Engine Cuts Off While Driving

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
119,100 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (12 reports)
  2. cam shaft position sensor, plugs, & coil pack (2 reports)
  3. currently trying spare key (1 reports)
  4. replaced battery wire terminal and battery (1 reports)
2000 Oldsmobile Alero engine problems

engine problem

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2000 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 032014

Alero 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!! These cars have too many problems so I've learned. Between body and sub frame rot, wheel bearings, suspension parts that break in half (sway bar, coil springs), traction control issues and now the friggin thing keeps dying while I'm driving which happened a year ago and mysteriously went away for eight or nine months and now came back, WTF!!! POS !!!

The car has had to sit in my driveway for the past month and a half because nobody can seem to figure out the problem, anyway here's as far as I've got with it. Like I said about a year ago it started dying on the highway on my way to work which almost got me killed a couple of times cause you have to throw it in neutral and hope to make it to the breakdown lane if there is one. Now keep in mind the service engine soon didn't come on the first few times this stalled. Then after a half dozen times it threw the light so I brought it to a mechanic friend who put it on the scanner for me. It was pulling an O2 sensor code (bank one lean fuel) and a (misfire) code. I knew it could have been quite a few things to cause the O2 sensor to get this reading but I changed it just to rule it out, it was only $40. It died that very same night after I changed it and a few more times in the following couple of weeks but the dummy light never came on.

My mechanic friend suggested I bring it to the dealer so they could put their progressive scanner on it while they drive it so that's what I did. They called me after the first day and said sorry sir we can't replicate the problem. I asked them if they took it up to highway speed because like I told them that's been the only time it had been dying, at highway speed around 2200-2400 rpm's, after about 15-20 mins. so they kept it another day and still couldn't replicate the problem, it wasn't throwing the light or any codes or anything?? That's another $98.50 for nothing. Oddly enough it stopped dying???

In the mean time it failed state inspection because of a rotted sub frame in the area where the rack mounts, rotted brake lines, a broken coil spring in the rear, and wheel bearings. I bought a sub-frame blasted and painted it, new lower control arms, front wheel bearings, front brakes, oh, a used front sway bar cause it was broke in half?? New sway bar end links, new rear brakes, rear struts, tires and a front end alignment, about another $1500 but hey it's all set now, Rite? NOT! Now back to square one the dying again thing.

Once again on the highway at 6 am in the snow with no breakdown lane almost got rear ended by an 18 wheeler real fun! I've now changed the crank sensor, ignition control module, coils, plugs, plug boots, cam sensor. still dying but now I'm reading about the GM passlock security problem, apparently you can make a dummy system by cutting and soldering the black and yellow wires together with a 2200 ohm diod and resetting the system. This may work, look up bergerweb.net for detailed instructions. Also could be the ignition itself, the body control module is the next step if this doesn't fix it. the fuel pump also has a insufficient strainer filter and apparently clogs easily which could be the issue as well as a clogged fuel filter or in some cases the catalytic converter could be clogged. Good luck if you have any suggestions aside of burning it or blowing it up, please help.

- bitchpissnmoan, Derry, NH, US

problem #15

Jul 032012

Alero GX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles

This is more than likely the worst car ever made! I bought it salvaged, didn't think it would be too hard to fix up. Little by little things started to go wrong or show up. I have had this car for almost two years.

My air conditioning never has worked since I bought it, my turn signals only work sometimes (thank goodness they work when I'm driving around police), my hazard lights don't hardly work, worst of all my engine will turn off on me while I am driving or turning corners (pretty much anytime I am not accelerating, or stopped), the body structure of this car is pathetic, and was damaged when I got it (has only gotten worse since I have owned it). Just a horrible car, not to mention I feel trapped in this tiny car and I'm only 5'2. WASTE OF MONEY. I will not pay over $200 to fix this stupid car, because it is just not worth it!!!

