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Guest YellowJacket894

A Good Idea. . .?

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Guest YellowJacket894

Okay, here's the situation: There's a local used car dealer that specializes in your run-of-the-mill used cars that have some age and miles under their belts and nothing but. However, there's a car on that lot that has caught my eye and I'm now seriously considering it.

The car is a 1995 to 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora with the four-point-oh liter V8, painted a stunning Jade Green, and with just about every option you'd want. I have no clue as to the milage the car has, or if there is any problems, but I'm going to check this car out again. I really, really like it.

The car isn't rear-drive like I like, but it has the V8 and it's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

And that's also where the S-10 comes into play.

If I get this car, I'll have two vehicles of my own to drive. My dad told me to keep the truck in any case, he doesn't want it back. So, as a result, if I have the S-10 and the Aurora, I'll turn the S-10 into a sport truck project as planned. But, I won't have any real deadline to have it done by because I'll have the Aurora to drive. And the Aurora doesn't need much at all -- if I do end up doing anything to it at all, it'll just be a new set of rims and tires and nothing more. And even that is questionable as the stock rims and tires aren't bad to start with, if not just a little plain.

I know the Aurora won't cost more than six grand, tops. By going by last year's NADA book, a 1998 Aurora goes for $4,850 at trade-in. And you've got to take into account that the price has depreciated somewhat after the time the guide was issued. Also, I've checked around on Auto Trader, Cars.com, eBay Motors, and Auto Mart.com and these cars are selling for under five grand.

This car has a lot going for it.

So, does the idea sound like it makes sense? Should I buy the Aurora to drive and invest a little in my S-10 as a project? Let me know. Also, any advice as to what to look out for when buying one of these cars would be appreciated.

Thanks guys. 8)

Edited by YellowJacket894

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That wouldn't be a bad choice, IMO. Fly would be the one to ask, of course.

I remember my dad test drove a '95 Aurora in Jade Green way back in the day, but then we bought the LSS because it was like $9k cheaper.

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Guest YellowJacket894

That wouldn't be a bad choice, IMO. Fly would be the one to ask, of course.

Hey, Fly, are you reading this? :D

I think the car is great. I should mention that the owner of the lot (stupidly) left the car unlocked and I managed to get a look inside (it's also how I managed to look under the hood). The tan leather is in stunning condition. The car almost looks new on the inside, save for a scratch on the shift lever. This car is honestly pristine.

If I can, I'll try to go back to the lot this week and check it out more, ask a price, start up the engine, maybe drive it.

I remember my dad test drove a '95 Aurora in Jade Green way back in the day, but then we bought the LSS because it was like $9k cheaper.

Did you buy it used or. . .?

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I have no clue as to the milage the car has, or if there is any problems....

197258[/snapback]

and

.... And the Aurora doesn't need much at all

197258[/snapback]

means you're not yet thinking with your head. You need to find out more information about the car first. I'm sure Fly can tell you that first gen Aurora's can be expensive to have work done if they need something. They are a very unique car and can only be serviced a some Cadillac and some former Oldsmobile dealers... often times being one in the same.

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I'm sure Fly can tell you that first gen Aurora's can be expensive to have work done if they need something. They are a very unique car and can only be serviced a some Cadillac and some former Oldsmobile dealers... often times being one in the same.

197289[/snapback]

Well, they can be expensive to work on if you take it to a dealership. Many, many basic to moderate maintenance can be done at home with the proper tools and a buddy and the engine bay is suprisingly DIY-friendly...for a FWD TRANS-VERSAL POS UNIBODEE CAR LOLZ. Plugs and wires are a 30-minute job, so are the rear air shocks, etc and most repair work can be done at any good shop. Certain aspects, however, will be pricey, such as major transmission/engine servicing, etc because of the Oldsmobile-exclusive parts and don't fool yourself, the engine is Oldsmobile. No other vehicle in the entire world has the exact 4.0l Aurora engine, though it shares much in common with Cadillac's Northstar, meaning a Cadillac dealer will be required since most Olds retailers around here at least sell non-GM cars now.

For your consideration:

163,795 <-- Total number of 4.0l Auroras sold, including '01-'03

136,289 <-- Total number of Classic ('95-'99) Auroras sold.

