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Oldsmobile Alero



  • I faced the same question when I purchased my Alero GL3 in August. I selected the 6 cyl. It had a lot more noticeable power, was quieter and as was mentioned in this message board, the 6 cyl has a long successful history with GM. While GM has had big quality problems with the 4 cyl. I'm happy iwth myt choice. The cost difference was about $600. However, all 6 cyls came with a "features option pkg" at about $1000 while you could find some 4 cyl without this package. The only item I wanted in teh pkg was remote entry whcih i could have added later on. So it was really a $1600 cost for the 6 cyl.
  • james113::::::The 4 cyl. 150 HP quad 4 surely has the bugs worked out by now as it has been revised and improved many times. My 2000 GL with the 4 has averaged 26.5 mpg mostly city driving, but conservative driving not rush hour type. My wife has a 2000 Intrigue with the 3.5 215 HP 230 lbft torque awesome engine The Intrigue runs 22.5 mpg in the same driving conditions. This is not reformulated fuel being used but plain regular.

    I obviously like both cars. If you like smooth, quite, and performance you may want to consider the Intrigue. So far there have not been any engine problems reported with this new hi-tec engine. The engine has been rated as a top 10 by Wards automotive two years in a row.

    Both cars have substantial performance and mashing the gas can make for short life of the front tires with the traction control switched off.

    Just opinions as you asked for.
  • Thanks very much for the responses regarding my dilema as to which engine to choose. Unfortunately the Intrigue is not towable with all four wheels on the ground which limits my choices to Malibu,GrandAm or Alero. My best trade value is restricted to the Alero and/or Malibu. While the Alero is a little more money, I think for styling and safety reasons it is worth every penny. If I go ahead with the purchase, it will have a V-6! Thanks again for confirming what I suspected would be the more logical choice notwithstanding the impact on my bank account.
  • First let me say I have really enjoyed reading the reviews regarding the Alero. I wished I would have found this site before my car purchase, I can see where it could be very beneficial. In June of this year I purchased my very first new car. A 2000 Silver Alero GLS Coupe with sun roof, leather, low profile tires, automatic transmission, etc. I LOVE IT! I have worked hard all my life and my last child at home is 14 years old and I wanted a useful as well as fun car to drive. But, I have experienced the following saga of events and if there is ANYONE out there who can guide and direct me I will be grateful for your assistance.

    As stated I bought my car June 14, 2000. A demo model with 6,000 miles. (I thought the bugs would be worked out.) On or about June 28, 2000 I was back at the dealership, water leaks in the floor boards. Not just little leaks, but, standing water! The dealership said they fixed the problem, but not so, I have been back in there 3 more times since with the next to the last one to get the new skirts put on that I read about earlier, and guess what, it leaked again, worse. Took it back to the dealer and they said, they took the door panels off, soaked it all day, rechecked the skirts again, seals, etc. and you guessed it, no leaks while it was there. I am nervous, because my husband is a severe allergist with the #1 allergy being to mold and mildew. I questioned the service department about the carpet and padding. I was told that it would not mold, it's a new type and told not to worry about rust in the body. Easy for them to say, when it gets wet, then dries, new brown stains appear. I was further told that out of all the skirts replaced mine was the only one known to have to come back it worked in all the others.

    Next problem right after I purchased the car in June my husband and I kept telling service that the front end was pulling and not braking just as we thought it should, and were told everything was okay, it was probably that the wheels just needed balancing, this was done, and still had the problem. Well, just a couple a months ago, I had to go in again with the third problem, the drivers window motor and regulator failed and had to be replaced questioned the tech about the front end problem was told at this time, some models have had a bulletin regarding warped brake rotors. Yes, you guessed it, mine had to be replaced. But, read on.

    After this work was complete, I kept hearing a slight roaring sound when I back up at times, and braking at slow speeds in traffic. The tech advised me that when a car sits over night or for a few days the rotors "set up a little rust which is common". He further stated that the roaring sound was the pads cleaning the rust off every day. Can anyone advise if he is feeding me a line? I have never heard of such a thing.

