Car won't start sometimes

Asked by Jul 27, 2015 at 02:22 PM about the 2012 Kia Rio LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Okay my 2012 Kia Rio won't start
sometimes. I'll put the key into the
ignition and try to and it won't do
anything. I know it's not a bad
battery, but all I have to do is take
the key out and keep doin it and
eventually it will start. And it only
does this some days, while other
days it's fine. And today it started to
do it and my check engine light
came on. Does anybody know what
could cause this?

8 Answers

Since your CEL is lit, go to a parts house or some service center and get an OBDII scan. Don't pay for it..if they want to charge you, go someplace else. Then don't buy anything...yet. Some parts guys know what they are doing...others not so much, and if they talk you in to buying electrical parts, they can not be returned, even if never installed. Get the fault code(s) and bring them back here, one of us will be happy to help you with the most cost-effective solution.

3 people found this helpful.

Did you find a solution to this? My car is having the same problem

Just bought a 2013 kia rio 2 days ago. Mines doing the same thing.

Same thing happened to me... Kia rio 2013 ... in the garage now.


Here's a couple of posts from other forums regarding the same issue ..... "Hi, does the immobiliser/key light come on dash with ignition on? worth checking that light everytime you start up, if it doesn't come on then engine won't start. immobilser unit (kia call it SMARTRA unit) common fault." And a post from KIA: "More Info from Kia Tech: The immobilizer system will disable the vehicle unless the proper ignition key is used, in addition to the currently available anti-theft systems such as car alarms, the immobilizer system aims to drastically reduce the rate of auto theft. 1. SMARTRA type immobilizer A. The SMARTRA system consists of a transponder located in the ignition key, an antenna coil, a SMARTRA unit, an indicator light and the PCM(ECM). B. The SMARTRA communicates to the PCM(ECM) (Engine Control Module) via a dedicated communications line. Since the vehicle engine management system is able to control engine mobilization, it is the most suitable unit to control the SMARTRA. C. When the key is inserted in the ignition and turned to the ON position, the antenna coil sends power to the transponder in the ignition key. The transponder then sends a coded signal back through the SMARTRA unit to the PCM(ECM). D. If the proper key has been used, the PCM(ECM) will energize the fuel supply system. The immobilizer indicator light in the cluster will simultaneously come on for more than five seconds, indicating that the SMARTRA unit has recognized the code sent by the transponder. E. If the wrong key has been used and the code was not received or recognized by the PCM(ECM) the indicator light will continue blinking for about five seconds until the ignition switch is turned OFF. F. If it is necessary to rewrite the PCM(ECM) to learn a new key, the dealer needs the customer's vehicle, all its keys and the Scan tool (pro) equipped with an immobilizer program card. Any key that is not learned during rewriting will no longer start the engine. G. The immobilizer system can store up to four key codes. H. If the customer has lost his key, and cannot start the engine, contact motor service station. COMPONENTS OPERATIONS: PCM (Power Train Control Module)1. The PCM(ECM) carries out a check of the ignition key using a special encryption algorithm, which is programmed into the transponder as well as the PCM(ECM) simultaneously. Only if the results are equal, the engine can be started. The data of all transponders, which are valid for the vehicle, are stored in the PCM(ECM). - SMARTRA unit The SMARTRA carries out communication with the built-in transponder in the ignition key. This wireless communication runs on RF (Radio frequency of 125 kHz). The SMARTRA is mounted behind of the crush pad under panel close to the antenna coil for RF transmission and receiving. The RF signal from the transponder, received by the antenna coil, is converted into messages for serial communication by the SMARTRA device. And, the received messages from the PCM(ECM) are converted into an RF signal, which is transmitted to the transponder by the antenna. The SMARTRA does not carry out the validity check of the transponder or the calculation of encryption algorithm. This device is only an advanced interface, which converts the RF data flow of the transponder into serial communication to the PCM(ECM) and vice versa. TRANSPONDER (Built-in keys) The transponder has an advanced encryption algorithm. During the key teaching procedure, the transponder will be programmed with vehicle specific data. The vehicle specific data are written into the transponder memory. The write procedure is once only; therefore, the contents of the transponder can never be modified or changed. Antenna coil The antenna coil (A) has the following functions. - The antenna coil supplies energy to the transponder. - The antenna coil receives signal from the transponder. - The antenna coil sends transponder signal to the SMARTRA. It is located directly in front of the steering handle lock."

1 people found this helpful.

My 2012 KIA RIO has just started having the same issue. I put the key in and go to turn it and the radio and lights switch on but the engine doesn't come on. Mine turns on once I put it into drive then try turn the key again it turns on. Just wondering if anyone had some answers from when they took theirs to get fixed??

My Kia won't start the battery is new the starter is fine new fuel pump and filter what can be wrong?

Is anyone knows what is it? My Kia Rio 2012 did the same thing. Mostly at night and when I’m not home!! I try to turn it on, it turns on but turns off right after... It’s not the battery nor the starter, I even had weeks ago my check engine turned on and When my car got tested on that, I knew it was the knock sensor. So.. I replaced it, and a week later this is the 2nd time in 2 days. Usually I have to wait 15,20 min and try again and it works but yesterday it took 2h30 and I had already call a toing. I really don’t know what to do, this car cost me so much money until now....

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