The Dark Night - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: The Dark Night

April 01, 2011

2011_Optima_1600_Kia_dark_night.jpg

All was well, then it wasn't. Our 2011 Kia Optima's interior lighting has gone AWOL.

Note how the IP and nav screen are stuck on full daytime bright mode while the center stack, steering wheel and door panel switches are dark -- also daytime mode, come to think of it.

It's just the lighting, mind you; all of the buttons work properly once I find them with the dome light.

And the dimmer seems to work. Its bar graph advances from "min" to "max" when I press the switch, but the lighting itself doesn't actually change. No fuses appears to be blown and the situation is no different with headlights set to "on" or "auto". It's as if the thingie that detects daylight is convinced the sun is still up and won't hear otherwise.

So I tried the patented PC reboot solution -- turn it off and turn it on again -- but that didn't work.

Next I'm going to try the uber PC method -- disconnect the battery, wait a few beats, then reconnect it. I'll let you know if that does anything.

I'm open to any other bright ideas before we take it to the dealer, of course.

UPDATE: The battery disconnect procedure sucessfully reset the system.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,004 miles


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