaneously with my release of the button, but, I have had this issue both when I have held the button down and waited for it to actually start and when I hit it and let it go like in the video. The second time it did it after this started being an issue, I actually held the button down until it started. The next time I hit and let go like in the video to see if it would start without holding it down. I honestly thought the first time it happened that I hadn't actually fully pressed the button so I was careful after that and was holding it longer. Same amount of delay for both methods.
 

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Most areas have to use at least E10, so water in the gas simply goes into solution. It can cause corrosion but in order to cause a no-start, it probably would have to be over 30% water, which is not very likely.
Don't know where you got your information. E10 normally has about 0.5% water. Just 1 or 2% can cause problems like this. Dirty injectors can also cause this issue, but this would be repeatable.
 

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Have you actually tried holding the button down until it starts or was my post poorly worded?
You should not hold the button down -- it is not like a diesel. The starter is electronically controlled and is engaged by the ECU and not the starter button. In old cars, the starter was directly connected to the ignition key. They do this to enable the immobilizer functionality. I've never heard of the push button going bad on modern cars, but I guess it is possible due to a loose connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
You should not hold the button down -- it is not like a diesel. The starter is electronically controlled and is engaged by the ECU and not the starter button. In old cars, the starter was directly connected to the ignition key. They do this to enable the immobilizer functionality. I've never heard of the push button going bad on modern cars, but I guess it is possible due to a loose connection.
I realize that, but, when this started in trying to determine what the problem was myself, I tried it. The point is, it made no difference at all so I don't think the issue is the button itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Update. I got the service manager involved after the lack of communication, but, her communication wasn't much better. I finally got a response from her Thursday afternoon that listed the things that had checked out (starter, battery, alternator, checking for wire chafting and aftermarket parts and damage). She did say that she had sent what sounds like the kia version of an IT "trouble ticket" to the engineers in CA. I talked to her via phone Thursday night and she said it would take some time to hear back from CA and if we didn't get a response by Friday afternoon to come pick up the car and they would let me know when they did.

After again not hearing from anyone, I emailed her in the afternoon on Friday. The response from Kia was if they were not able to replicate the problem they should release the car back to me if "it becomes more present" to bring it back in. So basically, I take that as "we don't care if you have an intermittent problem with your brand new car, as long as it doesn't happen that often."
When I picked it up the associated did again agree that this behavior is not normal, they just can't find a reason for it.
Frankly, I'm not sure what else to do.
 

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If it is as they say, the problem hasn't manifest itself while in their custody, it's tough for them to resolve it.

It's better than some places that would have given a BS story.

What is your expectation of them, and did you make that clear to them?
 

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Discussion Starter #38
If it is as they say, the problem hasn't manifest itself while in their custody, it's tough for them to resolve it.

What is your expectation of them, and did you make that clear to them?
I totally get that it's tough to figure out. Most intermittent issues are. My concern is the "if it doesn't get worse, it's not a problem" attitude. imo, any issues with a brand new car hesitating to start is a real problem. Honestly, I'm not sure what my expectations should be?
 

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I totally get that it's tough to figure out. Most intermittent issues are. My concern is the "if it doesn't get worse, it's not a problem" attitude. imo, any issues with a brand new car hesitating to start is a real problem. Honestly, I'm not sure what my expectations should be?
Tough one for all parties - there's a chance that you may never experience it again.

Hopefully they did due diligence and checked all potential causes, spark plugs, ignition coils, fuel rail pressure at start, ........
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Tough one for all parties - there's a chance that you may never experience it again.
I would love for that to be the case! Really and truly! But, since it has happened more than a 10 times in the 4 months I've had the car, I'm not holding ny breath. For now I'm just going to continue recording every time I start the car so I gave continued documentation.
 
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