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Oldsmobile Aurora Maintenance & Repair

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  • When highway cruising there isn't any problem keeping the coolant cool, it runs on the 200 mark or a little below, it is when I slow down in a traffic jam or stop and go driving in town, that is when the temp. gauge gets to the 2nd mark above the 200 mark. I have had it the the Olds dealer and he has checked it out and said everything is okay, fans come on at the correct temperatures. They said the Aurora's are supposed to run that hot. I am not use to a car running that hot!! It really concerns me when I'm in a traffic jam at an idle or creeping along at 10mph and the temp. gauge is at the 2nd mark above 200. I would think running this hot would cause other problems or parts to wear out faster? Seems like there are enough problems with these vehicles anyway. We have a 95 and a 97 both are great cars but have their share of problems. I wouldn't be without some kind of warranty.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I would worry a bit too. High temps can shorten gasket life, hose life, increase cylinder head temps (which can cause knock and reduced performance)and can warp heads and even blocks. If you are concerned, try adding fans(or modify them for more airflow) or using coolant additives (if you use coolant additives, I would stick with "water wetter" because I would trust Red Line Oil more than another maker of similar stuff).
    However, I will ask again. Are you sure it is running at 240? Just because it is two lines above 200 doesn't mean the gauge is linear (or accurate). Also, maybe you should confirm the temp some other way (via a diagnostic computer getting the temp from the Aurora's computer or maybe with a temp sensor or even a thermometer)

    I remember seeing (somewhere) some small cooling fans that mount in the wheel well and pull air out from the engine compartment, thus improving flow through the radiator. I have been trying to find them, but so far have had no luck. It must have been in Summit, or JC Whitney or a Corvette parts catalog. They were neat because they were about 5" fans, and you could put one or two or three in each wheel well depending on how much you needed and were willing to spend. I will continue to search for where I've seen them.

    Also, I get it! Everyone wants a warranty. I will make no more disparaging comments about them. :)
  • bjackbjack Posts: 1
    My 95 runs up into the 220+ range when in stop & go. I checked everything. Check the owners manual the 220+ is not a problem. If the engine gets too hot it will start shutting down cylinedrs to reduce heat.
  • Now you see why most newer cars have the actual numbers removed from the temp gage. Most are susceptible to calibration variation, but in many cases the seemingly high temperatures are just normal and not a problem because of the pressurized system.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Thanks for the pic, Zinc1. That really helped. Now that I know what the gauge looks like, I can speak more intelligently (not necessarily intelligently, just more intelligently than before) about it. First, it looks like the second bar above 200 may or may not be 240. The gauge isn't linear. Plus, that bar isn't in the red, so who cares? As long as the temp isn't soaring into the red zone, I wouldn't worry about it. The engineers who made the car are smart guys. If they weren't worried about the temps two bars above 200, then I wouldn't worry either.

    As far as when to worry; if the fan doesn't come on until 220, then obviously this isn't a dangerous temperature. This means the engine is getting to the upper end of its comfort range. The fan will kick on, cool things down, turn off, and then kick back on if the temp climbs again.

