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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • What happened with getting your engine replaced? I am going through something similar with my 01 Optima. I bought the car in Sept 2005 with 38000 on it. I only have receipts from the time I have owned the car. They are telling me I have to have all the records from when I didn't own the car. I don't know what to do... I do know they are telling me a bearing went out. I have had the oil changed regularly. The warranty dept. is not overly friendly and there's this mystery District manager that is not "trained to deal with the public" and will not talk to me directly. Kia is supposed to pull the oil pan on Monday and see if there is an abundance of sludge and if so I will owe $2900 for a new engine. Is there going to be much sludge in there? I have 61402 on the car and was told the warranty goes to 72000 due to an error with advertising the horse power. I would appreciate any advice at this point. Thank you ahead of time.
  • subzeroaksubzeroak Posts: 17
    Got a 04 Optima V6, check engine light just came on during normal driving a few days ago. I took it to the dealer and they said as long as its on steady (which it is) and not flashing its not an emergancy so i have an appt in 1 month (soonest they have open) to take a look at it.

    My question is, if i take it to some independent shop and have it checked out will the warrenty cover it? The car is still covered under warranty. It only has ~38k on it. Other than that its a perfect car.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I now own an 07 Optima and previously had an 01 Elantra.

    My understanding of the engine light is that a steady light isn't critical so you're probably safe to go with the month out schedule.

    Also, these things can automatically reset themselves after a certain number of cool-down cycles so it might be best to delay.

    I assume you checked your gas cap-- several clicks.

    I lost my Elantra gas cap, found a replacement at AutoZone within an hour after realizing I lost it (after midnight). The light never came on. Drove it for a year, the light came on. Took it to the dealer who said they couldn't find out what was wrong with it so reset the light. I was stupid enough to tell them I'd replaced the cap a year earlier. They said, oh yeah-- that will be $110 to reset things and give me the official Hyundai cap. Teach me to blabber at the service desk. Wish I'd waited for the requisite five or ten operating cycles, it might have fixed itself.

    As to having a non-dealer's charges be reimbursed by the warranty, I'd think the chances are (very) slim and none.
  • subzeroaksubzeroak Posts: 17
    I dont think its going to reset itself automatically because I've driven the car and turned it on/off/on easily 10 times. And I checked the gas cap already, the car seems to be running good so I'll wait for the dealer service appt.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I don't know much about the subject but I don't think it's turning it off and on, I think it's complete cool down cycles. Let us know if the light goes out or if not what the dealer diagnosed.
  • subzeroaksubzeroak Posts: 17
    Got it checked out at the dealer today, CEL was on because of a stuck evaporation valve solenoid in the gas tank. It was replaced under warranty and all is well again.
  • dkp2dkp2 Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me where the speed sensor goes in a Kia Optima '01. Part # SU6021. Thanks!
  • Drove my wifes car last night. The headlights where flikering on and off.Light switch i think was in auto. Has anyone had any trouble like this.Had it at the dealers today but they can`t find anything wrong.(when the doors were opened the inside lights were flikering too).Any ideas????? :confuse:
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I can't help you with the specifics. I haven't had my 07 back to the dealer yet and there's been no problems. However, this doesn't appear intermittent, obviously it's affecting the entire electrical system or your inside lights wouldn't be doing it. So why can't they find anything wrong?

    Kia, unfortunately is still stuck with some marginal dealers. Have you tried another?
  • It hasn`t happened again.Don`t know what it was,but the dealer said i had a weak battery.It was low on CCA`s.Its a sears battery but i haven`t had a chance to go have them check it out.We`ll do that next week or so.My p t cruiser had the same problem and the dealer put a new battery in it,it seems to have fixed the problem. :confuse:
  • My Optima has a little over 61,000 miles and I bought the car new late in December, 2004. So far the only problems I have with the car is that the lights for the radio is going out. It started with the 1 and 4 buttons and now it is the whole bottom left hand corner that is out- it's so far not too much of a problem, because there's enough light from the rest of the radio that I can still read it (having the car for so long it is probably etched in my brain!). Little things like the driver's side visor clip is a little loose. The little inner plastic piece broke about a year or so ago- it stays in place and doesn't rattle, so I guess it's not a problem, either. The only thing I know that mechanically sounds funny is that there is a weird clicking noise coming from the left, front tire area- I believe it is a direct result of hitting a cow carcass in New Mexico back in April, 2005. I still get around 25+ MPG in mixed mountain/highway driving. The best I've got was a trip from Asheville, NC to Wilmington, NC that averaged over 32 MPG. We thought we had a problem with the shocks or struts (August) and took it to the Kia dealership and they found that the tire shop inflated the tires to around 60 PSI on all four tires! They put it back to factory spec and we've been happy ever since. I put a minimum of 70 miles on the car every work day and on my days off can easily put around 130-200 miles, I've been averaging 1850 miles per month. I am completely satisfied with the car. I have not had to replace the brakes or even get a tune-up. I'm due for a timing belt, but I can't really afford the price. I read the manual and California cars only recommend an inspection at 60,000 miles. I figure I can squeeze out a few more miles, God willing. The interior and exterior of the car is still in pretty good shape and other than the odd ding on the hood and the side of the car it's in really good condition. Oh yeah- the same time I took the car to the dealership, I had them check the key remote and they found out the receiver was broken and put in a new one under warranty. A very solidly built car and I believe I would buy a Kia again. I would probably choose a Kia over a Toyota, unless it was free! Kia is great!
  • The suggestions at Kia Consumers are completely bogus. I'm being told that because my car died the other day a 2003 Kia Optima that I've never had problems out of they won't garauntee the warranty b/c I didn't have the timing belt replaced at 60,000 miles. When I asked the local dealer what they charge to have that replaced they said $852.00 b/c they can't just replace the timing belt they have to replace all the belts at one time or it voids my warranty. However, in black and white in the owners manual it doesn't say anything about all the belts just the timing belt so they still refuse to fix it even though it's not the timing belt that initially broke. They call it lack of maintenance and refused flat out no questions asked. I talked to 4 different people including a Supervisor for that 1-800- consumer hotline number and it's straight text book answers and sorry it's not covered is all they could tell me. 100,000 mile warranty sounds great but it's not worth anything b/c no matter what you do they will not cover something that costs more than a couple 100 dollars with the engine your looking in the 1,000's like myself so you will fight a never ending battle unless you get a lawyer to help you.
  • No offense,but you really should read your maintenance schedule and follow it.The 2.7 engines have the timing belt and the 2.4s have a timing chain with no required maintenance.Guess which one is better to own?
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Mickeyrom-- I think this is the older engine which did have a timing belt (4 cylinder), not the one we have. I think it's closely related to the engine on my 01 Elantra and the bill quoted was roughly equal to what I paid for the 60K. I can't for the life of me remember if that engine was interference or not but not changing the timing belt on schedule will be looked upon poorly by any HyunKia dealer.

