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Oldsmobile Aurora



  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Taylor, you're not going to get much of a trade on your Aurora because:

    a) used-car values are low right now
    b) Oldsmobile used car values are especially low
    c) there's something wrong with your car.

    So, taking that into account, you've got to find a competent mechanic to help you out. Not sure if you'd come up to Milwaukee, but one of my techs has a buddy whose business is engine repair/rebuilding.

    I can relate to the hurt feelings/pain when your car is not working right/lets you down. I just went through that with my Aurora after my rear crankshaft seal leak of a month ago. I contemplated selling the car, but, even with all of the incentives, discounts, GMS pricing, GM card rebates, trading in my '98 for a new '03 was wayyy too expensive to consider (I could maybe get what I owe for my '98, and don't have any cash to put down, meaning I'd have to finance for 5 years (4 years longer than my remaining loan) at $100/mo. more than I'm paying now.

    You can't just give up without giving it the old college try. Ask around at work for a competent third-party mechanic/don't just take your car to the Olds dealer ($$$$$), especially if your extended warranty is gone...

    Hope this helps,

  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    From one of my techs:

    "This sounds like a similar problem like we were having with a GTP at the shop. Wayne doesn't have the diagnostic tools for this. But it sounds like it could be a bad coil or a bad ignition module. We had the same issue with no codes, but yet the car wasn't running right. Although the computer is suppose to pick up problems and turn the engine light on, it doesn't always happen. This was that issue where nobody else but Foster Pontiac could figure it out. I would think a dealer with the right equipment would be able to find the problem."
  • mike98cmike98c Posts: 293
    I would also try pulling and examining each of the spark plugs. This might not tell you anything if the problem is to intermittent but it's worth a shot, especially if you pull them right after the car misbehaves.
  • ffreysffreys Posts: 12
    Hi all...thanks for the info on the mods pages......getting lots of ideas.....have my first problem with the '95 has an intermittent "chirping" noise coming from somewhere on the front passenger side....I notice it more at slower speeds and when I turn right...dosen't seem to be brake related...kinda sounds like it is coming from under or inside the dash....thanks in advance for any suggestions...P.S. no I am not missing my parakeet!
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Sorry, but I just have to post another rant about the media bias towards german and japanese cars. This was in Car and Driver's long term test of an M3.

    "For one thing, the M3 has the most cold-blooded engine we've encountered in quite some time. The highly-tuned six sometimes stalled at the first starting attempt. And often when it managed to run on the first attemt, it spit and bucked for several seconds before settling down."

    I realize they are posting some critisizm of a BMW, but look at how they do it. They call the engine cold-blooded like it is just some determined professional, and they call it a "highly tuned" engine that stalls and bucks. That doesn't sound very well tuned to me... Think they would use the same language if a Corvette stalled and bucked?

    "The casual driver will also be shocked by the M3's appetite for motor oil. Our car consumed the first quart in less than 1900 miles, and by its first oil change at 12,500 miles - a service interval determined by the onboard maintenance system - this ultimate driving machine had used three more quarts." Then they go on to mention how it requires one of two special brands of 10w-60 that can only be found at the dealer for $9 a quart... They also go on to mention that there have been actual cases of M3 engines failing because owners used the wrong oil. I guess you have to plan all your trips around regular stops at Bimmer dealerships...

    Apparenly if I am shocked by that oil consumption, it is only because I am a casual driver and not worthy of such a tuned machine...

    Then mention the climate control system failing, and the door seal malfunctioning and staining black the leather door trim.

