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Buick Century

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  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I would check with a place that can knock out minor dents without repainting. There are franchise outfits called Dent Doctor and Dent Wizard. Then maybe some buffing or minor touchups would get the remainder out.

    For the mirror, I would check around with the used part dealers. You may be able to buy a complete assembly less expensively, or even if you find a damaged one that the mirror is not broken on, you could perhaps salvage the parts you need, even if the used housing is not in the best shape.
  • bekenbeken Posts: 2
    Back in 1999, I factory ordered, through a dealership a Buick Century Limited. I found the car to be well put together, comfortable and since it was a family car and not a hot rod, pretty well what I needed. Bang for the buck was excellent for features and assembly quality. My problems began after the dealer serviced the car. It seems something unrelated goes wrong shortly after. ie. After the first oil change, I had to bring it back a week later because the oil life monitor was not reset by the service person and there was grease inside the car. The car experienced an attempted break in and after replacing the locks, the door did not fit properly and I needed to bring it back 5 times to have the alignment of the door adjusted. There was a recall to do with the ABS and about 3 months after, the front wheel of the car fell off (YES it Fell off!). The 5 bolts were sheared at the same place indicating the bolts were not properly tightened but since they sheared at the same place, they were torqued exactly the same. Dealer claimed they never removed the tires so I must have tampered with them. Go figure, blame the customer when you don't know how to deal with an issue. 200 miles after the warranty expired, dealer informed me I had a leak in a steering seal and it would cost me $1500.00 the have the steering rack replaced. The claim was the seal was a wear and tear item and would not be covered under warranty anyways. After a few angry letters to GM and the dealership, they covered it under goodwill. 4 months later, the water pump went and was replaced at my cost

    . 4 months later again, the engine intake manifold gasket developed a leak and cost me $600 to have replaced. The car has not gone back to a GM dealership since and except for an oil change and tire rotation, nothing else has gone wrong (cross my fingers).

    I find the car reasonably well designed and if the problems I've experienced are factory issues, then I have a lemon since there does not seem to be another car I've heard of or every owned that has had all these things happen. My suspicion is more to do with the dealership servicing.
  • tunefultuneful Posts: 35
    Hi everyone. I found Edmunds some months ago, got lots of good info here, have been on a lot of test drives and rentals, and am finally close to getting a car. Can you help me narrow it down? I am looking for a smooth, quiet ride; reliability; value. I just drive myself most of the time.
    I have some injuries that cause me physical problems, so I don’t like being bounced around. Also, it’s hard for me to get a good driving position (short arms). Power seat helps; telescopic wheel is ideal. Car must not be expensive to maintain. Neither an econobox nor large (city parking). I’d like to pay cash, $15K on down. I’m thinking about Century. I'm younger than the typical Buick image, but... It seems like it has a smooth, quiet ride, it’s available used at a good price (though not as cheaply as a Taurus?), and I can get a pretty good position with a power seat. After various experiences (including rentals), I have ruled out Hyundais, Mitsu’s, Volvos, Toyotas, the Altima (loved the seat but minded its suspension which seemed bumpy and noisy), and Honda.
    So, Century, Impala, Taurus—am I missing any other “floaty” types? Pros, cons? Any advice appreciated as I’m purchasing over the next few days. And, for the Century, is to worth it to get a relatively new one (say 2000-02) vs. a cheaper older one? Would also consider leasing a car if it is more $ but otherwise meets my needs. Thanks, folks!
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    While I do not own a Century, I actually considered one last year. I too am younger than the stereotypical age...35. My wife really liked it, and the ride is super smooth and quiet. I know quite a few people at my church with them, as well as a few personal friends. They all love them and have no problems. It also gets very good gas mileage for such a peppy engine.

    If you buy one and plan on keeping it awhile, I'd go for a new one because they have a $3500 rebate and you get the 3 year warranty. We have a dealer in Pittsburgh that sells at $100 over invoice, then factors in the rebate. I'm not a fan of used cars, especially century's since the off-lease ones for sale are often company cars, and may not be well cared for.

    Also check out the Impala. I prefer the seating position of the Impala...more upright. The base Impala has a smooth ride. The taurus is ok and well built, but the ride takes a back seat to the Buick and Impala.

