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Discussion Starter #1
So I am new to the thread and happy optima owner I just got the car 2018 Kia optima Fe and have noticed a random headlight twitch. Kia wants $80 to look at it even though warranty is good still. Here's the deal I keep my headlight switch on auto on and the switch will randomly turn to off selection by itself and no I didn't bump the switch on accident. It will do it in the day and at night when driving the light just shut off and then turn back on by themselves. I can turn the switch to off when it does it and turn it back to auto and lights come on no warning lights codes or anything maybe faulty switch on steering column??? Thanks for the help trying to save money haha
 

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2018 Kia Optima
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1,027 Posts
Are you saying that the headlight stalk switch somehow will physically move from the Auto position to the Off position without you having touched it at all? Hmmm maybe the detent/notch on the headlight knob is worn out just enough so that simply flicking the lever when signalling (after all, the headlight knob is on the same control lever as the turn signal) knocks the headlight switch to Off.
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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^ Thought the same, how the stalk go from auto to off without intervention.
With the lights on play with the stalk, forward, backward, up, down, and see any results. I've seen the stalk being bad has caused the fog/driving lights to go on/off, or not come on at all, but headlights? Guess it's possible.
 

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Your K5 Optima Vendor
2020 Audi R8 V10+ & Tesla Model X P100D
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Welcome to the Optima Forums.

Congrats on getting your 2018 Optima.

I think what you are saying, if I understand correctly, is that the lights will turn to the off position even though the stalk itself is still set to the auto position, is that right?

If so, it sounds like there may be an issue with the sensor that detects whether it is light out or not, that would be my guess. Otherwise, I am not sure how the physical switch on the stalk would be able to move position to the off position after driving with the vehicle in the automatic position. (As others mentioned above)

-David
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replys...no the switch doesn't physically move but the lights will turn off by themselves sounds like the sensor, when it happens I look at the dash and the screen selector turns to off by itself. Where by chance is the sensor can I replace it myself
 

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Your K5 Optima Vendor
2020 Audi R8 V10+ & Tesla Model X P100D
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Thanks for the replys...no the switch doesn't physically move but the lights will turn off by themselves sounds like the sensor, when it happens I look at the dash and the screen selector turns to off by itself. Where by chance is the sensor can I replace it myself
Good to hear it, that's what I had thought as well. I am not familiar with where that is on the 2018 Optima, but the dealer should take care of this under warranty for you, you could even make a video when it happens to show them.
 

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Your K5 Optima Vendor
2020 Audi R8 V10+ & Tesla Model X P100D
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Well I will just have to take it in then there goes $80 lol thanks guys again
Welcome, and hopefully they can duplicate the issue to isolate it, and then you should not have to pay anything. Pretty sure you only pay if they are unable to find any issues.
 

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2018 Kia Optima
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1,027 Posts
Thanks for clearing that up about the headlight auto issue--I read the original post as reading that the switch itself was moving...good to hear that it's not the physical switch.
 

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this exact issues started happening to me about a year ago on my 2016 Optima. It is extremely dangerous. I have been driving down completely dark streets in the country and this happens. The lights just go off. Obviously the switch does not go to the off position. I took it to the dealer and they could not figure out what was wrong.
 

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2012 Kia Optima
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Well I will just have to take it in then there goes $80 lol thanks guys again
This would get applied to the repair or if its under warranty, its free.
 

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2016 KIA Optima
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2016 SX

Hey folks,

Glad someone posted about this as it's happened to me a number of times over the past 2-3 years but since it only would happen once in a while I let it go. Since it so rarely happens I felt the dealer might not find an issue so I never took it in. (Manually turning the lights on and/or on and back to auto resolved on the fly).
If you are I or anyone figures out what causes it please post. It does seem sensor related as the description is spot on in regards to what I experienced.
  • Driving normally, headlights set to "Auto"
  • On rare occassions, lights are on while driving as intended
  • All of the sudden I heara click and headlights are out and the notification "Auto" pops up on the console display as if I manually touched or changed from auto to off and back to auto. Either way, headlights are off until manually switching to "On". After which I can switch back to Auto and everything seems fine.
I can't put a finger on what exactly happened just before this issue (I.e. how dark it was, how long I had been driving prior to it occurring each time, etc) but from my perspective I'm not doing anything different when it does happen, it just happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
2016 SX