    The new 065+ cars should have a lower maintenance cost in the four cylinder, but the Optima is more expensive to maintain than my Maxx. On the other hand my Maxx ran out of warranty at 36,000.
  • glomlsglomls Posts: 1
    I'm a newbie!
    First I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions on this website. I have learned soooo much about my car and happy to know that I'm not alone.

    Here's my dilema. My 02 Optima SE V6 was purchased with 300 miles on it (it was a dealer loaner) and for the past 3 months, the check engine light has been coming on. The car seems to skip 2nd gear and jerks really hard into 3rd and when this happens, the light comes on and acceleration is decreased drastically. Sometimes I have to put the car in park and back to drive again in order for it to respond. I've taken it to the dealer 3 times for these problems and they have changed the spark plugs, drive wires, fuel line and reset the timing belt, but none of that has fixed the problem, $1300 later.

    Additionally, it takes me 40 minutes to fill my gas tank. I literally have to let the gas drip into the tank because it keeps clicking off when I press the handle as though the tank is full, when I know it's near empty. The dealer keeps guessing what the problem might be and now tells me I will need a new gas tank installed. I mentioned to the dealer that it may be the emission sensor (after reviewing online forums) and he insists that I will need a new gas tank, without even checking the sensor.

    Based on what I've read so far, could it be something as simple as a gas cap replacement? Or could it be an evaporation valve solenoid in the gas tank? :confuse:

    Please help!
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Are you really serious? $1300 for nothing? First thing I would do is contact KIA and tell them about your experience.I'm sure they dont want one of their dealers to be ruining their good name. If that wont work,contact better business bureau and if that fails...dump the car, I have heard a lot of bad things about the older model KIAs so you may be left with that as your last/best option. Just out of curiousity,how many miles are on your Opti? Why does the warranty not cover your repairs? You really have a horror story to tell. :lemon:
  • I have an '04 Kia Optima EX V6 with just over 71,500 miles. I am a little nervous about the timing belt issue, but it being at the mileage it is now and the fact I don't have the money to get a new timing belt and all the other services connected to the 60,000 mile maintenance scedule I guess I'll be at the mercy of God. Now, don't get me wrong, when I had money maintenance was not an issue and proper maintenance and good driving skills are critical in any car being reliable, no matter what make you have. I just feel that the car has been admirably reliable for the past four years and I hope to have it for a long time. I think I'm about due for a new set of front brakes, I had it checked in the spring and found it had enough pad left. I may need the rotors turned also. I read all the posts and a lot of them are negative and it's sad to see there are that many problems. I have to wonder if my car is the norm, because I'm seeing a lot of older Kia Optimas in my town! My town is small and in the mountains, so I think it's a testament to reliability? Well, I haven't had anything major done to the car and it has run like a champ. Good luck to everyone and if you do have a problem, call Kia and try to get it resolved.
  • shirls1shirls1 Posts: 1
    Need help, no one seems to know how to change the head light bulbs on my 2006 Kia Optima. Also is there a better bulb than the factory bulbs.
  • barguglbargugl Posts: 26
    The instructions for bulb replacement are in the owners manual. If you do not have the manual you can access a pdf version on You will need to register. You can find the owners manual under community->glovebox material.
  • Hi All,
    I'm considering getting a Kia Rondo which I am told is derived from the Optima, so I was hoping people here could give me some info on the Optima which would then help me with my decisionon the Rondo . I'm looking at the 2.4 4Cyl most likely.
    I'm wondering about reliability, especially as the vehile ages, I tend to stay ontop of my regular maintenance so I have had vehicles last me 15 or 20 years, will this one do that for me?
    What is Kia like for maintenance and parts, it seems around here most parts are dealer only which could mean big $$ when the time comes (I checked an alternator for the 2.4 and they want $600+...part only).

    The car looks good, and drives nice, and Kia does through in alot of options, its just a question of will it last.What kind of issues are people finding, major or minor, are the cars in the shop alot and are these cars standing the test of time or are people getting rid of them every couple of year? My last truck was still going strong at 250000K before it was stolen and my other car had 240000k before it was rear ended.

    Thanks All.
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