NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2003 Oldsmobile Alero (Page 3 of 4)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 1
Average Mileage:
57,029 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.

2003 Oldsmobile Alero electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

Aug 142013


  • miles


I believe my car should be in the GM recall. When staring the car at times there is a delay with dash board lights coming on. Also windows not working, radio, and sensor lights. I was told by tech it may be an ignition problem but when it was on the computer said something different. My airbag light keep coming on then he said it was an electrical problem in which he would need to break my steering column that I would have to pay for. The car only has 152000 miles.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #33

Feb 272014

Alero 4-cyl

  • 100,900 miles
Today I started my car with my automatic starter then 7 minutes later I hear a horn non stop beeping I lookout my door and my car is smoking and in flames from hood. Investigator tells me it totaled. After they put the fire out I look in car and only one air bag came out.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #32

Oct 042012

Alero 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
The blinkers stopped working, but realized there was a short with the hazard lights as soon as I would push the hazard lights in a little the blinkers would start working. Recently pushing the hazard lights does not make the blinker blink, nor does it cause the hazard lights to work anymore. Was told by mechanic this is a common problem with the 2003 Alero.

- Crookston, MN, USA

problem #31

Jul 282012

Alero 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Oldsmobile Alero. Consumer writes in regards to security light flashing the consumer stated the security system started flashing for no reason. The vehicle would not start and it had to be towed. The dealer replaced the passlock sensor and connector. Updated 12/03/12. Updated 04/03/14 updated 12/03/14.

- Girard, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 012012


  • 160,000 miles
The odometer faded out. Came back on when I knocked on the dash. This worked 2 or 3 times. Now no odometer. The other dash lights are working fine. Just the odometer.

- Salt Springs, FL, USA

problem #29

Sep 032004


  • miles
This all started estimated in April 2010. When the security light comes on I know it will not start the next time I get in it. It could not start once or 3 times. It very scary sitting in my car with the key turned on for 10 minutes. Then I can turn it off and turn back on and it will start. I have had it looked at and he put a new fuel pump on it, then it did it again and the next time he firxed it by reseting the computer but it did last. I talked to other people and they say they have the same problem. The way I found out how to fix was I called a tow truck and he told me what to do. Have you had any compaints like this?

- Wagoner, OK, USA

problem #28

Jul 252011


  • miles


I recently purchased this vehicle. Last week, went to the dmv to take a driving test and the horn would not start. Brought the car back home, checked the fuse box. The horn fuse had been taken out of the car. Put a new fuse in and the horn would not stop. I must also include that due to this failure, my keyless car entry/lock will not beep. Also, I assume that my car alarm will not work because of this issue. Brought car to the mechanic, apparently in order to fix this problem, the airbag must be removed, costing approximately $1800 to repair. Obviously, I am not willing to pay this price and now will have to figure out a makeshift horn option. This is an extremely important issue that many people have had with this vehicle.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #27

Apr 092003

Alero 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Oldsmobile Alero passlock security system cause my car not to start, I have to reset which takes over 10 minutes, and praying it will start after that. But at times the battery went dead before the security light quit flashing as alot longer then 10 minutes have a new battery in the car. 4-09-2011 was in a parking lot was the 6th time this happen. Then on 4-11-2011 when going to take mom for doctors appointment. Again next day after a funeral would not start again. On 4-13-2011 took to car dealer and they had to put in a new ignition switch which costs me $575. I believe this should have been recalled as so many others having the same problem. This may end me buying another Oldsmobile or Chevy I was getting so afraid to even drive it any more and be stranded somewhere, have not been taking my great grandkids in the car as the are ages 5 and under. Why is there not a recall with so many others having this same problem.

- Austin, MN, USA

problem #26

Jan 312011

Alero 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Oldsmobile Alero. Consumer states vehicle stalled twice on the road while trying to make left turn. The consumer stated the second time the vehicle stalled, the steering wheel locked up and the vehicle would not restart. The dealer was unable to diagnose the problem on both occasions. Updated 04/15/11

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #25

Jan 102009


  • 84,527 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero. The contact stated while driving 25 mph, the security system caused the vehicle to stall repeatedly without warning. The contact stated that the failure would occur sporadically and oftentimes, the vehicle would restart immediately and other times it would not. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who repaired the fuse box yet the failure recurred within the week. The fuel pump was then replaced and the failure did not recur. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 84,527.

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #24

Feb 222010

Alero 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles


2003 Oldsmobile Alero ---- turn signals are intermittent. Turn signals quit working and fail to warn other drivers of intentions to turn causing unsafe driving conditions. Near miss accidents have occurred as a result of turn signal failures.

- Clinton, UT, USA

problem #23

Feb 182011


  • miles
This is the 3rd time I have had this problem the security lights is flashing, car will not start. So go and turn key to on position wait 10 minutes but today it was 20 minutes until lights stop flashing then turn key to off position before trying to start. Today it would not start at all. So I am without transportation until I can get help.

