2nd May 2012, 00:34

I too have this amazing piece of junk... Coolant lines blowing apart at three years old, serpentine drive pulley blew apart, more coolant hoses blowing, seizing rear calipers, radiator lines to the radiator cooler rotted apart. The car is rusting like crazy, and of course the head gasket, which I'm going to tackle now.

The parts for this car are way too expensive, and GM offers no help for us poor souls that purchased this junk.

30th May 2012, 13:48

I also have a Optra 5, but I don't have any of the problems everyone has, besides the gas cap, which is costing me a killing. Other than that, it seems that I will be having a lot of problems. I only have 65k on the car, and I hope I won't have to spend more than what I paid for it, which was 6 grand.

13th Jun 2012, 05:13

Get them to check the coil pack (apparently does not affect the operation of the car any). This is the problem with my 2004 Optra. I replaced the engine about a year ago, and the engine light has been on ever since. Now they tell me I have to replace a complete exhaust system. The problem is they don't make an exhaust system for this car any more... What??

4th Jul 2012, 00:22

I am having the same problem with my Optra 2004. Now I know I should have them check the camshaft sensor? Really tired of taking this car in and paying for repairs GM obviously knew were a problem. Wondering why they did not just do a recall on these parts?


6th Jul 2012, 19:44

Hi there, just looking up what could be wrong with my 2004 Chevy Optra, as the engine light is on. Other than needing a quart of oil, that's all that I thought was wrong, but after trying to get info on this issue... WOW... I'm in for a rough one aren't I?

I'm in Canada, so not sure where you are. What ticked me off was that there is no dip stick for the transmission oil, as the company wants to bleed us dry with looking at the oil themselves, and charging outrageous fees. My mom passed and left me the car with under 40,000 km. She went to church, groceries and got her hair done... that was it. They did gouge her for brakes that she didn't even need, which upset us so much & scared her into buying them!


10th Jul 2012, 17:06

I have a 2004 Optra. I changed the cylinder gasket, when I put her together. I only have spark on 2 cylinders, #3 and # 4. Can anyone tell me what going on. Is it timing, and would timing do this?

14th Jul 2012, 13:45

Remember! An Optra is really a Daewoo product, built in Korea.

The good GMs are built in America.

27th Jul 2012, 06:41


Go to a local garage, NOT THE DEALER, and have them read the OBD2 codes. Since the CHECK ENGINE light is on, it will give at least one code, and you need an OBD2 code reader to do this. On my son's beautiful OPTRA 2004, we had to change an oxygen sensor; the part was 75$, and labor was half an hour.

We are at 120000K on this car, and we put in around 500$ in repairs.

You will find lemons in every make of cars. The OPTRA just has a higher % of lemons... LOL.

Good luck!

5th Aug 2012, 02:21

Guys, I screwed up good. I redlined the Optra in the first gear and shifted to second while I was on our highway here in the Philippines. All of a sudden something murky brown was sprayed all over the front bumper and the windshield of the Optra. I thought I hit a small puddle or something, but then when we got home, I opened the hood and found that the radiator hose got busted. Is this a major problem or an easy to fix one? Please help.

15th Aug 2012, 08:01

Where did you get the cylinder head? I can't find one.

19th Sep 2012, 18:24

Fuel injectors also tick!

30th Sep 2012, 08:25

I also purchased a used Chevy Optra 5 2004, and had nothing but trouble.

Rear brakes seized up, poor cabin heating in the winter, intermittent engine light on and off, and a mysterious thumping noise when driving that is driving me crazy. At times the engine threatens to stall when coming to a full stop. I haven't experienced the head gasket problems, and I don't know if the previous owner had it replaced. I just need the car to last one more winter. Cross my fingers.

6th Oct 2012, 12:36

Wow... glad to hear that I'm not the only one with a LEMON!!!

We bought our Optra in 2004, new off the lot; we should have left it there. The gas mileage is awful, from day one. With on time regular maintenance, we have had to replace timing belt twice, sensors have been changed, and had to do the head on the motor, because one little plastic T on heating system failed and did major damage.

Last week we received notice that the harness for the headlights needed replacing. The car only has 130,000 km, driven only by two people.

Would I buy again... DON'T think so.

15th Oct 2012, 18:17

I have a 2004 Chevy Optra and the display lights will not shut off, and when I use the signal light, my car stalls. What does that mean???

26th Oct 2012, 21:38

Great on gas. Can get roughly 450 kms (highway) for each tank of gas.

Unfortunately, this car is a tough vehicle to maintain (have had friends tell me it's a pain to get at anything). Parts are also much more pricey. Have had lots of problems too. Tie rod ends, brake fluid leaks, coolant leaks, timing belt problems, check engine light on all the time... the list goes on. I plan on fixing it up, and getting rid of it for something more reliable.

I love Chevy, but this car was a mistake they should have left with Daewoo.

31st Oct 2012, 16:04

Headlight issue this time around. Purchased a bulb at Canadian Tire... had the dealership install it (with other repairs at the same time); apparently it was "defective". They installed another bulb and it worked for 2 weeks. Returned to the dealership today and they replaced it with another bulb. They say if it happens again, it may be a whole assembly needed with an estimated cost of 300 plus labour.

It's a 2007 Optra, which is not part of the latest recall. But if they say they checked everything and nothing is wrong, why is this happening? Also had a check engine light that my regular mechanic couldn't "decode"...

14th Nov 2012, 00:19

This looks to be a blown head gasket. Make sure the head is not warped. I recommend changing the timing belt and water pump at the same time as the engine is apart anyways.

Good luck. G.

25th Nov 2012, 15:18

Was wondering if anyone got anywhere with the head gasket issues with the Optra? We've got one of them as well!! 2004.

9th Jan 2013, 18:05

I bought a 04 Chev Optra LS. I bought it in 06, and the first of couple years I had it, things were great, no problems. Then it all started. I pulled into my driveway and realized my car had caught on fire; the wires under the fuse box under the hood had all melted together. What a joy that was to fix.

Cam sensor went, brake sensor, head gasket, and the list goes on. All this sounds the exact same as everyone's comments, but the reason I am adding this comment is I need some help with my current issue. I took my lemon into the garage to get it diagnosed, because the car would not even start any more. Before that, the car started to lose power when I pressed the brake coming to a stop light. I would have to put it in park and rev the engine a bit to keep it running.

I took the car in, and his diagnosis was battery and alternator, so I changed both and the car started, everything was great, drove it from the garage back home, and it would not start back up.

Has or does anyone have this same problem?

Brockville ON.