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Oldsmobile Alero



  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Problem is that the LX5 is a premium engine (read "expensive")... :^(
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    The traffic here in Minneapolis-St.Paul is certainly no joy either, but sometimes you just have to make the big sacrifices.

    I've long gotten used to that burnt clutch smell, and rowing through gears is a good way to burn calories. The constant movement of my left leg keeps those nacho cheese Chalupas from expanding my gut size (something I've just started to get concerned about as I enter the latter half of my twenties).

    It's all mindset. You just need to think of the rush hour driving as work-out time :).

    On the Altima, I thought the pricing seemed pretty much in line with the Alero (rebates notwithstanding). From the pictures I've seen, however, Nissan has installed some extremely cheesy Hyundai-like plastic on the dash and door panels. Why must everything in life be a trade-off?

    BTW, my parents have an '01 Intrigue as well and indeed, it's much more fun to drive than an Accord with an auto. The bigger Olds is also better looking than the smaller Olds IMO.

    I'm sure Olds COULD find a way to install the 3.5 in the Alero, but they will never do it because it would cannibalize sales from its more expensive models. Who would want to buy a $34,000 Aurora with an "Alero" engine?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    You're funny.

    The other problem I have is my wife can't drive 5-speed and since she will be primary driver, it will be a very hard sell. I'll test one when the times comes and see.

    I personally like the lights on the Altima, but yes I can see how they are a bit cheezy also. Have not seen C$ pricing on it but MT mentioned that adding options to the Altima add up fast. Alero is likely our best bet unless we decide we need a truck/van. A growing family is making us thinking about things I never dreamed. Ack!!!

    I don't honestly think the 3.5L will fit in an Alero. It's a big engine. It's also very expensive to make which is one of the reasons it's being phased out for next year. It's a great engine though, lot's of mid range power for the highway!!
  • yes traffic here in MSP really sucks these days doesn't it.

    Hey, ditch those chalupas and hit the Zantigo in Fridley or Mahtomedi and try some chilitos. Alot easier to munch while rowing the gears.

    I have fried plenty of clutch in my old 89 SHO on 35W.

    The plastic in the new Altima isn't as dreadful as those have said.....still nicer than GM plastic.

    The new 2.2 4 in the Alero is an excellent motor. I have test driven the motor with a 5 speed in the Saturn L and it has good power. It is also pretty smooth, especially for a GM product. But hey, it was co-developed by Lotus, so that would figure. I don't think there's ever been a decent 4 cylinder that was solely engineered in Detroit.
  • buoyantbuoyant Posts: 128
    Dindak, don't get a truck whatever you do. The reason I say this is because I know I'm not the only butthead out there who intentionally tries to make life hard on the "suburban truck driver." I think the last time I made room in traffic for anyone driving a passenger utility bus (one of my pet names for vehicles larger than a Cherokee/Blazer) was 1997.

    And if your wife can’t drive a stick, I can understand where you’re coming from. Still, in my mind that’s more her problem than your problem – why let her be the wet blanket on your driving pleasure?

    Hmmm...perhaps it’s this type of attitude that’s keeping me single...

    Regfootball, don't be so quick to judge the interior plastic on the Maxima. I didn't think it looked too bad either until I saw the forward part of the driver's door panel in the 9-01 issue of Automobile. Turns out most of the door is shellacked in hard plastic, and I'm not talking about the tasteful matte variety - it's the shiny stuff (not unlike what you'd find in an '81 Mercury Zephyr).

    The quality of GM interiors seems to vary widely IMO. I find the Oldsmobile products quite attractive inside. The Pontiacs and Saturns...well, that’s another story altogether. As my friend would say, they aren’t worth the powder to blow them up.

    BTW, what the hell is a chilito (it sounds like a young Chilean boy)? I’d try one, but unless I can get it in the south or west metro, I don’t think I’ll ever see one. Mahtomedi is halfway to Duluth from where I live. I’d probably wither away in bumper to bumper traffic before I ever got there.
  • and I still didn't have any real issues with the plastic.

    There is a Zantigo also in Woodbury.

    Chilitos are a tortilla, cheese and chili sauce...steamed to melt the cheese.


    And hey, I don't think ANYBODY's wife knows how to drive a stick. (At least 95% of them).
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    As she will be driving the proposed Alero 80% of the time, it's her call. I get all my pleasure from our Intrigue. I will get her to try a 5-speed at some point though. Who knows.

