Question about 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais

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Transmission 1990 olds calais

1990 Olds Calais front wheel drive Will not drive in reverse until I have had engine warm for a long while isn't as bad the rest of the day, afraid tranny is going out, called shop they say $1200 for rebuilding. Crazy price with only a 6 mos. warranty are these cars known for problems with tranny it only has 118,000 original miles.

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With a 118,000 miles on this old girl its time to say good bye . fix the trans then rhe engine will start nickle and diming you to death. move on and trade up for something else . don't mean to be crule but spend money on something newer.

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

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I have had a 1990 Olds Cutlass Calais since it had 2 miles on it. I am the original owner. Usually if you have trouble with it going into Reverse, the next gear that you will have trouble with it going into is 1st. I have had to replace the master/slave
cylinder, which is a dealer item and it comes prefilled. It's a single part. I drove from KS to OKC to get the master/slave cylinder. Once it goes all the way out, you are without transportation. A lot of times you can get a tranny shop to just see if they think that is what is going out for free, if you are not that familiar with working on vehicles. There is nothing wrong with not being able to work on cars. I'm sure that there are a LOT of things that people CAN do that I can't. Don't let them tear into the tranny for an opinion, If they agree, I'd order one in from a dealer before it does go out and get it replaced before it goes out. Maybe I should ask for sure exactly what Engine you have in your Olds as well as what Transmission. I have been assuming that you have a 2.3 L 4 cyl. Do you also know your VIN (letter)? If you have a VIN A, that's what I have been giving you info. for. Let me know if this solves the problem. Oh, I have never had any engine problems and I have 180,000 original miles on my car. Take care and I really hope that this helps. I do have a shop manual that I have put to good use if you have any other ?'s. Some of us just can't get the muscle cars out of our blood!!! Good Luck and have a Great Day!!!

Posted on Jan 14, 2009


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Whatyrwas the cutlass calais manfufactured,and was there ever a stands hift trans in any olds cutlass calais??

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Here's some History on the Cutlass Calais.

March 1982 to replace Starfire, Lansing's version of the front-drive 101.2-inch-wheelbase corporate J-body subcompact failed to attract more than about 45,000 customers in most years -- except for 1984, when it garnered a credit­able 82,500 -- even though Olds tried most everything it could think of to sell it.

1988 the Firenza had offered all the J body styles, sporty GT and SX variants, overhead-valve and overhead-cam fours, optional V-6, and a confusing procession of price-leader and luxury models. But nothing seemed to work, and Olds gave up after '88. Firenza was no great loss, though, because 1985 brought a more-sale-able small Olds in the N-body Calais, called Cutlass Calais after 1988. Sized between Firenza and Omega on a 103.4-inch wheelbase, it bowed as a rounded, short-deck coupe in two versions: base and -- just to confuse things -- Supreme. Four-door sedans were added for 1986.
There was a lot of J-car engineering under the "modern formal" styling, and initial engine choices were the Ciera's familiar Pontiac-built four and 3.0-liter Buick V-6. Even so, customers generally liked this new bottle of old wine, snapping up 100,000-plus in the first year and better than 150,000 of the '86s -- about midway between the similar Pontiac Grand Am and Buick Skylark/Somerset.
For 1988, Calais coupes and sedans grouped into base, luxury SL, and sporty International Series (the last replacing a GT package option), but the big news was the first twin cam, 16-valve four-cylinder engine in American production, the Quad-4. Designed and built by Olds and offered as an across-the-board Calais option, it delivered 150 rather rough and noisy horses, but was claimed capable of much more.
Olds proved it by adding a tuned 180-bhp version for 1989. A more-useful option that year was a new 3.3-liter derivative of the 173-cid Chevrolet-sourced V-6. Replacing the Buick-built 3.0, it also produced 160 bhp -- and more torque than even the "High Output" Quad-4. To fill in for the departed Firenza, prosaically named Value Leader Calais models appeared for '89 with less standard equipment and restricted options but lower prices.
Enthusiasts surely shuddered when the 442 returned (sans hyphens) as a performance option for the base 1990 Calais coupe. Olds said the name now designated "Quad-4, 4 valves per cylinder and 2 camshafts."
Included in the $1667 package were the 180-horse Quad-4, five-speed manual transaxle, a specific version of Oldsmobile's FE3 sport suspension, meaty 215/60R14 performance tires on alloy wheels, full instrumentation, a cute rear-deck spoiler, and bold "442" exterior I.D. "Buff books" gave this latest 442 a lot of ink, but customers mostly gave it the cold shoulder.
Even a hallowed name on an honestly speedy little car couldn't convince many that Olds still specialized in high performance the way it had in the '50s and '60s.

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Reverse won't work in morning till car has been warmed

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