29th Jan 2010, 20:13

Wow, 2004 Chevy Optra owner 75,000 kms and guess where it is... that's right in the shop with a blown head gasket.

Up till now I was upset with the dealership that sold me the used car. Now I am upset with Chevy. This is not okay. I will be printing out these comments when I speak to them. Not that its going to help. I will be selling this car in a hurry.

Sorry Chevy but you get a thumbs down for not stepping up to the plate and saying... yeah we made a lemon but let us fix that for you!

18th Feb 2010, 15:26

Get this...

I have a 2004 Optra, and also have had nothing but problems with the cooling system. I have had hoses replaced and bursting like mad. At one point, while my car was under warranty, my mechanic suspected a head gasket leak. He sent it to the dealership and they said it was something else. Car started leaking and over heating again, and was re-diagnosed with a minor external head gasket leak. (The car was no longer under warranty) I am religiously carrying around 2 jugs of coolant with me in my trunk. Single mother with 2 kids and first 'newish' car. Don't know what to really do! I really wish that I had done my homework before purchasing this overpriced 'used' vehicle.

6th Apr 2010, 23:02

It's too weird reading all of this. My 2004 Optra has had engine light problems over the last year. Each time it was taken to the dealer, they supposedly fixed the problem and re-set it. The final diagnosis was a faulty cam sensor, which is approximately $500 to replace (lots of labour). Next problem was the head gasket. It had to be replaced along with the incidentals including water pump, timing belt, etc. Earlier problems included oil leaks, burnt headlamps, and stabilizer bushings. Mileage was 55,000 km but it was 2 months past the 5 year powertrain warranty.

8th Apr 2010, 10:37

I just wanted to add that I too have a Chevy Optra that has also required regular maintenance. Burnt headlights, sensors, etc all go over time in this car as in all others. If you don't want to deal with regular maintenance, ride a bus?

13th Apr 2010, 10:08

2004 Optra5. Only had the car 1 year and 2 months. Have put over $6000.00 into it, and that's not including regular maintenance.

Engine blew at 127 kms with no warning on the highway. Thank god I didn't have my kids in the car when it happened...

Buyer beware of the god forsaken lemon.

14th Apr 2010, 10:20

2004 Chevy Optra. Same problems as above; have replaced little things, headlights, wiring harness. On my third set of rear brakes and am now suffering the disappearing coolant syndrome. Just over 100,000 kms.

Here's hoping a new thermostat and air filter will prolong what seems to be the inevitable.

18th Apr 2010, 13:39

I bought my Optra in Feb. 2009 at about 70,000 kms. Ignoring the list of small problems that presented themselves like clockwork every other month, the head gasket blew on me in August of that year - at about 90,000 kms - somehow coolant got into the cylinders, and the engine rod got bent as a result. $3000 later, there was a new engine put in, one with 45,000 less kms on it. Now, less than a year later, the check engine light is coming on again. I don't know what the problem is this time, and I don't really want to.

Moral of the story - do NOT buy an Optra. Ever. You will only be wasting your time and money.

18th Apr 2010, 16:16

I have an 04 Optra as well... bought it brand new back in the day.

To date I've put about 140 000 km on it... and I haven't had any major issues with it until recently.

As many of the other posters mentioned, my head gasket did go about 3 years ago, but thankfully was still covered under warranty.

I got new tires only 1 year ago; rear brakes only just had to be done 2 months ago. Those things I consider regular maintenance and I'm probably lucky that they lasted as long as they did.

In the last month though I've had to replace my O2 sensor, an oil seal, something with my exhaust manifold (had a leak) and just recently I had a carbon block in my ERG valve.

Overall though, my repairs have cost me about $1200. Fairly reasonable considering the mileage and age of the car now...

19th Apr 2010, 10:57

2004 Chevy Optra LS 2.0L.

I noticed coolant leaking from an area in my engine, and took it to get looked at. I was told that there is a gasket between the housing of something and the engine that was re-made, as the original is faulty and cracks and leaks after a while. It wasn't until my coolant had completely leaked from my car and the engine over-heated that I knew of the leak. That gasket was replaced, but my engine had over-heated and little did I know of the problems to come...

I then got a flashing check engine light and coolant loss, I read reviews and saw comments regarding head gasket and cylinder head problems. I pushed with the dealership and finally had them agree to a discount on parts for the head gasket, and they would pay for the cylinder head if it needed one. I was within the months of my warranty, but outside of the kms. This issue occurred at the 77,000 km mark, and I was only covered until 60,000. I had all of it fixed, and yes, they ended up replacing the cylinder head at their cost. It is unfortunate that GM knows of this issue and doesn't come out and tell people about it and fix it to save people the time, frustration and money it costs to fix it. I was lucky that my fight with GM resulted in them helping a bit. Still cost me $1400!!!

I have since had a solid check engine light that came on, then went off for a few days, and has now been on for weeks. I finally got it in to the dealer who tested it for the error message, and it came up "e-valve". The guy indicated that this can mean just a gas cap that wasn't sealed properly. He fiddled with it and reset my car's computer to turn off the check engine light. He indicated I should monitor it and if it comes back on, it could be a gasket or seal elsewhere. The part would cost $50-80, however the labour to figure out which one was faulty would be lengthy as it's trial and error to find it.

Lucky me. I've already spent $1500+ on a head gasket and the associated parts to fix that; now I have to spend another $500 to find another faulty gasket? This car seems to be riddled with faulty gaskets and it's ridiculous. Way to go, GM! I'm going to buy European next.


4th May 2010, 14:05

An update do my last post:

19th Apr 2010, 10:57

2004 Chevy Optra LS 2.0L.

I had it in for the solid check engine light. Apparently a wire was corroded off the solenoid valve and was causing the computer to think there was a problem. Still another $140.

Today while driving, I was pulling up to a red light. As I braked, my car did a couple lurches as I slowed. Odd. Anyone else have this problem?

M.Legge - Ontario.