2009 Kia Sportage engine scraping noise

When turned on, engine makes a scraping noise and acts like it is in gear(?) when it is not. It can be turned off and then turned back on and it seems normal then. It some times makes the same noise when being driven. Mileage 140K. 5 spd. Trans. has been replaced several 1000 miles ago.

By “5 speed trans” you mean it is a manual transmission, right? (Many automatics have 5 speeds too.) Do you mean the car moves by itself with the transmission in neutral, irrespective of the clutch pedal? Or do you mean it moves by itself when the transmission is in gear, but the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor?


This is Marshall, Cindy’s partner. What our 09 Sportage is doing is this: you can turn the key to the on position, press the clutch, and the starter turns over without turning the key to the start position. This only happens intermittently. If you leave the car running when this occurs, the radio and other electrical instrumentation will turn off momentarily whenever the clutch pedal is pressed, and there is also a weird grinding noise for a moment. If you turn the key off when this occurs, something resets and it doesn’t happen again for a while…but it does keep reoccurring a few starts later.

As with all intermittent problems, this is escaping happening at the mechanic’s garage. Any insight as to what this might be would be wonderful. I think it must be some sort of electrical component going bad in the clutch system, but I’m a musician and not a mechanic. Kia tells us to take it to the dealer, but both Kia dealers here have really second-rate service depts. and we’d rather not get burned by them again.

Thanks for your help, Cindy & Marshall

Ignition switch. It’s letting the starter motor turn over the engine (once you press the clutch in) in the Run position. It should only turn over with key in Start position, the spring-loaded position.

There might be a bulletin from the carmaker about this problem.


I concur w/ @shanonia above. The starter motor will crank the engine when these two events occur simultaneously

  1. Key in “start” position
  2. Clutch pedal pushed in

The clutch pedal involvement is a safety feature, to prevent a kid from turning the key to “start” and driving the car through the window of the 7-11 when the parent has gone in for a big-gulp.

What appears to be happening is your ignition switch has a glitch that allows it to be in both the on and start position at the same time. And when you push on the clutch pedal, that completes the 2 parts above needed to crank the engine.

This needs to be addressed asap, as it may also mean the starter motor is engaged when you are driving the car. This will damage the starter motor if it goes on for any length of time, and may damage the flywheel ring gear. Could be the reason for the grinding noise. If damaged enough, the latter means the transmission has to come out. And if the clutch switch safety feature ever fails, it could start an engine fire too. You don’t need dealership shop expertise to fix it; any inde shop with a good auto-electric tech on hand would be able to figure it out without much trouble. If the shop says they can’t fix it until It happens at their shop, the best bet imo is to ask them to replace the ignition switch immediately. If my own car had that problem I’d disconnect the battery and not drive it until the problem was addressed.

There are other failure modes which could cause this, but the above is the most likely imo.