1990 Oldsmobile 88 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1990 Oldsmobile 88 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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19
Known Problems

The outer tie rod ends on the steering linkage may wear causing excessive free play in the steering and uneven tire wear. If the worn tie rod ends are replaced, the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted as necessary.

The steering rack may fail causing a loss of power steering fluid as a result the steering may become hard to turn.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles and the spark plug boots should be checked for hot spots and cracks.

The mass air flow or crankshaft position sensor may fail causing the engine to stall intermittently. Proper diagnoses will be necessary to determine the cause of any stalling condition.

You may be able to prevent transmission problems by servicing the transmission and inspecting the fluid every 30,000 miles. If the fluid is dark or burned then the transmission system should be completely flushed.

An automatic transmission fluid leak may develop from the rubber section of a transmission cooler line. In some cases the rubber section of hose can be replaced. In others, the complete cooler line must be replaced to correct this type of leak.

The high pressure power steering hose will commonly leak fluid; it should be replaced.

The intake manifold gasket can develop external engine oil leaks. The intake manifold will need to be removed and the gaskets replaced to correct this issue.

Problems with anti-theft systems using the raised-chip key can prevent the car from starting. The wires in the steering column to the ignition lock cylinder tend to break. The key and ignition lock cylinder should be replaced to correct this condition.

The fuel pump can fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians highly recommend to replace your fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.

The upper intake manifold may develop an internal coolant leak causing one or more cylinders to fill with coolant. This can cause the engine to "hydro-lock" and not turn over. Removing the spark plugs will allow the engine to turn over pushing the coolant out of the spark plug holes. Replacing the upper intake plenum and gasket is commonly required to correct this condition.

The engine can be very difficult to start after this problem has been repaired, it can be helpful to clear as much of the coolant from the intake manifold and cylinders as possible before reassembling the intake manifold.

Our technicians highly recommend that the engine coolant be replaced every 30,000 miles.

The cam sensor interrupter (magnet) may become demagnetized and/or fall off of the camshaft gear causing the Check Engine Light (Service Engine Soon) light to illuminate. On higher mileage vehicles it would be advisable to replace the timing chain and gears if this problem were to occur as the timing cover must be removed to replace the interrupter.

The water pump may develop a coolant leak resulting in an engine overheating condition.

Our technicians recommend flushing the brake fluid every 60,000 miles.  Brake fluid that is dirty may cause problems in the brake system.