1992 Oldsmobile Achieva S 2.3L SOHC from North America


A very unpredictable car


When I first got this car I needed to replace the water pump.

Next was the radiator and the water pump.

Then it was fine for about 8 months then it was big trouble all in the course of less than a month. Starter went and the ignition coil, coil pack housing and coil connectors all that cost around $500.

But were not done yet, no, my car was stalling out when I down shifted after driving it for about 15 minutes. So I had to get the TCC solenoid replaced. It was sticking causing the car to stay in overdrive. That plus transmission fluid and filter set me back about $400.

Next my belt was making noise and spinning real slow. It couldn't just be the belt though. No it had to be the Auto belt tensioner and belt. That cost me another $400.

Just a couple days ago my lower radiator hose cracked and I had to get that replaced. Luckily that was free.

General Comments:

This car runs on its own terms. The acceleration is slow, and whenever I do really press on the gas it gets load and doesn't shift well.

Speaking of shifting something is wrong there too. Car has trouble shifting when it first starts running, but gets better when its warmed up.

Shocks are totally blown. Man hole covers are like the grand cannon with this car so I'm always swerving to avoid them.

A/C works, but I never use it because the car is a hot head.

I noticed the oil was all white about 4 months ago. Was told by one person it was the head gasket, and by another that it was just condensation. It's almost gone away though so I pretty sure the person was just saying head gasket to rip me off.

Besides all that I like the car and hope it lasts me a long time. It's very comfortable and I bought it with a nice speaker system in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th May, 2002

29th Jul 2003, 13:53

If your oil is 'all white' like you say, it sounds like you have blown the head gasket, and coolant is mixing with the oil. I'm not a mechanic, but I don't think codensation would cause this problem.

6th May 2004, 18:29

You mentioned your oil was white and milky. I was told that it was the pcv heater hose. This car does not have a pcv valve. There is a rectangular plastic box at the front of the engine. This is the pcv assembly. It has four hoses coming out of it. A small vacuum hose comes off the left. One comes off the front to the air filter assembly. One comes off the bottom and goes down between the manifold and one comes off the right side and goes down. This apparently has a dipstick like metal piece inside it which heats up to prevent condensation. I was told at the dealership parts counter that this part recently tripled in price from around $100 to $300. I have had this problem since I bought the car eight years ago and the car is still running well. The other hoses however are around $20 each and may restore some power.

1992 Oldsmobile Achieva S 2.3L SOHC from North America


I pray for someone to demolish this car while I'm not in it


Bought the car with 58000 miles on it, thinking I was getting a great deal on the car. Ha Ha Ha. It's a money pit; I spend most of my driving time hoping someone will run into me so I can legitimately turn it into insurance.

Since buying the car, the head gasket has gone out. It's currently spitting antifreeze onto the exhaust manifold, and smells terrible. The only plus is that it isn't leaking into the oilpan, so I've been letting it go for now. That will cost about $1200 to have fixed.

The driver's window doesn't stay in it's track. There's something wrong internally, which means the door panel needs to be pulled and the track serviced. Figure another $150.

The AC quit working after last winter. Either the AC discharged over the winter, the compressor wiring is screwed up, or the compressor is shot. Figure $200-$600.

The warning lights on the dash for "check oil" and "check engine" flash on and off. There's a TSB out for this problem, basically I need a new dash display.

The engine fan does not run, ever, which probably contributed to the blow head gasket. The car started to overheat (hit 220F) when stuck in traffic on a -15 degree F winter day! Either the fan or the relay is shot.

The car has a body leak which leaves little puddles on the driver's and passenger's front floor. There's a TSB out for the passenger side, but not the drivers. I've never been able to replicate the leak with a hose, and thus can't figure out how to fix it.

The car shakes when travelling down the road, intermittently, at high speeds. I swapped the cheap tires for some better ones, the problem remains. That cost $350.

Brakes grab from the rear and don't stop the car very fast. May be that the brakes need bled, but with all the other problems I just don't care anymore.

General Comments:

I paid $2500, put in $350, and would need to dump over $2000 into the car to be able to sell it with a clear conscience. It's worth about $3000 max, and nothing in it's current condition.

Otherwise, it's a real peach.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th May, 2002

14th Nov 2003, 22:02

Have you ever considered seeing a mechanic before making a purchase? A qualified mechanic would probably tell you to stay away from it after he/she checked it out.

27th Feb 2006, 22:32

I have the same problem in my '92 SL with the driver's side window and the dash lights. Overall, though, the car's got some good power.