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Oldsmobile Aurora: Care & Maintenance

rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
edited July 2014 in Oldsmobile
So I figured I'd add something. I definitely wash my car at least once a month, but try to do it more like once a week. I wax it about once every month-two months. This includes the winters. Fortunately the Washington D.C. area has weird enough weather that you get the occasional freaky 65 degree January day.

I changed the oil after the first 800 miles because there are significantly more metal bits deposited in the oil in the first few hundred miles on an engine. I use two quarts of Mobil 1 and the rest regular Mobil. I am trying to find the ACDelco Ultraguard filters (Pep Boys says they don't carry them anymore) but will use regular ACDelco Duraguards until I find them.

I plan on changing the tranny fluid after 50,000 miles despite the "lifetime" claim. Once the fluid gets burnt, it is too late... Besides, 50,000 miles is better than 30,000, so I'm still happy with the extended life. I'm not sure if I will wait 5 years on the coolant... Maybe...


  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Sorry if there was a misunderstanding! Guess I wasn't clear in my last message. My bad. And of course, this is THE place to discuss C&M for your Aurora. :-)

    Re: leather interior care- This discussion is archived, but perhaps it may have some helpful info.

    Leather Seat Maintenance

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  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I found some interesting info on why Pep Boys has stopped carrying ACDelco Ultraguard filters. None of the Pep Boys near me carry them. Apparently people were swapping Ultraguard filters with the Duraguards. This way they check-out with the Duraguard box and pay $2.50 for a $9 filter. I'm not sure if this is true, but it sounds like it could be... I just thought it was interesting.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I emailed ACDelco about the Ultraguard filter for the Aurora because I have had a heck of a time finding any, and because their website doesn't list it as a part for the Aurora. If you search for oil filters, only the PF58 shows up for the Aurora. If you check the vehicles that the PF58 fits, it will show Auroras and Cadillac Northstars and the Blazer. If you check for the vehicles that the UPF58 fit, it only mentions the Cadillac Northstars.

    So because of these two things I decided to email ACDelco to see what was up. They responded that they are discontinuing the Ultraguard filter. So that sucks... I sent a reply because I would like to know if they were discontinued because of performance problems or because of sales problems. I'll let you all know what they say...
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    According to ACDelco, the Ultraguard Gold line of oil filters were dropped because of poor sales, not because of any performance issues.
  • rjs200240,

    Thanks for the heads up. I have two UPF-58s in my stock. I'll try to buy some more before they disappear (although I may already be too late).
  • Recenty my '97 with 73 000 miles is taking longer to start, intermittently. I'm thinking it may be time to replace the spark plugs and maybe spark plug wires.

    My problem/question: Which plug? My owner's manual says AC 41-929; service manual says AC 41-900; emissions label on radiator cover doesn't specify.

    What gap? Owner's manual = 0.050; service manual = 0.050; emissions label = 0.060.

    What is correct?
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I don't think it is too late to get the Ultraguards. I managed to get three of them into my local Olds dealer. However, the Olds dealer is the only place I could find them.

    As far as the spark plug gap, I would lean towards the emissions label because those are usually the final word. However, you might try removing some plugs and see what the gap is. If they are worn and the gap is still only .056 or something, then go with the owners/service manual.
  • On my 1995 Autobahn, I changed the trans fluid at 90,256 miles. In the fluid were many small metal pieces. The filter and gasket are reuseable, simply clean them. I replaced the fluid with Mobil 1 Synthetic Trans Fluid. Yeah it costs a little more but it has never let me down.

    It almost goes without saying that I also use 100% Mobil 1 motor oil (10w30). Additionally, I use STP Oil Treatment as well as STP fuel system cleaner. I change the oil every 7,500 miles. I have no oil leaks.

    I have also added Slick 50 because I had good experiences with it. The engine idles smoother and revs very easily.

    The ignition switch had to be replaced at 70,439 miles, new plugs and wires at 84,515 miles.
  • blk97aurorablk97aurora Posts: 573
    Has anyway replaced an Aurora classic coolant pump belt? At 75k miles mine shows many cracks and feels brittle. I plan to replace it soon and have already purchased a Dayco replacement. The service manual procedure seems very straightforward. However, when I examine the existing setup, I cannot see how the belt can be replaced without removing the tensioner (which doesn't look like an easy task). As I see it, the problem is there is not enough space between the tensioner and the valve cover to insert the replacement belt.

  • blk97aurorablk97aurora Posts: 573
    My 1997 is 5-1/2 years old now and a bit past the recommended time to replace the coolant. I will replace it soon with Texaco Dex-Cool. Can someone who has done this tell me if draining the system (after flushing) from the radiator petcock as described in the GM service manual will remove enough fluid to be able to add 6.5 quarts (50% of 13 quarts total). If not, what is the solution?

    The service manual states that 3 sealant pellets (tabs) (GM p/n 3634621) should be added to the lower radiator hose. The parts counter man thought this was ridiculous when I bought the seal tabs; he said the tabs should be pulverized with a hammer and added to the radiator. Anybody have any relevant experience?
  • campo57campo57 Posts: 94
    I'm not sure you need the seal tabs anymore. There was a discussion on the Sub/Yukon XL board (sorry, can't remember the messages) that said there was a TSB out that stated that you didn't need to use the seal tabs anymore. I'm sure if you search through that board you'll find it.

