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Oldsmobile Alero



  • Wilhfurtw
    I have owned the lot of foreign automobiles, VWs,SAABs, Peugeots, Fiats, Nissans, etc. and have rented Camrys, Corrolas, Mirages, Elantras, Etc. But when it came time to buy a really fun car to enjoy I bought a 2000 GL Alero sedan. Also bought a 2000 Intrigue for my wife. These are both program vehicles with a few miles on them.

    They are both nearly perfect when compared to the foreign names. I was buying these looking for the fine quality that was supposed to be there, but I never found.

    Sorry you can not enjoy your car as I do.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Did you not take the car out for a drive? If you hate it so much why did you buy it?

    I totally disagree with you assessment of the car. The Alero is an excellent choice for a smaller mid-size sport sedan.
  • I have a 2000 ALero GLS, performance package, upgraded sound system (the 100watt system), etc. About a month after getting the cat the cd-player was skipping, but my dealership replaced the stereo under warranty. The skipping started again. Has anyone else had a similar problem??

    Besides this problem, I love my car. Also, has anyone heard the 2001 8 speaker sound system? Is it much better than the 100watt upgrade of the 99 to 2000 alero?

    Thanks for any info
  • rene2rene2 Posts: 3
    Has anyone experience their headlights dim when the rear defroster is turned on? I also notice that when i accelerate the heat accelerates? Am i missing something or what?
  • As far as the looks and sound of the car, you could have decided not to buy it when you test drove it. Personally, I love to hear the engine fire up when you step on the gas, it totally enhances the driving experience. Also, the engine noise is virtually non-existent when cruising. As far as squeaks and rattles, I have only noticed one rattle that was soon resolved with a quick thump.

    I have test drove the performance suspension, and yes you do feel the bumps more. But, that's what a performance suspension is for, better road feel. You will need a obsenely heavy car or a loose and flexible suspension and frame not to feel any bump at all. You're not going to find an active suspension in this class yet.

    I do agree with the heating system however, it should be more flexible. But, it's nothing that I can't deal with.

    If you were looking for perfect refinement vs. performance, you should have went for another car. But for this price in it's class, you can't find anywhere close to the performance and handling that the Alero provides.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Generally agree with most of what you wrote.

    Though, Buick managed to make cars with rigid suspension, not transmitting the road bump to the driver's butt. I mean Regal, with Gran Touring suspension. It have thick seats and, as I had read, rubber bushings between the car body and suspension.

    Of course, Regal is larger than Alero, but hardly obscenely heavy. The same size and weight as Intrigue, or about 10% heavier than Alero with 3.4l engine.
  • I realized I was going to take a ride penalty when I ordered the performance suspension, but the other manufacturers have the ability to make their cars ride better and handle as well, if not better than the Alero. Consider again, the Ford Focus, Contour, Honda Accord, and Volkswagen Passat.

    Case in point: Compare GM's Buick line with a Toyota Avalon. They both have soft suspension tuned for ride comfort. Although Buicks ride comfortably, they have (for lack of a better description) a cheap feeling over bumps. You can feel the bump transmit through the whole car. With an Avalon, the car simply makes a simple soft thump and makes no more commotions about it and moves on. The Avalon still manages to handle better than the Buick even with a superior ride.

    As for engine noise, I like the sound of engines too. But the Alero sounds like a tractor. Ford's Duratec and Yamaha SHO, Toyotas V6, Hondas VTEC I4 and V6, and Nissans V6s all sound sexy and they rev as if there is no red line. Alero's V6 is not only coarse but it is lazy to rev.

    You guys are right. I should not have bought this car. But I won't have to make payments on it for one year. I hope I can get a decent price for it next year when the payments are due. But with its dismal resale value, I will probably suffer a huge loss if I sell it.
  • You asked about the 2001 8 speaker premium sound system. It has a 200 Watt amplifier, four loudspeakers, two tweeters, and what looks like a couple of woofers or subwoofers. I don't have the exact specs, so I am not entirely sure.

    I have this setup in my 2001 Alero, and the sound sucks, particularly the midrange. I listen primarily to classical music and opera. The strings don't sound rich, cymbals sound fake, and overall there is too much brightness.

