1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royal Broughm 3.8 V6 from North America


Very reliable car, surprisingly good mileage and power combo for larger automobile


Worst aspect: power steering fluid leak through rack-n-pinion resulted in "manual" steering.

Several other minor replacements (<$200) due to usual wear.

Bad CV & front axles at 160,000 miles; may not be worth fixing.

General Comments:

Overall a very good car. Good power and also great mileage for larger vehicle (easily >20 MPG in stop & go city driving). Engine runs very well, starts immediately in cold (< 0 degrees F). Lack of power steering could be bad for some -- didn't bother me though. Solid, comfortable & reliable automobile.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2005

1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale 3.8 Fuel Injection from Chile


With This Car, Every Tourist Can Fly First Class


Maybe some electrical problems like lights, side markers, turn signals, and fuse problems, but I have already fixed all the problems and thay are running in perfect conditions.

Seat Belts running properly.

When I adquired this car I had to replace the oxygen sensor at 110500 miles.

General Comments:

It is a very reliable and comfortable car, it is the most car that I could buy, It is really Beautiful.

My problem Is that here in my country (Chile) we don't have a official Oldsmobile Dealer so I have problems to get replacement parts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2005

1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale 3.8L V6 from North America


A low maintenance, long lasting gem


I had to replace the alternator 3 times since the original one went bad.

The water pump went at 150K.

Front Stabilizer links broke at 200K.

General Comments:

As much of a bad wrap as I've gotten over the years for owning a "granny car", this car is awesome. I still get 30 miles per gallon highway at 200,000 miles. The car runs like a top. It leaks no oil and the transmission still performs like it did 15 years ago. If you ever run across one of these cars used and know it was taken care off, buy it, you'll be glad you did.

It has plenty of power to climb hills and such yet it is not a gas guzzler.

It's a shame GM discontinued the Oldsmobile, it was one of the best and most reliable cars they ever put out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2004

20th Aug 2004, 19:40

GM dropped Olds because GM lost its mind!!!

21st Jun 2007, 15:05

A follow-up to my review listed above... at 253,000 miles, the head gasket finally went on the engine. Needless to say after seeing the motor oil bubbling around in my antifreeze overflow tank, I decided to bury the old gal. It just wasn't worth the money to fix it. I doubt I'll ever see a car this reliable again, especially a domestic model.

If you can get your hands on a well-kept used Olds made between 1987 and 1990, pick it up, it will be a good value for you. A sad day indeed to finally junk this car...

3rd Nov 2009, 09:50

To 19:40 above - I'm afraid it's worse than that. Not just GM lost its mind, American lost its mind. Right about 1980.

GM actually held on a little longer than the rest of the country.

1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale 3.8 from North America


Okay value for the money


Brake line completely rotted out and had to be replaced.

Gas line replaced.

Complete tune-up upon purchase.

CV boot replaced one week after purchase.

Hard cold starts. Resolved by buying junkyard computer for car.

Radiator leaked and was replaced.

General Comments:

I`ve had the car for just over two months and have already spent over $500 on these repairs, hopefully there will be nothing major for the next couple of months as this is my winter beater.

One thing though is that I find it idles a bit rough. I noticed the rpm`s to be only between 600-650. do any of you think that this is normal?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st November, 2003

1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale 3.8 from North America


Cheap to fix and annoyingly reliable


Service Engine Light: Apparently caused by a broken sensor at 100,000k (60,000miles). I never bothered to fix it.

Front brake pads (twice) ; Rear brake shoes (once).

Patched fuel line leak at 150,000km (90,000 miles) and 250,000km (155,000 miles).

Transmission line - 160,000km (100,000miles).

General Comments:

I buried my old '88 today and what a sad day this is. This is probably less a review than confession -- confessions, that is, of an abusive owner.

I purchased the car sight-unseen for $2,500.00(USD) at just a shade under 60,000 miles. I wouldn't have considered buying this way, but I was crunched for time and I'd had such great luck with my Olds '98 that I figured it would be a safe bet.

When I first saw the car, I immediately disliked it, but mostly because this loaded '88 lacked the visual appeal and toys of my nicer, classier, Olds '98.

I never really fell in love with this one, and so I abused it terribly. Truly, it wasn't the car's fault... I know I was discriminating, but I refused to do the usual maintenance that owners might typically do -- things like regular oil and transmission fluid changes, etc.

My Olds '88 is actually a pretty good example of how far a car can go if you never change the oil (it was changed once when I purchased the car, and then never again), burn cheap fuel, and drive it like you hate it.

I only fixed the bare necessities, such as brake pads, and ignored the other little quirks (such as a nagging "search engine" light).

At about 100,000 miles, I broke a transmission line on the expressway in the middle of the night. Not wanting to stop and wait for a tow, I drove it the 150 miles to my house without any fluid. Ever since, the transmission slipped a bit in second and third gears -- but I figured I'd keep driving it as long as I could, and to my surprise, the transmission finally died last night -- at 270,000km (175,000 miles). Begrudging it the cost of a tow, I decided to try driving it the 30 km to my home with only 1st gear and overdrive. I manually shifted from 1st at 45 miles/hr, and I'm impressed to tell you that second and third gears, are in fact, optional.

Quite seriously, if you have the opportunity to move up to a '98 I would suggest that you do so. If you don't have the option, take the Delta '88 and know that you're getting a reliable (perhaps annoyingly reliable) car.

Prior to owning the Olds '88 and Olds '98, I owned a loaded Mercedes 300D. The Olds beats the Mercedes hands down, in terms of repair costs, comfort, driving pleasure, and so on. The only areas that the Mercedes beat the Olds on was mileage (thanks to a diesel motor in the Mercedes) and a power sunroof, which as far as I know, never was an option in the Olds.

Anyway, this was an all-round good buy, and if I had the opportunity to do it again, the only thing I'd change would be my attitude.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2003

22nd Sep 2004, 08:15

You have no idea how familiar this review sounded to me. I swore at this car for its apparent unwillingness to DIE! I, too, abused this car like it was the dog that wouldn't stop eating the furniture; I would religiously change the oil at 8,000 miles. I would rod the living daylights (well, about as well as you can do with it) and neglect things, such as, oh, transmission fluid. It even survived a full tank of diesel (don't ask) - in fact, I remember it actually running better after that ordeal than ever before. I finally put it to rest at 190,000 miles, not because the motor blew, but because the half-shaft came out, taking the tranny with it. I treated this car as horribly as possible, yet it was always there to get me from A to B. I never thought I would say this, but I kind of miss it. On second thought, nah.