Question about 2004 Kia Optima

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Engine "surging" even when car is stopped at light

I have been driving a 2004 Kia Optima 6 cylinder (I think it is LX? it does not have all options). At one time the engine light was popping on; I realized it was always after I put gas in the tank. One of the guys a work told me that the gas knob might not be on tight enough. So I tried that and the light went off until this past Sunday. Now as I drive the engine does sound rougher and although what I am about to state next is nothing new I am thinking I might have a problem. For lack of a better word my car surges (like I am pushing the gas) when my foot is on the brake at a stop. Anything I should be immediately concerned about?

Really need some assistance because money is tight and I can not afford any car problems.


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  • morgan5561 Jan 23, 2009

    I have the same problem. I have had trouble with this for several years now. The dealer has put on speed sensors and crank pos. sensors. It quit at one point, but is now back again. I just put on a crank pos. sensor, timing belt, has nearly new plugs. It will all of the sudden rev-up like you are stepping on the gas and when you go to stop, the throttle stays at 1100 rpm, and the engines stalls if you don't accellerate slowly. I have a Scantool and the car doesn't code, so no help there.

  • dymizzo Jan 23, 2009

    Wow, I wish I'd never bought a damn Kia. The engine light on my car has been going off and on for about a year now with no apparent effect on the way my car drives. It was just annoying. I finally took it to a repair shop to get it diagnosed and he gave me the code P0130 and said I had to replace all 4 of my sensors; at $175.00 a piece + $250 labor. Well, you can imagine where I told him to shove those figures. But now my car is doing this 'surging' thing every now and then as well. And the check engine light has been constantly on for about a week. Do you think it's a result of not replacing the O2 sensors? (sigh) I reeeeally don't need this dent in my wallet but it looks like I have no choice. :(

  • 1620Girl Jan 30, 2009

    Thanks robshow; I am in the same boat as dymizzo in regard to spending the money.

    My warranty is done and I doubt this would be covered under it anyway.



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After some deep diagnosis with my Scan-tool, I have fixed the issue. Of all things, it was the Coolant Temperature Sensor. I was getting a PO118 code, so I looked up the sensor, graphed it with the scanner and saw that the sensor was flaking out. It would read an avg. temp. of 190 degrees, then all of the sudden drop to -40 degrees. This sensor adjusts the fuel/air ratio, thus explains my idle speed troubles. Basically, the sensor was giving too much fuel or "flooding" the engine. I have been driving for 3-4 days now and have had 0 problems since the replacement. BTW, the sensor is located by the thermostat and can be removed with an 11/16" deep-well socket. I bought the sensor for $15 at O'Reilly Auto parts. Anyway, hope this helps someone.

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

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This could be anything from spark plugs needing change to bad coil pack, Poor connection in plug boot (should be spring with resistor in middle these break or wear after use.) Best bet plug into obdII code reader and then check plugs. OHM the coils for 12V. If you have power supply apply 3 volts to coils and test for output ..

Refer to for more information.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009


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