1997 Oldsmobile Bravada Base 4.3L from North America




A/C and heat only works on defrost (since I got it).

Back windshield wiper doesn't operate (since I got it).

Would go dead intermittently while in gear (1 week after I bought it at 123,730 miles).

Really poor gas mileage, averages 10 MPG in town.

Gas gauge darts around a lot, giving inaccurate readings.

And the kicker : The flywheel busted off during driving at 123,977 miles.

Transmission completely went shortly after the flywheel was fixed at 123,985 miles.

Now the vehicle makes hellish grinding noises like a lawnmower, and the key gets stuck in the ignition when turning on the battery to tow the vehicle.

124,000 miles and this vehicle is spent. It's going to the junkyard.

General Comments:

A nightmare. Just read all the other reviews. I'm glad I haven't stuck much money into it, since reading all of the other reviews. I know if I fix one thing, another thing will just go wrong, which has happened already.

The only redeeming factor was that I paid less than $1k for it, and it lasted me for one winter through a treacherous winter we had here in town.

The AWD worked great, but I fear if something else hadn't gone first, surely the AWD would have gone, rendering this a useless winter vehicle. I still owe the dealer money, but I'm just going to give the blasted thing back to him because I've had nothing but problems with it.

It is the car that carries the dreaded word "lemon".

I used it LIGHTLY in town. No hot rodding, no ridiculous antics, no mud bogging. In-town driving, stop and go traffic, sometimes in deep snow on the streets that weren't plowed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th April, 2011

17th Apr 2011, 13:27

These weren't the greatest vehicles but you for 1000$ what did you expect? With that high mileage?

18th Apr 2011, 01:14

Is it truly a lemon if it accumulated over 120,000 miles?? Typically, lemons are problematic from the start, and 120,000+ is a lot of life lived.

21st Apr 2011, 15:56

For $1000 you can get a decent car. Sounds like whoever had your Olds may not have maintained it; that, or it's just usual GM planned obsolesce engineering. The flywheel busting off like that sure sounds fishy.

Bad gas mileage is something most AWD cars get, but if you want a winter car, you should get a FWD with good winter tires.

Next time, don't buy an Olds; they're mostly Chevys with trim bits added, in fact just avoid GM altogether, there's a few flukers that last awhile, but it's rare.

23rd Apr 2011, 18:29

I really don't care what car it is; a vehicle should get more than 120,000 miles on the ODO before it junks. A prime example of why I'm glad Oldsmobile went belly up. I almost bought an Alero in '05, but the car felt plastic, and the handling was loose, like it was going to fall apart.

So in response to, "what would you expect", I say, a vehicle that actually lasts. But I guess that's asking too much of Oldsmobile.

25th Apr 2011, 03:10

The last really good car Oldsmobile made was the rear wheel drive Cutlass in the 1980's. This was their top selling car ever, but they discontinued it.

The FWD Cutlass and Delta 88 with the 3.8 engine was also reliable, and some of the later ones were OK, but when the Alero came out and they got rid of the Cutlass and Delta 88 nameplate, that was the end of Oldsmobile.

Too bad GM killed Oldsmobile, it used to be a great brand known for affordable luxury and quality.

22nd Feb 2017, 05:02

Why did you buy a SUV to drive lightly in town?

1997 Oldsmobile Bravada 4.3 from North America


Major piece of junk


We got our '97 Bravada from my M-I-L. She gave it to my wife. What a money pit it's been. We've had it for 3 years, and in the last 2 years, I've put $10k into it. None of this cost includes regular maintenance.

To list just some of the repairs:

Fuel pump.

Tie rods.


Rebuilt engine (engine went at 85k).

A/C (twice).

It just never ends. I keep thinking that I can't afford to trade it in because I've got too much invested in it, and that nothing else can really go wrong with it. The rig looks brand new inside and out. But it is a pile of crap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st October, 2010

22nd May 2011, 00:43

I've had lots of problems with mine too. I'm giving mine away to my dad, he wants to repair the transmission that is now ruined. It is currently sitting in my backyard with a flat front tire and the tranny is shot. It's one of those things you just look back on and say "well, learned my lesson I guess". Looking for a new SUV as we speak.