1992 Oldsmobile Achieva s quad 4 from North America


Best car I have owned


Catalytic converter keeps clogging up, Replaced it twice. Stater has died twice, replace again for the third time. Windows stopped works. Light keep dimming out. trunk latch broke. Brake light is always on. Brakes sometimes give out. even though brakes are still good. White or black smoke from tail pipe.

General Comments:

Even though all of these things have gone wrong with these car I would buy another. I am at 185 thousand miles and going strong. All of the repairs have been under 100 each. I get great gas mileage with this car. It's very comfortable to drive and very easy to handle. my Oldsmobile is great in the snow better than most cars I had. The Oldmobile has old lasted my ford 150 1997.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2006

1992 Oldsmobile Achieva S Quad Four from North America


Unreliable car


Alternator had to replaced at 98000...as soon as I got the car.

Water pump had to be replaced a couple weeks after the alternator gave out.

CV axle broke while repair the water pump.

Gas gauge doesn't work, so I have to go by the odometer.

Front Windshield has begun to leak whenever it rains.

General Comments:

I would not recommend this car to anyone simply for the fact that it is a quad four engine.

Many mechanics refuse or increase their labor cost. To repair the water pump for example, the mechanic had to lift the engine up & remove the radiator to get the water pump.

I have a friend at work who has the same car as I do, and a tree fell on it during Hurricane Katrina. She is VERY happy it fell on that car. Which needless to say is how I feel about my achieva.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd October, 2005

23rd Oct 2005, 06:50

The car is 12 years old and the problems you describe are wear and tear items. Your Focus could not have been more than 6 years old - why trade it in for a car twice the age?

14th Nov 2005, 12:50

I have a 1989 5 speed grand am with the w41 ho quad four.

It has been modified to produce about 250 hp and it is very reliable.

I repair and maintain the car my self.

It is very fast and just as reliable as any 2 or 3 year old japanese or american car.

It is faster than most modern 6 cylinder 24 valve cars that I race.

29th Mar 2006, 23:18

I just purchased a 1992 Achieva S. I used to have a 1991 Cutlass Calais with a quad 4. My first timing chain broke at 55,000 miles and I had to change the next one at around 125,000 miles. I still really like these motors, they are snappy and get good gas mileage. I did have a hard time finding a mechanic also.

1992 Oldsmobile Achieva SC 2.3L Quad 4 DOHC 160hp from North America


Surprisingly sporty, very lovable, repair-laden beast


My parents bought this car new; I took over in 2002 with around 140k miles. Therefore, I may be forgetting some repairs before I inherited the vehicle.

Head gasket failed around 120k, and I suspect my dad drove it for a while, because the cylinder head cracked as well. After labor, 2 grand worth of repairs.

Water pump was definitely replaced at some point... maybe at 120k as well?

Rotors were reconditioned repeatedly and had to be replaced at least once (that I'm aware of), pre-140k.

When I inherited her at 140k, I put about $1500 worth of parts into her, in addition to all my own time of labor. List is as follows:

Loud whirring noise- RF hub bearing contaminated, new hub assy. installed.

Took this opportunity to replace RF half shaft.

One day, when the cat. converter was running especially hot, its innards liquefied and shot out the back toward some unlucky contestant behind. In addition, many leaks in the downpipe and cat-back pipe (oh, and the muffler was practically rusting off the vehicle) prompted replacement of the entire exhaust system. Decided to go for aftermarket performance parts (a good move, IMHO).

At this point, decided to rip out all the unnecessary intake baffling and install aftermarket air filter.

Sparks were arcing- replaced ignition housing as well as spark plugs.

Alternator died around 145k. New battery was needed as well (would not hold a charge)

At 168k, while driving on the highway, heard a loud bang within the engine bay (rather unsettling!), and steering became difficult. Installed new power steering belt, problem solved... except for the large gash in the hood insulation.

Timing belt was replaced at least once, but not sure when.

LF wheel had too much wiggle when inspected (~170k). New LF hub assy installed.

