Question about 2001 Kia Optima

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I have a 2001 kia optima, im having problems with overdrive.

The car runs really great. but whenever i get into 4th gear or drive on the highway, the car gets really bad gas mileage. so im thinking its the overdrive. now im honestly not 100% sure it even has overdrive, but this car was pretty decked out compared to other cars in 01- power everything, with an automatic six-banger in a sedan. I work at autozone, and i cant find anything on the overdrive. wondering if anybody knows where the relay is to check, or if it even has it or not. thanks!

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If it has overdrive, you would see controls on the steering wheel.

Posted on May 28, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 2001 Kia Optima acceleration drop out problem

I would have them check the Sensor that is located on top of the transmission, I had a similar problem back when I bought mine. And I was told that the sensor was Bad, and there was a recall on it and it is a common problem. Because of where the Sensor is located it is a pain to get to, they have to drop the transmission. So for me anyways instead of just dropping the transmission to swap out the sensor, the Kia dealership that we bought the car from Replaced the whole Transmission/Sensor with a brand new Tranny. I have over 160,000 miles on the Car now and I have had no problems since.

Posted on Sep 03, 2008

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yes kia has had shift solenoid problems

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: 2002 kia optima slipping into 3rd and 2nd gear while driving

UPDATE! ! ! Fixed this problem! YES ! ! ! The speed sensors was all that needed replacing. NOT ANY SOLENOIDS ! !. Two of them cost $160 and it solved the problem! Do not buy from the dealers. An after market version is available for $50 each. I was forced to buy dealers.

Posted on Apr 04, 2009

  • 242 Answers

SOURCE: New Kia Rio 5-speed gets poor gas mileage - has no


Posted on Dec 27, 2009

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SOURCE: 2001 kia optima. the alternator bad , the car

My 2001 Kia Optima had a very similar problem last month (Dec 09). At first everybody was saying it's the alternator. I almost spent the $250. on a new one, but I did some troubleshooting and It turns out the positive battery cable had failed. It was corroded and no longer conducting electricity. It is only sold as a harness, and had quite a few places where it bolts to the fusebox, frame, block, starter, and alternator. I paid $104. on the internet for the part, and $90. to have my local dealer install it, since it is very involved. Good luck

Posted on Jan 30, 2010

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1 Answer

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There isn't anything wrong with your car. This is perfectly normal. I have a 2000 ES300 as well as other people that I know and it operates in the same way. Overdrive doesn't mean the same thing for every car or transmission. In our case overdrive is simply a reference to the top gear which is 4th gear. When you switch overdrive off(which is depressing the button causing the O/D OFF dash light to illuminate,) the highest gear becomes 3rd because you turned 4th gear or overdrive off. The application scenario for this is usually mountainous terrain where a lot of uphill driving makes it more feasible not to up shift into 4th gear while ascending and descending. It will not switch back to overdrive or 4th gear until you re-engage it by turning the overdrive back on or repressing the button. Again, when the O/D OFF dash light is illuminated, overdrive which is 4th gear is off and the highest gear will then become 3rd. It will never shift into 4th gear while this light is illuminated or overdrive is off. When you press the button and the O/D OFF dash light is NOT illuminated overdrive is on and therefore it will shift into 4th gear as usual. This applies to all 97-2001 ES300's and probably any other car you drive tat exhibits this same type of change when overdrive is turned off.

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