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Oldsmobile Aurora



  • I recently drove my '95 Aurora 1460 miles in 21.5 hours. Only got out three times to get gas. Only one piece of advice for long drives in these cruisers - - burn/buy some great road music CD's and enjoy the ride!
  • MatrixFrog: You said: "This will be the first trip longer than 4 hours I've ever put on my car. Any words of wisdom for the long haul? "

    I wish I knew what I am going to tell you when I went on a 5 hour drive to my 31st High School reunion.

    If you are going 55-70 and wish to pass someone, you won't find a very aggressive acceleration, unless you put the "pedal-to-the-medal" as they say. The loud and straining RPM bothers me.

    What I learned from people on the list - and some experimentation, is to depress the button on the side of the shift level a few moments before shifting. Then a normal tap of the accelerator will downshift it to amount 3,000-4,000 RPM where the torque is. The example I gave at the end of the previous paragraph is also a downshift, but a 5,000 rpm variety.

    Once you have passed your car, press the button to allow it to return to its out position for better mileage, by presumably keeping you from downshifting in average passing situations, not requiring downshifts.

  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    I ran across a GM bulletin that calls for changing the camshafts on early 2001 Aurora V8 and 2000 & 2001 Cadillac Northstar motors to correct a rough idle problem. It says that the 4.0 and the LD8 Northstar (high torque, 275hp) motors use the same camshafts. So, the Aurora 4.0 is a small bore high-torque motor mated to the same transaxle used with the L37 (300hp) motor in the Cadillacs. The 2002 Aurora owner's manual recommends regular (87) fuel, but says that for "best performance" or trailer towing (NOT) to use middle or premium grade gas.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I added an 8th quart of oil to my Aurora, and sure enough it was much more readable and right on the "full" line. How annoying that the manual was wrong.

    blk97aurora: Thanks for the offer on the filters. I will let you know if I can't find them anywhere. I will try some other Pep Boys (the one near me doesn't carry them) and I will also try some Olds dealers. I have some time before I need them, though, so I'm not too rushed.

    As far as my license plate goes, I didn't get a custom one. For one thing, VA charges you a fee every year to keep a personalized plate (which is absurd) instead of a one-time fee for the trouble of making it. Plus, I'm not sure anyone would have known what it meant. Lastly, I was told I would have to get a regular plate first and then order a personalized one, which was pretty ridiculous (although the lady at the DMV could have been wrong.) I did, however, get the heritage plate (non-personalized, one-time fee). It's colors really go well with the Aurora.

    That's interesting that the Aurora uses the same cam as the base Northstar. I wonder how it would run with the cams from the 300hp Northstar. I think it would be nice to get more juice from my car, but I'm not sure I would (have someone) mess with the internals. Maybe if it was done with assistance from GM or a large aftermarket tuner. I wouldn't want to transform the car into some rough-idling, hard-starting beast just to get some extra power. It was different when I had the Corvette because the engine was simpler, and it was rough-riding and harsh from the factory. Plus the car was old and had some miles and no warranty on it so I wasn't all that concerned with voiding anything or reducing the resale. If anyone does any real radical performance mods to their Aurora, I'd love to hear all about it, though!
  • HI all,

    Well, I've gone and done it. I found an '01 Aurora 4.0L in Chestnut with every option (except the White Diamond paint and block heater) with only 5100 miles on it so I bought it.

    I do have one quick question. When I first start it, it idles around 1100 rpms or so and after what seems like an hour (maybe 30-45 seconds) it finally drops down to around 800-900 rpms. Does everyone else's 4.0L do that? It just seems like it takes a lot longer to drop the idle than any other car/truck I've owned.


  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    First, welcome to Aurora ownership. The last of the "Rocket V8s" is a fine rendition. Is your 2001 equipped with OnStar? What is the build date?

    Yes, most modern engines do a short fast idle before dropping to normal speed. This is part of emmissions requirements. The fast idle helps warm the catalytic converter, and even though more gas is used for a short time, overall undesireable emmissions are reduced. On our 2002 Silhouette it is even more pronounced than on the Aurora. My 2002 4.0 drops to what the tach says is 650-750 RPM at warm idle.

