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Oldsmobile Aurora

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  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    My pictures of the air box mods have finally made it on the caddyinfo.com site.


    Here is a direct link if anybody is interested in the pictures.


    http://www.angelfire.com/stars/mycaddy/auroraair.htm


    How does it look compared to the stock 95??

  • Re: heated seats I didn't get them because I'm in California and just wouldn't have cause to use them much.

    I'm still very surprised they can turn around a factory order so fast.

    One more question for the board, with the navigation radio-- does it have an auxilary input?
  • one2oneone2one Posts: 626
    Don't know the name of the stuff but there is a product you can spray on that will loosen the glue so that the badging comes off clean. Check your local Auto Zone/Pep Boys/R+S Strauss to get the exact name.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Hey Matrixfrog,

    I hope you didn't have happen what happened to my mother-in-law. She purchased her pearl white '98 Aurora back in October of 2000, and noted an intermittent suspension noise in the front - kind of a popping sound, seemingly more prevalent when turning.

    She took her car to her local dealer (not the one she purchased it from, 45 minutes away) multiple times, but, each time, they completely blew her off (it still sucks to be a woman talking to an auto mechanic). Just before her factory warranty was up, not only did they blow her off on this issue again, but they also blew her off on several small things I had found wrong on her car (loose/moisture in front marker lamps, loose rear quarter panels, squeak in dash, sagging headliner - claimed these were fine or "operates as designed").

    So, we ended up taking the car to my dealer (an hour and 15 minutes from her house). It took a couple of tries for them to pinpoint the problem, and it turned out to be the suspension crossmember under the engine cradle. Evidently the previous owner of the car must have scraped or hit something very hard, bending/pushing this up, and causing it to actually contact with the engine exhaust sometimes when driving. Total cost to replace this was $860 (and no, she couldn't go back to the dealer of purchase, over a year later. Rather than make something up for her insurance company, she paid for it out of her own pocket).

    I'd recommend getting this checked out at a reputable mechanic, and then filing an insurance claim, if necessary. Don't wait...

    Otherwise, in general commentary, it's sad to see Zinc go, but it seems his Aurora was cursed. Not sure how much of the problems were due to design or manufacturing flaws (mother-in-law used to work at the Lake Orion plant where Auroras are built, and has many horror stories), and how much was due to the care/abuse it had from his previous owners. From his site, it also seems that some of the folks he had working on his car were less-than-competent, as well.

    I feel fortunate that I've owned/driven regularly 8 GM cars in my life (and my wife 3 since we've been married), most being made in the last 10-15 years, and haven't owned a lemon. The biggest recurring problem/expense I've had is brakes on my '91 Grand Prix (caliper design flaw), but, other than that, they've been pretty much gas/oil/tires/brakes, with the occasional alternator, water pump, etc. I've never had a major engine, transmission, or HVAC failure. Maybe I'm lucky?

    I'm sure picky about getting minor things fixed under warranty, and fussy about getting maintenance done on a regular basis. My Aurora had some minor issues (mostly trim) when I got it April 4, but, other than a water pump at 34k miles, I've just kept putting the miles on it (over 13,000 so far - many from road-tripping to Green Bay for Packer games this year :-).

    Feeling fortunate,

    --Robert
  • On brisk acceleration, which Aurora classic tire breaks loose first -- driver side or passenger side?

    On all the rear-wheel-drive cars I have owned that didn't have posi-traction and had enough power, it was the passenger-side tire .
  • Here's the deal. I bought a 96 Aurora June 1,1998 it had 18K on it. The repair record goes like this:
    -replaced AC compressor-1999(warranty)
    -replaced fuel pressure gauge-2001
    -replaced EDG valve-2001
    -replaced tires 2001(Yokohama Avid V4's...excellent on the Aurora BTW!)
    -replaced water pump,radiator and transmission tanks???)2001
    total repair $$ excluding tires=$1700

    I have 80k on the car now and it seems to be running perfectly. Oh yeah, I get the old 'Service Engine Soon' light for no apparent reason every few weeks, but it goes away as soon as I fill up and drive a few miles.

    Tuned it up at the 40k mark.

    I look at other cars and drive my share of rentals...none match the ride or power of my Aurora(light Teal Metallic).In fact I got a brand new Sedan de Ville as a loaner from the dealer and it drove great, but honestly not as well as the Aurora and the gas mileage sucked in comparison to my Olds. I drive 36 miles everyday to and from work and this car is every bit a pleasure to drive as it was when we bought it in May of 98. Every accessory works perfectly and it has no leaks or squeaks. It DOES consume oil at a pretty good clip....1qt.every 1000 miles or so.

