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Oldsmobile Aurora

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  • i just love these cars. great looks, smooth ride, adequate power, and a great feeling when you get behind the steering wheel. it sure would be fun to have a 6-speed stick shift. but im not complaining. does anyone on this board have a GOOD warranty with an internet ex. warr. company. i want to get one but am not sure which company to use. if anybody has some advice about some of the warranty providers, i would definately appreciate the info. i love this car!!!!
  • My black '97 Aurora's Service Parts Identification (SPI) label is glued to the bottom of the spare tire well cover in the trunk. As campo57 points out, it lists the RPO and other codes specfic to each vehicle. My service manual shows an example; the excerpt related to paint:

    BC/CC WA-L0848 U0848 A7372

    BC/CC is the paint type or technology, in this case "base coat / clear coat"

    The body paint "WA" number follows. "L" denotes lower color, "U" denotes upper color, and "A" denotes the accent stripe color.

    The actual numbers on my SPI differ somwhat:

    BC/CC U 8555

    Note that "WA" is not printed, and that there is only one body color "U 8555". Looks like the codes default to showing only the upper body color when lower is the same. And my car has no accent stripe. Therefore, "U 8555" must then indicate black.

    The RPO codes listed in my Aurora / Riviera service manual for "Primary Color Exterior" are:
    16U bright white
    30U medium Adriatic blue metallic
    34U light teal metallic
    36U light Adriatic blue
    41U black
    43U majestic teal metallic
    47U medium dark lichen
    48U dark yellow green metallic
    50U stone beige metallic
    72U medium garnet red metallic
    77U dark cherry metallic
    78U bright white diamond

    I have not been able to find a cross-referrence from the RPO "nnU" codes to the WA "U nnnn" codes except for my own car where black = "U41" = "U 8555".
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    This is the color of my 1995 according to Olds. Looks like beige/champaigne to me.

    I say this because I dont see it listed above.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    a yoga position.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I took delivery of a 2002 cherry red Aurora 4.0 about 3 weeks ago, and am very impressed. It handles sharply, and I love the muted burble of the V8 when I get into the gas. Plus, it is quite a bit more comfortable than the '87 Corvette it replaced.

    I noticed some questions about aftermarket warranties. I have no experience with them, but I would be skeptical about them. The offerors obviously want to make money on it, so I would wonder if the price makes it worth it. Plus, I would wonder how they go about making good on the warranties. I would bet they either have maximums on repairs, or else they require you to go to certain repair facilities.
    It just seems unlikely that someone could offer a quality warranty on any car at a reasonable price.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    ...in that the companies are betting on some people needing repairs, and others not. As long as they set their warranty coverage high enough (and remember, they want your money up front) so that they make enough money (cash paid out < cash coming in), they are fine.

    I believe (and I know zinc agrees with me), that, at least with the Classic Aurora, and probably the new one as well, that there's so much than can (and does) go wrong, it makes sense to have a warranty. A transmission failure, or even the AC compressor (a common Aurora failure point) can cost as much as the warranty.

    In finding a warranty company, I recommend you go to the Finance, Warranty, and Insurance board here on Edmunds, and research the companies. First of all, are they well-known? You don't want to sign up with some company you've never heard of. Do they pay their own labor rates, or a shop rate? Do they charge one deductible per shop visit, or one for each line item? Who is their administrator? Who is their reinsurer/risk retention group? You'll find virtually all (reputable) warranty companies backed up by some kind of insurance company...

    Hope this helps,

    --Robert
  • My intention with an eclipse arn't to put a huge spoiler on it and through a type-r badge on it. You know the word Im thinking of.

    When I am involved in a race I usually dont push it up to 140mph. Most races occur at stop lights from dead stops and only gor for 1/4 mile or so. Auroras are horrible from dead stops. Let's face it, Auroras suck from dead stops, but on the highway it's a different story. The only problem is how often do I race on the highway? never...

