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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • jtzjtz Posts: 37
    I own an 04' Optima and nothing is wrong with it so far; however, the car started shaking in summer of 2005. Everytime I take it to my dealer to check up on it, they can't seem to find the problem. They suggested that I used plus gas and I was told by two different people that it was the spark plug and that is still not the solution. Does anyone have a problem similar to this? If so please respond. Feeling the steering wheel shack like this really is frustrating. The irony of it is it only shacks when I come to an red light. I really hope someone responds. The dealer doesn't seem to know what it is.
  • So far the car has 26,004 miles on it! I bought the car December 31, 2004, so I've had about 15 months worth of driving. It has been to Las Vegas and back from Eastern Georgia. It has made trips as far north as Pennsylavania and as far south as Daytona, Florida. I have had no major issues with the car. The car does have dings on it that magically appeared from nowhere? I will attest to it's durability because the car ran into a cow carcass in New Mexico going about 65+ miles per hour and all it did was hop on the left side off the ground. The only weird thing from that is an audible click when going from a full stop? We've added on thousands of miles since then and the click still happens every so often. I took the car off-roading into a country side-road and ended punching an inch long gash into the lower oil pan. I drove the car for over five miles on barely any oil and had it patched (arc-welded shut), bought a new lower-oil pan and haven't needed to install it so far. It's been thousands of miles since that incident and the only thing other than that is the clip off of the driver's side visor broke. The little nub that tightly secures the visor, it still works without it, but "I" know it's broken! Oh yeah, during the first few thousand miles I did replace a burned out fog lamp (I believe the driver side). I got the car realigned but other than regular oil changes, haven't done anything else. I'm planning on taking it in for a 30,000 mile service. I'm really confident that this car will last past the 100,000 mile warranty. It may look like :sick: by then, but at least it will be paid off and not a :lemon: ! Great car overall, I love the looks and the value can't be beat- I still wish I had more HP, but I think the K&N air filter gave me a little more pep, especially from a standing start.
  • mal2000mal2000 Posts: 1
    Hey Just got my first KIA I have a Black 2006 Optima, I have had all kinds of cars, most recently a Toyota Matrix, I liked the Matrix well enough, But it was time for a grown up car, I Also have a 05 chevy Tahoe that stays parked alot. (untill we own Iraq) and gas prices go down some. I researched every brand of car, and I was looking around the 20,000 range. I will tell you, I found nothing that even compares to the KIA. For 25000 I could have got an G6 loaded. For 24900 I could have got an HHR (chevy).
    VW JETTA was nice but the options were expensive. So I got this LOADED TO THE MAX Optima for 18500. It can't be beat. I park next to a Mitshubishi Diamonta and you cant tell them apart, Well unless you look at the price tag. Its a lot of car for not alot $$$$$. So far I am Happy.
    Ps I read these fourms before I bought this car, And I see people complain alot, which they have a right to do, And we have to know that people who dont have anything to complain about, Dont say anything at all, good or bad.

