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2017 Kia Optima - new sensor after recall

I lease an 2017 Optima with less than 15000 miles that has a recall due to a faulty engine part. About a month ago they installed a sencer that is supposed to alert the driver and slow the engine down so you have time to pull over and stop the car to prevent serious damage.

Have you heard about and if so is there anything I can do?



Yes, there is. Pay attention when yellow lights appear and take the car in for service as soon as possible. If there is a flashing yellow or red lights that appear on the dash when driving, pull over and stop the car as soon as possible before more damage can occur. At that point, have it TOWED to the dealer! Remember, it is under warranty, it is Kia’s responsibility to fix it but it is your responsibility to heed the dash lights.

But then I’d give this advice to every driver regardless of vehicle. That sensor Kia installed is for people who ignore this advice.

I plan on driving to Ohio this summer for our granddaughter’s wedding. I can’t afford to have something to happen on the way, break down, and miss the wedding.

Then I suggest you leave extra time, carry a cell phone and the 1-800 reservation number of a car rental place like Enterprise that will come pick you up.

But I would suggest that to anyone regardless of the type of car.

Have you heard the number of 2017 Optimas that have had this engine problem? Or they older models.

The best info is right here;

Only one engine complaint for 2017 but the car’s only been available for less than 2 years. The problem is oil sludge buildup in the engine causing failure. That won’t show up for several years. Notice 2011 is the worst.

This is a lease. Change your oil at the recommended intervals and stop worrying. There is very little chance it will affect you.

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I have the oil changed every 4,000mi. Always have.

You did not describe the “engine problem” nor the “faulty engine part” only that they added a sensor. What ever the new engine part is, it is a redesign that corrects the faulty part.

Now for the drive to Ohio, if this bothers you, rent a car. If a rental breaks, they bring you another vehicle. Or you can fly and pickup a rental at the airport.

Google the Theta II engine failures. You will see it is mostly the 2011-2014 ones but it is still not clear if the newer ones have better parts/design or they haven’t just had enough miles yet to fail.

For your trip, I suggest have extra engine oil and keep checking the oil on every fill up (as you are supposed to anyway). Should be fine. Our 2013 Sonata has 87K miles and it is burning some oil but otherwise it is fine (so far as Homer Simpson says).

We discussed that as one of our options. Most likely what we’ll do.

I presume this is the regular gasoline engine 2.4 L version, not the hybrid or plug in hybrid Optima, right ? If so, I see some bulletins for the CVVT unit (which I presumes mean “variable valve timing”) “cover” and “motor plug” (whatever that part is) . There’s a check engine light and diagnostic code (p0010) associated with this problem apparently. I don’t see anything about a sensor though. Maybe it is the camshaft position sensor, don’t know.

Engines with variable valve timing are extremely sensitive to oil degradation. Oil problems that wouldn’t even be noticed in cars where the oil & filter changes were deferred before VVT will be front and center with VVT. So keep the oil changed frequently, and only use oil that conforms to the specifications required for your car. From what I see that’s sae 5w-20, grade SM or better. Changing the oil and filter more frequently than the maintenance intervals manual recommends is probably your best bet. I wouldn’t go beyond 5000 miles with that car myself. Use a quality oil filter too. Ask the folks at Kia if they recommend a certain brand/model of oil filter.

The “connecting rod bearing”, is the part that is the problem. The engine is 2.4 GDI.