Here we look at the warning lights for the Kia Optima, and depending on your location, it’s also known as the Kia Magentis, Kia Lotze or Kia K5. The Kia Optima dashboard warning lights below focus mainly on the third generation (Mk 3, 2010–2015) and fourth generation (Mk 4, 2015–present) models. Dashboard instrument display layout and warning lights location will vary depending on your model of Optima.
|Symbol||Warning Light Description / Action|
|Name: Kia Optima airbag warning light.
Description: The airbag warning light illuminate for about 6 second, then goes off when the ignition switch or engine start stop button is paced into the 'on' position. If the warning light stays on or comes on while driving, there's a fault with the SRS (supplemental restraint system).
|Name: Kia Optima brake warning light.
Description: With the ignition or engine start stop button set to 'on', the brake warning light comes on for about 3 seconds then goes out. The brake warning light may come on for the following reasons:
▷ The parking brake is applied.
▷ Low brake fluid.
If the parking brake is fully released but the warning light remains on, it means the brake fluid level is low. In this instance, stop as soon as safely possible and check the brake fluid reservoir. Add fluid if necessary. Use only hydraulic brake fluid conforming to DOT 3 or DOT 4 specification and top up ensuring you do not exceed the MAX mark.
Check for any leaks in the brake system. If any leaks are found or if the brake warning light remains on even after adding fluid, do not continue to drive. Arrange to have vehicle towed.
In certain locations an alternative brake warning light may be used
|Name: Kia Optima ABS warning light.
Description: As with the warning lights above, normal working should see the ABS warning light coming on for about 3 seconds before going out when the ignition is set to 'on'. ABS, or 'anti-locking braking system' is an additional braking safety system to help improve vehicle control whilst braking in an emergency situation. If the ABS warning light comes on, normal brake will continue to work as usual. Have system checked as soon as possible to restore these safety features. Faults are usually due to ABS wheel speed sensors.
|Name: Kia Optima EBD warning light.
Description: EBD stands for Electronic Brake Force Distribution and is responsible for applying brake pressure on individual wheels. The system uses the ABS to determine the correct amount of pressure to apply. EBD helps to improve vehicle stopping ability. An indication that EBD has failed is due to the ABS and brake warning lights coming on together. Avoid high speed driving and abrupt braking. The vehicle brakes may not perform as expected. Have system checked as soon as possible by a Kia workshop.
Depending on your location, an indication of EBD failure may be represented by
With the ABS and brake warning light on together, the speedometer, odometer, or tripmeter may not work. The EPS (Electronic Power Steering) warning light may also illuminate and as a result, greater effort may be required to operate the steering wheel.
|Name: Kia Optima power steering warning light.
Description: EPS, or 'Electronic Power Steering' is a system that uses sensors and motors to enable easier operation of the steering wheel. The system sometimes overheats due to excessive operation from full lock-to-lock. If the fault is temporary, the warning light will go out when the system has cooled. With an EPS fault, the steering will become harder to operate, but you can continue driving.
|Name: Kia Optima check engine warning light.
Description: The check engine warning light, otherwise known as the malfunction indicator light (MIL) remains illuminated on the dashboard until the engine has started, where then it should go out. The check engine warning light stays on or flashes when the onboard diagnostic system has determined that there's a fault with the emissions control system.
▷ Check engine warning light on continuously - you may experience an increase in fuel consumption and possible reduced engine performance. You can continue driving, but have cause of fault rectified to avoid potential damage.
▷ Check engine warning light flashing - this is often a sign of engine misfire. Does the engine sound rough and performance is down? If so, this can result in damage to the catalytic converter. Reduce speed immediately and avoid high revs / high engine load. If the check engine warning light continues to flash, have it checked immediately by a Kia workshop. Diagnostic fault equipment will be required.
|Name: Kia Optima battery charge warning light.
Description: The battery charge warning light remains illuminated on the dashboard until the engine has started, where then it should go out. If the battery warning light comes on while driving, it's advisable to immediately switch off all non-essential systems that consume electric. If the battery goes dead, the engine may stop. Things to check are:
1. Alternator drive belt - ensure it is not broken or loose.
2. Battery - if the battery is over 5 years of age, it may require replacing. Have a load test performed on the battery.
3. Terminals - check battery terminals are not loose or excessively corroded.
4. Alternator - have the alternator tested to ensure it is producing the correct output to charge the battery.
|Name: Kia Optima engine oil warning light.
Description: The engine oil warning light remains illuminated on the dashboard until the engine has started, where then it should go out. The engine oil pressure warning light may illuminate due to:
▷ Low engine oil level.
▷ Low engine oil pressure.
If the low engine oil pressure warning light come on:
1. As soon as safely possible stop the vehicle, ideally on level ground and switch off the engine.
2. Allow the engine to sit for a few minutes as this will allow the engine oil to drain to the bottom of the engine (pan).
3. Use the dipstick to gauge how much oil is in the engine (1).
4. Add oil if required (2) ensuring you use to dipstick level indicator to not overfill (1).
If after adding engine oil the warning light remains on, do not continue driving. You will have to arrange having the vehicle towed. Operating the engine with low engine oil pressure may cause significant damage due to a lubrication fault.
|Name: Kia Optima EPB warning light.