    AWD has it's advantages too, how many auroras can take a corner at 60? And after all this I've decided to keep my Aurora. I cant give her up. And with the talk of this new supercharger kit I gotta start saving. Anybody got a price estimate on these? Prolly around $4000???
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    Nice to know that you will still be "leaping" around in your Aurora and on this board.

    Now go out and treat your Aurora to a nice oil change, some Amoco premium fuel and a nice hot wax job and detailing. Maybe then she will forgive you for even thinking about selling her.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Those weren't aurora's.

    On the lights for the shift indicator: My accessory power works. I took the side panel off on the drivers side ahead of the console which gives access to the lights under the console. I didn't see one for the red bar that shows what gear your in, but found the blue one that lights up the PRND321 and a light that lights the ash tray.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Hammen2,

    Kudos on the good advice on finding a reputable warranty provider.

    However, I thought it was interesting that you compared warranties to insurance. The majority of people come out on the losing end with insurance. The majority of people pay more in their lifetime to insurance companies than they ever get back in claims. Aftermarket warranties are probably not very different.

    Hey Matrixfrog, why an Eclipse? A Z28 would probably cost the same, it has more interior room, would smoke an Eclipse at any speed (the LT-1 or LS-1, maybe not the old L98), and is readily upgradeable. In fact, for not more than a couple grand, you could buy an '89 or so that belches out 345 lb-ft of torque, and is cheap enough that you could keep the Aurora. :)
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Wow, I'd be a little upset if I plunked down $125 for a spoiler and it ended up making my 2001 Aurora look like an Alero. Not nearly as upset as if the same spoiler made my 1999 Aurora look like a Neon...

    I see why the guy is offering a rebate if you send him pictures when you install his spoilers.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Anyone have any horror stories about their olds aurora experience? nagging drivetrain problems? repeat trouble with the same thing? etc?

    Anyone have any great reasons to buy one over other vehicles? Why is it better?

    What is everyone going to do about the warranty once olds closes? How is service going to be handled?

    Thanks in advance.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Hey matrixfrog - if you sell your Aurora for something faster/smaller, you'll regret it. My mother-in-law got SUV envy and traded in her black '95 for a GMC Jimmy (2 door). She hated it, but was committed (her car was sold right away), so she put up with the Jimmy for 9 months before she gave in and got another Aurora (this time a pearl white '98).

    Ref. warranties and insurance, rjs200240, you're probably right that the "average" person pays out more in auto insurance than they get back. You have some control over this (how you drive), but you're somewhat at the mercy of the other idiots on the road. Likewise, with an extended warranty. If you take care of your car, in theory the repairs will be minimal, but sometimes things happen. The Aurora is a very expensive car to repair (it has lots of gadgets/technology, it sold in relatively small numbers, from a maker which is going out of business), and, at least with the Classic Aurora, there are a few problem areas (AC, transmission) where the repair costs can easily exceed the extended warranty costs, sometimes by as much as 3x. Just as I'd never drive a car without insurance (if I could help it), I wouldn't drive a (Classic) Aurora without an extended warranty. If nothing else, it gives me peace of mind to know that my exposure (for serious mechanical problems/issues) is fairly limited.

    sbcooke, I don't know if you're considering a new (2001-2002) or "Classic" (1995-1999) Aurora. I have a Classic (Black '98), and love the car. It's just the mixture of styling, creature comforts, performance, and luxury that I've been craving. I've loved the looks of the Aurora since it came out, and, with the death of Olds, the costs to get one (new or used) have declined significantly.

    Of course, so has the resale value, so, if, after driving a few, you're not sure if it's the one for you, don't do it. I personally do not plan to sell my Aurora when it's no longer my daily driver. I got mine (loaded, sticker over $40k) for less than half that price. To put it another way, a Seville STS (which is fundamentally a sister car - same chassis, similar drivetrain, different styling and interior bits) was probably $50k new, or twice what I paid, used. That's a tremendous value.

