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Oldsmobile Alero



  • cmk8895cmk8895 Posts: 1
    Hi all. First post to this forum.

    2001 Alero had a bad wheel speed sensor on driver's front. Bought aftermarket hub as replacement. Got old hub off with a LOT of work, put new hub on. Torqued everything up (but see note later). Also replaced brake pads while I was at it.

    After hub replacement lights are all off, but now there is a popping sound when making a hard right turn. I thought maybe I didn't grease everything up on the pads, so I took it all apart and greased the heck out of it. No go.

    I lifted up the front end of the car, put it in drive so the wheels spin, and turned the wheels both ways. No noises at all. So something to do with the weight of the car on it all.

    The only oddity is the torque on the hub nut. The new hub came with a new hub nut of a supposed 'better design.' The paperwork with the hub said to torque it to 180ft-lb, anything more with cause 'excessive wear' to the bearings. The Haynes manual, however, says 284ft-lb on that nut.

    So, that's the only possible confound. Any ideas? It sounds very much like a CV popping, but why would that happen right after a hub replacement with no warning beforehand?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks a bunch guys and gals.
  • sputtsputt Posts: 4
    i too had that noise when i first purchased my car. i replaced both axles, and all four rotors & pads. still there. i took it to a steering/suspension specialist and they look at it, and said that they didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and that they'd be able to dig further for $69/hr. i said that it didn't effect the drivability of the car. the only thing that i could think that it was is chasis flex. i'm going to replace my struts & install a strut brace tower to see if this solves the problem. another thing that i may be is the rack & pinion. you won't hear the noise when it's off the ground, but when you apply pressure to the tires & the rack & pinoin attempt to actuate, it may click. that's my $.02 and i'll keep you updated on my strut & brace install and tell you if that solved the problem. :shades:
  • sputtsputt Posts: 4
    i bought two sets. one for my truck & one for my alero. the truck wiring kept burning up so that meant repeated trips to the stealership to buy new pig tails. my alero on the other hand, i haven't had that problem, and i've only had to change one bulb in 2 yr (error on my part caused bulb to blow). for some reason an 8500K bulb doesn't like to be exposed to the rain! go fig. otherwise, i highly recommend you install them because it's like night & day. DON'T pay $77 for them, when you can get them on ebay for $1! yes, that's dollar! do a search for hyperwhite 9005 & 9006. GOD bless, and have fun with your car! :shades:
  • sputtsputt Posts: 4
    good day. the red battery indicator tells you that your car is not being charged properly. it's either the altenator,the serpentine belt, the battery wiring, the battery, or the starter. yes, the starter can rob your car of a proper charge if the silenoid is going bad. you'll this because the car will make a screeching noise upon start (not every time), or will crank but not engage preventing the engine from starting. but i'd check the serpentine belt first as this is the easiest to check. if there are ANY cracks on one of the six ribs under the belt, it's time for a new one. if there an autozone in your area, they can tell you if you car is properly charged by hooking up to your battery & running the tachometer up to 2000rpms.
    as for the engine block with a drop of water, it's either a low coolant notification, or if it looks like an oil can, it's an oil pressure problem. to check your coolant, the car's engine MUST BE COOL/COLD! do NOT open the radiator cap after the car's been driven. i'd refill it with a premix water/coolant mixture that you can get from your local autoparts store. make sure you get the right color. the green & orange coolants are NOT to be mixed! as for the oil pressure, make sure your oil fill cap is on, the pcv valve is properly seated. the pcv valve is located at the right hand side of the engine, on top, and looks like a black 90 degree elbow (shaped like an L). follow that line to the rear and make sure the back is also connected. if that's ok, try replacing your oil sending unit. this may be faulty and not sending the correct amount of oil to your engine. remember, where this is NO PRESSURE, there is NO FLOW! GOD bless. ;)
  • sputtsputt Posts: 4
    have you replaced both of the oxygen sensors in the vehicle. if you're not getting the proper air to fuel ratio, it'll run rough, or not at all. also, have someone at a carshop perform a crankcase pressure test, and test the pressure from your fuel pump. and lastly, is it time for a tune up? i'd recommend every 80,000 mi. try those and let me know how it works out? :sick:
  • I bought my 2003 Olds Alero in June 2003. First day I had it, I was hearing grinding noises, had to go back to the dealership, they replaced all 4 brakes, rotors, pads, everything. The car had 81 miles when I bought it. This should have been my first indication of things to come! I have had nothing but problems ever since from the alignment, to wheel bearings, to struts, brakes again, power window problems, etc.