    Next, they have had to replace two of my fuel injectors. Is this a common problem so soon? Although I saw a dramatic increase in my gas milege and performance. I had also complained it did not get the milege stated on the sticker.

    Well they finally found out now what was wrong with the front end pulling, it is a strut of which they ordered and are to call when this comes in hopefully next week.

    I know my request is long and seems like I am picking on this car, but I truly love it! I would like nothing more but, to keep it. I now have 15,000 miles on this car. But, I can not afford to keep driving 45 miles one way to the dealership, on a regular basis not to mention I am getting a little nervous wondering what will happen next. My husband and I met with the dealership General Manager and I showed him the documentation of my concerns, and even drove some other Oldsmobile products, but not the same. Please help. What would you do and or is there anyone else with all these problems? As this is my first car, will these bugs work out or have I got the proverbial lemon I have heard about.

    Thanks in advance for your time and efforts,

  • hengheng Posts: 411
    There is nothing technical I can offer that would ease your concerns. But at what mileage was the last problem discovered? If you have added significant mileage since the last problem (like 5000 miles), I would tend to say you have debugged the car. Good luck.
  • Yes, it's unfortunate that they didn't fix these problems the first time. I have also had a couple problems with my car. Broken steering rack cover caused during shipping, faulty coolant pressure cap, and changed rotors and pads twice. Needless to say, I'm on a first name basis with my service rep there. But, through all this, they're service has been excellent and I still love the car.

    With all your troubles, you might want to call the GM customer service line and see if they can arrange some compensation for all your trouble. I do believe that somewhere on here someone had some decent compensation for a lemon that they got. On the back of the GM magazine it has the number of 1-800-GM-DRIVE. Not sure if that's just for Canada, but it's worth a try.

    Just wondering, what made the techs change your fuel injectors? How much mileage were you getting? My mileage doesn't seem to be as consistent as I think it should be.

    In any case, hopefully all your problems are resolved. Happy driving =).
  • In response to the what made them check the milage situation. They did not check the milege problem just because I complained. I had to take the car in for the rotor bulletin replacement, plus I had noted, the Service Engine Soon light would keep coming on, then later going off. The tech advised he would check it out at the time of rotor replacement. I was also having trouble with the Low Tire Pressure light coming on and all being okay, thus would have to go in and reset this too. While in the shop for all this at 14,000 miles he said, it was about time for the 15,000 mile recommended dealer maint. of which I chose to do and it was during all this they found out that I had two injectors down. #2 and #6. They replaced these and I have finally reached 21 mpg and alot more power, not to mention smoother running. Before the replacement between 15 mpg and 17 mpg.

    Thanks for your interest, and Happy Driving to you also.
  • Im currently getting 12.8lit/100km on my 2.4
    5-speed and was wondering if that sounds right?
    19.5 MPG , imperial gallons. I usually drive the around 2000-3300 rpm city driving.
  • 18.5MPG not imperial gallons
  • I'm sorry to hear about all your Alero troubles. Post #223 mentioned someone who had got decent compensation for a lemon...well, it was my mom.

    She had a '99 GL coupe where the "traction-off" light and "service engine" light kept coming on. They did offer to replace the car with very little out-of-pocket cost, so even if your state doesn't have a "lemon law" you can still call the B.B.B.'s "auto-line" where they will work on your behalf.

    Now, my mom has a 2001 coupe. Well, at 700 miles, the passenger floor was all wet. She also had that problem with her '99 but it was fixed the first time. I think this problem is common to most Alero coupes unfortunately. She's taking the car in next week to see about it. She only has a little over 1,000 miles now and no other problems.

    I'm thinking of buying a GL2 coupe w/V6, sport suspension. How do you like the ride of the 16" wheels? Feel free to email me and I'll keep you posted on my mom's Alero.
  • Thanks for your response. Sorry to hear your mom is still having troubles, I know from experience that can be very nerve racking. You never know what is going to happen next, and waiting for the hatchet to fall. Did you read in my inital comments, in reference to the carpets potential for mold and mildew, and also the potential for underneath the car to rust due to holding water for extended periods of time. The service rep advised me this would be no problem because of some new carpet they have in the Aleros. But, I am concerned, because of my husbands health conditions. (Please read my initial posting #221) and give me your thoughts.

