Kia Optima Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your Kia Optima

Kia Optima Problems

Door Locks Malfunction Not Allowing Driver or Passanger to Open Their Doors

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.

Faulty Throttle Position Switch

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.

Software Update Available to Correct Transmission Issues

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.

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Kia Optima Recalls

Brake Light Switch May Fail Prematurley

The affected Kia models are being recalled because the brake light switch can fail prematurely, resulting in the loss of brake light operation as well as concerns with other electrical systems including: Cruise control, push-button start feature, shifter, and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. Dealers will replace the brake light switch to correct this concern.

The Driver's Air Bag May Not Deploy As Designed

The clock spring electrical assembly in the steering column may become damaged over time, resulting in high resistance in the driver's airbag electrical circuit. This could cause illumination of the airbag warning light and/or the driver's airbag may not deploy as designed. Failure of the airbag to properly deploy increases the risk of injury to the driver in the event of a crash. Dealers will replace the clock spring contact assembly as necessary to correct this concern. The Kia recall number is SC094.

Shift Cable May Disengage From Shifter

The shift cable may have been installed incorrectly, causing tension in the cable. The tension could cause the cable to become disconnected from the shifter, disabling proper gear selection. If the vehicle is left unattended with the transmission not in "Park" and the parking brake not engaged, the vehicle could roll, increasing the risk of injury or a crash. Dealers will inspect the shift cable and reinstall it if necessary. This recall is expected to begin during March of 2011. The Kia recall number is SC088.

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Kia Optima Reviews

I got stuck buying from Dons used cars. He is a buy here pay here dealer. It is a 2004 Kia Optima and i was in a rush as they just done detailing the vehicle. So after i got the car home and checked KBB i found out he was charging me 4K over the book value! $7K for a vehicle with 166K miles on it! And its starting to break down! I put 4 new tires on it and that's all im going to ...
Best car I have bought. It is the most less expensive vehicle ever driven - the routine maintenance is not all that expensive. I am so glad that purchased a Kia vehicle gas saver 100% trouble free only things in the lasted 6 years were battery, tires, pads and plugs at 85,000k. The car is very dependable most people might say bad things about lower economical cars but with me buying a Kia was b...
Bought my 2004 Kia Optima LX 4 cylinder in 2008. Had basically NO problems with it at all till 2014. Door locks would occasionally not want to lock or unlock from inside and outside, as well as, with key or door lock buttons. CD player would not always take in CD or would spit it out on it's own. Seem to go through breaks often and gas mileage not what was expected. 2014 - Engine all of a sudde...

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