Problems with starting my car

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Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Caveat: I have little formal knowledge and no training in mechanics. Everything I know I have picked up 'here and there'.

I own a 2008 Kia Sportage 4x4 with roughly 100,000 kms on it. Overall it is in good shape as we bring it in for regular maintenance.

Lately, however, I have been problems starting the car. It always starts eventually but not without trying several times. The lights and all the electrical components seem to work fine. When I have problems starting it (which isn't always but now it seems more frequently when we have driven the car for some distance) the car won't even try to turn over; all I hear is a click. It seems to be random though I have wondered if it is something wrong with the ignition. Perhaps the key is not working right with the mechanism inside the steering column?

Any ideas before I bring it to the mechanic (things I can do on my own at home without having to spend a lot of money)?
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I don't know how old it is but we did buy the car used from the dealership and I believe that the battery is one thing they check before you purchase it. Having said that there is a sticker on it that says "recharge 3-12". Assuming that means March 2012, why would a battery have to be recharged? <- ignorance
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
There is a good possibility it is the starter motor. I don't think this is an expensive repair.

[video=youtube;UnmnWuuLfzE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnmnWuuLfzE[/video]
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
but now it seems more frequently when we have driven the car for some distance) the car won't even try to turn over; all I hear is a click.

First guess is an alternator that is going bad, with a really good battery. The alternator is not generating enough to power the car, and thus the more you drive, the more you drain the battery. It *could* just be a battery going bad, but then the problem would be the reverse - worse after the car has been sitting for a long time, better after you've driven it a while.

It could be some other problem with the electrical system. In any event, it isn't going to fix itself, it's probably going to get worse, and if you don't address it sooner rather than later, it's going to strand you. At least make sure you have a decent pair of jumper cables and/or an auto club membership.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
why would a battery have to be recharged?

If it's been sitting on the lot all winter, it would probably need a re-charge to get it started. If they let that happen, it could mean a damaged battery, but that wouldn't be my guess for your symptoms.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Some auto places here in the States check batteries, starters, and alternators for free. Maybe there's a similar program there?
 

jgilberAZ

Puritan Board Freshman
Could just be a loose battery connection. Check that your battery terminal connections are tight.
 

TexanRose

Puritan Board Sophomore
Funny, my car did just the same thing this morning. It wouldn't turn over, though when I turned the A/C fan off, it started, though reluctantly. I had just been told, based on a funny noise that my car has been making, that my alternator might be going out.
 

davenporter

Puritan Board Freshman
I had the same problem; it kept getting worse and worse over the course of months until I couldn't start it at all. replaced my starter and it worked fine.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Also the car only has problems starting when we have just driven it. It starts fine at home and runs well on the road but when we park it in town and then try to start it up, it refuses.
 

moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
[When I have problems starting it (which isn't always but now it seems more frequently when we have driven the car for some distance) the car won't even try to turn over; all I hear is a click. It seems to be random though...

When it won't start, find the starter motor and hit it with a wrench or a hammer a few times, and then try to start it. If it starts, the brushes are going bad, and the starter will need to be replaced.

Blessings and prayers...
 

malum in se

Puritan Board Freshman
If it eventually starts without having to jump it there's probably an electrical fault in the starting system, anything from the ignition switch, a relay, wiring, or starter motor. (it's hard to say anything more without looking at the car) But if the solenoid on the starter is clicking but the motor is not turning, the contacts or brushes are probably worn and the starter will need to be repaired or replaced. (that's assuming that the starter is getting the proper voltage and amperage to be able to start)

On the other hand, if you have to jump the car for it to start, then I would have the battery and alternator tested.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thank you all for your suggestions. We took it to the dealership and they diagnosed it as a faulty starter. Thankfully the replacement is covered under our extended warranty.
 
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