    Best Wishes!
  • tunefultuneful Posts: 35
    Thanks, JP, for your support (sniff sniff :-) on being younger than senior-citizen age and considering a Buick. What I see as its pros: smooth ride, solid feel, high on the reliability list for American makes, decent ergonomics for me. Cons: sedan not as functional as an SUV or wagon; brand commonly seen as stodgy; offered only in "Limited" trim now. (Anyone knwo if they are planning to phase the century out?) That is useful to know about all the fleet sales.
    I've been hesitant to buy new, because most Amer cars depreciate rapidly and I'm not sure I will love it enough to drive it for 10 years.
    I like the Imp and will test-drive it again. But it has a lot more noise than the Century--engine, suspension, and road noise.
    I am probably going to toss out the Taurus.
    Any other thots on the Century vs. similar vehicles are most welcome...
    Thanks! --Tuneful
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,190
    I think someone posted in Regal an article about LeSabre and REgal being changed and really getting a more "European" flair in 2005. I think that said Century will be gone in lieu of REgal, which is same car.
    Aren't the Impala and Gran Prix the same?
    And Century/REgal and Olds Intrigue the same?
  • bekenbeken Posts: 2
    If it's a cushier (smooth and quiet) ride you want, the Century is a good bet. I did found it quieter and smoother than the Taurus, Impala and any of the Japanese standards (Accord, Camry, Altima). I also like the idea of a bench seat up front for those wanting to avoid getting a mini-van. You can seat 3 up front in a pinch. However, sporty, the Century is not. If you treat it as a sedan and not a rally racer, then you probably don't need sportcar seating either. The seating is more like a livingroom sofa. I went for the Limited version (1999) because it included the magnasteer variable rate steering. This is good because the base steering was way overboosted. Also, though ABS was standard on the Custom, traction control was also standard in the Limited model. The seat covering material(if you go for cloth) is more substantial in the limited version also.

    If you go for the used Limited model, it's more likely it is a lease return rather than a rental. Most, if not all, the rental Century's are standard Custom models.

    I also drive a 1999 Honda Accord (4cyl). The Honda feels "sportier" and lighter but in reality, the Century is a faster car. The quiet interior sort of hides that from you. The Honda cost about $1000 more and does not have ABS, Traction control, dual zone AC, power trunk lid, theft deterrant, and a bunch of other useful creature comforts.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Not to speak against the Century, but the Impala is just about as quiet as the Century. The Impala standard tires are very quiet, and the Impala 3.4 is, when pushed hard, quieter than the Century 3.1.

    Sometimes, I think the Century ride feels softer due to the ultra plush seats.
  • turkeytopturkeytop Posts: 1
    I bought a new 03 century two weeks ago. I am generally happy with it except for one thing. The ignition system radiates a lot of electrical noise,
    so much that it causes interference to AM radio reception. Is this a common fault and is there a fix?
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I have a 2002 Buick Century with almost 33,000 miles on it and i've been noticing a pulsation on and off from time to time when going 70 mph, would this be in the fuel filter or would the fuel injectors would need to be cleaned?

    If so would a fuel injector cleaner work from an auto parts store?

    Please advise
    MasonMI
  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    i am considering purchasing a used 96 or 97 century as a second car.i would appreciate any comments on what kind of problems these vehicles encounter and what to look out for..thanks
  • Hi Vidtech,
    We had the 96 century with stalling problem. It needed the fuel pump to be replaced since it was heating up and sending the fuel intermitently. I would suggest 1997 and newer. Per consumer reports review. 97 and newer had far few problems than older ones.
    Good luck.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I'm looking to replace my original am/fm cassette player with a Delco CD player, does anyone happen to know the model #'s for the Combo Cassette/CD Player and just the CD player itself for a 2002 Buick Century?
  • hardy7hardy7 Posts: 1
    Has anyone else had problems with the pedal placement and angles on the Buick Century or other GM vehicles? Much to my horror, the change in the pedals on my new Buick 2003 has injured my right foot. (I have been driving a 91 Old Cutless with no trouble.) My foot has not stopped hurting since I bought the car. I have investigated various options including having the pedals repositioned which cannot be done. Evidently these changes were done for safety. But people who have driven in certain positions for 25+ years cannot always change. I know other drivers who have had similar problems with other vehicles.
  • tunefultuneful Posts: 35
    In a word, yes. I don't have a solution for you, unfortunately, I can only confirm your impression. I'm shopping and have driven a few Buicks recently (either rentals or test-drives). I like them a lot, but the big beef I have consists of the pedal positions and the force it takes to press the brake (both when compared with other cars I've driven). I felt like I had to lift my whole right leg up to move back and forth between accel and brake and had to press the brake extra hard. Don't know if these are the issues you are having as well? I like to leave my heel in one position and kind of pivot back and forth, that's never been a problem for me before, but it was with these cars. Now, many people may not have this problem. I hope there is something that can be done to help you. Modifications are often possible for persons with disabilities, so I would see--you should research disability mobility organizations. I hate it, too, when they make changes like this -- they do it a lot in shoes, too, so a brand I can rely on one year is not the case the next year... final thought, wonder if a podiatrist could create a shoe insert (?) that would help. Best of luck to you.
  • I bought a 2003 Cardinal Red Metallic Century two weeks ago for under $17.6K You can't beat that, especially since it was loaded, incl. P/S and traction control. I was a confirmed Camry driver but the price differential was substantial. With a bad back, the Century seats were winners. What comfort. The pedals are stiff but I prefer it to the mushy Camry and Subarus I am used to. Yes there is static on the radio but that is typical American. The buttons are not as intuitive as the Japanese but in a month, it will be reflex as usual.

    The trunk is great and the wheels are big. The six passenger seating (Bench seats) is nice too. Maybe that's why the seat are comfortable.

