1988 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham 3.8 V6 from North America


There's no finer car for the money


I have owned this car since it was new, and the first significant "failure" came when I had over 387,000 miles on it. The transmission was replaced.

Other than that, this car is all original, as far as the drive train is concerned. Virtually everything else is original too. Very, very few problems, and when something does wear out, I have it replaced.

Electric door locks have been "sticky" from time to time; serviced several times.

General Comments:

This 3800 V-6 engine is the one Superman would have in his car, if he needed one. In 2003 I celebrated the 500,000 mile achievement with a trip around the country... well over 10,000 miles. Great mileage (30-35 on the highway). Made it to over 600,000 miles in 20 years of ownership. I still enjoy driving this car. It is extremely efficient and reliable. These days, however, I try to avoid salt, snow, and ice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2010

15th Apr 2010, 11:07

Hmmm. If GM had kept building cars like these, they might not have went bankrupt? These were some great cars, better than contemporary Hondas and Toyotas.

15th Apr 2010, 12:16

Wow! Any tips you can give us to making OUR cars last this long??

15th Apr 2010, 23:19

Amazing. When I was 17 I owned an '88 Delta 88 Royale with the 3800 motor & I loved it. My friend busted a window out in a fight and the harmonic balancer went out, (made the car loud as hell!) which I tried to fix, but screwed up the timing. I let the car get scrapped at about 165k, which is a shame.. all because I wanted my dad to buy me a big-body Olds.

Picked up an '85 Delta Royal Brougham, which is a whole nother story, but damn I had some good times in that first one!

I'd recommend ANY 1980's Oldsmobile, except those with the Quad 4 (Cutlass Calais to be exact).

21st Apr 2010, 20:21

If properly maintained, the original 3800 Buick V6 from 1988-1991 was and still is easily capable of 32 MPG highway. Same goes for the first fuel injected 3.8 liter Buick V6's from 1984-1986. These engines were available under the hood of a very wide range of GM cars at some point.

Today we have Toyotas with uncontrolled acceleration.

And Honda thinks it's big news that the Fit, a tiny, underpowered lightweight 4-cyl can achieve 33 MPG highway. I'd much rather ride in the reviewer's Olds any day.

1988 Oldsmobile 98 V6 from North America


The best car I have ever owned


No engine problems, mostly routine maintenance, had one seat cushion replaced for wear, nothing has shown premature wear.

General Comments:

This automobile has been utterly reliable, comfortable and good driving. I could ask for no more.

It gets 33mpg on the hwy consistently and just under 20 in town.

Controls, interior switches and buttons have lasted perfectly for these 21 years. Does not use oil between changes, still looks good enough that I would gladly park it in the driveway at the White House.

Has turned into a conversation piece, and is the ONLY car I have ever owned that regularly gets inquires as to whether or not it is for sale.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2009

1988 Oldsmobile 98 Touring Sedan 231 CID V6/165 hp from North America


Great car, but could've been better


Complete front suspension system had to be replaced.

Transmission need to be serviced badly when acquired.

Right rear brake solenoid gave out.

Starter went.

Battery went dead.

Spark plugs/wires/coil all had to be replaced.

Tape deck didn't work.

Rear left power window would not go down from the back (though worked through the driver's control)

Alignment was bad.

Fog lights won't work even after new bulbs were put in.

Parking brake didn't work properly.

Headliner sagged so badly it had to be torn down.

The hood shocks were blown.

The driver's seat had some tears in it.

Valve cover gaskets were worn.

The fuel gauge was not very accurate

ABS system only worked every now and then.

The Touring Sedan badge fell off when I was washing it.

General Comments:

I just want to say most of this car's problems were caused by the incredible lack of maintenance by the previous (not mention first) owners.

The body had 201k on it, yet the engine had only about 15k on it.

The tranny shifted when in the city, but while getting up to highway speeds, shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, it felt as if it was about to completely give out. The guy at the tranny place said if I hadn't brought it in when I did, it would've blown.

The air cleaner looked as if it had been in there for about 12 years.

The coil appeared to have been in there since the car rolled off the assembly line. See a pattern?

I had simply bought this Olds at an auction to drive while looking for an '80s Chrysler Fifth Avenue. Once I found one (nearly a year and half later I am still very satisfied with that car) I gave the Olds to a co-worker who desperately needed a car. I know I put way more money into it then it was really worth, but I hated to see such an abused car go to a crusher without a second chance.

Most people seem to love the Buick 3800; not me. If you do your own maintenance, be warned, this engine has the dumbest placed oil filter ever, and the rear spark plugs are very hard to get to (a very common problem with transversely mounted engines).

All that said, the Oldsmobile Touring Sedan has many good qualities: for one thing it looks like a sporty 98 on the outside (which is what it is).

The front seats have more power adjustments than you'll know what to do with (it remains the only American car I've seen with power headrests).

The rear seats also have headrests plus reading lamps, and even cup holders.

The center console has one of the coolest shifters ever made.

There's also a cup holder (which doesn't hold cups very well), which can flip to a coin holder or just a flat surface.

It should be noted that all the wood trim on the dash is real wood, not fake.

They come with full gauge clusters, which is nice, but the speedometer is not well detailed (yet oddly all other gauges are).

The controls are also generally very well placed, and the leather seats are a far higher grade than you'll find on any new car. The carpets are also nice and thick

Sadly what this car really lacks is pride; it looks like too many GM cars that aren't even Oldsmobiles, and it has a Buick engine (why not a nice Olds 307?). These cars also can't maneuver well; they are simply too front-heavy.

I feel with rear wheel drive, an Oldsmobile V-8, and more of its own look, the Oldsmobile Touring Sedan would've been a huge success.

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

Review Date: 14th May, 2008

5th Jun 2008, 22:58

I've never had a problem with the rear spark plugs; they're one of the easiest ones that I've done. I have an Olds Cutlass Supreme with a 3.1 multi port inj; those things suck. I still haven't gotten those things out yet.