Oil Alarm Snafu - 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima Long-Term Road Test

2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: Oil Alarm Snafu

July 14, 2011

Kia Oil Alarm Reset.jpg

After we blogged about changing the oil in the Optima every 7,500 miles, we got a severe scolding from cbass88 who wrote: "RTFM, THE OIL CHANGE INTERVAL IS EVERY 5000 ON THE SX, QUIT SAYING IT IS 7500!!" We had checked the manual many times and we were sure it was 7,500 miles. Besides, the maintenance light came on at 7,500 and that was set at the factory.

But, sure enough, after we RTFM again, here is what we found.

In a difficult to read footnote we found that the intervals for the SX is 5,000 miles presumably because it is turbocharged. Footnote *3 reads, "Engine oil (2.0 TGDI)…every 5,000 miles (8,000 km) or 6 months."

Kia Manual.jpg

Now here's a goofy thing. Still smarting from our public humiliation, we didn't want to make this mistake again. So we tried to set the oil alarm for 5,000. Except that Kia only lists the lowest setting as 6,000 miles. So they built a car with a lower oil change interval but made it impossible to warn the owner about this. So I guess we're back to the Post-it note in the window method of automotive maintenance scheduling.

Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 8,790 miles

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