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Oldsmobile Alero



  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    It's too bad about your Alero. Have you considered lighting it on fire?

    Then you could use the pay-off to buy a new one! If you bought your '99 Alero new, you qualify for the $1500 Olds owner loyalty rebate in addition to the $2000 fact rebate AND the free extended warranty.

    It sucks getting a bad apple. But what are the odds of getting two in a row?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Sounds like a bad 1st year car. My mom has a 99 (bought in 98) and I feared she would have problems. Car has been great. Just bad luck I guess.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Thanks for the information Evandro. We took the Alero off the list. Here are some of the reasons:

    1) Back seat makes you sit too low. Not a problem for since I don't ever plan to sit in the back seat but my child's car seat reclined way too much.

    2) Noisy 4 cylinder engine. Sounded too rough for my tastes. Reminds me too much of its sister car the Grand Am

    3) Price when compared to the Malibu. Malibu gives you standard 6 cylinder engine that gets better gas mileage then the Olds 4 cyl. plus more standard features. And it's larger esp. in the back seat. I like the Olds styling better but not enough to justify the extra cost.

    4) Crash test. The poor showing in the crash tests needs to be addressed by Olds even if they plan to discontinue the model in 2004.

    Thanks for all the information regarding the Olds. Good Luck with your cars.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Fred, good luck with the Malibu. A wise choice, IMO.
  • djdunndjdunn Posts: 4
    The Oldsmobile Area Representative has denied my request for a buy-back WITHOUT EVEN SO MUCH AS A COURTESY CALL TO ME TO MAKE SURE HE HAS THE FULL STORY. I asked repeatedly for this courtesy.

    I also REPEATEDLY asked the the Customer Care Representative for a physical address for the General Manager of General Motor's Oldsmobile Division so that I could deliver a return receipt requested letter.

    All she would give was a PO Box, stating that she could not find any information on a physical address. So I had to call directory assistance for Detroit, got the phone number for Headquarters, made the long distance all, and - VOILA!!! Had all of the information I needed. WHAT'S WITH THAT?

    The letter was sent to the GM, Debrah Kelly-Ennis to be delivered before noon today.

    I'll let you know what happens.

    In the meantime....
    I am collecting support "signatures" for the cause. If you are willing, please email me at

    Just a quick line to say you have read my story on the internet, and you are in agreement that they really need to uphold their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction by replacing this defective vehicle.

    Thank you so much!
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    There is a firewall between the upper management and consumer for an obvious reason: they don't have time to read the letter of every person unhappy with his or her automobile. It's still unlikely that Debrah will ever see your letter - even with the return receipt.

    Also, if you're having problems with your car, it's beneficial for you to keep your demands reasonable. Unless you've got less than 10k miles on the car, you have gotten some use out of the car and should expect to pay for that use (which I assume you do).

    While I'm sure you're being reasonable and polite when dealing with the reps, you'd be amazed by the number of people out there who expect brand new cars and birthday cakes when they have problems with their cars. In our litiguous society, there is a distinct group of people out there who consider situations like yours akin to winning the lottery jackpot. The reps have to deal with people like this all day - make sure you don't come across as one of them.

    Finally, make sure you don't make the big mistake: telling a rep you won't ever buy a car from their employer again. It's astounding the number of people who use this technique - as if it were effective. Would you bend over backward for someone who has pledged never to return to your business again? Well, neither do they.

    Ten bucks says if you asked for a voucher ($2000 or so) for a new Olds to help compensate for the trade-in loss, you'd get it. It might be worth considering if your time is valuable.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I agree, the Malibu is is a better value but, it's terrible boring to look at. Too bad the V6 Alero is a bit pricey. Next year's 2.2L will be a better 4 cyl though.
  • dr_cmbdr_cmb Posts: 8
    The bad, bad Alero thread has been a little depressing.... so I hope to cheer things up by writing that I just bought (two days ago) a new GL1 equipped with the V6 and I could not be happier with it. So far :-) . I had been lurking here and other places while I was making my decision---the incentives and warranty deal (plus my GM bucks) made this car hard to pass up.

