The South Korean manufactured Kia Sportage has been in production since 1993 and is currently on its 5th model generation. These Kia Sportage dashboard warning lights are aimed at the most recent versions of the SUV and along with the warning symbol, an explanation of its meaning, plus the most common reason for the warning lights illumination is provided.
Dashboard display layouts vary depending on the model of your Sportage. In general, red warning lights typically require your immediate attention due to there being a risk of vehicle breakdown or danger to the vehicle’s occupants. Yellow warning lights are often less severe and can come on due to a maintenance issue, a minor fault or when a vehicle utility has been deactivated when by default it’s on.
Airbag Fault Light
As part of normal operation, the Kia Sportage airbag warning light should come on for approximately 6 seconds when the ignition is switched to the on position. After a self-check, the airbag light should go off. If it remains on, it’s warning you of a problem with the airbag and/or Supplemental Restraint System (SRS).
Faulty airbags are often the result of a sensor. either due to water damage, corrosion or age. The clock spring inside the steering can also become an issue. The seat belt sensor inside the buckle or a cable connection has become loose under the front seats.
Brake System Fault Light
The red brake fault light comes on for three possible reasons; either the parking brake is on, brake fluid level in the reservoir is low or there’s a brake system malfunction. The brake warning light should come on for around 3 seconds when the ignition is switched to on, if it remains lit, ensure that the parking brake is properly released, then check brake fluid levels.
Use only hydraulic brake fluid conforming to DOT 3 or DOT 4 specification. Check also for any system leaks. If the brake warning light remains lit, discontinue driving and have your vehicle towed.
ABS System Fault Light
The yellow ABS warning light stands for ‘Anti-lock Braking System’ and comes on as a self-check for around 3 seconds when the ignition is switched to the on position. If the Kia Sportage ABS light stays on, it’s warning you that the Anti-lock Braking System is not functioning. Normal brakes will continue to operate as usual, but without the ABS feature. One of the most common reasons for a malfunctioning ABS is due to a faulty wheel speed sensor. There are four wheel speed sensors, one located at each wheel.
If the ABS and Brake warning lights come on simultaneously, it’s warning you of a malfunctioning Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) System. To make braking more efficient, EBD is responsible for distributing varying brake forces to individual wheels.
Power Steering Fault Light
The Kia Sportage has electronic power steering and does not use power steering fluid. If the power steering warning light remains on, it may be a temporary fault due to an overheated motor. This can occur due to leaving the steering on full lock while the engine is running, or constant turning of the wheel from lock to lock. During a power steering failure, turning the wheel will become more difficult than usual.
Engine Fault Light
The Kia Sportage engine warning light, sometimes called the check engine light comes on when the ignition is switched to on and will remain on until the engine has started. If it remains on after the engine has started or comes on while you’re driving, it’s warning you of a malfunction with the emission control system.
The engine warning light often warns of a fault early on before any damage occurs. You can continue driving with the engine warning light, however, continued driving for an extended amount of time without having the problem fixed can worsen the fault and result in damage to the emissions control system. You may experience a loss of engine power and also damage to the catalytic converter.
The engine warning light may illuminate for many reasons and as such, you need to have diagnostics carried out on your Kia. When the engine warning light comes on, a fault code is often generated and stored in the vehicle’s ECU. Diagnostic tools are used to read the fault codes and can help to localise the fault. For further information, see reasons why the engine warning light is on.
Charging System Fault Light
The Kia Sportage battery warning light remains lit when the ignition is switched to the on position, but should go off when the engine starts. If it remains on, or comes on when driving, it’s warning you of a fault with the electrical charging system. The can often be due to a fault with the alternator, or alternator drive belt. If driving, switch off any electrical system that are not essential and make your way to a safe location or the nearest vehicle workshop. See why is my car battery warning light on for further information.
Oil Pressure Fault Light
The oil pressure fault light remains on when the ignition is switched to the on position and goes off when the engine has started. If the oil light comes on when driving, it could be warning you of low oil pressure. However, the low oil pressure warning light can also come on if oil levels are low. Stop as soon as possible, switch off the engine and check oil levels and add oil if required. Avoid driving if the oil light remains lit or if you do not have any oil to add to the engine.
Tyre Pressure Warning Light
The Kia Sportage comes equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) which warns the driver via the tyre pressure warning light when a tyre has become underinflated. Additionally, if there’s a fault with the TPMS, the warning light will flash for approximately 60 seconds then remains lit, or repeats flashing on and off at the intervals of approximately 3 seconds.
The tyre pressure warning light often flashes due to a problem with one of the sensors installed in the tyres. This can occur after a tyre has been replaced and a sensor not fitted or been damaged, or when a spare tyre has been fitted that does not contain a sensor. Try to adjust tyre pressures when the tyre is cold. See what is cold tyre pressure for further information.