    If I can eak out 100k without sinking any more into repairs I'll be a happy guy. I do like the 2001 but I get the gnawing feeling that I should not press my luck with a car that is as sophisticated and mechanically complex as the Aurora is.
  • kemo444kemo444 Posts: 15
    i have a 97 with 60k miles. it rides and drives like it did when it was new also. never had any wind noise, squeekes, rattles. the car is still a joy to drive and performs like a new one. the classic's styling is beautiful. i really love the way the drivers compartment seems to surround you and beg you to drive, drive, drive.the car is very unique and i am very happy with my classic. can someone tell me a good product that will condition the leather and keep it soft and supple.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    Yes, I too like my car. After so many repairs, it seems to have finally gottem back to being a good car. I think I just went through a heavy repair period with the car, with most of the things concentrated around the transmission glich that was FINALLY fixed.

    If all is finally well, I WILL BE a happy camper.

    Henri
  • Greg,

    Thanks for the photos. I have not modified mine yet as I want to keep my original original. I located a used one on the internet, but haven't been able to get it yet.
  • Jeffrey,

    Hope you enjoy your new Aurora as much as I've enjoyed my '97.

    I debadged mine two years ago, just after I bought it. I used hardesty's technique (except with fishing line instead of waxed dental floss), and it worked like a charm; waxed dental floss may be better -- I didn't think of it. After removing the six individual letters from the red rear deck applique between the tail lights and using bug and tar remover to take off the adhesive, I used plastic polish to finish the job. I also removed the hood emblem; there is a faint "shadow" of the emblem remaining after several waxings if you look at just the right angle. You shouldn't have that with a new car.

    I went a step further and covered the chrome strips around the side windows with black-out tape. Now my black Aurora is truly monochrome (except for the trim around the back-up lamps, which I will take care of eventually). I have been de-chroming my cars since my second one, a 1962 Olds Dynamic 88. Sure is a lot easier these days.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    I use Zaino products (http://www.zainobros.com) on my Aurora, and find them to be excellent/incredible - make my black beauty really "glow". I like their leather cleaner and "Leather in a Bottle" so much, I use them on our leather furniture at home as well. It really helps keep the leather soft and supple, and helps the car retain the "new car" smell (I *still* get comments from people about that :-) It hasn't done anything untoward to my black leather in the Aurora, or the green and blue leather furniture at home :-)

    Zaino users can tend to rave about their products, and this has led to some flame wars. If you want to find out more, check out their web site, or the "Zaino Car Polishes/Products" thread going on over in the Maintenance & Repair board. I'll say no more here.

    Just a happy customer,

    --Robert
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    Well, I just came back from a trip to Chicago with my co-workers, where we rented an Aurora for 3 days. I have to say I don't see the point of it.

    It's a nice enough car, but we had previously rented an Intrigue and had about the same interior room and trunk space. I certainly prefer my own Alero for trips with 1 passenger - a bit more maneuverable, well-sprung and good power/weight ratio - and I can see an advantage to the Intrigue when there's multiple passengers, but I don't see any advantage to the Aurora.

    Maybe I just don't "get" the luxury segment, because I'm evaluating the Aurora based on practical considerations only. As in, would you get CDN$10-14K more capability from an Aurora than an Intrigue? Of course, Volvo, Saab, Acura, Lexus, etc. would do worse in that comparison. You would only get a re-badged Camry or Accord, or a relatively narrow Saab, Volvo for the Cdn MSRP of an Aurora.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    seegirt, kemo444 - yeah, me too - I'm still as happy as the day I got it and I've had my 98 for about 10 months now. I've been in a new STS and it is really nice and all, but the interior isn't as exciting as the Aurora. Of course nothing compares to the curves of the exterior as well.

    kemo - A leather conditioner with lanolin is the best. I've tried a lot of them and really like Car Brite's leather conditioner. Unfortunately, they seem to just sell to detail shops and you probably won't find them on the store shelves. Their address is 1910 South State Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana 46203. I don't know their number, but you could probably get it through information. I'm sure you could call and order some. This stuff is great. It seems to get into the leather (that shifter leather becomes soft again too). It also has this great new leather smell - like walking into a leather store. The new leather smell lingers for quite awhile too, so every time you get into the car it has this great smell.

    seegrit - 1 qt/1,000 isn't too bad. As soon as I switched to Mobile 1 oil, the consumption went down a lot. M1 doesn't burn off the hot cylinder walls as much. Also, I notice almost no oil consumption for around town driving, but if I run it on the highway at a good speed, it will use some. From what I've read, the higher consumption at higher highway speeds is to be expected.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    blk97 - for what it's worth, I've never had a reason (except for warranty work) to put the stock box back on. The modified box works great in all conditions so far. But I don't blame you for wanting a back-up.