    Regarding chronic problems, there are things that tend to go wrong with the Classic (water pumps, AC evaporator, sometimes tranny), but, by and large, the Aurora V-8 is a pretty solid powerplant. I had the good fortune to look at the warranty repair history of my car before buying it, and most of the repairs to mine were things like door/window seals, trim, wind noise, etc. - nothing major mechanically (I've since had a water pump replaced). My totally unscientific opinion is that the '98 and '99 models seem to experience fewer problems than the earlier ones, maybe due to being newer, but maybe also due to in-line engineering changes. With any luxury V-8 with as many gadgets as the Aurora has, you should consider an extended warranty (though not GM's, or one from the dealer, as you'll likely pay 2-3x what a decent third-party warranty is).

    Regarding service, GM has to make the parts available for several years, and you're supposed to be able to take the car to any GM dealership. Myself, if/when the Olds/GMC dealership near my house drops Olds, and doesn't service my car well, I'm taking it to the Pontiac/Cadillac dealership across the street. The Aurora V-8 is a derivative of the NorthStar engine, and many common or similar designs and parts are used. Ditto the chassis, and, again, I think a good Cadillac dealership should be able to handle the maintenance on the car. I did buy the shop manuals just as a backup, though I'm more comfortable replacing hard drives and motherboards than spark plugs and plug wires :-)

    Hope this helps,

    --Robert
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I am looking at a new 01 or 02. I am a little gun-shy of GM/US cars because of past problems my dad had with an old pontiac station wagon and a ford. We have had very good success with Japanese cars, so I am having a hard time looking back. Now with more Toyota's being made in the US than GM's (and with GM making a majority of parts engines and transmissions worldwide) it is hard to know what/where your car is from, so I am not as concerned with buying from a "US" company.

    The repair costs sound troublesome. Are there a lot of 100,000 mile problems? The Japanese cars I have experience with run without major problems for the life of the car.
  • daevendaeven Posts: 28
    My impression is that the Aurora doesn't have significantly more problems than similarly-equipped cars. Rarely do we hear about anyone having engine problems (besides the water pump, and maybe some harmless oil leaks). My '95 Aurora is now at 197,000 miles. Of course I got it with 150K miles and still haven't looked at the previous repair history. Maybe I'll go check into that...
  • rjs200240- Thanks for the advice. For me it's all about insurance. I'd think a boosted awd 4cyl would be cheaper than a rwd 8cyl but not sure. At 19yo I might as well bend over and take it from behind from some of the rates they charge. Plus the thought of upgrading to a bigger turbo and be able to beat 8cyl's gets my motor going. I am thinking about buying a project car, something that I can spend a lil bit of money on every so often. something that can beat a older style mustang 5.0. any suggestions?

    hammen2 - Yeah I prolly would miss my aurora too much and got out and get another if I sold it. Thats why I've decided to keep it and try and get a project car. I think what happend is my aurora lost its new car feeling and I feel like Im left with a small 8 that weighs 4000lbs and costs an arm and a leg to fix. I think me and my car need to spend some time appart.

    We need to start a FAQ page on Aurora problems or something. It seems the same questions are answered and are still un-answered. Myabe there is already something simular to this on the net somewhere?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    How about the Problems and Solutions discussion on the Owners board?

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans Message Board
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I realize this is an Aurora board and non-Aurora discussions may not belong, but we are all Aurora owners having the discussion.

    As far as building a 5.0 beater, how much are you looking to spend? If you want to do it in style, buy an '85-87 Corvette with a high-mileage motor and an auto tranny (the autos had fewer probs and are cheap to replace). The high-miles will keep the price low, and you can put the money towards a new engine. For $2.5-4K you can easily drop in 300-450 hp worth of 350-383ci motor. The TH-700 automatic has many readily available parts. You could cheaply put in a higher-stall converter and a shift kit, and have that thing barking through at least one upshift.

    If you want to replace the Aurora and still have some room/comfort, then try an Impala SS. That thing will dust a 5.0. Plus, (again) there are readily accessible mods for it. Just pay as you go. If the Impala is too rich, try an '80s Caprice and drop in a 350-383ci V8 for a few thou'.

