Why isn't my Kia starting up?


Asked by Apr 26, 2016 at 08:01 PM about the 2004 Kia Spectra LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a Kia Spectra 2004 1.8 4 cylinder .
I was using it and then parked it and then never
touched it for 3 to 4 years .
I have replaced the battery with brand-new one
fully charged ,  replace the spark plugs tested each
spark plug and each spark buck cable  ( they work )
I have put in a little under half a tank of fresh gas  
but the car won't start .
Even though  battery was new I tried  with jumper
chords attached to othe car.
The engine just doesn't sound as if it's starting ,
but it never does that one chug that actually Sparks
it up.
I have not checked the fuel injectors and I would
like to get this car running without taking it to a  
without taking it to a mechanic shop.
Thank you in advance

10 Answers


Did you change the oil and filter too. If you didn't put any fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank before you let it sit then chances are very high that the fuel system is full of varnish and if there was any water in it also rust, so the fuel system will have to be flushed, filter changed, and possibly replace the injectors and the fuel regulator, also did you put any oil in the top end when you had the plugs out, if not you run a risk of the valves sticking if and when it does fire up. When you get it running and it has good oil pressure and everything seems to be operating, run it till the cooling fans turn on then cycle off, then you should flush the cooling system and replace the thermostat. Then drain and refill the gear boxes or service the transmission if an automatic. Then flush the brake fluid. Sitting is extremely hard on a vehicle especially if you live in a damp climate.


Thank you very much for the thorough message.. I will take all of the items you listed one by one . Starting with the fuel system / fuel pump ... Which I have to now flush.... It is under the back seat correct ? And once I have it in my hands how do i actually flush it if car won't start...


When you get out and it is bad plugged just get a new one cause it is most likely already burned up, anyway chemtool is a good cleaner, you can get in both spray and a gallon liquid for soaking with a basket inside, so open up the system take out the injectors and soak them,remove the fuel filter and then spray clean the entire systems lines both pressure and returns, then use air pressure and back blow it all, I suggest you do this outside in the open air and make sure there are no possible sources of ignition as you will be dealing with fumes. Oh while you have the fuel pump out look inside the tank to see how much crud is in there you may have to drain it and clean it out also. Then after it is all back together and running dump a bottle of Techron in the fuel and drive it to a Chevron or Texaco station and fill up, this will help get what little stuff is left behind and dissolve it where it can be burned in the engine. I have been using Techron for over 19 years and have never had any injectors plug up on any of my rigs, in fact it actually cleaned one that I thought I was going to have to replace. So good luck on your project and be safe.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The injectors - how do I get to them to take them out ? Fuel filter - is that under the backseat , with the fuel pump ? System lines - is that all the hoses and pipes connecting to the engine? Is the Techron also something should be done on a sort of regular basis as part of maintenance and good care of one's car? Last night I pumped a little pressure back into the fuel line going back wards toward the gas tank and for the first time it actually sort of started , but chuggingly and eventually died out ... Is that maybe. Does that tell you anything?


The fuel rail will have to be removed to get to the injectors, the injectors then selves are just held in place by o-rings so be careful you don't damage them during the removable process, make sure the o-rings are removed before soaking the injectors fuel filter is under the hood, if you follow the pressure line from the fuel rail you will find it, normally attached to the firewall. Yes system lines are the hoses and steel lines. Yes Techron is an additive to the fuel and if you don't run top tier fuel you should add it to every tankful. Now to your running trial you just did, that tells me that the fuel pump is not making enough pressure, the good news that it did fire even though it was briefly. So here's what I would do remove the fuel pump and check for crud in the tank, if it looks good dump a bottle of Techron right in there and replace the fuel pump but do not hook up the lines, remove the fuel filter and spray some chemtool back down the line and then attach it to the fuel pump, then disconnect the return line at the fuel rail and do it the same way then reconnect it to the return port on the fuel assembly, remove the fuel pressure regulator and back flow the fuel rail till it flows out the line that was attached to the fuel filter, next replace both the fuel filter and the fuel pressure regulator and reattach all the lines, cycle the key on, off, wait 30 seconds repeat at least 5 times, this will prime the new fuel pump and pressurize the fuel system, now check for any fuel leaks, if none are found then attempt to start engine if you have changed the oil and filter and added a small amount of oil to each cylinder. Don't expect it to run very smooth at first as the computer will be relearning the vehicles systems, after it has warmed up drive it a short distance just to make sure everything is operating properly and the check engine light is off. Then proceed with changing the other fluids. HTH