    Hopefully extreme motor sports x-m-s.com will have the northstar cold air induction this spring like they said. Who knows, but if they do it, and it fits the Aurora, then it should be better than the modified box. I'd hope for at least a solid +10 peak HP at the wheels from it.
  • kemo444kemo444 Posts: 15
    Woodranch, matrixfrog, ive seen some blueish lamps on other cars that were VERY bright and blue , and they looked great. So i bought some GE "Super Blue" Halogens and they were only a slight improvement. What is the brand name of those very distinct blues? I don't know anybody personally that has got them.
  • Kemo444 - It's possible the ones you seen were the real HID lights. The ones I installed were the Sylvania Cool Blue lights (http://www.sylvania.com/auto/cool/). I think I paid ~$25 for them. I think they are more noticble in newer cars because the headlight lens are see-through. I've been flashed by someones brights a couple times. A like like them, and the price was right. I suspect they are basically the same thing as the GE ones.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    For leather cleaner, and paint care products, I would (again) recommend checking out Meguiars. I have been very satisfied with their products.

    As far as brighter, more blue headlights, I wonder if a better (costlier) brand would work better. Also, I wonder how nice the current bulbs are in the car. If they are sufficiently nice, then an aftermarket bulb might not work as well (aftermarket "comparisons" are usually to crappy non-halogen bulbs.) PIAA's Super White bulbs are intriguing me. I am skeptical of many of the claims of brighter lights because I too have tried some of the cheaper ones on other cars and they haven't done much at all.

    Some bulbs that burn brighter use more wattage and can burn out the headlight wires and cause other electrical problems. PIAA bulbs claim to be brighter without using any extra wattage. I wonder if they are actually brighter, but I would try to stick with bulbs that use similar to the stock wattage. Also, the bulbs with higher color temperatures (more white) get that from a coating on the bulb. This blocks some of the light output. The brightness is rated without the coatings. Just something to keep in mind.

    I really like the projector beam headlights on the 01-02s. The beam pattern is so well-defined.
  • seegirt..I suggest you use a quart of Rislone at each oil change. You can buy at most automotive shops and even at Wal-mart.I have used this in all of my vehicles for over 30 years and have not had any oil burning. It will probably HELP your suitation.

    kemo-444 I also suggest you use the Meguilars products for cars. I use the Leather cleaner/conditioner and the top of the line wax for the exterior. It is in a triangle looking box.
    My wife was involved in a car accident in which a lady backed up and scraped her rear black bumper along the back driver's side quarter panel as she was parked at the grocery store.
    I had just put on the Meguilar's wax the previous week and the other cars's black mark off the bumper down the side of my NEW Aurora just wiped off with windex.

    NO DAMAGE TO THE CAR !!!!! I feel like the polymer in the wax helped as a shield. It also helped that the rear lower fender panel on the Aurora was of a pliable form.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    OK, I hope this won't tick off the Meguire users, but I used the Meguires leather conditioner. It was good. The Car Bright stuff is really good though. I even called Meguires and talked to one of their chemists to find out what they used and he said they don't use lanolin in the conditioner because "some people are allergic to it". I've always heard that lanolin is important. I'm pretty confident that if anybody called and ordered the Car Brite, they wouldn't use the Meguires any more. I've never tried the Zaino to compare.
  • andyl2andyl2 Posts: 84
    I use Lexoyl and have for years. I am very happy with it.
  • I have been researching putting true Xenon HID lights in my Aurora (not "Xenon HID lights" as advertised on ebay for $35). Some modification will be required (at least on my 98) if you've got a 95, you're in luck - it's plug and play. But any other year and you need to figure out what to do about DRLs and the flashing when you lock and unlock the car.

    So, here's what I have come up with. Buy a second LCM (lamp control module) and drill small holes in the very outside of the light fixtures (there's a space there) and put small incandescant lights of some sort in there. Hook them up to the existing LCM. Then, install the new LCM somewhere where it will fit (probably behind the console) and only provide it with inputs to the headlight switch and sunload sensor. Then run a pair of headlight wires to the HID lights. This way, the little lights will get flashed and be used as DRLs and the HID lights will only get used for true headlight situations.

    Since the HIDs have warmup time and ballast wear, you don't want to be using them for flashing and DRL, just at night.

    I haven't done this yet, but have the wiring all figured out so it will hopefully just be a one day mod.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    andyl2 - I had a small leather repair made and the upholstery shop sells the Lexol (Lexoyl? - I have to check the bottle again)you mention. They swear by it. I bought that too and it seems as good as the Car Brite (smells different though) I also got their leather cleaner and it is the best. The Car Brite cleaner didn't seem to do much.

    I'm not sure that one is easy to find either. The shop said you can't find it in stores very easily. I'm not sure about that one.

