Join Date: May 2011
Location: Minneapolis suburb
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Please be careful or you just might loose a friend...
Depending on the year of the Optima the engine may be an "interference" type engine..
Not knowing your skills or if you have worked on a KIA before. A bad belt can spell BIG problems... If you don't know what I'm saying PLEASE read up BEFORE attacking this car. You can DESTROY this car's engine in under 15 seconds if you do it wrong!
The procedures outlined by KIA are there because they work. If you don't know ASK .
Timing belts just don't jump two teeth... they do that because they are bad. KIA states they must be replaced every 60k miles for good reasons. If that belt "slips" or breaks MAJOR damage can/will occur.
They want you to use a screwdriver to make sure it is aligned because the balance shaft IS NOT directly driven by the timing belt. Yes, the pulley is driven by the belt, but the shaft is driven by a gearset inside, and it is gear reduced. Just because the marks are lined up doesn't mean the shaft is in time. the shaft can be in 1 of 3 different positions when the marks are aligned. The only 100% sure way to tell is the screwdriver method.
When I bought my 2004 Optima last year it had 100k on it. The belt was also missing teeth. I aligned everything with the new belt and started is up. Vibrating like crazy in 1500 RPM increments (1500,3000,4500). I did the whole procedure over again, this time I used the screwdriver method and it came out great.
You may not have to, but I removed the exhaust manifold and exhaust mounting bracket to access the plug. Don't forget to change the secondary balance shaft belt while you're in there.
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