How to remote start Kia Sportage with key fob or mobile device

Kia Sportage supports remote start feature that allows you to remotely start the engine of your vehicle for the purpose of cooling or preheating the interior before the passengers gets to it.

Kia Sportage fifth generation – (photo by Kia)

The remote start feature in Kia Sportage has many benefits. You can start your vehicle in advance when the weather is too hot or cold outside. The system turns on the air conditioning or heating, making inside cabin temperature more tolerable when you get to your vehicle.


Supported vehicles

The remote start is a standard feature on 2023 Kia Sportage EX, SX, SX Prestige, X-Line, X-Pro, X-Pro Prestige, and X-Line Prestige.

Remote start procedure for Sportage

You can remotely start your Kia Sportage by following these simple steps:

  1. Press the LOCK button on the key fob of your Sportage.
  2. Then within 4 seconds press and hold the REMOTE START button for over 2 seconds on the key fob.
  3. The engine starts and the turn signal lights flash multiple times.
  4. Once started remotely, the engine will run for 10 minutes and then shut down automatically.

The vehicle remains secured when you have remotely started the engine. A valid key must be inside your vehicle to switch the ignition on and drive your vehicle.

The remote start procedure must be performed within 32 feet or 10 meters distance from your Sportage, otherwise the engine may not start. The range may be reduced due to weak battery in the key fob or external signal interference.

Remotely stop Sportage’s engine

Press the REMOTE START button once on the key fob to remotely stop the engine of your Kia Sportage. The engine turns off and the doors remain locked. For this to work, the remote must be in the range of the smart entry system. If the remote is out of the range, the engine will not stop until 10 minutes duration has expired.

Driving after remote start

To start driving your Kia Sportage when the engine is running after remote start, enter the vehicle with the smart key on you and close the door. You don’t have to press the brake pedal or engine start/stop button. The vehicle automatically turns on all the functions when it detects the smart key inside the vehicle.


Extending engine running time

Most vehicles from other automakers allow two remote engine starts before you have to manually start the vehicle from inside the vehicle, but not with Kia. When you remotely start the engine of your Kia Sportage, it will run for 10 minutes and then shut off automatically. That is it! You cannot perform another remote start procedure to extend engine running time. You must start the engine normally from inside the vehicle before you are allowed to use remote start again.

Climate control settings

Remote engine start will also activate air conditioning system in your Sportage by defaulting to the condition they were in when the vehicle was turned off. Therefore it is important to keep the air conditioner turned on and set to your desired temperature before switching off the ignition.

Keeping your vehicle on the AUTO CLIMATE setting is recommended for improved vehicle temperature preconditioning.

Press the AUTO CLIMATE button on the climate control switches panel before turning off the engine in your Kia Sportage for optimal heating/cooling performance during remote start.

Video Demonstration

Watch this video to see how to remote start Kia Sportage with key fob.

Remote start Kia Sportage with a mobile device

To remotely start the engine of your Sportage with an Apple iPhone or Android mobile device, you must be subscribed to Kia Connect, and your vehicle must be in cellular range.

  1. Download “Kia Access” app from App Store or Google Play on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the Kia Access app icon on your device to start using the app.
  3. Sign-in to your Kia Account. If you don’t have an account, then tap Create Account and create a new account by following on-screen prompts. You will need your vehicle’s VIN to proceed.
  4. Now tap the START ENGINE button on your vehicle’s home screen.
  5. The turn signal lights flash and the engine starts.
  6. The engine will run for 10 minutes and then shut down automatically. A countdown is displayed in the app.
  7. To remotely turn off your Sportage’s engine, touch the STOP ENGINE button.

Note: You can also adjust climate and turn on heated or ventilated seats from the app.

Video Demonstration

Watch this video to see how to set up Kia Access for your Sportage.

Kia Connect activation procedure

You must first activate Kia Connect service in your Sportage before you can use Kia Access app to remotely start your vehicle.

  1. Turn on your vehicle and put it in park.
  2. Go to the infotainment system screen and select Setup from the menu.
  3. Then tap Kia Connect.
  4. Tap Activate Service.
  5. Tap Agree to accept Terms of Service, and select Next.
  6. If you already have a registered account and verification code, select I already
    have a code
    , otherwise proceed to next step.
  7. Enter your smartphone number or email address and press Submit.
  8. A verification code will be sent to your phone or email address.
  9. Enter the verification code you received from Kia Connect then press Submit.

Video Demonstration

Watch this video to see how to activate Kia Connect in your Sportage.

Remote start system not working in Sportage

If your Sportage does not start when you perform the remote starting procedure, it can be due to a number of reasons:

  • The hood on your Sportage is not fully closed.
  • The vehicle is low on fuel.
  • One or more of the vehicle doors are open, make sure they are securely closed.
  • The transmission is not in park mode (P).
  • The 12v battery voltage has gone too low.
  • The service engine light is turned on in the instrument cluster.
  • The remote key is in the vehicle.
  • The hazard flashers are on.
  • One remote engine start procedure has already been performed.
  • The remote engine start button is not pushed and held within 4 seconds of pushing the LOCK button on the key fob.
  • The remote start system in your Sportage has malfunctioned.

Range issue: If there are buildings and obstacles between your vehicle and the remote, the range will be reduced. This distance may vary by external electrical interference.


Your Kia Sportage may not have the remote start feature. Get your vehicle checked by an authorized Kia dealer to confirm if it is equipped with a remote start system.

Automatic engine shutdown after remote start

For safety and security reasons, the remote engine start system in Kia Sportage will stop the engine if running when one or more of the following conditions are met:

  • You open and close the door without entering your vehicle with the smart key. The engine stops after about 20 seconds of closing the door.
  • Hazard indicator flashers are turned on.
  • The first 10 minute timer has expired.
  • The engine hood has been opened.
  • The theft alarm sounds due to illegal entry into the vehicle.
  • If someone attempts to drive the vehicle without the smart key inside the vehicle.

Safety precautions

These are warnings against actions which may cause injury to people/vehicle if the warning is ignored.

  • Never start the engine of your Sportage in an enclosed area (such as a garage or indoor parking lot) where exhaust gases may accumulate and create a hazardous environment with potential for Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Breathing CO gas can cause unconsciousness and even kill you.
  • Do not start the engine if a child or pet are present in or near the vehicle.
  • Always turn off vehicle systems such as the windshield wipers, headlights and radio before leaving the vehicle. If left on, such systems may be damaged or vehicle battery depleted by remote engine start in extreme cold weather.
  • Do not use remote start if the vehicle is low on fuel. The vehicle may run out of fuel.

Engine idling law

There are laws against car idling with no passenger or driver inside in many states to protect the environment. It does not mean its completely illegal to use remote start, some states have time limit on how long you can keep the engine running. So check with your local state laws before using the remote start feature on your Kia Sportage.

Author: Nabeel K
Email: nabeel@wheelsjoint.com



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