1990 Oldsmobile Calais International Quad 4 from North America


Luxury vehicle with smooth ride, even at high speeds.


Replaced starter third day of ownership.

Brake lines went a week later.

Cable connected to the alternator broke off while troubleshooting battery problems. Reconnection solved the problem.

Water gets into the vehicle somehow when it rains, leaving carpet on driver's side quite wet and musty smelling.

General Comments:

This car handles extremely well and I appreciate the tach, oil, and battery gauges.

Leather interior comfortable and in excellent condition.

Pull down back seats quite convenient for transporting skis, etc. but not much leg room for passengers in the back seats.

Computer driver package invaluable.

Poor radio reception at times. It has a power antenna.

Remote start and power options all work well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2003

1990 Oldsmobile Calais 4 door Cutlass 2.5 litre 4cyclinder gas from North America


An electric nightmare that refuses to die.


Alternator goes out each 5 years of age on the car.

Timing chain broke at 120,000 miles.

Both front door windows no longer will roll down.

Rear-view mirror use to keep falling down easily on hot days.

Both rear door windows have been replaced after web shattering due to normal weather change.

Replaced both front axels due to cv joints going bad on each side.

Car won't usually provide good heat while in drive, yet warms up fine in park.

General Comments:

The engine and transmission are very reliable on this car except for the one incident with the timing chain breaking and the 5 year life of the alternators.

I'm guessing the worn cv joints and rear-view mirror problem are common for cars beside this make and model, yet I don't feel the mirror problem should really exist for any car.

One rear door window web shattered summer of 2002. It was really hot out, then it got really cold fast outside and rain started as a sprinkle. I heard from inside my apartment when that happened. The other rear door window web shattered november 2003 the temperature didn't change much or fast 30 in the day down to 22 at night roughly, light snow and another window to replace.

The timing chain breaking was a bad surprise. Out of town on the 4th of July.

As for providing heat into the car in the winter. A good example would be one night I was drive a long distance home cool air is all I could get. I pulled into a small town to rest a bit and instead saw a soda machine and stepped out for maybe a minute to buy a soda. I entered the car to find hot air flowing so easily. I put the car into drive and before I was even back onto the highway cool air again. Cooling system full, thermostat tested good, and the engine itself is hot to the touch like any other car engine after its been running for 20 minutes or so.

The car was repainted before I purchased it under the GM recall of vehicles with bad paint jobs. Whatever the metal was treated with, it doesn't like paint staying on it. If I would have repainted the car every year or 2 it might still look decent. I have a 1977 pontiac now also that has the original paint job still and it looks better.

Sometimes the car runs really rough after starting it and will continue to do so no matter how long it runs unless you turn the car off and restart it. Then it runs great.

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

Review Date: 7th November, 2003

27th Mar 2005, 23:57

To the guy whose 1990 leaks. My 1990 leaks too. I recently discovered holes rusted out in the wheel wells and think this may be the problem. If you ever want to sell that 1990 olds cutlass let me know. get in touch with me at vhaase@yahoo.com.

12th Oct 2005, 14:10

My blue Calais (been repainted twice) has 70k orig miles. replaced alternator 3 times, power steering pump twice, heater coil??? twice (the heater blows warm air occasionally) front disk brakes about 6 times, and now won't crank unless you take breather top off... i left my wife stranded with it and THAT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN!!! It's been totally reliable until now...my mechanic loves his $65.00 a pop diagnostic machine...

12th May 2006, 21:13

It would be nice if you would mention the type of engine your car has when you talk about the 1990 Calais because they came with three different engines. Mine has a quad 4. And my BIG problem with it is the radiator -- it's completely inadequate for desert life. When the temperature gets above 95'F it over heats. I've tried to find a better radiator -- a bigger one, more fins per inch, or thicker -- but it doesn't seem to exist. Any ideas? Thanks. Superstude@msn.com.