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2004 KIA Sorento 3.5L 2WD
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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry so long, but wanted to provide all the details. My daughter has a 2004 Sorento 2-wheel drive, 3.5L that had been sitting for 2 or 3 months. She was going to be using it again so wanted to make sure it was good to go for the next day. She checked fluids and then started it. It was a weak start like the battery was low, but it started. She let it warm up as she cleaned all the windows. It ran for maybe 10 minutes then she turned it off and went inside. The next day she went to use it and it was completely dead, no lights clicks or anything. She told me what happened and I asked her if light had been left on, she said no, and that the car would automatically turn stuff off if something like that happened. She then had to leave.
I went and checked it, it was dead. I pulled my Jeep over to hook up some jumper cables. The KIA key was off. I confirmed that everything was off inside like Key, lights, Radio and what have you. It was all off. I then connected the cables. It was so low that it caused the jeep lights to dim and caused it to idle up to provide the power needed. Then I noticed that the radiator fan was running. This was still with no key. I let it sit for several minutes then tried to start it. It crank but would not run. I checked the relays to see if the fan relay was stuck closed or something. It was making a clicking noise. Only was I could get the fan to stop was to pull its relay or the main relay. I moved the relays around but all would do the same thing. I unhooked my cables went and got my smart battery charger. Hooked it up, Voltage was super low and dropping. I pulled the fan relay and let the battery charge overnight. Next day, charger said battery was good and fully charged. I put relay back in and the fan started running. I tried to start the engine, cranked but would not run. Did it a few more times, but luck. I had the key in my hand and was about to go get my code reader to see if it would tell me anything. Just then, there was a click, another, then the starter started to run. Again, NO key in the ignition and the starter was running, but the car wasn't. I had to go and pull the starter relay to get it to stop. The car doesn't have a remote, or a remote start. Just a key.

I have never seen or heard anything like this before, any ideas what is going on?
 

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2011 Forte SX 2.4L (thankfully MPI) A/T 144K miles
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1,371 Posts
I'd open up the fuse box and take a look at the wiring inside of it, and also the condition of the connectors attached to it.
 

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2004 KIA Sorento 3.5L 2WD
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Inside and outside Fuses, Relays, connectors and wires all look normal and in good shape. Boy I am glad I wasn't in the engine compartment working on something when this started happening. Still doing it until I remove relay.
 

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Sorry so long, but wanted to provide all the details. My daughter has a 2004 Sorento 2-wheel drive, 3.5L that had been sitting for 2 or 3 months. She was going to be using it again so wanted to make sure it was good to go for the next day. She checked fluids and then started it. It was a weak start like the battery was low, but it started. She let it warm up as she cleaned all the windows. It ran for maybe 10 minutes then she turned it off and went inside. The next day she went to use it and it was completely dead, no lights clicks or anything. She told me what happened and I asked her if light had been left on, she said no, and that the car would automatically turn stuff off if something like that happened. She then had to leave.
I went and checked it, it was dead. I pulled my Jeep over to hook up some jumper cables. The KIA key was off. I confirmed that everything was off inside like Key, lights, Radio and what have you. It was all off. I then connected the cables. It was so low that it caused the jeep lights to dim and caused it to idle up to provide the power needed. Then I noticed that the radiator fan was running. This was still with no key. I let it sit for several minutes then tried to start it. It crank but would not run. I checked the relays to see if the fan relay was stuck closed or something. It was making a clicking noise. Only was I could get the fan to stop was to pull its relay or the main relay. I moved the relays around but all would do the same thing. I unhooked my cables went and got my smart battery charger. Hooked it up, Voltage was super low and dropping. I pulled the fan relay and let the battery charge overnight. Next day, charger said battery was good and fully charged. I put relay back in and the fan started running. I tried to start the engine, cranked but would not run. Did it a few more times, but luck. I had the key in my hand and was about to go get my code reader to see if it would tell me anything. Just then, there was a click, another, then the starter started to run. Again, NO key in the ignition and the starter was running, but the car wasn't. I had to go and pull the starter relay to get it to stop. The car doesn't have a remote, or a remote start. Just a key.

I have never seen or heard anything like this before, any ideas what is going on?
I've had a similar issue, twice leading to electrical malfunctions but once leading to the car self starting without a key, as you decribe. Water would leak into the car through either the sunroof drain hole/hose or through a gap in the windscreen sealant.
Both times the water would track inside the roof/head lining, down the plastic trim covering the right side corner A-pillar and down to the wiring harness and fuse box located in the right-side foot-well and behind the plastic kick panel.
I could recreate the leaks with the hose over the roof/windscreen.
Ive never been able (or bothered) to trace the cause of the issue beyond this, it seems far to coincidental to be anything else. That said - Im not sure what wiring/fuses etc down there is related directly to the starter motor.

Note: starter motor issue went away after a day or two, once things dried up a little.
I now pull the car undercover during big storms until I get a chance to look into the sunroof drain issue properly.
Has never happened during "normal" rain condition either prior or since.

Hope this helps.
 

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Check the back side of your key switch my wife's did same thing and at time the starter would engage going down road I picked up the tumbler side of key switch for like $25 at advance and replaced it in about 30 minutes hàs done great since then
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 08 Harley Nightrain
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Check the back side of your key switch my wife's did same thing and at time the starter would engage going down road I picked up the tumbler side of key switch for like $25 at advance and replaced it in about 30 minutes hàs done great since then
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