    They conclude by saying "A bit too high-strung in some ways, the M3 has too much sporting flavor to suit many drivers. But if you want full-fledged high-performance sports-car capabilities in an everyday-usable package for four adults, the M3 is a terrific choice." I guess stalling every time you start it, and guzzling oil is just sporting flavor. I can't help but wonder if that's what they'd call it if a domestic car did it.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    They did a less obvious, but still annoying wrap-up of their Acura CL Type-S. They mentioned the fake wood trim looked horribly fake, the rear seat was too cramped for anyone to want to ride in it, power seats whos adjustments just wouldn't work properly or consistently, an airbag light problem (fixed by dealer), a lack of headroom for the driver, a nav system that made climate adjustments difficult, frustrating operation of the manumatic shifter that doesn't allow selection of 1st, lots of wind noise, lots of torque steer, and they noted an ever increasing creaking of the sunroof and body due to body flex (referred to as "squeaking like crazy"). Yet they go on to say "...we got a sense of both quality and value from 12 months of mock CL Type-S ownership." Maybe I just don't get it...
  • Well, as Blk97 put it, I think I'm coming to my senses here. Be cheepier to fix it (probably) than to dish out for a new car right now. I did take it to Autozone for there free scan and it came up empty. So probably take it to the dealer for inspection. I do have an aftermarket warrenty off the net which I haven't used yet thru-Platinum warr. Non-transferable after first claim. So sell now with things looking good on paper. To make things even worse, I'm driving along yesterday and I'm rocking along and all of a sudden my subwoofers start flipping out. Melted a voice coil on one JL subs. Bummer, that just happened to me 14 months ago. Have 3 year warrenty for all my system so the good news is Tweeter will replace it again. But, being the gearhead and audio-holic that I am, I thought two things I obsess about are in the toliet right now, I could just start all over again with something nicer and newer. So that where my thinking is coming from.
  • Well all the things you guys named are good logical possible solutions for my backfire out the intake manifold, I've replaced almost everything you guys named over the 3+ years of owner ship and 42K I put on my 96 now at 94K. When I bought the car they only bad service dates was for 2 injectors replaced, the rest were all retuine maintance. Since I bought it with 52K I've replace alot, thank god for having boughten that 3year warrenty. Two weeks ago I put in 4 ignition coil packs on me, fixed my stuttering problem, did 100k service at 80K so new plugs wires, had a fuel rail crack 350Mi. from my house, so new fuel rails and I had them put in a new fuel pressure regulator also since this is a known week point. That's all I've had replaced that could relate to my backfire out the intake problem. Now other things I've replaced are recently a radiator and EGR valve, guess that could relate too. Um what else, multi-function switch (clicking under dash) which is happening again now too, another point for the darkside, two power window motors went and about 8-9 foglights blew. I bet there are a few things I'm fogeting about too, like KYB struts. Than factor in all retuine maint. new tires rims my RSM mods which do include the strut tower bar blk97 and my stereo system. This car is the money pit! Not really complaing though. I still love my car. I've been thinking about what else I would want to drive and I can't decide nothing really grabs me out there. So I've been looking on the on the road for somthing to grab my eye and the best thing a I saw was a shine white aurora like mine, that when it hit me, keep it!

    As Robert said it, Going to give it the old college try! Not old for me, turned 22 two weeks ago and I'm am graduation next fall. So my current car thinking now is that there has to be good spark so problem has to be fuel related. Could be clogged injector(s) my dad asked his auto teacher at his voc. school what he thought. First he recomended getting the fuel infectors cleaned or replaced, he mentioned he could clean them out for me, going to look into that. This teacher has worked on northstars before and suggested to me that the air/fuel ratio probabley isn't right/optimal with my mods. He highly recommend that I either get the PCM re-programed to adjust for the extra air i'm shoving down my 4.0. Needs more fuel or get an adjustable FPR and raise the pressure slighly. He told me I could pinch the fuel return line for couple of seconds to raise the line pressure and see if more pressure will stop the backfire. He knew that the aftermarket selection is narrow for these cars, he definitly thinks it's running lean, "you need more fule kid" If you can't find either make larger orifices in the fuel injectors with a drill or something if you can't find a higher cfm injector. . Well with that info, I called my corsa installer shop who is hot rod shop and the owner said his "chip guy" should be able to help me out. He said they custom program every car and have access to the decoding of obd-II. So that's a big one for the good side. I guess I'll just take it to the dealer and pay the $95 inspection fee, hopefully they find whats wrong and it be covered by the warrenty then inspection fee is on them. That would be great, but very doubtful, things haven't been going my way in the car department.

    Thanks for always being here for me guys!
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Are you only getting backfire under WOT? Because at part throttle, you aren't cramming more air in than the engine can handle. I kind of doubt your car is making more power than it can provide fuel for just from bolt on stuff. I have to say, if you are having combustion problems, I'd think a custom ECU would just make it worse... But that's just my two cents.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    "air/fuel ratio probably isn't right/optimal with my mods. He highly recommend that I either get the PCM re-programed to adjust for the extra air I'm shoving down my 4.0. Needs more fuel or get an adjustable FPR and raise the pressure slightly"

    I have to comment here. I think all that stuff is a bunch of B.S! I have all the same mods you do and I have no problems. RJS is using the K&N and has the Corsa, so except for the TB he is very similar too.

