Oldsmobile Automotive Repair Manuals

Interesting Facts About Oldsmobile You Probably Don’t Know – Common Problems – and PDF Manuals for Download…

In the year 1864, in the heart of Ohio at Geneva-on-the-lake, Ransom E. Olds was born to Sarah Whipple Olds and Pliny Fiske Olds, a pattern-maker and blacksmith.

Ransom had a passion for machines and automobiles. His passion drove him to open up a vehicle manufacturing company in Lansing, Michigan in 1987 known as Olds Motor Vehicle Company.

To increase his market share, Ransom, in 1899, sold his stake in the company to a local lumber magnate known as Samuel L. Smith who renamed the company Olds Motor Works.

Following the change in ownership, Ransom was retained on the staff as the Vice President and General Manager in charge of automobile design and manufacture.

In a bid to match the growing expansion, the company relocated its manufacturing headquarters to Detroit later in the same year.

Olds Motor Vehicle Company focused on gasoline, steam and electricity powered automobiles which did very well in the automotive market that by 1901 it was the largest mass producer of these class vehicles.

In an unfortunate event, the manufacturing plant in Detroit was burnt to the ground and only 1 prototype was saved, the Curved Dash prototype.

This was the flagship product for the new factory in Lansing. Because of its beautiful design and powerful engine, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was ranked the top selling vehicle in the United States between 1903 and 1904.

It is renowned for being the first mass produced car before Henry Ford’s Model T. Due to the popularity of the Olds automobiles, consumers found it easier to refer to them as ‘Oldsmobiles’ and thus marking the birth of an outstanding brand name.

Unfortunately, Ransom had irreconcilable differences with Samuel Smith’s son, Frederic, and left the company he founded at the close of 1904. He later founded a new vehicle manufacturing company known as REO Motor Car Company.

Following difficult financial times that could not match the increased popularity and demand of Oldsmobiles, Olds Motor Works was sold to General Motors conglomerate in 1908.

Under the new management, the company is credited for building some of the most memorable and exquisite vehicles including the Limited Touring of 1910, the Oldsmobile Six of 1926, the Viking in 1929, the Rocket V8 in 1957, the Turbo Jetfire in 1962, Aurora in 1995 and the Alero GLS in 2004.

During the Second World War, the Oldsmobile division diversified their business into developing war materials including large-calibre shells and guns for the American troops.

By mid-October 1945, as the war came to an end, vehicle production resumed.

Their engineering creativity led to the design and implementation of their Rocket design engine in 1949 which led the engine market up until the mid-1960s. In yet another memorable feat, Oldsmobile led the way in creating a wraparound windshield that would chart the way forward for modern day windshield designs.

The 1970s and 1980s were the best years for Oldsmobile division. Their Cutlass series range of cars did so well, outdoing other popular GM divisions like the Buick, Pontiac, Chevrolet and Cadillac, to become the third bestselling motor vehicle brand in the USA.

Unfortunately, Oldsmobile was never to relive these glorious years following immense competition from imported vehicle brands.

By April of 2004 the Oldsmobile division rolled its last car off the production block and closed its doors.

To date, Oldsmobile is recognized as one of the four oldest continuously operating automakers in the US alongside Peugeot, Daimler and Tatra.

Common Oldsmobile Problems

  1. Ignition Fault

Upon engaging the key in the ignition, the key will turn but the car will not start. This is a common problem amongst Oldsmobile vehicle owners and has been the cause of great frustration and inconvenience to users.

A thorough check-up by a qualified technician should be undertaken regularly. Make sure to change fuel pump and filter during regular car service.

In some cases there may be a problem with the ignition system or the security system. Ensure to have these checked regularly and replaced if found to be faulty.

  1. Security Light/Anti-Theft Light Error

It is found that when Oldsmobile vehicles refuse to start as expected, the security or anti-theft light will flash continuously or stay on until the car battery is removed. This is more of an annoyance than a technical issue and may cause distress to vehicle owners.

User reviews recommend turning the car ON for at least 10 minutes then switching it off before turning it to START. This should clear the annoyance. If not solved, then a visit to a qualified repair and maintenance professional is recommended.

Consider replacing the ignition lock system or anti-theft module or any malfunctioning fuses.

  1. Gear Fault

The later models of the Oldsmobile vehicles tend to skip or jerk or experience erratic shifting when gears are engaged. This can be dangerous for the driver and passengers as well as cause serious damage to the engine.

The problem is associated with mechanical faults in the transmission system which may affect how the gears behave when engaged.

Perform periodic checks on the car to ensure all the systems are working normally. Replace any worn or damaged parts as soon as identified.

Take note of the condition of the transmission and mounts, if any abnormality is noted have a specialist correct the problem.

  1. Faulty Air Condition/Heater System

Although not common across the various Oldsmobile models, the AC/heater system makes a squeaking sound when turned on.

Additionally, the system does not cool or heat the car as required. This may be annoying and uncomfortable for the occupants. Vehicles with this issue should have the AC/heater system assessed and any faulty parts replaced.

Make sure air filters and vents are free from dirt and debris.


Oldsmobile brand of vehicles hold the record as being some of the best vehicles in the 70s and 80s. Over the years, technological developments may have caused some worthwhile features to be overtaken by events.

It is therefore important that every Oldsmobile owner and dealer keep a service repair and maintenance manual on hand.

This will not only make narrowing down on problems easier but also make fixing them fast and efficient.


Purpose of this is to catalog and include one of most comprehensive, useful and accessible “automotive repair manual” database on the web for all Oldsmobile models.

It’s your go-to source for learning all about Oldsmobile – when you can’t find it elsewhere.

To get started, select the intended car model below…

About Us

Total Car Diagnostics helps fellow home car owners, mechanics, technicians, garage shops, engineers, ECU programmers and auto repair centers — to significantly cut down on maintenance, repair costs, time, money, energy... and all other frustrating headaches involved with dealing with vehicles — by providing cost-effective advice, tools and recommendations.

facebook Total Car Diagnostics  LinkedIn Total Car Diagnostics  YouTube Total Car Diagnostics

Home | About Us | Contact | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Tuning Disclaimer | Affiliate Program | Shop

Address: PO Box 1315, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, Australia. Support phone: (+61) 401 605 241

© Copyright 2019 by Total Car Diagnostics. All Rights Reserved.