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2018 Kia Optima FE LX
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a used 2018 Optima LX. This problem is not constant but is intermittent.
When coming to a slow speed stop usually in traffic while applying the brakes the car will act as if I jammed on the brakes momentarily or downshifted into low gear.

Has anyone else experienced this or know what this is?
 

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2018 Optima LX+
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19 Posts
I have the same model and year Optima as you. Yes, the automatic transaxle is aggressive about engine braking when you take your foot off the gas, which is very nice in stop-and-go traffic, but that last downshift into first gear sometimes feels a bit premature. Sometimes it'll happen while cornering with no intention of stopping which is entirely undesirable. We'll refer to the problem as aggressive early downshift (AED). Here's what I know about it:

1. The shift pattern of the automatic transaxle is affected by the drive mode. AED happens to me in ECO mode and I haven't yet tried the other settings. You should adjust it and see what happens. See page 6-83 in the manual.

2. It's also possible that the electronic stability control could be kicking in, as it has the ability to downshift your engine. See page 6-44 in the manual.

3. The final option is to change your driving habits, ensuring you maintain minimal pressure on the accelerator at times when you don't want AED to occur, such as when cornering.

Edit: I tested this out. AED wasn't noticeable outside of ECO mode. It's probably intentional to save brake wear in stop and go traffic.
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 08 Harley Nightrain
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I had similar issues. What fixed mine was a brake sensor switch
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