2nd Jul 2001, 18:53

I have a 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva and it has had multiple failures (water fuel pump, head seal, alternator, air conditioner compressor, brakes x2). And I almost made it to 100K miles before all that!

Guess if you want a car that won't break multiple times and cost you an extra $2K - $3K before 100K miles, don't buy GM. Their response to my concerns were: "That is normal and to be expected" Couldn't believe that came from their customer support. I will never buy a GM again (won't have to worry about the Oldsmobile part). I just hope somebody at GM gives a care (but I doubt it).

-Randall Bateman


10th Aug 2001, 10:24

I have a 94 Achieva and it has been nothing but a money pit since I purchased it in 1996. Brakes, door locks that have never worked properly - even after being fixed, alternator, cooling system problems galore. This is the worst thing I have ever driven.

10th Oct 2001, 10:07

First the water pump went. Over $500 in parts alone.

Then the engine developed one horrendous knock. Replaced the engine with a used engine with only 32000 miles on it. $1800.

5000 miles later engine overheated with no indication via tempgauge gauge. Rings collapsed. No warranty.

Door locks never worked properly.

Alternator went out. $125.

Power steering pump leaks.

If I ever buy another GM car my first stop is to go somewhere and have my head examined. I'm going back to Ford.

23rd Jun 2002, 19:50

My Achieva is also a 1996 SC Coupe money pit. Within the first couple years the dashboard computer died twice. Under warranty so it was covered, but it would have cost $500 a pop.

The brake rotors need to be replaced every single year, like clockwork. Minimum of $300.

The alternator just went for about $120. The water pump went for $400.

The horn shorts out, every time I use it. I have boxes of fuses in my dashboard.

And yes, the power steering fluid lines leak all winter long. Not during the summer, however. The repair estimate for that was $500 because they have to remove the entire engine. I skipped that one.

And the car has just died again. I suspect the fuel pump.

24th Sep 2002, 12:16

I feel all you guy's pain. I have a 1996 Achieve V6 Sedan. My car cranks when it wants to. I thought that it could have been the fuel pump, but after having a diagnostics test ran the mechanic said it was definitely the ignition circuit. I am grateful for that because the car is on recall for that feature to be replaced or fixed. I am just happy I'm not the only one with frequent problems with the Achieve.

Since I didn't pay for the car and it has 132K on it, I am not too upset. It did make it this far. But after all that is repaired I can then get the brakes and rotors fixed and the transmission/Oil change.


Savannah, GA.

5th Oct 2002, 23:01

Hi, well I have a 1997 achieva and, i have only one problem.,the car was only 40,000miles and the power window master switch is gone bad already. so in general the car is a good car. but some little things like that and the alternator is all I had to replace in 3 years. so in general car is not that bad. thanks.

19th Nov 2002, 10:09

I have a 1996 Olds Achieva money gulper as well, have had the alternator replaced, $300, Brakes replaced, and transmition replaced at the same time, $2000, the door lock on the drivers side has never locked, so I can't keep anything worth value in it, now this morning I get up to head to work in the darkness, and low and behold, my headlights don't work, so now I'm sure it'll be another couple 300 dollars to get it fixed as well, I have 8 more payments and I'm trading it in on something that I know will NOT fall apart on me every other month.

Jerilee in Soldotna, Alaska


16th Feb 2003, 23:42

A GM LOSER! My 97 Achieva has had numerous costly problems and surprisingly non were recalled items; including replaced alternator at 58000 miles, replaced idle pulley at 83000 miles, replaced ignition key lock assembly at 92000 miles and replaced defected ignition and transmission lock actuator at 97000 miles. In addition, had replaced both front brake pads twice in one year after 45000 miles and replaced sticking rear brakes drums at 97000 miles. Knowing this car begs for special attention ever so often, I've ignore the ETS-off and check engine light for more than 30000 miles after I found out the dealer only charges me $65.00 each time to reset it even if nothing's wrong. Gee, good ole boys at GM had to find a gimmick called "Achieva" of all names --just to keep cars in dealer service bays.

31st Mar 2003, 14:44

Get a load of this if you guys think you have it bad. In the thirty thousand miles that I've owned my '95 Achieva with the 3.1 liter and the 4 speed automatic, I've had to replace both the engine and transmission, the dimmer switch twice, the heater core, the power steering pump, the regulator in the alternator, a flimsy a-arm that someone thought would be a good jack point and usually is on other cars, rotors twice, and brakes twice a year. Other problems I just endure like the door panels falling off, the windows that don't go up in the track, the annoying popping in the suspension, the cable to the gas cap that freezes in the winter, and the leaking windshield washer fluid reservoir. But hey, that's all to be expected, right? At least the paint is good.

16th Apr 2003, 19:09

My 1996 has many front end problems and a common problem I guess, the intake had to be shaved. I barely drive it and I don not race it around. I am very pissed at the dealership for the number of recalls and the extra charges. GET THIS: My Achieva when parking has this problem with the key sticking in the pre-start position so when I pull in to work I have to wait for a click before I can turn ignition to off position and take my key out. I found this neat thing under the steering column though... A little grey cover when removed exposed a white button way up there and when pressed my ignition unlocks. I finally found this and do not have to be late for work anymore. By the way the front end bushing problem strikes again and every time I hat a bump it sounds like the wheels are going to fall off. I will not pay $3000 to get this fixed when it was bought for less. Also my driver side window (power) does not work. I think the motor burnt out. Good news is I don't go to fast food anymore:)

Dynasty@hyperionx.com with help or comments.


21st Apr 2003, 13:06

I have a 97 and actually like it. No problems. I guess that I am so old that I have seen worse in my day. I have an issue with the power lock actuator for the front passenger door and was wondering if anyone has an idea how to fix it.