Need car advice(Oldsmobile cutlass?)


Platinum Member
May 28, 2000
My brother totalled his car a few weeks ago, so we went out looking for a used car to replace that today. My brother is extremely impatient, and whined as I tried to help him and my mom shop. We ended up putting a desposit on a 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass with around 45k miles for $7200. I told my mom that I'd definately like to research the car before letting her buy it, so we left with just a deposit on.

So I came home and did a little bit of research and as I expected, it seems as if GM cars aren't great in terms of reliabilty. Is this correct? I'd definately rather have my brother get a Japanese car, but he's extremely impatient and ungrateful. We only wanted to spend around $6000, but it seems like dealerships don't really carry casr older than 5 years. I've been thinking that buying from a private seller/ebay would be a better bet, after having a mechanic inspect it of course.

I'd appreciate any advice more knowledgeable people could offer me. It bothers me that my mom will be spending so much money on the car, when all we really need for my brother is reliable transportation. Thanks.


Golden Member
Oct 10, 1999
I would bet it's going to be a good car for him. 3.8ltr v6? They go forever. The insurance will be cheap, the parts for it will be cheap, too.


Aug 30, 2000
Tell his punk @ss to wait so you can make an informed decision


Aug 21, 2002
I'm guessing he probably already got a car... but either way... a car is only as good as the person who drives it and the person who maintains it. If you don't do proper maintenace, or the driver beats on the car doing neutral drops and stuipid crap like that, of course it's going to fall apart quickly. My family has owned pleant of cars that were supposedly junk and had lots of problems... but we do proper maintenance... regular oil changes... keep clean air filters in the car... periodically check PCV and EGR valves... change fuel filters... have the fuel system professionally cleaned... flush the cooling system... have the A/C checked and serviced as necessary... replace belts and hoses are regular intervals, whether they appear to be bad or not... check tire tread depth and tire pressure... service the transmission, which means changing the fluid and filter.
The most important thing is to be aware of the car while you're driving... most people hop in and go and get out when they get to their destination without giving the car a thought at all on the way there. Keep an eye out of worn shocks, worn springs, squeeks, abnormal noises like clunks, grinding, etc.
Another thing 99.9% of people don't know, is that it's a good idea to keep your fuel tank at least half full all the time. The fuel pump gets fairly warm after extended periods of operation and relys on the liquid fuel to cool it... if you run it down to empty, and don't even fill it up all the way when you do get gas, chances are you'll be paying someone to replace your fuel pump at least once during the lifetime of the car. Keeping a full, or near full tank in the winter is especially important to help prevent condensation, especially on older cars where the fuel system isn't sealed nearly as well as it is on new cars. If condensation forms in your tank, it eventually sinks to the bottom of the tank... when you let your car sit in the cold, that water in the bottom of the tank could freeze in the pickup, or freeze in your gasline. If you've ever had that happen, you know it's not fun. It's a good idea to put gasline anti-freeze in your car once or twice a year around winter time... that stuff is alcohol, which will mix with fuel and also water, so the water doesn't sit in the bottom of the tank. Lots of people have had problems with Speedway gas because they seem to have more water in their gas than most other companies.

Proper maintenance = good, reliable car


Jul 12, 2000
He sounds like a bastard, make him buy his own damn car. And private party is a much better bet than the dealer.


Platinum Member
Jun 7, 2002
err... still that's a pretty crappy deal. american cars are supposed to devalue fast than jap cars. Usually that's why you'd buy them used. 7k for a 98 with 50k miles (prob not highway) is not even close to being a bargain. For that price I'd go with a 98 altima which is substantially more reliable according to JDPA-