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#21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by optima 04 View Post
Yes it does that on highway with A/C on turning A/C brings it back to normal when the car was under warranty I had the same problem they replaced the thermostat like 3 years ago for a year it was fine but it came back so I wanted to see if the thermostat really works I filled up the spare tank with coolant and made the car overheat took the radiator cap off and the spare tank both but the water level was still the same even when I open the radiator cap and it spilled some out and I made the car overheat again I didnt notice coolant level dropped from spare tank so I am thinking its the thermostat when the A/c is off car is fine I shift gears on 5000 rpm never acts up but when I turn the A/C on then it suffers do you think my problem would be the thermostat or do you know if I can check that anyways? with old cars I use to take it off and put it in to the boiled water and see if it works but new cars arent like that I believe
You can test the thermostat the same way in hot water. They still work the same way.
While you were doing the experiment, when the coolant got hot on the radiator? I mean, at what point thermostat was opened? If A/C was off, would it overheat in this particular situation?

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#22 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 08:05 AM
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both of the tank were full and I believe it didnt open water was about to boil when I had the radiator cap off it spilled out some
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#23 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 08:16 AM
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both of the tank were full and I believe it didnt open water was about to boil when I had the radiator cap off it spilled out some
more than sure thermostat

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#24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 08:02 PM
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my car is exaclly the same thing but do you notice when it starts to reads high does it feel like car is losing power ? and ac starts to blow warmer
Hi, I am back and yes, that is exactly what it does.

Just a further update on my issue and I have not made it past this post yet, but soon will.

I had the water pump changed on the vehicle and the timing belt was loose so had it replaced as well. The vehicle still overheats, but it worked okay at first ( about a day ) then was a little worse and it seems to get worse and worse as time goes by.

I can definitely pin it to the AC in a way. If the needle starts to rise, I can turn the AC off and it will instantly start to drop. This will occur if moving or sitting still. I have also noticed that if I turn the AC to number 2 or number 1, it will allow the engine to start getting in the normal range. I say the engine, but I most definitely mean the gauge drops back to normal. I also notice that when sitting at a light, if the engine starts to get a little warm, about a third of the way between the middle marker and the red-zone, I can feel the radiator fans kick on and the engine will start to cool.

I am still looking for the solution and will definitely post it here if and or when I find it. Just seems like there isn't much more to replace to totally replace the whole cooling system. I mean, what is left, the radiator and fans?

I also wanted to edit this and add that I am not sure how to check the AC on the car. I know how to check the lines at the house though. At the house, one is cold and wet. On my Kia however, there is no cold and wet when running the AC. It is hot and hotter. I guess I will do more research on how to check an AC unit and make sure of its charge. This is the only thing I can think of. The AC lines are kicking out hot air that is blowing on the radiator or is near it???

Last edited by Marauders; 09-01-2009 at 08:12 PM.
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#25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 09:31 PM
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HOn my Kia however, there is no cold and wet when running the AC. It is hot and hotter. I guess I will do more research on how to check an AC unit and make sure of its charge. This is the only thing I can think of. The AC lines are kicking out hot air that is blowing on the radiator or is near it???
This edit explains a lot.
Go to some place and have the A/C charged. Or on the other hand, you can have too much of refrigerant in the system.
Anyway, one of the lines (the wide one) should be wet and cold, really cold. Water should be dripping from it.... if it is HOT in turn, then more than sure A/C is faulty.
UNLESS the radiator is not cooled down enough - check for any radiator damage (look on the fins, dirt, anything on the grill...).
Also, when you turn on A/C - does any of the fans kick on? (even when the engine is cold).
Last thing might be moisture in the A/C system. But this require a A/C shop.