- Austin, MN, USA

problem #22

Apr 152009


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero. The contact stated that she attempted to start the vehicle but it did not respond. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop but the contact was unsure of what the mechanic did to remedy the problem. The contact also stated that the horn blew daily between 2am and 3am for no particular reason. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000 and the current mileage was approximately 93,000.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #21

Aug 282010


  • 115,383 miles
I was driving down the road when the security light came on and stayed on. About one minute later, the car died while I was driving approx. 50 mph. Thank goodness there was no traffic and I was able to pull over off the road. The car did start back up this time. The passlock system has engaged before and we have followed the suggestions we found online and gotten it to start back up...I just don't think I should have to follow some sort of ritual to get my car to start; not to mention, the safety issue of having a car die in while going down the road at 50 mph.

- Brenham, TX, USA

problem #20

Dec 102007


  • 60,000 miles
2003 Oldsmobile Alero. Horn went off continually at approx. 330 H. and failed to stop until it eventually died at 400 H. now I am left without a horn, because I will not pay $800 to resolve the issues of GM's faulty manufacturing that causes the switches to contract and contact some stupid wire. Dear GM, I love the Japanese ;)

- Port Colborne, 00, USA

problem #19

Jul 132010


  • 110,000 miles
The security light flashes and car will not start, have to turn key to the on accessory mode for 10 minutes to re-set system and then car will start, also security light will randomly come on and stay on. And then turn off.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #18

Oct 102006


  • miles
Purchased 2003 Alero in 2004, 2nd one (I loved the first one), with 32K miles. Vinyl over passenger airbag was peeling - dealer fixed at no cost - now in 2010 it peeled off completely. At 39K had to replace the ignition cylinder. One of the front drivers side window bracket broke - waiting for the window to fall into the door. At about 50K the turn signal clicking starting without using the signals & is still do it today. I have not tried to fix it because I have read so many thing on the internet about cost & that it was recalled on older Alero models. It has finally gotten to the point that the signals only work part time and I have to turn on the hazards to get the turn signal to work - accident causing I think so. The plastic around the gear shift that lights up at night now gets hot enough to hurt if touched. I am very disappointed that GM won't help so many people that have put money and faith in their product. I think GM just doesn't want to deal with the olds products. If it was a problem then and there are so many complaints now then it must still be a problem. I personally will not recommend a GM vehicle to anyone and will be going back to Ford.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #17

Jul 012008


  • miles
The olds Alero has a defective passlock theft deterrent system. It shows up when you insert your key in the ignition, turn it, hear the engine cranking, only to fail to start. The dashboard's red warning light, security, flashes on and off. It believes it is being stolen, thus shutting off the gas to the engine. The problem actually stated 4 months after I bought my car, which I purchase used from a dealer, I believe im the 2nd ower. This issure happens about once or twice every 3 weeks or so. My dad actually thought it was the battery contacts because they were loose, so he tightened them up, then it took care of the problem for about a month. The another strange issue came up, about 3 months ago, as my car sat in park for about 2 hours, just out of the blue the horn started to "blow" like the alarm was set off, but the lights were not flashing so it wasnt that, about 20 minutes it did this til it blew the fuse for the horn. And now im without a horn in my car, which is not very safe. So I changed the fused, the horn worked for 1 day, then blew again, I changed the actual horn and another fuse, and just 3 days ago, I heard in the middle of the night, my horn going off again for no reason, and the fuse blew again, driving with no horn. So im driving my car that has this anti-theft feature and I dont know if its working from 1 day to the next, the security lights stays on my dashboard so I know something is apparently wrong with it, usually that when I know, my car will not start when I see that light come on and I have to do the trick with sitting in the car with the ignigtion on for 10 minutes before starting it. I googled this problem to see if anyone else is having this problem and found hundred of people tht are, contacted GM and olds Corp, they say there is not recall on the system because there is nothng wrong with it. Something has to be for all the customers to be having the same problems and apparently is has been goin on for years and they wont help.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #16

Jul 022009


  • miles
Problems with electrical system- on several occasions, car has completely shut down in the middle of driving, disabling power steering. Also, horn likes to go off on its own- had to remove fuse to stop it.

- Pullman, WA, USA

problem #15

Oct 152009


  • 105,897 miles
Purchased 2003 Alero on Oct 8, 2009 on Oct. 9th car would not start or jump, ABS and security light was on, radio turned off. Had it towed back to dealer who looked at it the next day and the car started right up and they could not duplicate the problem so they did not do any work to it. On Oct 15 while my daughter was driving the vehicle onto the interstate the ABS light and security light came on and the steering wheel turned sharply to the left and she could not control the vehicle. This caused an accident with injuries. The diagnostic report was limited due to the extent of damage to the vehicle and the only code they could get to register was that the ABS code was on. Was told that the diagnostic did not show anything else but diagnostics was limited anyways because the vehicle was not drivable anymore.

- Hudson, MI, USA

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