    I will keep yall posted. I drive 52K plus miles a year.
    If there is a problem I will find it. :D
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Wow - reading your post makes me realize what an uneventful life I lead. I have a 2003 Sonata with the same 2.7L V6 as yours with just under 19,600 accumulated miles. I paid cash, do oil and oil filter changes every 3,000 miles (TropArtic 10W-30 and a WalMart 3593A oil filter), and keep it garaged whenever I'm not driving. Watch that gauze-type air filter. If they're over-oiled, the excess will gum up the mass airflow sensor. If they're insufficiently oiled, they'll pass MUCH more dirt into the engine than conventional pleated paper air filters. Getting it right is more art than science and if you guess wrong in the direction to too lightly oiled, it will result in progressive, permanent damage to the engine's sliding parts. I'd also go ahead and install the new oil pan. Just in case you develop any type of lower end problems in that engine during its extended powertrain warranty, no point advertising to a KIA zone rep that you holed an oil pan. (No auto manufacturer likes to give away $8,500.00+ engines.)
  • mnealmneal Posts: 1
    Hi There!
    I have a 2004 KIA Optima V6 that will not start if you leave it sit for longer than a day. We have taken it back to the dealership 4 times now, and they keep telling me that the amp is blown and then they replace it. Then a few weeks later we are in the same boat. The amp blows and we have to have it replaced again. The guys in the shop at the dealership are being real jackA*$ about the whole thing, and are not looking for the route cause of the problem, they just keep fixing the amp and sending me on my way. :mad:
  • pazianpazian Posts: 1
    HI I bought my 06 optima in march hopeing to get better
    mileage then my pt crusier. Also more comfort. I am getting both. I get between 32mpg and 34 mpg combined hwy and city,. I was wondering if that is normal for the 4 with 5 speed trans. My 2004 pt could only get between 28-30 mpg also
    the optima is a better ride. I also changed oil with synthetic oil to improve the mpg,s. let me know if any one is getting this kind of mileage with there optima. I have 5100 miles after 1.5 months
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Congratulations! Your fuel mileage figures for your 4-banger should continue to improve as you pile more miles on. Coming up on 20,000 miles on my '03 Sonata V6 (4-sp AT), I'm getting 22+ in the city and 32+ on the highway. Despite what anyone tells you, synthetic motor oil brings no meaningful fuel economy improvement over current API "SM" conventional motor oils when viscosity ranges are matched. My mileage figures are using TropArtic 10W-30 motor oil I picked up at Dollar Tree. (guess how much I paid... ;)) What synthetic oil brings to the table is its ability to withstand punishing heat without oxidizing to form sludge and extra detergent/dispersant chemistry to hold and neutralize contaminants over extended drain intervals. Unfortunately, Hyundai, like most other automakers*, does NOT recognize synthetic motor oil's extended drain interval advantage - you're still responsible for 7,500 mile "normal service" or 3,000 mile "severe service" oil change intervals to maintain your car's powertrain warranty. Within those service confines, conventional motor oils will provide equivalent protection. You're certainly doing no harm with your decision to use synthetic motor oil; I just question whether you're realizing its full value.

    *Bizarrely, Nissan actually advises against the use of synthetic motor oil in their owner's manuals. No reason given.
  • buddygleebuddyglee Posts: 20
    I am guessing by the looks of things that I will need to remove the intake manifold in order to replace 3 of the spark plugs and wires? Do I need a new gasket for this, Is there an easier way short of paying the dealer?
    2001 Kia Optima V6
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    In a nutshell, 'Yes' and 'No'. It's not really the intake manifold that has to come off - small comfort though, because the "purge tank" (aka "plenum chamber") and its associated ram runners is what has to come off. There're some nasty hidden brackets and fasteners behind the purge tank that have to be removed. The throttle and cruise control cables have to be disconnected, several vacuum and a PCV hose have to be disconnected, a couple of electrical connectors, and the throttle body has to be removed before you can actually take on the purge tank in mortal combat. If you're not already intimately familiar with the procedure, figure on five frustrating hours, minimum, to broaden your vocabulary to undreamt of abilities. I have an '03 Sonata V6 - same car the previous generation Optima V6 was derived from. My dealer quoted me $350.00 for a spark plug changeout when it comes due.
  • buddygleebuddyglee Posts: 20
    The cables have to be removed? I almost looked like I could remove the bolts an scoot it out of the way just enough. Do I need to get any gaskets?

    Thank you for the response to the previous post.

    Any Idea on how easy the timing belt is to change out? Dealer quoted 460.00 I haven't yet obtained a manual to leaf through. Cheker only had a Sephia book. I did not know if the engine was the same or not.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I bought the 2003 Sonata shop manual shortly after buying my car - I figure, rightly or wrongly, that I can recoup most if not all it's $60.00+ purchase price off eBay when I trade in a couple of more years. You'll need a new gasket to seal the junction between the purge tank runner end and the intake manifold to which it's bolted. I wasn't aware the KIA Sephia had a V6 option - but that's because I'm not familiar with that model anyway. The engine in the prior generation Optima is the Hyundai "Delta" 2.7L all aluminum V6. I have no idea about the difficulty in changing out the Sonata/Optima's V6 engine timing belt, though from perusing the shop manual, I suspect it's not a fun way to spend a weekend. I do know that the water pump's mounted behind the engine front cover and driven off the timing belt's smooth side. When it's time to change the timing belt, you'd be well advised to consider prophylacticaly changing out the water pump as insurance while you have everything apart. Whatever you have to do to change the timing belt will have to be repeated if the water pump needs to be replaced before the next scheduled timing belt change. Several independent techs I've spoken with also say it's a good idea to change out the timing belt's auto-tensioner while everything's laid bare, too.

