Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Engine Problems Seal Of This Might Hurt


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,171 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Oldsmobile Alero engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #10

Jan 292015


  • 86,000 miles


These cars are nightmares. I replaced the intake manifold gasket (extremely common issue, well documented online), the oil pressure sensor broke off the engine and leaked all of oil out, replaced the thermostat, learned how to deal with a constantly defective security system (passlock defect causes a no start, extremely common and well documented online), and now the car will crank but not fire (also extremely common, but due to the nature of the problem, the online resources can only provide one of a hundred different places to start attempting to diagnose). A no start should not require a mechanic to throw a full battery of tests at the car. There is no way this car should have been legal to sell, it is a money pit and a hazard to anybody around them. Systems are constantly failing, the car allows water to reach the fuse panels and corrode them, creating the potential for an electrical fire or failure of crucial driving/safety systems. The car has trouble starting if the ambient temperature is at or above 80 degrees. And I have experienced all of this in roughly a years time since I bought the car with relatively low mileage (~70K).

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #9

Sep 162014


  • 147 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. While driving approximately 15 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. Also, smoke started to emit from the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed and was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 147.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Jul 032003

Alero 6-cyl

  • 1,200 miles
Blinkers work sometimes and sometimes not.. most of the time they will work if you press the hazard lights if they work.. and keep playing with the blinkers eventually they turn signal will turn on.. extremely frustrating!! now I see.. some have been make and model haven't"??? its the exact same problem!! I have this well documented as I bought this car new. GM had no problems taking my money for their car, now will not stand behind their product, go figure!!! I've had the 10 min reset going on now with the engine for about 3 yrs again extremely frustrating!!! but this car died on the street in traffic and would not start would crank over but did not re- start and will not! this car has 117000 miles on it and is in perfect shape I have to take care of the things I own!!! how about GM giving me my money back, or at the very least fixing the safety features of this car???" god forbid someone dies and now, seeing all the complaints on line...I know GM has known about this issue for many yrs and will do nothing till some lawyers go after them and each of the people who trusted you get zip or 2.00 each.. this is wrong!!!!!! I hope you have the moral integrity to do the right thing and sooner rather than later!!!!

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #7

Jul 082008

Alero 6-cyl

  • 27,363 miles


My car shut off while driving on downtown street. Tow was necessary. Ignition sensory assembly had to be replaced. I received recall for this today GM #14350. I was told there would be directions in the case that I already made repair. There are no instructions. I have a very specific receipt for the repair. How do I get reimbursed. Phone #'s are always busy...that's why I'm trying for information here. Thanks.

- Sunbury, PA, USA

problem #6

Jul 272014

Alero 6-cyl

  • 152,000 miles
I attempted to start my car to head home on an hour drive. It would not start, no cranking of any kind or power to the starter or starter solenoid. Attempted to start the vehicle again about a half hour later as I waited for my ride to arrive and still nothing. All of the lights worked, everything else worked but the car simply would not start. After reading every other complaint and review this issue is concurrent with the theft issue that many other owners have suffered.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #5

Sep 052013

Alero 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
The car initially would not start, googled help left in start position for 10 minutes then started. While driving the car shut off mid traffic, thought it was stolen. Taken to GM dealership put in new passcode key, told it was ok. Left dealership car cut off, taken back, said it was fuel injectors, has all of then changed. Car cut off, read on internet that it was a manufacturing error. Dealership would not reimburse money and car continues to not crank at times and cuts off, think it is stolen. This is a safety hazard and this car should not be sold without warning future drivers. Nearly cost me my life.

- Bruceton, TN, USA

problem #4

Feb 112014


  • 78,000 miles


Car cut off while driving, would not start, security light flashing, took to shop cost $800 for new fuel pump, then a month later same deal come to find out it: It's the ignition switch having to due with the security, sometimes the car will not start sometimes it cuts off while driving. They need to recall this its very dangerous not to mention the $800 spent for a fuel pump I guess I didn't need. You can reset it. Works only temp. Leave the key in the on position until the security light goes out then go straight to start, most the time this works. It is very dangerous for the car to shut off at 60 mph on the highway which has happen to us.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 192012


  • 127,000 miles
While driving down highway, vehicle key switch randomly malfunctions, causing the vehicle to shut off resulting in loss of control. On multiple occasions I have almost been in a crash because the car shut off.

- Masontown, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 172005

Alero 4-cyl

  • miles
The car has broke down and wouldn't restart, fuel pump, ECM? modulator fuses. Powering steering leaks all the time and sometimes locks up. Rear defroster won't work. Driver's side controls for windows, locks, stopped working. Drivers side window drops down and breaks-repaired 3 times and just happened again. Belt broke, lost power barely able to get it off the road. Front passenger wheel thumps, pops, etc. Had fixed and still has the same problems. I've maintained routinely, but it continues to keep breaking down. The handle to put in gear/park has broke. A lot of plastic parts, clips etc crumbling apart, knobs, light switches, window tracts. All out of pocket. Recall for windows, rear defrost, power steering, fuel pump, belt breaking, front hubs/wheels/steering !!!!!

- Mcarthur, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 032011


  • miles
I attempted to start my 2002 Oldsmobile Alero and it won't start. It was as if the fuel was shut-off. I had to have my car towed home. I noticed the security light was flashing. I checked on-line and people suggested, turning the key to the start position and leaving for 10 minutes, apparently this allows the computer to reset. (or you can disconnect the battery and reconnect it, this will also reset the computer.) there is a problem with the passlock system. It's a huge problem for many people. GM does not acknowledge this problem and is unwilling to correct the defect. This defect should be recalled.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

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