Horrible underbody rust. For instance, I wanted to install an aftermarket set of springs, but my mechanic wouldn't do it. He said the rear spring mounts were rusted so badly that the new springs might fall out of the car immediately.

After about 170k, driver window (non-power) would not close properly within its track.

Mild rust due to paint chips (rocks?). Also, rust toward upper-rear section of LR wheel well. Probably to be expected for a car of its age.

Leak in power steering fluid- high pressure hose replaced at 190k.

Loud valve tap at 192k miles, oil pressure suddenly dropped to zero. Suspect failed oil pump or engine bearing. Either would cost much more to fix than the car is worth at this point.

My hands hurt from typing.

General Comments:

Despite that ridiculous laundry list of problems (GM cars can definitely be money pits!), I became rather attached to the car.

Don't let the bland styling fool you- this car really is a sporty little tiger. YOU HAVE TO DRIVE IT TO APPRECIATE IT.

Brakes are slightly underpowered for my taste.

Car tends to understeer, as any FWD should, but it corners as if on rails. Seriously, I scare my friends on twisties, the whole while knowing I could push 15mph faster and still feel safe.

I heard that, stock, this car pulled over.9 on the skidpad. Wouldn't surprise me.

Engine is peppy (0-60 in 7.5sec), and with the 5spd, I've buried the needle which ends at 120. I'd guess maybe 130+ With a set of quality tires, properly balanced, there was ZERO shake, even at 130. Surprising.

Seats are comfy, even for rather long drives. Backseat room good for a coupe, average for a normal car.

60/40 split rear seat is convenient.

Trunk light and engine bay lights burned out ages ago, but never felt need to replace. Trunk is plenty spacious, though not cavernous.

Interior is typical GM quality: terrible. Even so, if you don't mind cosmetic problems, no big deal.

A/C was ice cold, even at 192k miles. Surprising.

White body coupled with deep maroon interior really looked killer. Hence its nickname: pimpmobile. Had the windows tinted (professionally) to match. Would strongly recommend- looks VERY sharp.

The Dynomax muffler (installed when replacing entire exhaust system) made the car sound more like an 8-cylinder than a 4-cylinder. Received MANY compliments. Noise was incessant at highway speeds. However, the rumble gave a new dimension to the back country twisties. Really makes the car FEEL like it's going faster.

Thanks for reading- this was a long one! But I loved the car to death and almost cried when it died.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th August, 2005

25th Aug 2005, 20:20

I thought the Achieva SC had 180 hp?

11th May 2006, 11:58

Very long review my hands would have gotten tired too, I am glad someone else appreciates the achieva as much as I appreciate mine.

14th Jul 2006, 22:05

Funny, being a former Achieva owner myself, I feel for the reviewer here. Mine was a white '92 S 4-door with 120-hp 2.3L 4-cyl, and it was by far the most reliable car I have ever owned. Oh, this car had its share of many little problems over the 11-plus years I had it (some door panels fell off, trip odometer quit at 50k, 02 sensor being the most frequent, brakes, alternator, tires, etc.) but it served me so well I felt I could make it to 200k for the first time ever. But no, I didn't as it needed so much work (heater core for about $400 and new tires, to name some). About 194k and I was sooo close, darn it. And yes, it's a/c remained icy cold to the day I sold--no, gave it up. If I could still keep it, I'd retire it to local use only. This car had definitely earned it if you ask me.

2nd Jul 2008, 10:45

I just bought a 94 Achieva with the 2.3 quad 4 ohc and it is a smooth running car.A/C blows ice cold. Had to replace my Ford Ranger.


Head gasket finally went at 188,323 miles (having engine rebuilt)

Has 188,323 Miles

Paint is bad (normal for GM cars and vans of the time frame)


Stills runs smooth

Handles well


Good on gas

Easy to replace most parts


I am having the engine rebuilt because I do not want a car payment and not spending the same money on another car just to have to do the same thing. This way I know it's fixed and will have a pretty much new engine.