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Oldsmobile Silhouette



  • trader14trader14 Posts: 7
    To Dadofchamp - Just a couple thoughts 1) for no more than $5500 but quite possibly less you could purchase the GL new with a 3 year warranty. If you buy the used vehicle you may end up spending another $1500 for a GM warranty which brings the difference to no more than $4000 for a BRAND NEW VAN. Just so you know I included the following options on the new GL in my example for you, Security Package: includes auxiliary rear air with heater, rear seat audio controls, driver information center, universal garage door opener, passenger side power sliding door and rear parking aid and traction control (value $2350). 2) Olds Silo was redesigned in 01 so with a new van you'll have the updated not outdated look 3) You're always better off selling your car by yourself to get maximum value.
    Happy Hunting
  • To trader14: I guess I need an explanation of your numbers. Edmund's TMV on the Security Package is $1314, putting the TMV on a 2002 GL at $26,611. Can I really expect to negotiate $5K less than what Edmunds says "others are paying"?

    BTW If I stay away from extended warranties sold by the dealer, I can get 6 year, 100K full coverage for under $1200. Warrantybynet and WarrantyDirect both quoted me prices less than the $1500 you mentioned.

    As I said, it's been along time since I've been involved with this. Am I missing something in the numbers I found? Thanks!
  • jpnmassjpnmass Posts: 45
    Remember you get the 3502 rebate off the 26611. That brings you to 23109 w/ a 5/60 warranty. Downgrade to a 3/36 and get another 1000 off the price if you wish.
  • jpnmassjpnmass Posts: 45
    One other thing. I just put a down payment on a Premier. The Edmunds MSRP is higher by 260 than the actual sticker on the car. Not sure if that is the same with the GL, so you might save another couple of hundred. The TMV is quite accurate if I look at my transaction. MSRP (per Edmunds) for base Premier is 34055, TMV is 31171. My MSRP was 34090 (includes 6 Disc changer, paid 31300.
  • trader14trader14 Posts: 7
    Dadofchamps - 3 weeks ago I purchased a Olds Premiere with towing package MSRP of $34,250 on Edmonds, after all the discounts I paid $25.9k plus tax (actually $24.7 plus tax when my GM $$ are factored in). Edmonds TMV is $31,242. Just as a FYI I used all rebates $3502, $1000 Warranty downgrade also so that means I bought the car for about $650 below invoice and deducted rebates.
    Aftermarket warranty info of $1500, I just guessed, I'm not in the car business.
    The net of it all is that you can buy the vehicle at or under invoice and add all available rebates and get to a number close to what I mentioned. I think there's additional value to buying new because even though I own the Silo and love it, I have serious questions about its maintenance record once it will get a few years old.
    Good luck with the decision you make
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    It easy to do with all the numbers thrown around in the last few posts.
    In the end the guys who bought new paid more than $25,000 for their vans, (which is still a good deal).
    However, the van you are looking at was quoted to you at $16,400 without any real hagling. Thats a $9,000 difference.
    The used van you have described sounds like a pretty good deal to me, I think there is probably still some negotiating room, (I'll bet at the worst you can get it below 16, and possibly down around $15K even. Without any real research, that is the price I would shoot for.
    In the end, the used van is still going to be significantly cheaper than a new one.
    As far as trading goes, yes you will likely do much better selling it yourself. Couple of things to keep in mind, 1)is it worth the hassle to you, 2) research your cars TMV, vs. trade value that the dealer offers to see how much you stand to lose by trade in, 3) the trade in will reduce the sales tax cost on your purchase so that difference needs to be factored in. 4) Your 92 Taurus is probably not worth much any way you slice it.
    As far as warranty goes, I would check these boards, you will find the GM trio has a pretty good reliability record esp compared to other minivans. After researching, remeber a couple of things, 1) Are the repair costs likely to exceed the cost of the warranty, (remember warranty companies are similar to insurance co. they calculate their prices based on repair cost histories, and charge an amount that allows them to return a profit), 2) If you put the amount of the arranty cost in a savings acct/ fund, you are going to get a return on your investment increasing the amount of repair costs necessary to make a warranty worthwhile.
    Dealers don't promote and sell ext. warranties to loose money, these items are big cash cows for them.
    Sorry about the long post.
  • To catam: Never apologize for a long post if it contains valuable, factual information and advice!

    I appreciate the information. One number that has not entered into this is how much the ole budget can handle each month. Yes, getting new for $X-K more might makes sense, but not if it puts so much stress on the whole situation that the wife and I are battling over custody of van/house/kids in court 2 years from now!

    OK one last question: How do I talk him down to 15K? Do I just say $15K, cross my arms and refuse to leave until he writes it on a contract? I know all about "don't get excited about the car, point out every flaw, etc" but what else can I do to chop a grand or so off his asking price?