Hey folks,

Glad someone posted about this as it's happened to me a number of times over the past 2-3 years but since it only would happen once in a while I let it go. Since it so rarely happens I felt the dealer might not find an issue so I never took it in. (Manually turning the lights on and/or on and back to auto resolved on the fly).
If you are I or anyone figures out what causes it please post. It does seem sensor related as the description is spot on in regards to what I experienced.
  • Driving normally, headlights set to "Auto"
  • On rare occassions, lights are on while driving as intended
  • All of the sudden I heara click and headlights are out and the notification "Auto" pops up on the console display as if I manually touched or changed from auto to off and back to auto. Either way, headlights are off until manually switching to "On". After which I can switch back to Auto and everything seems fine.
I can't put a finger on what exactly happened just before this issue (I.e. how dark it was, how long I had been driving prior to it occurring each time, etc) but from my perspective I'm not doing anything different when it does happen, it just happens.
So I narrowed my headlight issue down to the actual switch is faulty the slightest out of place makes it do this I found the sweat spot on it and it hasn't done this yet for a whole month I would look into the switch on the arm it fixed mine
 

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2016 KIA Optima
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29 Posts
Thank you I'll give that a shot.
I'm still under 27k so I'm hoping if that's the issue I can have it resolved under warranty.
I'll try ot out and update as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you I'll give that a shot.
I'm still under 27k so I'm hoping if that's the issue I can have it resolved under warranty.
I'll try ot out and update as well.
You got it man keeps us in the loop if it's under warranty or not and if it fixed it
 

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I have a theory on this. I got rid of my optima, but before I did I replaced the battery, when I did the issue stopped. I think this happens when the battery gets weak. But I can't be 100% sure.
 

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2018 Optima 2018 Optima EX
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51 Posts
I wonder if it is possible that some other light source might be fooling the sensor. What about a phone attached to windshield mount just above the sensor, and the light from the phone screen fooling the sensor?
I remember a long time ago, my first vehicle that had automatic headlights (pickup truck), I noticed that the lights were on all the time, even during the day, and then I realized that there was a manila folder on top of the dash blocking the sensor making it think it was night time! I mean, who doesn't keep file folders on the dash of a work truck? :)
 

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I wonder if it is possible that some other light source might be fooling the sensor. What about a phone attached to windshield mount just above the sensor, and the light from the phone screen fooling the sensor?
I remember a long time ago, my first vehicle that had automatic headlights (pickup truck), I noticed that the lights were on all the time, even during the day, and then I realized that there was a manila folder on top of the dash blocking the sensor making it think it was night time! I mean, who doesn't keep file folders on the dash of a work truck? :)
No that is definitely not the case. I connect my phone via android auto and there is no way that light would be triggering the sensor.
 

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2016 KIA Optima
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You got it man keeps us in the loop if it's under warranty or not and if it fixed it
Just wanted to update that I'm not sure what the actual issue is but the previous post mentioning the "sweet spot" seems to have made my issue go away (at least for now).
All I did was slowly turn the switch from fully on to DRL off and then when moving back to "Auto" I kinda moved it slowly as to not change settings but could feel just before it would click to change to a different one.
Not really a "fix" but it hasn't happened to me since.
Prior to this, it had been getting worse so i'll keep an eye on it and still plan on asking the dealer what they think of it the next time i'm in.
 

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I have this same issue. I called Kia and the dealership might be keeping my car for a few days to try to recreate it. I have a 2016 Kia Optima LX Turbo with 35k miles on it. It's been happening to me for at least 6 months (maybe up to a year), but it only happens once a week. My experience is the same as others.
 
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