    As an additional note, most engines have a temperature sensor that the fan/computer uses, and a second one that goes to the dash gauge. Therefore, the temp you see on the dash isn't necessarily the temp the computer sees. Also, the temperature of the coolant is different depending on where in the cooling system you measure it.
  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    The information I have been able to gather: It states in my owners manual that it has a 180 thermostat in the first place and my Olds tech buddy confirmed that when he replaced it, though the guage seems to stop around 200+/- when warmed up. Also, all the Olds mechanics say the guage is not very accurate. And, through the years it seems that most GM cooling fans kick on at 235 which on my 95 Aurora seems to be around the second (bold) line. The only way to get the correct temp would be with a tech scanner plugged into the cars computer.
  • Has anyone tried using a 180 degree thermostat? My manual also calls for the 180. I asked the Olds dealer and he said I was crazy. I showed him and he said it had to be a misprint, they have always used 195 degree. Another mechanic I know said if I changed to the 180 therm. I would also have to replace a chip in the computer. Any thoughts on this? Even though the Olds dealer and mechanics say these temp. we are talking about is normal it still concerns me. Not much room for error. Yes, my fans come on at the correct temp. and most of the time the temp. comes down and the fan shuts off except in extremely heavy traffic and outside temps at 105+. That means the road temp. is probably about 115 to 120 deg. In these conditions the temp. gauge continues to climb until I can get the car up to highway speeds. I love my Aurora's but I would like to find a cure for the high temp. problem. I have replaced my strip at the bottom of the radiator so I know that is not a problem. I enjoy reading all the problems and solutions that everyone sends in, keep up the good work.
  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    The only solution I can think of is to find a way to get the hot air out. Two vents/ducts at the back of the hood by the windshield as on the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP would probably do it.
  • I am using this forum to let possible future buyers of Aurora's the problems I have been experiencing with my 1997 model. I purchased this car used and the problems started right after the 50,000 mile warranty was us. I noticed on the message board that another member had to have an oil pan replaced -- fortunately for them it was under warranty -- mine was at 55,000 miles and cost $1100. On the day I picked up the vehicle they notified me that the water pump was leaking! That repair was another $300. Not even a month later, the starter appears to be going on the vehicle. It hesitates when turned on and that hesitation when extended throws the time/date off. This car is self-destructing after the warranty period!!! and any thoughts of trading it in are out of the question because of the devaluing all Oldsmobiles are facing since GM has decided to phase out this line. Let the buyer beware! Oldsmobiles will not hold their value! Oh, I have spoken with Oldsmobile Customer Service and they did pay for 1/2 of the oil pan repair when I complained continually. They tell me there is nothing else they can do for me and that a $10,000 trade-in value is "good". I'm done with General Motors altogether!
  • Has anyone else with a 2001 Aurora 4.0 experienced a continuing problem with vibrations that can be felt in the steering wheel, gas pedal, and seat at highway speeds (anywhere from 40-70+ mph) on smooth roads that wasn't resolved by the dealer rebalancing the tires? If so, what was done to remedy the problem? Many thanks!
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    Make: OLDSMOBILE
    Model: AURORA
    Year: 2001
    Service Bulletin Number: 000310007
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 180

    VEHICLES MAY EXPERIENCE SHAKE / VIBRATION IN STEERING WHEEL, FLOOR, SEAT AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS ON SMOOTH ROADS.
  • My 2001 has had the tire disturbance since I have had it, but unfortunately this is a very common and difficult problem on all "G" bodies since they were introduced. They experience extreme sensitivity to tire uniformity and unbalance. It is a complex issue of bushing rates, spring rates, control arm mass, etc.--in other words it is design issue that while improved since the 1995 models, is still not resolved. I have had mine in 3 times now and am still not happy. It takes a finely calibrated balancer at a minimum, but generally a special machine which measures force variation (some better tire companies have them) in order to reduce the problem to acceptable levels.
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    I have not experienced the vibration problem in either my 2001 or 2002 Aurora 4.0L models. The 2001 went as high as 110 MPH, and I have cruised the 2002 at 85 MPH with no sign of wobble. What I can say is that because my cars have not had this problem (and the TSB proves that it exists) there must be some combination of parts & setup that solves the problem. Keep pestering your dealer and GM to find a complete, permanent fix.
  • I'm considering buying an 97 Aurora. It has 80400 miles on it ..It's loaded! The deal is I would get it for 5000.00 because it sometimes stalls at speeds around 30mph, it's been to the dealers and they cant figure it out. It only does it maybe 2x a week. This car is in superior condition and no other problems. Does anyone have ANY info on this, the dealer hooked a computer and left it in to figure it out but couldn't fix it. I know they've replaced the fuel filter. When occurring it can be placed in N and re started immediately. theres no other signs...you cant even tell it stalled until you give gas and nothing. At the price I will pay ..if I can get it fixed (reasonably) I think Im getting a great deal.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Possibly the fuel pressure regulator, or maybe the EGR valve (a couple of the common Aurora failures reported on the Sedans board back in earlier posts).

