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Bad rotors on 1999 Oldsmobile Alero



  • I can thank my Olds dealer for over 9000 dollars worth of damage to my car. I found that my 1999 Olds Alero Gls 2 door had bad rotors. I had called the dealer several times to see if the parts were in for replacement, "next week" was the comment. FIVE and a HALF weeks later, my car and I were involved in an accident, with still no new rotors. What happen: I was traveling 35 in a 40, a deer came from the right side of the road about 40 meters in front of me. When I applied the breaks, they locked up. ABS should not lock up under normal use. However, because of the bad rotors ABS can not operate correctly and this caused my car to lose control of the road. Needless to say, I have not see my car for 2 mouths and it still has two more weeks to go until it is completely repaired. I would highly suggest that you do not apply your breaks hard with bad rotors. Trust me, the Alero does not hold up well hitting concrete walls at 30 miles a hour.
    Western Pennsylvania
  • I am in the process of buying an Alero GLS 1999 for my daughter. I test drove 2 different GL models that had the bad rotors. It was interesting because the test drives were at 2 different dealerships. The GLS that I am in the process of buying did not have the problem os pulsating brake pedal or noisy braks like the GL models I drove. I am very interested to obtain the bulletin number so I can make sure my kid gets the new designed rotors and pads mentioned on hear. Does anyone have the number ? I did not find any mention of the bulletin on the Safty board sit. Thanks, Chuck from NJ
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    under sedans. Someone posted the TSB # there
  • I have a 2000 Alero GLS Coupe. At around 9,000 miles I noticed the same vibration when braking. (Along with many other things wrong with the vehicle, which at over 18000 miles, still aren't fixed.) However, I finally accepted that something was wrong and started to read the posts on this site. I talked to my dealership and they acknowledged the problem with the brake pads on Aleros and Malibus. After waiting two months for these to come in, they were replaced. (This was at 14500 miles.) I hate to tell everyone, but guess what? About a month later and 1500 or so miles, the same thing started happening. We are now at 18000 and when the brakes get hot, watch out! I have written a second letter to Olds and did file this second letter with my Consumer Protection Agency. I am asking that this car be considered a lemon - we have had it in the shop six different times for problems in under 15000 miles. To this day, none of these problems have been fixed. Good luck to all of the other Alero owners!
  • Hello all. I am the bitter owner of the 2000 Alero. I read over the posts of the 99 owners and their breaking problems. Then I stumbled on post 66. I am with you. I think that you all need to know that the 2k models are having major break troubles. My car has 6k on it and when it reached 1100 miles the breaks were not wanting to stop. When I took it to the dealer they automatically diagnosed it with rotors. After waiting 6 weeks and having them repaired the problem was still there. Guess what, it was the power booster. That was replaced in October and my car is once again having break problems! It is at the dealer now. I want out of this car!

    As a side note I am also having problems with my engine making very loud noises when the car starts! I hate this car!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    You have a very bad mechanic at the dealership. And a safety problem with your car.

    With warped rotors, the car have no problem braking. I had impression, my Malibu even did brake a bit faster before the rotors were replaced (Malibu have the same brakes and suspension). The only problem at first is vibration / pulsation, and later the brake pads are wearing down too fast.
  • I had a nice tire pressure gauge and used to check my tire pressure all the time. After it was stolen, I didn't take the time to buy a new one and got lazy about checking the tire pressure.

    When the steering wheel started to shudder when braking at highway speeds, I first suspected the rotors, but on a hunch I bought a new tire pressure gauge and checked the tires. Over the months since I had stopped checking them, they had dropped to about 20 PSI, from the normal 30.

    I got them back to 30 and the shudder is gone.

    This isn't to say there aren't rotor problems out there, but if you have a steering wheel shudder, you may want to start by checking your tires.

    28,600 miles on my 99 GLS w/ sports suspension and premium sound and it's been trouble free for me.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    for neglecting your tires. How do they look, kinda beat up? You are lucky they didn't blow out running them 10 psi low like that. Shame, shame
  • I picked my car up at the shop and they found nothing wrong with it. I am not surprised. I would like to get some feedback, has anyone heard anything about a class action suit for this? I mean really, what happens to us when the 12 months/12k is over and we have to absorb the cost of the break repairs.

