Kia Optima

Kia Optima

Kia Optima – So are you in the market for an Optima whether brand new or used and wondering if you should really go for it? Then you are at the right page. By the time you are done reading this write up, you will be able to make an informed choice about it. But let us just start by saying that the Kia Optima is a great car that will give you an awesome driving experience. It will give you good value for your money and the best part is that you will not spend too much on its maintenance.

Optima Reliability

RepairPal rated the Optima 4 out of 5 for reliability and that is commendable. Also out of 24 cars that are in the same category, the Kia Optima was at the 8th position. This goes to prove that the Optima is really a reliable vehicle.

It doesn’t matter if you are going for a new one or a used one, just be happy that the car will provide you a really good value for your money.

Provided you take proper care of your car, ensuring that the maintenance and servicing are taken very seriously, the car can even last you up to 200,000 miles.

Common Optima Issues

Agreed that the Kia Optima is a reliable car, but there has been some complaints regarding various model years of the vehicle.

We will now take a look at the common issues of the Kia Optima.

1. Faulty Door Latch

One of the most common issues for Optima is door issues. This issue with the door latch is usually as a result of a faulty door latch assembly. The model years that car owners have had complaints about the door latch are mostly from the 2001-2015 Kia Optimas.

For some of the car owners, their door latch will not open whether you try from inside or outside of the vehicle. You can describe it as though the door latch just went dead and won’t wake up. It usually occurs at about 102,000 miles and mostly affects the driver’s side door.

To handle this issue, you can simply have the faulty door latch replaced. How much it will cost you largely depends on the different part as well as the labor cost, but it may be about $100.

2. Weak Alternator

The issue of weak alternators is commonly seen in the 2001-2015 Kia Optimas. This problem can further result in starting problems and disrupt battery charging capability.

You might notice this issue after making use of your car’s electrical devices for instance the air-conditioning and lights.

For some of the car owners with this issue, what they had to do is to always jump-start their batteries each time it got drained. There are some that had to change their batteries but the issue persisted.

The good news is that the brand knows about this issue and has made available a new one, so as to handle the situation. That means that you can purchase the upgraded alternator and install it in your car to take care of the weak alternator problem.

3. Engine Malfunction and Failure

For the 2011-2014 Kia Optima a common complaint is with its engine. The bearings might wear prematurely and this might most likely result in a series of other issues such as uncontrollable engine seizing. Such an engine issue can prove to be hazardous as it can lead to accidents or crashes.

To take care of the problem, Kia issued a recall of the affected units in 2017. So if your car is part of the recall, you will be duly contacted and your engine assembly will be replaced at no cost.

Some owners of the 2013 Kia Optima have complained about starter issues. Some stated that all of a sudden their engine refused to start. No one finds this type of situation funny especially if you have someplace important to be.

In a bid to handle the situation, some have gone to their dealerships for diagnostic tests but found that all is well with the engine. As it stands, there is no known exact cause of the issue but some of the car owners handled it using a battery replacement or a parking sensor.

Another issue that car owners have had regarding the 2013 model is loud abnormal knocking noises. This can result in a blown engine. Some of the car owners who had this issue while driving had to pull over and after some time, the engine stopped functioning.

To resolve this, some had to replace their engine and if you want to tow this path, it will cost you about $5,000. The amount that you will finally have to pay for it largely depends on labor costs and part.

4. Steering Complications

A common issue with the 2012 Kia Optima is steering problems. This is usually accompanied by strange noises as well as other complications. These steering issues vary; they include sudden steering assist loss, excessive steering wheel vibrations, difficult steering and loud noises during sharp turns.

Some of the car owners had to use extra strength to remain in control of their steering wheel and their car because losing control of the steering while driving can have dire consequences.

In a bid to fix this, some of the car owners had to resolve to replacing different parts.

5. Faulty Throttle Position Switch (TPS)

For the 2001-2017 Kia Optimas a common complaint is their malfunctioning throttle position switch. This can result in power loss and misfiring. Your Check engine light will most likely come on and alert you to this. You might also experience engine hesitation and stumbling. For some of the car owners, poor acceleration led to their cars shutting down.

This issue might occur at about 107,000 miles. Kia has made available an upgraded version of its TPS to rectify the problem.

6. Outdated Transmission Software

Transmission issues might be there in 2001-2017 Optimas due to their outdated transmission control module (TCM). If your car has this problem, you might experience jerking and lurching when downshifting.

This issue might happen at around 67,000 miles. It can cause your check engine light to come on.

The car manufacturers have made available a software update so as to tackle the problem.

However, it is also advised that you contact a professional mechanic. This is because component failure especially in high-mileage cars can equally cause transmission issues.

7. Malfunctioning and Leaky Low Pressure Fuel Hose

A complaint with the 2013-2014 Kia Optima problems is the lack of proper pressure of its fuel hose, which can lead to cracks and leaks. As you very well know, leaking fuel is really hazardous as it can cause fires.

Kia issued a recall for the affected units and added that there will be replacement of the low-pressure fuel hose if necessary, otherwise it will be reinforced with heat-protective tape. If your car is part of the recall, this service will be rendered to you free of charge.

It is not a waste of time to know about the common issues of the Optima especially the model year that you want to purchase. In fact it is imperative that you do so in order to make an informed choice.


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