  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I don't have a classic, but I just wanted to make sure you are releasing the tension in the tensioner. You can usually do this with a 1/2" breaker bar. Is the belt not long enough, or not enough slack in it? If that is the case, perhaps you should try a different brand (maybe the Dayco streches out a lot once under tension).

    Also, why would only half of the coolant be in the radiator? Where is the rest, in the engine and overflow tank? That's a lot to be in the engine. You could pull off the lower radiator hose if the petcock valve isn't cutting it.
  • blk97aurorablk97aurora Posts: 573

    I will check out the discussion board you mention. Thank you.


    No problem releasing the tensioner. The length of the belt is not a problem either -- it's the width. The belt is about 1/2" thick. The gap between the side of the tensioner, where it pivots, and the valve cover is only about 1/16".

    My 4-4-2 455 motor held more than half the volume of the coolant system; removing the radiator hose didn't help. I could drain more by taking out the freeze plugs, but that's crazy. The solution was the Prestone back-flush kit which allowed antifreeze to be added at a high point in the system, displacing water from the top radiator opening. Our aluminum 4.0s are obviously much different than the old iron big blocks. There may not be a problem with getting a 50/50 mixture into the cooling system. I just like to know what I'm up against before starting a project.
  • va3pkva3pk Posts: 6
    I just went on a 600 mile weekend shopping trip with the family.
    Of course we loaded up the trunk with all of the goodies from the mall.
    With 4 people aboard and a trunk load of stuff, the rear end of my my 95' classic was hanging pretty low. I have never looked at the struts or pump to see if they are working properly ( 120k miles)
    What I am wanting to know is where is the pump and fuse located on this vehicle.
    Before I take it in to have the struts checked, I should take a look at the pump/electrics to make sure that they are functioning. Of course , I dont have a manual yet..but I am looking.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Well, my car is going in for a few little problems. The OnStar has stopped working. I get a message saying "We are unable to authenticate your phone". OnStar has tried to fix it, but they said it needs to go to the dealer. This is weird since it used to work. There is a TSB about it (#02-08-46-004) but I don't know what it says. You can't subscribe to AllData unless your car is a 2001 or earlier.

    I've also noticed that when I use my key fob after the car was set to my wife's settings, the seats will move back to my position but the mirrors won't. There is a TSB for this too (#02-08-64-003), and the dealer says it's a quick fix. Apparently the OnStar fix might not be quick because they need to drive the car around (ugh) while OnStar tracks the location.

    I also tried a new paint-care product. I got some Meguiars #26 Hi-Tech Yellow Wax (the paste, not liquid). I stripped the car down and put on some #7, two coats of the Medallion Premium Paint Protectant that I usually use, and then one coat of #26. The results were really amazing. The #26 added a real noticable depth to the car. I am really pleased with how it looks now. It's an eye-catcher now whereas before it was just clean & shiney. I took some picts, but it will probably be months before I develop or scan them. If you have a dark car, I would recommend trying a paste carnauba wax on top of whatever you currently use. Needless to say, I hope like heck the dealer doesn't wash my car or get grime all over it. I spent almost 8 hrs. cleaning and detailing it.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Well, apparently the OnStar problem is not hardware. The guy followed the TSB while I was there. We even connected eventually to OnStar (it tries 4 times and the 4th will definitely go through as long as you have reception). It connected on the 4th try and the OnStar rep said they got no info on what car or who we were so it's a hardware problem. At that point I went back in the lounge (I like to watch, but I don't want to hover over shoulders). So I don't know what else they did. Anyway, they told me it's a problem with Verizon not allowing me to use their network (which explains the Verizon message saying "We are unable to authenticate your phone").

    The mirror problem turned out to be the module that controls the mirrors? The guy wasn't real specific. The part is on order, so I'll find out more when it comes in.

    A lady who was bringing her car in for service too asked me if my car was an Impala.... :\
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    is located under car by rear seats. I just dropped my pump down on my 95 classic to see why it was running while I was driving. Come to find out, I think it was because the new Gabriel shocks are not receiving air because I can move the cylinder of the shocks with my hand. I talked to the shop who were putting my new monroe struts on front about it and he said that he was not happy about Gabriel shocks. If the pump is buzzing that should let you know it is working.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    When I did my shocks on my 95 I put the GM shocks in the back of the car. The ONLY reason I ddi this was because two separte stores that sold aftermarket shocks told me to use the GM shocks for the rear because of the load leveling. One shop mentioned that unless I use the GM shocks in the rear I MAY have trouble with the fittings and the load leveling computer.

    I put the KYB's in the front of the 95.

    Also, I put the Toyo Z rated tires on the car. They are good tires if you drive the car agressively in cornering and other performance inspiried driving. However, they do NOT last very long. You can expect to get two years 24K out of the tires and then it is on to another set. I was told this when I brought them 2 years ago. I am now in the market for tires.

