2001 Oldsmobile Alero GL2 2.4 4 cylinder. from North America


A great car if you can find one cheap


Only two things. First, the turn signals are malfunctioning due to a bad hazard switch. They will suddenly stop working until I thump the dashboard with my fist just above the hazard switch. It's kind of funny, especially when someone is walking in front of my car while I'm waiting to turn. GM issued a recall for this, so it will be fixed for free once I get around to taking it to the dealer. Second, when the car has just been filled up with gas, the gas gauge drops to empty and then goes back up to full about 8 or 9 times. After that the gauge works normally. Nothing major.

General Comments:

I have a 2001 Olds Alero that I bought used in Dec. of 2001.

For those wondering about the cars' name, Alero is a Latin word meaning 'catastrophic depreciation'.

The Alero and the Pontiac Grand Am are basically the same car, but the Alero doesn't have the garish interior or the tacky platic cladding of the Grand Am. That's pretty much the reason I bought one.

At the time, I thought I got a good deal on it, but two and a half years after I bought it, the car has depreciated to less than a quarter of its original value. I owe about $4000 more than it's worth. So now I have to hope it will stay reliable, as I pretty much have to drive it into the ground to get my money's worth out of it.

To be fair, it is a nice enough car. It doesn't hold a candle to an Accord or Camry, but compared to other American or Korean cars it does quite well. Interior finish is good, but some of the pieces fit poorly. For example, the plastic central vents above the radio are warped and loose. I have never seen a cupholder so poorly placed in any other car. If you put anything larger than a soda can in it, you will constantly bump it with your elbow.

The 2.4 four is perfectly adequate and reasonably fuel efficient. I get on average 26 to 29 mpg in mostly highway driving. However, the transmission is very poorly geared. If you are at highway speeds and you attempt to pass someone, the transmission downshifts into second gear instead of third which causes you to approach redline. If it were a Honda or Subaru, great; in an American car, not so much.

It has traction control standard. By traction control I mean that when the wheels start to spin a little light on the dash comes on to tell me 'Low Trac'. It doesn't seem to do much more than that, though. The antilock brakes are nothing less than stellar.

It handles much better than any other American car. It loves curves.

All in all, the only way I'd recommend it is if you plan to drive it forever. Get it cheap. And if you buy a four-cylinder one, try to find a 5-speed manual, even if it has less equipment. Seriously, the automatic sucks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st April, 2004

17th Sep 2004, 11:08

My 2002 will definitely smoke a accord or camry!! Its got about 280-300 horse with a vortec supercharger. I hope Alero sticks around like the 442's and Hurst'.

26th Oct 2004, 12:14

I agree with everything you had to say about Alero. I just got one dirt cheap (and I'm glad I didn't pay much money for it). I had the same thing happen with the flashers, and the shifting thing you're talking about, the car is great at low speeds, but on the highway, when you try to pass someone it down shifts! I have never driven anything that did that before. I got the tranny checked out and it is fine. Oh, well, I guess I will have to put up with it, since I got a good deal on it. (I can see why now, I got a good deal on it.)


2001 Oldsmobile Alero GLS 4 cylinder from North America


Lemon, lemon, lemon


Random electrical problems - radio not turning off, lights coming on and off.

The O2 sensor.

Back rotor brakes.

Power Steering Pump.

Water Pump.

Front Brakes.

Blinkers and hazard lights.

General Comments:

The random electrical problems are always "in my mind" as they can never find anything wrong. The radio will just stay on and not go off - but there is nothing wrong - internal lights will come on and off on their own whim, but there is nothing wrong. The car will just die - but there is nothing wrong.

The O2 sensor had to be replaced at about 15K.

They have resurfaced - though they assure me this doesn't effect the life of the brakes - both back rotor brakes at least twice and are having to do so again today. The first time they said it was my fault as whoever had changed my tires (either rotated or put the studs on for winter) had put the tires on too tight - of course he also tried to tell me that my owners manual was incorrect and that no matter the GM car they all need certain work done at certain intervals.

They are also having to replace the Power Steering Pump today. Thank goodness I bought the extended warranty - though I was originally told this wasn't covered - until I argued with them.

Are also replacing the Water Pump as it has started to leak.

They are telling me that I need new brakes in the front - I have had nothing, but problems with the brakes - but am assured that this has nothing to do with my needing new front brakes. Shouldn't my brakes last longer than 30K?? This is of course not covered by my extended warranty!!

I have had intermittent problems with the blinkers and hazard lights cutting in and out - every time I had it in they would say they couldn't find any problems - until that is the recall notice came in the mail for this exact problem!! Now if they could just recall the rest of the car.

This is supposed to be a low maintenance car - which is why I bought it - I have had nothing, but problems and get the run around from GM about it. The car itself drives awesome when everything is working, but is not worth the trouble of having it in so much!!!

This is my first and the only GM car I will ever own. I will stick with companies that produced quality and back up their products - next car will be a Toyota or Honda or similar - not anything close to a GM!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th March, 2004

24th Mar 2004, 21:15

I too have had rotor/ brake problems, also a grinding noise when I coast or turn. The last time at the dealership, I was told the tires were rubbing on the wheels. I may be a dumb blond, but I was always under the impression that tires were actually mounted on the wheels. I think that it is still something with the brakes. The time before I was told the U V joint boots were dry so they packed them with grease. Should that happen at 23,000 miles?