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Kia Optima 2006 and earlier



  • According to auto123 (canada), the Optima is a TAD bit smaller than the Sonata.

    4,735 mm length
    1,805 mm width
    1,480 mm

    4,800 mm
    width of 1,832 mm
    height of 1,475

    So.. not much of a different. A couple of mm's. But the Sonata IS larger.

    I was under the impression that the Sonata is already shorter than the Accord and Camry, yet wider.

    I'm loving the Optima. I think I even prefer it over the Sonata. The rear of the Optima seems very Acura-ish.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    cool...your Spectra EX has a spoiler. There's a discussion going on on Edmunds right now about spoilers on cars and what do we all feel about their value, etc. I tend to like certain spoilers on certain cars. Kia has added the spoiler on your 2004 1/2 Kia Spectra EX so that it looks like it belongs there. Kia just plain "has it" in the body design department, IMHO. Nobody can touch them, Mercedes, Rolls, Audi, Bentley, you name the maker and I'll tell you that Kia designs the bodies of their Kia-mobiles in a superior manner, considering the entire stable. I'm talking the entire stable of Kia's holds their own very well against anybody else's entire stable of cars. I'll take it one step further and say they beat anybody at it. Anybody.

    Now, this new Kia Optima looks awesome, yes it does. I think it just barely nudges out the 2006 Hyundai Sonata in the looks department, just barely. They both look awesome.

    spectraman-what do ya know about this 2005 or 2006 Kia Spectra SX? Is it a 4-door Spectra sedan like yours with the spoiler, etc. and several racing extra's like metal pedals, extra bodykit valances, etc. like the Spectra5, yet on a Spectra 4-door sedan? I can't find a whole lot on the Kia America website but I did find an article on there from May that slipped by me in May. I have now had a chance to read that article and it sounds quite interesting. I may be interested in, say, a 2006 Kia Spectra SX sedan, in a cool color of my choice. What'd'ya'all know? ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • gy563gy563 Posts: 44
    Next generation kia optima (Kia Magetitis in European models)


  • Just a small item: it's actually Kia Magentis rather than Magetitis. I know -- it's a weird font.

    (Pssst... you may want to check out post #445 ;) Thanks for posting, though!)

    Take care,
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255

    Thanks for the kind words about my Spectra. I'm not a fan of body cladding or other plastic gimmickry that looks tacked on, BUT I do think that this particular spoiler adds a bit of panache to the basic Spectra body shape.

    As far as the Spectra SX goes, I understand it to be basically all of the goodies that KIA put on the Spectra5, but only on the sedan body style.

    All of the suspension and interior trim bits are brought over, plus the SX has additional Spectra5-like lower body cladding.

    I wouldn't mind having the metal petals and the leather wheel in my car, but as I mentioned above, I'm not a fan of the boy-racer cladding. That's why I have an '88 Mustang LX 5.0, and not the GT. It has the same drivetrain of the GT, but without the body doo-dads.

    I'm addressing the lack of a leather wheel in my EX by recently ordering a two tone Euro-perf wheel cover from WheelSkins. It is going to be a light sand color top and bottom, and a dark brown on the sides. This matches my car's interior colors. I also am having only the upper and lower sand colored sections perfed. I've read alot of good things about WheelSkins online, so I'm eager to see how it looks in my car. They claim that the cover will be custom fit to my wheel, so we'll see. I'll post a close-up pic of it on my website after I've installed it.

    On the performance side of things, hopefully Hyun-KIA can spare some development dollars for some performance bits on the motor once they get done rolling out their next several car lines. The sooner the better! A nice turbo or supercharged version would be cool!