    Does anybody have any advice on who I can contact regarding all these problems? The car is 3 years old and has had a TON of warranty work done, now my warranty is over and they found a bad wheel bearing, although my car was in the dealership for an oil change 3 weeks ago, they said they didn't notice anything...3 weeks later, heard a LOUD noise every time I excellerated and picked up speed and now have to pay 400 bucks for a new wheel bearing on the same side of the car where I just had my struts repalced. The struts were done when my warranty was still in place, now the warranty is up and the wheel bearing needs to be replaced! Never again will I buy an Oldsmobile.

    The dealership that did all my warranty work said they never saw anything wrong with the wheel bearing when they checked everything out 3 weeks ago and there is nothing they can do and expect me to pay for it to get fixed. Can a wheel bearing really go bad in 3 weeks?
  • isseyvooisseyvoo Posts: 120
    Bought my '01 new. It spent its life garaged and pampered. Now has 25,000 miles.

    Since January:

    1. Shorted out instrument panel
    2. Water leaking from windshield into front floorboard
    3. Broken power seat
    4. Replacement power seat mechanism faulty - drained battery
    5. Shorted out power window switch
    6. Now, gas starvation issue causing stalling and bucking(which dealer says they can't replicate)

    Dealer service has been abominable. Just couldn't be any worse. I've had my fill. No more GM products for me. Going car shopping this weekend. Pity the residual is so lousy on the Alero, but I sure understand why!!! I had hoped to keep this car a long time, but can't take the unreliability any more - especially at such low mileage. Hope you all have better luck than I!
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    Can a wheel bearing really go bad in 3 weeks ? Well, when both of our front wheel bearings went, there was NOT a gradual increase in noise in the weeks preceding it. They were fine, and then they were not. So you don't necessarily have a shoddy service department.

    That said, I agree with you that the mechanical problems you've had and that I've had in a well-maintained, fairly low mileage vehicle are not acceptable.

    We bought ours 1 year used (already depreciated, always a good idea) and it's paid for now and we really do like the excellent responsiveness and highway gas mileage with the V6 power. So we'll be keeping it, and enjoying it, and grimacing every year at another unnecessary $500 repair bill.
  • There has to be someone we can call to vent our frustrations. Obviously, these Aleros have a lot of problems and maybe that is why they are not making them anymore. I give up, I got my wheel bearing fixed and left the shop to bring it back 3 days later for the same SOUND! They have had it for over a day and were not able to tell me anything when I called last night to come pick it up except that the mechanics had all left and the guy who answered the phone had no idea where they were at!! UURRGGHH! Someone told me to check my Owner's Manual to find corporate headquarters information. I know nothing will come out of it, but someone should do something! The customer service I have received has been atrocious and I dread going there, but they need to ifx the problem they just fixed, so I am stuck!

    Thanks for the vent session and good luck with the car shopping, I may be down that road soon as well!
  • I'm also starting to have a slew of problems with my Alero. Ever since I bought the car in 2003 (it's a 99' GLS, w/ 78K), I had problems with the front rotors. I've replaced the rotors and pads with aftermarkets; they always end up grinding all the hell and when I slow down I hear the humming noise coming from the front end, but I've been told by service shops they made the rotors too small for the car. I think it's a design flaw.

    Just in January, I put 1K into the damn thing for a new driver's side front wheel bearing and to fix the upper and lower intake gasket oil leak. Just last night, I was driving and luckily (there must be angels), the power steering went out two blocks away from where the auto shop I go to is located! I found out today that the rack and pinion went out and that the hose is bad; price tag w/o replacing the power steering unit, $700, otherwise $1000 if the power steering pump is out. So that makes for $2,000 in three months. Plus, I need new shocks and the other wheel bearing sounds like it's going out. It's sad, since the car doesn't even have 80,000 miles on it! I've never had so many problems with a car in the past! I wish there is something we could do as well, especially about the brakes, since my brakes are going to hell again after replacing them a year ago. Oddly, the rear brakes have been fine; it's only the front ones that really suck. Does anyone know of anything that can be done, especially since Olds is out of business now????