EPB Warning Light
The Kia Sportage EPB warning light stands for ‘Electronic Parking Brake’ and comes on when a fault has been detected. The Kia Sportage parking brake is fully electronic and often a problem with the parking brake switch causes the fault light.
If the EPB warning light comes on along with the ESC warning light, this indicates a fault with the ESC system and not the electronic parking brake.
Master Warning Light
The Kia Sportage triangle containing an exclamation point is the master warning light. Most serious faults on the Kia Sportage have their own dedicated warning lights. The master warning light comes on when a fault has been detected that does not have a dedicated warning light. The Kia Sportage master warning light comes on for the following reasons:
- Malfunction with a LED head lamp
- Malfunction with Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
- Malfunction with Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go radar blind
- Malfunction with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist malfunction
- Malfunction with Blind-Spot Collision Warning radar blind
- Lamp malfunction
- Malfunction with High Beam Assist
- Malfunction with the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
FCA Warning Light
The Kia Sportage Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) is a system that monitors vehicles or pedestrians ahead via a camera mounted behind the internal rear view mirror. If the system detects an imminent collision, the system will warn the driver and if necessary, apply emergency braking. This warning light comes on when a problem has been detected with the FCA system. Ensure the area of the windscreen where the camera is mounted is clean.
AWD Lock Warning Light
The Kia Sportage AWD (All Wheel Drive) system allows you to lock in all wheel drive (four wheel drive) via the button on the front console. Use AWD mode when driving on slippery surfaces such as snow, or when driving off-road.
Do not use AWD drive on normal dry roads as it may damage components related to the AWD system. If there’s a fault with the AWD system, the AWD fault light displays.
LED Headlamp Warning Light
The lightbulb containing an exclamation point is the LED headlight fault warning light. As a self-test, the warning light should illuminate for around 3 seconds when the ignition is switched to the on position. If it remains lit or flashing, have your Kia serviced. Continuous driving with the LED headlight fault light either lit or flashing may reduce the lift of your low beam headlights.
ESC Warning Light
ESC means ‘Electronic Stability Control’ and is a vehicle safety stability system fitted as standard on most cars. ESC helps to increase wheel traction and reduce understeer and oversteer by cutting engine power and braking on individual wheels. When the ESC warning light flashes, it means the system is working. If it remains always on, it’s warning of a fault with the ESC system. The most common reason for a ESC fault is a damaged wheel speed sensor. For more information, see What ESC is in Cars and How Does ESC Work in Cars.
Immobiliser Warning Light
The Kia Sportage immobiliser is and electronic system that prevents the engine from being started unless the correct key is present. When the system detects the correct key, the immobiliser warning light comes on for around 30 seconds. If the immobiliser light flashes, it means there’s a fault or that the battery inside the smart key is weak.
You can start the engine if you press the engine start/stop button with the smart key. If the immobiliser warning light flashes for a few seconds, it means the smart key is not in the vehicle and the engine is prevented from starting.
High Beam Assist Warning Light
The Kia Sportage high beam assist function detects oncoming vehicle headlights and the tail lights of vehicles in front via the camera mounted behind the rear view mirror. The system automatically switches from high, to low beam when a vehicle is detected. If the system does not appear to be functioning correctly, ensure the windscreen, particularly the areas around the camera sensor is clean.
Auto Hold Warning Light
The Kia Sportage auto hold system keeps the brakes applied when the driver comes to a stop using the footbrake. The footbrake can be released but the vehicle’s brakes will remain on until the driver operates the accelerator pedal. The colour of the auto hold warning light varies:
- White: Auto hold system has been activated by pressing the Auto Hold button.
- Green: Vehicle has come to a complete stop by depressing the brake pedal with the auto hold system activated.
- Yellow: The auto hold system has a malfunction.
ECO Mode Warning Light
The Kia Sportage ECO mode helps improve fuel efficiency by controlling certain engine and transmission system operating parameters.
Fuel efficiency depends on the driver’s driving habits and road condition. ECO mode can be selected by pressing the Drive Select button on the centre console. ECO mode will not turn off, even when the engine is restarted. To turn off ECO mode, press the Drive Select button.
Sports Mode Warning Light
The Kia Sportage Sport mode increases dynamic driving by adjusting the steering of the vehicle, the engine and transmission by making them more responsive. A greater amount of fuel may be used when in sports mode. As with ECO mode, sports mode can be selected by operating the Drive Select button on the centre console.
Lane Keeping Assist Warning Light
The Kia Sportage Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) function detects lane lines by using the camera mounted behind the rear view mirror and assists
the driver’s steering to help keep the vehicle in the lanes. If the driver strays from within a lane, the system alerts the driver with a visual and audible alert, along with a slight countersteering torque, trying to prevent the vehicle from moving out of its lane.
The yellow Lane Keeping Assist warning light is an indicator of a fault with the system. If the system does not appear to be functioning correctly, ensure the windscreen, particularly the areas around the camera sensor is clean.