    So, you have nothing to feel bad about. You have not missed out by buying a 2000 model with the premium sound. Get aftermarket components.
  • Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I just test drove two Aleros today - 2001, one was 2.4 engine w/performance suspension and one was GLS w/V6. I do hate the sound of the 4 cyl., but the V6 sounds pretty gutsy for that type of car. it also has great power. The performance suspension rides firm but not annoying over bumps. I currently drive a 98 Monte Carlo with the standard suspension and I feel its too soft.

    My mom has a 2.4L 2001 Alero, so all together now i have driven 3 Aleros and all are quiet and for the msot part rattle-free. Maybe you just got the one bad one. They really do give you a lot of bang for the buck.

    I have to ask you about the price you paid: 19,900 for a MSRP of 21,600?? I have the GM Supplier Discount and they quoted me the exact same thing. Whoa! Did you have a GM discount? i thought this discount was supposed to be less than what the public pays.

    Am I getting a raw deal, paying $19900 for a $21600 car?
  • The mileage I listed was when I had a mere 1700 miles on the car. Maybe I'm just lucky. I tend to have a lead foot and I was averaging well above the posted speed limit :-)

    As for the pings, I had a problem with my car doing a violent shift into 2nd. The service dept uploaded the latest software version and the problem was solved.

    As those of you who have been following this category for a while know, my biggest problem was the water leak during heavy rains. Heads up to all the coupe owners out for water under/behind the front seats after a heavy rain.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    Did you even test drive the Alero before you bought it and what were you comparing it to? Compared to similar priced cars, the Alero competes very well. You can easily turn the A/C compressor on or off by pressing the button that says "A/C". And using the A/C does very little to gas mileage on modern cars. I'll agree the Alero's 3400 V6 does not sound as good as an SHO's V6 or a Dratec V6, but mosrt Japanese engines are far from "sexy" sounding. Unless you consider a Singer sewing machine sexy. In this case, you might should have considered an Olds Intrigue with it's 3.5 liter Northstar based DOHC V6. Remember, all of those imports you listed only come with 4 cylinders at the Alero's price point. And don't even mention the Taurus if you think the Alero is unrefined. Sorry you don't like your car, but I just don't agree with your assesment. My brother has a 99 Alero GL V6 coupe and he has been very pleased with the car. I've driven it several times and I thought it was a pretty good car. Before deciding on the Alero, he looked at a Nissan Altima and a Honda Accord coupe and found that the Alero was by far the better of them all for the price.
  • Yeah, I test drove the car. But the only thing that convinced me to sign the sales contract was the 0 down, 0 payments and interest for one whole year. I did consider the Intrigue, but I had difficulty finding the base GX model. The Intrigues on stock were way out of budget for me. I'm still in college.

    Despite my complaints, I will acknowledge that Oldsmobile, in my opinion, has the best portfolio of models in GM's lineup and Oldsmobile is the only GM division that I would consider when buying a car. I would be able to overlook my complaints if only GM would drop in a 3.0 liter version of the Northstar.

    And no, I am not a GM employee or a supplier employee. Coming into a dealership prepared with information and strategy helps tremendously. Salesmen are so full of #!?$%#@^z!
  • Hello to all you Alero owners!

    I have had my 99 Alero now for 1 1/2 years, and I have taken my car back to the dealership 3 times for "warped" rotors. I asked him what the problem was and he told me that they don't make rotors like they used to. Now I am experiencing a knocking noise that sounds like my whole underbody of my car is coming out, and also I have to have my power steering pump replaced. My car is not even 2 years old and experiencing all these problems. I love my car, but it is too much of a hassle. I have already had my drivers seat tracking (that slides the seat back and forth)replaced because it was defective. I don't know what to do. Can someone help me!
  • Well, the 1999 Alero is certainly a topic for discussion at my house! I have had mine less than one year, 8 trips to the dealer, 3 tows in the 8 trips, and they still cannot fix the poor thing. We have been told so many stories that it is now becoming humorous. I love the car, but hate not having it to drive. It has been a constant problem with electrical, finally being blamed on water in the fuse box, which cannot be traced to any source. I am not mechanical, but to me this is not logical. The sales dept at the dealer does not want it in trade because "it has too many problems." the service dept does not want it back to fix, because " they have no idea what is wrong with it." So what does one do? Well, fortunately rebates and 0% interest rates are popular now - it looks like a 2000 Dodge Intrepid is in my future, for a very low price and payment. Too bad Oldsmobile does not care if they lose a long time customer, and trust me, they don't care. I wish you all the best with your Alero's - they are a wonderful car for the money, if they run!
  • An update - the dealer is refusing to give my car back this time, attempting to talk us into a trade for a Grand Prix. In one hour, we have had five different stories from service and sales regarding the Alero. . .parts are on order, parts are not available, parts should be here tomorrow, take a brand new 2001 Grand Prix for the weekend. . . who is kidding who?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I would be inclined to take the 2001 Grand Prix for the long Thanksgiving weekend - and to drive it 1000 miles :-)