    Lesson learned: I'll never buy GM again! :mad:
  • jrp1225jrp1225 Posts: 1
    i have an issue with a 2001 olds alero v-6
    i changed the plugs and wires. service engine light came on later that day. i have a pocket scanner and it said the #3 cylinder was not firing. so i changed the ignition coil. no luck. i am wandering what else could be wrong. i am hopeing it is not the fuel injector. also could it be the spark plug or a bad wire??
  • I have a 2004 4dr v8 alero,auto ..the problem I have encountered is the brakes are noisy scrapping noise when applied at low speed..although I have taken to dealer, the tech has assured me that its normal)very hard pads,4wheel disc)he said gm made like this so pads will wear longer............has anyone heard of this and does any else have same noise?? thewinemaker
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    As you weren't having this problem before you did this service, try replacing the wire on cylinder #3 with the old one. Wires and spark plugs often come with multi-year warranties, so dig out that receipt just in case !
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    On this forum, as on many others, we have posted the gas mileage we have seen. One thing that could affect hwy gas mileage pretty significantly is the type of toll road you (might) be driving on. On the NY Thruway from Syracuse to Buffalo, for example, you pick up a card when you get on the hwy and pay for your trip when you get off. If you've driven 1 hour that can be 1 hour with the engine running steady state on cruise control.

    Comparatively, when I've driven from Chicago to Madison, WI I was stopping every 20 bloody minutes to pay a toll. Not only is that a pain in the butt, and requires far more lanes, I suspect those starts/stops are hurting gas mileage too. Even with "easypass" you have to slow to around 30mph and then accelerate back up to 60mph repeatedly. How much higher would state income tax really have to be to get rid of those tolls ?
  • well as of this date I have no replies to my query ref brakes on 2004 alero(4wheel disc)..If anyone has info regarding this problem would appreciate a reply....the winemaker
  • dad4dad4 Posts: 4
    The car had been performing well since I cleared the symptom. Now that it has just occurred again, I checked for pressure in the fuel rail (no gauge, just checked if it sprayed.) Virtually no pressure. Cycled the ignition key several times then heard the fuel pump kick in. Still wouldn't start. Checked pressure again without turing off ignition, no much pressure. Cycled key several more times. Heard the fuel pump run-up better. Car started right up and ran fine.
    Seems your correction may be the solution. Will try it this week-end and post results.
  • baustin1baustin1 Posts: 1
    I'm pretty much set to go in and buy a 2000 Alero GL w/2.4L and all the perks. It's got 59,600 miles on it and no warranty unless I want to buy one. I'm a little apprehensive about buying after reading about all the issues people have had, but I would think that by this time most of them would have played out on this particular vehicle.

    I'm interested in people's opinions on my situation, and would appreciate any suggestions for what to watch out for when doing final inspection. Also, what type of extended warranty would best cover the array of problems most commonly seen?
  • rainbow1rainbow1 Posts: 1
    When I originally got this alero I had the same problem..The key just will NOT turn..After I played around locking and unlocking the remote locks I was able to turn the key..Now it is doing it again..The key will not turn..So I had to call a tow truck..The dealer is telling me I need a new ignition etc but I am wondering if it has something to do with the security setting since it originally happened when it was new..They want $900 to repair this..Grrr! Can someone help?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    The only kind of warranty I would buy is the GM Major Guard, but you can't if the original warranty is expired so that's not an option. An aftermarket powertrain only warranty won't help with the body electronics which seems to be the most troublesome parts of the Alero/Grand Am.
    This model/year has the Quad 4 which is known to be a powerful but harsh running engine (noise/vibration). If maintained it can be reliable.
    The biggest drawback to the N-body cars was that they were basically low priced cars which probably got less than steller maintenance, hence many problems crop up later.
    My advice would be to find a later model with factory warranty remaining so you can get a GM Major Guard warranty.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    Some of the "classic" N-body problems are: front wheel bearings need to be replaced (CDN$600 each at garage), resistor for blower motor (CDN$25 dollar part, DYI job), fuel level sensor (CDN$600 at garage), warped rotors.

    I would definitely ask for the service records and check to see if these have already been replaced. That would help me determine the price I'd be willing to pay. If it was serviced at a GM dealer, they may be able to pull up its service records on their computer.

    You could ask the mechanic doing the inspection to see if he can tell if these parts have been replaced, but I'm not sure you could tell. Maybe with the rotors you could as you could assess the amount of rotor left on them and if they had been turned down.

    Good luck.
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