That many Camries are sold in about three months, and even just-as-rare cars like the Riviera still have drivetrain commonality with popular LeSabres and Bonnevilles. I don't know the attrition rate, but I'd assume less than 100,000 are still on the road and their numbers keep dwindling. Keep in mind, its a car that is 7-11 years old today. Factor in the small total build numbers and you have an automobile that gets harder and harder to find parts for.

If you do buy one, don't get in an accident because it will likely be totalled. Read my story, as I'm sure you already have.

I know its sounds sour and bleak, but its a fact Aurora owners have to face. We're driving something endangered that is quickly becoming a true boutique car. This is something you have to prepare yourself for if you intend to buy one and keep one.

Knowing all that I do now, would I do it again? Yes. Because to me, the benefits of this car outweigh the hardships and hassles. You will never find a car that rides like this one does. You will not find a more stable sedan because automakers no longer make cars that are long and low like Aurora. You will not find a car that is so smooth in power delivery or shifting. You won't find a car with such distinctive lines, with such dynamic styling and proportioning. You won't find seats as comfortable or an interior so well laid-out. To me, its one for the ages and a car that people regret not buying, at least from the dozens of times its been told to me by complete strangers.

All I warn is know what you're getting into. If you're looking for a no-hassle luxury sedan, I'd honestly recommend something else. If you want a car you don't have to think about, don't even look at it again. But if you want to be uniquely rewarded by a car that gives what you put into it - and one that few have - you just may want an Aurora.

If you still want it, here's what to get on your next visit:

*Mileage (d'uh)

*VIN number/build date - I call tell you more about the car from that info, whether or not it has the Autobahn package.

*Take photos if you can.

For you to do:

*Drive it - see how it sounds, how it rides, any weird noises

*Fuel Rail - check the condition of the fuel rails, which are towards the cowl on the driver's side. If they are steel (metal), you're good; if they're nylon, you need them replaced immediately. Oldsmobile issued a recall on nylon fuel rails circa 1999 as they may deteriorate and lead to a fire. I know one Aurora that burned up because the recall wasn't performed. Again, this is a matter of having a shop simply do it.

*Window Seals - having frameless windows, seal deterioration can be an issue. Check and make sure all the seals are tight and leak-free. A preferred way of checking is to drive through an automated brushless car wash or one of those self-serve high pressure washes. Resealing the car isn't incredibly expensive, though.

*Equipment - make sure all the power equipment functions correctly - both seats, mirrors, windows, radio, steering wheel controls, HVAC, foglamps, cornering lamps, etc.

*Radio - bring along a music CD and try it out.Make sure no E21/22/23 error comes up on the radio. These Olds head units are notorious for eating CDs.

*Power Antenna Mast - the mast on this car is retractable. It should raise when the radio is on and lower when its off. A replacement is $50.

Those are mainly FYI things. I'd also have it looked at by a mechanic you know.

If you have any other questions at anytime, just let me know.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Thanks, Fly. I really appreciate the advice. As a matter of fact, I'm going to print it off for reference.

Here's how it's looking: if the car seems like it's sound and soild, I'll try to go for it. If something causes concern, I'll have it checked by a local mechanic (which I'm going to do anyway if there's a concern or not) and see how much it costs to have it fixed. And if the cost is just too much, I'll leave it for someone else.

In Berea, and a city about fifteen minutes north of there called Richmond, there are Chevy dealers that used to sell Oldsmobiles. I know this from previous visits to both cities years prior to moving to Berea. In fact, about a year after GM phased out the brand, they both still had Chevy-Olds signs still up. They've since been taken down after one lot expanded it's tarmac area and the other got a total remodel. But, to be sure, I'll call both dealers and see if they still can perform needed matience to the Aurora. If not, there's a Cadillac-Hummer-Saturn dealer in Lexington I can take the car to. And that's a thirty minute drive, so it won't be so bad.

means you're not yet thinking with your head. You need to find out more information about the car first. I'm sure Fly can tell you that first gen Aurora's can be expensive to have work done if they need something. They are a very unique car and can only be serviced a some Cadillac and some former Oldsmobile dealers... often times being one in the same.

I was just referring to exterior and engine modifications. And, like I said, it doesn't need much if anything at all. If I got it, I would happy with it as is. If I did do anything to it, it would just concern the wheels and tires as something to do on a weekend with some free time.

In any case, I hope I have some good luck here and the car turns out to be soild and problem-free. I really like it. I think it would be a joy to own and drive.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Seems like he's already made up his mind.  :P :

Posted Image

Yup. :D

I'll be going back to check it out again on Wednesday afternoon. I'll try to take some pics and get the VIN number so Fly can tell me if I'm getting the Autobahn package with the car or not.

