1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette EXT 4.6 from North America


Money trap!


We bought this van used in 2006. Bought it because we had 2 toddlers, and another baby on the way, and really needed the space. I loved the space in it.

Within the year, it started falling to pieces! We have had to replace window motors 5 times!

The temp/compass feature went out quick, didn't bother replacing it.

We had to get the struts done, cost around $1000, a year later, needed it again.

The windows go off track on a regular basis.

The lighting on the radio and stuff constantly goes out.

Always having to refill the AC.

Right now it needs a heater core.

We've replaced the power steering line twice in the last 3 months.

Now the biggest, scariest thing is this... We loved at 1st that one of the back doors was power sliding. A month after we bought it, the door slid open while we were going about 50mph!!! The open door light wasn't even on!

Also, the head lights don't seal correctly, water gets in there, and you have to change headlights on a regular basis. Horrible!

General Comments:

The space was great. Also like the fact there are 2 headphone jacks in the back; the kids can listen to the radio or audiobook, and you don't have to hear it. And the back wind shield wiper was pretty handy also.

I've been thru so many cars in my life, this is by FAR the worst of them all! Please look close before you buy, or make sure it's really, really cheap, and you have the time and money to fix all the issues you will have.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th November, 2010

1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette GL 3.4 V6 from North America


Good van overall


The intake manifold leak common to these engines happened at 18,000 miles, and luckily the vehicle was still under warranty. Has not resurfaced as of 100,000 miles.

Both front seats were also reupholstered under warranty due to metal from inside seat breaking through fabric; this problem has also not returned.

Around 50,000 miles the transmission started to shift hard due to the pressure control solenoid problem that is also common to these vans. We lived with it for a while, but finally had it done at 88,000 miles. This was expensive at $1100 (done at a GM dealer), but is the only time I had the van in the shop outside warranty; all other repairs & maintenance I handled myself for the cost of the parts only.

Around 60,000 miles head gasket started to seep, but it just dripped on the ground; it did not leak coolant into the engine, so I just used the GM sealant tabs, which stopped it for a while. It has begun to seep again, but only slightly; no sign of coolant in oil.

Water pump and camshaft position sensor around 90,000 miles, and the left rear taillight connector has been replaced a few times due to ground connection melting down, which causes traction control and ABS systems to not operate. Took me a while to figure that one out.

Otherwise just brake pads, tires, bulbs and minor items like the rear hatch pull strap, a sticky throttle (traced to butterfly valve in MAF sensor housing that is connected to throttle getting stuck; clean out housing with MAF sensor cleaner to resolve).

I've changed oil every 3-4 thousand miles and trans fluid/filter twice, the serpentine belt & fuel filter.

General Comments:

We like the van overall. We factory ordered this vehicle as we wanted a fairly basic extended van, but with rear air and traction control.

It handles well for a van and is reasonably quick off the line for this type of vehicle.

Highway gas mileage around 25, city 15. Still have not changed plugs or wires.

A van is the best thing for trips with kids. We've had it up and down the east coast from New England to Disney World, and never lacked for space. Have taken the seats out on occasion to create cargo van, nice thing is both rear rows are split so seats not too heavy.

Traction control helps in snow, especially as the tires get worn. But there is more road noise than in some vans.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2009