Most Common Kia Optima Problems

In the early 2000s, the Kia Optima quickly became popular for its ride quality, reliability, and price. According to RepairPal the Kia Optima has a 4 out of 5 rating in regards to reliability. It is also known to not need a ton of maintenance, saving you some money along the way. By properly following the recommended maintenance and service schedule, your Optima should easily last up to 200,000 miles. That said, if you are planning to buy a new or certified pre-owned Kia Optima, it will likely be worth the investment. However, despite the positive praise Optimas have gotten over the years, like most cars, there are several common Kia Optima problems to be aware of before making your decision.

Top Kia Optima Problems

Kia Optima Engine Problems 

By now the Kia Optima engine problems are well known amongst owners. Over the years, the Kia Optima has been reported to have severe engine manufacturing and failure issues that may be causing its bearings to wear prematurely. In some cases, premature bearing wear and tear can trigger uncontrollable engine seizing, increasing the risk of causing an accident. In 2017, Kia did issue a recall to help owners repair or replace their affected Optima engines for free.

Faulty Starter

Several models of the Kia Optima are also known for their starter problems. Many owners have reported that their engines suddenly wouldn’t start at all, with no signs of what the issue is or that there was an issue in the first place. Although diagnostic tests don’t show a clear cause of the engine problems, several owners were able to resolve the issue by simply replacing the battery and/or parking sensor.

Faulty Door Latch 

Amongst the top of the Kia Optima known issues list is its faulty door latch problem – where it becomes very difficult to open the vehicle doors from both the inside and outside of the car. The cause of this issue is a faulty door latch assembly. Simply replacing the worn latch will often be all it takes to address the problem.

Faulty Throttle Position Switch (TPS)

The main symptoms of a faulty TPS is the check engine light illuminating, combined with misfiring and power loss. According to owner reports, this issue tends to happen just after crossing the 100,000 miles milestone. Kia has taken steps to improve the necessary parts which tends to resolve this issue.

Weak Alternator

The Kia Optima’s weak alternator issue is also high on the list of reported Kia Optima problems. This issue generally comes to light when the car has been operating with high electrical loads, such as the driver running the lights, AC, etc., all at the same time – which results in insufficient battery charging capability, as well as making it difficult to start your vehicle. Some owners have reported that jump-starting their batteries or replacing the batteries helps solve the issue. However, several owners ended up experiencing the same issue over time. Kia has released a new alternator that owners can purchase and install to resolve this problem.

Now that you are up to speed on the most commonly reported Kia Optima problems, you will hopefully be able to make a more confident decision on whether or not it is the right vehicle for you. Thankfully, most modern cars are reliable, so despite a given vehicle not being perfect, as long as you follow the recommended maintenance, the vehicle you choose should give you little to no issues. If you have any questions about a given auto repair, call (385) 497-6442 or visit our auto shop in South Jordan, Utah. We look forward to assisting you with all of your auto needs!