Hopefully, the car will be sound. If things go right, I may just have it by the end of the month. (I'm crossing my fingers.)

Added thought: A guy at the Aurora Club of North America Forums has managed to get 225,000 trouble-free miles out of his Aurora. The following things, according to the owner, on the car are still orginal and haven't been replaced (and from what I gather they usually do get replaced way before the car even reaches the 200,000 mile marker):

BTW - Many things that usually need replacing by the time this mileage is reached (some more than once) she still has the ORIGINAL:

Alternator

Water Pump

Power Steering Pump

Both Idler Pulleys

All Steering Components and Struts

I know what to expect out of this car if I take good care of it. 8)

Interesting...the Aurora looks almost like a Camaro in that pic.

:blink:

I can sort of see what you mean. . .I think. :D

Edited by YellowJacket894

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I know what to expect out of this car if I take good care of it.  8)

197548[/snapback]

ACNA is a great forum, by the way. Lots of knowledgable and helpful people, like C&G but Aurora-specific. :)

Anyway, here's the forum leader, a 308,550-mile 1995 Aurora, arguably the 'worst' year for an Aurora due to everything being completely, 100% new. Finally gave up and replaced her with an STS, but it shows that America could build that's luxurious, gadget-laden, and reliable, even in the mid-90s.

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Guest YellowJacket894

ACNA is a great forum, by the way. Lots of knowledgable and helpful people, like C&G but Aurora-specific. :)

If I get the Aurora, they're going on the list of Bookmarked pages then. 8)

Anyway, here's the forum leader, a 308,550-mile 1995 Aurora, arguably the 'worst' year for an Aurora due to everything being completely, 100% new. Finally gave up and replaced her with an STS, but it shows that America could build that's luxurious, gadget-laden, and reliable, even in the mid-90s.

Wow. That is reliable. Looks like I'll have this car for a while if it's mine. :)

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Guest YellowJacket894

Just my luck: the dealer sold it.

However, after I got home, feeling just about as disappointed as could be, I browsed through Auto Trader.com and found another almost just like it at another dealer, local too. The only difference is this one is a 1999 model.

Also, upon looking at the photos of the '99 I found at Auto Trader, I realized the car I looked at wasn't Jade Green, but something of a teal shade. I guess it might have been repainted because the shade of green on the other car wasn't anything like the car in photo I'll post at the end of this. It was pretty dark, though. :unsure:

I've also looked at the CARFAX report on the 1999. Apparantly, this car has migrated from Canada. The report comes back clean, too.

If you want to view the CARFAX, follow this link.

So, Fly, let me hit you up for some info on this one. I'll try to look at this one Saturday afternoon. . .and pray to God no one buys it.

Anyway, here's the info from Auto Trader, Fly. I'll verify it after I get back from looking at it this Saturday.

VIN: 1G3GR62C9X4110398

MILEAGE: 112,000

PRICE: $4,995

Images:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Fly, everyone, will I be an idiot for not going for this car?

:D

Also, after coming home from today's waste of time, I realized that I don't think I'll do anything to the S-10 other than fix the wiper stalk. To do what I want to do to the truck will probably take $5,000 to do and investing the price of another vehicle into this truck is pointless right now. I say my mind might change on this, but not until I have enough spare money to throw around.

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Is that road line paint on the fender liner? If so, that can be taken off with a power washer, lacquer thinner (left to soak for a good while to soften it up) or a plastic scraper. Take the wheel off and jack it up for easy access.

First-gen Auroras are fine looking cars.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Holy &#036;h&#33;! There's another one in Lexington, a 1998 model. This one is priced at $2,995. Milage and VIN number is unknown, but if the '99 goes, I'll shoot for this one.

Posted Image

Link for the 1998.

Link for the 1999.

Kentucky is rich in Auroras for some reason.

Is that road line paint on the fender liner? If so, that can be taken off with a power washer, lacquer thinner (left to soak for a good while to soften it up) or a plastic scraper. Take the wheel off and jack it up for easy access.

It looks like mud to me from the photos. :unsure:

Then again, I don't think I've actually seen road paint on the inner fender wells of a car before. :D

First-gen Auroras are fine looking cars.

