95 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Problems

tjmeyerstjmeyers Member Posts: 6
edited April 2014 in Oldsmobile
I own a 95 olds cutlass supreme with 104,000 miles
on it and lately when I am driving it the car
tends to chug. I watch the tachometer needle jump
around and sometimes the car dies. The oil light
comes on saying to check oil level. I've done this
and the oil level is full. I have changed the oil
on a regular 3000 mile basis(sometimes less than
3000 miles). I've owned the car for about two years
and this past summer is the first time I've had
this problem. I've had a mechanic pull the valve
covers off only to find that the valve covers were
caked with crusty black gunk and the drain ports
were almost solid to where the oil wasn't able to
drain back into the crankcase. The guy cleaned out
the drain ports and the problem stopped for a while
but has returned. Is there anything else that
would be inexpensive that I could do to fix the
problem (besides pulling the motor and rebuilding


  • tjmeyerstjmeyers Member Posts: 6
    can anyone tell me what I could do about the 95 cutlass problem listed in here
  • poisondartfrogpoisondartfrog Member Posts: 102
    You can try a motor flush, but it's evident that the previous owner ignored changing the oil, thus the sludge on the valve covers, and the rest of the internals (not good!). The remaining sludge in the engine may be breaking loose and clogging the drain holes again. If the Positive Crankcase Valve (PCV) and hoses are clogged, the engine is fighting itself with increased internal pressure, causes the chugging and quitting. BTW, does the engine leak at the gaskets yet? That's another sign the PCV system is not working.

    So what to do... I'd check and clean the PCV system, run some Moto-Flush, and pray.
  • tjmeyerstjmeyers Member Posts: 6
    I had a second mechanic look at the car and he seems to think it is an electrical problem. he says that since the car only does it when the car warms up, this is a sign of an electrical problem and not a clogged oil pickup screen
  • jobearjobear Member Posts: 1
    I am new to checking out older used cars, my
    husband always did that. Now I am on my own and
    checking a '91 Olds Cutlass Supreme, low mileage
    (40K) and one owner who had it dealer maintained.

    What kind of problems should I expect from this
    vehicle? I have had three Honda Civics over the
    past 15 years (all used) and loved them, but don't
    want to spend over $4000.00 for a used car. BTW,
    the previous owner of the OLDS is asking $3800.00.
    I expect ignition and possibly brakes to be problematic, based on the age of the vehicle, but
    I want to be sure that I am not getting an oil-burning, gas guzzling machine in several more
    years. I want to hang to this car until I can
    afford something better, but realistically I am
    looking at 3 years.

    Thanks to all who respond!
  • racerx_9racerx_9 Member Posts: 7
    If the car has ABS, make sure the PowerMaster is good. I had a 90 supreme international and the pump went bad, which must be replaced as an entire unit, $2000 parts alone w/2 hours labor. I don't know it the 91 has the same ABS system. If the car does not have ABS, then you do not have to worry.

    Also, the 3.1 engine tends to leak in a certain area. It is a relatively cheap fix. Read more about it here:

  • gt19gt19 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 Olds Cutlass Supreme 2-dr coupe I bought in May of 98'. It had 38k mi. on it when I got it. The only trouble I have had was to replace the alternator 3 times and I had an oil leak ($304) covered under warranty. I now have 90K mi. and have been totally satisfied with it. The drivers airbag was recalled in July of 00' and the parts have not yet got to the dealership to have it replaced, so if you own a 95' or 96' Cutlass Supreme your airbag has been recalled. For more information e-mail me at [email protected] and I will respond.
  • kmagkmag Member Posts: 98
    its not that good of a car and it will cost you lots of money in repairs. Especially if it has the 3.4 DOHC. Our 94 cost us $1000 for a timing belt, $500 for a fuel pump. Glad to rid of it!
  • 95supremeconv95supremeconv Member Posts: 1
    I own a '95 Cutlass Supreme Convertible with the 3.4 DOHC, and love every mile. I will admit, the 3.4 is a bit more fussy than the average motor, but none the less one of the best 6 cylinder DOHC engines to hit the road. The suggestion to change the timing belt above is crucial. I would suggest changing it every 45,000 miles, not 60. I've changed mine 3 times, and my car has 77,xxx on it and I have NEVER had any problems with it. A friend of mine has a 3.4 lumina, and his went at 38,000 miles and cost him just under 1500 to repair. Ever since then I have been paranoid. Other than that, I have had to replaced the alternator, but thats about it. Otherwise its been a spectacular car. It turns heads and will take most "rice burners" off the line. As far as the 3.1 drivetrain.. it is one of the best and most reliable GM has ever produced. Theres one thing people have to remember, and that is that cars are a plethora of moving parts. All mechanical devices are prone to failure. Your only combat is care and maintnence. Remember this the next time you buy the 89 cent target oil. You are only adding to the problem. Treat your GM well and it will do the same back!
  • bsuchbsuch Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1991 CS with the 3.4 DOHC, Originally, the the book said change that belt at 75K miles, later it was revised down to 60K mi. I lost mine while blowing around someone at 85 MPH. Mileage mark, 50K on the nose. Better safe then sorry, replace it before the recommended mileage. Other things noticed, Alternator WILL ALWAYS die within 1 month of using the car to jump another car OR after having the car jumped for a dead battery. Lesson 1, invest $60.00 in a jump box. Lesson 2, I rip through a set of front brakes every 10K miles. Manufacturer doesn't matter, so I started using Raybestos. Keep the old set in the trunk, when it comes time to replace them, back to the parts store with the old box, exchange for new box :) Also found a jobber that sells rotors, 25.00 per pair. So every time I replace the pads, I install a new set of rotors. The job is so easy, (and cheap) that after you do it once, you will never pay someone to do it again.

  • jjackson43jjackson43 Member Posts: 27
    Are these new rotors? And are they worn out or warped at the 10K mile mark when you replace the pads..?
  • chadmcgheechadmcghee Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 1995 Cutlass Convertible new, it now has 85,000 on it and has been a GREAT car. I have loved every minute of it and the car is a joy to drive. Sure, my alternator went out too, but so did the one on my friends toyota.
    Does anyone know where to get the backlight bulbs for the auto climate control? Too bad GM had to kill Oldsmobile.......
  • breaksrbreaksr Member Posts: 9
    I had a '92 2-dr Cutlass Supreme with the 3.4 engine and the AL package that I bought new. It was a great car but it did have some strange problems. Alternator went (30,000 miles) one month after the battery was replaced and it cost $250 (dealer wanted 500). Passenger door did not fit properly on the car and would always rattle when it was cold out. But the real problem with the car was that it would stall after about fifteen minutes of driving, when you slowed to a near stop. I think that long term short distance driving had caused a lot of gun to build up in the throttle body and intake manifold. Seven and a-half years and only 47K miles I sold it.
  • vettes1vettes1 Member Posts: 1
    I've had my 95 Cutlass Supreme Conv since new. Now 102K. Within 30 days of buying, the car would not accelerate to get out into traffic. Many times into dealers. They finally listened to me and changed the elect fuel pump in the tank. Presto, no more problems since. Two alternators, two batteries. Just fixed irratic rise/drop of rpm when cold. OK when warm. Had to replace the lower intake manifold gasket. No visible signs of damage on the gasket but the dealer told me what it was, and after the change, everything was great. Now problem of leaking at oil pump shaft area on top of motor at edge of head. Thinking of selling her. By the way, talk about living on borrowed time, I had never replaced the timing belt, but am well aware of costs.
  • kevz94kevz94 Member Posts: 1
    I seem to be developing a leak on the crimped fittings on the trans side. the lines coming from the radiator are fine and the clamped area between rubber and the alum. are also fine.A friend told me his 95 lumina 3.1 had these very lines recalled due to inproper crimping on the pressure fittings.Anyone with any information will be greatly appreciated as the car is in VERY good condition and I would like to keep it that way.(28000 miles)Thank You
  • jackson43jackson43 Member Posts: 15
    Kevz94 - I also have a 94 Olds Cutlass Supreme SL with 11K miles on it, and haven't yet had the problem you describe w/the tranny lines. I did have a slight motor oil leak and had to have the intake gaskets and oil pump shaft (where the distributer used to be) "o" ring replaced. Also replaced the plastic valve covers with factory replacement aluminum ones. So far, no more problems.