    This time I say no to Toyo.

    A friend wants me to put Hancock tires on the car.

  • Now you tell me, one week after I just put Toyo's on?!!! I'm always the last to know:(
  • fdionfdion Posts: 59
    The M1-206. Did I just hit a few duds or do they really suck? What's up with the thread?

    I bought one, the thread looked suspicious and had metal shavings in it. I cleaned it and tried to put it on, never was able to. Returned it, got a replacement unit and again, very suspicious looking thread. I was able to put that one on, but I'll probably change it early. Now the mobil 1 5w30 synthetic oil is great, how can they make two products with such a varying degree of quality?

    Considering the mobil 1 oil filter is $11, I guess I'll go back to AC Delco. $3.25 and better mechanical construction. I dont know if the m1 filters better, but not impressed. The K&N filter is $15.00 and that is just not warranted. What else is there?

    Bosch? Haven't tried them yet. Fram? I must say I dont like them too much. I did try the Fram Tough Guard (not the one with the teflon additive, that's snake oil to me) but the coating bubbled and became brittle. I removed it promptly. I will disect it at some point to see what the filter looks like.

    Any other brand?

  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I don't know if Mobil actually makes the Mobil 1 filter. They might have a filter-maker produce it to their specs (but I don't actually know). You might try the ACDelco Ultraguard if you can still find it. I got a few of those Fram filters with the grippy texture for my wife's car because the filter is sideways and points to the back of the car, so it's hard to reach. The grippy material bubbles and flakes off just like you said. So it's worthless for making removal easier. I think Fram is pretty much crap. When I use up my Ultraguards, I'll just go back to the Duraguard filter. They seem ok to me.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    If you have a Classic and have replaced the front struts on the car, this question is for you.

    Have you had to replace more than just the strut cartridge itself? The mechanic told me I may need a "mounting kit" for the struts that replaces the top and bottom connections of the strut to the car(I think).

    I do not understand exactly what he is talking about. Could someone just tell me if they have had to do this and at what mialge point. My 95 has about 77k on it. Does this sound right at all to you guys?

    Remember me, the one with the pivoting wheels story.
  • I had some front struts put in about 2 months ago, around 75K in my 96 Classic. I bought KYB GR2's form, also got new KYB boots for them too. My buddy is the manager at a Midas and they put them in for me for $30 per side. He didn't mention anything addition being needed, he would of told me if there was.

    I recommend the KYB struts. Their Quality spes are higher than GM's.



  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    It could just be new rubber or urethane bushings. The struts probably mount to the body (on the upper side) with a rubber bushing on top and bottom. Just like the rubber bushings in the suspension, they can get sort of old and crumbly. The bottom of the strut probably does not have any bushings. Just two large bolts. I can't see why those would need replacing. If you have questions, though, ask the guy what exactly will come in a kit, and how much extra it will cost. Don't accept vague answers from him. You might even ask him, or him have a mechanic, show you on your car what it is that needs to be replaced. This way you can see what it is and what condition it is in.
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    I just replaced struts in August with monroes on my 95. The mechanic checked the bushings and said they were fine. I replaced my struts at 100k.
  • Does any one use synthetic oil in their Aurora, I have a 99 with 54,000 miles and am thinking about using synthetic oil. Would there be any problems or concerns?
  • mike98cmike98c Posts: 293
    I got my 98 2 years ago with 34,000 miles on it. I immediatly switched to Mobil 1. I now have 115,00 miles on it with no problems or excessive oil consumption. The only items replaced so far, fuel pressure regulator, tires, belts. Radiator repaired and still working.
  • I switched to Mobil 1 at 1400 miles, and have had no oil consumption or oil related problems so far (30,000 miles). 2K1 3.5L V6.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Synthetic flows better at start up and protects the car. Especially in cold. What little that does burn leaves little to no deposits either. It doesn't lose it's viscosity much. I think the Aurora V8 deserves it.

    Not all synthetics are equal though. Mobile 1 and AMSOIL (not in stores) seem to be the best.

    Here is a good article on oil.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I just put some headlamp shields on my car. So far, they are still wet behind them, so they don't look that great. However, they should be pretty hard to notice once they are dry. I got them from this place.

    They also have bumper, hood, and mirror protectors. I'm not sure that I'd want to do that though. I wonder how you get it off, and what it would look like with it on there. The headlight pieces fit fairly well, but they aren't a perfect cut for the lamp. If they are lined up perfectly on two sides, then there is about a 1/4" gap on the other two. No biggie on the lamps, but it might be wierd on paint.

    What I noticed while prepping to put them on was that in just under a year my headlights have accumulated more than a few little dings. I guess I should have gotten these things sooner. I keep the lamps clean, and use rubber/vinyl protectants on them to protect them from UV/yellowing. However, it didn't protect them from stones...

    Hmm... Now that I'm looking at their website (I ordered them through another company that buys from them) they have much much better directions than came with the protectors. That sort of pisses me off. It would have gone much easier if I'd known that. The seconds headlight went much better than the first (the fogs were a cinch) so if one looks bad I'm going to be a bit annoyed that the directions were so terse.

This discussion has been closed.