2002 Kia Optima SE from North America - Comments

3rd Oct 2008, 14:07

I bought a 2005 Optima about 2 years ago and have had no problems. I'm sorry so many early 2000s models have had such terrible problems, but it looks like they made them work by 2005. I'm thinking about buying a newer Sorrento because of how good my Optima has been.

5th Nov 2008, 12:55

I have a 2004 Optima EX 4 cyl 2.4L.

I bought it in 2006 from Enterprise rentals, it had 40,000 miles on it.

Its been relatively worry and maintenance free. I have 92,000 miles on it. Other than changing oil, brakes, etc... it has never been in the shop for mechanical problems.

I have it there today getting the spark plugs changed, transmission fluid changed, and routine oil change. I'm going to have the timing belt done too, because apparently its recommended at 60,000 miles and I've never had it done! Yikes.

My trunk light and air bag light are on and won't go off, and I replace my head lamps about every 9 months (low beams). That seems to be the only real nuisance problems I've run into. Oh, and my power steering pump just started leaking. That's something I would expect at the mileage it has on it. Over all, I've been pretty happy with my Kia. But the resale value is crummy and my loan balance is higher than what I could sell it for. So I'll keep driving it! I wouldn't rule out buying another Kia in the future.

6th Nov 2008, 22:15

I found this site after logging on to find a solution to my car lock problem on my 2002 KIA Optima. No major issues--I've had a few warranty problems in which the dealership took care of but now my warranty has expired.

If misery loves company, I'm glad I'm in good company. After reading about the person who found the part to fix his car-lock problem and replaced it himself, I looked for the part but am having a booger of a time finding it online--I don't want to pay dealership prices if I don't have to.

So far the problem hasn't been too bad--just got to time the handle-pull correctly with the button-push. However today the button-push wasn't working so I tried to manually unlock the car. The alarm sounded and it took a few minutes to turn it off (I discovered that putting the key in the ignition does not work--it has to be a button-push (a Catch-22 for me at that time)!). At any rate, I'll get the problem fixed one way or another and continue to drive around in my little car. It has been reliable and I feel confident driving it around with my family inside. I have less than 65k on it--I'm sure I'll be doubling that...in the next five years or so.

13th Nov 2008, 10:16

I just bought a 2008 Kia Optima, and the key would not turn; needless to say I had to call a wrecker (this was free), I was car less for three days. I talked to the dealership manager but he said no loaner vehicles. I couldn't roll up my window on the drivers side and it was raining. The dealer had to order a new key ignition, this took two days. This was all under warranty but a great disappointment and I paid out a lot of money getting rides for three days. And of course there is still a payment due.

10th Jan 2009, 11:48

I have a 2002 Kia Optima 6cyl with over 140,000 miles on it. It has worked great. Yeah it has the air bag light on and the turn signal turns on the brights, but I have not put more than $250 in service since it's been off warranty. I'll be taking it in this week for a new timing belt and serpentine belt, neither had ever been changed. This is our 2nd Kia and we are happy with the choice.

17th Jun 2009, 12:54

I own a 2002 Kia Optima, I have had to take it back to the dealer multiple times. The latest is the check engine light again, I have had three knock sensors replaced & just about the same for spark plugs & wires. The light keeps coming back on, I know it has 141k on it but I'm getting tired of having to pay for the same repairs that don't work. I'm wondering if anyone else has had the issue with the sensor, I would like to have it repaired right this time.

17th Jul 2009, 13:17

I am a owner of a 2003 Kia. It started out being a good car. As I got more mileage on the car it started to create more and more problems.

I have an air bag light on dash that won't go off. Repair man said it would cost 400.00 dollars to replace or fix. It is located under the passenger front seat. I decided a piece of electrical black tape would do the job.

My passenger front door will not unlock with the sensor key. It gets stuck. You can however unlock it with the main key after pulling on the door a few times.

My tape player does not work at all, even since I bought the car brand new.

I have trouble with all head lights. I cannot tell you how many I have had to replace. This can become costly. I also just had an alternator go out. They wanted to charge me 500.00 dollar to fix. I had it rebuilt for 30.00 and only paid for the price to put back in. During this process they had to remove the axle to replace the alternator. They gave me the car back with a broke axle. I guess they thought I being a woman would not know the difference. After a week of driving my car in a dangerous condition, I took it back to the Kia and the repair man admitted they knew of the condition when giving me back the car. He replaced the part for free. This still does not excuse the dangerous part of me driving a defective car.

It has been six years, and I felt I needed plugs put in to tune up my car. Kia cost was 500.00. (Just to put in plugs) Reason being is they have to pull the top of motor to replace plugs.

I had a third tail light go out, the one in the middle of the back dash of car. Kia wanted 30.00 to put in a light. I told them I would go to Advance.

Just recently I was stranded at a grocery store. I parked my car to go grocery shopping, and when I returned my car would not shift into gear. NO WARNING SIGNS AT ALL. No light on dash, no strange pulling on transmission, nothing. I towed it to Kia, had to wait a week for some kind of answer. It was my transmission (they claim). They priced me 900.00 just for a transmission (not labor). I then had enough of their service and cars, I decided to tow my car to a professional transmission garage to get a second opinion. I am still in the process of this happening.

I forgot to mention earlier I took my car to Kia and the service man told me that my struts were bad. At this time they would have been covered under warranty. I took it back to have it checked and the boss told me nothing was wrong. I told him that one of his service guys told me that my struts were bad and he said (well that guy has been fired). What did that have to do with me needing struts? Later when I had the alternator problem... there was a new boss (his comment was he was trying to fix the mess the other boss left behind). There was an ad in paper for their service department. It stated that help wanted, no experience needed, will train. How would you like just anyone on the street to be under the hood of your 20,000 dollar car? Trust me! I will never deal with them again... Not even the service. I hope the dealership can read this. This is the voice of the people that put trust in your Kia's.