    Truck/Van is my last choice, but the Intrigue is packed tight when we go on trips these days and another kid in a couple of years won't help. If we get an Alero, it will be leased for 3 years maximum.

    As for Saturns, the L-series interiors are fine. The S-series suck. IMO.

  • I've just been catching up on my reading in this forum, and back a little ways folks were discussing tires...I have the GL1 with the v6 (took delivery 7/23 and I love this car)---is there any reason why I can't drive in snowy conditions on the tires that came standard?

    I live in Chicagoland...only a couple of years here, used to live in the south and am not used to even thinking about this issue.
  • rkw2rkw2 Posts: 66
    I was reading the current issue of Car and Driver today. One section is devoted to "what's new" for 2002. Accoring to C & D the 2.2 l 4 cyl engine in the 2002 Alero is the one that has been used in the Pontiac Sunfire. No menton was made of using the Saturn engine.( Maybe they made a mistake but this makes more sense as Saturn is still indepedent from the rest of GM. I don' think GM would want to mix Saturn in with a dead animal).
  • Below is a link to an online tire retailer, and at the bottom of that page you'll see the result of their survey of people who have the BF Goodrich T/A SR4. Click on comments to see other people's comments on this as well.

    For my part, I picked up a 2000 Alero a couple of weeks ago and have opted to get a second set of rims with 205/65R15 Michelin Arctic Alpins on them. And if tire studs were legal in Ontario, I'd run on those in the winter instead! I've never had problems with all-season tires for snow traction, but I certainly have for ice traction - which is the most demanding situation.

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    The 2.2-liter Ecotech engine is apparently the same engine used in the Saturn L-series and the upcoming VUE, but it puts out two more horses (140) in the Alero than it does in the Saturn. Saturn may try to act independent of GM, but it really is just part of one big corporate monster.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The 2.2L DOHC Ecotec (same as the Saturn LS) will also go into Sunfire GT/ Cavalier Z24. The 2.2L base Sunfire/Cavalier is the old engine and has nothing to do with the Ecotec 2.2L. I think C&D may be confused. 2.2L Ecotec will be in Grand Am/ Alero also as the base engine. 3.4L continues as the V6 option.
  • I plan on purchasing a 2001 Alero. I understand that the Olds dealers are dumping their inventory and that none of the Olds models are selling well. I would appreciate it if someone could give me some advice on the price I should pay for the car. For instance, should I start at the invoice price or go lower? Thanks.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I think after rebates, you should be able to go below invoice. Even before I would guess they might go below invoice, but it depends on where you live. The 2.4L seem to be what is mostly available in 2001 models. The 2002s on the local lot are all V6s.
  • Had a set of four Michelin Arctic Alpins mounted on steel rims and installed on my 2000 Alero today. My wife and I, we left the kitty-kids at home, then went for a drive to the Mill of Kintail north of Almonte. Almonte's the hometown of James Naismith, btw, for you basketball fans out there.

    These tires ride quieter than the stock BF Goodrich Touring T/A SR4's, from what I've seen so far, and the car still steers like it's on rails ! :-) The general ride comfort is about the same from Touring T/A-to-Arctic Alpins, although the Alpins have an edge on smoothness over frost-heave cracks.

    Unfortunately, "Canadian Tire's finests" put 39-40psi into the tires, and I think they probably over-torqued them too. I never saw them get close to a torque-wrench, and I don't think impact wrenches can be set to a certain #lbs-ft.

    From what I've seen from my previous car, Arctic Alpins have very good snow traction and about as good ice traction as you get. The only way I would say you have "excellent" ice traction is if you have a salt/sand truck 50 km (30 miles) ahead of you AND you're running on Blizzaks/Arctic Alpins or, even better, steel studs !!!

    BTW, I decided to go with 205/65R15 for the winter tires as my experience is that wide snow tires tend to spin more on ice and deep snow. I'd love to be able to perform controlled experiments on this, but that's not available to me. It does make fairly good sense from the perspective of applying more pressure from the same vehicular mass. Yeah, I know, what a gearhead. :-) But, I'm a happy gearhead. Spending the winter on Michelin Arctic Alpins.

    Yours in vehicular happy-times,
    Rick D. :-) :-)
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    Are you not losing a full winter season or about a third of their useful ice traction use out of those tires by putting them on this early?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    You may have a tough time finding a 2001 you like (not impossible though). I know many dealers have dumped their inventory to the rental companies.

