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Oldsmobile Alero

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  • I have been looking a used cars for the last three days and so far the best looking and best PRICE is a '99 Alero with 25,000 miles, 2.0 liter engine and no bells or whistles. It is in very good shape and a great blue color.

    I have heard some bad stories about the 4 cylinder Alero. Of course they were from other dealers but I read in the Consumers report that
    v-6 is the way to go.

    AM I MAKING A MISTAKE? This is urgent. I will be purchasing tomorrow evening if they make the deal I want. Any sugestions? BUY OR NO BUY? WHY? I want to hear from those of you that have experienced this car already. My other option is a Ford Focus.......
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The 2.0 you are referring to is really a 2.4L. It's an ok engine and not unreliable in more recent years though it used to be in the early 90's. Should be fine though it is a little unrefined IMO. The new 2.2L Ecotec in the 02+ models is much better.

    As for the car it self, should be fine, but it's used so you always take a chance no matter where or what you buy. Will you get any warranty with it?
  • No warranty, except the dealers for 60 days, 1,000 miles.

    Thanks for the info on the engine. This is all new to me if, you couldn't tell. I know that any used car would be taking a risk so I thought to go with one that give me a good price and a good look and see what happens. Thanks for the quick response. I am going to the dealer tonight to talk to them again. Will probably make the deal happen.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Is it a GX or a GL? What do they want for it?
  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 88
    I've bought my 2000 Alero GL about 3 years ago with 7000 miles on it, and now with just shy of 41,000 on it, I have no real complaints. While a little rough sounding, the 2.4L puts out good power, and I average about 25-27 mpg in combined driving. The only engine issue I've had was a cam cover oil leak that was covered under warranty. Other than that, only the items endemic to the Alero (hand brake boot, HVAC fan resistor). At least I never found puddles on the floor in the back seat like so many others have! One thing to consider: '99 was the first year for the Alero, and first year vehicles, particularly domestics, are prone to having "teething" problems. Best of luck.

                             mcrrt
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Any first year car is prone to first year issues. Go look in the Accord forum.
  • Thank you all for your input. I want to make the deal last night and this jerk of a sales professional got even worse so I walked. He was supposed to call today and let me know if he will make the deal I want but has not.

    Thanks for all of your help but poor service has lead my back to my familiar stomping grounds.....FORD! To bad for this dealer that they lost a customer because of bad service. Thanks again and good luck. SUNSHINE OUT!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Bad sales people are everywhere, Ford can be just as bad.

    Too bad, such is life.
  • Wow, I read numerous posts of Alero troubles, and all remind me of how disappointed I was with my 2001 Alero. I have posted about it here before: the reliability let-downs, dealer run-arounds, and the very un-helpful Olds customer assistance hotline (they have no authority or car knowledge, either.) I will not get on a roll bitching about it now...I'm over it. But my bad experiences were enough for the car to be deemed a LEMON, according to Texas Lemon Law, and it was REPURCHASED by GM after several months of listening to apologies, excuses, delays, and unfulfilled promises. After the Olds went away, I swore off GM products and immediately purchased a wonderful 2002 Nissan Sentra. But all hope is not lost! I fell in love with the all-new 2004 Grand Prix, and now I have one in my garage. My expectations are high for a better experience this time. My new Grand Prix is GM's final chance to sweep me off my feet and keep me out of import brand showrooms. I believe that GM does make good, trustworthy products. Further, it is sad to see the Olds division leaving us next year.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Glad to hear you came back to GM. The new Grand Prix is a real beauty and I may consider one myself in a couple of years when I pass my Alero on to my son.
    I also read about all the Alero problems, but I believe the problems are far outnumbered by satisfied customers. All brands have lemons, even Lexus. Did you read about the Lexus/Toyota V6 oil gelling problem? It's a much bigger problem the the V6 intake manifold gasket failure with some Alero's. Mine had some of the standard problems like warped rotors (fixed on warranty) and blower motor resiator board (big deal only $17). But where else could I get a automatic, V6 (great engine, good gas mileage), antilock brakes, tire pressure monitor, good working traction control, air, power windows, etc. for only $12,000. It listed for $22k, was discounted to $18k, then I applied my GM card $6k credit.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    New GP is nice, made just 1 hour down the highway from here.