    When I ran my dyno's, with the K&N, box mod, and TB I also ran F/A ratios. Guess what - they did not change. I do not see how exhaust would change anything. How in the world does less resistance to pushing out the exhaust equate to "more air coming in"??. The exhaust mod just means more power goes to the crank and is not wasted working to push out the exhaust. Also remember "more air" as far as I understand, really means more dense air. As the cylinder goes down for the fill stroke the volume of the air is the same - mods or not. The difference is how dense - the mass. So I don't see how the exhaust mod helps get denser air into the engine.

    Not to confuse things, but as a side note, I can see how an intake mod makes for a tougher job for the greater mass of air to be expelled (perhaps exponentially related to the density of the air too) thus making an exhaust mod very beneficial when making intake mods.

    Sorry, I would not waste my time or money exploring computer reprogramming, or leaning out the car.

    The MAF can read the air flow. Your car is really only mildly modded - it's not that big of a difference in air flow. The only thought I have on your set-up as it relates to air flow is this: your cold air intake uses a duct that is smaller diameter than the MAF. It only expands to the full diameter at the boot. So, it's possible that the little wire that senses the air flow (it's in the middle) could see higher velocities because the air is channeled to a smaller diameter down the middle. This would make the MAF "think" there is more air than there really is and you would get a corresponding higher fuel feed to match. You'd be richer.

    I'm not saying that this is happening, but it's a thought. BTW - your car did not have these troubles earlier with these mods - right? If it was the mods and A/F, you should have had this all along.

    If you are truly concerned about A/F, I'd do another dyno first to check it before you mess with programming.

    Well those are my thoughts. Maybe I'm off, but I do think there is a LOT of hocus-pocus from people that work on cars, but perhaps don't know or understand the physics of what is happening. Who knows, I probably am missing something, but for now, I say it's not the mods. If the A/F is indeed bad, maybe the MAF is on the blink. That's possible. I've got an extra one that was "recalibrated" to original A/F. Remember the Granatelli? It was reprogrammed to lean the car out. Power dropped. I sent it back to have the A/F set back to original. It sits in the box now.

    Hey, maybe something you changed out at 80k just went bad - it's defective. I'd check all the stuff the other guys have mentioned.

    Good luck.
  • Actually yes, it only backfires under WOT. Very rarely happens while driving, after the ingnition coils, which is good. But if I rev it hard at a stop, in gear or neutral/park it will backfire. This is the only way I can re-create it. I'll have someone pinch the fuel return line, and I'll rev it, see what happens. Most likely I'm guessing it's a dirty fuel injector I hope. Not a sticky valve spring or warn camshaft or something internal that costs big bucks.

    As for programed ECU if I can get this fixed, I'll definitly see what kind of "chip" these guys can come up with.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Yeah I read those articles too and could not believe it. The M3 they drove was a PILE. I'm sorry, but the stuff going wrong was fundamental to any automobile. Their experience was enough to terrify any car person that would actually consider owning one. I'll say it again. What a PILE. Yeah, it's high performance - but apparently at the expense of everything fundamental to a working automobile not to mention some "build quality" issues too.

    You should send them a letter. Really. They need to hear this. They will probably issue another "bad gas" excuse like they did for the G35 and some other cars not performing so well (even though some of the cars in the comparison did not seem to be affected by the "bad gas" as much as others - and they offered this excuse AFTER letters came in). Who knows, they may even blame the incomprehensible oil usage on the gas too - after all, they think their readers are stupid enough to believe all the other lame-o stuff.

    The bottom line is that the imports can do no wrong and objectivity is a foolish dream. That's what these guys buy. I guess if I worked there and I was reviewing an Aurora, or an Impala or really anything Olds or Chevy, I'd be slanted too. But I don't think I'd be delusional like these guys are. Also, I believe the people that work at these magazines work in an echo chamber and are basically influenced by their peers. What, trash the M3 for it's obvious failings or the Acura for some cheapo interior parts??? I might get questioned on that. After all, everybody know only the domestics have cheap plastic for the interiors - right?