    I received a letter in the mail about participation in a survey at the Fort Washington Expo Center in PA. They wanted to know about design defects etc. Has anyone else received this that lives in the area?
  • jj246jj246 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 GLS Coupe, purchased June 1999. Since then it has been in the shop more times than I wish to count. Seems they could never solve the problem with the front end until today. Finally, the third dealer I took it to took the time to really check the vehicle and check with GM. To date it has had replaced: Water pump, steering shaft problem (a bulletin, not recall), rotors & brakes, and now it is back in for a new rack. What next? Great car to drive, but not the most reliable I've owned.

    Don't think I'd purchase another Alero.
  • I

    have a 1999 Alero four door - sedan.3150 miles.have been unable to get more than city/highway 11 miles to gallon. granted in San Francisco, but I do not go up hills etc.
    deealer is giving me hard time.
    --anyone else out there-

    very mad.
  • Well,it's been awhile since I've been on-line, so I thought I'd give an update on my 99 Alero. I now have 30,000 miles on it and since the rotor replacement at 20,000, I've only had one other problem. One of the fuses underneath the hood went out during the summer. I couldn't work my air conditioning, power windows, radio or the sunroof. Even the odometer wouldn't work. Damn, was it hot here in Southern CA! Anyway, I immediately drove to the dealer, he lifted the hood, shook one of the fuses, and I was off and running again. I also drove a 2001 Alero when I was on a business trip recently. It had about 9,000 miles on it. The new radio features were a bit confusing, but the sound was awesome. I still like my Alero.

    Hey yofa42: are you still out there? Did you ever get your gas pressure gauge fixed?
  • If you're getting mileage like 11 mpg have service check and make sure all your spark plugs are firing/working.
  • Well Folks, I purchased my 2000 Alero GL3 Coupe this past March, and like most of you, I had to have the rotors replaced the next month. Then at about 16,000 miles I noticed a vibration in the wheel at about 65-75 mph. I took it into the shop and had my tires rotated and balanced and now the vibration is gone, well at least mostly. I still get a slight vibration.

    I now have over 20k miles on my alero and haven't noticed any other problems except that my drivers side window always squeaks when I put it up or down after it has just rained. Does anybody else have this problem? The dealer told me they couldn't replicate the problem and refuse to do anything about it.

    I also have just recently had a problem with my rear defroster switch light flickering or failing to even come on. Has any of you noticed this problem?

    As a side note to Armor All users, I've noticed that if I use armor all on my dash, for the next few weeks I get a haze on the inside of my windshield. If I wipe it off, it'll reappear within 2-3 days. I stopped using armor all on my dash and no longer get any haze on my windshield.
  • can somebody please explain to me what rotors exactly are and what happens when they fail or are faulty...thanx
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Brake rotors or discs are the round, flat, machined smooth, discs about the size of a dinner plate which are attached by the same studs which hold your wheels on. Found on pretty much all newer front and some rear braking systems. When you depress the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure increase in the brake calipers forces brake pads faced with friction material against the spinning rotors in an action similar to that of a C clamp. This brings the rotors, wheels, and hopefully the vehicle, to a stop.

    If a rotor becomes overheated, or if the wheel nuts are not tightened in the proper sequence to the correct torque value, the rotor may warp and end up with runout or wobble. Symptoms include a vibration in the vehicle, steering wheel shimmy (if front), and pulsation in the brake pedal, when braking. Usually more noticeable at higher speeds. These symptoms (except the steering shimmy) can also be caused by an out of round rear brake drum. Typical rotor maximum tolerances are:

    runout .003" maximum
    thickness variation .0005" maximum

    or so I've been told......
  • jml696jml696 Posts: 1
    I have an 99 Olds Alero GLS bought it in October 2000. I too have noticed a vibration and jerking when braking. Dealer can't find any problem. My anti-lock and trac-off lights on the instrument panel keep coming on and the dealer says can't find a problem. Now the low tire pressure light is staying on. No flat tire, but the light is still on. Anyone else with these problems? How were they corrected? The Alero might be nice to look at but I have regretted buying it everyday!
  • I have replaced the window stripping in the doors 3 times because rain water comes down the molding. Have fixed the automatic door locks. Brakes have been replaced 3 times under 30k miles. Center console in for service due to recall. Knobs on stereo for bass/treble both broke after 3 months - (quit using them to avoid breaking them or else I could chalk a few more visits to the list) On top of that, I am pissed off at the dealer because they could really care less. Car is now full of mildew and its been a week of nothing but rain. If anyone has successfully taken action to rid themselves of a leased alero/car, I would appreciate a brief note on the time and difficulty involved of doing so. I have one more year on the lease.
  • I have a 2000 Alero GLS with 17,000. Just had it towed last week....supposedly it is a bad
    fuel pump and it is on "national backorder" and have no idea when they will get one.......
    Also, if I recall correctly, there is a post about a TSB for drivers side mirror?? Mine shakes slightly at highway speeds. Should I get new rotors even though I haven't had a problem with them yet???? Thanks
  • I heard that there will be a TB with new part's to correct this concern. Right now the parts
    aren't available. I suspect that parts should be available in early April, '01.
    Since the mirrors are break-away, make sure the mirror housing is fully "nested" to the door.
    Grab the mirror and "flex" it, let it "snap back" to allow it to seat. My car mirror was vibrating
    after never having done so before, when I left a mall parking lot and I noticed that it was
    gaped away from the door. I reached out and pulled and let it snap back and it was fine
    after that.
    I'm sorry to hear so many of you with brake problems, my car has been performing quite nicely!

