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Oldsmobile Alero



  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Yes. When this happened on my 99 Grand Am I took it in to a dealer with a service department I trust and had them look at it. As suspected it was the Passlock sensor on the ignition switch. It was about $300 to repair, but I may have had other service done at the same time also, I don't remember now. I do most of my own work but refrain from doing things that I'm not familiar with, and this is one of those areas.
  • daniel777daniel777 Posts: 1
    My wife drives a 99 alero. The what looks like a low battery light came on. I took the battery out, it needed changed, replaced the battery but the light is still on. Is there someting I need to do to turn this light off or is there another problem?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    It's probably the charging system not working.
  • mollmoll Posts: 2
    I am looking at buying a 2002 Alero, and my husband wants to know what kind of mechanical problems it's known for, if they are expensive, and if it's possible to do your own repairs...(he does most of the fixiting around our house and current vehicles)...Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm really impressed with the looks, mileage, and crash test ratings so I'm hoping that nothing to terrible crops up!!! Thanks a bunch!
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Here's an article that gives an overview of the Alero and also addresses reliability issues: 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero Full Review

    My husband has done some minor repairs and maintenance to our 2000 Alero, but most of the time we take it to the service centre. We had a Corsica before our Alero, and we have found that there have been more costly repairs with this car (for example, both front wheel bearings and the fuel level sensor have had to be replaced) than with the Corsica. However, we do enjoy our Alero and haven't found the reliability issues to be excessive; they just occur more frequently than they did with our Corsica (which, to be fair, had very few problems, beyond regular maintenance, until the last year we had it). The Haynes Repair Manual is good to have on hand for any do-it-yourself repairs.
  • i bought my 1999 alero as a new unused vehicle. it is the only vehicle i have owned. it has not left me severely stranded, only recently about 300 miles from home. however, i am on my third transmission, not due to my driving since it is rarely driven. i have the 6 cylinder engine which has a lot of pick-up and is fun to drive, however it is not so driveable right now and i am looking for any suggestions.

    the recent problem is that when the car is warmed up, turned off, then turned back on anywhere from 15 min to an hour or so later, it shudders and the "check engine" light comes on and flashes. took it to the same dealership twice where they hooked up the diagnostics machine and saw it missing firing at 2 different cylinders each time. so, we have misfiring at 4 out of 6 cylinders. other than that they could not offer much. took it to a mechanic nearby and he thought the injectors may need replacing.

    from a cost stand point and mechanical issues. could it be my spark plug wires and therefore i should just replace those? then try injectors if it doesn't work? any info is greatly appreciated.
  • So having taken the heeding of some posts around here, I decided against the 99 Alero for 7500. But still having not found a new car, and not wanting to put a ton of money in, I've found a nice 2000 GL 4cylinder for $6600, but the dealer is willing to knock it down to $6000. I'm thinking, even if I can only get a couple years out of it, for the cash, it's not a bad idea. Right now I'm driving a 94 Chevy S-10 with no a/c and no power anything.

    Does anyone think that sounds like a decent deal? I'd like to be able to take the car down to Virgina from here in PA in October for vacation instead of renting like I did this summer for our Boston trip. And I want to make sure it's reliable. It's almost at 60,000 miles, so I'm hoping that some of the issues reported here have already come and gone and been replaced with better parts.

    One other thing, the standard CD players on the 2000, are they CD-R/RW compatible or would I have to look into getting a newer Pioneer installed?
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Re: the CD-player, our Alero is a 2000 GLS 6-cylinder, but I would think the Delco stereo system would be the same. Anyway, ours plays CD-Rs just as well as commercially manufactured CDs.
  • What was the first year that Oldsmobile put the factory alarm system in there aleros?
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Do you mean the Passlock system? (As far as I know, there's no alarm involved, but if something other than the correct key is used, or the ignition tampered with, fuel is disabled and the car won't start.) Our 2000 Alero came with a 1999 owner's manual (we bought ours used), and the Passlock system is mentioned there. The Alero was first introduced in 1999, so I would guess, then, that the Passlock system has been there from the beginning.
  • I do not have an owners manual and have had this car for about 3 years now. This is a 99 alero V6 2 door, and I am having problems with my security light coming on and killing my engine. It will not let me start my car, it has done this in the past and after the light goes off, about 10 minutes, it would then start, however it is no longer allowing me to start the car. I disconnected the battery thinking that might reset the computer or the security system, however that did not work. Can anyone please advise what maybe causing this and how much it may cost to be fixed? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Security light coming on and not allowing the car to start is a common problem on the Alero and its twin the Pontiac Grand Am. The dealer fix to to replace the ignition switch for $300 +. Do a search on "security" here and over at the Grand Am board. You should have lots of hits.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Mike has given you a better answer, and I'm not sure if this will help you, but here's what our owner's manual says about the Passlock system:

    If the engine stalls and the SECURITY light flashes, wait until the light stops flashing before trying to restart the engine. Remember to release the key from START as soon as the engine starts.

