1987 Oldsmobile Ciera 2.5 4 cylinder from North America


Would serve as a good first car, but nothing more


Belt tensioner disintegrated about 47000 miles. I think 87 was the first year of the automatic tensioner and the design probably was been faulty.

Water pump replaced about 100,000 miles for $90.

Transmission NEVER shifted right. Very annoying. Especially when the car was not run in hours, it would shift out of first gear WAY LATE and slam into second. I had to always "trick" the transmission by starting out in 2 then when I felt like it should shift into 2nd, I would shift into D and usually it would pop into second, well before it would have by itself. Also, somewhere around 60k miles I noticed that in cold weather highway driving, the transmission would constantly pop out of overdrive into third. Seems that if the transmission was cold, it would not stay in overdrive. Did I mention that the transmission problems stated above were VERY DISTRESSING?

Alternators had to be changed constantly. However, I used lifetime warranty Discount Auto alternators and since it was so easy to change out, I did it myself and this problem was not that big of a deal.

Valve cover gasket leaked from day 1. Constantly spilling oil onto exhaust manifold and burning, leaving behind a smelly remembrance of the car.

Exhaust muffler replaced about 1993.

Wires going into throttle body on top of choke always were loose, and if you giggled them while the car was running, car would almost stall.

AC evaporator replaced. $600.

AC compressor replaced. $600.

Headliner replaced about 50k miles. $60.

General Comments:

Car was a nice upgrade from my 1980 Chevy Chevette 5 speed, but soon was discouraging when transmission problems were noticed.

Nice boxy, roomy car, but slightly underpowered, especially with the AC on.

Car had been stolen, then recovered while I owned it. Prone to theft, esp. in Miami, FL area. Easy to steel - pop out door lock, bust up steering column and there it went. Thief caught and prosecuted!!! I recovered all losses!!

Car was finally WIPED out when an out of control driver smashed into it while in the parking lot of apt complex on busy highway. Sold car with HUGE front end damage for $150, AND collected about $1400 from insurance company!!!

Overall, made out well financially given the above incidents, however, somewhat of a problematic car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2002

25th Oct 2018, 01:00

Regarding your transmission shifting troubles, that sounds as if the throttle valve cable was not adjusted properly. The adjustment literally takes 10 seconds, once you open the hood. It's too bad you endured many years of shifting misery for want of a few seconds of adjustment.

I know this review is 16 years old, I'm surprised no one has pointed this out.

1987 Oldsmobile Ciera 2.8 from North America




I had to replace the computer a couple of times till I finally got a good one from GM.



Heater core.

General Comments:

This car still runs like new!! I only paid $3000. with 24000 miles and this car owes me nothing!!

It has never left me stranded and the A/C is still as cold as day 1!!!

The throttle body is starting to get stiff, but I'll get one at the bone yard.

If you can get one of these cheap, DO IT!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2002

1987 Oldsmobile Ciera Brougham 3.8 sequential fuel injection from North America


Very nice 80's sedan at a low cost


Timing chain went out at 71,500 miles.

Had to replace the alternator at 77,000 miles.

General Comments:

I bought this car with 62,000 miles for $3500 in 1997.

This car was very quick for having a 80's era GM 3.8. It had stealthy power on the expressway every morning to and from work.

This car was also equipped with FE3 suspension.

The interior was very comfortable. The (Brougham) trim level was equipped with every option possible for this car.

The only drawback was that things started going out at around 71,000 miles.. (alternator, timing chain, etc.)

I would definitely purchase another mid-eighties low mile Cutlass Ciera for driving enjoyment and for comfortablility.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2001

1987 Oldsmobile Ciera 2.5L Tech IV from North America


Good winter beater car


Engine died at 155,000 miles due to the former owner's neglect. He didn't change the oil very often and the pan was full of black sludge. It was already making knocking sounds when I bought it.

I ran it for 5000 miles before it finally died. Then I dropped in a replacement from a wrecked Chevy Celebrity (same engine).

The body has a bit of rust, but not bad for a 14 year old Maine car.

I had to replace the worn out steering rack. I hear it's fairly common for the seals to wear into the rack and cause stiff operation (especially when cold).

Other than that, it's just been normal maintenance items. Shocks, brakes, exhaust, tires, and such. Most of which were also very neglected by the former owner.

General Comments:

Not bad for a $300 winter beater car.

The 2.5L 4-cylinder engine is underpowered. I've been passed by loaded log trucks going up hills!!

I'll definitely get a V6 next time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2001

23rd Jan 2008, 09:28

98hp and 135ft/lbs. Though all of that is down low. Around town under 40mph it feels pretty peppy. Though demand anything from it at highway speeds or try to pass on a 2 lane road and all you get is noise and glacial acceleration.

From what I understand the motor is basically a modified 5.0l pushrod chopped in half. Not GMs most advanced design, but reliable.