    BTW, why not Intrigue, if this is an Olds dealership?
  • Somebody mentioned my Alero may be a bad apple. But just about every major auto magazine such as Car and Driver and Edmunds reviewed the Alero and other Oldsmobiles mentioned its fit and finish problems. Lets face it. Oldsmobile, or GM for that matter can't match the imports, or even Chrysler and Ford in terms of fit and finish. JD Power statistics can back this up.

    In response to SUNSETKG, I think you should check out your states lemon laws. It sounds like you bought a used car, because you said you bought a 1999 model and had it for less than a year. I believe lemons laws don't apply to used cars, but do some research and try contacting your states consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau. Good Luck.
  • I disagree. My mom's original '99 Alero was bought back as a Lemon, but the one thing that car had in its favor was fit and finish. Very good; better than my Chevy MonteCarlo. She now has a '01 Alero and also with perfect fit and finish.

    Yesterday I test-drove two Aleros at a Dealer and both were perfect except for one piece of bodyside molding coming off, but that is easily fixed.

    Edmunds and Car& Driver traditionally give GM cars, and especially the lower-priced ones, poor ratings. Hey Edmunds people: not every car can be a toyota Corolla. I just wish they'd go a little easier on the GM products.
  • Just out of curiousity, did GM give your mother the current market wholesale value at the time, market retail value, or did she simply get a refund of the purchase amount? You said you mother now drives a 01. Does that mean GM bought your mother's Alero more than a year after she bought the car? That sounds good.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    I disagree with whoever said that GM cars do not have as good fit and finish as others. I have a 98 Intrigue and my brother has a 99 Alero and the fit and finish are very good. Maybe not as good as a Lexus or a Caddy, but just as good IMO as similarly priced cars, including imports. And compared to Ford, GM is MUCH better. The Taurus does not hold a candle to the Intrigue. And I don't think that Chrysler is much better.
  • Look at the JD Power and Associates rankings and tell me Oldsmobile and GM ranks better than the imports in its Initial Quality Survey. Consuer Reports will also tell you that Ford is most reliable among domestic manufacturers overall and has better quality than GM or Chrysler.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I read the JD Power survey when shopped for a new car. I hesitated then between selecting either Buick Regal or Chevy Impala.

    Of course, I did not memorize the table, and do not remember it so well now, about half-year later. But I remember very well, that Impala had a very good rating, something about mid 130-th defects per 100 cars, and the Buick had even better results. This is higher than with most of Japanese cars.
  • to those who had comments - thanks for the suggestions. We have checked the state lemon laws, and yes we do qualify to file. it takes 2 to 4 months to gain a hearing, and no commitment of winning the claim. I do not want to drive this car through a Vermont winter with it breaking down all the time due to water in the fuse box. In Vermont, used cars still under the manufacturer's warranty do qualify for lemon law. Also, one must have the car in their possession as well as the work orders - all of which the dealer currently has in their possession. And further to be offered an Intrigue - well, I have had a lot of information given to me that this leaking problem is fairly inherent in the last 3 years of Oldsmobile production of several models. Also, the service dept at the dealership has told us of several models that they are fighting the same situation with, including Grand Am, Malibu, Cutlass, Alero. The latest update on the car today is that Oldsmobile never produced any of the parts that we need to fix the car. The replacement parts do not exist. The scenario just gets deeper and more complicated by the hour. The other difficulty is the dealership is an hour away from where I work, so only communication is generally by telephone. And I agree - I should get a Grand Prix to drive from today til after Thanksgiving! Better yet, they should just give me the car. ha ha ha My instinct is telling me that Oldsmobile has agreed to buy the car back from the dealer for full price, and now the dealer wants me to buy a brand new car, up one level on the scale. Who gains here?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    It looks as you have a really bad dealership, telling you fairy tales. How the replacement parts could not exist, if GM put them in the car in the first place?

