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.
This car now has 208000+ miles on it and it still runs great. All of the motor mounts have been replaced, but it still vibrates like crazy when its in drive and the brake is on. I am afraid it may be the transmission, but at least I get a full-body massage at every stoplight. The interior keeps threatening to fall apart. I keep making small repairs to the brackets that hold the driver's side mirror adjustment and the ash tray beside the steering wheel. The trac-off light is quite a pest though and it [the car] sometimes hesitates or skips when the driver accelerates. Very good handling and pretty decent spunk to the engine. Overall way worth the money, I would recommend this car to anybody.
The steering wheel is very smooth
Placement of the E-brake
Gets me where I need to go and it has pretty decent gas mileage
Controls are very easy to use and figure out, comes very natural
A reliable vehicle
Really, use better adhesives on the dash. Dash is peeling in front of the steering wheel and its reflection on the windshield makes it hard to see the road sometimes.
I don't know if the trans-axle dipstick is simply missing off of mine, but there needs to be a dipstick on the fill trans-axle cap. Checking the fluid is a real pain in the rear if you do not have a professional garage. The whole car has to be jacked up level. Then you've got to pull the check fluid plug after running the car and shifting through all the gears. Once the plug is pulled you've got to pour fluid in till it begins to flow out of the trans-axle check plug.
The clips on the back seat broke. They could use a redesign.
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 bought in 2002 with 38k m and now (2011) has 214k. Pwr Windows break constantly. Intake and Head gaskets go constantly, can limp it along 10k miles at a time with sealer additives, if you are poor and don't mind being stranded constantly. Clearcoat starts peeling all over car around 90k. CD/tape stop working at about 70k. Any work that involves the belt must be done by mech, due to motor mount running through the belt = drop engine ;( The performance on the V-6 is actually really good, when it's running correctly. Security feature will disable your ignition constantly. These complaints apply also to Grand Ams and Aleros from 99-2002. "Dex-Cool" systems= stay away.
3.4 l V6 has good power, seats are comfortable. Plenty of get-up and go.
Olds out of business, but.... abandon security feature, use better material for head and intake gasket, don't run motor mount through serpentine belts, use metal clips on the power windows instead of the plastic ones that constantly break.
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 $$