    I looked at the Malibu, too, and found it boring, and I agree with the person who said they didn't want a civic or an accord because everyone seemed to have one. The Alero is a fine looking car.

    One quick question to other owners: do you feel that there's a bit of a delay in the start up? Seems I hold the key to start longer than in other cars, but I wouldn't know, having driven the same rice burner for the last 10 years that is all I can compare it to.
  • wolftagwolftag Posts: 2
    My '99 Alero also seems to take longer to start than most cars as well -- I think its normal.

    I wish you luck with your Alero. I hope you have better luck than I've had.

    And good luck getting service after the Olds dealerships start closing. I've already ran into problems (all the Olds dealerships near me are gone already). Both Chevy GM Goodwrench service centers I've went have REFUSED to do anything other than normal mantainance like oil change and brakes.
  • infinia1infinia1 Posts: 174
    after having repeated problems with the local oldsmobile dealer service department, i called oldsmobile to express my concerns. i specifically asked to take my alero the the only other gm dealer in town-chevrolet. they put me on hold for 3 minutes and came back with approval. even before this, the chevrolet dealer said that if i wanted they could do warranty work and just inform oldsmobile that i refuse service at their dealer. it was quite simple and well worth the effort. i am now happy again as the chevrolet dealer took care of things in 1 trip that the oldsmobile dealer hadn't in 3 trips! i even nicely expressed my concerns to the oldsmobile dealer manager/owner and he just walked away!!! i couldn't believe it!!! i'll say it once again-alero good, dealer bad!
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    My girlfriend has owned her new Alero for three months now, and no problems whatsoever. All of the local Oldsmobile dealers are still in business and, since they also sell other GM product lines, have no plans to go out of business or stop servicing Oldsmobiles. Also, the Chevrolet dealership I purchased and service my Tahoe at is more than happy to take on any GM car - it is good for business, if nothing else, and it is more conveniently located than the Olds dealers. Keep in mind that many GM dealerships have separated their Goodwrench Service Plus (regular maintenance only) department from the regular service department, which does all the repair work above and beyond oil changes and brake adjustments.

    As far as starting delays, I too have noticed this on the Alero. It seems to crank over for longer than it should, but it always starts.
  • dr_cmbdr_cmb Posts: 8
    Thanks for the remarks about the start up delay--that makes me feel better about it. The car does always start, and that's what matters.

    I like this car more the more I drive it--it has a lot of pep. Gotta love that v6.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Yes, it takes a half a second or so more than I'm used to. Sometimes it doesn't start because I stop cranking before that extra half a second expires.

    However, after almost 3 years, the delay has been consistent and I haven't noticed any increase.

    And it sure is peppy! ;^)
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Yesterday I stopped by a Buick dealer to buy some Dexcool coolant fluid.

    As we all know, by only using that fluid to top off the engine coolant, the system will have to be flushed only every 150000mls or 5 years.

    As it has been said here, whenever the oil is changed the service guy may replenish the fluids under the hood, including the coolant. However, if serviced at somewhere else other than a dealer, the coolant will most likely not be GM's orange fluid, but the regular blue one.

    Well, if you're like me who doesn't take your car to a dealer to have the oil changed, keep an eye on the guy so that he won't do something wrong like this when he's working in the engine compartment.

  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Noticed the new 2.2L on the Alero produces 140hp (according to Edmunds). Why does the Oldsmobile version of the same engine get 5 hp more than the Saturn.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    My guess for the extra oomph is a less restrictive exhaust system - or perhaps an Edmunds typo.

    Well, it appears that the 2.2L will be available in the GL2 (as well as GX) model with the stick shift for 2002. I hope that is correct, because that scoots the little Oldsmobile toward the top of my new car shopping list.

