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.
Car problem reports
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Most reported 1996 Oldsmobile 98 problems
The front struts may show signs of wear, or be excessively bouncy ride at freeway speeds. This may begin to occur at around 75,000 miles.
The high pressure power steering hose will commonly leak fluid; it should be replaced.
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.
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 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.
The mode and temperature door actuators may fail causing improper air flow or temperature output from the heating and AC (HVAC) system.
A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate.