I bought this mini-van new in Aug. 1999. I was very lucky to have a great salesperson who guided me to this vehicle. Instead of having a drivers side electrical seat, he mentioned he had a different Shilloute available. It was Great. Three passanger middle seat and three in back. Towing package, and rear audio and air, heat controls. My wife and I loved the space and the room for our family. Also towing pkg. included a self leveling rear shocks which were great, but, the best is that you can use the air compressor to fill up almost anything including your own tires if needed. Also our neighbor who is a Porshe salesman meentioned how all of his mechanics swore by the 3.4L engine of GM.
The size and usefullness of this van. Also by going to the extended cab it is amazing what you can fit into this baby just by removing the seats. Overhead instruments give you very accurate info. esp MPG which I find to be a little over 20 MPG in city driving.
Now have 168,000 miles on it and needed to replace a front wheel bearing recently. Still original tranny, at least since 83000 miles when I bought it. Going to sell it soon before I begin to put more money in it. Really have not had to put much in it besides the well documented problem of a leaking oil/coolant gasket. Has been the best van I have had (Chrysler, Ford are the others).
Olds seemed to have been the best of the three (Pontiac & Chevy) in looks and reliability. Wouldn't really know why because of their similariy.
It seems many owners haven't had as much luck as I have. My van has over 100,000 miles on it, and I bought it new. Only had one major repair- manifold leak at 50K -$900. Never stranded, had front brake pads replaced, regular oil changes, transmission system flush and MUST use BP gas or it will have injector problems where it runs rough, chugs and the engine light goes on. Since I have been using BP gas, haven't had an issue in 5 years. (Dealer told me I had to replace all the injectors at $1500! -- not true at all - just changed the gas after reading a newspaper article.) Still runs great, still on original battery. Best car I've owned in 30 years.
I was against the purchase of this vehicle from the beginning as I was suspect of GM's ability to provide a quality product. My suspicions were accurate. This week I forked out $1,550 for a new head gasket. Two years ago, it needed an intake manifold gasket for $800. VHS system is broken, trim and molding parts falling off van. A/C will not work, keyless entry broken, rear wheel cylinder needed replacement, TCM sensor broken, it's just endless. GM should be embarrassed for the lack of build quality in this vehicle. I am still waiting for the recall notices. As for my Honda and Nissan purchases prior to buying this van, I never had any of these problems.
I'll update when I think of something.
I have never owned another vehicle that needed as many repairs as this van does. For a vehicle to need both a head gasket and an intake manifold gasket screams design flaw and GM should take responsibility. GM needs vast improvement in build quality.
Bought the car. Was thrilled. Two weeks later the transmission failed - got replaced - then the alignment was never right - replaced tires every year; breaks too - tranny replaced three more times - two engines - alternator gone twice - electrical failed in year 4 - rail for driver sliding door broke year 5 - leather is so thin on seats, metal seat cushion supports showing year 7. With some cars you can say you got two cars for the price of one they're so good. With this stinking car we had to pay for two cars (repairs) but only got to take one - broken one - home. Right now it's in Baltimore MD - broken down - the trany went again - we live in N. Carolina. We're not fixing it again!
When it runs - comfortable ride and great suspension - mwhen you're not replacing the CV joints and bearings.
We're glad Olds got its just rewards and is out of business. Karma.