- land92, Burlington, IA, US

problem #14

Aug 012012

Alero ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,954 miles

Ive had the car for over 2 yrs, the only problems i have had out of it is radiator hose leaks usually in the summer, i noticed about a year ago that it was idling low when i started the car most days but never thought much of it. but within the past couple of months it wants to try to die when i come to a stop, i really need help with this cause my old lady drives this car to work and i am always fearing for the worst everyday she drives it. I've put in a thing of fuel injector cleaner which seemed to help a little i like to think.. I've been told by a couple mechanics its the idle sensor or something that there are two types of them one costs 30$ and the other is 70$ i need to know what I'm up against i cant afford to poke around the bush any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

- Matt C., Portsmouth, OH, US

problem #13

Sep 102010

Alero LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,428 miles


I'm 23 year's old this is the first used car i ever purchase i just finish paying for it and WHAM!!! in my face the car start turning off while driving it in the middle of the highway someone please help me on how i can fix this situation i really don't have no money for a new car i go to school at night and work doing the day what can i do!!

- Francheska S., Port Saint Lucie, FL, US

problem #12

Jan 152010

Alero G 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles

Oldsmobile should be ashamed!!!!!!!!! This so called "Security" feature is nothing but a death trap! I was driving on the highway with my daughter and all of the sudden the car shut off. Wow thats nice. I have been told it is electrical. Funny how this has happened to more then 1 person and all across Canada and the U.S, maybe there should be a recall on this, or maybe when someone dies after their car shuts off and they are struck homicide charges should be laid against OLDSMOBILE!!!!!!!!!!

- Amanda H., Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

problem #11

Jun 052009

Alero 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,345 miles

I bought this car used and it stinks! I live in the mountains and can't depend on it. So far no mechanic has been able to identify the problem.

- Cyrille W., Montague, NJ, US

problem #10

Jul 232009

Alero GLS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


This car like s to die, miss, etc... The computer says cam shaft sensor and misfire... Could this be the coilpack mabe? I have had this car for 2 yeasrs and have had problems with it ever since... Mabe I got a lemon... It is dangerous when I pull out, and now on the interstate also... I would like to fix it if I knew what was wrong... The computer always says something different...

Update from Jul 27, 2009: The cam shaft position sensor was bad, the plugs foul out on #1 cylinder, and the coil pack was bad... Do not put platinum plugs in this car... The regular plugs will last longer and it will run better... We fixed this problem today... These three things were my solution... Hope this helps...

- Hallie S., London, KY, US

problem #9

Oct 012003

Alero 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

When I had purchased my 2000 Alero I think around 2003, It was probably about a year later or so that the car would just turn off for no reason while driving and it would have a hard time starting. I found out it was the connection with the computer and the hot(+) battery wire terminal. There is a computer wire linking with the hot battery wire terminal connecting to the battery. Once I cleaned and replaced the battery wire terminal with a better one and made sure the connection was good with the computer wire I did not have any more problems with that. When I say computer wire, it is very thick, maybe 10gauge wire and that is why the connection came undone. The old terminal was not very big and there was not enough room for the wires to be secured good enough, not to mention the wires being fairly short. The type of terminal that came with the car was metal of some sort and I replaced it with a lead type piece. I did replace the battery as well but I don't know if that had a lot to do with fixing the problem but it couldn't hurt.

- Glenn A., Meridian, ID, US

problem #8

Jan 152008

Alero GL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Same complaint as all the others on this site. Car is very inconsistent when trying to start up. Sometimes it starts up on the first try, other times it takes several attempts for the car to turn over. I have discovered that it will start up if the "Service Engine Soon" light lights up when turning the key. If the light does not come on, the car will not start. I first experienced the engine shut off while driving about a couple months ago. It happened several times, but only while I was driving under 30mph. We took it in to a mechanic and they couldn't pinpoint the problem. They said "maybe" to a bunch of things including the fuel pump, among others. I also asked them to fix the blinker problem which didn't end up fixing a thing, but that's another issue. After spending around $400 we got our car back only to have the problem persist. Brought it into another car shop and they couldn't find anything on their computer and they gave us a bunch of "maybe" solutions as well. Another $150 down the drain and the problem still isn't fixed. Recently I was driving on the highway about 60mph and the car shut off. Thank God I was in the slow lane so it was easier (after cranking the steering wheel which locks up when this happens) to pull over to the shoulder and restart the car, but it was pretty scary.