    By the way, you can log onto KIA TechInfo, register and view a good portion of your model year Optima's shop manual for FREE :). You'll need Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
  • buddygleebuddyglee Posts: 20
    Thank you. Good to know about the water pump. Living in the desert it is always a good Idea to replace if you are there anyways. I will check on the idler. i don't know if the Sephia has the v6, it was just the only KIA book in the shop. I passed on it though. I have spent the last couple of months (Off and On) under the hood of a 96 buick skylark changing timing components to no avail (Valves bent I believe) Not a lot of room to work with on a front wheel drive. I will check out the KIA TechInfo for the info they have. Your help has been invaluable. Thank You.
  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    I have a 2004 Optima 4 banger, runs fine not great
    pings like crazy with reg fuel, not great gas mileage
    in town for its size. I also discovered since new the following:

    At 60MPH or more the left ft side has a whining noise
    sort of like a wheel bearing.

    At times when the wheel turns to the extreme left or almost extreme you hear a noise as if its a bad cv joint.
    The dealer said it was some bolts in the ft end that were loose. I am over 50 and know what a cv joint sounds like
    when it goes bad. My mechanic said sometimes the grease is
    not packed and you can get a noise as if it is old but its just dry.

    Also when I first purchased it the smell from the vents after you turned off the AC was really bad like a public toilet? DO you think that there is someone trapped inside?

    Any of you experienced the cv noise? or the whining at high speeds how about the ping in the motor

    My friends have the identical 2004 EX's and dont have the noises. The dealer said to wait I said untilt he warranty runs out?

    Thanks :shades:
  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    What is your experience with Service Departments
    as for the sales they were and continue to be great people.
    I am on the east coast most of these dealers really are not hot on the Kia product.

    Service leaves a lot to be desired :( I really like the car and
    want to get the new Amanti or Azera but if service cannot fix a ft end problem that will cost a bundle when it goes bad and out of warranty what can you do?

    Anyone tried Amsoil syn in the engine? I have ran it since
    the 2nd oil change at 7500 miles really good stuff.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Your two posts suggest your selling dealer has morons running the service department and/or they flatout do not wish to bother themselves with warranty work. (The best warranty in the world is no better than the dealerships' willingness to perform legitimate warranty claims.) I have an '03 Sonata - same car, but different wrinkles in the front and rear end sheet metal. Mine has the 2.7L V6. No pinging, no weird noises from the wheel bearings or CVJs. Highway fuel consumption (70 mph with A/C on) consistently 30 mpg or slightly above over level terrain. The only warranty work I've had done since buying the car in early Dec. '02 was replacement of the overhead domelight switch due to an intermittant contact defect. I'm not trying to make you feel bad - merely pointing out that these cars are reasonably well engineered and will run right if serviced properly. I suppose I needn't inquire whether there are other KIA dealerships within reasonable driving distance for you, right? (If there are, run, don't walk - you're under no obligation to have routine or warranty service performed by your selling dealer.)

    As for routine motor oil service, I run Phillips TropArtic 10W-30 "Premium Synthetic Blend" (their description, not mine) I picked up at Dollar Tree. I figure while the car's under its 10 yr./100,000 mile powertrain warranty, the numbers just don't work running a premium full synthetic like Amsoil. Hyundai, to my knowledge, (and presumably KIA, too) don't recognize the extended oil change potential of full synthetic formulations. Even the lowest denominator conventional motor oils are capable of engine longevity in excess of 300,000 miles these days if changed out at 5,000 mile intervals along with a filter change. Five quarts of my TropArtic stash (84 quarts after I cleaned out three Dollar Tree stores...) and one of the two-buck Castrol 3985 (WIX) oversized oil filters I bought twenty-four of on clearance at K-mart when they discontinued them, is the best bang I've found for my seven-buck oil changes.
  • asumnerasumner Posts: 1
    ACCELERATION LOSSI purchased a used 2003 kia optima - 6 cyl. in 2004. My son drives it to and from college. During numerous trips the car has been driving along at 65-70 mile per hour and then out of no where it losses acceleration down to about 45 miles per hour. This usually happens in freeway traffic (very dangerous)and when the car has been driven for 3+ hours and with an elevation change from about 5200' to approx 1200' and vice versa. Recently it started the same thing in local driving. The car must be stopped completely and turned off before it will accelerate beyond 45 again. Over the last year i have taken it to 3 different kia dealerships, the first one put in a new transmission, the second one drove it for 20 minutes, stuck it on the computer and found nothing and told me to come and pick it up and the third one - where i purchased it, also cannot find anything wrong with it, the last time this happened, the service guy said he blew out the fuel sensor and recalibrated it to see if that was the problem (didn't fix it). A man who was a kia field engineer told me that this was a known problem and its one of three different problems, but the service department won't do anything unless the problem will show up on the computer. I am at my wits end and its time for my son to return to college in a car that can drop acceleration at any time and i am very worried that on interstate 10 through Arizona he will be involved in an accident due to this loss of acceleration. Does anyone know anything that may be the problem or have you experienced this problem?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    REPLACE the fuel filler cap with a brand new one FROM A KIA OR HYUNDAI DEALER'S PARTS DEPARTMENT* and see if that solves the mysterious power loss problem. A failed or incorrect gas cap can cause just the kind of problems you described and Hyundai had several TSBs out to that effect for model year 2003. The previous owner may've replaced the original with an incorrect one. (Just 'cause the threads are the same doesn't guarentee the caps "hold" at the right pressure and vacuum specs.) Additionally, instruct Jr. NOT to top off the gas tank once the pump clicks off. (That was repeatedly mentioned in those TSBs.) When reinstalling the fuel filler cap, turn it past its apparent stop point until several "clicks" are heard - don't worry, it's just an overrun clutch; you're not stripping the threads.