    Thanks again!
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    One more factor in all the info above. Most of the time on a new vehicle you get a cheaper interest rate, and more years to pay and even sometimes it figures out to a smaller monthly payment than the used one. With all the above information swimming around in your head it almost makes you want to keep what you got.:-)
  • trader14trader14 Posts: 7
    Just one last note: The difference in price between a premier with no options and the GL model with no options is about $6.5k. According to Edmunds (and you can do better) the TMV is $25.2k for a new Olds Silo GL deduct $4.5k for rebates and a BRAND NEW GL is under 20.7k
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Edmonds has some good pointers about buying used, check the site.

    Also, I think you want to keep showing interest but make your concern on the price be obvious. If you are serious about the vehicle, find others to compare it to in your town and try to get faxed quotes on their "best deal". Its close to the end of the month, so its a prime time.

    I would not give a price you're willing to pay, just compare to other vehicles even if they don't exist (its a game), "well that Chevy Venture in blue my wife liked better and it was $13,500. Can you come close to that? If you can, maybe we can overlook the color (or lack of leather seats, etc. ) Always don't get too excited and look interested but like you need convincing. If you get jacked around by a bunch of games tell them flatly you won't play games, and you're leaving. I've seen them follow you out to your car and stick their head in the window trying to get a buyer to stay.

    I was not that anxious to get my '00 maxima but the dealer kept coming down down down (early '01) and finally I got it for like $2400 less than invoice - they really wanted to sell it. If you don't give a price (I personally think the offer someone suggested of $15k is a gift to the dealer) you're better off, unless its pretty darn low.

    Dealers pay very little for tradeins, so you have a heck of a lot of room to negotiate. Sometimes you can get to the table and balk, then ask for more. they have a juicy sale just about done and you're just asking for a sweetner, like another $500 off or a trailer hitch installed or whatever. The salesman will have time tied up in you and wont' want to let the sale go, you'll be amazed what you can do if you work it.

    The depreciation on these vehicles (and most vehicles) is steep, so buying used made sense to me. I got a '98 GLS with leather and everything for $11k in December '01, and it need a few minor things but I am very happy. They are not in demand like the Honda Van, so you should have room to negotiate. Obviously on some cars they tell you to take it or leave it.

    Good luck, tell us how you did. Also see GM van triplets topic. Sorry for long post, I got carried away.

  • OK, so my wife and I looked at the 2000 GL today. The only options it didn't have was the Camper/Tow and Gold packages - Edmunds TMV of $16,951.

    There were three obvious problems:
    - Needs front tires at a minimum, could use rears.
    - Overhead control console for rear air/audio is loose, with a screw or bracket rattling
    around inside.
    - Needs brake work or possible master cylinder

    The last item is my biggest concern. It was obvious when we drove the car that it needed brake work since the pedal went further down than I was comfortable with. When I shut the vehicle off, and climbed out, I heard "not quite a hiss, but maybe a hiss" from under the hood, with the sound fading quickly. I restarted the van, opened the hood, called the salesman over, and then had my wife shut it off. The sound was coming from somewhere near the master cylinder, and lasted for maybe 30 - 45 seconds. The salesman heard it and I told him the brakes definitely needed work and wondered if the noise could be from the master cylinder. Of course he didn't know, but said it didn't matter because he would do a brake job if we wanted the van and the master cylinder or whatever was causing the noise was covered under warranty.

    The next thing he did was take us over to another 2000 GL and said "This is the one I just bought for my wife. Both of them just came off lease, and I bought this one because of the leather and color. Otherwise it's the exact same vehicle." So my wife said "Did your's need brakes?" "Yes, a full brake job was done." And then she asked "Why would both vehicles need major brake work at 30-32K?" His answer: "Due to the weight of the vehicle, you can expect to need brake work done every 30K." Does that sound reasonable? I've never owned a vehicle that needed brakes every 30K, yet both of these GL's needed brakes.

    The last thing the dealer told us was that the reason the van wasn't cleaned up or had the brake work done was that when they get a vehicle off lease, they don't put any money into it until someone is serious about buying it. Otherwise the sales department looses the money they pay the service department if they end up returning the van to GM. He said that if we called him and told him we were serious, he would get the van "ready to buy" and then we could see/drive it again before we made a final decision. My wife and I both like the van, so depending on the responses you folks provide regarding the brakes, we may ask him to get it ready.

