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Oldsmobile Aurora Maintenance & Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
edited May 2017 in Oldsmobile
Please share any problems and possible solutions you've discovered with your Aurora.

Owner's Clubs


  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    What PROBLEMS could you possibly have with an Aurora?
  • Recently, it seems like my Aurora has picked up an unusually large amount of road noise from the front. Maybe it's my ears becoming more sensitive to the car, but I drove my 92 toronado the other day and it seemed like the differential was less (Aurora used to be a lot quieter). Anyone have any ideas on quieting down my car?

    Also picked up a slight vibration last week after hitting a piece of debris on the expressway - no way to dodge it (I was PISSED). Hoping it's just a tire balance problem. Any other ideas?
  • Does anyone know of a way to keep the Aurora's running cooler around town when the outside temp. is 100+? Mine run about 200 degrees on the highway, give or take a few degrees. But in town it is 220 to 240!!!!!!! Is there an after market cooling fan that runs at a higher speed? Since everything runs through the computer, I have been told you can't wire around it or change fan speeds.

    It seems that if the car runs cool on the highway you should expect it to run as cool or close to it in city driving. I haven't had mine go into slow down mode yet but I surely expected it too.

    Any suggestion or solutions??????

    Those who are concerned about putting in a new battery, I put an Interstate dry cell in my '95 two years ago. It works great so far. It doesn't have water so it doesn't need to be vented. Cost was about $140 with labor. It wasn't designed for the Aurora but we found one about the same size and height.
  • Noticed wetness on the bottom of the oil pan when I bought the car. Took it into the dealer with complaint about oil drips on garage floor. Dealer took out the engine to replace engine half seals. Warranty job took 2 days and would have cost me >$1300. Anyone have a sticky accelerator pedal just off idle? Dealer says this is a maintainence item on the fuel injection system and costs $85 to clean something.
  • I've got the sticky accelerator pedal right off of idle, too. I hate it cuz my passengers get whiplash =). Any idea what they clean?
  • many gm cars with some mileage accumulation suffer from the sticking throttle off idle. It is due to carbon buildup in the throttle body. The only way I know to fix it is to remove the throttle body and remove the carbon build up around the throttle butterfly. This is not a big job for the doit yourselfer.
  • I used this on my 87 Monte SS. You pour the stuff in the carb according to the directions, let it sit for 20 minutes or so and then blow all the carbon out the exhaust by running it and revving the engine. Dont know how you would use it with no carb though. You should be able to buy it through your local GM Parts Dept.
  • The driver side a/c is blowing air only a slight bit cooler than outside temp. Passenger side is blowing cold. Back seat is blowing about the same as the driver side. Needless to say it is very hot inside when temps outside exceed 70 degrees. Any ideas on what might cause this?

    I have changed the temp sensor located in the dash just below the steering wheel - NO LUCK!
  • Before becoming an Aurora fanatic, I was a Fiero fanatic (how's that for picking orphans?). When my V6 Fiero developed a hesitation problem, I cured it by cleaning the throttle body with Gunk Air Intake and Throttle Body Cleaner (spray can). There was a lot of black stuff (carbon I suppose) downstream from the throttle butterfly that the Gunk dissolved away; this was done with the engine running. That fixed the hesitation problem.

    Recently my Aurora started to exhibit similar slight hesitation. I found the Gunk, removed the air intake hose, and stopped. There was the mass aif flow sensor between me, the Gunk, and the throttle body. Since the instructions on the can read, "Do not spray across mass airflow sensor," I did not proceed. I haven't had the time to further disassemble. I assume that the engine will not run with the MAF removed and therefore the Gunk cannot be used in the same way as with my Fiero.

    In the meantime, I poured 12 oz. of Chevron Techron fuel system cleaner into the fuel tank. The hesitation is not completely gone, but it is less than before.
  • Had this problem, too. Driver side warmer than pass and neither one cooling well enough. Ended up being low on refrigerant. The Aurora and the Riviera both have this dual set up and apparently this is how it shows low freon. I probably have the famous leak in the evaporator in the dash, too.Jay
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    I had that problem with an Oldsmobile 98 I owned (1986). Took it to about 3 separate garages before someone finally fixed it. I must have had every inch of the linkage oiled/greased with absolutely no change.

    The shop that finally fixed it did by reprogramming the engine management computer! Apparently some setting was wrong, causing some adjustment to be set way out, somehow causing the accelerator to stick. As I watched him, he punched in a number of codes - the engine idled up and down - and DONE. No more sticking.

