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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks. I apologize in advanced, as I imagine many around here have heard this song and dance once or twice before.

I'm looking to purchase an 03 Optima LX V6, as the title suggests. It's priced pretty fair for market value, and it has only roughly 68 thousand miles on it. I'm in college and am looking for a decently priced car that will last for awhile, provided I take care of it of course.

Took it for a drive and it rides beautifully, loved the kick with the v6 and it was quiet. The previous owner kept it very clean as well. It's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. Of course there's a catch, the car shakes pretty badly when it idles, specifically when you let go of the brake before giving it gas (say at a stop light). Upon further research, it sounds like a problem a few spark plugs and new fuel injectors can't fix, like the shop at the dealer said.

Oh yeah, they didn't tell me that the timing belts tend to break right around where the car is currently at in miles, and that replacing basically means replacing the entire engine.

So here's are my questions. Assuming that the previous owner didn't replace the engine right before trading it in, how much would this cost? I've seen around $1000-1100, wondering if that's at all accurate in 2013.

Has anyone had other major issues after having this done? If I that's the only major work that is consistent with the model I can deal with that. I apologize if I'm speaking of this as common practice when it isn't, it's just the impression I have. I do like the car a lot.

Thanks!
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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The engine DOES NOT need replacing...the timing belt does..

You said...
"Oh yeah, they didn't tell me that the timing belts tend to break right around where the car is currently at in miles, and that replacing basically means replacing the entire engine."

If you replace the TB you won't have to replace the "whole engine". There is info here on kia-forums on how to replace the TB. These are excelent engines and will serve you many more miles (200k+). The TBs need replaced every 5yrs or 60k miles. The transmission fluid needs replaced every 30k miles... The spark plugs need replaced just about at your mileage and be sure they replace all 6... My daughters 04 Sonata (same car) had only the front 3 replaced (at the dealer) and the center electrodes were worn flush with the center insulators.

While replacing thr TB do yourself a favor and replace the "crank angle sensor" also. The three wires coming off this sensor gave plastic insulation that drys out and cracaks and falls off allowing the copper wires to touch each other or touch the engine (ground).
This causes all kinds of strange "no code" problems.

The antifreeze is probably at it's end of life and should be drained and replaced too.

The AIC (idle air control) valve is probably dirty and sticking causing rough idle... A little carb/choke cleaner and a soft rag inside the throttle body and the butterfly valve should help alot.
I/We hope you enjoy your 03 Optima and "if" you do the above maintainence I'm sure you will..
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The engine DOES NOT need replacing...the timing belt does..

You said...
"Oh yeah, they didn't tell me that the timing belts tend to break right around where the car is currently at in miles, and that replacing basically means replacing the entire engine."

If you replace the TB you won't have to replace the "whole engine". There is info here on kia-forums on how to replace the TB. These are excelent engines and will serve you many more miles (200k+). The TBs need replaced every 5yrs or 60k miles. The transmission fluid needs replaced every 30k miles... The spark plugs need replaced just about at your mileage and be sure they replace all 6... My daughters 04 Sonata (same car) had only the front 3 replaced (at the dealer) and the center electrodes were worn flush with the center insulators.

While replacing thr TB do yourself a favor and replace the "crank angle sensor" also. The three wires coming off this sensor gave plastic insulation that drys out and cracaks and falls off allowing the copper wires to touch each other or touch the engine (ground).
This causes all kinds of strange "no code" problems.

The antifreeze is probably at it's end of life and should be drained and replaced too.

The AIC (idle air control) valve is probably dirty and sticking causing rough idle... A little carb/choke cleaner and a soft rag inside the throttle body and the butterfly valve should help alot.
I/We hope you enjoy your 03 Optima and "if" you do the above maintainence I'm sure you will..
Dave
Thank you thank you. I will be honest in saying I didn't know much about Kia's until I came across this particular vehicle. Thanks for the advice about the AIC valve, too.

Later the dealer called me and said it scanned as a 3rd cylinder misfire. Can a P0303 scan mean a timing belt issue? The vehicle has been serviced there so they would know if it has replaced, but not sure if they would be willing to tell me before I purchase it? I've never bought a car from a dealer before.

Appreciate the the reponse!
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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P0303 is for a misfire of a spark plug or fuel injector...so replacing the plugs would be my first move. I replaced all 6 in my daughter's car...Wasn't too bad of a job. The intake plenum will need to be unbolted to gain access to the back three plugs.. and you'll need a plenum gasket also. It's under an hour and a half in labor charges.
The #3 plug is the center rear one btw...
If they are a KIA or Hyundai dealer they should have access to if their "network replaced the TB and/or plugs and when..
Their engines are upgraded older design Mitsubishi and Mazda engines and are top grade designs...Their trannys are either Mitsubishi or Ford/Mazda based and also have been revised for reliability and new features.. You should be happy with your KIA once you get the small bugs worked out.
Dave
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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I "see" you are in Wisconsin a "rust belt" state...
Make sure the lower engine cradle (frame) has been inspected and or replaced N/C on your car.. They can rust out and cause BIG problems...There is a recall for this and a KIA dealer will do it N/C if it is found to be bad..
The only "real" problem with the Optima/Sonatas of this vintage...The rear dog legs (between the rear tire and the rear doors) also have a tendency to rust out but the car is 10 years old..
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
P0303 is for a misfire of a spark plug or fuel injector...so replacing the plugs would be my first move. I replaced all 6 in my daughter's car...Wasn't too bad of a job. The intake plenum will need to be unbolted to gain access to the back three plugs.. and you'll need a plenum gasket also. It's under an hour and a half in labor charges.
The #3 plug is the center rear one btw...
If they are a KIA or Hyundai dealer they should have access to if their "network replaced the TB and/or plugs and when..
Their engines are upgraded older design Mitsubishi and Mazda engines and are top grade designs...Their trannys are either Mitsubishi or Ford/Mazda based and also have been revised for reliability and new features.. You should be happy with your KIA once you get the small bugs worked out.
Dave
Thanks Dave, you have been really helpful. I'm really excited. Ill be sure to post an update tomorrow.
 
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