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Oldsmobile Alero



  • i have had my '99 alero in the shop 4 times for the same chirping noise coming from engine when idling or driving without acceleration under 20 mph. it started at 20,000 - continues now @ 54,000. they have changed belts twice - no fix. this last time they put in a new carrier and front hub kit - said noise was coming from transmission. got car back and next day - same noise but louder. sound familiar to anyone? any ideas?
  • I was going to guess that your problem is in the belt pulley. But you mentioned a carrier, and I have no idea what that is. Usually if a belt does not cure the chirping, it is usually the belt pulley. Perhaps the mechanics did not correctly isolate the source of the noise. The noise could be coming from the alternator/accessory belt, if not the fan belt. Good luck.

    By the way. How in the world can a transmission make a whistling or chirping noise?
  • I love these discussion threads. I'd just like to throw a few points into the mix.

    1. Buying a new car is most likely the third most expensive investment you will ever make (kids and a house being first and second).

    2. The choices we make require time and we need to set priorities on what results we are looking for from our choices.

    3. As far as the Alero goes, I have a 2000 GLS sedan. I may just be lucky since I haven't had the transmission gremlins, water leaks, brake problems, or any other problems that have shown up in this conference. But in reference to my points above, you have priorities to set when buying a car. True enough, if it's reliability you're after, buy a Japanese car. But, they are generally more costly for given equipment levels, and usually have generally generic styling. If you are looking for reliability plus a higher fun quotient, look towards a German vehicle. Like the Japanese, however, they can get expensive in a hurry, in both initial cost and to maintain.

    The Alero, I think, was the best balance between other competing cars. True, it doesn't have the rock-solid dependability of a Honda or Toyota, or the highly-polished edges of a BMW or Audi/VW, but GM cars are at the very least acceptable in these categories. I do like the styling much better than anything from Japan, but it's not quite as sexy as an A4 or a 3-series. You can't get a comparably-equipped Honda, Toyota, or Mitsu for the price of an Alero. At 20K, you can't get a six in a Toyota or a Honda. The Galant ES can be had with a V6 for around 20K, but it doesn't come with leather, 16" alloys, or traction control. For my money the Alero was the best balance of features I wanted for the price I was willing to pay. Sure, I wish it was bolted together like a drum-tight Honda and had the road-holding of a 325i, but I'm happy with what I have. You do get what you pay for. I just tried to set my priorities. I'll deal with the little niggles as they appear; when the rotors go bad I'll probably upgrade to aftermarket performance rotors. When problems arise, as they do in all new cars, especially new designs like the Alero, there are other solutions than running back to the dealer. Now, if your car is still under warranty, you should go to the dealer. But take a proactive stance and try to see the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives. I look at it this way: The Alero has some problems; I can fix them and improve the car beyond what it was originally. Feel free to check out owners comments at (yeah, that's a plug).
    Seems that we all similar priorities when we bought our Alero's.
    I'm not in any way suggesting that anyone else is ignorant or needs my advice (who the heck am I to say?) but I think we all focus on the negative outcomes of the choices we make far too much. Thanks for reading and letting me rant.
  • My 2000 GL@ is appraoching 2900 miles. When do you recommend the first servicing. I normally do it at 3000 miles but everythign I've read talks about 7500 between oil changes. Any recommendations????

    I fully agree with mfuller1's assessment about how Alero stacks up against the competition. Car has a couple of nuisances but I'm much better pleased tahn I thought i would be.

    A friend of mine bought a Saturn LS at the same time I ppurchasaed my ALero. His car is a larger, and has a bit of a European feel when driving but he's been palgued with small problems liek door handles falling off, a leaky sun roof and a weird feel to the leather seats. He tried to talk me into the Saturn but now I'm happier withj my choice.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    I like to do the 1st oil change at about 2000 miles. Its about when the engine is freeing up (breaking in). That's when you expect the most wear product in the oil. In fact one of my new cars has a magnetic oil plug and it had metal slivers on the 1st oil change!

    After that its about every 4000-5000 miles for me. My driving situation is mostly light suburban so your driving and oil change intervals may differ. I tried to go with the GM oil monitor which indicated to change oil at ~5800 miles but it was too sludgy for me. So I went back to my tried and true 4000 miles or so.

