2004 Chevrolet Optra from North America - Comments

10th Jun 2013, 22:25

Hey, I wanted to let you know that I have a 2007 Optra, used to have a similar problem. Does your digital display show PNDR all at once? My problem was the neutral safety switch.

10th Jun 2013, 22:42

I just want to say, I have a 2007 Optra with 98000 km. I bought it 3 years ago with 23000 km.

I admit there are some problems with this vehicle, but I'm a mechanic and it kind of really bugs me how much people rag on this car.

Your brakes wear so fast cause you ride them so hard all the time...

Tie rod ends and stab links, because you don't care how many potholes you hit or what speed you hit them at.

Serpentine belt, and bulbs. Oh well, normal maintenance items. Ideally your belt should be replaced every 80000km.

My Optra is at 98000. I just replaced the original brakes front and rear this past February. Both original tie rods are still good, and replaced both front original stab links in Feb as well.

A lot of stuff people complain about with this car are the driver's fault.

17th Jun 2013, 17:40

No, stay away from Canadian Tire!!!

28th Jun 2013, 02:13

My daughter bought a 2004 Optra, 4 months ago, and it sounds like the previous owner must have been like one of the posters here.

Sure enough the car was overheating, so she brought it over for me to have a look at it. Seemed like the coolant would only boil over when the car was stopped after a drive. Checked all the usual things, which seemed O.K., and for some reason it still would boil out of the reservoir. I didn't have time to do anything further, and just told her to keep the heater on full blast until I could look at it. As said so many times in this forum, within the week the head gasket blew.

Now I have spent the last couple days fixing this car, head gasket, water pump, timing belt (only the head gasket truly needed replacing). Flushed out everything back and forth. Checked the thermostat, opens O.K. at 90C. Put 50/50 coolant back in, and still the coolant coming out of the top of the head to the radiator is just at the boiling point, and it isn't even a hot day.

This has me scratching my head. Put on the "Felpro" head gasket that can only go on the right way. Has me wondering if the metering holes in the coolant areas of the head gasket are too small. The whole radiator gets hot, so I don't think it is clogged anywhere, but not absolutely sure.

Gave it back to my daughter to see how it goes for a couple of days. But sure don't like how hot the coolant is coming off the head. Sounds like she should sell it on if it is working for the next few months, before the next thing goes!!

28th Jun 2013, 16:56

I had some similar cooling issues, but some simple fixes have helped. I mixed some water in with 50/50 coolant, and when I turn on the heat, it's full blast, but here's the key - use the defroster vents. That's helped me. 4000 miles, and the head gasket has been fine so far.

29th Jun 2013, 07:18

There was a recall on the DRL light. It's a day time running light issue. The dealer will fix that issue for free.

8th Aug 2013, 09:32

Something to check - I read that the brake HOSES (not lines) can degrade from the inside and cause the brakes to come on too much - this may explain the brakes and calipers that go too often.

Mine is 2nd hand, 175,000 km no head gasket problems. For the price I paid, I am relatively happy - cheap cars are cheap cars. I and the previous owner have kept up maintenance. Recently had some tranny maintenance done and now the trans is fine (was just a service, not a replacement). This could be a problem of some of these vehicles as you can't check the trans fluid. Sometimes with cheap cars people don't keep up the maintenance, but it is even MORE important. I like the tip about fuel system cleaner.

If you have the money, sure buy a Toyota - but this is no worse than my Hyundai Accent or cheap Dodge I used to have. Do you think there is a difference in quality in the two models of Optra?

8th Aug 2013, 09:44

Good to know about the DRL! I'm just scared what else they'll find if I take it in. Not a bad car for the $ - but I only paid 2,000 for mine. A minor problem I had was trying to change the air filter - the screws are embedded in the plastic and I don't think I can get them out - but I guess this means it was at least changed once (I usually do mine annually). Any advice from others who had this problem?

Has anyone changed their plugs themselves? I usually do, but notice that you have to take a panel off the engine to get at them - is there anything weird under there? Also, do you think non-dealer high end plugs would be OK? Dealer plugs are 20.00 each, CT has good ones for 14-16 for 2 plugs.

29th Aug 2013, 07:25

For anyone out there, there is an open recall on the Optra for the DRL and low beams. The wires melt and they will fix it for free. Anyone know why the Optra 5 clock won't keep time though?

8th Sep 2013, 19:58

I made the terrible mistake of buying an Optra 2004. This car is a real lemon in my opinion. I just don't finish fixing a problem when the next one shows up. It is unbelievable! I don't know how a big company like GM puts a product like this on the market, and they are not responsible for anything. I had all the problems you mentioned before, plus I am battling now a charging system problem. The parts in this car are excessively expensive, however we don't get any break from GM. I will never purchase any GM product again... ever again.

8th Sep 2013, 20:17

I feel your pain because I have gone through all those problems and then some. This car is a real lemon.

24th Sep 2013, 20:00

I just started experiencing the same problem. Any help on this?

4th Nov 2013, 21:15

I have owned a 2004 Optra for 3 years now. The list of things that went wrong with the car is crazy.

I have done brake jobs 4 times, and replaced the calipers twice.

In the last month I have put $800 into it, and got it home and now the engine light is flashing. God knows what it will cost now. I know that there is maintenance with every car, but this car is the limit. Every time you turn around, something new is wrong with it. I wish that GM would stand behind what they put their name on. This car is a true LEMON. Even the mechanic can't find the coolant leak; he told me to just keep adding coolant until it gets worse.

10th Nov 2013, 13:04

Last year I had to replace my heater core; this was done November 22. Well, October of this year I was cleaning the car and lifted the floor mat; it's covered in antifreeze. So, I changed the heater core again.

Now I have the problem with it overheating on the highway. It will hold antifreeze if it doesn't overheat, but if it overheats, you can bet it's gone again.

I also noticed on the front driver's side of the cylinder head, that there is some kind of liquid coming from it, so I am assuming my head gasket is also on its way out.

This car has been nothing but a gigantic headache for me from the day I purchased it. Do not buy the 2004 Optra, no matter the price people. This car is an absolute piece of crap.

10th Nov 2013, 13:14

I would also like to know if anyone can tell me if their 2004 Optra has one or two cooling fans on the radiator? My car is NOT equipped with air conditioning, so if anyone with a similar model can let me know what theirs is equipped with, I would be very grateful!

28th Jan 2014, 10:25

This was posted a while ago, so not sure if you fixed the DRL issue... but I have a 2004 LT and I was informed last year that there's a recall relating to the DRLs.

5th Feb 2014, 08:59

I've had an Optra 04 since Dec 2012. Had the tie rods replaced once, brakes are fine, no issues with the headlights.

Engine light sometimes comes on when a service is due, though it came on today yet it still has 3000kms before the next service!? (that's how I ended up here)

Coolant level drops, I found a tiny hole on the plastic reservoir... had it sealed up, but it's still losing coolant. I suspect the head gasket is gone, will have it checked tomorrow.

Otherwise it's a great drive!

27th Feb 2014, 20:12

I need help... I have an 06 Chevy Optra 5 with under 90000km on it, and it sounds like a diesel but it's not. The noise will go away after driving it for a while, but every time I start it, it will growl for at least 10 minutes (sometimes longer). I have no idea why it's making this noise, and I suck with cars... Do any of you have any idea of what it may be and how to fix it?

Thank you!!

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