4 Common Kia Push-Button Start Problems (Explained)

Changes in technology always come with advantages and disadvantages. And when car brands such as Kia introduced push-button start technology, consumers were awed at how convenient getting into a car would be.

And even though we can all agree that the days when you had to dig through a set of keys before starting a car are gone, the push-button mechanism does have its drawbacks especially when it starts malfunctioning.

kia push button start problems

How Do Kia Push Button Start Problems Occur?

Perhaps you may have heard your colleagues talk about this issue at work, or you have been a victim of such. Push-button start problems can be a great source of headaches.

And unlike other car parts, Kia push-button start problems are very easy to diagnose. If you have driven a Kia model with the push-button start, then you are aware of how straightforward the process of starting the engine is.

You just have to press on the break and the light on the push-button start should turn green and when pressed, the engine should be turned on, as well as other electrical functions of the car.

When you perform this procedure and the engine doesn’t turn on, then you definitely have a problem with the push-button start.

The challenging part about the Kia push-button issue is that it can be caused by several factors.

We are going to list the most common causes of Kia push-button start issues so that you can easily narrow them down to your individual problem and fix it right away.

Push-button problems can be inconveniencing and fixing the cause as soon as possible is very important.

Causes of Kia Push Button Start Problems

We are going to start on some of the most common causes and then slowly switch up to the most complex sources of your Kia push-button start issues.

1. A dead key fob

Without a key fob, your Kia is not going to start. This is general knowledge. The biggest cause of Kia push-button start problems is a key fob with a weak or dead battery.

This is very common because most car owners rarely remember to switch the batteries of their key fobs. Some car owners don’t even know that the key fob has got a battery inside.

The key fob needs to be active and within the vehicle for the car to start.

When its battery dies, the car can’t recognize the presence of the key fob in the vicinity. And due to Kia’s strong security features, the car won’t turn on.

Additionally, if you have got a dead key fob, it will be impossible for you to unlock the car. As the key fob plays a critical role in this process.

If you have got a dead key fob, the solution is to replace the battery and your car will start right away. Inside the fob, there is usually a key that can be inserted in an opening that is located around the steering wheel or under the armrest.

Refer to your manual on where you can insert the key in your fob and send a signal to the car so that it can allow you to switch on the vehicle using the push to start button.

2. A dead battery

The second most common cause is a dead battery. This is the second thing you should check when you confirm that your key fob battery is okay and the car isn’t starting as it should.

Similar to the above problem, this too should be very easy to diagnose. A car with a dead battery should be easy to diagnose because the push-button start will actually do its job.

Which is to switch the engine on. However, the engine may crank slowly or it may not crank at all and you may only hear the clicking sound of the starter motor.

When you experience the above, if your battery is new, you may have left some lights on. And this could have drained the battery. However, if you have had your battery for a while now, it may need replacement.

Using a multimeter, you should test the voltage of the battery. And if it’s low, you can jumpstart it and it will work just fine.

Before we move on to another factor that can affect the functioning of a Kia push-button start, you should know that corrosion on the battery can prevent the car from starting.

Remove the terminals and clean the corrosion on the battery. The push-button start should work perfectly after that.

3. A Faulty Starter

The role of the push button is to send a command to the starter motor that the driver wishes to start the engine. If the starter motor isn’t working well, you won’t get any feedback from pressing the push-button start on your Kia.

When the starter is engaged, it produces a clicking sound and then the engine is turned on. If the engine doesn’t reciprocate and your key fob is working well plus your battery has got enough juice. The next culprit should be the starter.

In all Kia models, the starter motor has a lifespan of 100k to 150k miles. In between, it starts misbehaving.

If your vehicle has gone for this amount of mileage and occasionally, you are unable to turn your car on using the push-button start, check if the starter motor is working. There is no shortcut for this problem. You just have to replace the motor.

4. A Defective Push-Button System

This is very rare in Kia car models. But, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the push-button system can get damaged with time.

It’s a button like any other and it may become defective. Also, the vehicle’s push-button mechanism may face a programming issue and you may be unable to use the push-button start conveniently.

If this is the case, the ideal cause of action is to take your car to the dealership and have their technicians take a look.

If this system requires reprogramming, they will do it for you. They will also have a look at the fuses that control the push-button start system and wires as well.

Push-Button Start Not Working When the Car is in Gear

In Kia cars, the push-button start is designed to work only when the car is in Park or Neutral. If the car is in reverse or other gears, the engine won’t crank.

This is something you should know and confirm always before starting your car. Otherwise, you may be left wondering why doesn’t the push-button start work yet everything else is working just fine.

Can Brake Switch Failure Cause the Push Button Start Not to Turn on the Engine?

There is another hidden issue that can also cause the push-button start not to turn on the engine when pressed. And that is the brake switch.

For the vehicle to be turned on using the push-button start, one must press the brake and then followed by the switch.

If the brake switch isn’t working, the starter by itself will not turn on the car. This is something you should have your mechanic check when you realize that you are unable to turn on your car using the push-button start.

Is Kia’s Push Button Start Generally Problematic?

Not at all. Kia is a reputable car brand and there haven’t been many complaints launched against their car’s push-button start systems.

So, if you are interested in buying a model from this brand, the above shouldn’t scare you from getting a car from them.

However, the main takeaway is that push-button start technology can be a bit problematic. Not just with Kia cars, but other models as well.

When this technology first hit the market, a lot of people were reluctant towards embracing it because people were used to the good old-fashioned car keys.

However, the push-button start is quite convenient. You enjoy keyless entry and with the touch of a button, your engine is on.

As convenient as it may be, if your car used keys, you would never have to be worried about dead key fobs or being unable to switch the car on just because the push-button start mechanism has become defective.

Similar to other advancements in auto tech, push-button start does have its pros and cons.

How Can I Start My Car When the Push Start Button isn’t Working?

We have already covered earlier how you can use the key fob and insert it in a slot that could be located around your steering wheel or center console.

Fortunately, there is another way on how you can start the engine of your Kia when the push-button start button misbehaves.

It entails depressing the brake and pushing the start or stop button. Your car should start. In some models, holding on to the push-button start for a while can override the system and turn on your engine.

If you are not sure how to fix or even identify the above causes of Kia push-button start problems, we highly recommend that you hire a mechanic or take the vehicle to the dealer.

The push-button start system is quite complex and if you lack the relevant skills, you shouldn’t tamper with it. Issues such as a dead key fob or battery can easily diagnose and fix them.