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

You are so awesome ! Thank you very much for all the help... I went to Pep Boys and had to order the fuel filter but regarding the Chemtool they only have the bottle with the liquid in it and there is no way I can just ...pour it down. Is there some sort of a hose system with pressure that I can attach to the bottle with one end and the other end would snap on or attach so I can blow the Chemtool towards the gas pump and then towards the gas filter and towards the fuel regulator? Or can I use 'K&W Carburetor and Choke Cleaner' (which actually is spray and has one of those tiny little plastic tubes like u see on the compressed air cans)? Ok never mind --- I just saw last can of SPRAY Chemtool YES!! On to the cleaning! Also I checked some websites and some or saying the fuel filter is under the car towards the back near the gas tank. Do u know if maybe it is? And the one u saw being under the hood may have been a different year or the 2.0? I just want to go in all prepared! And also first I disconnect the battery right? Any other preparation / safety tip before I do it?


Once you get the filter it will be obvious where it goes, my pic only showed the one under the hood, but it is probable that there could be one back there, Kia is kinda slow with catching up with the norm. Yes disconnect the battery and make sure there are no other sources of ignition, open flames, smoking, sparks etc.


I didn't see a picture at all ... Il try checking on a computer vs phone...


Success! I finally got a round to put in the new gas filter ($15) and the new gas pump ($103) cleaned up the hoses with Chemtool while doing it, got a bottle of Techron in the tank - the car works like a champ !! Once again - you are a rockstar - thank you! Now on to doing the brakes, the bumper, the hood and the doors.


Great news.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Spectra in your area?

CarGurus has 1,361 nationwide Spectra listings starting at $1,950.


Search Kia Spectra Questions

Kia Spectra Experts

#1 Christina Ruggiero
Christina Ruggiero
Reputation 370
#1 Jeffrey Foster
Jeffrey Foster
Reputation 370
#3 Todd Warnke
Todd Warnke
Reputation 210
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Corolla"
1,430 Great Deals out of 67,056 listings starting at $1,295
Used Honda Civic"
1,124 Great Deals out of 58,278 listings starting at $1,300
Used Kia Sorento"
556 Great Deals out of 35,748 listings starting at $2,500
Used Hyundai Elantra"
862 Great Deals out of 51,486 listings starting at $990
Used Honda Accord"
1,267 Great Deals out of 77,937 listings starting at $1,395
Used Kia Optima"
604 Great Deals out of 32,049 listings starting at $1,000
Used Kia Rio"
132 Great Deals out of 7,190 listings starting at $1,500
Used Kia Sportage"
268 Great Deals out of 15,449 listings starting at $950
Used Toyota Camry"
1,667 Great Deals out of 98,336 listings starting at $895
Used Nissan Sentra"
877 Great Deals out of 49,792 listings starting at $500
Used Hyundai Accent"
275 Great Deals out of 14,710 listings starting at $1,995
Used Nissan Altima"
1,407 Great Deals out of 87,808 listings starting at $1,195
Used Nissan Maxima"
463 Great Deals out of 24,164 listings starting at $800

Used Cars For Sale

2009 Kia Spectra For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 257 listings starting at $2,995
2008 Kia Spectra For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 238 listings starting at $1,950
2006 Kia Spectra For Sale
248 listings starting at $2,300