    Don't care about style or comfort so much? Get an '80s Camaro or Monte Carlo for about $2K and (again) drop in a 350-383ci motor and some tranny work and you'll have a beast of a car (the Monte could be a real sleeper since they look so old and bucolic).

    P.S. I'd bet the insurance on an Eclipse GSX is just as high as for a V8. If you want to skimp on insurance, get a beater and don't bother with collision coverage (that's the expensive part). I bought a Corvette at 21 and my insurance wasn't bad without collision.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The 84 vette would be best to avoid, they were hard riding even without the Z51 pkg. But my 86 with Z51 was OK in the ride department and would zip past 100 like nothing - never quite got it to 200 kph though. The electronic instrument panel was pretty at night and ok in daylight except when sun was directly on it.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Not only were they rough, but the engine sucked. It was the Cross-fire injection, not the TPI of the '85 and laters.
  • Pat, the problem with that section is that we can't create separate subthreads for each individual problem. If we could create our own threads, that would be GREAT! Especially if we (I would volunteer to do some of this) take the messages from the main board and move them into their appropriate threads under problems and solutions.

    Then people could just go search through those threads.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    I did in fact own an 84 as well as the 86. The 84 was only slow compared with the later models. The 84's handling on good roads was better than the later models, but the ride suffered on bad (normal) roads.
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    As a former Mustang owner (1987 GT), I have to speak up.
    While it's true that the newer Mustangs ('94+) have been lacking power compared to their GM competition, they are still some of the most easily modified muscle cars out there.

    In terms of their competition at the time, the 87-90 Mustangs were FASTER than the Camaro/Firebirds of the same years in 1/4 mile ETs. I've got drag strip time slips to prove it.
    It was later on, (1990+) that the GM twins really started to out perform the Ford.

    If you're looking to build a muscle car, don't discount the Mustang. Get yourself a nice 89-93 LX 5.0 for a couple grand and throw in some go-faster toys. You'll be rockin'!
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    I went to the CarTalk website and took their "Car-O-Scope" quiz. With tongue firmly in cheek, it tells you whether your car fits your personality.

    (The questions are pretty funny)

    Over all, it says I'm a good fit -- although I'm a little too young for an Aurora. (37 is too young?)

    Anyway, check it out, it's pretty funny -- I'd be interested in seeing whether some of the other Aurora owners here are right for their cars. (especially Henry and Zinc!)

    Go here: http://cartalk.cars.com/Survey/Results/Psychographics/

    ------------------------

    Here's part of my results if you're interested:


    Comparing You to Other Oldsmobile Aurora Owners:

    Boy oh boy, Jim, you picked a vehicle which is just about perfect for you. Congratulations! For example, when compared to other people who own a Oldsmobile Aurora, you're just about the same in terms of your educational level, the extent to which you're a cheapskate, and your grasp of reality.


    But there are some psychographic and/or demographic measures on which you differ from other Oldsmobile Aurora owners. For example, you're a bit too young to be driving this vehicle, and you care a bit too much about your car compared to other Oldsmobile Aurora owners.


    Car-O-Scope Makes Suggestions for More Compatible Vehicles

    Despite the fact that your personality profile pretty much matches that of Oldsmobile Aurora owners, Car-O-Scope would like to suggest some alternative vehicles--should you be thinking of making a change.


    Note: some of these suggestions might surprise you. But try to keep an open mind. It's quite possible that the car-o-scope has discovered some hidden and/or repressed aspects of your personality.


    1. Volvo 760

    2. Mitsubishi Diamante

    3. Acura Vigor

    4. BMW 325i

    5. Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I'm sure the Mustang can be built up to be fast. However, any comparable performance parts will cost less for a small-block Chevy than they will for a Ford 5.0. Plus, I won't easily concede that a stock '87 Mustang 5.0 would beat a stock Camaro Z28 with the 5.7 V8. Especially if the Mustang had an automatic. Which brings me to another point. The TH-700R4 is cheaper to modify/replace and is a much better tranny than Ford's AOD.
    Lastly the 82-92 Camaro doesn't look like a Cavalier that was scaled up 20%. The same can't be said for comparing 80's Mustangs to Escorts.