    I've owned many cars most of which I've kept past 100,000 miles with no engine problems so I stick to my routine.
  • I have a 2000 top of the line alero---leather, moon roof, spoiler, the whole 9. It has 6000 miles on it and I have had it to the dealer 3 times just for the breaks. The first time they replaced the rotors, the second time it was the power booster and the thid time they say there's nothing wrong. Additionally I have already had the driver side window fixed twice and the gear shaft button replaced since it sprung off one day. I purchased the car in May--downpayment no trade in. I am now having a problem with starting the car- it runs extremely loud and ticks but only for a few minutes. The dealer cannot locate a problem. Anyway does anyone know what I can do? I would be willing to trade it in and buy something else but the dealer is not interested in doing this. Also, PA lemon law requires that the same thing be repaired by the dealer 3 times and that it break a fourth! With breaks being the problem I am not comfortable waiting for them to go again- the power booster was enough of a scare. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
  • Contact the GM/Oldsmobile zone manager or the district manager in your area. Be assertive and press on your case. Even if your case does not exactly meet the lemon law requirements, GM may act to help you to make sure you are satisfied as a customer. In fact, in an Los Angeles Times article about lemon laws, it was reported that manufacturers bought back problem vehicles from customers under the guise of customer satisfaction, when in fact those cars should have been labeled as lemons.
  • For you mileage conscious people here is the latest with my 2000 Alero, V-6(9,000+ miles). In 20 to 34 degree weather, conservative suburbia driving yields an MPG of about 18-19 MPG.
  • I am a new member and have not read all the fine print as it would make me late for thanksgiving dinner. My question is- would it be smart to pay $2000. more for a v-6 over the 4 cyl available in the Special Edition GL 4? The difference in price is primarily due to the options reduction on the GL4 of approx. $1500. I can buy either the GLS or GL4 at Dealer Invoice. Both rebates apply to either car. I can also buy the Honda Accord with similar equipment for $5000. more than the GLS. I guess I would like to hear from people who have had experience with the 4 cyl with respect to overall performance and expected longevity. I usually keep my cars for more than 5 years.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    Go for the V6. The four is okay, but the V6 will make the Alero much more fun to drive. And it costs little more at the pump than the four does. Also, I think the V6 will be more durable over the long haul.
  • I faced the same question when I purchased my Alero GL3 in August. I selected the 6 cyl. It had a lot more noticeable power, was quieter and as was mentioned in this message board, the 6 cyl has a long successful history with GM. While GM has had big quality problems with the 4 cyl. I'm happy iwth myt choice. The cost difference was about $600. However, all 6 cyls came with a "features option pkg" at about $1000 while you could find some 4 cyl without this package. The only item I wanted in teh pkg was remote entry whcih i could have added later on. So it was really a $1600 cost for the 6 cyl.
  • james113::::::The 4 cyl. 150 HP quad 4 surely has the bugs worked out by now as it has been revised and improved many times. My 2000 GL with the 4 has averaged 26.5 mpg mostly city driving, but conservative driving not rush hour type. My wife has a 2000 Intrigue with the 3.5 215 HP 230 lbft torque awesome engine The Intrigue runs 22.5 mpg in the same driving conditions. This is not reformulated fuel being used but plain regular.

    I obviously like both cars. If you like smooth, quite, and performance you may want to consider the Intrigue. So far there have not been any engine problems reported with this new hi-tec engine. The engine has been rated as a top 10 by Wards automotive two years in a row.

    Both cars have substantial performance and mashing the gas can make for short life of the front tires with the traction control switched off.

    Just opinions as you asked for.
  • Thanks very much for the responses regarding my dilema as to which engine to choose. Unfortunately the Intrigue is not towable with all four wheels on the ground which limits my choices to Malibu,GrandAm or Alero. My best trade value is restricted to the Alero and/or Malibu. While the Alero is a little more money, I think for styling and safety reasons it is worth every penny. If I go ahead with the purchase, it will have a V-6! Thanks again for confirming what I suspected would be the more logical choice notwithstanding the impact on my bank account.
  • First let me say I have really enjoyed reading the reviews regarding the Alero. I wished I would have found this site before my car purchase, I can see where it could be very beneficial. In June of this year I purchased my very first new car. A 2000 Silver Alero GLS Coupe with sun roof, leather, low profile tires, automatic transmission, etc. I LOVE IT! I have worked hard all my life and my last child at home is 14 years old and I wanted a useful as well as fun car to drive. But, I have experienced the following saga of events and if there is ANYONE out there who can guide and direct me I will be grateful for your assistance.

    As stated I bought my car June 14, 2000. A demo model with 6,000 miles. (I thought the bugs would be worked out.) On or about June 28, 2000 I was back at the dealership, water leaks in the floor boards. Not just little leaks, but, standing water! The dealership said they fixed the problem, but not so, I have been back in there 3 more times since with the next to the last one to get the new skirts put on that I read about earlier, and guess what, it leaked again, worse. Took it back to the dealer and they said, they took the door panels off, soaked it all day, rechecked the skirts again, seals, etc. and you guessed it, no leaks while it was there. I am nervous, because my husband is a severe allergist with the #1 allergy being to mold and mildew. I questioned the service department about the carpet and padding. I was told that it would not mold, it's a new type and told not to worry about rust in the body. Easy for them to say, when it gets wet, then dries, new brown stains appear. I was further told that out of all the skirts replaced mine was the only one known to have to come back it worked in all the others.