    We really need a FAQ on repairs. Wish I had time, but, with layoffs at my work, I'm busier than ever.

    --Robert
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Has anyone noticed on their 2002 or maybe 2001 that the shift from 1st to 2nd is a bit hard sometimes? It tends to be in light-throttle shifting. I think I will take it in, but I hate leaving my car at the dealer.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I have a 2000 Bonneville SSEi, which as you may know is, along with the LeSabre, based on the same platform as the Aurora. I and a number of other owners have also had vibration problems similar to what some of you have reported. Mine has done it since new. Shakes at highway speeds, through the steering wheel, seats, and floor. I waited for awhile to see what knowledge I could glean from the Edmunds' forums before taking it in to the dealer armed with something to ask/look for. Everyone else seems very frustrated that the dealers can't fix this problem. No amount of wheel balancing, tire replacement or other tricks seem to work. Finally one poster claimed that the hubs had a manufacturing defect where the stud runout was out of tolerance, which would make the wheel "wobble" in an oval rather than circular spin.
    Today I finally had the dealer take a look at it. I specifically asked them to check the stud runout, but they didn't. Instead they balanced all four wheels and proclaimed the vibration gone. Well, it seems much better, but I'm still not convinced the problem is gone entirely. I still sense a shudder as if driving on a washboard surface, but it is very slight and phases in and out. I'm going to drive it for awhile before deciding whether or not this merits more attention. I hate bringing the car in because they usually do a less than spectacular job. Today they lost one of the wheel nut caps, so I need to go back (again) in the morning to either find it or order a new one.
    BTW, those of us over in the Bonneville forum all love our cars and can appreciate how you guys all feel about your Auroras. Just today I saw three new Auroras, a pretty rare thing (just as rare as the Bonnevilles, if not more so).
    Just thought I would share some thoughts about the vibration. Enjoy your rides!
  • I own a '97 Aurora. I have a love/hate relationship with the car. I have had many many problems with the car including stalling. I brought it to my local dealer at least 8 times. They did everything from tune ups, o2 sensors, etc. nothing worked.

    Finally the owner of the dealership said that he had received a memo from GM reminding all dealers NOT to recommend high octane gas for their cars. As luck would have it, I always put the best gas I could find in the car. Since I stopped using high octane gas, the problems have esentally disappeared.

    Of course I recently tried to trade in the car for a new one. All though the book value is over $14,000, I'm being told that it's only worth $5,000 or $6,000.

    Anyone want to buy a nice '97?
  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    mdearing: Did they ever replace the fuel pressure regulator? That is most often the cause of the stalling. As for premium, the only difference I ever noticed by running regular is slight pinging, a little mpg loss and a noticible power loss. (my problem of lean-throttle engine surge remained with either grade fuel)
    Jay 95 Aurora
  • They may have replaced the regulator. At 50,000 miles they replaced almost every part of the ignition system as well as the fuel system. Nothing worked.

    I guess when you think about it, certain high octane gasolines have so many additives that it's detrimental to these sophisticated systems. For whatever the reason, since switching to low octane, all of my cars are running better.
  • For almost a year the ABS and traction control lights have been on in the Aurora. After $150.00 the dealer simply told me that the brake system was fine.

    I have seen other sights discussing this issue. My guess is there's a sensor or something that's bad. I haven't been able to find any repair manuels or other info to pursue a resolution.