    If you do find one, start your negotiation at $200 under invoice (Edmunds invoice). This is not including the rebate. The rebate is not the dealers money. That money from come off at the end after you and the dealer agree on price. The reason why I say $200 under invoice is GM has an advertising fee which is 1% of MSRP. This will come to about $200 for an Alero.

    good luck and happy negoitiating.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Still have 3 2001s on the local lot. They also have 3 2002s. If you live in a larger center, you will probably find something you want.

    Noticed the 2002 wheel covers on the base models have not changed.
  • I wouldn't say I'm losing about 1/3 of my ice traction by putting these tires on this early - these tires wear very well from what I've seen.

    Hey, maybe I'm just getting longer life out of my all-season Touring T/A's. ;-) Seriously though, often when considering having separate summer and winter tires, people look at the cost of the winters+rims as the total expense. That's not so. The total expense is much lower. It's just the cost of the rims and having them put on/taken off your car - which frankly you can do yourself once you have the tires balanced on their own rims. And my local dealership will do it for no extra cost because they're rotating the tires anyways.

    Already we've had lows of 5C in Brockville, and you commonly have your first snowfall - nothing that lasts but you're below zero for awhile there - in North Bay (where my parents live) around the first weekend in October (a.k.a. the opening of moose season). So I don't think I'm putting the tires on all that early for my uses. Maybe by two weeks, but that's it.

    When you get right down to it, I'm not too concerned with snow from the standpoint of keeping yourself on the road/from siding into other people. It's things freezing over when you're right around 0C that's the greater risk - especially as that transition temperature can happen WHILE you're driving. And in my "driving area" that happens in the fall/early winter, spring and during that period of freezing rain North Bay and Ottawa tend to get in February.

    In addition, we're headed to Chicago via Michigan next week (my neice's wedding) and who knows what weather we may run into. Michigan can get some pretty nasty weather. "Lake effect weather" - heck the state is SURROUNDED by the Great Lakes. And as an added bonus, their roads are pretty crummy - though no worse than the 401.
  • Wow, after reading many comments from you Alero owners I have mixed emotions. I am about to trade my '96 Plymouth Neon in toward a '99 Alero GL V6. My Neon has had the head gasket problem and was repaired my the dealer and paid for by Chrysler. A couple of weeks ago on a drive to the airport to catch a plane (4 days before the air diaster), the car started shuddering and sounding as if it was going to stave for gas. This is this first time it happened but it got me to thinking I wanted to get rid of it before anything else happened. I am a single Mom with adult children and work m-f to earn my keep, so I really need to be dependable. Anyway I stopped in at an Olds dealership and looked around. They had a sweet 99 Alero and I took it out for a drive. It has 32,000 miles and the remainder of the Warranty. It is loaded and drives real nice. I love the interior after looking at my basic no frills Neon for 3 years. Comments re: brakes, water leaks and stuff is frightening me somewhat, but I guess if I had the time to read up on every make and model of car it would be like that too. Would anyone care to comment on if that would or would not make this trade? I am getting $3500 for my junkie Neon that I almost totaled on an ice sleek 2 winters ago. It was fixed to the tune of over $4000 so you can see the damage, but I didn't get more than bruised a little. I was thinking to trade the Alero in another two years to upgrade. Do you think I will be able to have some value left to do this? I know I have rattled on but will appreciate any comment. I will close the deal in a couple of days.
  • I believe TSB's #00-05-23-002 and #00-05-22-002 addressed the brake rotor problem on the 1999 Aleros. You can check with the dealer to see if this has been done to this particular car - it'll be listed by the car's VIN# on their computer. I believe there was a basic fix to the water intrusion thing too - you'd have to look back in the posts to find that.

    As far as the resale value of Oldsmobile's go, I think that's an open question. Nobody really knows for sure how well Olds' will sell 2 years from now, as the winding down of Oldsmobile progresses. Personally, I bought a used 2000 4dr with the V-6 and 26,000 miles on it with the intention of keeping it for 8-10 years, so I wasn't too concerned with resale value. Like you said, it's a very nice car indeed, so I'm not in a hurry to get rid of it really.

    At this point, the depreciation rate on this as a used car was right about "average". Maybe a little bit greater depreciation than average, but these things aren't exact.

    Planning to upgrade from an Alero ? Just how much higher can you go? ;-)
  • Well, we're off on vacation next week - Brockville to Chicago and back. We're attending my niece's wedding in Chicago and going to spend some time with my inlaws there (my wife's from Southern Indiana), and then work our way back via South Bend, IN and Kalamazoo, MI.