    I would suggest taking your car to a shop that's not afraid to mess with the computers. They can probably take care of it.
  • Sounds like they reprogrammed the position of the idle solenoid. I had the problem on my Park Avenue but could only fix it by cleaning the throttle body. I suppose it's possible that the throttle butterfly could stick in the throttle body if it is allowed to fully close--pulling it back just a hair could fix that. Is your idle speed up a bit?
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    The car I mentioned was a '86 Ninety-Eight that I had several years ago (traded it for my mid-life crisis firebird 6 or 7 years ago). Unfortunately, I don't remember the details. But what you describe could have been it. However, while the firebird had the throttle-body fuel injection, the 98 had multi-port. Does the throttle-body butterfly still apply to MPFI?
  • I just aquired my fathers 1995 OLDS AURORA.
    It has 177000 highway miles.
    Just recently, the transmision is now stuck in second gear while in drive, and will not shift up into any other gear rendering the car undriveable.
    My local dealer estimates the repair of anywheres
    from $400to$4000 dollars to repair.
    They are uncertain of the real problem, all they seam to want to do is sell me a different car; giving me a trade in of $1000 (not!!!) They won't give me a straight answer; I feel they know that it might be a simpler problem than what it really is and want this car, the tech seams quite interested in it, I don't want to sell it!! I want to drive it and keep this unique vehical!!!
    The transmision was recently flushed by another AURORA dealer within the last 3 months if this helps at all.

    Any help or direction to save this incredible automobile from service diaster would be greatly appreciated.(do you know any tricks I could do)

    I am capable of doing most of the work myself, also, if anyone has info on where I could locate good repair manuals (dealer manuals) that would also help.
  • You can look on ebay for a set of manuals for your Aurora. That's where I got mine - they are VERY helpful.

    My parents have a 1995 Aurora that had trans troubles around 90k. Having a whole new transmission (and torque converter) put in by the dealer was around $2,000. Those guys want that car because they think they can fix it cheap and sell it at a big profit.

    See if there's a Cadillac dealer around that you can have look at it or take it to a private mechanic and get a second opinion on it.

    I know of a website that you can look up used car parts on, edmunds won't let me post it, so e-mail me at [email protected] and I'll send it to you - could probably get a rebuilt tranny there.
  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    Won't play certain cds, trys and spits it out. I know this has been up here before but can't remember.
  • Try a CD cleaner - the lens might have some carbon monoxide buildup on it, especially if the car has ever been smoked in. Also, listen to see if you can hear the motor turning when you put the CD in. E20 is kind of the generic error code for 'can't read the CD' so it could be a few things. Usually means (if the cleaning doesn't work) that you will need to be finding a different CD player.

    I suggest looking on ebay for a replacement. Much cheaper than the dealer or a salvage yard. Plus some of them are brand spanking new. Make sure you get the non-Bose unless you have the Bose system.
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    Are you burning your own CDs?
    I've found that the cd player in my Aurora seems to prefer "real" music CDs as opposed to home-made ones burned from the computer.
    I think it's just overly finicky since usually they play fine on my home system....
  • silotwosilotwo Posts: 27
    Mine returns an E23 code and keeps the CD, pressing eject switches to the radio. And I never used a burned copy of a CD. Only CD's that are new or like new.

    Dealer used a cleaner as they said E23 meant an error with the optical reader. Thought that was it but it happened again. Stays like that for weeks on end, right until I take it to the local radio shop. Not working when I park it, as soon as the tech starts the car the CD ejects then works like a dream. They are afraid to rebuild it at the $300.00 cost and warranty it unless they know for sure what is wrong.

    Got the E23 a week ago so I'm going to hurry to the shop tomorrow in hopes they can diagnose it. Also was told that a unit from the 2001 is a direct replacement at $510.00 brand new.
  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    I don't burn my own cds. This code is coming up on a '98 Bose unit out of a "low mile" wreck that I had bought off Ebay and put into my '95 (with factory Bose, but no CD) a few months back with no immediate problem. It seems to be picky as to which cds it rejects. It played my "24K gold Master Recording" of Dark Side of the Moon album fine (I thought) but spit out a new cd that has never been played. I can hear a quick buzz when it tries to spin and read the cd then it is quiet for 15 seconds or so then rejects with the code. When it does play, I sometimes now hear a distant static-like "sfut, sfut, sfut" that fades in and out. How does one get to the lens to clean it?
  • pizza442 - just get a cleaning CD from any electronics type store. Should just be a CD with brushes on it.