    In response to your question regarding the ride with the 16" wheels. At first it seemed tighter than the regular if that helps. But, I Love the ride it is really a fun car to drive. Handles great in curves, reminds me of a little sports car.

    I would love to keep in touch reference the Aleros. Is there some way I get your email address from this site?

    Thanks again,
  • A lot of the people here are also on a newsgroup where we share updates/questions more frequently. You can find it under and sign up for the Alero group. Also, you can check out and/or register your car under You can find out how to modify your car and any tech updates that appear. It's definately worth taking a peek at.
  • Thanks for the info I will sign up on both sites.
  • rene2rene2 Posts: 3
    I have a '99 GLS sedan and I also had the water problem. The water would leak onto the front passenger side floor and into the passenger side fuse box. It was a bad seal around the windshield. Once fixed, I haven't had any problems with it.
    Now I am dealing with dim headlights when I turn on the read defroster. Someone told me that my alternator is going out. Any ideas?
  • Thanks for your response on the water leaks that you experienced with your Alero. They have checked my windshield and said all was fine in that area. We just had several days of heavy rains and I am proud to announce they may have finally did it, fixed that problem. I called them this morning to check on the status of my strut for the front end and when they asked about the water leaks, I was pleased to give them that info. Although I was sure to tell them my car sat parked and I did not have a reason to drive in it, because I have had leaks when parked and others when driving, if that makes any sense. I also told them of all the information of which I have obtained from this site and the others recommended by the nice folks on this site. Some of which was drill bigger drain holes, of which the service tech advised me today they have already done that on my car. Today was the first I heard about it when I mentioned it. Never the less I made notes in my Franklin for future reference and continued on listening. To your problem. You may want to go back and read some of the postings on this site because I remember reading the Aleros had some type of alternator problem and may be covered under one of the bulletins. If not it may have been covered under someones warrenty. My husband said, it could also be a short or improper ground somewhere in the electrical. Hope that info helps good luck and keep in touch.
  • Hello. I am the college student that was complaining about the 2001 Alero I bought. Many of you have been telling me to get over my dissatisfaction with the car. I was planning to do just that. But a miracle happened. It seems the dealer could not find a bank to finance my car, because I was unemployed. So after using the car for almost four weeks and 1700 miles on the odometer, I had to return the car to the dealer. I no longer have the Alero. And I am glad.

    It has been a pleasure talking about cars with you folks.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    But do you have a car to drive now?? Good luck buying that BMW without a job. J/K
  • Obviously the bimmer or the Audi will have to wait until I get out of school. Until then, I think a 1993 Honda Accord will suit me just fine.
  • Well update reference my Alero senario. I received a call from the folks at Oldsmobile, yesterday. My mother took the message and called me at work with the 800 number and CO# to return their call. They said, they were calling reference my recent complaints of my Oldsmobile product and wanted to know more about my concerns. I gave them the whole spill about the leaks, brakes, window, front-end rattle, and the straw that broke the camels back, getting the car back from the dealer with the carpet still wet 3 days later. She was real nice and appeared to be rather knowledgeable with her comments. Put me on hold called the dealership on my behalf, (of which I talked to dealership afterwards and they confirmed) in an honest attempt for customer satisfaction. I told the woman the same things I have said, here, I love my car, I am just frightened of the problems that lerk ahead. She has everything documented and read off the file history she previously had, plus the notes from my file, and told me if everyone would get in touch with them as I had solving the problems, and linking them to common defects etc. would be easier. I told her the only person who I complained to were service manager, general manager of the dealership, who both have appeared to be quite helpful and courteous and then filled out the survey mailed to me, honestly but not hostily. She said, they welcome any and all comments and are eager to help, just call the 800 # every Oldsmobile owner has in their book for results. The dealer now has my strut in stock and we are scheduling a time for it to be fixed, plus they are to clean, disinfect, or replace my carpet. Plus they were advised a few more things to check regarding the leaks. I told this kind person that I would be posting my experience on this site, and she was pleased. So until the next ball bounces or something new happens, I will be on this site reading the updates and not posting them. Thanks again to everyone for your kind words of wisdom.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    Glad to hear that Olds was able to help you get your problems resolved. I've never had to take mine that far, but I've always found the dealer has been able to fix any problems I have in a timely and courteous manner.
  • bpc8bpc8 Posts: 1
    I'm from Buffalo and I think it's time to put some snow tires on my 2000 Alero GLS. I'm thinking of getting Bridgestone Blizzak WS-15's, but I'm not sure if I should get 2 or 4. Any advice from fellow Alero drivers out there would be appreciated.
  • An update on my moms' 2001 Alero Coupe. Water leak on the passenger side. They kept it for 3 days and said the inner door panel's water deflector needed to be re-sealed - that the water was coming in from the door panel.