    Unfortunately this date didn't line up with the Grand Am/Alero meet in Lansing, MI on Labor Day weekend. Maybe next year. Still, we'll be stopping by the Studebaker museum in South Bend, and we'll be able to take our Alero for it's first serious road trip. Longest trip so far has only been around 1000 km. This should be more like 3 000 clicks.

    And although MI highways are pretty rough usually, at least they're civilized enough to have a 75 mph / 120km/h speed limit. ;-) Weeeee, all the way home !!!
  • I just found out that my trade-in value on my 2000 GLS Alero is approx. $9,700! The dealer referred to the Kelley blue book and told me that the reason it's so low is because Olds is going out of business and that Oldsmobile trade in values are "dropping like bombs". I had no intention of getting rid of my car as I was window shopping for cars with a friend. So not only do I have a car that needs it's rotors replaced every once in a while, but it's value is dropping more than any other make car. But I'm sure once they get an Alero trade-in at a steal they will resell it for far more and say what a great car it is.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The prices of used Aleros in the paper here are no lower than similarly equipped Grand Ams. That said, it would seem logical that there be a slight discount for Aleros. If you are going to keep the car for only 3-4 years, lease it. Otherwise drive it into the ground.
  • rkw2rkw2 Posts: 66
    Just returned from a 600 mile "all highway driving trip" and got 31 to 32 mpg. I was going at 73 or 74 mph (8 or 9 mph above the 65 limit) on the hilly Pennsylvania turnpike.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Well, we returned from our Brockville to Chicago road trip last night. About 26-27 hours driving total, which isn't too bad I guess. That's enough for me for awhile, though, and we're definitely staying home for Thanksgiving! :-)

    Overall mileage was 34 mpg U.S. - with/without A/C doesn't seem to make much difference. About half of the mileage was at 115 km/h (MI's speed limit is actually 70mph) and half at 110 km/h through Ontario, Illinois and Indiana. A highway trip in this car was really pretty great - very comfortable seats, good ride on all pavement, good ventilation, low noise levels inside. And I do love that stereo, although over Michigan's highways you can only hear so much of it.

    The weather became unseasonably warm during the course of our trip, so the Michelin Arctic Alpins were not really necessary - but you never know. I must say that I do notice a slightly better ride and definitely lower road noise compared to the BF Goodrich Touring T/A SR4's. The handling and wet traction on the Alpins is still very good indeed, and it tracks very well.

    I don't know about the rest of the city, but Chicago has a beatiful waterfront. Navy Pier has free, open air concerts during the summer, the skyline is pretty amazing, and there's the Planetarium, Natural History Museum and Aquarium that we did not have a chance to see this time. But we'll be back next June.

    The Studebaker Museum in South Bend is a very nice collection, for anyone who wants to go see it. And for the other members of the family there's also the Indiana Dunes Park, the South Bend Regional Art Museum and the Japanese Gardens all within an hour's drive. Like I said, we'll be back and have a better chance to see more of it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Sounds like a great trip.

    I forget, do you have a 4 or a 6?

    Check out It's all updated for 2002.
  • rat284rat284 Posts: 20
    Well, my '01 GL2 coupe seems to be holding up well after 7500 miles of fun and excitement. I haven't had any type of major problems so far, and hopefully won't anytime soon. There is, however, a very minor problem that's been driving me insane!

    I first noticed about a week ago that the seatbelt light would come on intermittently. It seems that the connection inside the seatbelt buckle which tells the car that the belt is in fact buckled has a loose connection or something. So if I move by a couple inches, or go around a corner or over a bump, the light will flash on. It's especially annoying at night, when that red light is very prominent. Looks like it's time for a trip to the dealer.

    I'm curious if anyone else has had a problem like this with their car.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    I have the V6, so I'm pretty happy with 34 mpg U.S. on the highway. About 80% of our driving is on the open highway, with no commuting - these are all trips. So that's a pretty good savings over our previous car ('93 Corsica, 3.1L, V6) which only got 28 mpg U.S. highway.

    An interesting thought that occured to me with regards to the city mileage of (e.g.) V6 and V8's, is that I'm sure a good chunk of the consumption is at idle in traffic or stoplights. Many people know that the Prius and (I think) Insight kill the engine in these situations, however, the VW Lupo apparently does so and the latter is not a hybrid. In a world of cheap, very fast CPU's, I should think applying this benefit learned from hybrids more broadly is in the future.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I think that hybrids are going to be common place in a 10 years time or so. But the VW Lupo is not a hybrid. Instead, it's a Diesel-powered super-sub-compact car.
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