1997 Oldsmobile Achieva SE 3.1 from North America


Worst car ever!



I have put more money into this car than I care to know... this is probably not a complete list, but I'll try to remember everything:

Transmission (at 45,000 miles)

Radiator (twice)

Fuel pump.

O2 sensor.

Map sensor.


Rotors and brake pads (three times)

Two coolant leaks (not related to the radiator)

Electrical short circuit behind the dash.

Both power windows.

Power locks.

Passenger door doesn't open.


All wiring under the hood had to be replaced.

A/c compressor.

Trunk release latch doesn't work (enter through key only)


Alternator (twice)

Shocks and struts.

Spark plugs (three times)

Interior flooring wearing terribly.

Serpentine belt (twice)

Fog lights don't work.

That's everything I can remember. I'm sure I missed a few things. I know that some of the items like tires and brakes are normal wear and tear, but c'mon, this is ridiculous. If I knew then what I know now I would have dumped the thing... but after you put so much money into it, you start thinking that the moment you get rid of it, it will run well cause there's nothing left to fix. Now I get into the thing and I fear that I will end of stranded or that it won't start again.

As soon as I can, I will get rid of it. It's just that I've already put well over $7,000 into maintenance, so now I can't afford to.

117,000 miles.

General Comments:

I'll admit that the engine is nice for it's class. the car is quick.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th February, 2007

16th Jun 2008, 18:45

I just bought my daughter a '97 Olds. Achieva SL, and only because they had just put a new engine in it, and I thought it was a good buy at $1250.00.

Well I am now up to $2200.00 total investment, and have only had the car for a little over a month!! It has actually only started and ran for three days at a time since we got it. After two O2 sensors, one battery, 2 alternators, one chime module, some other engine sensor, and a fuel filter this car STILL won't run!! What a joke this car is!!

Tomorrow its back to the mechanic for some more electrical testing!! I'm sure it will be the ECM this time, along with another alternator... IF, and that is a HUGE if I ever get this car to run long enough to get it to the dealer auction, I will be rid of it forever and cut my losses... it is a worthless piece of JUNK!!!

Oh yeah, the interior does wear very poorly... the carpeting is frazzled and looks horrible. The original poster... EVERYTHING he said is true and we have experienced it ourselves...

1997 Oldsmobile Achieva SL SDN. unsure from North America


Oldsmobile's favorite small vehicle


It only needed the inspection. Otherwise, nothing was wrong with car.

General Comments:

I bought the car off of my brother in law for $2000, and to this day, it was the best money that I ever spent on a second car! It's very dependable, quick, and comfortable. It's a shame that Oldsmobile went belly up because this car to this very day would still be a hot selling car. If you're a diehard Oldsmobile fan and like the small Achieva like I do, go out and buy one. They're great as second cars like mine is, but also great as a first car for the 16 year old kids.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2006

1997 Oldsmobile Achieva SL 3.1 V6 from North America


Very reliable


At 68,000 kilometers, the alternator and battery were replaced.

At 88,000 kilometers, pass lock sensor went causing the car not to start. The car was towed to the local GM dealership and the sensor was replaced for $200.

At 90,000 kilometers, new rotors and pads were installed on the front.

General Comments:

This car has been extremely reliable in the 3 years I have had it.

While it isn't really a nice car to look at in terms of styling, it does have a lot of go with the V6 engine. The transmission shifts very smoothly, and it is pretty good on gas.

I have more than enough room in the car even though I am 6'3 tall.

This car always starts right up, even in -20 weather outside without plugging it in.

I just keep up with the oil changes and the car continues to run great without any major problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2006

27th Feb 2006, 17:17

The 3.1 L V6 is a very good engine. I've had my 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera for 9 years now and has the same engine as yours does.

It has 170,000 miles now and still going strong.

I'd highly recommend these cars.