Description: The EPB (Electronic Parking Brake) warning light stays on for about 3 seconds when the ignition switch or engine start stop button is set to 'on, then goes out. If the warning light stays on or comes on while driving, there's a fault with the electronic parking brake. If the EPB switch operates abnormally whilst in use and the EPB warning light remains on, shut the engine off and turn it on again after a few minutes. The EPB warning light should go off and the EPB switch will operate normally again. If the EPB warning light stays on, call a Kia workshop for assistance. Do not drive the vehicle with the electronic parking brake engaged.
|Name: Kia Optima tyre pressure warning light.
Description: The tyre / tire pressure warning light comes on for the following reasons:
▷ The tyre pressure warning stays on meaning one or more tyres has a loss of pressure.
▷ The tyre pressure warning light flashes for about 1 minute then stays on means the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) has a fault or a tyre has been fitted that does not have a sensor installed.
Checking tyre pressures
Hot tyres have higher pressures, so it's advised to always check pressures when the tyres are cold. A cold tyre is when the vehicle has been sitting for 3 hours and driven for less that 1 mile within that 3 hour period.
Tyre pressure system reset
After checking and altering tyre pressures, the tyre pressure monitoring system will automatically reset after a few minutes of driving. If the tyre pressure warning light stays on, have the vehicle serviced by a Kia workshop.
|Name: Kia Optima master warning light.
Description: The triangle containing an exclamation mark is the Kia master warning light. Master warning mode informs the driver of faults. When a fault is detected, the LCD modes will change from user settings to master warning mode . The master warning light informs the driver of the following issues:
▷ Blind Spot Detection (BSD) malfunction
▷ Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) malfunction
▷ Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) malfunction
▷ Forward Collision-avoidance Assist malfunction
▷ High Beam Assist (HBA) malfunction
▷ LED lights malfunction
▷ Electronic Control Suspension (ECS) malfunction
|Name: Kia Optima Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) warning light.
Description: FCA uses a camera to monitor the roadway ahead for vehicles and warn the driver that a collision is imminent. If the drivers fails to respond in a timely manner, FCA may apply emergency braking. FCA may not function as expected during heavy rain or snow, bad lighting, foggy conditions etc. The warning light may illuminate when the system has a fault. This may be a temporary fault for example, the camera module may have overheated. This can be due to leaving the vehicle parked under direct sunlight for a period. Operation will resume when the camera module has cooled. The view of the camera may be obscured by dirt is a common reason for failure.
|Name: Kia Optima Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) warning light.
Description: Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) works by swiveling and leveling the headlights based on the direction of your steering angle. It helps to keep your field of vision as illuminated as possible at night. This warning light comes on when a fault has been detected with the Dynamic Bending Light system. If there is a malfunction with DBL while driving, pull over when safe to do so and switch off the engine. Restarting the engine should then clear the fault. If the light remains on, have the system serviced by a Kia workshop.
|Name: Kia Optima LED headlight warning light.
Description: The light bulb containing an exclamation mark comes on for around 3 seconds with the ignition then should go out. If the warning light stays on or flashes or comes on when driving, there's a fault with the LED headlights.
Continuous driving with the LED headlights warning light on or flashing may cause permanent damage or reduce life to the lamps. This may not be covered under warranty (if applicable). The master warning light may also illuminate.
|Name: Kia Optima Electronic Stability Control (ESC) warning light.
Description: The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system helps the driver maintain vehicle control under adverse conditions. The system uses sensors to detect understeer, oversteer and loss of traction and can apply the brakes on individual wheels or reduce engine power. The ESC warning light comes on for two reasons:
▷ Flashing means the ESC system is in operation and attempting to stabilize the vehicle.
▷ Constantly on means there's a fault with the system. Due to the ESC system using ABS sensors, the ABS system may be dysfunctional.
Turning off ESC
ESC is switched on by default at each engine start. It's almost always beneficial to have ESC switched on. However, if your vehicle becomes stuck in mud, snow etc, turning off traction control within ESC may help the vehicle gain traction.
|Name: Kia Optima immobilizer warning light.
Description: The immobilizer warning light comes on or flashes for the following reasons:
▷ Flashes when the system has detected that the battery of the smart key is weak. At this point, you need to replace the battery or start the vehicle by pressing the engine start stop button using the smart key.
▷ Flashes for a few seconds when the immobilizer system detects that the smart key is not in the vehicle. The engine cannot be started.
▷ Flashes when there's a malfunction with the immobilizer system.
▷ Illuminates for 2 seconds when the immobilizer system does not detect the smart key in the vehicle and when the engine start stop button is set to 'on'. If the smart key is in the vehicle, have the system checked by a Kia workshop.
▷ Illuminates for up to 30 seconds when the immobilizer system detects that the smart key is in the vehicle with the engine start stop button is set to 'on'.
|Name: Kia Optima auto hold warning light.
Description: The auto hold system keeps the car stationary without the brake pedal being pressed. The auto hold warning light illuminates for the following reasons:
▷ White - When the auto hold system has been activated by pressing the button.
▷ Green - When the car has been completely stopped by use of the brake pedal and with the auto hold system activated.
▷ Yellow - When there's a malfunction with the auto hold system.
|Name: Kia Optima Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) warning light.
Description: Lane Keeping Assist helps the driver by use of visual / audible alerts if it detected the vehicle leaving a lane without the signal being applied. The system may use slight steering to help keep the vehicle within the lane lines. The system uses the same camera at the front of the windscreen as Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) (see above) and is subject to the same malfunctions due to heat and/or dirt. The LKA warning light comes on when a fault has been detected.