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!!

6th Aug 2014, 18:25

I had the same issue. Just Google codes for the radio and put the specs in for your specific car. I got a list of maybe 20 codes to try, and one of them worked.

24th Sep 2014, 08:43

My Optra 5 clock will also not keep time. Wondering if you had any enlightening comments?

11th Nov 2014, 23:28

Bought mine second hand for fairly cheap; now I know why. I do not know its repair history; whether or not the head gasket was redone, or any other major repairs, so I cannot really tell if my car is all that good. However, unknown repair history aside, I am fairly satisfied with this car, and have not had too many problems, other than the normal ones.

1) Coolant leak: I found that the coolant was leaking out of the cap, due to the fact that the threads friction lock if you don't lubricate them with some coolant before screwing it down. I lubed the threads, and screwed it down with both hands. Not too much torque or you'll break it, so be careful now, and the coolant seems to stay put. To check, just run the car until it's fully warm, then sniff around the cap. If you can smell, or even hear it leak out, that's at least one of your sources.

2) Rear brake seizing: this is normal for any caliper that is 8 years old, so not a fault at all, just an age related issue.

3) Stalling and rough idle: I suspect that this is due to the normal age related engine issues. The throttle body is filthy, and that alone will cause those kind of problems. I haven't checked the PCV valve yet, but I suspect that that needs to be replaced too. I also found a cracked vacuum hose. It seems that the stalling/idle issue is only being reported within the last few years, so it must be a normal age related maintenance issue. I hope to have it cleaned next year.

4) Day time running lights: Stayed on and would not shut off. I had to disconnect them by unplugging the DRL module. It's a simple fix. The module is located on the door side of the driver's side. It's a cigarette sized (brown?) box that has one side curved. Unplug it until you can get a new one.

5) Cracked plenum: Someone in the past had over tightened it, causing it to crack, thus causing a air leak. I welded it with some JB quick set weld.

About the coolant leak issue. Other people have reported that it was leaking out of other areas, one being the EGR gasket, and the other due to a crack located on the radiator itself. So it might not be simple fix like mine. I hope that that can help you guys find it.

Due to the huge amount of plastic, I expect to use a lot of JB Weld quick set to fix cracks in the future. Love that stuff.

23rd Nov 2014, 03:07

I usually research any vehicle before I buy it. However, I bought an 05 Optra without researching it first because the price seemed right.

This car has been nothing but trouble from day one. As I looked deeper into it, I discovered that this car is a Korean car with a Suzuki engine. As such they used cheap head gaskets, and as a result, replacement is a common problem. When I was replacing the head gasket, I discovered that if I required any parts or specs, I needed to refer to a Suzuki Forenza engine.

Replacing the head gasket was a huge and costly undertaking. After all was said and done, the car is running great, but the heat inside the car is well below ideal. I have flushed the coolant system, replaced the coolant with the appropriate mix ratio, and checked the thermostat for proper operation. When I did the first flush, a lot of gunk came out of the system. I am going to send the car in for a professional flush in the hope that it improves my heat inside my cabin. Other than that, I am in a loss in regards to the problem.

The bottom line is "you get what you pay for". From now on I will stick with Hondas, Toyotas etc. I also have a 91 Accord with almost 400K on it, and it has been the most dependable car that I have ever owned. After my experience with my Optra, I will never buy another Chev.

8th Jul 2015, 15:10

I've had the chance to read all the comments and I am not sure if I bought one of the only good Optras out there.

I have had this car since 2006 and I'm still driving the thing everyday. Even went through the 3 years of my daughter learning to drive in the city. Other than scrapes and mysterious dents, it has been a fabulous car.

I've had the standard stuff like brakes, calipers and exhaust, but this experience is no different than any Ford, Mazda, Honda or Dodge I have ever owned.

My best advice to anyone buying one of these Korean cars is "Do the maintenance" when it is supposed to be done based on the manual.

Service the brakes, i.e. lube sliders, re-tightened the caliper and bridge every 6 months whether it needs it or not. I get an average of 1.5 years out of a set of brakes in city driving.

Keep the intake and throttle body clean and use good gas when you can.

It may not seem like it, but there is a significant amount of engineering in this car and it needs to be maintained a little more diligently than a regular American car of this price range. If you take care of that stuff, the car will give you years of great motoring.

Unfortunately there is nothing that I have found to improve the gas mileage. I have a Colorado with the 3.5 I5 and it gets better mileage. Not sure on that one.

5th Jan 2016, 16:49

I appreciated your post and I have a question for you since you are a mechanic. I am trying to find the fuse for the radio in my 2004 Optra and can't tell which it is. There isn't one labeled radio. Would it be labeled either main or illum perchance? Thanks.

25th Oct 2016, 03:22

For the air filter I had the same problem. I solved this by using a chainsaw file. I heated it up in my woodstove and it melts right through the plastic to makes holes. Then you can use zip ties to hold the breather box on. You could also drill holes, but this can make cracks in the plastic. Not the best fix, but good luck getting those bolts out; this was a great solution for me.