    Look out Cobalt SS and Neon SRT! (chuckle)

  • I need to find any information that I can on Brake Failures on the Kia Optima (04 & 05 Model Years). The Failures are from a DESIGN DEFECT in the Brake Master Cylinder and it appears that Kia is trying to deny this exists while VERY QUIETLY taking care of any problems that occur. One major problem for them is gonna be me. I was driving a 2005 Kia Optima SE with only 3000 miles on it at 30mph and went to stop suddenly and had a total braking failure and slammed into a Chevy Blazer in front of me. Insurance examiner found a defective Master Cylinder that Kia is not disputing. Strange issue is, my neighbor across the street has the exact same model with only 1700 miles on it and last Friday the same thing happened to his and his wife also wrecked into another car's rear-end. Anyone else have a similar experience? I would be VERY interested in finding out. Thanks
  • SM and others

    As I was severely injured in the crash of the Optima due to the brake failure (BTW this was a rental from Enterprise Rentals), my attorney has reported it to both KIA and the NHTSA. KIA's response was VERY curious, as they didn't even want to inspect the wrecked car to confirm the brake failure but instead ACCEPTED the report from Allstate Insurance Co.'s certified mechanics and immediately referred the issue to the Legal Depatment......VERY CURIOUS don't you all think?

  • Bill:

    You and your neighbor's problem(s) sound serious!

    Here's the NHTSA website where you and your neighbor can and SHOULD
    file a complaint:

    Faulty brake systems are nothing for a manufacturer to take lightly. I
    searched the currently filed complaints for the 2004-2005 Optima, and
    couldn't find any that matched your description(s) above.

    Let us know how it goes!

  • The site does not take into account the 2001 kia optima 2.4L 4cyl engines with automatic transmittions. I do not know if this limits the TSB Search or not, but the search is incorrect. Rather it does not have all the Optima TSB's. I know of 4 that are missing, and need to know of others that may be missing.
    1. window runchannels.(something about them warping I belive)
    2. Window Power regulators (replaced all 4 under a "TSB")
    3. Alternator (Stock 80AMP insufficent to maintain voltage while idle - replaced with 110AMP)
    4. Rear Drum Brakes (new hardware to prevent brakes from wearing too quickly)

    I know of those 4 as they have all been replaced on mine... are there any other important ones I need to watch out for?
  • I'm planning on buying, tonight, a 4 cyl. Optima. I know the 4 cyl is better on gas than the 6 cyl. but is there anything else I should know? Its a 2005 with 15,000 miles. Thanks for the help.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I haven't seen this posted here yet. It looks like Kia is going to pull another Spectra-type trick on buyers with the new Optima. Take a look at:

    Scroll down to where you will see:

    2006 Kia New Optima 4-DR w/SAB (PC/Me)
    2006 Kia Optima 4-DR w/SAB (PC/Me)

    Why do they confuse us like this??
  • I've been looking at an 01 Optima; 58000 miles; $6,900. I talked with the owner and he said he replaced the two front window regulators and replaced the front brakes about 5000 miles ago.

    What can I expect to start going wrong if I buy this car? It's got less than 2000 miles left on the warranty and a friend said to insist on an extended warranty but I'm not sure what to ask for.

    Thanks in advance!
  • I have a 2001 Optima.
    Yesterday it suddenly died while driving.
    It cranks fine, lights work etc but will not start.
    All fuses are ok
    Is this a common problem? Any suggestions
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You might want to also ask in the "No Start" Problems discussion. Good luck - hope we can help.
  • Hi,

    My girlfriend was recently in an accident where she damaged the passenger-side headlamp on her 2004 Optima. He headlamp itself was undamaged but the forward-most plastic part was shattered. To replace the entire headlamp housing through the dealer would be around $400. I found the OEM replacement online for about $250. Really, this should only be a matter of finding the replacement plastic part and then sealing it back onto the rest of the housing. I've done this before on my Honda, but its a lot easier to find parts for my car than hers. Does anyone have any info on websites, part numbers, or just general advice that might help my situation?

