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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    This is Capt4 back with the update on the front end

    1st and foremost the dealer did everything to make me a happy customer. This was the first time they encountered
    this and had to get a " special tool from Kia to put in the new transaxle seals. They had light leakage at 45K

    This should be a must check for all Optima 04 customers
    Take it to Kia now for warranty.....

    We are also working on the wheel bearing noise
    and for the ethynol folks

    Kia will look to make you happy I am very satisfied
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134

    Geeze, Louise - wherever did you get that claptrap? Certainly not from your owner's manual. FACT: All Hyundai engines sold for use in the U.S. are designed to perform reliably over their intended service life on ethanol blends up to 10% by volume. (Methanol is a whole 'nothah mattah, though - very corrosive to rubber and plastic fuel system components at any treat rate.) While ethanol will result in a modest fuel economy hit, it's also a natural octane booster since ethanol burns slower than gasoline. Ethanol is also less, not more, volatile than gasoline. ;) My '03 Sonata 2.7L V6 4-sp automatic returns over 30 mpg at 70 mph with the A/C dialed into Full Arctic Blizzard mode on California's mandated 10% methanol blend unleaded regular which puts it right at or above what other Sonata 2.7L V6 owners have reported. You'll have a difficult time proving that I'm losing any significant fuel economy. :P
  • The dealership wants $600+/- to replace the gasket under the "snout" thru which outside air enters the A/C system of my 2002 Optima. The gasket has deteriorated, and water is leaking into the passenger side of the interior. The techs say it must be repaired or the standing water on the floor of the car will cause rust or cause the electrical system to short out or destroy the car's computer. Anyone else had this problem?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I have a 2003 Hyundai Sonata - same car except for badging, front and rear styling, and upholstery fabric and tailoring differences. If you have fewer than 60,000 miles on your car and registered it under your name for first use less than five years ago, you just might have a warranty claim. If so, at the very least, I'd contact KIA U.S. for an opinion. You'd also have the legal route if you care to pursue it. No automaker warrants normal "consummables" (those items expected to deteriorate/fail in regular service) such as brake pads, spark plugs, belts, hoses beyond the first year, but a case might be made that a sealing gasket to prevent condensation water intrusion in the A/C system might not rightfully be considered a normal consummable. Before going the lawyer route, you also have the right to enter arbitration through the BBB. Their finding is binding on KIA, but not you - you could still go the legal route if the BBB's arbitrator rules against you. The service is free for the car owner (you). Contact your nearest Better Business Bureau for info about getting a claims form. (All this is also spelled out in the warranty supplement booklet required to be provided by all automakers doing business in the U.S. If you live in the U.S., that booklet would've been packed in the document folder placed in the glove compartment prior to delivery. Best of luck.
  • If you buy a fram oil filter, get the better one. The low priced fram is so crappy they should void the car warranty.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    There's been a lot written about Frams on the internet. While I'm not particularly impressed with the construction of entry-level products from Fram, they do work despite unsubstantiated rumors of poor quality control. I'd say they're the best $1.39 oil filter I've ever come across that sell for $2.79 at discount... What I have been favorably impressed with at a very reasonable price are WalMart's "SuperTech" line of synthetic blend filtration media oil filters that sell for $2.07 nationally. These are made by Champion Labs (no relation to Champion Sparkplug Company). Now that GM spin-off supplier Delphi is on the rocks, most current AC oil filter production has been assigned to Champion Labs. The SuperTech filter for current Hyundai and KIA applications that take a spin-on design is the 3593A. (That's a Fram number, but the SuperTechs are NOT made by Fram.)
  • Hello all, I'm new to this forum, and I'm considering an 05 or 06 Hyundai Sonata, or Kia Optima.(used) I need a family vehicle to last for around 3+ years. In my area, there is approximately a $1000 difference for an Optima(cheaper)

    What about the warranties? I talked to a Kia dealer today, and he said the 5/60 bumper to bumper does transer, but the 100k powertrain doesn't on Kia.

    Oh, and when I say maintenance and problems, I am really good on oil changes every 3000 miles and that's about it. I really don't like to do other things, but I get around to it every once in a while. I don't like dealers, so can an independent work on these things?

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I own an '03 Sonata V6. Hyundai's 100K powertrain doesn't transfer to subsequent owners either. What remains of the 5/60 warranty on either make will NOT be jeoparized if you or an independent shop does your car's routine servicing. A federal law, the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975, protects consumers from being held hostage by automaker or dealership abuses while under warranty. (Look it up on the FTC's website.) You do have the responsibility to log what you've done and when, and keep materials receipts for lubes and routine replacement parts in the event you have to submit a powertrain warranty claim if less than 60K miles. I keep a medium size spiral-bound tablet with my hand-written logs in the glove compartment along with a string-tied plastic folder with my receipts. Like you, I'm also a throwback to the glory days when 3,000 mile oil and filter change common sense ruled. I still have trouble believing that allowing contaminants and oil breakdown byproducts (acids, varnish, and sludge precursors) to accumulate for 7,500 miles won't hurt anything in the long run. If you have an independent shop do your routine servicing, that's fine, too. Just keep the receipts and make sure they indicate what was done and what was used.