    Your thoughts/opinions would be appreciated. I'm very glad I found this forum.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    A brake job at 30K sounds resonable to me. Most likely just the fronts will need it. Thats what they say on the Odyssey site, but we haven't had ours long enough yet. I can tell you that at 22K on my 1 ton GMC crewcab (6400 lbs.) I needed front brakes, but did a lot of city driving. That vans 32K could also have a lot of city stop and go driving and would warrant brakes sooner than one driven on the highway all the time. I think your salesman is right for a change.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    There are a lot of systems under the hood of these vans, I doubt you were hearing the mastercycl. The brakes probably need new rotors and pads/rear linings, and with city driving then can be worn out in 15,000, so that's normal wear - its a heavier vehicle with an automatic. Old worn brakes result in more pedal travel than new ones. This is not really a problem until they are worn out, just a fact. Also, the rear drum brakes might be out of adjustment and have excessive play. There are self-adjusters but they sometimes don't work very well. 4whl disks would be sure be agreat improvement, but GM like others is saving money.

    If the pedal holds firm once you get the vehicle stopped (engine running), you don't have a m/c problem. A sinking pedal you have to pump, and low brake fluid would be a sign of m/c problems. If the booster (the part that has the vaccume from the engine which could make a hissing leak sound) was bad, your engine would get excessive air bled into probably it affecting the idle and the pedal would likely be harder to push (less power assist).

    Make sure the model has what you want on it, you can check the option sheet on edmonds to see if there's things you don't have on the GL you might want.

    the hissing noise could be the air conditioner, etc., but I've never heard a brake system make noises after the car is off. There is a lot going on under the hood of this vehicle, but if everything works, don't sweat the noises. If you are concerned a checkup by a mech might be a good idea.

    While the interior trim integrity is not a strong point of GM cars, the things you described may point to rear AC repairs (many mech.'s will not tighten things up or loose fasteners) or headliner repairs. FYI.

    Good luck.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Geeze, all that babbling and I forgot to mention tires. I drove a Pontiac van with some el-cheapo tires on it, and it was a TERRIBLE driving van. Even on mild corners felt like it the van was at the limit and it was loose and disconnected from the road. My Olds had Sears/Michelin tires and it is firmly planted to the road and outhandles most SUV. I take one exit ramp at 60+ w/o tires squealing (16" alloy rims and stock tire size). Most of saftey is accident avoidance, so get decent tires, it will make a huge difference.

    Moral: Don't get them to put just any tires on it, I'd price top-end replacements like Michelin and insist they take that that amount from the price after you get to your agreed price, or they buy them for you. The Edmonds prices usually assume the vehicle is in near pefect condition.
  • Unless you're doing some serious stop-and-go traffic, the brakes should last well beyond 30k miles. My two silo's have over 50k on the original brakes and they look and sound fine, though the one with 58k will probably need a reline later this year.

  • Dirk, you are right on target about the tires.

    The OE Generals on mine are terrible, out of round, thumping, pieces of junk. I never thought I'd get 30k miles out of them, but I'm at 52k (on a 2001 model, no less) and I'm ready to yank them off (or yank what's left of my hair out). I finally found a rotation pattern that minimizes the thumping Generals (worst ones go on the back), and I have vowed to leave them alone until they wear out.

    If you buy cheap tires, you will be reminded that you bought cheap tires every time you go for a ride. Buy the best and enjoy the ride. After all getting new tires is the next best thing to getting a new car, and it's much cheaper.

    Sears has the Michelin T-Plus on sale now for $97 in the P21570R15 size that I use. I was told by more than one Sears store that these are X-Ones rebadged for Sears. Trust me, Michelin makes great tires.

  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    I recently replaced the junk Generals on my Silo at 31k. The tread was still decent, but they were cupped and noisy which drove us crazy. I don't know how they got cupped since they had regular rotations. I've read all the glowing stories about Michelin, so I went to Discount tire and asked them to convince me why I should spend $105 each for the X-one instead of 60-65 for the Yoko or BFG touring tire (by the way they sell the X-one). He said he wouldn't even try. I ended up getting the BFG Precept touring for $62 after rebate. So far I think they are great. I hope to feel the same in 2 years.
  • While I'm still considering the 2000 silo we've been discussing all week, I just got line on another one. My neighbor's dad (see his picture next to "anal personality" in any pysch book) just signed a deal on a 2002 Silo and is trading in his 2000. I know the complete history of vehicle, (new rack, minor AC work, not much else) 37K miles, all available options on the GL except for leather, tow package and load leveling. The van is super clean. If the owner sneezed, he took it to the dealer for a check-up. The dealer gave him $14,200 in trade which is ~$500 more than the Edmunds appraisal app shows for an exceptional vehicle with the options that are installed.

