Home Blog Kia Features How the Idle Stop and Go Feature Works in Kia Vehicles

January 29, 2021 by Anne Kelley

Using Idle Stop and Go

Your Kia comes with lots of features meant to help increase your safety, comfort, and general swagger, but it also has some features that are there to help save the planet, and subsequently, your wallet, every time you go to the gas station. One of these unsung heroes of the Kia ecosystem is Idle Stop and Go.

What is Idle Stop and Go?

We’ve all been there, waiting for traffic to move – even a little bit – so we can inch a bit closer to our exit. Horrific traffic knots happen, both during rush hour and afterward, leaving seemingly limitless expanses of cars simply idling without end, as they burn fuel and pump fuel emissions into the atmosphere. Sure, you can give the world a little hand by turning your car off while you wait, but you’ll have to start it back up again to creep another foot along the highway. It can get both tedious and dangerous.

That’s where Idle Stop and Go comes into the picture.

If your car is equipped with the Idle Stop and Go feature (like the 2021 Kia Telluride, Sorento, Seltos, Stinger, most Souls, and some K5 models), you’re in luck! You can sit in traffic for hours and only pay for the fuel that actually moves you forward when your Idle Stop and Go is engaged. When you’re sitting, your car isn’t burning gasoline, so no additional expense, no additional pollution, nothing to be stressed out about except the time you’re spending on a highway-turned-parking lot.

How Idle Stop and Go Works

The Idle Stop and Go system is connected to multiple sensors in your car that can tell when you’re actually stopped at a stop light or among a sea of other automobiles. When it’s really certain you’re stopped completely, it shuts your engine off and goes into a sort of monitoring mode. Your car then waits for you to meet one of the conditions that tells the car to restart from idle stop mode, which includes you:

  • Releasing the brake pedal
  • Shifting the car into reverse or sports mode with the brake depressed
  • Shifting the car from neutral to the drive position

Idle Stop and Go is active by default when your Kia is started, so if you choose to not use it, you’ll have to disable it each and every time you drive. You can turn it on again by simply pressing the button or cycling your ignition. You’ll find that button on the center console in your Telluride, Sorento, K5, or Stinger. It’s in the driver’s panel on the left side of the steering wheel on the Soul and Seltos.


Idle Stop and Go Indicator Lights

The Idle Stop and Go system will tell you what it’s doing the entire time it’s working, if you pay attention to your dashboard. The different colors correspond to different levels of system engagement. In general, you can expect light colors to mean the following:

  • Green. The engine has been automatically stopped by the Idle Stop and Go system and is ready to be restarted when one of the conditions listed above is met.
  • Yellow / Amber. When solid, it means that the system is enabled, but for some reason, it’s not functioning. This could be due to one of many factors. If it’s blinking, however, and the ISG button LED is on, the vehicle should be inspected by your service department, as this indicates a malfunction.
  • Kia Idle Stop and Go

Why Would Idle Stop and Go Be Disabled?

It’s a fair question. Many people don’t think to ask it until they’ve seen their first solid amber indicator light. Rather than ignoring the issue or dreading the next repair bill due to the light on the dash, it’s important to understand what the yellow light actually means in this case.

Your car is actively trying to protect itself and ensure that you’ll be able to restart every time, so if the battery is under too much strain or below 75 percent maximum charge, the Idle Stop and Go system won’t work. Simply put, your car needs to charge the battery more before it can be certain it’ll be able to restart itself.

Many different conditions can lead to the Idle Stop and Go system disengaging, but these are common causes:

  • A seat belt is unfastened
  • The hood or a door is opened
  • The front or rear defroster is turned on
  • Engine coolant temperature is low
  • The outside ambient temperature is too low/high
  • Emission control devices activate
  • The vehicle is on a steep slope
  • The brake operating pressure is low
  • The A/C is on with the blowers on max

Idle Stop and Go

Does Idle Stop and Go hurt your car?

The Idle Stop and Go feature has been a topic of debate in the past few years. When the Idle Stop and Go feature was first popularized in the U.S. in the 2010s, it seemed like many worried the extra start cycles could add more wear and tear to your car. It’s hard to find definitive data on whether this claim has or had merit, but manufacturers likely factor extra start cycles into the engine before implementing the feature.

The car’s system will consider multiple factors before engaging Stop and Go. If your car’s battery is already low or your engine coolant temperature is low, the system won’t activate. Your car is set up to protect itself. Like all things in life, nothing is guaranteed but using your car’s Idle Stop and Go won’t hurt you in the long run.

Can you turn Off Idle Stop and Go?

Yes! There is an option to turn off your car’s Idle Stop and Go, so test what works for you. The button is found in different places depending on the model, but the button will look like the picture below.

Deciding whether the Idle Stop and Go feature is useful is up to the individual driver. If you are unsure about the feature, take a look at what your normal drive looks like. It also matters if the feature annoys you or causes confusion. You should be comfortable and safe while driving.

diagram of the stop and start button in a Kia Stingerdiagram of idle stop and start button

Idle Stop and Go: An Easy Way to Save Money and Gasoline

There’s no easier way to save a bunch of money than to simply do nothing. Just having the Idle Stop and Go system enabled in your Kia is enough to save money, save gas, and help the environment all at once. How much saving you do will depend on how much you drive, of course, and how much of that is stop and go traffic, but if you want to help by doing absolutely nothing, make sure you ask about this feature before purchasing your new Kia.

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1 year ago

I have a 2021 Kia stonic automatic. When I am at the height of Quito, 2800 meters above sea level, the ISG does not work. When I go down to the valley, the ISG works. Can it be calibrated to work at the height of Quito?

5 months ago

when i stopped at redlight and engine was stop, and change my gear to N, in this condition should i keep depress brake pedal?

3 months ago

I have a kia rio 2012 and dashboard shows “check auto stop system” whili i’m driving and the Stop and Go light stays on and won’t go away.

16 days ago

I have a 2022 kia soul and the auto shut off when stopped just started to make a noise when starting back up to go should I be worried

Last edited 16 days ago by Aerial
Lilly Mather
Lilly Mather
14 days ago
Reply to  Aerial

Hi Aerial, the sound you are hearing may be normal but it’s hard to say without hearing it for ourselves. If the sound continues to worry you, we suggest taking it in to get checked out. We wish you the best!