20th Sep 2010, 15:36

Chevrolet Optra is a lemon. Save yourself a big headache. When I bought the car, it was brand new with 15 kms on it... right off the lot. 2 weeks later, the headlights started failing while driving. Multiple trips to the dealership were unable to repair this. At 58000 I thought that they had finally fixed it. I was wrong, it started happening again at 78000kms.

Dealer tires are cheap. The suspension in the vehicle is expensive to replace, and fails far too often.

Sway bars are made of plastic and need to be replaced often.

The brakes last for 40 000 km and need to be replaced.


26th Sep 2010, 16:05

I bought my 04 Optra a year ago.

The transmission went, then the slave cylinder went, then the pressure plate went. The slave cylinder then went again, all separate times, totalling about $4500 for tranny repairs. The lights quit, which were repaired 2 months ago on recall, now they have gone again. This has completely fried the wiring harness for daytime running lights/headlights. Hopefully they will cover that on warranty. The car had 34,000 km when I bought it, and now has 93,000 km.

Don Harris

Mount Currie, BC.

30th Sep 2010, 01:45

I am very worried by the comments I've read here about the Optra. By most accounts, I apparently I have been lucky with my '04 Optra, although I did have to have a head gasket replaced; luckily the timing was just before warranty coverage was up so GM covered it, but I just started having the intermittent "check engine" light flashing and loss of power in D as some previous posts have mentioned? Any suggestions as to an inexpensive fix until I can sell this thing, or at least get a decent trade for it???

Dean (Ontario)

6th Oct 2010, 21:20

To all that have intermittent check engine lights with no other symptoms:

- My buddy owns a shop and checked the vehicle for me with a code scanner. It was a tiny, tiny micron of a leak, which turned out to be a gas cap issue. Change the gas cap first. That fixed that issue.

On our 04 Chev Optra (98,000 km), we were lucky until about 97,999 km. Then, these things happened:

- Head gasket just blew.

- We also had our back brakes seize.

- All work done off warranty.

- This car has apparent head gasket issues that are widely known. I will never buy GM again.

And for the person who posted http://camvap.ca/, if your car is an 04, you are sadly out of luck. Read the qualifications.

14th Oct 2010, 20:00

Wow. I cannot believe all the negative comments I see on the Optra.

I have a 2004 Chevy Optra with a standard transmission. I haven't had ANY problems with this car and I bought it in 2005 (first owner).

The only thing I have ever changed on the car is the tires and just this year I replaced the heater controls (only because the rear defrost wasn't working properly).

It is the best car I have ever owned. Maintenance is cheap and its excellent on gas. It handles great. Everything works great. It's still in great shape. It is also the most child friendly car I have owned. I have just over 70000 kms on my car and I haven't even replaced the brakes, which are still good.

My sister just traded in her car (exactly the same as mine, except the color and twice as many kms on it) and she never had problems with her car either. She bought hers a week before I bought mine. The only problems she had with her car were self inflicted (car accident etc). She only traded her car in because she needed a bigger vehicle.

Just wanted to put a positive comment in here, as there are far too many negative ones. The 2004 Chevy Optra sedan is the BEST purchase I have ever made and the BEST car I have ever owned.

Comparison between my 2004 Optra and my husband's 2008 Mazda 3:

My 2004 Chevy Optra: No problems. Basic maintenance between $25 and $70 depending on what needs to be done. Great control. Great on gas. Lots of room.

My husband's 2008 Mazda 3: Nothing but problems, starting 4 months after purchase. Engine problems. Transmission problems. Terrible on gas. Regular maintenance has never been less than $75. For the size of the car it has very little room. It also cost 3 times as much as my car to purchase.

I would definitely recommend the Chevy Optra. Sad that so many negative comments are on here about it.

15th Oct 2010, 15:12

How can a Mazda 3 cost three times as much as an Optra to buy?

Also, based on averages, that car is more reliable than the Optra, but as this site proves, buying any car is a matter of luck.

16th Oct 2010, 21:18

Bought my 04 Chevy Optra (automatic) last year with 49,000 kilometers on it, and so far I had the EGR gasket replaced, because the coolant is leaking and may cause overheating.

Now, the engine suddenly shuts down whenever I am in a full stop while stepping on the brakes. One time, the engine died while passing an intersection; good thing the car started right away.

Does anyone have the same problem as mine? Any solutions?

23rd Oct 2010, 16:59

2004 Chevy Optra... Engine Light is on all the time...

The horn doesn't work... headlights don't work properly...

Cruise control doesn't work...

Other than that, it gets me from point A to point B.

Lunges forward when stopping.

27th Oct 2010, 06:40

I have a Chevy Optra LS 2004, 76000 km on it when we bought it 18 months ago.

It is the worst car we've ever bought! Because it was a used car, we were very diligent and had regular maintenance done, (oil changes, transmission flush, etc.)

We've had nothing but problems with the engine light about 6 months after we bought it. The headlamp needed replacing, brakes had to be replaced, coolant pump and head gasket blown, car overheats and as a safety precaution the engine shuts down.

We've now spent more than we paid for the car originally. It's now parked and we are taking the bus. Won't spend another dime on this lemon! We'll just try and sell it.

Won't be buying from GM ever again!

8th Nov 2010, 19:04

I also have an 04 Optra, and have now owned it for 2 years. I have had to replace both head lamps, and now my daytime running lamps won't turn off when I turn the lights on at night, so I can't use my high beams. I also have a jerking in my engine on a cold start. Front passenger bushing making loud squeaking noise when I drive over bumps. Driver's side door handle broke off extremely easily. I don't have head gasket problems yet, but knock on wood. I'm now at 87000 KM.

24th Nov 2010, 10:01

My Optra is nice sedan, excepts its check light which is on. I checked in work shops but no one knows what's the problem.

25th Nov 2010, 16:04

To the fellow that has the Optra that stalls on the road, you are not alone there. Finally had the ignition (key) switch replaced, which did fix it.

And the fellow that mentioned the struts needing replaced, well be careful who is telling you that, as when the car is off the ground or on a hoist, the struts are normally loose at the top. They are only in place or tight when the vehicle is carrying its own weight..

As for my 04 Optra, well I think I'm getting to the head gasket stage as coolant seems to be disappearing. Not going to fix, but think I will trade it in on a Honda. Good luck to all.