    Are you saying the lines where the rubber and metal tranmission lines join are leaking?
  • bryubpharmbryubpharm Member Posts: 1
    I have a '91 cutlass supreme intl. w/ the 3.1L and had a similar problems w/ the lines. I had to have the lines between the transmission and cooler replaced to fix the problem cost like $20 for the lines
  • culaterculater Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 1996 Cutlass Supreme SL in 1999. A month after I bought it, my ABS brakes starting acting up and needed the ABS sensor replaced. ($500) Luckily covered by the dealership. Another problem I had was that the door switch that turns off the interior light went bad. ($130) My power locks acted up but went away. Not sure, but it's good now. Lastly my power antenna is stuck in the up position. If anyone has an idea on how to fix, let me know. Despite these problems, I love this car. It has a 3.1 SFI V6. It has plenty of power, and corners nicely. I only wihs it was a convertible.
  • holdorfholdorf Member Posts: 1
    I purchased this car in Jan. of 1999 with 25,000 miles on it. The car is a beautiful car with just one problem. It's costing me money! One week after I purchased the car I had to replace the alternator. Then three months later came the brakes and tires. Ok no problem on the tires and brakes. So the car seems alright now, forward to November. It starts making a noise from under the hood. Sounds Like bearings to me, and guess what in December the air compressor locks up the engine. ($1000) I get the car fixed and two weeks later guess what. My battery light goes down and I take it to Sears and get the battery that they said was bad replaced and the next day the car is broke down on the side of the road and to my amazement another alternator.Get it replaced and now 4 days later another terrible sound comes about every other hour. Sounds like the same noise just when the air compressor started going out. Does anyone have any type of the same problems that iI have? Help!
  • naleshnikinaleshniki Member Posts: 1
    I am in the process of buying a 95 CS (from Carmax). It is a real creampuff with only 27K miles. I returned it to Carmax for service(within the 5 day return period) because of a weird problem. When standing at a stoplite, if you take your foot off the brake, but DO NOT step on the gas, the car jitter-bugs forward. After much humming and hawing, Carmax took it to the local Olds dealer(to which I spoke with directly), and Olds says this is NORMAL for 94 & 95 CS's! Does anyone else have this symptom?? Have you gotten it fixed or learned to live with it?? HELP!!!
  • etchstoneetchstone Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where I can get a interior light diagram for a 95 Olds Cutlass Supreme on-line?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Try batauto.com
  • autojoe2autojoe2 Member Posts: 6
    There is a site that charges $19.95 and you get unlimited access to your vehicle's information for one full year.You have to enter the year,make,model,engine size ect.You can print all information.There is an example vehicle on the site so you can get an idea of what kind of information you can get.The web-address is
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Anyone notice the common theme here? Failure of alternators seems to be an all too common problem with GM cars. Anyone know why they can't design an alternator to last over 100k, let alone 50k?? These alternator problems are not ordinary among other cars. Examples: my mom's 86 Accord never needed an alternator in 130K, her current 92 Accord's alternator lasted 150K, my 84 VW Rabbit's alternator lasted 14 years and around 160K, and my dad's 66 Ford Fairlane is still running on its original alternator after 35 years and over 160K. There is no excuse why GM can't make their alternators last longer. It's a simple case of poor quality control. Shame on them for causing you people to have to spend hard-earned money on repairs that shouldn't happen at such an early age.
  • badbrett79badbrett79 Member Posts: 29
    about 8 alternators in 2 years, it was almost like changing the oil!!!every 3000mi yes gm has a prob with eletrical devices..
  • waycjwaycj Member Posts: 1
    If you have not figured it out yet,DON'T BUY GM ALTERNATORS. Go to Auto zone and buy an alternator with a lifetime warranty. My 95 also does the little dance from the stoplight when you let off the brake.I think this has been a very good vehicle and would not even hesitate to buy another one.
