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.

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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems Seal Of This Might Hurt


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,732 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 #9

Oct 022008


  • 71,000 miles


Car was being driven when a loud explosion came from the engine compartment. The car then immediately cut off and had to be towed in for service. Upon inspection, it was found that the timing chain had broke and that there was other internal valve and engine component damage. The engine is a 2.2L GM motor that was recalled for Saturn, and other vehicles, but not the one we own which is an Oldsmobile Alero.

- Suisun Ciy, CA, USA

problem #8

May 012003


  • miles
I have had my 2002 Oldsmobile Alero since 2002. Within six months of having this car the ignition switch went bad and was unable to start the car and it had to be repaired. This was repaired by the dealer that I purchased it from because the company that was in charge of my extended warranty went bankrupt. Since then I have had to pay to replace a gasket in the engine that keeps engine coolant and engine oil from mixing together because the gasket that was manufactured with the car was not the right thickness. (since this is a known defect by mechanics why wasn't this recalled or a service bulletin initiated?) I continue to have problems with the driver door control panel that controls the windows and the side mirrors and window locks. The windows in my car can only be controlled by the driver because the window lock is stuck in the "on" position. I have also had problems with the windows falling down into the door and have had one window replaced in December 2007 but now in September 2008 the passenger window is experiencing the same symptoms and now will have to replace this window as well. Right now the most annoying thing about this car is the turn signals. They function as they should but the clicking noise for the turn signal will not turn off when I have made a turn (it actually makes a clicking noise about 3 times as fast as the regular turn click). I have had this looked at by a mechanic and I was told that this was not part of the hazard light recall which my car falls under so it was not fixed. It is a very distracting problem and the only time I can get relief from the clicking noise is when I actually get ready to make a turn by turning on the actual turn signal. There are a number of problems that numerous owners are experiencing. I am hoping that some thing is done about the windows and the engine gasket. I don't think consumers should be responsible for poor engineering and design. GM should make things right.

- Council Bluffs, IA, USA

problem #7

Jul 012005

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. The contact stated that she was unable to restart the vehicle after it was parked. The dealer stated that the ignition and the fuel pump caused the failure and they made the replacement. Approximately a year and a half later, the failure recurred. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle would shut off without warning. The dealer stated that there was a malfunction with the security system and was unable to duplicate the failure. However, the dealer replaced the electrical harness. The contact also stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle jerked and then shut off. The dealer stated that the timing chain failed and made the repair. The failure mileage was 22,000 and current mileage was 58,000.

- Dale City, VA, USA

problem #6

May 132006

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I have a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. The cars security device is faulty causing the car to not start and sometimes causing the engine to stop running even at over 40 miles per hour. I have read many complaints about this over the internet, it seems to be a common occurrence with GM cars around this year. Biggest problem is that common mechanics are unable to find anything wrong with the car you are forced to go to the costly dealership and in a lot of cases they to are not able to fix it.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 092006

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,200 miles
Timing chain broke on 2002 Oldsmobile Alero with 65,000 miles in Feb. 2006. Experienced a ticking noise day before and was driving at about 55 mph when chain broke and lost power. Auto repair service indicated it will cost at least $1500 to replace chain and additional parts. Also indicated oil pan would have to be removed as fragments were detected inside.

- Wasco, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 012003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
My service engine light, ABS light and trac light stay on at all times. I have had it serviced with the result being "my gas cap was not tight." I feel there is more to this than they say due to knowing 3 other Alero owners with the same problems.

- Adams Center, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 252003

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,390 miles


Leak of coolant on ground - intake and head gaskets leaking.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #2

Nov 182003

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Water leak from intake gasket.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #1

Sep 032003

(reported on)


  • 21,000 miles
When going up the slightest incline at 70 mph rpms revved, and engine started missing, felt like it was going to stall.

- Athens, AL, USA

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