    Any ideas?
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    Just had mine fixed. Please see postings in the main board for information that could be useful to you.
  • I have a 2001 3.5 27,000 miles which I bought used and the only problems I have are:

    #1 The A/C blower is loud when on med or high setting (not dual system)

    #2 The headlights seem to blink or get dim while driving at night.
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    There was a TSB issued in May 2001 regarding a headlight dimming problem (#110501).
  • Hey, my 2001 has that momentary blink of the headlights that seems related to the shift in the transmission--what does that TSB say it is? Just curious because I e-mailed Olds and they haven't answered. Is this a big problem or just an minor thing? You guys are getting me a bit unnerved with my purchase. Oh,yeah, I had the dealer check out the intermittent wipers and it was in the rainsense dohickey on the windshield--apparently, the windshield had been replaced and the wrong kind of glue was used to reattach the sensing device--a kit is ordered! How is that thing supposed to work anyway? Experienced rainsense owners only--is it automatic or does the driver have to activate--yes I have an owners manual but it is unclear.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    You do have to activate the rainsense wipers. Essentially your wipers have four settings:
    1) Off
    2) Rainsense (instead of intermittent)
    3) Low
    4) High
    (5 could be when you push it down to momentarily activate the wipers while you hold it down)

    When you set it on Rainsense, you can control how sensitive it is by adjusting that ring. This would be where you would adjust the time interval on intermittent-only wipers. The Rainsense takes the place of intermittent and will activate the wipers when it sees "enough" water on the small amount of windshield by the sensor (figuring that if it is wet, the rest of the windshield must be too). By adjusting the ring, you set how much is "enough". They work pretty well, and I like them when it is just misting or the rain comes and goes. I always used to have to mess with the interval on my old intermittent-only car because otherwise the wipers squeaked or there was too much rain on the windshield. The rainsense works like a charm for this.

    As an aside, would you believe my 1987 Corvette had fully adjustable intermittent wipers? I am always suprised at that considering it was 1987, and that most cars still don't have fully adjustable intermittent (many econo and family cars have just one or two intermittent settings) It had ABS too, which was certainly rare then (I beleive only Porsche and the Corvette had them in 1986).
  • My 96 aurora has a steering vibration when I turn, most noticeable when I turn to the right. Changed the power steering pump, the tension pulley and rack, all under warranty. Vibration is less pronounced than it was but still there. Someone said it is the egr, another said it is the harmonic balancer. Any Ideas? Warranty is running out.
  • I had a problem with a '95 engine (3.4l)... a friends car was overheating ( low on antifreeze, actually bone dry ) so i filled the reservoir and the radiator with haveline GM approved long life fluid... started the car and noticed white smoke from the exhaust. Shut off the car, told her she had blown a head gasket or intake manifold gasket and she had it towed to GM dealer. They said that the wrong antifreeze caused more damage. I know if you have the new stuff, you can't add the old. But has anyone heard of the old can't be updated?
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I don't have any facts on your problem. However, it seems the wrong type of antifreeze would just damage the water pump or possibly cause long-term corrosion of iron components in the engine. However, even straight water wouldn't cause any damage that quickly (except maybe to the water pump because it is a poor lubricant). What sort of "more damage" do they think it caused? I would try to get specifics. If the gasket was blown/damaged, then I would bet it was from running with no coolant, rather than from the later addition of the "wrong" coolant. Plus, doesn't the antifreeze say on the packaging that it is ok to use in any application?

    I suppose if coolant seeped into the intake manifold and then into the combustion chamber once the gasket was bad, it could cause some damage. However, it wouldn't matter what type of coolant it was as it is all incompressible... Just my two cents, though.
  • cwiley1cwiley1 Posts: 82
    I hope your mechanics were wrong about using the wrong antifreeze, I just had my cooling system flushed and the "red" antifreeze installed in my '95 Aurora. I wanted it to be compatible with my '97 that has the "red" coolant in it from the factory. In fact my bottle of "red" coolant says it is compatible with the "green" coolant. Does anyone know if I can replace my coolant with the "red" coolant? The old coolant was completely drained and flushed. I also had a new thermostat installed, it runs somewhat cooler now on the temp. gauge.
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