    The dealer won't give me a price since he doesn't even have the vehicle yet...the new one hasn't arrived yet. He says that once he gets it, he will run it threough the shop, but knowing the current owner as he does, he's pretty confident it won't need anything. He knows I know everything about the van, although I didn't tell him I knew he gave $14,200 for it. So this should be simple right? You guys tell me what the absolute minimum profit a dealer will accept on a $14,200 investment, I offer him that and no more, and I drive the van off the lot. Right?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    If the new van isn't here yet that means that no final deal has been signed and the person can do as he wishes with the van. I would offer him an extra $3/500 as I'm sure the dealer will want at least 1K more for the van and don't be surprised if he even wants more. Cut the dealer out of the picture before he gets a chance to screw you.
  • To dmathews:

    The deal has indeed been signed and the title has been given to the dealer. Don't ask me how or why, but that's what the current owner told me. He also told me he would have needed to ask at least $16K to cover the extra taxes if he didn't trade it in. There's no sense in arguing with his numbers since its a moot point: he doesn't want to go through all the paperwork again. As far as he is concerned its a done deal with the dealer, and he was just trying to be nice by calling me when he heard I was looking at a similar vehicle.

    Thanks for your suggestion anyway!
  • mobilmacmobilmac Posts: 60
    and my vehicles was on its 3rd set of rotors and pads. 95% of the miles were highway miles without abrupt stopping. No problem with rear shoes. I was concerned about the frequency of pad/rotor replacement. Make sure when you get pads replaced, they put the premium ones on your vehicle. They cost $50 a set and well worth it. These absorb more of the heat with less wear on the rotors. They were not always available for the silo/gm triplets. The rotors don't have much room for error, by the time you turn them one time, they are out of the safe limit for use. Always have them checked on a micrometer.
  • sweingastsweingast Posts: 28
    Don't blame your neighbor, he is right.

    The trade in lowers the sales tax charged by the state. If the vehicle he is buying costs $20,000 and he is getting $14,000 for the trade, he pays sales tax on the $6,000 he is actually paying (in cash) to the dealer rather than the $20,000 for the cost of the new vehicle.

    Taxes always change behavior.
  • mobilmacmobilmac Posts: 60
    buying the most expensive is not always the best, I'm not knocking michelins in paticular, consumers report did a grand job on tires, showing the different grades of tires don't have be high dollar premies to fare excellent. They were right on the money about the firestone fr360 that came standard on my van, and generals came last in all levels. Check out the november 2001 issue of consumer reports. The company i worked for had a small fleet of mini vans, which they had a contract with a service center for tires, we had problems all the time with tires, and they were high dollar rubber. After reading that article, i asked if we could try some of the top rated midline and economy tires on a couple of vans.
    They allowed it, and i got to see how accurate the report was.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    God, must be nice to live in a state like that. Here in Michigan we pay full taxes and pay, and pay somemore. Didn't think about that when I posted the earlier post.
  • shifty4shifty4 Posts: 53
    I also had water in headlight problems which enentually resulted in entire headlight lens falling off. This required replacement of entire right headlight unit at cost of $285. I put a bead of epoxy around the lens of the other headlight. This problem is reported by others on the NHTSA board as well.
    This is the only problem I have had with my Silo in nearly 5 years of ownership. Otherwise it is a great van.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    as previously reported the glue on these lamps is defective. It cracks and gets hard, losing its grip. you can pry off the lens assembly (carefully), clean out the lights, srape off the old hard white adheisive, then reassemble with caulk or GOOP adheisive. Some drill holes in the bottom to vent moisture, but I have not tried that yet and it seems like it would attract moisture & mold here in Houston. FYI, not sure of the quality, but you can order replacement headlight (everything but the bulb and holder) from Jc Whitney for I think it was about $200 for two.

  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    $85.60 each from GM Dealers, as I recall.
  • shifty4shifty4 Posts: 53
    Thanks for the info on 97 Silo headlight lenses. I just recently found the Edmunds forums while researching new cars. I bought a Cadillac CTS. The lesson learned from reviewing these forums is that there are no really unique car problems. If you have a problem at least a half dozen others have exactly the same problem, in spite of dealers denial that it exists.
  • jpnmassjpnmass Posts: 45
    A couple of weeks back I posted that I put a deposit on a new Silo Premier. Well it came in and of course it's not the exact car I discussed with the dealer. No 6 CD in dash but it has the towing package. I requested they install the factory 6 CD changer and they agree but they need to check to make sure it fits and works with the speakers, etc. I can't see why not, it's not a Bose so everything should be OK. The contract specifically states the 6 CD changer in the price. Anyone have experience with the towing package. I have no use for towing, but I hear it also includes a better radiator. Does anyone know if the suspension is stiffer at all? I really don't wan't a firmer ride. I will be driving it tomorrow to see if it feels different than the non-towing version.
  • bcd99bcd99 Posts: 45
    My 2000 Silo has the trailer pkg and I don't think it rides any different then the non-trailer pkg one. I think the real difference is the tranny fluid cooler and a larger radiator and the plug in wire harness for the trailer lights. Make a bit of fuss regarding the fact you really did not ewant a trailer pkg and see what the dealer gives you to make you happy. Good luck!
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