    A sideline: The 2002 Silhouette is a ULEV truck in CA, and the 2002 Aurora is an LEV car. The "smog index" quoted on the window sticker lists the average new vehicle smog index as 0.52, the Aurora as 0.48, and the Silhouette as 0.72. So, a ULEV truck can have a smog index at least 50% higher than an LEV car.
  • ASOG the the Avenenger/Sebrings Owners Group. I used to own a venge. Go to for their message board. I like the setup and their are a lot of users who post regularly.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    My 98 idles at about 1100 when cold. I just shift into reverse after letting it run a few seconds (10-15) and back out of the garage and then drive away. After a mile or so the idle (in gear) is down to 600-700. The transmission does not seem to mind a 1000 RPM shift.
  • Yeah, it has on star and the build date is 02/01. The car was a GM Executive car...only 5100 miles on it when I bought it (27 Nov) and it was put in service on 6/4/01.

    I've got an '01 Yukon XL and it doesn't high idle nearly as long as the Aurora. It's got to be around 30-45 seconds (I'll time it next time I get a chance) at around 1100-1200 rpms then it drops to around 850-950 rpms.

    Oh well, other than that....I love it.

  • Campo,

    If you are looking for more reinforcement, my 2001 4.0 does the exact behavior you described at startup. So now you should love everything about your Aurora... enjoy!!
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    Was the new Corsa exhaust ever put into the car?

    Was there any increase in hp?

    Is the car too loud now????

    We Need Information.

    By the way, I just picked up some shop manuals for my 1995 Classic.

    ZINC1 - Did I read corectly that you are thinking of selling your Aurora???
  • Did the guy who was going to get those 2001 chrome 17" wheels ever do that? Any pictures?
  • Hi all,

    Still getting used to my '01 Aurora 4.0L. Could someone let me know what they are getting for an oil pressure for the following conditions:

    Engine warmed up and running around 60-70 mph
    Engine warm and in drive at idle
    Engine warm and in park

    I'm sure there's nothing wrong with mine but I'm a little surprised at the readings I'm getting.

    Also, if you are, say, pulling into a parking spot and put it in neutral before you come to a stop, does the trans kind of thump (almost like a backlash) when you come to a stop?

    Thanks for all the answers.

  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Cold: over 70 and if engine gets up to 3000, over 80.
    Warmed up (195 deg):cruising @60-70: 63
    idle under 20 (I think).
    If you watch the oil pressure it gradually drops at idle as the engine warms up. This takes longer when its below zero (F) out.
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    Anyone tried to put an O2 sensor in yet? Do you get at it from the top or do you jack it up and get to the exhaust pipe from the bottom?

  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Henry and shucknet

    Well, after making a lot of noise about doing the exhaust system, I decided to hold off on this at the last second. Go ahead and blast me. I believe Corsa is going to offer or is already offering exhaust systems for the 2001's and newer. They are apparently almost the same as the Seville. The classic differs more I guess. I'm still kicking this around though. If anybody wants to go in with me on this in the future, or wants to discuss it more, just e-mail me through the link on the site where I document the airbox and K&N filter results. It's under "cadillac performance....modifications"

    The chrome 17" wheels: I got them, but still have life in the existing 16 inch tires. I'll probably put them on in the summer. Here is the "deal" - I bought them from coast 2 coast wheels. I got them for $740. Here is the rest of the story - to make a long story short (sort of), what you will get are genuine GM Aurora 17" wheels (GM stamp under the center cap) that were originally NOT the upgraded chrome finish. This company manufactures lots of wheels, so what they do is strip the silver finish and refinish it with the copper and nickel and finally chrome (or whatever the process is). The wheels look really nice and have to be plated to the same standards anybody else does I believe. One down side - the center caps are hoaky and NOT GM. They don't have the "Olds" symbol in the middle. I'll have to get a set from the dealer at $37/each. I was pretty ticked off about it at first and they offered to give me all my money back, but they really look nice and it's still a great deal even if I have to buy the true center caps, so I kept them. They're waiting till summer in the basement for now. From the dealer, it would be $2,000. Oh yeah, I think the ones from the dealer may have more of a mirror finish on the inside of the barrel - but these are very very nice just the same. The outer face is of the highest quality and really a lot better than factory original stuff I've seen on a Caddy. But these do look really great and were less than 1/2 the money. I'm still glad I got them.

