2012 Kia Optima Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2012 Kia Optima as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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5
Known Problems

After the vehicle has been operated with electrical loads (lights, air conditioning), a weak alternator can cause starting difficulties. In some cases, the original alternator could not sufficiently charge the battery; Kia released a new alternator which can correct this concern.

The navigation unit in the Kia Optima may suddenly stop playing audio from all speakers. This includes sound from CD players, radio, navigation, satellite radio, and telephone calls. All other features may still function properly.

This fault requires no parts replacement, and is a software glitch that can be rectified by a 'hard reset'.

To perform the hard reset, simply disconnect the vehicles negative battery terminal, wait 15 minutes, and reconnect the negative battery terminal.

Reprogramming the transmission control module with the latest Kia transmission software may fix abnormalities in the automatic transmission and erroneous transmission-related Check Engine Light illumination. Software updates are commonly most effective on newer vehicles. Higher mileage vehicles may exhibit a similar symptom caused by a component failure. However, whenever major transmission repairs are performed the transmission software should be checked and updated as necessary.

Check Engine Light illumination—combined with a lack of power or a stumble on acceleration—may be caused by the throttle position switch (TPS). Kia released an improved part which should correct this concern.

A faulty door latch assembly may cause one or both front doors to be difficult to open. Replacing the worn latch will commonly correct this problem.