    Used to be AleroOSV4me.......gotta assemble my own now!
  • kfrissenkfrissen Posts: 1
    I took my 99 Alero to have the brakes checked for the second time (new pads were put on the first time as well as rotors were turned). The dealer put non-warranteed pads on, probably after market pads, which left me with paying for new pads the third time they needed to be done. I contacted GM about it but have not heard whether the dealer was penalized for not putting the correct pads on. Constant problems with the brakes. Right now, I again have the pulsating feeling as I stop. Don't really want to deal with all of it--dealers, etc. My warrantee is now up (3 year, 30K) so I will have to foot the bill for this ongoing problem.

    Who do I contact about this? Someone had written that 1-800-olds-4-U was the right number but, its only 6 numbers long (olds-4-u) so it doesn't work. Am I missing something?
  • ManxManx Posts: 1
    I realize no one has posted in awhile but...

    a few months back I went in with my '99 alero GLS (not a single problem except this one) complaining about the pulsing in the breaks - turns out there was a 'technical bulletin' or some such at GM and they replaced all rotors and pads under the warranty.

    everything is working just great now!
  • ctalericoctalerico Posts: 23
    I have been experiencing rotor problems with my 2000 Alero. The car is only 11 months old and has 13,000 miles. I mentioned the problem to the dealership when I took the car in a couple months ago for an oil change and they said that it is because I'm not used to the feel of the ABS system. (Being that I previously owned a 1989 Honda). I first noticed the noise and felt the pulsating when it rained but now it is all the time. I am taking the car in tomorrow morning to have the dealership take a look. I have printed out these postings and will be taking them with me (being a woman I need all the help I can get!). I will keep you all updated!
  • ebingebing Posts: 1
    I've had the ABS brake motors replaced twice after my ABS light came on and I had no ABS, I've had the overhead center compartment (between the sunvisors replaced after it came loose, I've had new doors seals put on after the original ones started to buckle, I've had a new driver side door panel put on after the original one's fabric started to peel off, I've had new rotors and pads put on after they pulsated during braking at highway speeds, I've had the powersteering pump replaced twice, and some kind of modulator in the power steering fluid line was replaced once. I live in Pennsylvania and our state lemon law states that if you have the same problem go wrong with your at least three times, it's a lemon. Now granted, My Alero doesn't meet those standards, I contacted 1-800-LEMONLAW, which a not-for-profit law firm which deals solely with lemon laws, and they think that I have a 90% chance of getting a settlement with General Motors. I know others in PA who have Alero's and have gone through this law firm with success. I'm confident that in November, GM will want to settle.

