It depends on how you drive the car. In Canada I saw people driving like crazy. Instant stops, rapid accelerations (especially when they enter highway). A car is a machine and you should use it carefully. Some people complained about the bulbs of the headlights??? Is it a car's fault?
Wow, sounds like we should be starting a class action against GM. I had the same problem with the head gasket. The dealership charged me over $600 to "diagnose" the problem and change the thermostat (which was what they originally said the problem was). My total expense after having the head gasket fixed was around $2000. It was 4 months after the powertrain warranty had expired! GM would not discuss covering the expense as we had been going to our own garage for maintenance. Now, two months later, the engine light is on. Our mechanics are saying that a sensor is malfunctioning. At this point we have approved the purchase of a replacement sensor and the labour to install it. It's in the shop as we speak. Will let you know the outcome.
Our mechanic said that for some reason he can't get information on this car and parts are difficult to get. I was surprised to read that an earlier poster said he had no problem getting the parts for this car. We are in Toronto, Canada. Wonder why.
Once the car is fixed this time, I plan on selling it. I don't want constant problems. It's a shame because it is an excellent little city car - good on gas and slides right into those small parking spaces.
Re the tires - ours have been fine but are upgraded tires. Also we bought good snow tires last winter, which made a huge difference.
Update to post above: replacing the sensor seems to have solved the problem for now. It's hit and miss I guess. Anyone want to buy a car?
I'm having the same problems with the Optra, just changed the serpentine belt and now the engine light is on and off. The mechanics also are charging an arm and a leg to just 'diagnose' the problem as to why it's coming on and off. They also think it's a sensor malfunctioning. How much did you pay to replace the sensor if you don't mind sharing?
Also at the moment there is a small leak, which they say the head gasket maybe the cause.
Overall the 04 Optra I have was doing very well until now.
Reading all the comments is all very interesting.
Since mid August my check engine light has been coming on and off on my 2004 Chevy Optra... I have done $3000 worth of work on it... including head gasket, water pump, timing belt, O2 sensor, etc. I thought the problems might be solved but the light keeps coming on. In fact it is on right now... the last advice I got from a mechanic is to not worry about it. Needless to say, I am fed-up with car repairs. I think I will take the latest advice and ignore the light.
I don't rate this car at all. My fault for not doing my homework properly. If I'd known it was a DAEWOO Lanos tarted up by GM, I would have steered well clear.
Tracking problem was the first problem, which a nice local garage come highwayman diagnosed as the steering box at $1500. After taking the car around to another two garages, they came to the conclusion it was just a strut mount damping cap at $40 plus $150 to fit it.
Now the rear brake has seized, goodness knows what the cost of that is going to be?
Overall I have found the OPTRA to be rubbish; it's got bad economy, the build quality is crap, and the after service... don't get me started.
It's not a redone Daewoo Lanos, but a redone Daewoo Lacetti.
A rose by any other name?
I too have a 2004 Optra and have had too many numerous problems with coolant leaks! I have taken it to GM dealerships, they can't seem to find the problem (how embarrassing for them), but they haven't had a problem charging me over $1500.00 for something they have never fixed. Finally took it to another mechanic charged me $927.00 to replace the head gasket, but guess what the leak hasn't stopped. Very disappointed with the car! Never again! We should start complaining to GM for the Head Gasket issues!
You guys are starting to scare me!
My Optra 2004 had all of a sudden a ticking noise that seems to come from the engine. It's a loud sound on the idle. Did you guys had any issue looking like this?
November 16, 2009
I would like to up-date the post on Nov. 7th/09. I too have the ticking noise in my engine. Some of things that I have tried to fix it up to this date are: replaced the belt, had the engine flushed and cleaned on the inside, and had an oil pressure test done. I still have the ticking noise. I am on a mission to try and get this ticking noise to stop. I will keep updating this issue as often as I can. If any one else has any information on this matter, please post.
Our 2004 Chev Optra - has blown head gasket, vehicle less than 90,000. Warranty just expired.
I finally got rid of this clunker (2004 Optra). Nothing but trouble. Replaced headlights twice, new front struts on drivers side twice, New door hinges on drivers front door.
Replaced serpentine belt twice. Engine light kept coming on, replaced SST sensor. Replaced air filter tube and housing.
It cost me $4500.00 in 2 years for repairs that GM wouldn't back up. My last GM product. Traded it in and got $2500.00 for this lemon. 104,000 Kms. Happy motoring all 2004 Optra owners.
E. House, Ontario.
If you have a ticking noise coming from the engine, and have done an engine flush as well as doing regular oil changes, try using a bottle of Lucas oil stabilizer.. if that don't work, your valves or rockers are sticking.
A couple months ago my check engine light came on in my Optra. It has 105, 000 km on it and last night my head gasket blew. Looking at about $1000 to fix. Doesn't seem worth it.
For those with engine ticking issues, known culprits that can be diagnosed upon a cold start would be:
- The upper timing pulley making light contact with the plastic timing cover. For most, this sound goes away after the plastic expands as the engine warms and draws itself away from the pulley.
- Valve lifter ticking upon a cold start which is usually rectified with a lighter viscosity or synthetic engine oil.
2004 Chev Optra, what a car.
Head gasket gone, transmission problems.
Driving lights only working.
Transmission is OK in 3rd gear, put it in Drive, bucks, engine light comes on, then overdrive is gone, stays in third gear. Shut the car off for a minute, OK again, but got to have it in 3rd gear. Don't know the problem yet.