    On burned CDs...
    I used burned CDs in my car all the time with no problems. A few hints to help them work better-
    1) Use Disc-at-once recording
    2) Use a good brand of CD Writer (I realize it's hard to change this now). If you have a cheapo CD writer, burn it at a slower speed.
    3) El cheapo blank CDs sometimes (not so much anymore) don't work as well. Try getting the Sonys next time and see if that helps.
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    If you look under the dash, you will see three actuators, the middle one controls the blend doors and probably needs to be replaced. My 95 had a cracked center so it probably was spinning when trying to open the doors to give heat.
  • Pizza442 -

    FREON LOW - Thanks
  • Had my 95 parked at the airport for a couple of weeks,as I was leaving the lot I decided to use the windshield washers to remove the grime. Well, I ended up giving the car a rust bath. Turns out there is a metal bushing in the upper washer reservoir that had rusted badly.

    cheap quick fix was to buy a new reservoir from the dealer, $23.00, and about 5 minutes to replace it. Certainly better than trying to make the old one clean.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    What year is your car to be running 220+? Also, how do you know it is running that hot? (My 2002 doesn't have a very specific/well numbered gauge.)

    A car will run hotter in city driving than cruising because there is much less airflow through the radiator.

    Does the fan come on when it is this hot? Do you have a good mixture of water/coolant? Does your thermostat open? I'm not sure if the water pump is electric or not, but if not then make sure the belt is tight and not slipping over the water pump pulley.

    240 degrees is incredibly hot for the coolant to be running at. If this is in fact the actual temperature, you should probably stop driving it until you get it fixed.

    (I realize the original question was posted 2 months ago, so if you already got it figured out then I apologize)
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    I too own a 2002 Cherry/Neutral 4.0L (nav radio/no sunroof). The Classic Auroras run hotter than the the new models. Both my previous 2001 and now the 2002 come to standard temp quickly and stay there (even in 100+ degree weather, idling with the air on). Perhaps the "catfish" air intakes (from the original Aurora protype) provide just enough air to let the engine keep cool. Though there are no numbers on the new temp gauge, the fact that it jumps to middle and holds says that the folks at Olds fixed the cooling issues in the new models.
  • The 2001 & 2002 have additional air passages thru the grill, the classics only have air passage thru the bottom of the bumper. This I think will give you better cooling. My fan comes on but once the gauge reaches 220--240(approx)and the outside temp. is 100+ and on black asphalt the fan doesn't provide enough air circulation. I have considered installing a 180 deg. thermostat. Has anyone tried this? Also I would like to hot wire the high speed fan to a switch. Will this work? Oldsmobile mechanics say it can't be done! Has anyone tried this?
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Even on cars with grills, most of the cooling air comes to the radiator from the bottom. A car doesn't need a grill to have good cooling (my 87 Corvette had no grill at all). I wonder if the gauge numbering is not overly accurate. Sometimes the numbers/gauges are not linear. 225-240 is usually considered overheating for most cars. I would think by 240 degrees, you would get a warning light.

    A 180 degree thermostat will most likely not help. As it is, your thermostat opens a 195, but the temp soars to 220+. When cruising a 180 thermostat will keep the temps down to 180+ as opposed to the usual 195+. However, once the temp gets over 195, the 195 degree thermostat is just as open as a 180 degree thermostat would be.

    If you really wanted to try an aftermarket "fix", something like "water wetter" would work better than a thermostat. It works by transferring heat more effectively to the air. However, I've heard negatives about water wetter accelerating wear of cooling systems (nothing concrete, though). Summit Racing sells it (as do other places).

    I have no experience with "hot-wiring" a fan on an Aurora, but on Corvettes this was possible on early models up until the fans became computer controlled. These later models could not be easily rigged to manually control the fan. Earlier models used a temp sensor that basically grounded the fan when a certain temp was reached. In that case, the sensor could just be replaced with a switch "fooling" the fan into thinking the temp had been reached.

    My '87 had two fans, one controlled by the computer and an aux cooling fan controlled by a temp sensor. I could easily get the aux fan to come on at lower temps, or at my control. However, the only way to alter the main fan's behavior was by replacing the PROM (computer) with a custom chip.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Even if you could get the Aurora's fan to come on earlier, this too probably wouldn't help. If the fan isn't cutting it at 225-235, it won't cut it at a lower temp. The hotter the coolant is, the easier it is for the fan to cool it off or hold the temp. steady. This is because the difference in temperatures between the radiator and the outside air is greater than when the radiator is cooler. When the fan does come on, does it hold the temperature steady, or decrease it? If not, then maybe you should look into augmenting the fan, or putting on a higher-flow blade or something.

    Just thought I would ask this: Have you checked to ensure no leaves and such are covering the radiator? Also, is the plastic "front spoiler" lip under the radiator still there? If that has been damaged/torn off, then very little air will get directed into the radiator. This wouldn't have much negative effect when your car is stationary, though.
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