    We have had virtually no issues with our 2.2L Alero. Only one was a fogged up head light fixed under warranty. Our 02 is now 1 1/2 years old.
  • sdasda Posts: 308
    Out of curiosity I checked out the Olds web page to see if it was updated to reflect the 2004 models. It is and showed the last three remaining models. When I went to get a 3/4 view, front view of the Alero, the site doesn't show the Alero (thou it labels it such), but instead shows the 2003 Aurora! Even with the end of Olds, certainly GM can pay a little better attention and get it right! I guess they just don't care...
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    The Oldsmobile web site has been in a sorry state for a few years now. Just like the division, it's been a long, slow death.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    After GM drops the Olds division, I wonder how difficult it will be to obtain Alero replacement parts 3-5 years from now? I'm considering the purchase of a 2001 model Alero for my wife's next car, but have some concerns as to whether or not it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find replacement OEM parts for Olds products a few years after the division's demise.

    Ron M.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Parts should be no problem at all. It is the same car as the Pontiac Grand Am. But even if it wasn't parts will be available.
  • nickpernickper Posts: 28
    Just ask yourself this regarding parts availability: Can you still get parts for 80s GM cars that are no longer produced? For instance, the Chevy Celebrity, Pontiac Parissiane (sp?), Olds Delta 88, Buick Roadmaster, Cadillac Brougham? Yes - parts are out there for all of these cars still. Call any auto parts store and ask if you want to test this theory yourself.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,522
    I wouldn't worry about mechanical parts, but I would have some concern about body/trim parts which would mostly be manufacturer supplied only. Even with that though, parts should be available for several years.
  • Even if trim parts (wheel covers, moulding, knobs & switches) become hard to find NEW, there will always be plenty of wrecked Aleros waiting around in salvage yards. Considering that the car looked exactly the same from 1999-2004 model years, there will be plenty of interchangeable parts for many years to come.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Based on the responses to my inquiry regarding Alero replacement parts, we may strongly consider buying a used one now.

    What year model should we stay away from--other than possibly the introductory year? What year model(s) was most prone to the water leaks that I've read and heard a little about? I don't have the time luxury of reading through all of the posts in order to determine which year model(s) had the worst water leaking problem(s).

    Thanks in advance!

