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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not very happy with Kia. I’m not sure I’d buy another nit suggest to someone to go purchase one. I have had an issue on my optima 2014 with the tail lights/ brake lights constantly needing the bulbs to be replaced. Also I did just now have my engine changed out by Kia. Thankful but the way that went down was Interesting.
 

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2013 Ebony SXL Turbo: Original Everything @ about 189K with Drag wheels.
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Has dealer checked out why bulbs burn out quickly? Tried any 'heavy' duty bulbs (filaments are thicker)?

Tell us about the interesting engine swap out....

But yeah Kia right now has its ups and downs. I do like the small town feel compared to yota dealers but they're all scammers anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. KIA at many dealers (depending on where I was traveling) has placed new bulbs and I have purchased a few from autozone. They have always from early on blown out. Constantly having to change them out. The big thing is it’s in the rear of the car and I have had several people pull up beside me to let me know the lights where burnt out. It’s a safety issue at the point your brake and tail lights go out.
The engine issue is scary because Kia places a rebuilt engine which I’m thankful but still scares me it may go out in the near future. I will sell the car with stating it has a rebuilt engine in it. I’ve had an American built car and another Japanese car with over 200 thousand miles on them. This Kia made it to 148 thousand.
 

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the wiring to the rear lights passes through the trunk. there are little access panels you can pull off. maybe check if something damaged the wiring in the trunk?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the wiring to the rear lights passes through the trunk. there are little access panels you can pull off. maybe check if something damaged the wiring in the trunk?
Kia has checked all that and numerous times in different dealerships. No real evidence to why the light bulbs being burnt out. That’s why I’m frustrated. Again a safety issue.
 

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2013 Ebony SXL Turbo: Original Everything @ about 189K with Drag wheels.
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So fuses don't blow out, just the bulbs? Both right/left bulbs go out together?

The lifetime warranty on engine proper should be worth a little extra to someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So fuses don't blow out, just the bulbs? Both right/left bulbs go out together?

The lifetime warranty on engine proper should be worth a little extra to someone.
Usually the bulbs blow independently of one another. Different times. Right and left. The engine is ok. I’m just glad I have an engine that doesn’t burn oil!
 

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I think you need to rig up some wiring with a multimeter to monitor voltage. That is the only thing that would "blow" them. Some kind of a spike. Which only means the source which is the alternator. Seems like some basic diagnostics would give you some answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think you need to rig up some wiring with a multimeter to monitor voltage. That is the only thing that would "blow" them. Some kind of a spike. Which only means the source which is the alternator. Seems like some basic diagnostics would give you some answers.
Good idea. I did have my old alternator changed out when I got my refurb engine. Dealer said it was stalling
 

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Good idea. I did have my old alternator changed out when I got my refurb engine. Dealer said it was stalling
Have never heard the word "stalling" associated with alternators. Hope the dealership isn't giving you the run around. Alternators are very simple components. Test your battery at rest when engine is cold. Should be around 12.4-12.6. Running with no accessories on should be 13.6-14.5. Than there is the load test, but you can youtube that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think you need to rig up some wiring with a multimeter to monitor voltage. That is the only thing that would "blow" them. Some kind of a spike. Which only means the source which is the alternator. Seems like some basic diagnostics would give you some answers.
Good idea. I did have my old alternator changed out when I got my refurb engine. Dealer said it was stalling
Have never heard the word "stalling" associated with alternators. Hope the dealership isn't giving you the run around. Alternators are very simple components. Test your battery at rest when engine is cold. Should be around 12.4-12.6. Running with no accessories on should be 13.6-14.5. Than there is the load test, but you can youtube that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree about the word stalling. The service advisor mentioned it was time to change the belts as well. With all that it was 750 dollars ( alternator, belts and labor. I did check with another shop and it was in line with what he said it would cost. Right now I feel I’m in good shape with my car.
 

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Oh good point HighMiles! That TSB shows how your brake lights could be stuck on, so if that happens overnight then your brake lights would also burn out quick due to the sheer number of hours you are putting on them.

Sorry Bobwag but I would expect the engine would not stall even if the alternator were acting up, because wouldn't it would run off the battery during testing? You'd have to run the engine for a while with the bad alternator to drain the battery enough to stall. Even though the costs to replace are in line, the question is whether you even needed that service. Often times a dealership will consider any symptoms you mention, and quote all possible service that can be performed if the victim can be convinced to pay for the replacements.

Did you ever experience the stalling that the dealership claimed? Or any issues related to the alternator?

Unfortunately with Kias, the company and product is great, but the dealerships are not. I wonder if your dealership was even aware of the TSB that HighMiles pointed out, or if they even checked for that brake stopper problem that can burn out your tail lights prematurely?
 

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Diagnosing which bulbs actually burn out would be helpful. Tail light/Blinker? Tail light/brake light? IDK maybe different circuitry. Switches. Wire path. Resistors. Fuse ratings need to be checked and verified? And yes, if the brake light switch cause lights to stay on too long, yep you'd get a burnt out bulb way faster.
 

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2018 Optima EX, 2019 Stinger GT2 AWD
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There are primarily three things that will decide bulb life, voltage, time, and vibration. The bulb will have a certain lifetime, this is just the physics of it. Over-voltage will also drastically shorten bulb life, and vibration can easily cause premature failure due to stress on the filament.
Some suggestions, use LED's for the bulbs. This may require installing load resistors to prevent messages on the dash display and/or hyperflash on turn signals, so isn't 100% Plug-n-Play. These will be have longer life by design, and are much less susceptible to vibration.
Another possible idea, if LED's are too much work, is to use halogen bulbs. These typically have sturdier filaments and the "halogen" aspect prevents normal filament wear by re-depositing the boiled away filament material back onto the filament.
 
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