KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid Engine Problems

The KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid is one of the few models that best represents how the automaker has developed. This most recent model, now in its fifth generation, is more advanced than the simple model introduced in 1993.

The vehicle is a leader in the compact SUV segment. The compact SUV market is fiercely competitive, and Sportage is one of KIA’s best-selling nameplates globally. So it needs to be at the top of its game.

KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid brief review


The KIA Sportage mild hybrid has a 0.44 kWh and 48 volts battery. Although the motor’s output is insufficient to propel the vehicle, it can aid in acceleration to lighten the stress on the engine and lower pollutants and fuel usage.

The motor’s rated power output is 12kW, or around 16 hp. The KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid also features a competitive starting price and a spacious interior. As a result of its outstanding features, the car has garnered favorable reviews from most critics [1].

Despite this, the KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid has several issues drivers have reported, especially concerning the engine. Some owners have reported some rather bizarre driving incidents.

They claim the steering is terrible; it feels too loose, the ISG is erratic, and it stalls when coming to a halt at a junction. In addition, several owners have noticed an odd change in their driving when switching from the battery to the engine.

The KIA Sportage hybrid’s ability to turn off the engine earlier while slowing to a stop is one of its fuel-saving features.

But when releasing the brakes, KIA’s overly powerful creep suddenly causes it to spring forward, making maneuvering in a small parking lot with a cold engine raised idle challenging [2].

 KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid Engine Problems



  1. Engine Stalling

The KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid has a well-known engine issue. While the car is moving, the engine has been known to stall or idle, which is not only annoying but also a sign of an unhealthy engine.

One owner complained that the drive belt tensioner frequently seizes up in the mild hybrid 1.6. The sudden force damages the crankshaft pulley keyway, destroying the piston and valve.

Retightening the pulley bolt is the KIA Cure’s suggested fix in the hope that engine damage won’t occur. However, because the tensioner issue is still not fixed, the motorist will eventually be stranded in either case.

While several factors could contribute to the stalling engine issue, the most frequent ones are a broken Electronic Gas Injection (EGI) control relay or a worn-out fuel pump. To guarantee that the problem is resolved and neither component will cause the other to fail again, it is advised to replace both at once. [4]

  1. Loss of Engine Power

Power loss has been an issue with the KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid. Users indicate that the car jerks or grazes when it speeds, making it difficult to drive.

This can be especially irritating on a ring road or freeway because it might soon turn dangerous. Additionally, it indicates that certain engine components have deteriorated and that your engine may fail suddenly. [5]

However, it might not be easy to determine the cause of a power loss without first investigating the fault. The engine is a sophisticated device that integrates numerous components that are interdependent. Therefore, if an element is damaged, it may affect the entire system.

When your vehicle starts to hesitate when traveling down the interstate or runs erratically at stoplights, it is not only bothersome but a warning that it needs more work. Unfortunately, only being aware of an issue won’t make it go away.

You also need to take the step to have the issue fixed. Since many problems might result in a loss of power, focusing on a specific system to identify the cause of the problem is critical.

The most common reasons for power loss include a defective fuel pump or filter, a leak in the vacuum, a malfunctioning ignition system, a worn timing belt or chain, failed or clogged catalytic converter, and a dirty airflow sensor [6].

An expert car dealer can help you fix the problem. It is also advisable to buy new filters and install them yourself.

  1. Transmission Problems

Numerous drivers have complained about transmission issues with the KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid. Motorists have mentioned a burning smell emanating from the hood, jumping during acceleration, and a grinding or shaking sensation while driving. It is possible that a defective torque converter or a gearbox fluid leak is to blame for this issue.

These signs could also be brought on by issues with the transmission control module, which can occasionally be resolved by having the dealer do a software update. [7]

Even though a transmission fluid leak might seem less concerning at first, if left unattended, it can result in catastrophic harm and even transmission failure.

Therefore, if you see any of these signs, check the transmission fluid level immediately and add more if necessary.

Additionally, changing the fluid is the best approach to increase the lifespan of your transmission. It is also recommended for keeping it operating at peak efficiency.

The transmission fluid should be changed every 100,000 to 200,000 miles on average. However, a qualified mechanic can diagnose this issue for you.

  1. Hard Starts

Some KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid cars have been reported to fail to start. While it might not leave you stranded, a car that struggles to start might be very unsettling. Your KIA Sportage might start for several reasons, including a faulty starter, battery, alternator, and more.

Most of the time, battery issues make it impossible for the automobile to start. Cold weather conditions can significantly impact battery performance in particular.

As a result, the battery is utilized more frequently and becomes less effective. The best defense against unpleasant breakdowns is a routine car inspection in the spring and the fall!

  1. Check Engine Light Problems

Drivers have complained of their KIA Sportage’s Check Engine light flashing while there are no problems with the car. The light flashes and then goes out again. Several potential causes range from simple electrical issues to malfunctioning spark plugs or ignition coils.

Read Also: Kia Niro Hybrid Problems

There are many other reasons why the Check Engine light could come on. But with the Sportage, the issue is typically a leak at the intake ports. If there are any evident leakage indicators, check them for moisture and replace them with fresh ones [9].

Another definite way to figure out why your KIA Sportage’s Check Engine light keeps coming on and off is to take your car to a mechanic who can figure it out for you.

Read Also: Kia EV6 Problems


The KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid is an excellent SUV. It is well-rated for safety and offers a cozy interior. However, it is known to have several common issues.

These include rough steering, erratic ISG, engine stalling, and loss of power when coming to a halt at a junction. In addition, KIA’s overly powerful creep suddenly causes it to spring forward when releasing the brakes. This makes it hard to maneuver in small parking spaces.

If these issues are handled, the KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid is unquestionably one of the more dependable vehicles on the market.

Regardless of the brand and model of the car you are considering, being aware of its pros and cons might spare you a ton of future hassles.

This is true for all vehicles, including the KIA Sportage Mild Hybrid. Make sure that you conduct extensive research before making the decision to purchase. Be open to reading about potential KIA Sportage troubles you might run into as a vehicle owner.

This will assist you in selecting the ideal vehicle, as well as assist you in avoiding pricey repairs and better understanding what maintenance will be necessary.

In addition, maintaining your car will save money and help your new car last longer.

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