    I love to drive my Alero. It's my first car that I bought new, but with only 4000 miles left on the warranty, I'm getting very frustrated with this car. Anybody that lives in PA, can call 1-800-LEMONLAW and they will see if you have a case. It's completely free since they are a "consumer advocate" law firm.
  • gwlanggwlang Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Aero GAS coupe. At 4343 miles, I had the first set of brakes and rotors replaced. No at 21,400 miles, the fourth set was replaced on 4/12/01. Two days after repair, noises appeared when braking. Returned the car to the dealer where I was told, "Oh, that is normal". The noise has now became so apparent that it is audible over the stereo. I have a contacted Oldsmobile twice with no results, but I got smart and contacted the BB arbitration kept. Now the area service manager is meeting me on Tuesday to look into re purchasing the car. I will try to remember to update after Tuesday to let everyone know how it went.
  • ctalericoctalerico Posts: 23
    I took my car in on April 14 and they couldn't find anything wrong with it until I asked them to check the rotors. And lo and behold, my rotors were starting to warp at 13,000 miles! They told me that they weren't under warranty but they were aware of the problems with the Alero rotors. They told me to check back with the Service Manager that Monday to see what he could do. No guarantees. When I called the Service Manager he told me that he would have to look at the car and he would make a decision if they needed to be replaced and then he would call Olds to see what they would do. Again, no guarantees. I mentioned these postings and he said that it depends on what "zone" your in as to if your rotors can be replaced at no charge. I couldn't believe that of all the people having this problem only some are getting reimbursed for it. I then called Olds to express my concerns about my car and the "zone". They couldn't believe that the Service Manager mentioned the "zone" to me. I told them that I will not be paying for the rotors since I know it is a problem that Olds is aware of. They were very nice and told me that they would see what they could do and call me back the next day. As promised they called me back and said they they talked to my Service Manager and he said that he didn't know who I was! Their advice to me was to have him look at my car and since he is aware that Olds is in on my problem they didn't think I would be given a hard time. I gave him a call to schedule an appt. and he said that he couldn't remember everyone that calls him with problems. So I told him that he must be getting alot of people with rotor problems. I took my car in Saturday and they were replaced at no charge! He then told me that they were replaced with the latest design rotors and this is a one time courtesy to me. I said that if this happens again I'll be back and expect them to be replaced. He said that Olds will not replace them again and that the rotors are only expected to last 25,000-30,000 miles! I said that I have never heard of this. Of all the people I have talked to their rotors have lasted anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 miles. He said that new model cars have these type of rotors. I know this is bull and I am going to write Olds and tell them this as well as my concern for the rotors that are now in my car, for future reference. I know this is a long-winded response but I want all of you to know what's going on with these rotors and to make sure you get your new ones at no charge.
  • ctalericoctalerico Posts: 23
    GM just called to see how things went with my car on Saturday. I told them that I was happy with the results but I had concerns with the new rotors. I found out that a federally mandated law was passed in 1997 that would take asbestos out of brake pads and rotors. This would prevent lung cancer, but the problem is that because there is no asbestos in the brakes they heat up faster and they wear out quicker. That is why the brake pads last 15,000-20,000 miles and the rotors only last 25,000-30,000 miles. But I am still skeptical because I have a friend who has a 2000 Chevy Lumina and his rotors are fine at over 50,000 miles.
  • dterry1dterry1 Posts: 1
    Hi all, I just purchased a new 2001 Aero. They still haven't corrected the rotor vibration problem. When we picked up the car, the dealer told us that the brakes had a vibration and that if it didn't go away in a few days to bring it back to be fixed. It didn't, so we took it back. They resurfaced the rotors and installed shims to limit the runout. They were only marginally better. They told us to bring it back for new rotors, if not fixed. We have 800 miles on it. Other than the brake problem, we love the car. (GL2 sedan with the V6).
  • Bulletin # 00-05-23-002 was referenced on my repair order when the rotors and pads were replaced on my 99 Alero. This was the 2nd time I had taken the car to the dealer with the braking "pulsation" problem. The 1st time they resurfaced the rotors - and 3,000 miles later the pulsating was back. Now, 10,000 miles later I again have the pulsation back. This means a3rd trip to the dealer and I HOPE to have new rotors and pads installed again (for free, of course), as this has been an on-again-off-again problem with my car since it turned 5,000 miles. Boy am I glad I only leased this car.

    I'll post again next week after my appointment with the dealer. I hope the bulletin # helps. If anyone can get a copy of this bulletin please post the highlights of what it contains!!
  • 79377937 Posts: 390
    My 2c worth on pulsating rotors. I've noticed that the lug nuts on my 1999 Cavalier have a tendency to work loose. I've checked for oil or grease on the nuts and studs and have also cleaned them with degreasing fluid. The manual says the lug nuts must be torqued to 100ft/lbs.

    My point is this - when they are loose, (maybe some nuts are down to 70 ft/lbs) the brakes pulsate. Once they are torqued up again to spec the pulsation goes. I've bought a good quality torque wrench for the job.

    I would recommend that anybody with pulsating brakes should first check their lug nuts and see if they are torqued up correctly. I can't figure out why my lug nuts are working loose though? Maybe somebody here has a suggestion? Could also be the problem with the Alero.
This discussion has been closed.