1998 Oldsmobile 88 3.8 from North America


An excellent car. Wish I still had one. May not be a Mustang, but just as good


Upper intake manifold, brake lines, water pump, and exhaust broke off.

General Comments:

This car was an amazing first car. At my school it was the notorious 88.

The rides were always comfortable, the interior and exterior looked much like an old lady car, but to me it was luxury driving. It is like sitting in a La-Z-Boy and having a steering wheel in front of you.

The engine had more than enough power when you needed it. It kept up with the original Oldsmobile rocket tradition. The intake did go on it, a major flaw on the 3800 II series, and there were other problems related to its age and mileage.

Sadly my time with "Sally" my green Oldsmobile was short lived, due to a collision with an 09 Subaru Outback, totaling both, but if not for the airbag going off, I could've driven it still.

It was a boat and was decent on gas, averaging roughly 25 per gallon.

If you get a chance, buy one. I know I definitely would, given the chance.

A great first car for a teenage driver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2012

9th Jan 2012, 20:43

It's a shame you lost your Oldsmobile, but at least now there is one less Subaru on the road.

19th Jan 2012, 22:08

Sadly no, that Subaru will be back on the road. It was an 09 Outback, and only had an axle broken and some body damage. The first thing he said when I was pulled out of my car was "what a shame, I just got my car outta the shop, I just totaled it a few weeks ago", proving Subaru drivers aren't the brightest bunch, hence them owning Subarus.

1998 Oldsmobile 88 3.8 (3.8L) from North America


Its value (except for the air conditioning) is superior to almost any other vehicle.


Major or Unexpected things:

1) The common intake manifold problem... see details below. (144,000 miles)

2) Air Conditioning compressor (at 147,000 miles)

Maintenance or Minor Issues:

1) Replaced muffler & pipe, front brake pads and rotors, and two tie rods immediately after purchase (at 100,000 miles.)

2) Plugs, wires, and one coil pack (135,000 miles)

3) Water pump (141,000 miles)

4) Four tires (at 166,000) and one wheel (it was bent and caused shaking at highway speed).

General Comments:

This was purchased for under $2,000 at an auction. I had decided to take my chances on an unknown slate of problems. Fortunately, my gamble has been rewarded with nearly three years and over 70,000 miles of reliable driving. This vehicle has never left me stranded.

I give it high marks for the interior craftsmanship. Those designers made it so conservative, so high class, that no other vehicle I have driven can match the enjoyment of being behind the wheel. The exterior is equally understated and does not draw attention to itself or its driver. The driver's side door hinges are beginning to show wear, and it lets some water in when going through the car wash.

There have been no little rattles, squeaks, or broken plastic things as you might find in so many vehicles with 170,000 miles. The transmission had some roughness when I bought the vehicle, but after changing the ATF and filter twice, it has settled right down.

Performance is nothing to complain about unless it's a leadfoot doing the talking. General Motors really struck a home run with the fuel efficiency. On long highway trips (600 miles or more) I always rate well over 30 MPG. In “average” driving conditions it is around 25 MPG. This is significantly better than the Ford Taurus (a similar vehicle, but one which I despise).

I have to mention the intake manifold problem, and it's one which I had repaired by preventative maintenance. The vehicle started to lose antifreeze, and this was right after replacing the water pump, so I knew what was the probable cause. I used a re-engineered part from A1 Automotive in Pepperell, MA, which is designed to correct the original component's flawed design. The escaping coolant had also ruined the Oxygen Sensor and caused the Check Engine light to come on. On the bright side, this engine does not leak oil, even after 170,000 miles.

Mud guards should have been standard on this vehicle, as the rear wheels direct salt and sand directly underneath the rear bumper, where it collects. Even with frequent washing, the rust is growing worse. I am located in the Rust Belt, after all.

The air conditioning system is a major problem. The compressor replacement cooled it down (not enough), but soon after, the freon began discoloring the windows and I knew that an internal leak had developed. This summer I will have it repaired, but only to salvage what I spent on the compressor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2006