I just bought my 1999 Alero GL, with only 105,000 miles on it. Got a good deal at a local dealership. The car is in great shape, and so far in the month that I've had it, there's been no problems, and I hope it stays that way. Too early to tell though. It gets excellent gas mileage, and with the hot weather we're currently having, the a/c puts out very cold air.
So, as long as it keeps running the way it does, I'll be happy. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I like all the power accessories, and the quiet engine, and the superb handling.
Since this car is no longer made, I don't think I could suggest improvements. However, the center "single" cupholder could have been larger, since in my Grand Prix, it can handle two cups, not just one.
I purchased my Alero in 08. Checking the head gaskets prior to purchase is essential since they go bad on the 3.4 V6. Had some minor issues after purchase such a water leak on passenger side console. A cheap foam patch from the dealership corrects this problem. There is also the occasional problems with wheel bearings. Also, the rear defrost system failed due a failure of a control module in the rear of the car.
Apart from some rust issues, car is pretty reliable for the most part.
The Alero has great handling. Considering its an Oldsmobile, it has great styling with decent features for a base model (cruise control, power windows, V6 option). Great passing power when coupled with the V6 engine
Do something about the head gasket problem. Lucky mine were replaced before I purchased my car...
I have had this car longer than any other vehicle I have owned, not because it is quality, but because it is so frequently broken down, sitting at the shop or waiting for my husband to repair it.
Things that have broken:
Transmission (over $1400 with 4 mechanics still not fixed)
Security like comes on, blinks for exactly 10 minutes during which time, the car will not start ($400 to repair)
Breaks repaired 3-4 times including replacing all the break line ($400 - work done mostly by my husband)
Gas gauge says empty (have not repaired yet)
AC dead ($325- still not fixed)
Lots more, but I am running out of space.
Overall, I could have bought 2 more of these crap cars for repair $$
I would have my brake pedal go to the floor with no warning. Once this happened I quickly released the pedal and then the pedal worked. Except one time. I was going down a steep hill, and when I put my foot on my brake pedal, I felt NOTHING! Talk about having my heart fall into my stomach, it scared me to death!! I pushed harder and harder on my brake pedal but nothing happened, and when it hit the floor, my life flashed in front of my eyes! I pushed and pumped my brake pedal but nothing happened, my brakes were failing!! I just went into shock when I touched my brake and felt nothing. I was almost at the guard rail, I pumped them one more time and they finally came back and I didn't die
Fix the brakes now!! I will never forget the terror of pushing on my brake pedal and nothing happenning! I can still remember seeing the guard rail coming and my foot and brake pedal on the floor and my car speeding up and every time I pushed on my brake pedal it felt like I was stepping on air!!!