    I put in the Granatelli mass air flow meter. It really was not that tough to do. You need a 7mm socket and the typical extender. The 3 screws are long, so even when feeling for the bottom one, there is a lot to hold on to and it won't just pop out and fall through on you. I did buy 3 extra screws from the dealer just in case. The performance seems a little better. Go to and there is documentation of the results of just removing the screen from the mass air flow sensor. They got as much as 5 more HP at the wheels from it. The granatelli removes the screen (as well as a few other mods) and then recalibrates the unit for its new flow characteristics so that it communicates with the computer more accurately. Granatelli said it would add 8 to 12 HP at the wheels. Even if it did only 5, then I'm up to a 265 HP Aurora with my modified air box and K&N. If it does 8 to 9, then I'm at 270. Not bad. I may dyno this in the future too.

    I talked to Bob at (I think that is it) They are going to develop a cold air induction for the Caddy. He agreed that it may be applicable for the classic Aurora because the air box set-up is so similar. It would of course eliminate the sharp 90 exiting the box and would not pull in hot air like the RSM racing system does. I will probably give it a try if/when it is available (hopefully next spring). I would hope such a system will add at least 10 HP at the wheels. I'll keep you posted.

    Just to fuel some controversy - I looked at the HP and torque curves from the brochure of a 2001 and a classic after reading the comments about the difference in power. There seems to be a large difference in low end torque between the two indeed. The new ones produce (what looks like about 235 lb-ft of torque from 2000 rpm to 3500 rpm and then the torque rapidly increases to 260. The classic seems to produce 240 @ 2000 and increases to 255 @ 3500. Even at 4000, the new 4.0 appears to be at 245 or 250 while the classic is nearly at 260. Hence the 3.71 transaxle in all the new 4.0's. The graph of the new brochure is tough to read but within 5 or so.

    Gisome - try talking to Bob at He mentioned that if you have a 96 or newer car with the OBD II computer, it may be worth looking into a "better" O2 sensor that supposedly gives faster real-time readings to the computer which can make better use of the better data for optimal performance. Maybe it would help a 95 too. I have no idea about where to get these or anything else - he just mentioned it. If you did upgrade, remember to disconnect the battery for at least 30 minutes to reset the computer.
  • jimr97jimr97 Posts: 13
    Here's a GM site with some possibly useful information:

    It includes this information about rough idle on 2001 Auroras:

  • After seeing the post on the for AURORA AIR MODIFICATION and HP gain, I looked at mine and came up with the same end result but did it differently.

    I did not use the Dremmel tool because I did not want to disturb the factory set up. What I did was to remove on the top of air filter, front and back part, then on the front air intake, the plastic round piece that sticks out thru the front part of the fender where air enters the Air Intake system is removed.
    Then inside the air chamber,I set off to the side the Siemens aluminum box, it just slips out and over, then I remove to the side the plastic flexible tubing that houses the wires to the Siemens unit.

    Then I removed the round plastic horn looking thing that looks like a trumpet horn except it is that way on both ends. It is the path where the air goes in on the bottom side of air filter. Removing that, it clears the path.

    The hole at the front of the car is 3 1/2 inches round I believe where the air enters the air filter chamber. The slot at the back of the air chamber is square in shape. I needed something that would be flexible to accomodate both shapes and handle the air flow and heat of the engine.

    I decided to use(try) as an experiment- a flexible 4 inch piece of a Dryer exhaust heat hose. It is very flexible, has metal support rings that flex, it easy to manipulate and is cheap to purchase and handles heat well. I used a new piece from a 50 foot roll I used leftover from the laundry room. I had nothing to lose.

    It seems to work well. At the square end of the air chamber(back) with the tube will require a little shaping with your hands, the front end you have to do a little pulling thru the front fender hole but it can be done with folding the first 5 or 6 metal winds together longways and pulling it thru the front. It did take me 3 tries at it before I got it done as the plastic hose is durable but not indestructible. It may work better with a 3 1/2 inch hose for shaping.

