Computer Problems With KIA Sportage

Updated July 19, 2017

The Kia Sportage, a compact crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), was introduced in 1993. Although explains that the once "poorly made" Sportage is now "well rounded," multiple second generation models (2004 to 2010) suffer from electronic stability control and engine control unit computer problems.

Electronic Stability Control

Kia technical service bulletins (TSBs) report that electronic stability control (ESC) issues are a common computer problem with the Sportage. ESC is a microcomputer equipped with sensors that allow your vehicle's anti-lock brake system to automatically apply the brake when needed. The problem with the Sportage's ESC system is that it may go offline; meaning it cannot prevent skidding.

Engine Control Unit

TSBs also indicate that the Sportage may suffer from a faulty engine control unit (ECU), which helps regulate fuel and ignition timing to ensure proper engine performance. Signs of a bad ECU include poor fuel economy, stalling and/or failure to start.


Both ESC and ECU failure are indicated by the illumination of your check engine light. Once detected, your Kia dealer or other authorised mechanic can perform a software update on the ECU to remedy any engine performance problems. Since the ESC is a component of the anti-lock brake system (ABS), the ABS sensor may require replacement.

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About the Author

Anthony Faccenda has been writing entertainment-related articles since 2009. He has written concert reviews for "The Noise Boston" and press reviews for "Revitalize the Scene." Faccenda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Rhode Island College. He is a member of the National Honors Society for history.