    The same with blaming all cars around for the problem they could not fix in your car. I own a 98 Malibu.

    A lot of Alero owners have the leak problem, in different places of car (your fuse box is the worse place, though). The same with GrandAm - the two cars are practically tweens, with different badges and some secondary details, but the same body design and the same leaks.

    I am also reading the Edmunds board, and, being a subscriber for Consumer Report, have their handbooks. Never saw any report concerning a leak in Malibu or its tween, now discontinued 97-98 Old Cutlass.

    The cars share indeed the underbody with Alero/GrandAm, and had the same problems with brake rotors prone to warping. But, first, the rotor problem is not related to the leak in any way, and, second, to all appearance, it is already mostly fixed by GM.

    Intrigue have/had its share of problems, but not the leaks. Being a larger car, it have totally different body, underbody, suspension, brakes, etc. The basic design is the same as for Grand Prix, Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, and Buick Regal and Century.

    The only thing common with Intrigue and Alero is the general idea of the external appearance - lamps, etc. They are even produced at different plants.
  • well, the saga continues. The part ordered, supposedly a new seal for the moon roof, is no where to be found. It is shipped, they tell me, but no one has a tracking # and it was shipped Ground from "somewhere" out west. I told the dealer I want my car back and they said not until it is fixed. IT is too risky for me to drive it - funny they never said that the other 6 times. . .

    Does anyone know how to find out about parts availabilty on a particular item for a model, without have part numbers? Curious that a car would be manufactured, two years ago, and that replacement parts are this hard to come by, especially a domestic vehicle.

    Open to suggestions, comments, etc.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Even if the moonroof really leaks, hardly the water can get to the fuse box from here, without being seen first all around.

    People reported on this board a hidden leak along firewall of GrandAm/Alero, down the windshield. Just a puddle on the floor after rain, and hard to find its source. This leak localization looks as much more natural for water to get into the fuse box.

    I would try to pour water to the windshield, by a garden hose, and to watch if some water is getting into the car interior.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    I will not argue that Honda, Toyota, etc have better fit and finish or whatever. Every automotive choice I make is a balance of factors. I'm realistic enough to realize I can't afford the best.

    I don't have squeeks and rattles in my Alero and the interior quality is good enough in that it is better than in the GM and DC minivans. Those look and feel too cheap for me.

    For the $19Gs of this Alero, can you get 170 hp in any of those other marques?

    I shouldn't try to convince you of anything relating to the Alero. The point is you are not happy with your purchase because you cannot reconcile your decision to purchase it versus your expectations for the vehicle. This happens to people even if they spend $50Gs on a car.

    I hope you get over it.
  • You can get a Mistubishi Galant with a 195hp V6 engine for even less than the Alero. And right now, Mistubishi is also offering 0 down, 0 payment and interest for one year, just like Oldsmobile. I am bumping my head against the wall for missing this deal just by few days.

    Speaking of power, I could forget all the quality problems if Oldsmobile would put in the Northstar engine in the Aleros bay. Are you listening GM or Oldsmobile?

    Thanks anyway and I will eventually get over my purchase.
  • Hi and thanks for the suggestions and comments. If I could get the car back from the dealer, I would be happy to try this. . . Another telephone battle tonight with the dealer and after with Oldsmobile. No one wants to listen, only to give a line of b.s. We don't think it is the moon roof either, but. . . I actually spoke with a different GM dealer today, and they think our dealer is backpeddling, big time. It is very frustrating, agitating, and so on. I know we will get through this somehow, but I feel that I will lose big time. The people at Oldsmobile are so uninterested - today's suggestion was to take the car to a different Olds dealer. Well, I can tell you here in the old state of VT - other dealers do NOT want someone else's warranty problems.
  • Try contacting the Oldsmobile or GM district manager in your are. Since the district manager has a lot of control, dealing with person in that position may help. Your dealer or Oldsmobile may have the district managers number.
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