    Next problem right after I purchased the car in June my husband and I kept telling service that the front end was pulling and not braking just as we thought it should, and were told everything was okay, it was probably that the wheels just needed balancing, this was done, and still had the problem. Well, just a couple a months ago, I had to go in again with the third problem, the drivers window motor and regulator failed and had to be replaced questioned the tech about the front end problem was told at this time, some models have had a bulletin regarding warped brake rotors. Yes, you guessed it, mine had to be replaced. But, read on.

    After this work was complete, I kept hearing a slight roaring sound when I back up at times, and braking at slow speeds in traffic. The tech advised me that when a car sits over night or for a few days the rotors "set up a little rust which is common". He further stated that the roaring sound was the pads cleaning the rust off every day. Can anyone advise if he is feeding me a line? I have never heard of such a thing.

    Next, they have had to replace two of my fuel injectors. Is this a common problem so soon? Although I saw a dramatic increase in my gas milege and performance. I had also complained it did not get the milege stated on the sticker.

    Well they finally found out now what was wrong with the front end pulling, it is a strut of which they ordered and are to call when this comes in hopefully next week.

    I know my request is long and seems like I am picking on this car, but I truly love it! I would like nothing more but, to keep it. I now have 15,000 miles on this car. But, I can not afford to keep driving 45 miles one way to the dealership, on a regular basis not to mention I am getting a little nervous wondering what will happen next. My husband and I met with the dealership General Manager and I showed him the documentation of my concerns, and even drove some other Oldsmobile products, but not the same. Please help. What would you do and or is there anyone else with all these problems? As this is my first car, will these bugs work out or have I got the proverbial lemon I have heard about.

    Thanks in advance for your time and efforts,

  • hengheng Posts: 411
    There is nothing technical I can offer that would ease your concerns. But at what mileage was the last problem discovered? If you have added significant mileage since the last problem (like 5000 miles), I would tend to say you have debugged the car. Good luck.
  • Yes, it's unfortunate that they didn't fix these problems the first time. I have also had a couple problems with my car. Broken steering rack cover caused during shipping, faulty coolant pressure cap, and changed rotors and pads twice. Needless to say, I'm on a first name basis with my service rep there. But, through all this, they're service has been excellent and I still love the car.

    With all your troubles, you might want to call the GM customer service line and see if they can arrange some compensation for all your trouble. I do believe that somewhere on here someone had some decent compensation for a lemon that they got. On the back of the GM magazine it has the number of 1-800-GM-DRIVE. Not sure if that's just for Canada, but it's worth a try.

    Just wondering, what made the techs change your fuel injectors? How much mileage were you getting? My mileage doesn't seem to be as consistent as I think it should be.

    In any case, hopefully all your problems are resolved. Happy driving =).
  • In response to the what made them check the milage situation. They did not check the milege problem just because I complained. I had to take the car in for the rotor bulletin replacement, plus I had noted, the Service Engine Soon light would keep coming on, then later going off. The tech advised he would check it out at the time of rotor replacement. I was also having trouble with the Low Tire Pressure light coming on and all being okay, thus would have to go in and reset this too. While in the shop for all this at 14,000 miles he said, it was about time for the 15,000 mile recommended dealer maint. of which I chose to do and it was during all this they found out that I had two injectors down. #2 and #6. They replaced these and I have finally reached 21 mpg and alot more power, not to mention smoother running. Before the replacement between 15 mpg and 17 mpg.

    Thanks for your interest, and Happy Driving to you also.
  • Im currently getting 12.8lit/100km on my 2.4
    5-speed and was wondering if that sounds right?
    19.5 MPG , imperial gallons. I usually drive the around 2000-3300 rpm city driving.
  • 18.5MPG not imperial gallons
  • I'm sorry to hear about all your Alero troubles. Post #223 mentioned someone who had got decent compensation for a lemon...well, it was my mom.

    She had a '99 GL coupe where the "traction-off" light and "service engine" light kept coming on. They did offer to replace the car with very little out-of-pocket cost, so even if your state doesn't have a "lemon law" you can still call the B.B.B.'s "auto-line" where they will work on your behalf.

    Now, my mom has a 2001 coupe. Well, at 700 miles, the passenger floor was all wet. She also had that problem with her '99 but it was fixed the first time. I think this problem is common to most Alero coupes unfortunately. She's taking the car in next week to see about it. She only has a little over 1,000 miles now and no other problems.

    I'm thinking of buying a GL2 coupe w/V6, sport suspension. How do you like the ride of the 16" wheels? Feel free to email me and I'll keep you posted on my mom's Alero.
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