    I admit it. I am a GM die-hard. I can also admit that the Ford Mustang would be a good choice too. Definitely better than an Eclipse. (I've had friends with Mustangs, Camaros, and Talons. The Talon TSI my friend had was pretty fast with HKS turbo mods, but the engine eventually blew up from the 20psi of boost)

    I should have mentioned an Oldsmobile product, though, in my recommendations. Sister to the Monte Carlo was the Olds Cutlass Supreme. It had a V8 and rear-wheel drive in the early-mid 80's. It too would accept a Chevy 350-383. However, the TH-200 tranny in the Cutlass/Monte wasn't quite as strong as the TH-700. You could replace it with a TH-700 or a TH-350/400 or just see if it blows up.

    At this point I will try to resume conversation about Auroras. I've been getting about 17-19 mpg in my commute with the Aurora. I would usually get 19-21 in the Corvette. I didn't think the Aurora would do much better than the 'vette, but I'm surprised that it does worse. In it's defense, I don't get on any highways. 15 miles of suburban street driving (35-45mph, but a lot of stops). Does anyone have any driving tips for maximizing mileage, or any "amazing mileage" stories?
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    I drive about 6 miles oneway to work in city. A big part is 35 MPH, with some downtown at 20 MPH. How much stop and go depends entirly on lights. Anyway I get over 20 MPG in summer (21-22) and below 20 MPG in winter, but usually above 18 MPG when temps are above 0F. I always try to keep the tach below 2500 RPM's until the engine is at ~200F, or completely warmed up. This will also reduce wear on engine and transmission, as well as boost MPG. In the last 30000 miles (as long as I have had car) I averaged 21.5 MPG based on the fuel put into the tank (not the computer). I keep track of each tankfull and have for last several cars that I owned including both vettes. (not sure where the books are off hand)

    On the highway I have averaged 29 MPG (didn't go over 70 MPH) on a trip to California. My 86 vette would get 25 MPG on a long trip if I remember right. I didn't take the 84 on a long trip.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Good tip about allowing the car to warm up. I always do this. I really have to pay attention (which can mean missing opportunities in traffic) in order to get 20+ mpg. I read an interesting article in Car and Driver about mileage. They looked at a study that showed that heavy throttle while accelerating, and then cruising at speed resulted in better mileage than feathering the throttle to cruising speed. In fact, heavy throttle with short shifting (about 2000 rpms) was the most economical way to drive. Obviously the Aurora doesn't let you control the shifts, but it was interesting.

    As an aside, my mileage high-mark was 28.6 mpg(measured from the pump) in my '87 (manual) 'vette. It was a 350+ mile stretch at about 65 mph.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Hi guys - Thought I'd step out of the lurking corner to comment on the posts above. The CARTALK site (and NPR radio show) is terrific. If you can get the program it's great - funny and informative. I hear it on Sat mornings around 11 in the Boston market.

    Gas mileage - come on guys - let those magnificent Auroras rip! Put the pedal to the metal once in a while and let it roar!! lol

    I average about 25 mpg overall in my 2000 Bonneville SE (3.8L not supercharged) on combined highway (2/3) and secondary roads for my 50 mile commute each way. Trips (driving some hilly and some flat terrain at 75-80 mph) usually get me 28 - 30 mpg and once I got 32 but never repeated that performance. For my next car I'd go for an Aurora V-8 in a NY minute - and wish they'd offer that engine in a Bonnie. Love mine just fine for now though.

    Best Aurorian wishes to all of you. (Hi there Henry!!)

    Ken
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Once the engine is warmed up, I let it spinup more. But in normal city driving I try to get up to cruising speed quickly and then cruise in overdrive if possible (mine will shift into overdrive at 39 or so). I do let it wind to 5 thousand + now and then. I also stay in normal mode unless I want to pass something on a two lane road. I keep the tires at about 35 lbs too.

    I have never gone over 100 MPH with it, the limiter will kick in at 110 anyway. I did get the 86 vette up to 185 kph in the mountains once.
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