Kia Optima Remote Start: The Full Rundown (2023)

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Every year, car manufacturers always seem to find new features to introduce with their vehicles. Whether for entertainment or convenience, there’s no shortage of advanced features that we’ve come to expect with modern cars.

While it’s not exactly new, Remote Start is one of the most well-sought features by consumers. If you hate being too hot or too cold as you enter your vehicle, the remote start feature has probably piqued your interest.

Are you wondering: what’s the deal with the Kia Optima remote start? You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll talk about the Optima remote start and everything you need to know about this feature. Let’s get to it.

What is the Kia Optima Remote Start?

The Kia Optima Remote Start feature is basically a car remote that connects to the Optima’s computer and is radio-controlled. With a car remote starter, you can start your vehicle’s engine while inside your home, office, or just about anywhere.

While this may seem like no big deal, the core benefit of remote starters is that it enables you to warm up or cool down your vehicle using the climate system. You probably hate entering your car only to be greeted by scorching hot seats and seat belts during hot summers or a makeshift freezer in frigid temperatures. Plus, it’s a huge time-saver since you can drive off immediately without warming up your car.

Remote starters are usually in the form of a key fob. However, most people don’t realize that Kia has two types of remote starters. You have the traditional key fob, or what’s called the Kia Smart Key, and the other device is your smartphone. Through the Kia Connect app, you can access the remote start, remote climate control, and other neat features.

There are three main things the Kia Smart Key and Push Button can do:

  • Start or stop the engine from outside the vehicle or anywhere
  • Remotely lock or unlock doors
  • Lock down the car so that it won’t start without the Smart Key

The Kia Optima Remote Start is an over-the-top convenience that can be a godsend to your daily driving routine.


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Which Kia Optima Models Have Remote Start Feature?

Not all Kia Optimas support the Remote Start feature. When it’s available for a model, it’s either a standard or optional feature – depending on which Optima model you have. If you own an older Optima, you may have to resort to installing an aftermarket remote start kit.

Furthermore, even if a model year has a remote start, not necessarily all the trims will support the feature. For instance, the 2019 Kia Optima has a remote start, but only starting with the S, EX, and SX trims – if you have the base model, you’re out of luck.

Another noteworthy thing to mention, in case you don’t know, is that the Kia Optima is now known as the Kia K5. And yes, the 2022 Kia K5 has a remote start system which includes the Smart Key with Push-Button Start, Remote Engine Start, and Climate and Smart trunk.

How Do I Know If My Kia Optima Has Remote Start?

If you’re not sure whether or not your Kia Optima has a remote start, there are several ways to check:

  • See the owner’s manual - If your Kia Optima has a remote start, there will be information about the remote start feature and how it works. In case you’ve misplaced your Optima owner’s manual, here’s the official Kia owner’s manual site.
  • Check your key fob - Your key fob should have a special button for the remote start if your Optima has a remote starter. Kia’s factory Remote Start key has a circular button with a white text label “Engine Start Stop.”
  • Test out the feature - One of the quickest ways to know if your Optima has a remote start is to test it yourself. Your owner’s manual should have specific instructions on activating remote start, or you can refer to our quick guide just below.


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How to Use Kia Optima Remote Start?

Using your Optima’s remote start is relatively straightforward. Using the Kia smart key or OE (original equipment) key, just do the following steps:

  1. Press the Lock button in your smart key to lock the vehicle.
  2. Within 4 seconds, press and hold the partial circle button for more than two seconds.
  3. The Optima engine should start.

Kia also offers a dedicated Remote Start that functions differently from the standard Kia smart key. To activate the remote start using the Remote Start key:

  1. Press and hold the “Engine Start Stop” button until the lock icon flashes, and release.
  2. Within 3 seconds, press and hold the button again for more than 2 seconds. The key icon will flash, and the vehicle will start.
  3. To remotely shut off the engine, press and hold the button for two seconds.

How you activate Remote Start will depend on which key you’re using. For aftermarket remote starter kits, the instructions will be different as well. Always refer to the owner’s manual or instruction guides for information on using remote start.

Kia Optima Remote Start FAQs

How long before the engine shuts off?

Your Kia Optima will idle for about 20 minutes before the engine shuts. Remember, in some states, it is illegal to idle your vehicle for extended periods due to environmental reasons. Refer to EPA’s Compilation of Idling Laws to know your state’s idling regulations.

Will I void my warranty if I install an aftermarket remote starter?

No. An aftermarket remote starter installation won’t void your warranty. The Magnuson Act Laws allow you to install aftermarket parts to your car, including remote starters, without voiding your warranty. However, make sure the quality of the kit and installation is on-point.


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Is Remote Climate Control available on all Kia Optimas?

To access the Remote Climate Control feature, you need a Kia Connect subscription and the Kia Access app. This feature is not supported on the 2019 Optima LX and other vehicles that don’t have fully automatic temperature control.

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