Good Service, Long Wait - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: Good Service, Long Wait

November 30, 2011

Kia Optima 15K Service.jpg

For the first service visit we took the 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo to Car Pros Carson Kia, in Carson, Calif. There, the service advisor put us on notice that next time we might be due for brake service. It wasn't a big deal but to talk brake service in the first service visit was getting things off on a bad footing. (A friend's Honda Element went over 100k without needing brakes.) So, for variety, I decided to try another dealership and compare the service. I called Kia of Cerritos and scheduled an appointment. I spoke with a service advisor, Rene, who was friendly, efficient and helpful.

When I arrived in the service lane this morning, a service advisor popped out of the nearby offices and approached me. Yes, it was Rene, and he was just as friendly, helpful and efficient in person. Since it was cold, I said I'd meet him inside. "Just go to the lounge, I'll find you," he said. As I waited for him to bring me the paperwork, my customary suspicious nature began to work. Was he being friendly to soften me up for an inflated service bill?

Moments later, true to his word, he appeared with a clipboard and asked me to sign. "How much is it?" I had to ask. He pointed at the bottom line: "Just $49.95." I felt like a creep for being so uptight. But in the past, we've seen overcharges of all kinds for what should be routine maintenance. He also told me that a software update was needed. It took over two hours for all the work to be done. But Rene kept coming out to give me status reports. Otherwise, it would be like sitting in a restaurant and wondering if the waiter forgot you. It was a considerate touch that offset the long wait.

One more thing: It's always interesting to see what the different dealerships put on their little oil change sticker in the upper right hand corner. The default position used to be 3,000 miles and three months. But that figure has been creeping up as oil change intervals become longer. Kia of Cerritos said we need another oil change in four months or 5,000 miles which pretty much agrees with our owner's manual.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 15,148 miles

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