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#26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 11:34 AM
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I tried everything but gauge still goes up so I want to find the ground cable that connects to the temp.gauge it is a 04 optima 2.4 engine w/auto trans. and what color is the cable ? thanks
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#27 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 07:49 AM
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On my 2004 Optima, I was told it the thermostat cluster in the speedometer cluster. Quoted $600 to replace.
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#28 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 09:26 PM
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Hello car experts,
We are kind of desperate with our car and really hope you can help us. We have a Kia Optima 2004 and do have a similar problem with overheating as the one described by "optima 2004". What we have done up till now:
- exchanged the thermostat (new thermostat)
- exchanged the radiator (new radiator)
- had the water pump checked, is working fine
- had the sensor that makes the gauge needle go up and down checked, works fine.
Here is how the car behaves:
When you drive in town and stop at traffic lights, the needle goes up and remains just short of the red field. We always stopped the car before it went into the red, because we didn’t want any engine damage. On the highway, the needle oscillates between just below the red field and just below the middle mark. All of this is not happening all the time. Sometimes we drive a couple of days without any symptoms.
Based on the comments in this forum, we found the following:
- the needle goes up at traffic lights with the A/C on and goes down when you turn it off.
- The needle goes up at traffic lights with the lights on and goes down when you turn it off.
- When the car is at idle and the hood is open we see that the cooling fan (not the A/C fan, this is on with A/C on only) starts running when the needle gets above the middle line and then with A/C and lights off, the needle goes down to below the middle mark.
- When the needle is almost all the way up and we turn the engine off and turn it on immediately after that, the needle remains just below the middle mark, so we are wondering whether this is really overheating that takes place.
Since we already paid $ 400 for the above mentioned repairs, we would really appreciate your help!!! What do you recommend we check: temperature sending unit, radiator temperature sensor, ground cable from battery, thermostat cluster on the speedometer cluster, relay, fan?
Thank you very much!
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#29 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FTK View Post
Hello car experts,
We are kind of desperate with our car and really hope you can help us. We have a Kia Optima 2004 and do have a similar problem with overheating as the one described by "optima 2004". What we have done up till now:
- exchanged the thermostat (new thermostat)
- exchanged the radiator (new radiator)
- had the water pump checked, is working fine
- had the sensor that makes the gauge needle go up and down checked, works fine.
Here is how the car behaves:
When you drive in town and stop at traffic lights, the needle goes up and remains just short of the red field. We always stopped the car before it went into the red, because we didn’t want any engine damage. On the highway, the needle oscillates between just below the red field and just below the middle mark. All of this is not happening all the time. Sometimes we drive a couple of days without any symptoms.
Based on the comments in this forum, we found the following:
- the needle goes up at traffic lights with the A/C on and goes down when you turn it off.
- The needle goes up at traffic lights with the lights on and goes down when you turn it off.
- When the car is at idle and the hood is open we see that the cooling fan (not the A/C fan, this is on with A/C on only) starts running when the needle gets above the middle line and then with A/C and lights off, the needle goes down to below the middle mark.
- When the needle is almost all the way up and we turn the engine off and turn it on immediately after that, the needle remains just below the middle mark, so we are wondering whether this is really overheating that takes place.
Since we already paid $ 400 for the above mentioned repairs, we would really appreciate your help!!! What do you recommend we check: temperature sending unit, radiator temperature sensor, ground cable from battery, thermostat cluster on the speedometer cluster, relay, fan?
Thank you very much!
Sounds exactly what I was experiencing with my '01 Optima. Good luck. I never did resolve the issue before I sold the car. My next step was going to be proving if the coolant was truly hot or not. If not, I was just going to ignore the gauge symptoms and drive the car's remaining miles in peace.
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#30 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 01:47 PM
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Hello car experts,


What do you recommend we check: temperature sending unit, radiator temperature sensor, ground cable from battery, thermostat cluster on the speedometer cluster, relay, fan?
Thank you very much!
How fast the temperature drop from "red zone" to the middle?

Does revving change anything?

Did you install anything? Any aftermarket devices that would cause cooling lines to bent, collapse, or it would use coolant... anything related.

Also, try opposite thing - when it dropped, turn A/C back on to see how long it will take to increase to red zone.

Generally, I strongly recommend to see if you really have overheating issue. I suggest getting an independent temperature reading. Either, stick it (temperature sensor) into the coolant hose, or near by the stock sensor, use drain plug? Find a good spot for it. The best would be a digital one to tell you what the exact temperature you have. Compare both readings.

I do not know how good you are with electricity, but I would do even more. I would put a diode (led like) to monitor when the radiator fan kicks in. Moreover, one or two more temperature sensors would help to see what is coolant temperature when entering and leaving the radiator.

The point is to see what is the coolant flow. Also, it will tell you whether you really have overheating issue or some electric/electronic problem.


If you had overheating you would see either "red zone readings" from all 3 thermometers (plus the gauge), with the radiator "out" being the lowest, or high temperature on the first two, while the radiator out would be much lower.

First could be explained as fan not being activated on time and/or not enough air flow through the radiator, but the latter one would be a problem with coolant flow (restrictions?, water pump? air?).

Please, update. And send me PM that you did so. This way I will not miss that. But sill, post all the info here so that everyone can read it.

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