    If the engine is running and the SECURITY light comes on, you will be able to restart the engine if you turn the engine off. However, your Passlock system is not working properly and must be serviced by your dealer. Your vehicle is not protected by Passlock at this time. You may also want to check the fuse. See your dealer for service.
  • No sorry im meaning the alarm where the horn beeps and lights blink if the door is opened while locked.
  • I have a 1999 Alero. I too have had many repairs, most of them relatively inexpensive to date. However the shifting gets VERY jerky at times and the ETS light comes on. At other times it shifts just fine. Am seriously wondering if I need to trade it off. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • vousavecvousavec Posts: 14
    Hi! My cousin has a 99 Alero and he asked me to post this question.
    Here is some info on his car:
    110k miles
    Automatic transmission
    4 cylinder (no turbo or special stuff)
    front wheel drive (if it matters)

    He says that when he is going down the interstate, about 70 mph, his car starts shaking bad and the RPM go up and down, like something is blocked, like the tranny is trying to shift. When he stuck it in Nuetral at 70 mph, the shaking stops...and starts back up as soon as he put it back in gear.

    Any thoughts of what this could be? (He just had his tranny flushed, but the shaking was present before that.) Thanks for all comments and suggestions!
  • squeesquee Posts: 1
    Hi - I have a 2001 Alero. I have read posts about the grinding noise in the front end - but when you put on new tires it went away. I was told by the dealer that GM put too big of tires on the cars (I have the Goodyear RSAs) that it wasn't hurting anything and just get new tires when I have to. I tried to get them today and the noise didn't go away. I heard the guys at Les Schwab saying "she's got a bigger problem then tires". Has anyone dealt with this? I went to the dealer and got copies of my maintenance records, I have an extended warranty, but this doesn't fall under that. Thanks
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    The Alero, and the related Grand Am and Malibu (all N-body cars), often require front wheel bearing replacements. We had to replace both of our front wheel bearings by the 60,000 mile mark on our Alero V6 and that is not uncommon for this car. I'm not saying it's acceptable, I'm just saying it's common.

    I'm surprised at the dealer's comment, I assume this was not from an experienced mechanic, as a grinding noise is common symptom and if it is louder when you turn the wheel one way than another it would be a "classic" front wheel bearing symptom. Especially if this is a new sound or has become worse with time. With our car it got considerably louder over just 200 miles of driving.

    I would assume this would be covered under the extended warranty's powertrain section. It would be worthwhile going to a garage that will honor the extended warranty (I'm not sure if it's an indepedent warranty or a GM one that you have), give them the symptoms and see what they say. They pretty much have to do a test drive to diagnose this, I think.
  • bigfryebigfrye Posts: 1
    I have recently noticed that my 99 V-6 alero's transmission has started to slip only after i go into reverse and put it in drive. It runs fine after you get going, but it is slipping at the start. And it seems that once it gets going it will never do it again unless you put it into reverse and then into drive again. I find it odd. Maybe a gasket is blown out on the valve body?? Does anyone have any ideas? 68000 miles.
  • Is this a possible explanation for the new sound my '01 Alero 4 cyl. has developed of late? I keep hearing a "pop" sound from up front and down low. It's not regular, and not particularly loud, but noticeable -- and it seems to be only when I am turning to the right at low speeds. I don't feel anything in the wheel - it's just a sporadic noise that's new. I only have 20,500 miles on the car (mostly highway). If so, it's surprising that there could be such a significant problem so soon.
  • The sound I typically associate with a worn wheel bearing is a shrill whine or humming sound which increases in pitch as you accelerate. We've had to replace two front wheel bearings, and I can't recall hearing a "pop" sound with either of them, just that whine/hum. Also, it starts out fairly quiet, but as time passes, it keeps getting louder and louder.
  • Check the cv joints, I had same problem and replaced the half shafts. Problem solved

    jimbou :)
  • My 2000 GLS is in the dealer for exactly this issue. It took 15 minutes of driving before I could demonstrate to the tech that it was happening. They have had the car for 2 days and are trying to get it to slip for an ext warranty rep. My ext warranty runs out in 2 weeks so I'm crossing fingers they can. The tech seems to feel it is an issue with the first gear. 56000 miles.
  • pipbpipb Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2002 alero. The hazard switch need to be replaced. Took it to a garage and was told that you must remove the dashboard. Anyone done that before. How to proceed..?
  • I think there is a recall on this. I know my daughters 2001 Alero got a recall for it, and I haven't yet responded because I don't want them tearing apart the dash.
    With Oldsmobile no longer around, I'm not sure who you bring it to. My recall notice sent me to a Chevy dealer 30 miles away. Kinda dumb when there are several GM dealers in the local area. I would check with a local dealer that was
    Oldsmobile and see what they say about the recall.

  • Have any of you bought tires online? I'm considering do that for my daughters 2001. The origanal Goodyears are beat at 25,000 miles. I've read good reviews about, but haven't decided on a tire yet. Any thoughts?

  • There was a recall on this. We took our Alero to our local GM service centre, and they replaced the hazard switch free of charge. GM still services our car, even though Oldsmobile is no longer around. As I recall, the notice directed us to another Oldsmobile dealer in the area, but we've always gone to this other service centre; they honoured the recall and did the replacement. Here's an article you can refer to: GM recalls 783,000 cars to replace hazard switch
  • pipbpipb Posts: 2
    HI DC,

    Thanks. I will check this out with the local dealer.

  • Same here. My wife's 2000 alero is having this problem. It's at a dealer right now for other problems but looks like it's not gonna be a cheap fix. Of course the extended warranty ran out 2 weeks ago, go figure.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Be sure and let us know what they find and the cost. Dealer usually replaces the ignition switch for a few hundred bucks to solve this problem.
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