    BTW, I have no idea if this is true, but I got an e-mail that indicated Car & Driver (Vivendi?) and Road & Track are French owned. Hmmmm. Perhaps yet another reason not to buy these magazines.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There are plenty of places all over the web to talk about boycotts and other political issues. Let's just remember that the Town Hall is not one of them.

    Most of our membership appreciates being able to come here and talk about cars without having to think about the very hard things that seem to be happening in the world.

  • mike98cmike98c Posts: 293
    Was the fuel filter ever replaced? Also have you dumped fuel sytstem cleaner into the car since fpr was replaced? Some brands allegedly will eat right through the diaphram of the fpr. You could hook a gauge to the shraeder valve on the fuel rail and test the pressure at idle and accelerating under load.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313 the Detroit News (mentions the end of Aurora production, and includes a pic of one of the chassis at Lake Orion):
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    For what it's worth -- and as much as I love my Aurora -- I have 2 friends with M3's. They both love their cars and the M3's -- while expensive to have routine maintenance performed -- have needed very little service.
    I've driven both of them and the are sweet rides. A little small for my taste, but you can't argue with the performance if that's what you're looking for.
    I think Car and Driver got a POS car.
    Oh, and C&D is a very biased car magazine. They do the same biased reviewing when comparing Ford vs. Chevy.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Yes, that is a good point. The real issue is that when they test a domestic car and there is a squeak or something malfunctions, the hammer comes down - hard. In fact, the hammer comes down for some really subjective things that would be hard to define. The "look" and "feel" is not up to some nebulous standard. The all time best might be the steering wheel being too fat. Oh man. But an import with a glaring material or mechanical problem gets a pass. It's a pattern. I sure hope the other M3's are better - I'm sure they are. Well actually anything would be better than that tester.

    Maybe it was tweaked a bit too much for the tests?? Just a cynical possibility.
  • mike98cmike98c Posts: 293
    Or almost any G.M. product compared to the Euro influenced Fords. OOPS was that the seat material wearing out on the Ford ZX3? Well as soon as we GLUE the multi-function stalk back on and make a chiropractic appointment for the horrible seat shape (while the car is in the shop for another recall) we can get back to the office and write that glowing review, that is if we don't have to drive to far!
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I thought the all-time best was their criticism of the Aurora in that 7-car comparo. They said it didn't cost enough... All else being equal, if they'd paid $5-10 grand more they probably would have liked it better...

    P.S. I hear you about the ownership. I doubt I'll renew them, but I probably won't renew Motor Trend either. It isn't as bad, but I still get sick of it. In the April issue, they were talking about the Auto shows and this was their bottom line for the Pontiac G6 (likely the Grand Am's direction): "In terms of styling, at least, finally a bold competitor for the Accord. Will the quality, handling, fit and finish be as good?" Finally a styling competitor for the Accord???? Are they freaking kidding? And as far as their little question at the end, it sounds as though they've already answered it in their minds. And how hard would it be to match the Accords handling? Give me a break... It's like they just think up some sentence that might sound thoughtful or impressive and then stick the word "Accord" or "Camry" in there. Don't worry about whether it is accurate or anything... Very journalistic...
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Yep. As much as a lot of it seems intentional (and some is) a lot is probably laziness. They just keep writing the same stuff over and over for their subjective stuff (which is most of it).

    But really, I strongly suspect that the writers and reviewers are indeed import owners. So, they test or compare a bunch of cars and I think it is going to be very hard to admit a domestic car performed or is a nice or better as what you have in the garage. Everybody wants to think their car purchase (especially new ones) is superior in some way. I wish all the staff would disclose what they own as you read the car reviews. It would be interesting.

    Yeah - Accord styling. Where?

    That's why I really don't put a lot of stock into owner surveys - especially for very high end cars. You just spent 60k - and to admit you are dissatisfied with something is equal to admitting you spent 60k on the wrong car. That's not going to happen much.
  • sinatra2sinatra2 Posts: 65
    The only time I ever pick up an auto mag is in the Doctors office. I have not purchased one in years. Usually the best reviews are from owners. That is why forums such as this are so valuable if you are thinking of a particular car. The best way to test drive (that is if you are in a major center) is to rent one for the weekend.. well worth it even if it does not have all the options you want. You can get a general feel for the car and have a few hours to examine for quality. Not only that you can put it through the paces .... taking it to the limit without worring about blowing a gasket.