  • afrikandoafrikando Member Posts: 4
    My 1990 Cutlass Calais (31K miles) has developed this new problem: it dies when I come to a stop. It starts right up again but, as soon as i shift out of park, it dies again. I just paid $500 for a bunch of coolant system repair stuff. Someone else suggested that it may be the TEC switch (saying that front-wheel drive Olds of this vintage are prone to stalling that has to do with the car transmission not gearing down after going 35 mph---or something like that...!). Does anyone have any ideas/advice?? Thanks.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The symptoms you mention are typical of a stuck torque converter clutch (TCC) solenoid in the transaxle. Although you didn't specify the transaxle type, it's more prevalent on the 3 speed THM125 models. Typical symptoms are engine stalling when coming to a stop, restarts but stalls when shifted into gear, ok if the car sits 10-15 minutes, usually occurs after 15-20 miles higher speed operation, may be intermittent. Basic, easy repair that any transmission shop or good general repair facility can handle. The TCC solenoid in the transaxle end cover requires replacement, and have the lower pan removed and the fluid and filter changed while you're at it to remove the ferrous particles that are contaminating the solenoid.
  • afrikandoafrikando Member Posts: 4
    i appreciate your response. i'll take my car in this week. i must admit--i'm getting a little gunshy about driving it these days...!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Good luck with the repair. Post back and let us know how it turns out.
  • afrikandoafrikando Member Posts: 4
    just picked up my olds--they found a faulty solenoid lockup switch. the tech who repaired it said he repairs a lot of these on older GM cars (and, he says, none have been returned to him after repair). thanks again for your help. btw, i got my work done at dean's transmission, downtown seattle, cost: 250.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Thanks for the update. Good to hear you have your problem resolved. With parts and labour, $250 is right in the ballpark for that job.
  • nick01nick01 Member Posts: 84
    light came on in my daughters '96 cutlas supreme coupe with the 3.4 engine. She took it to the Olds dealer and was told it was the wireing harness. They wanted $500 to replace the harness and the spark plugs. This sounds like a bit much to me. Can anyone tell me what the going rate is for the installation of the wireing harness. This is the double overhead cam-duel exhaust 3.4

  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Which diagnostic trouble code was retrieved? Did they specify which wiring harness requires replacement, or do you mean spark plug wires? The following is a list of OBD-II Powertrain DTC's relating to spark plug/plug wire faults:

    P0300 Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

    P0301 Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected

    P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected

    P0303 Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected

    P0304 Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected

    P0305 Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected

    P0306 Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected
  • nick01nick01 Member Posts: 84
    thanks for the reply. My daughter lives in another state so I'm not sure about the code. She called around to the different GM dealers and got about the same price. I assumed it was the spark plug wireing harness. They said the harness was 200.00 and they would have to unbolt the engine and the exhaust manifold to replace it. She told them to go ahead and replace the plugs while they had all that disconnected . total bill was almost 500.00.

  • dan1975dan1975 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with the 2.5 L, 4-cylinder engine. I have 96000 miles on it and wanted to get some opinions about the timing chain from people who own old Oldsmobiles. Although it's OK right now, my brother keeps telling me that I should get it changed, because he believes it is going to break soon due to my car's age. If you have an old Olds, please let me know if the timing chain broke on you and at what mileage.

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