Yes, they are. That's why I want one. A V8 and damn good looks are enough to make up for the lack of rear-drive. While I may be pro-rear-drive, I'll admit there are certain front-drive cars I would love to be caught dead in. The Aurora is one of them.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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She looks excellent. I love that color and the interior is in top-notch condition. Naturally, check it out, drive it, etc. Also, to determine whether or not it has the Autobahn Package, open the driver's door and check the tire speed rating information. If it indicates 'V'-rated tires, you're looking at an Autobahn and I hate you.

I also hate you because 1999 is arguably the finest year for the Classic. As it is the last model year for that style, all the major bugs have been ironed out. You also have a parallel parking mirror ('97+), a compass readout on the inside rearview mirror ('97+), suspension and steering refinements ('98+), and more engine mounts ('99). Officially, that scheme is Dark Caribe Metallic (Evergreen).

Remember that CarFax doesn't tell the whole story. Two months ago, I ran one on my car and it came back clean. However, your own eyes and a trusted mechanic's are the best bet. She does look like a beauty, though, and 112,000 is nothing on these engines - I'm approaching 110k on mine. Hope she's there when you check it out. Take some more photos and let us know how she drives!

P.S. The white '98 seems rather cheap for that year. I'd bet the mileage is over 150k, but I could be wrong.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Alright then. Looks like I'm looking at another sweet ride. 8)

Does spending five grand on one vehicle make sense when you can just get another car for the same price? No. I don't think so. :D

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That green one is gorgeous. I've never seen a beige interior that spotless. Yeah, I'd probably say that's mud. If it were road paint it'd more likely be on the rocker and/or the lower door.

If you're interested in a hike, there's a '96 in my company's newspaper with 86K for $27xx. clicky here, then go to the last page.

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Guest YellowJacket894

That's not a bad price, Z. Too bad it probably won't be there this summer -- that's when I could probably make the trip to get it if I got the chance.

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If you're interested in a hike, there's a '96 in my company's newspaper with 86K for $27xx. clicky here, then go to the last page.

198473[/snapback]

But, you can get that '97 Corolla with 110k for only $900 more!

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Guest YellowJacket894

But, you can get that '97 Corolla with 110k for only $900 more!

198532[/snapback]

OHNOEZZZ!!1!!!

:pbjtime:

:D

On the way home today, it was madness. I counted three Auroras -- one in the school parking lot, another in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel, and another traveling down the highway.

I'll take that as a sign. If I don't get this car. . .I'll be damn disappointed to say the least. :D

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Guest YellowJacket894

I had some spare time today, so I went to check out the Green Aurora.

Guess how my luck turned out.

Yeah. That's right. They sold the frigging car. :hissyfit:<_<

I think (stress on think) I saw another one in Richmond, this one silver in color. And if it wasn't an Aurora, it sure as hell looked like one at a distance. I'll investigate this one further.

As for the white Aurora, I don't trust the dealer it's at. And, because I don't trust the dealer, I don't trust the car. I already own something that needs work and I don't need something else that will just take away what money I can get my hands on, regardless of how much I like it.

I guess I'll search for the next best thing: an Intrigue or a V-6 Alero. If I can't find either, I'm calling it quits with Olds. And probably the S-10, too. I may sound spoiled, but I sware I'm starting to hate that truck. It may be reliable, but I have a desire for something more than transportation from point A to B -- that's a typical Starbucks-drinkin', kitty-pettin', tree-huggin', piss-my-pants Toyota driver and I'm most certainly not one of those. I want something I can enjoy driving, looks at least halfway decent, and isn't falling apart asthetically and equipment-wise. That truck is going to take whatever money I can put in my wallet and put it right down the damn drain. Plus, you can't do &#036;h&#33; with the 2.2 four in those things. I know it was free, but I just don't see putting five grand, the price of another decent used car, in that truck -- I've done the math, and after paint and other parts, this thing will most certainly be in that ball park. Hell, a new wiper stalk costs $139.99 and that's more than one car payment on that Aurora. If someone else wants to paint it and put money into it, fine. But it sure as hell won't be me.

You know, right now I wish I was as lucky as a friend of mine. I'm not the biggest fan of the Cavalier, but he bought an '89 Z24 for $400 bucks. That car is in great shape. He literally stole that car. Hell, at that price and considering what great shape it's in, I'd buy and drive one.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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Dude, those V6 Cavaliers were the &#036;h&#33;. I still love the sound of an early 2.8 or 3.1. So snarly.

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