1986 Oldsmobile Ciera SL 2.5 from North America


It takes a good beating to die


What didn't go wrong with the car is more like it.

General Comments:

Well I guess the car was alright I didn't once show it mercy whether it was a rain day I'd light up the tire's on every turn. Or I'd send it into a nice 4 foot snow drift.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2005

1986 Oldsmobile Ciera SL Convertible 2.8 Multi-Port V6 from North America


I love it!


Sometimes, it will have trouble firing up.

Rear quarter windows squeak and rattle when the top is up.

It will stall when the wheel is turned all the way in one direction, only at very slow speeds.

It goes through gas rather quickly.

Replaced the oxygen sensor at 76,000 miles, which I thought would cure the fuel consumption issue. Miles per gallon is a little bit better, but it still seems to guzzle gas a bit.

General Comments:

All in all, it's a great car.

I bought it from the original owner at the end of May 2004.

He took fabulous care of it and it looks great.

I'm not crazy about the v-belt configuration on the first generation 2.8 fuel injected V6.

I would rather it had a serpentine belt setup, but regardless, it's a gutsy little motor.

It's very fast and fun to drive, and handles great, due to the F41 suspension setup, which was also found on Eurosport Celebrity's.

For anybody who doesn't know, Celebrity Eurosports were highly regarded for there handling capabilities.

The Ciera convertibles, as well as the other 3 GM A-body convertibles, are very rare.

If your lucky enough to find one in good shape, hang onto it, as they are sure to be very collectible.

My Ciera convertible is one of only 54 built for the 1986 model year.

None of the A-body convertibles left the factory that way.

They were all sent to an out of factory conversion company to be done over.

They all originally started life as two door hardtops.

For the 1984 and 1985 model years, they were converted by the Hess & Eisenhardt company.

For 1986, which is what my car is, they were done over by the Car Craft Company, of Lima, Ohio.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2004

21st Sep 2004, 14:55

I own a 1986 chevy celebrity convertible. It has 106k miles and still runs. I think it is one of 33. Any tips out there for maintenance?

10th Nov 2004, 10:40

1 of 33...wow!

Does it have the 2.8MPFI V6? I know some of the '86 cars had the carb'd motors. Is it a Eurosport?

I don't have any tips for maintenance other than those you probably already know.

You can probably find a replacement top pretty easily. I see them on Ebay all the time.

The rear quarter glass and window regulators are hard parts to find. I have a theory that the J-body 'verts use the same parts, but I'm not sure. I'll post again once I find out.

If you have the FI 2.8, it can be a little cranky at times. Sometimes they have hard starting issues. I've heard this is a characteristic of this motor, but just keep it tuned up, and that should greatly decrease any starting issues you have, if at all.

The head gaskets tend to blow pretty easily. So, make sure your cooling system is properly maintained, and don't let it overheat.

Other than that, I don't have much else to offer.

Where are you from, and do you have pictures of the car. I'd love to see it.

1986 Oldsmobile Ciera Brougham 2.5 Tech 4 from North America


An old car worth buying if the price is right


Major things:

Exaust header.

Steering rack


Many other items.

General Comments:

I paid $1 for this car. It belonged to my mom's cousin's husband who had purchased it from his father in law and drove it to NYC everyday for years. When I got it, it needed to have the header welded in order for it to run.

This was a great first car. I really liked the style of the Ciera. The paint was dead (GM grey), it wasn't flaking off and rusting like many grey, white, blue, and black paint jobs of that era did - rather it was going through a chemical change. The paint was getting crusty on the hood, roof, and trunk. The interior wasn't too bad. The previous owner didn't smoke, wasn't large, and used cruise control, so even though there was a lot of miles on the inside the only wear was on the floor mat. The headliner drooped down into my face so I placed strips of wood from the plastic surrounding the headliner and ran it across the headliner to hold it up. The interior was burgundy and looked really good. The driver's seat was power and had no tilt, but the passenger side had tilt, but no power.

Options on the car were as follows:

Brougham package (Nice pillow seats)

Cruise control.

Pulse wipers (didn't work on delay)

Power windows and locks. (The locks sounded like a shotgun firing.)

I only had this car for a year before I traded it on my dream car (at the time) a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. However I managed to log a lot of miles on her and had some great times driving it.

The negatives about the car:

It would like to run great all day and then it would decide to die. This would usually happen when I had to get to high school or when I'd be really far away from home. Sometimes it would take a few hours or a few minutes to start again and run fine. Before I had the computer replaced ($20 at a junkyard) the car had its crowning achievement occurred on the way to school one morning. The Ciera died in the middle of a busy intersection near the high school and held up all busses and other traffic resulting in an amnesty for all late students that day.

Rust was eating up the Ciera by hour. I could hear the Iron Moths chewing away on it on winter nights. There was rust eating through the bottom edge of all doors. Every time I slammed the trunk there was a river of rust chunks that flowed around the inside of the trunk lid.

The steering rack was bad. It would have power steering sometimes or not. I never cared because I paid $1.

The Transmission was a 125D three speed. This was a great transmission mated to the Iron Duke 2.5 motor. It had never been replaced and never gave me any trouble, however I found that if I was going fast, made a panic stop, and floored it again (yeah, I was 16 at the time) the car would just sit there and shudder - then slam into first gear. I only did that about three times and decided I'd rather not walk home.

The brakes that came with the car were cheap bonded brakes. I heard a thumping sound in the rear drum for a few hundred miles before I decided to check it out. I jacked up the car and took off the rear drum and the brake shoe fell on the garage floor.

I bought this car in March of 1996, by May, I noticed the car had a really bad smell. Although this had nothing to do with the mechanics of the car, I located the stench. My second cousins spent a lot of time in the back seat of the car in car and booster seats. They had managed to lodge about three pounds of food underneath the back seat, which was rotting there for months. I took out the back seat and scrubbed it with soap and water for a long time. So if you buy a used car, take the back seat out and check for treasure.

The Positives:

The Ciera was the same as the Pontiac 6000, Chevrolet Celebrity, and the Buick Century. I have driven all of these cars at one time and the Ciera was my favorite. It has a great seating position, the controls were all in the right place. The engine was great even if it was a bit underpowered. It could hold six people, but five was enough. The gas mileage was wonderful. I could get about 30-40 mpg on the highway and 17-24 mpg in town. My Ciera was easy to park. It had a hood ornament on the front end and the third brake light was mounted on the back of the suitcase rack on the trunk, so I always knew how close I was to another car. I could also park it anywhere and never had to worry about anybody messing with it.

I really liked this car even though it would leave me stranded once and awhile and wish it were still made today.

I would really like GM to go back to its old lineup from the late 80s and early 90s giving us a real choice of automobiles again.

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

Review Date: 2nd March, 2004

3rd Mar 2004, 13:59

Sounds like you got your dollar's worth.

Wish I could have been there when you took the drum off and the brake shoe fell out on the floor lol.

25th Jan 2006, 16:25

I drove one of those in high school too. It was a great car; mine never left me stranded. The Iron Duke was a great motor, not especially powerful, but it sounded tough even at idle!

23rd Jan 2008, 09:18

If only the noise an engine makes is equivalent to the power it makes. The Iron duke would have been a powerful engine.

At normal acceleration that thing would make so much noise, the noise made you feel that something in the area of acceleration or power delivery was about to happen. But it never did.