1997 Oldsmobile Achieva from North America


Don't buy unless you have your Batman money belt


Alternator replaced 47000

Replacement alternator replaced 48000

Front struts and suspension replaced 70000

Brakes rebuilt 70000

3rd alternator replacement 90000

Left window motor replaced 90000

Front rotors replaced 90000.

General Comments:

Oh my god.

This was the first 'newer' type car I ever purchased. For a few thousand at the time I could have gotten a new car and I will never make that mistake again. Didn't get the used dealers extended warranty for a grand. Big mistake on my part.

Right out of the gate the alternator went bad. A grand to replace and a lot of time as the first one installed burned out a few weeks later. Then there were issues with the suspension, then the brakes, the the alternator again, then the window stopped working, then the brakes again.

Had I found this site before my purchase I never would have gotten this car. It is fairly comfortable on the inside and has a sporty zip to it, but the electrical system is seriously under engineered. They should have recalled the whole line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th March, 2004

17th Apr 2004, 23:57

A grand for an Alternator? Surely could have got by cheaper than that. The replacement then burned up, but that's not the car's fault. Not unusual to replace rotors at 90000 miles. Real issue here may be that buyer paid too much for a used car in the first place.

5th Feb 2005, 11:14

I have to agree with the original Author. The Alternators go out way too often. Just replaced one about a year ago and it's on the way out again. The car is extremely buggy. The lower intake manifold started leaking at 100,000 miles. $900.00 bucks to replace. The water pump went out at 115,000 miles another $500 bucks. etc etc.

20th Oct 2005, 07:07

It's more expensive to make an older car new than to build a new car!

I have two 96-97 cars, Both auction cars and both have cost more to make right than the purchase prices. one is a 97 achieva quad-4.

I've had most of the complaints mentioned. 3 window motors out, motor mounts, axle shafts, brakes. But I bought it at 98000 miles and expected some problems.

I have no car payments, but I'm way over blue book and still have an old car I'd rather not own.

1997 Oldsmobile Achieva SL 2.4L from North America


OK budget mid-size, but not great


Struts and strut mounts replaced 3 times.

Heavy clunk in front end.

Brake rotors don't last long.

Lumbar adjust in driver seat broke.

Steering rack replaced at 90,000 miles.

Doesn't hold an alignment.

Interior cheaply made. Trim clips keep breaking.

Engine undersized for car.

Brakes undersized for car.

Speedometer fluctuates wildly.

General Comments:

After replacing the struts and strut mounts three times, heavy clunk sound remains in front end. Now I hear it's possibly the lower control arm bushings? This car has been a money pit.

Fit and feel of the interior is poor. Switch bezels don't fit onto door panels properly, and opaque black paint is coming off of radio buttons. Carpet has a hole worn on driver's side. With floor mats, you'd think it would last longer.

Engine performance is good, with nice responsive acceleration. But handling is mushy, and cruise control doesn't work properly (due perhaps to faulty speedometer?)

Oldsmobile did not build cars to last, and now that 2004 is here, Olds is no more. Connection? Perhaps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st March, 2004

16th Sep 2004, 08:57

I have the same car and I had the same large clunk in the front end. Your right about it being the lower control arm bushing and you probably just wasted your money on the struts. It was about a year ago, but I think the bushing only ran about $20 at the GM Dealer. I could only find the right one at the Dealer, both Advance Auto Parts and Auto Zone sold me the wrong bushing.

18th Sep 2005, 18:08

I have a 1997 also and it has the same problems with the sounds in the front end. Also the drivers side window motor does not work.

19th Mar 2009, 10:31

I also own a 97 Olds Acheiva with the 2.4l Quad four, right now it has 174,157 miles.

At 83,000 miles I replaced the water pump and thermostat, and also the serpentine belt.

At 100,000 I replaced the front brakes, at 115,000 I replaced the flex exhaust pipe, the drivers side window motor is shot, and now I need another brake job with rotors...

But with all that I'd say the car has treated me well. The engine is solid and runs great, it has just started using a little oil, it was down about a 1/2 quart at last oil change. (3000 miles).

I hope to keep the car about another year, it strictly takes my wife and I to work 5 days a week, we put about 20,000 miles on it a year. We are going to replace it spring 2010.

Agree it's kind of ugly, but it is comfortable to drive, the wife likes it because she can see well out of it. (unlike the Taurus we also have).

If you have one of these cars, good luck to you, sounds like I've been blessed.