1998 Oldsmobile Alero Reviews

1998 Oldsmobile Alero GL 2.4 from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.4 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

If you can get past the problems, Alero has potential: MUCH better than the Achieva it replaced!

Faults:

Have had to replace the front hubs:

When I first bought the car, both, but have had to replace the right one twice more. (I had to pay for the 2nd replacement, since it was over 1 year old) Hub problems have been the cause of the ABS light coming on every time!

All winter I had a hesitation, and misfire. When I could set a check engine code, it would indicate 3rd cylinder misfire, and fuel injector circuit open. I assumed the 3rd fuel injector was bad, and I replaced it to no avail. Then I found a TSB about re-programming the PCM, paid $80 with no change! Then the engine would only run on 2 cylinders! After towing to repair shop, and having the head tech verify what I thought, the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) was bad! It was not opening the 3rd injector, and was holding the 4th injector wide open, dumping fuel into the cylinder!

Vinyl covering on rear door panels peeling at the windows.

Had to replace the heater blower motor resistor.

Had to replace the alternator at 105,000 miles, but I felt that was "normal" for an American car.

Have to "top up" the power steering fluid once a year.

General Comments:

Overall I'm happy with the car, considering the high mileage.

I am disappointed with the repeated problems with the front hub assemblies.

I am EXTREMELY disappointed with the PCM failing!

Great power output from 2.4L 4-cylinder!! When the PCM is not failing, it has GREAT pickup and very little vibration at idle!

The transmission is a little disappointing, with slow downshifts, and slower upshifts.

I love the body style (4-door), and with more cars were like this.

It seems that the 4-cylinder engine is better then the 3.4L six cylinder, from the reviews that I've read!

I'm going to be selling this one soon, and was considering a newer Pontiac Aztek, but am now weary, since it has a 3.4L six cylinder, most likely the same basic engine they used on the Aleros.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2004

1998 Oldsmobile Alero GLS 3.4 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.4 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired34000 miles
Most recent distance36000 miles

Summary:

A fun car to drive

Faults:

Well, the trunk opens itself during windy storms (twice to date).

General Comments:

I love this car. It not only handles well, but I feel safe in it. I have driven many cars by different manufacturers and I love the Alero.

Although it has problems, it always starts and I feel that it is very reliable. I would buy another one in a heartbeat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2003

1998 Oldsmobile Alero from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired24000 miles
Most recent distance50400 miles
Previous carMercury Topaz

Summary:

I wouldn't recommend this car to a friend

Faults:

Brakes have had to be done twice in the year and a half that we've owned the car.

Passenger window wouldn't work with drivers side switch.

Fan blower had to be replaced.

Blew the transmission at 45,000 miles.

Seats and seat belts are not comfortable.

General Comments:

We are very disappointed in this car.

It looks great and drives like a sports car, but, it's not worth it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd June, 2003

1998 Oldsmobile Alero GLS 3.4L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.4L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance40000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Good value, but poor reliability

Faults:

Water pump leaking and replaced at 40000 miles.

Intake manifold gasket leaking and replaced at 40000 miles.

General Comments:

No significant problems before these problems, but water pump and intake manifold gasket should not fail at such low mileage.

Based on my research, these seem to be common problems with this engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th April, 2003

1998 Oldsmobile Alero GLS 34000 SFI from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 34000 SFI Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired13 miles
Most recent distance39186 miles
Previous carGMC Jimmy

Summary:

Won't buy GM cars anymore, going foreign

Faults:

AT 18,000 miles rattling noises from front end. Right front strut replaced. Did not solve problem. Covered by warranty.

At 19,000 miles battery goes bad. Internal battery failure. Covered by warranty.

At 19,000 miles car continues rattling noise from front end. Replaced both front struts (right side for 2nd time) and sway bar. Covered by warranty.

At 28,000 miles clunking noise from steering and losing power steering fluid. Steering gear had internal leak and was replaced. Covered by warranty.

At 28,000 miles front rotors were warped and were replaced. Covered by warranty.

At 35,000 miles tape player in radio went bad which I rarely used. Used CD player 95% of the time. Covered by extended warranty. New radio $399.50.

At 35,000 miles power steering makes rubbing sounds and had to be replaced. Covered by extended warranty.

At 37,000 miles alternator starts to overcharge and burns up the battery. Extended warranty covers alternator, but I had to pay for new battery. New battery $78.73.

At 39,000 miles more noises from front end of car and losing antifreeze. No outside leakage. Needs rack and pinion and lower intake gasket leaking. Extended warranty is not valid any longer because dealership closed their doors after 36 years. Ends up being that extended warranty is through the dealership and not the manufacturer. No luck with BBB of State Attorney General to have them honor the warranty.

I have to end up paying for/fixing it myself. Haven't driven the car since 12/2002.

General Comments:

It's too bad this car has this many problems considering the car has a nice shape and handles well.

Extended warranties should only be sold through the manufacturer and not through dealerships just in case they go out of business.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th February, 2003

30th Mar 2004, 14:02

Buying any vehicle based on "good looks" and "handling" is going to get you into trouble sooner or later. My advice: buy what's good, not what neccessarily looks good.

8th Jan 2005, 13:56

Yes, I would agree with that advice: don't buy a car based on its looks. And in keeping with that, coupled with what the original car-owner/message poster said, I would stay clear of vehicles manufactured in the US, GM vehicles in particular.

Over the past 30 years I've consistently experienced many of the same problems (or similar ones) with U.S. manufactured vehicles. However, the foreign ones I've owned -- two Nissans, a Subaru, Mazda and VW -- have been considerably more reliable and presented considerably fewer problems. Especially the Japanese makes.

I have an relatively new Oldsmobile now (inherited) and I'm beginning to experience the good-old USA car problems once again. I also have a Dodge RAM that is falling apart everywhere save the engine, likely because the engine is a Mitsubishi make.

From here on out my vehicles will be foreign made -- likely Japanese.

24th Aug 2006, 11:08

There was never a 1998 Alero; it was introduced for 1999. Somethin' must be wrong.

12th Feb 2007, 13:03

1999 Alero was introduced from 1998.

1998 Oldsmobile Alero GLX 3.4 Gas from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.4 Gas Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.6 / 10
Distance when acquired18000 miles
Most recent distance26500 miles
Previous carPontiac Grand Am

Summary:

Not worth the trouble at any price

Faults:

Rear window on driver's side leaks when it rains, causing a puddle on the floor.

Manifold Intake went out at 26,500 miles, leaking coolant into the oil and causing the engine to misfire.

GM refuses to cover the repairs.

General Comments:

Do not buy a car by General Motors under any circumstance - I have owned 3 because a family member worked for the company, but the final costs far exceeded any savings from the employee discounts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th January, 2003

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 6 reviews