29th Apr 2003, 23:56

I have a 96' achieva v6 3.1 liter. it's my first car, and even though I have had a few problems with it I honestly have enjoyed it the 2 years I've owned it. I've had the engine replaced under warranty, the head, and the headers cracked for no reason that the people who changed it could find. I have replaced the fuel pump (which is the biggest piece of junk I have ever heard of!) replaced the alternator twice, but other than that I have driven it for about 50,000 miles, and have enjoyed almost all of them. the car currently has 145,000 miles on it, and I have had none of the window/door lock issues, though the lights occasionally flicker inside the car.

4th May 2003, 00:27

I have a 1997 Achieva SL I4 Automatic. The problems I have encountered so far are: Water pump failure, coolant leak, ignition cylinder would not work, AC does not work (still do not know what the problem is, I filled with refrigerant twice and then gave up),battery had to be changed, power window motor had to be changed and brake pads had to be changed couple of times. The most annoying problem is the 'check engine' light coming on mysteriously along with the 'ETS off' and going off at its choosing. I chose to ignore these warnings and I am still driving at 91000 miles. Overall I would give just am OK rating to this car. If I go for another economy car, I would avoid GM and buy a Hyundai or Kia instead. But if I am in the market for a V6 and above, then I would still prefer GM.

17th May 2003, 00:48

Basically my car still sucks.

26th May 2003, 17:34

My 96 Olds Achieva has encountered most of the previously written comments. I recently had it checked as the temperature gage was running hot. They couldn't find anything wrong with it, said there were no leaks and radiator was fine. Now it still runs hot and there is a smell, sort of like melted crayons or something very hot under the hood. Has anyone encountered this problem or have any thoughts on what it could be (without another costly expense... I currently have over $400 remaining on my repair tab). Thanks!


7th Jun 2003, 18:36

My poor husband is struggling with his olds '96. Driving down the road at 60 mph and the car acts as if it is not getting any fuel. Baby it home and no one can figure out what is wrong with it. Not the module, the spark plugs or the starter. Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch.

Old & Struggling.

13th Jul 2003, 22:53

Holy crap this car blows. My wife has a '96 Achieva and it sucks.

Lets talk about the dash lights. First off it looks like Christmas when you turn the ignition switch because the ETS, ABS, Low Trac, lights turn on and stay on.

The rear motor gear sounds like I'm pulling a cement block behind me, the motor to my power windows slide up and down at about a 1 millimeter an hour rate.

The pinging in the engine sounds like someone is actually under my hood pounding the block with a sledge hammer. And this was after a tuneup.

I am so tempted to drive this thing into a bridge support one day, but with my luck the airbags probably wouldn't work.

I have to hand it to GM though. They sure made some money off this piece of crap model.

17th Jul 2003, 06:06

I first blamed my problems on the fact I bought mine used. Right out of the gate I had to replace the alternator. Then the brakes. Then the front wheel bushings. Things went smooth for awhile and then the control that made the passenger windows stopped working. Then the drivers side window started going out.

God help me if we went in the water and had to roll down a window huh?

Now my battery light is on and I am not sure if it is the alternator going bad again, the belt, the pulley, or just the fact that the evil Achieva demon is in need of another sacrifice of blood from the mechanic.

This is one hell of a case for a class action suit against GM for putting substandard machines on the road. I wonder how many people have died or been seriously injured because of malfunctions on their fabulous piece of machinery.


1st Aug 2003, 06:49

We have a 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva. Currently, we are having the issue of the Check Engine and ETS lights staying on all the time. We're also having trouble with it starting, it will start, but it wants to hesitate. We have more of a problem with is starting in cold weather than hot weather? Also, the horn fuse went out and we just replaced it. The car was actually running pretty good for a month or so and since we replaced the fuse for the horn, its acting up something terrible. I'm just amazed by the comments on here, if so many people that own the same kind of vehicle are having the same problems you would think the manufacturer would own up to it. Oh well...

1st Oct 2003, 10:18

I own at 1997 Achieva, first the alternator, then the bushing, then the brakes went bad and now the heater core is leaking. I also have ABS and ETS light always lit on the dash board. The rear power window needed new motor. It is a piece of JUNK.

27th Oct 2003, 08:43

I own a 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva, 5-speed, purchased in 1997, with only one previous owner, 52,000 miles on it (all highway). First couple years went fine. Then all hell broke loose. First the water pump went out, then the ignition switch, then the driver's side window stopped working. After that we would be driving along and it would die, like it was out of gas, and the security light would come on. By the time it got to a dealer so they could hook it to their computers the light would be off and they could find nothing wrong. This continued to happen off and on for about 2 months and then the transmission had to be replaced along with the clutch and the alternator. Shortly after that the back brakes, front brakes, and the bushings. The check engine light, air bag light, the low coolant light, and the check gauges light all stay lit. To top it all off the gas gauge won't work so we can never tell how much gas is in it. The other night the car died again with the security thing. If anybody has insight into that leave comments.

3rd Nov 2003, 16:45

I have a '96 olds achieve. I have replaced the brakes twice in 1 1/2 years, the alternator, driver's window won't move, the check engine light is always on! Wait, there's more! At my best friends' funeral, I was first in line to go to the Church from the funeral home, that's when the water pump decided to go! With only one payment left on my 5 year loan, the timing chain went, so I paid off the car and now am the proud owner of a dead car. Oh yeah, my mechanic nicknamed her 'Christine'.

9th Feb 2004, 15:01

Is this the pos support group for Achievas? 96 SC V6 coupe bought in 2000 w/43k. Routine maintenance performed prevented many problems (except front rotors- annual replacement was the norm), then last year with 133k and after investing 1000 dollars for struts, shocks, brakes, belt, plugs/wires, the trans-shift solenoid (s) failed preventing 1st and 4th gears from engaging. Now, after being driven only enough to keep it alive, the Passlock system is defunct and no one (even the local dealer) knows how to fix it. While I did get 90k out of the car- the fact remains the mfg doesn't sweat the details on the little things. I now know how those who bought early 80's crap (x-cars, diesels etc) feel and will NEVER purchase another GM product, new or used. I'll stick with my 15 yo Mazda w/200k on it and gives me NO problems.