    Ron M.
  • Ron M. - My Alero was a 2001 (the third year of production) and even then, it leaked when it was about 9 months old. I don't know which model years were the worst "leakers", but any used car is somewhat risky. Whatever you do, have the car thoroughly inspected and get an extended warranty to cover your butt in case anything major fails. Better yet, look at a GM Certified used Alero.
  • I'm new to this site and in your message of 10/1/03 you said that you had a lot of problems with your 2001 Alero and after everything you finally got GM to repurchase the car from you. I know what you went through. I purchased a 2001 Certified GM Used Alero in 8/01 and have had nothing but problems with it since. It is at the dealer at least once a month, well this month it has already been there twice. I'm just glad that I paid an extra 3k for an extended warranty to cover some of the problems. My question to you is how did you get GM to repurchase the LEMON back?
  • Check with your state's Department of Transportation for specific info. Your car must be experiencing an ongoing, unresolved, real problem...and the problem has to be significant enough to impair the use or value of the vehicle. I realized that my situation fit all of the criteria for a "lemon" and I immediately filed the appropriate paperwork with the Texas DOT. I had to document each concern and related repair attempt. It then took almost 3 months of calls, faxes, dealer meetings, and more phone calls to "work through the system". In Texas, once you file for lemon law, the dealer is allowed ONE FINAL attempt to repair the unresolved concern. Of course, the dealer could not fix the car! Fifteen more phone calls and 5 more faxes later, we settled on a repurchase amount. Whew! It was a mess! Exhausting! Note: In Texas, used cars cannot be repurchased under lemon law - NEW cars only. Best of luck with whatever you do.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    How's the 04 Grand Prix so far?
  • I purchased my car new from the dealer in December 2000 and started taking it back to the dealer in January of 2001. I only have 25,000 miles on the car. I have had it at the dealer at least 24 times for problems such as the seatbelt,a/c rear defrost, turn signals, and now this week it will be for the gas gauge not working. I continue to complain that the car shakes and runs like I have had it for 20 years. The dealer agrees I have a problem but they don't know what the problem is. I am faithful to the maintenace of the vehicle but I am afraid I have a lemon on my hands. Tomorrow I am going to look into my legal options as Oldsmobile's customer service is useless in dealing with the problems I have experienced. I am glad to see I am not the only one having problems, I was beginning to think I lost my mind. So thank you for all the information I have read on this site.
  • dindak - I am very happy with the '04 Grand Prix. A few little rattles are showing up in the rear doors and at the top of the dash, but the overall driving experience is so satisfying that I can look past these noises for now. I continually get comments on the car's good looks, and all of my friends who have driven it love the power of the 3800 V6.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    lsmith5478 : You have a lemon, no doubt. We have a 02 and it's been a great car. Could not be more pleased after 1 1/2 years. No issues aside from a fogged up head light.

    jlgolden : I see many 04 GPs around so I guess people are liking them. I have not driven one, but I am generally impressed with the new design.
  • I purchased a 2001 Alero GLS 4dr in July of 2001.It has the sunroof and premium sound package and rear spoiler. I now have 27000 miles on it and the only problem I had was when I bumped the left mirror and broke a spring. Dealer replaced it with no cost. I have had no problem with brakes or rotors. We just returned from a 2 week trip to Colorado. Put on 3000 miles and averaged 32.28 mpg.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I had a fall service special done last week and after a year an a half they said my brakes were still 80-90%. Not bad considering we do mostly city with the Alero.

    My parents had a 99 and it had only a couple of small issues over the 4 years they had it. They just upgraded it to a LeSabre as they wanted a bigger car,

    There have been some bad Aleros but most of what I have heard and read had been decent though.
  • I found this site & have over the past several days read though the entire postings. The same complaints are echoed in the NTHSA complaint site. There is only 84 pages on the Alero at that site.
    Mine is a '00 3.4L model. I love the way it drives but hate the way I have been treated since the warranty ran out. I have had the "usual" problems with water leaks, vibrating driver side mirror, rear defrost switch replaced, tie rods replaced, turn signal problem (That was under recall for the hazard switch). After my 3 yr / 36K mile waranty ran out I have paid through the nose for brake jobs to replace the pads & turn the rotors at 41,000 miles & again at 53,296 miles (thats only 296 miles out of warranty from the 1st repair)and most recently had the intake manifold gasket replaced at 55,100 miles. My dealership has refused to "work" with me on the cost of these repairs saying it is normal wear & tear for the brakes & the rotors are fine. GM knows they are having problems with the intake gaskets. I guess I will replaces the rotors when the brakes start vibrating again.
    By the way alldata.com has a wonderfull list of TSBs on the Alero. If you look hard you can find some you can actually print out. Among them is the TSB for the brakes covering 4 GM models (00-05-23-002B) and the intake manifold gasket covering 14! GM models (03-06-01-010). It seems GM isn't just short cutting the Alero!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    41k is not unusual level to have brakes replaced especially if there is a lot of city driving or you are harder on the brakes. Rest of the stuff is not good though, too bad. I think the pre 01 models were a bit more spotty in quality. I know the newer ones were much better as that's when GM started really pushing quality more. Last year the Alero tied for best midsize in initial quality.
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