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
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.
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 bought the car right after Olds stopped making them, so I actually bought the car for about 3K less than it would have been worth had Olds not tanked, which was fine in my eyes. With a huge available array of mechanicals left over from both the Alero and Grand Am (sister vehicle) theres no need to worry about service in the future.