    *Your '03 KIA Optima is bolt-for-bolt a Hyundai Sonata except for the outer front and rear sheetmetal, grillwork, bumper facades, and cabin upholstery. I own an '03 Hyundai Sonata with the 2.7L V6 engine.
  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    My Kia Optima 04

    First thanks Ray_h1 for your advice on the oil changes and
    wasting money. ;) I do want all of the 04 owners to be aware of my case. :D I brought it to another dealer who took the time
    and was reliable. They found slight leaks in the trans area
    which had them believe it was tran axle trouble. This would account for the rough vibrations I felt on the steering wheel after many wheel balances, for two years. The whining noise left front side at higher speeds, also could have been caused by the trans axle according to the dealer.
    They also found the headlamps with a covering almost like a dirt or grime which should have not occurred since the lamps are almost sealed. The bulb inside the lamp. This will be warranty also. One mechanic said the axle was the third he'd
    seen on the 04's. SO if any of you are running close to the
    60K on your Kia get t checked. However they did give me
    a new rental car for the time being. With parts it will take about 6 to 7 days :sick: to get it repaired. Thats a bummer since
    they stock nearly nothing. :confuse:
    I will keep the forum abreast of progress, anyone have a place to buy good horn replacements. Factory horns have no boldness in traffic. ? I just hope my car is not a :lemon:
  • yossiefhyossiefh Posts: 1
    hey I'm new to this forum.
    I recently bought a 2001 Optima. It has 120k miles. The car runs great. No acceleration problems or anything. However, when the car is in "park", there is a slight tapping sound coming from inside the engine. All the mechanics have said that it's either the timing belt or a loose pulley for the timing belt. All and all, it will cost me about $550 for the belt and water pump. Should I get it done or drive it untill it dies?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Good question. Are these KIA dealership or independent mechanics? The reason I ask is that Hyundai (and presumably KIA) issued a TSB about a "knocking" sound at idle. It turned out that the knocking was a harmless resonance noise when certain aftermaket oil filters were used - Fram comes to mind. Hyundai's TSB "fix" was to change the oil and install a genuine Hyundai oil filter. I'm not sure how many independent mechanics are aware of that TSB campaign. However, if that's not the issue, be aware that Hyundai/KIA recommend timing belt replacement at 60,000 mile intervals. If the belt breaks in service, there is real risk of severe engine damage from moving pistons striking HARD against stationary open valves. If you drive it until it dies, it's very possible you'd be looking at the outlay for a new or refurbished engine block if a connecting rod with lotsa kinetic energy and no where else to go punches through. You relayed no information about the previous service history on the car you bought recently, so I have no idea whether the car's on its second belt or even whether the original belt was ever replaced. (Yeah, there really are some morons who drive a timing belt well past its mean time between failure and manage to get away with it, literally leaving the next owner the opportunity to pick up the pieces...) $550.00 is no small chunk of change, but a rebuild engine would run well over ten times that figure. If I were in your shoes, I'd play it safe. If the fixit cost doesn't include a new autotensioner, have the shop add that in, too.
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