    (One final note: if you purchase a new or late model Hyundai or KIA, pay particular attention to automatic transmission fluid if you wish to top up or flush. These vehicles require a Mitsubishi spec ATF: "SP III". Unfortunately, Mitsubishi has not licensed the formula for blending and distribution through common retail channels. The only retail sources for SP III ATF are Mitsubishi, Hyundai, and KIA dealership parts departments. [Actual automaker brand is irrelevant as long as "SP III" appears on the label.] Substituting commonly available "Dexron III" or so-called "universal" ATFs is an invitation to a $2,500.00+ rebuild that will not be covered under warranty. This is the only critical fluid I'm aware of for these vehicles. For other fluids and lubes, use whatever you're currently satisfied with.)
  • It looks like my problem is being solved for me. I looked on edmunds price guide and it appears as if there is a $3000 rebate for the 06 Optima which puts it in the 14k range, but then when you go to incentives it only lists a much lower rebate, maybe a 1000, which means both the optima and sonata end up in the 17k to 18k range. I don't think I'm spending that much on a new Korean. I think I'd rather buy a used Korean with maybe 10k miles for 11k. Huge discount, and still get an 05, 06.
  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    Hi Ray

    I have watched you posts and appreciate you knowledge
    which borders on either a mechanic, car buff or even
    a Kia - Hyundai plant. I know dont get in a huff you
    last told us that the Ethanol i posted was not true
    Unfortunately, two national newspapers wrote about this
    after I posted, having said that , you are at least offering
    a good free service to those of us who may or may not service or know how to service a car.

    I would like to update all on the ft end story in another post

  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    This is my latest post for this issue :D

    I made at least 5 trips to the dealer sometimes they felt
    and heard the sound. Other times they could not, thanks to
    a very knowledgeable, Kia Tech he found the TSB from Kia
    and claimed its an unofficial / official problem on 04's and maybe some 05's :confuse:

    Its either the right or left front strut housing clamps?
    Top? bolts ? whatever but they finally replaced it and so far the noise and sound ( like a broken motor mount has gone
    away) GET THIS DONE before you hit 60 K miles or you pay for this. :sick:

    They will also replace the bulbs which is caked
    with mud from not being sealed on the low beam bulbs
    Warranty before 60K again. All in all Kia is striving to
    become a Korean Lexus customer service dealer. Know that
    Kia is seriously looking for customers satisfied. If you
    find you are not happy with the dealer try another one :blush:

    They will bombard you with customer surveys, as to how you wee treated. My dealer is absolutely great. They have
    done it all to make me a happy camper.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "...either a mechanic, car buff or even a Kia - Hyundai plant..." ((

    Not a KIA/Hyundai plant - retired optometrist, more or less car buff, and amateur internet gadfly. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
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    Kia Chat - Wed. Dec 6 - 6pm PST / 9pm EST


  • This "popping sound" comes and goes. If I hear it at all it is at 40 MHP+. I have turned off the A/C, radio and have noticed the sound go away after awhile (sometimes). Of course when I take it in the sound never appears. There is not decrease in power or acceleration. I have checked under the hood and nothing is loose, in fact the engine is still clean. Have been changing the oil every 3K miles. Change air filter once (18K miles on the the car). If anyone has run across this sound please 'steer' me in the right direction.

    Thanks - terry
  • pj42pj42 Posts: 1
    I have a 04 Optima and I can't find anything I want. I want to replace the grile, but all I can find is an insert for the skirting. I need to find a replacement door for the dirver side rear, but the best I find is a hood or fender. So what's up? Is there one great kia store?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    My God! After reading these horror stories,it really makes me wonder why I bought a new KIa,I should have read these posts before I bought it,Perhaps they have worked the bugs out.I can only hope. :lemon:
  • So far it has been reliable and I hate to say, better than my old domestics. In terms of everything not falling apart, my Optima has been doing wonderful! I have an '04 Optima and it has over 41,000 miles and have yet to replace anything- even the tires or brakes. I am very pleased to own such a reliable car. Before this one I had an '03 Chevy Cavalier: trunk latch broke and rear passenger window would roll down and get stuck on a manual window! I have to admit the Cavalier was good in gas and was a decent drive, but nowhere as good as the Optima. I agree with most professional critics when they say that my Kia is comparable to Japanese quality of about 10 years ago, I agree and think that Japanese quality was at its peak at that time, too! My wife and I have decided to keep our Kia due to horrible resale and the fact it's more cost-efficient not to have a monthly payment when it is paid off. Everyone has their own story and every driver treats their car differently- I happen to treat my car pretty well and it gets good gas mileage- approx. 25 MPG mixed and as high as 32.5 MPG highway (65 MPH on cruise). So be your own judge and be honest when you post on any site. I believe Kia has more potential and someday will be more of a major automotive player.
  • capt4capt4 Posts: 32
    I noticed that the New Kia minivans have the new colors
    However if you were to trade up from an 04 to an 07
    Optima or Amanti there is the old Japanese colors of yesteryear. :confuse:

    The Toyota and Nissan folks have manage to
    not only capture the GM and Ford market but they found the
    success is in new inovative colors. ;)

    I am sorry I missed the Kia chat, if anyone in Kia reads these posts get with it
    Time for new colors ! Red Grey and Silver? so 80's :P

    Now 55K miles and the power steering pump is gone?
    The Water pump @ 51K Two Shock mounts at 51K and we have the same old noises? :lemon:

    I said from the beginning its a front
    end issue or the shocks suck I think the shocks are cheaper
    than that. :sick:

    I am almost our of the 5 yr 60K warranty love the car
    but I see things coming quickly I hope this car holds up
    Dealer techs are great but no one can get the problem
    for many visits. I would hate to have to change to
    anothe brand I like the car.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A couple of weeks ago we had Kia Marketing VP Ian Beavis in for a chat with members and guests. Click here to read the transcript. Enjoy!
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