    So, it was easy to fix. Now I wish It would rain!
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Hey aridell you don't live in the U S of A do you?
    I was told that the getrag tranny from Italy had
    some problems and would not be avaible here in west
    central Illinois till ought-one.Have you seen many
    in your area?
  • I have a 2000 GL3 coupe. Almost a year old and 14K miles on it. After a heavy wind, hard rain storm last week I noticed the driver's floor was wet. The car was parked during the storm, so I'm assuming the leakage was due to the wind driven, nearly horizontal rain. Other than that, it's water tight.
    Bought front brake rotors and pads from NAPAonline. It's worth the $100 and a Saturday afternoon than to lose the car for a day and hope the dealer does it right. I've read posts of the shutter re-occuring even after the dealer replaced the rotors.
    Has anybody noticed flickering headlights? It's hardly noticable. More like the blink of an eye. Trying to figure out if it's a battery load thing (like the electric fan going on), or if it's the auto-on circuit. I hardly ever have to actually turn on the headlights myself.
  • Yes, I have noticed the flicker in the headlights also, just as you described, "like a blink of an eye". Don't have any idea the cause. I thought it was just the wear and tear of my dirt roads. I have to travel 2 miles each way of dirt road daily to and from my house. Have it on the list for my dealership to check next Tuesday when I take mine back for repairs. Will let you know if they find out anything. Reference your leaks, if its under warrenty, might ought to say something now! From experience it could get worse. Read the notes on this site. It never hurts to start the documentation process, you never know when and if you might need it. Take Care
  • I have been a frequent contributor to the Ford Focus Sedans section of Town Hall, and am now in the market for another car after only one year. Having owned a 1998 Malibu LS, I thought that no other car could top that Chevy in poor reliability until I owned the Focus. Well, after a very impressive test drive of a Sunfire GT yesterday, it struck me that the base Alero has the same engine and tranny as the Sunfire GT. Since I prefer beige interiors and exteriors, and the Alero is a little more stylish, I am now giving the Alero a hard look. And for only $655 more, I can get the 3.4 Liter V-6 engine. I was also impressed when I test drove an Alero GX several weeks ago, but figured that it would be out of my price range by the time I had it equipped the way I like it. Now with generous rebates, the Alero GL1 with the 3.4 Liter V-6 is a very attractive car. Thanks to GM BuyPower's web site, I have also found three Alero's equipped and colored exactly the way I want, all within a 100 mile radius of my home.

    So I read every single posting on this forum, in preparation for some more educated questions for the rest of you. The horror stories from many of you now make my Focus seem like a Lexus in reliability, but I feel compelled to ask these questions before making a final decision.

    1) The brake rotors. My Malibu had the same problem. I was told that when alloy wheels are not properly torqued, the rotor can deform. When high speeds are achieved and the rotor heats up, and a puddle of water is hit, a permanent deformation occurs. Being an engineer, this makes perfect sense. So my big question is, are the Alero owners having rotor problems the same ones that also have alloy wheels, such as GLS owners? Do any of you GX owners also have warped rotor problems, as you do not have alloy wheels? I have yet to hear this complaint from a GX owner. If the problem is related to alloy wheels, then I will make sure that my GL1 does not have the Feature Package or GL2 upgrade (2001 model), both which have alloy wheels.

