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Q: 2004 Optima LX on 2004 Kia Optima

What are people's general opinions about the reliability of the 2004 Optima LX V-6, especially the transmission and engine?

Are the general maintenance and repair costs expensive?

Is there an issue with the timing belt wearing out prematurely?

What kind of gas mileage do you get?
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I have worked on some Kias and have found them to be OK as far as reliability. Not the best but not the worst either. It all depends on how dedicated you are to the maintenance. The fuel mileage is really on the driver. If you drive like you have an egg under your foot and the gas pedal, the mileage is good, but any V6 can really consume fuel with brisk acceleration. Not really aware of the timing belts breaking. It should be done after a maximum of 5-6 years regardless of miles because the belt compound will crack and fail, just like tires do.
I have the car you describe although I think mine is a 4 cylinder. I have 68,000 miles and have already replaced the timing chain. They had the motor out or disassembled or some such thing and replaced it them even though it was kind of early. The were replacing some sort of sensor so they did it altogether under warranty. NO problems whatsoever. Now watch I will go to the garage and it will fall apart! I have had excellent warranty coverage. I get about 21 mpg in town and 24-25 highway although I drive very fast on my road-trips. I truly am a retired teacher and this car has served me well. It has no bells and whistles just basic transportation but it is comfortable and very serviceable. I am wondering now if I should replace the brakes although they are not giving me any problems. I am trying to decide if it is time to do that. Good luck!
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