1995 Oldsmobile Achieva S 3.1 from North America

Summary:

The car is great

Faults:

I only had four problems with this car:

1. I blew the oil sending unit.

2. I blew the motor.

3. The heater core house blew off.

4. My tranny slips.

General Comments:

I know why I have them problems, it is because I can't keep my foot out of it.

It handles good.

Before my tranny slipped, it shifted good.

It was quick.

I could take 25 mph turns at 60.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th August, 2009

1995 Oldsmobile Achieva S 3.1 SFI V6 from North America

Summary:

Bargain luxury with style!

Faults:

The drivers side power window was replaced with a new motor at time of purchase (170,500 Kilometers).

New gas tank was installed at time of purchase (170,500 Kilometers). Old one was corroded and leaking.

Two new front tires installed at purchase (170,500 Kilometers). Nothing wrong with the old ones, but they were two different brands with different tread patterns.

New Battery and Alternator at 173,416 Kilometers. Old battery was worn out, and possibly caused the alternator to fail.

New Belt Tensioner, Serpentine Belt, and Water Pump installed at 175,462 Kilometers. The Belt failed, as a result of the tensioner being worn out and rubbing. At the same time, it was discovered that the water pump was in bad shape. I opted to have a new one put in.

General Comments:

If you believe it, you can Achieva it!

Owning an Oldsmobile Achieva has been a goal of mine for a long time. As a GM fanatic, and "car guy", I know all the faults (and highlights) these cars have.

I "get" the quirky styling (and love it!).

I was looking specifically at getting a 1994-1995 example. These have the "old style" pre-facelifted interior (that I think is superior to the 96-98).

They also had the great 3100 SFI V6 and 4-speed auto (earlier models had the old 3.3 V6 and 3-speed!).

I spent close to a year and a half looking for just the right car.

In June of 2008 (after lots of candidates), I came across a blue 1995 Oldsmobile Achieva S (Series II) sedan.

It was a second owner vehicle, in pretty good shape, and with relatively low kilometers (170,500).

It was also nearly fully loaded, having keyless entry, power drivers seat, power mirrors, locks, side-view mirrors, AM-FM cassette and working AC!.

The seller was asking only $850 Can. Having set a budget of no more than $3000 Can, I was sold.

THE GOOD:

The styling is one of the main features I love about this car. It draws heavily on classic Oldsmobile themes with a waterfall style curved dual grille (1970's). Rear wheels have fender skirts (1940s-1950's). There is a blackout panel between the taillights (1960's).

The Achieva has a great interior, with a well executed driver oriented dashboard.

All controls face the driver. It features full instrumentation, including a volt gauge and oil pressure gauge.

The seats are extremely comfortable and easy to adjust.

All passengers get a door pull grip and courtesy lights.

The rear windows lower all the way down (unlike some cars that only go halfway).

Remote keyless entry is a great feature, especially if you are like me, and already carry too many keys!

Keeping in mind that it is a 13 year old (Canadian) car, it is in very good condition. The body is straight (with a tiny patch of rust to the left of the passenger side taillight). The interior is holding together great. I have absolutely no loose trim.

The 3100 SFI V6 is good on gas (I average 10-12L/100K in mostly city driving.)

It has great low range torque, and just the right amount of power for the size of the car. 0-100 KPH can be reached in as little as 8.5 seconds!

It is very reasonable on insurance.

THE BAD:

The dash has developed a slight creaking sound when going over speedbumps and potholes. This is very noticeable in very cold weather.

The rear window defroster works intermittently. This is due to a bad connection from the main wiring.

The Aluminum wheels have developed some oxidization. The former owner didn't do a good job with cleaning the car.

The drivers side power window had a bad motor when I purchased it. This is a very common N-body (Achieva, Grand Am, Skylark) problem.

The original gas tank had corrosion, and fuel was seaping out.

Wear and tear items needed replacing:

Battery, Alternator, Belt Tensioner, Serpentine Belt and Water Pump.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2008

15th Jan 2009, 14:42

This is Ted, the owner of the 1995 Achieva reviewed.

As of December 23, 2008, the car had a lower intake gasket failure. This lead to coolant mixing with the oil inside the crankcase.

I didn't mention in the review that the lower gasket was leaking oil.

If your Achieva is doing this, I highly recommend getting it fixed proactively!

I will post an update when/if I get this problem resolved.

-Ted.

8th Aug 2009, 00:39

This is Ted with an update.

I had the lower intake gasket fixed on May 7, 2009, and there was no damage to the engine. The cost was $750.80. I also had the passenger side ball joint and both front bushings replaced for $250 on May 12, 2009.

Its runs smooth now (almost like nothing happened!).

Other things that happened since the Achieva hit the road again:

Passenger side tire blew on May 8, 2009. Patched for $15.

Passenger side headlamp burned out on May 28, 2009. New bulb for $13.

Drivers side headlamp burned out on June 24, 2009. New bulb for $13.

Oil changed on July 28, 2009. Paid $30.

185,000 Kilometers reached on August 4, 2009. 6000 Kilometers since the lower gasket repair.

Rear view mirror fell of because of standing in hot sunlight at a car show on August 7, 2009. Bought a glue kit for $5, and fixed it in 20 minutes!

I will continue to update. I love this car.

-Ted.

13th Aug 2009, 17:01

Ted,

Why are you dumping all of this money into this thing when you could have a nice Camry or Accord instead? You'd have a much nicer car with no problems.