  • The "lense only" replacement usually doesnt work unlessit's a glass lense, because the whole assembly has to be properly sealed to prevent condensation. The bulb socket itself has a special gasket to prevent water penetration. You might try to find "aftermarket lamps" online not made by KIA. However with the limited production numbers ov these vehicles, chances aren't great. I remember NU-PARTS was a distributor that sold through wrecking yards (now auto recyclers). You might call a local bone yard and get like-new used parts!
  • Chuck, I also have a 2001 Optima. I was driving along one day and my car just died in the middle of the road. Turns out it was the crankshaft position sensor(?). I have had nothing but trouble with my KIA from the time I bought it. The car has been towed 9 times. A few months after I purchased the car, my rear tires were as bald as Mr. Clean's head. Turns out the left rear control arm was slightly dented. They blamed it on me. I had to replace the tires at that time, plus pay for the control arm, etc. I think it was dented when they took the car off the semi at the dealership. I've had to replace the alternator. The battery had to be replaced x 2. The windshield washer pump had to be replaced. Wiring had to be replaced at the headlamp. The crankshaft positon sensor was replaced. I had to replace a window runner and 3 window regulators. I had to have the headliner taken off to find out why the door locks, antenna, and interior lights weren't working. It was a shorted wire. I've changed the oil approximately every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. I've had the transmission flushed. I replaced the timing belt prior to 60,000, just like they recommended. I had a major tune-up at 83,000. I changed the oil at 83,000, 88,000 and 92,000 and on Christmas Eve, it spun a rod and a bearing. Now, get this, Chuck, KIA wants me to produce receipts from over 3 years ago showing where I changed the oil. They will not replace the engine, even though they advertise a 100,000 mile warranty on the engine, until I can come up with the receipts from over three years ago. Do you want to know what I think about KIA? :lemon:

    I'm urging anyone with a KIA to save all receipts for everything done to the car. If you change the oil yourself, save the receipt of oil and oil filter and document with the mileage on it. If you replace something as simple as a windshield wiper, keep the receipt.
  • For some reason I have to replace my bulbs in my headlights every 3 to 6 months. Has anyone else ever heard of this problem? I'm taking it to the dealership today(1-6-05), and I'm hoping they don't take me for a ride.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "They will not replace the engine, even though they advertise a 100,000 mile warranty on the engine, until I can come up with the receipts from over three years ago."

    This is all covered in your warranty booklet. Aggravating perhaps, but KIA and their agent (the take-yer-money-ship) are fully within their rights to inspect documentation substantiating that required service was performed at the owner's manual-indicated time/mileage intervals. You'd have found the same warranty stipulations with any other make. Toyota, for instance, had some serious oil sludging issues with I4 and V6 Camry engines from the mid-nineties to the very early two-thousand models. Once they'd established that the problem was an engineering flaw, Toyota extended the warranty to eight years, unlimited mileage. BUT, owners were still obligated to present receipts for service or materials and a log if owner-maintained as supporting evidence that the engine oil and filter changes were carried out no later than 7,500 miles or six months in order to qualify for replacement engines. I do my own servicing, but I can see the attraction of take-yer-money-ship servicing - there's no question about when and the extent of the work done - it's on the national database no matter where you happen to be in the U.S. (maybe Canada, too) if trouble arises. Best of luck.
  • I presume you've already solved your problem. We own two Optimas...a 2002 V6 and a 2003 4-cylinder. Interesting that within a month (about September of last year) we had that same problem on BOTH vehicles. The '02 had about 50k miles and the '03 had about 18k. In both cases it was a bad battery. The REAL problem is that you can't find an after-market battery for this must go to Kia.
    Other than that, we've had no significant problems with the vehicles and we love them.
    I do have a SERIOUS problem with service at the local dealer in Memphis. Took the '02 in for some work a few months ago. I actually dropped it off a day early. On the day they were supposed to do the work (I was having a problem with the electronic door locks) they never got around to my car and didn't call me to tell me. When I called to see if the car was ready (about 3:30 p.m.) they said they had gotten busy on another vehicle. Now that puts me in a position of having to drive 100 miles to Tupelo, Mississippi for service. However, I don't mind. I love the car.
  • 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: 44
    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: 44
    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.
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