    Out of curiousity, has anyone driven a 2.2L Saturn with the stick shift? I'd like to hear from you if you have. Thanks!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The 5-speed L100 I drove was better than the automatic. Very smooth and very good power. Highly recommend unless you drive in stop and go traffic in which case an automatic is always a must.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Does anyone know when the 2002 is available?
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    The '02s should be rolling into dealerships now. Two days ago I saw an Alero coupe in a new color, what I presume to be Tropic Teal, which is new for 2002.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Have not seen any yet. 2.2L should be a big improvement though.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    the new 2.2 in the saturn with a 5 sp is a very nice ride! the engine is smooth and it shifts well. it will dramatically improve gm's other smaller cars. it makes the quad4 and ohv 2.2 look like JUNK. Its that much better.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Do you guys think GM will continue offering the $2000 rebate for the 2001?

    It stands to reason (in my mind) that they will. This segment is very competitive and I think most consumers will countinue to need the extra incentive to purchase a vehicle from a brand on its way out.

    I would ask my local dealer what they think, but I know what they will tell me: whatever it takes to get me to take one of the remaining 2001's of their hands. Well, no way Jose. I want a 2002.

    Oh, and what kind of gas mileage does the 2.2 get?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    24/33 with a 4-speed auto is the rating on the L-series. Very decent for 135-140 hp.
  • 9899olds9899olds Posts: 202
    What is the problem with your Alero????

    I don't understand how you expect to force GM into responding as long as you are keeping your fans informed of the situation..

    They monitor these websites; so why should they give you the satisfaction of buckling under to your demands????

    I assume you have been through the BBB procedure and were offered arbitration process??

    Better hurry cause these cars are soon to be history..

    Sell it or trade it in on something else, for after awhile it starts to consume too much energy and it's non-productive!!!!
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    I've spent a lot of time researching cars, using reviews, pricing crash and reliability statistics to help my choices, and consequently participated in the Saturn and Malibu forums a lot. I figured my next purchase would probably be a Saturn, maybe (better price) a Malibu.

    Then I rented a 2000 Grand Am, 4dr for the weekend: holy cow, this is nice. Handles really well, good interior noise, no rattles at 52,000km and I'm getting 35mpg at 65-70mph with the A/C on. Bloody right !

    I was sure I wanted a Grand Am, then I figured out that the Alero is built on the Grand Am platform at the same factory in Lansing, Michigan. So I test drove a 2000 Alero. Well, if the Grand Am had good seats, those in the Alero were simply superb for long distances - very firm and supportive. That's just based on our test drive, though. And the Alero doesn't have the round vents (I find these a bit of a hassle to direct - maybe my thinking is too Euclidian?), has bigger map pockets, and rear seats that can be dropped from inside the car instead of from the trunk. I just generally prefer the console layout and I can see the Cruise Control ON lamp even in direct sunlight.

    We take delivery Wednesday evening.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I too jumped on the Alero as soon as I tried it! I actually went to the dealer looking at a Grand Am and got out of it with an Alero for the same price I had got on the Grand Am, plus 4 wheel disk brakes, better fit and finish, higher quality and nicer interior, remote entry, CD player, etc. A no-brainer!
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    The high depreciation on the Alero is definitely working in my favour as a used car buyer. A 2001 would sell for CDN$26000, while I got this 2000 for CDN$16739. That's a 35% depreciation on a very nice car, with a drive train, etc. shared with many other GM cars. I should think a new car purchaser could use this to get a better deal out of the dealers too.

    It'll be interesting to see if I can get the same gas mileage with this car as I got with the 3.4L Grand Am rental. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    35% or so of depreciation after the 1st year is the market average. After 3 years, my Alero got to about 60% of its out of the door value: $19000 new, $10500 now.

    With the 3.4l V6, I get between 23 to 24MPG in my daily commute and about 29MPG on the highway.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    No way you would have paid $26K for it though. Probably closer to $23-24K.

    Congrats on the new car.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    $26,000 is the approximate MSRP with delivery charge and Federal A/C tax which, you are quite right, would be negotiated down. Still, quite a good car at a respectable price. The figure I tend to see quoted is more around a 30% depreciation on the first year, but that might be a true average rather than an and include Accords and Camrys which people seem to be willing to pay a premium for used.

    To each his own I guess.
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