pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
130,000 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. had the thermostat replaced (1 reports)
  3. replace head gasket (1 reports)
1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 072010

Silhouette 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles


Have had this vehicle since it was 14 miles old. The first time the head gasket went out, it was in warranty so the dealer fixed it. Within the last month and a half, had the radiator replaced, water pump, for the second time, and thermostat. Now it is still overheating and my mechanic found the head gasket leaking in the same place the original gasket blew. I have used 4 bottles of dex-a-cool along with all the repairs. The van will be out of commission for a week. Inconvenient cause I am on vacation and can't go anywhere, but convenient that it happened while I was on vacation.

- Pat W., Fort Walton Beach, FL, US

problem #3

Nov 102009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

Olds Silhoutte cooling system sucks. Works great for the first 90k - maintenance free, but after that it's craptastic. Use Prestone Dex 50/50 only. Flush it out at least ever 2 years, closer to annually as it gets older. If you take it somewhere either provide them with Prestone Dex or make sure they have it. Don't let them put ANYTHING else in there. It requires the Dex because normal coolants will corrode the system and make sludge ... cheapo jerk-wads used corrosive materials so you have to use this lame coolant. Also make sure it's totally full or entrapped air will also result in sludge.

- Dave A., Newark, DE, US

problem #2

Dec 012007

Silhouette ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

I did everything that the mechanic requested: tune-up, new tires, transmission flush, oil change, gaskets and thermostat. Yet my car won't work. So I take it back to the mechanic and they tell me that its the harmonic balancer. So I had that put on my car for $391. 55. Not less than 6 hours of paying $391.55, my car is in the parking lot and it will not start or do anything, so I call the mechanic and tell them where the car is located and they tow it back to the shop and tells me that the engine is SHOT !!! I don't know what to do !!! I've used up all my savings and my mothers savings and my friends and families savings.

- Jeffery G., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #1

Oct 212007

(reported on)

Silhouette 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

Engine temp gauge went up down up down and finally red lined. shut off vehicle to cool down. again temp went off the scale. hope I didn't damage vehicle engine. managed to limp back home. people told me it was a thermostat problem. ok, got a new one and put it in. a real pain in the butt to get it in, but I managed. still same problem. next techs said change the water pump. OK, got a new one - took out the old one - didn't look like anything wrong with it - volute (blades) were still intact. flushed out system and sucked out what I could with a shop vac. refilled with green prestone stuff and water 50/50 bled or burped the system like the GM tech told me. Seemed to have the problem solved. Temp went up to normal. Let the engine run for a good two hours. Took it out for a spin, well, temp shot up but not into the red. Made it back home. Steam was coming out of the right side bleeder - antifreeze mix was full in that plastic coolant recovery tank. Let the engine cool down, cracked the radiator cap - all that coolant got sucked back inside the engine and radiator. Went looking on the web for a fix - everybody's saying its the intake manifold gasket. Oh well, cars gonna sit right where it is until I get up the bucks to fix it. I hear all ranges of prices from $700 to over a thousand for the intake gasket plus labor. Social security doesn't pay enough to fix it in one low swoop. Gonna hafta stretch out repair money IF the dealer will go along with it. Enter me in the suit. GM makes crap now days.

- Thomas M., St Regis Falls, NY, US

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