Is there a solution besides just giving up on this darn car? I thought I read somewhere that someone with this same problem had their ignition switch fixed and the problem was solved. That was included in one of the mechanic's "maybe" solutions, but that runs around $500, and if it's not going to fix the problem no thanks! I'm seriously considering just dumping the Alero and buying a new car so I can go back to driving a safe and reliable car again. However, if someone can tell me that they got the ignition switch fixed and it remedied the problem, I would be very happy to save the cost of a new car. Any help???

- Kristin K., Hopkins, MN, US

problem #7

Dec 182007

Alero LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,440 miles

i was driving 70mph on the highway in the fast lane and the car died had ti try and glide over two lanes to break down lane very scary, waited 5 minutes or so and started back up. happened 1 more time took to my mechanic and he changed fuel filter clogged solid. was good for little while and started doing it again. took to two more mechanic one couldn't find other mechanic chaned air filter also clogged and cleaned throttle and map. he got 4 codes up but I believe they are false. waiting to see if happens again. this car has been nothing but a problem from one month of purchase in the shop every month since any anwers to this problem would be great before it costs me thousands of dollars. afraid to drive it anywhere

- jodi4tr, Uxbridge, MA, US

problem #6

Nov 292007

Alero GLS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles


Driving to work my car dies. After sitting for about 10 minutes it will start again, once starts and drive about another 5-10 miles continues to die. Took to dealer they can't find a problem except fuel filter may be clogged they replace it. And car continues to die. Now they want to put a fuel pump on., But they are not sure that is the problem. Does any one have any ideas??? Please let me know

- Mark C., Rushville, IL, US

problem #5

Aug 282007

(reported on)

Alero GLS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,400 miles

Driving at 65 mph. Car shuts off completely. No Lights. No chimes. No warning of any kind. Wait approx. 5 min. Car starts again. Drive approx. 30 more miles. Same thing. Another 5 min. the car starts. Again about ten miles later. Last time, I had gone approx. 2 more miles. This was all one trip. Approx. one month ago, my service engine light came on. I brought it to the dealer. He found three codes, when he put it on the computer. He told me all were false. No trouble found. I do not know if these two events are related. I have since driven only to work and home again. That's only two miles, each way. I have not had the trouble again, but doubt that this mileage is a good test of anything. I am using my spare key. I am hoping the chip is possibly shot in the key I've used all along. I plan to ask the dealer if he can test it.

- eicke, Perth Amboy, NJ, US

problem #4

Sep 062007

(reported on)

Alero GLS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,600 miles

Driving on highway, 65 mph, cruise control on, went to pass, car died, no warning of any kind. After five minutes, car started up. 100 mile trip, happened four times, various speeds, used cruise control, only the first time. No answer from the dealer yey

- eicke, Perth Amboy, NJ, US

problem #3

Dec 282006

(reported on)

Alero LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

While traveling down the highway in my Olds, upon going up an incline, my car started to lose power, the more I pushed on the gas pedal, the more it died. Finally the car shut completely off. After sitting with the engine off for approx. 10 minutes, the car started again and I was able to drive it for approx 20 miles, but once again, pushing on the gas pedal too much made the car lose power and die, then would not start again and had to be towed. My mechanic has checked for error codes on the computer, NONE SHOW UP! fuel filter has been changed, fuel pump checked out okay, .... car will not always mess up for mechanic to be able to diagnose the problem, only occasional blurps of problems........ but too infrequent to be a reliable source of transportation....... uuuuuggggghhhh...... anyone else having this problem ? any idea what to fix?

- angryoldsowner, Independence, KS, US

problem #2

Jul 182006

(reported on)

Alero GLS

  • 66,000 miles

While driving, (usually begins on freeway), car will just cut out and won't start right away. Definitely a big problem. Local dealership couldn't find anything wrong. I will never buy an American auto again.

- Lynn W., Centralia, WA, US

problem #1

Jan 082006

(reported on)


  • 124,000 miles

While I'm driving on the highway my car cuts off. When I try to start it up again it doesn't turn over at that time,and if it does turn over it putts like it's out of gas. I let it sit for awhile and it starts up and drives good as new until it cuts off again. I got a fresh tune up less than a week ago.

- Dalvin B., Indian Orchard, MA, US

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