1996 Oldsmobile Aurora Reviews - Page 4 of 4

1996 Oldsmobile Aurora 4.0 32v V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.0 32v V8 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 miles
Most recent distance55000 miles
Previous carMitsubishi Diamante

Summary:

A great motor attached to a schizophrenic car body with a horrible suspension

Faults:

Seat belts stopped retracting (Driver and rear passenger on driver's side) --$100 plus to fix.

CD player now "eats" CDs and won't eject them until several day's later, at random. I have not fixed this--now avoid CDs in this car.

Fuel pressure regulator went out at 35k miles--engine flooded as a result, and platinum tipped spark plugs had to be replaced. This was a $400+ repair.

Lower manifold now leaks (spots) which is not a problem, except it is frustrating as these gaskets should last longer and the dealer wants over $1500 to fix, b/c they have to take everything apart to get to the gaskets.

A/C compressor dieseled and finally went out at 50k miles (which is not a lot of driving--this repair was over $600.

The keyless entry feature broke, and key fobs are expensive (over $50).I replaced these at 40k miles.

Traction control turns on and off by itself randomly--I did not fix this, but the bright orange "Traction Control Off" light in capital letters in the center of the display above the speedometer is annoying.

Replaced front struts twice, and rear shocks once--have only driven on paved suburban roads and interstates for the most part. The dealer did not believe me until they test drove the car, which was frustrating. Well over $1000 in suspension issues (including labor) as a result.

First set of Eagle GA tires were bald by 35k miles. The only other car which uses the 235/60/16s (according to Goodyear) is the Grand Cherokee, so they are not cheap, nor plentiful ($800 or so for a set, installed--although a lot cheaper if you do-it-yourself).

Something in the front end is loose.

The plastic front spoiler broke off in freezing weather. Other plastic parts have broken during the winter, which sounds reasonable except we live in Virginia which is not that cold.

General Comments:

The power of this car, and the motor itself, is strong and smooth.

The gas mileage is not bad (about 22 in city driving and 25 highway) for a car like this which weighs 4400 lbs.

Having to fill it up with premium gas is expensive, but the gas mileage still makes it better than a lot of cars and most SUVs.

The handling and ride are horrible compared to the straight ahead power. The car behaves in emergency situations, yet is hard to drive in a straight line as there is a lot of play in the magnetic assisted steering and the spring and shock rates are tuned way too soft--which is made worse by what is a very stiff chassis. So the combination is a soft ride combined with teeth chattering vibrations and body noise over concrete roads, bridges, and anything resembling a small pothole.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th February, 2003

19th Mar 2003, 12:51

Poor Steven, I totally sympathize! I have the same year and model and have had many of the same troubles. The worst part about this car is the ride is so comfortable and pleasant yet the maintenance kills you. Right now I have an oil leak that is so hard to get to that the engine and tranny would have to come out! 15 hours labor to fix an oil leak? Or if not, suffer with the awful smell of burning oil in the air vents. A/C compressor died, but I can forgive that on a GM with over 100K miles. And I am starting to get the traction control on-off without my consent happening now, too! Glad to know I'm not the only one. Such a shame this pretty and luxurious car turned out to be such a dog to fix.

1996 Oldsmobile Aurora V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission V8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired135000 miles
Most recent distance136000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Calais

Summary:

Gorgeous styling, but expensive maintenance

Faults:

Battery needed to be replaced, and only with AC Delco, no aftermarket ($120 battery)

Starter replaced, difficult to do because of location under engine. $675.

Valve cover gaskets leaking.

Oil pan leaking, no gaskets on this particular car so without spending 13 hours labor on a new pan, all I can do is spend 4 hours on re-siliconing the linings to keep the oil in.

Steering column is loose from connections and don't know whether it can be tightened or the whole column needs to be replaced.

A/C compressor has leak and needs to be replaced; dealer charge is $1200!

General Comments:

This is a beautiful looking car that is a blast to drive.

It feels more like a V6 than a V8 to me, and actually my V6 Acura Legend has more power. But then again, this is a heavier car.

I have learned all too many times that GM cars last 150,000 miles and that's it. Unfortunately, I see this is the case with the Aurora.

Despite all the expensive maintenance this car needs, it's quite nice and I'm glad I have one of the last Oldsmobiles.

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

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

1996 Oldsmobile Aurora 4.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 4.0 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired54144 miles
Most recent distance45687 miles
Previous carJaguar Vanden Plas

Faults:

The Aurora is the finest among the luxury cars that I have had a chance to drive, you need to get more public awareness and GM could have marketed this car well with some incentives to genuine buyers who show interest in the Olds range...

The dealership is the hardest to convince to get a good and reasonable service, they just cut you outright. Pearson Pontiac who is the dealer in the bay area, well I never seemed to have a single problem with the car, and the day when I got it serviced they just murdered the car in and out. Ever since I have had to visit the dealer every month, not because the car is not reliable, but because the dealer bills you anything between 200 - 500 every visit.

General Comments:

Overall I would say if GM still has time to think twice before they stop this fine product that they make.....

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

Review Date: 26th May, 2002

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 15 reviews