  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    You have a point regarding using them for reviews of "normal" cars.
    But on the other hand, a Road & Track or Car & Driver review is the closest most of us will ever come to getting behind the wheel of a half million dollar Ferrari, or some other incredibly priced example of automotive lore.
    (Can you believe that they are actually PAID to drive cars like that? Man, I'm in the wrong job.)
  • sinatra2sinatra2 Posts: 65 I didn't pay to drive a Farrari.I guess I meant was auto mags are great for "fantasy trips" yet if you are buying I would rather rely on my own or the forum's (such as this one) objective opinion rather than some paid off and highly influenced journalist.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    So much depends on what you are looking for in a car. I have subscriptions to a few of the magazines and generally most of the writers like sports cars best. I think this bias has made the "sports sedan" the ideal. The BMW 3/5 series sedans are the standard for sports sedans. FWDs just do not handle quite a well, but in poor driving conditions (ice/snow) I like FWD.
  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    There was a captivating article in the London Times this weekend. One of the Times' motoring correspondents explained why he and his peers rarely panned outright any vehicle. The expose was written with tongue firmly in his cheek, but there appears to be much merit in his claim that automobile reviewers are actually rather poorly paid (certainly in the UK), and rely on manufacturers to provide them with what little pleasure their meager salaries would otherwise not provide! This includes trips to exotic locales to test exotic and not-so-exotic models (automobile models, that is). Why bite the hand that feeds you ?

    Of course writers are not the only ones to be less than candid about a vehicle's failings. As a past member of the Maserati fraternity I am only too well aware that almost any reference to the many inadequacies of those cars will result in an outpouring of protest in the discussion groups.

  • mcclearyflmcclearyfl Posts: 149
    fjk57702 hits the nail on the head by stating that the gold standard for most writers is the BMW 3- or 5- series. These are very competent rear wheel drive sports sedans, but they suffer from many disadvantages that are very obvious to people who buy other brands.

    With this mindset how can these writers possibly appreciate a large American car such as the Aurora? Fortunately we do!

  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Actually, Car & Driver, in a comparison test (some time ago now), had a DTS which did not do well as a "sports sedan", but they said that it was a great highway car and handled much better than Cadillacs of older vintage. I thought that they went out of their way to point out that the Cadillac was a very good car, just not a sports sedan.

    Automobile (sometime back now) did a test of the Seville and Deville (DTS). They said that it was as good or better than an S-class Mercedes.

    The Aurora has made it into a number of comparison test too, but always with the sports sedans from europe. As a result it has not fared well with the much smaller cars.

    The differences in handling may not be much. I owned an 84 Corvette that I picked up used. It handled very nicely on a good (new) highway, but on poorer highways the ride was rough and you had to really work to keep the car on the road. I sold it and then later on picked up a used 86 Corvette (with the Z51 suspension package, which the 84 did not have). This car was much softer riding and did not handle quite as well. This not to say that the 86 handled bad. On less than perfect roads it was much easier to drive. The tuned port injected engine had a lot more performance than the 84's throttle body injectors.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Wow. So many great points from a lot of different people that all support each other. Interesting.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The Aurora was a great replacement car for the Olds 98/Olds Touring Sedan/Toronado. It was also a Buick Electra T-type replacement. I really think that Oldsmobile/GM marketing was not sure where they wanted to go with Oldsmobile. They wanted a "new direction" and so the Aurora did not have the Oldsmobile name on the outside of the car anywhere. I think they were thinking that they would rename the division or move it into Saturn or something. Or perhaps they thought making the Aurora a "mysterious car" would help sales.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Yes, that is certainly what happened. I think somebody could probably write a book about Olds failing and how it is one of the biggest corporate blunders of all time. Just MHO, but Olds had a much better line-up than Pontiac, Buick, and Chevy. Much better, and they still fall. I guess a lot has to do with marketing. GM is clueless how to sell their cars. The previous "Toyota Aurora" stories give a hint. Most people I deal with have no idea who makes the Aurora - still.
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