    2) Water leaks. This appears to plague mostly coupes. I planned on buying a sedan anyway. However, leaking windshields that drain into the fuse box certainly can affect the coupe or the sedan. How many of you have had water leak problems on your sedan? If so, did drilling bigger drain holes stop the problem?

    3) Does your CD player frequently skip? Very bad bumps are excluded from this question. I have heard horror stories on this one as well, and do not plan on getting the 200-watt 8-speaker upgrade, which is similar to Pontiac's Monsoon stereo.

    4) Gas mileage. This question appears to have been answered by previous postings, but I will ask it anyway. Does the larger 3.4 Liter V-6 engine really get better highway fuel economy than the smaller 2.4 Liter 4-cylinder engine? The answer appears to be a definitive "yes", as the larger engine was apparently designed with fuel economy over more power in mind. If one were to plot engine size vs. torque and horsepower, the 3.4 Liter engine clearly drops below the straight line connecting all GM engines between 2.2 and 3.8 liters (Northstar 3.5 excluded). This also tells me that one gets great fuel economy for commuting, but only slightly more power. If this is so, then the 3.4 Liter V-6 is my choice for sure. Any opinions, anyone?

    The only reason that I am still considering the Alero after reading the horror stories is that I consider it to be a superbly styled car that handles and accelerates well, and is also a much better value than the more uncomfortable Japanese cars. If the Alero gets ruled out, then the ugly 2001 Honda Civic EX sedan would be my next choice, which is smaller and priced the same as my would-be Alero with rebate. The Civic seats also feel like a straight jacket. Waiting another year until I can afford a Toyota Solara SE is also another option, with the Nissan Sentra SE being my final option. Given my choices, one cannot blame me for wanting to buy an Alero and avoid it's main problems in the first place (alloy wheels and leaky coupes). I may wind up renting an Alero sedan and testing it with the garden hose while it plays my least favorite music CD. This is certainly cheaper than getting stuck with another lemon like the Focus. My new year's wish will be for Ford, GM, and Chrysler to all start building better quality cars! We deserve it!

    Any feedback will greatly be appreciated.
  • The only two cars I was considering was a Camaro
    and an Olds Alero, and I was leaning more toward
    the Olds after talking with my insurance agent.

    Camaro insurance is much higher. You see, I live
    in Alabama where it is cheap anyway to insure a
    car, but the Camaro would be a full $25 more per
    month, the Alero only $3 more per month, and keep
    in mind I have no accidents and a 11-year perfect

    But another thing: resale value. I checked with
    NADA and compared a 1999 Camaro V6 with a 1999
    Alero V6, same equipment. I wanted to compare a 4
    year old car but they only starting making Olds
    Alero in '99. It lists that Camaro's value
    (average retail) as $18,000 and the Alero as
    $14,500. Can this be real? Do used Camaro's
    really keep more value than other cars?
  • well, i can tell you dealers were only giving 11k for 99 ga's(to other dealers) with super low miles this last june..

    99 alero's and ga's seem to be a dime a dozen in indiana, at least.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    I and another Alero owner posted here that we got the brake shudder after moderate braking from 70+ mph. Not from going through puddles with alloy wheels. If you are running on the highway and haven't touched the brakes for miles. How do the wheels heat up?

    I have a 99 sedan and haven't had any water leaks.
  • Thanks for the response on my question. I try to be brief in my explanations (believe it or not), so I need a little more clarification on our type of highway driving. It is more like driving 85 mph along with the crowd, and then some idiot hit's his brakes in the left lane when he sees a police car, then we all hit our brakes, quite often coming to a dead standstill. These are harsh driving conditions indeed, especially when frequent rains are added to the picture. Worse yet, a bright sunny day and then a standing puddle of water leftover from yesterday's rains. And no, I am not exaggerating, as we live below sea level.

    So, does your Alero have alloy wheels? Thanks for the thumbs up on your sedan not leaking. Just an hour ago, I was looking at a 2001 Midnight Blue GL1 sedan with neutral cloth interior, a 3.4 Liter V-6, and the Feature Package with the really nice looking alloy wheels. If I have to get the less attractive steel wheels and hubcaps to avoid brake rotor problems, I will, but I would much prefer the alloy wheels. Steel or alloy, which will it be?
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