    After I got it all in, I used Black Duct tape and wrapped all areas of the 4" dryer hose from the top as it is installed and used duct tape to seal the front and back of the supply tube and all edges for supports from all sides. Since the duct tape will not be exposed to the elements, I do not anticipate any major rot of the duct tape but will get a monthly inspection.

    Then re-install the Siemens unit and plastic flex hose back. The "weep" holes in the air chamber still exist for any moisture to escape.

    I know it sounds like a "rig deal" but seems to work well and it is cheap and easy to do WITHOUT DESTROYING the factory air filter chamber.
    FYI, I also installed the K&N Filter in it at a cost of $40 and change.

    Good Luck, good hunting and good fishing...
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Aurora50 - your air box sounds different than the classic, but I'm not sure. Pictures are really needed. I will try to get some pictures of what I did to add to the caddyinfo site. I understand how difficult this can be to describe in words.

    Destroying the air box? Heck yeah - cut it up. I just bought a second one for $140. It all relative and personal, but for the classic at least, you need to expose the large hole in the bottom of the metal for maximum air flow. You can only do this by cutting the plastic. Spending an extra 140 to be able to go back to stock is a small price for an improvement that really adds more power than the K&N filter does below 5,200 rpm.

    Great to hear from someone else pumping some more life into the Aurora. Let us know if you do anything else or plan to.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277

    Your fuel worked! You mention the torque curve is lowered. The STS/DTS version of the Northstar has less low-end torque than the "base" Northstar, but it is a more powerful engine. I realize the new Aurora doesn't make more power for it's lower curve, but it does run on regular fuel. Also, I believe the power curve shown is with regular fuel, and the 4.0 is designed to take advantage of higher grade fuel (instead of just wasting it as most regular-requiring engines do). Plus the new 4.0 drops from an 8.0 sec 0-60 time down to a 7.5 sec 0-60 time. This is no small achievement (I realize the new Aurora is lighter). However, I do find myself wishing it didn't have to spin so much to get the power going. I'm used to driving a 'vette that made 280 lb-ft at a mere 1600 rpms (the L98 only made 240hp, but it was a torque monster). You could power away in top gear at about 1200 rpms (40mph or so) with no sweat.

    Also, the airbox on the 2001-02 4.0 is different. I noticed that when reading about the suggested mods to the classic's box. I noticed that it didn't make sense because it didn't apply to my '02 car.


    What sort of sound change did the airbox mod make to your car? I am interested in the extra power, but not at the expense of the Aurora's luxury demeanor. I never really thought a sucking intake sounded cool (although a burbling exhaust sure can) anyway. It sounds like the car is asthmatic or something. Did the intake get noticeably louder? Also, what is an Aurora 5.0? Are you gonna make a StrokedStar?


    When you replace your O2 sensor, make sure you have some high-temp anti-seize on the threads. It is real easy for the sensor to bind to the pipe, and the next time you try to remove it you may ruin the fitting or the pipe. Make sure you don't over-torque it. O2 sensors are usually either a breeze or a huge pain...

    Speaking of huge pains, did anyone else notice that the oil filter from the factory had gasket sealer on it? That really pissed me off because it is unnecessary and made removing it a huge pain. Neither a strap wrench nor a filter socket worked. Both just mangled the filter. I had to buy one of those heavy-duty vice things that tighten up as you turn it. It was awesome and must be about 5 lbs. of solid iron. I also hate when mechanics tighten your wheel lugs to about 350 lb-ft and you can barely get them off with a breaker bar. I always wonder what would happen if I got a flat tire after visiting a shop that did that. There is no way the puny tire iron in the trunk would bust those things loose after being tightened full-bore with an air-wrench.

    Every time I drive my Olds I am impressed with it! It is so luxurious yet simple, and the drivetrain is great. I think it handles great too without being rough. I really love the interior layout. It is so nice looking without being impractical. Everything falls right to hand, and the wood is beautiful without being overdone. The engine sounds wonderful, has enough power (although it certainly isn't overpowered), and is so smooth. It has a sound that reminds me of the ZR-1 with it's high-tech big engine burble (except more muted and less intimidating). It's just so great!!
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