    These guys recommend conditioning the seats with every oil change and getting started by applying it once, again the next day, and again in a week and then follow a once per quarter routine as a minimum. I've tried conditioning it a bunch on the drivers side and it seems to make a difference. You can't over-do the leather seats.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Man, that's a lot of leather conditioning... I used to use the Lexol on the Corvette, and it worked fine. However, it seemed to be a bit greasy, and it took much more effort to wipe off (it was hard to get all of it). Sometimes I would find it had discolored my lighter colored clothes when I drove the car; and the steering wheel would have a greasy feel to it for a couple days, like you were getting something on your hands. However, it did give a nice feel to the leather, and seemed to moisturize it. Some of that problem might have been the leather in the Corvette. It was a very slick surface, and not supple like in the Aurora. It had a plasticy-vinyl-like slickness (no, it wasn't vinyl), so maybe that prevented the conditioner from penetrating as much.

    I like that the Meguiars hardly even needs to be wiped off. Plus, it has some gentle cleaners in it already, so I don't need to make two applications.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    rjs - I had the same experience with the Lexol. It was hard to wipe off, but does seem to work well. I've tried a lot except the zaino, and I swear you would love the Car Brite. It has the lanolin, the leather feels great, and the car has this great leather smell when you first get in.

    yeah, that might sound like a lot, but I think the drivers seat is key. The upholstery place said that seats not used much will probably look fine without much conditioning. I'm always doing the drivers seat.

    I dropped off the 98 for some basic maintenance at the dealer and went and sat in a new 2002 Aurora. The leather was considerably softer than my 98. I don't know if my seats were that good when it was new or the leather has been upgraded somehow. The leather on our new Impala isn't nearly as nice as my 98 and compared to the new Aurora it is a huge difference. I don't expect the Chevy to be on par with the Aurora, but the difference is surprising.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I thought the leather in the 2001 Aurora seemed much nicer than in the Intrigue and Impala that I looked at too (never saw the 2002 until mine arrived). I've seen some pretty sad looking leather in some lower priced cars. Clearly there are different calibers of leather out there. I will look into the Car Brite. I like the Meguiars, but it doesn't smell as leathery as I'd hoped. I suppose they could've used a different type of leather in the new car. Did the classic Aurora have walnut wood trim? I know it had wood, but don't know what type it is.

    Has anyone tried their Medallion leather care? Actually, their vinyl protectant has a less than inviting smell. I like the way it goes on and isn't shiny or greasy, but it doesn't smell great (plus it is covering up my new car smell!) I love the way their endurance tire dressing smells (not the high-gloss). It smells like grape gum, and their Gold Class Wax smells awesome. I'm disappointed by the smell of their vinyl protectant...

    Anyone know if the insert on the door panels of the 2001-02s is real leather? The more I study it, the more I am convinced it is leatherette (or whatever they call it), but I can't be positive.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    rjs - the old Aurora has the real walnut trim in the console and door like the new ones, but it doesn't wrap around the dash components. I really think the new Aurora has got some better leather. It was incredibly soft in the car I sat in. After looking at it again, I don't think the new ones have leather on the door panel either. The steering wheel feels nice though. My 98 steering wheel doesn't feel like leather at all -I'd take the Impala leather wheel any day. Overall, I think the Aurora interior (entire car too) is hard to beat, and when figuring for cost, it is unbeatable - but you still read that the ES 300 is supposedly an "alternative" to it. Give me a break.
  • Only the actual seating surfaces in the 2001,2 Auroras are leather. The door panels and side trim on seats, armrests are vinyl. It's surprising how difficult it is to tell the difference. Today's leather is so processed and painted that it hardly resembles leather by the time it is done. There are many grades of the final product--and yes the Aurora is much softer than some of the lesser GM models--but not nearly as soft as a Jag or Lexus.
  • In reply to which wheel will spin under full throttle, on a transverse front wheel drive car. either or both will spin depending on the road surface. On a rear wheel drive, or longitudinal front wheel drive car the story is different. The torque generated by the engine against it's mounting system will tend to torque the entire drivetrain as well which results in one wheel having a significant reduction in traction. Also, most front wheel drive transaxles have enough internal friction in the differential, that under high torque it will actually tend to lock up somewhat promoting both wheels to spin. Higher quality transaxles use needle thrust bearings to reduce that effect as well as reduce torque steer.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    A co-worker of mine has a 98 Aurora and I have a 2001 Intrigue GLS. There is no comparison between the seats in the two. I've riden in his Aurora and it is as nice as a Cadillac inside. The Intrigue's leather is pretty nice too and is on par with other cars in it's price range, but the Aurora has it beat. The Aurora seats are softer than the Intrigue seats as well. Not cushy lounger soft, but they have a more relaxed fit than those in the Intrigue.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    tipsi - I don't know about the Jag, but I've been in the ES 300 a lot and it is no better than my 98 Aurora. The new Aurora is significantly nicer than my 98 as well. Maybe there is something super special in the Lexus 400 series car. I don't know.
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