    The engine is 175hp and gas mileage is great at 29 highway. I drive 30K/year so that is important. So far, the only problems have been:

    Static as I mentioned
    Stuck rear window which a little WD4o addressed (I guess the car was sitting on the lot for a long time).
    Too much to remember e.g., reset oil change warning by stepping on accelerator three times fast, reset tire inflation monitor each time tire rotated by removing fuse box and hitting reset, etc.). A lot of this seems to be in place to have you visit the dealer but the instructions are in the manual so I'l learn them.

    The spare is a donut which I find to be a disgrace. Camry gives you, or at least used, a full sized spare.

    A remote starter would have been nice but it was not offered and my dealer won't install one.

    The doors swing wide open but they also close very easily given their size.

    The car is 300lbs heavier than a Camry which is nice.

    I must be one of the few young (37) converts back to American but so far so good. I like the feel, look, value, power, and reliability scores. My 97 Camry was new model year and the problems wre persistent. On the other hand, my wife's 91 Camry (sold for the Buick) had over 163K miles and was bulletproof. The rust got it but the engine, alternator, transmission, radiator, distributor, CV joints, stereo, AC, shocks and struts, etc. were original. What a car.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    I am 38 and like the Century too. I drive Japanese compacts right now but grew up with GM products. I have owned two Saturns and if I needed a larger car it would definitely be a Century, for the same reasons as you stated, inexpensive, 6 passenger seating, good torquey powertrain with excellent fuel economy. Add to that, the Buick Century and its Regal variant are two of the highest quality and most durable mid size cars on the market, even compared with the Japanese competition.

    I do not like the appearance of either the current Accord or the Camry. The Buick is no stunner but has far better proportions than the slab sided Camry or the droopy looking Accord. Plus my Civic with its flat floor already seats five people (everyone is small in my family). The only reason for me to get a mid size would be for the extra seating.

    I drive a lot each year on my cars and on rentals. I always try and get a mid size GM product which, to me, provide the most comfortable, safe motoring over very long hauls. The Camry also has a nice soft ride (but usually not available from rentals) while the Accord is as firm and noisy as my Civic, although a pleasure to drive for shorter trips (up to a couple of hours).

    I am glad GM is making such great strides in quality. It feels weird after driving their cars for over two decades, not having one in my garage now. I still have lots of money on my GM Visa card too....
  • Recently had my car in for a few days at the dealership.... again.( 99 Malibu, nuff said)Rental agency asked what kind of car i wanted I said whattya got? Gave me a 2003 Century Custom
    with 18000 km on it. As soon as i drove it 2 blocks i was in love, SMOOOOOTH is all i can say.Hard to believe this car has the same 3.1 V-6
    my Malibu has. Even liked the Navy blue color
    and the bench seats.Gotta have one when the extended warranty runs out on my Bu.

    Happy New Year To All enjoy your cars.
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    You wont regret it, The Century is a lot of car for the money, reliable, cheap on gas, smooth, quiet, in other words its the caddy of the poor peoples !!
  • Hi everyone! My 2000 Buick Century has developed a coolant leak at 114,000 kilometers Mechanic (non-dealer) says that intake manifold gasket must be replaced (and hopefully nothing more). GM put out a Technical Service Bulletin in March, 2003 for this problem recommending that "a new design intake manifold gasket" (different gasket material) be installed to replace leaky gasket. Has anyone been successful in getting GM to do repairs under warranty? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • Hi Neva

       I too have a 3.1 litre In My 1999 Chevrolet

    Malibu. This Car has had the Intake Manifold

    Gasket repaired TWICE ! First Time At 71,000 Km

    Second time at 109,000. The mechanic at my

    Toronto Ont. area dealership told me GM is using

    an improved Gasket material that should improve

    the longevity. (HMMM) As far as GM Replacing it,

    unless you have an extended warranty (I DO on

    my Malibu) I doubt they will, seeing as you're

    past the 3 YR/ 60,000 Km Factory Warranty. If you

    pressure your dealership you never know. As far

    as cost of repair goes i've heard everything

    from $500.00 at a local garage to $1000.00 at

    the Dealer, so get some estimates Sadly, this is

    a known flaw on GM 3.1 litre Engines. Take a look

    On the Chevy Malibu Forum almost everyone has had

    this problem. Hope this is helpful. Good Luck

    with Your Car. We are thinking of buying a Century

    Had one as a rental when the Bu was in the shop. Is it a good

    everyday Car ? Reliable ? Only had it for an overnight so it was

    kinda hard to tell.First impression was good. smooth ride and very

    quiet interior. Any Thoughts ??
  • Hey, guys,I am looking into a 00'Buick Century Custom at 75K miles. The price is $5100 for Zip code 14623. It was a leased car before. Very nice in and out. Is it a good deal at all?
    One more thing is that I notice the power window only works at the master controller. I read something in this forum and found this might be a persistent problem, is it true? Also, for a car at this high mileage, when would I expect to throw money in for major repair. Please give your opinion and thanks very much.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Has anyone changed out the air filter in their 3.1L V6 lately? How do you get the cover off without breaking something?! Thanks.
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    Disconnect the duct at both ends.
    Disconnect first the two connector at the map sensor, pull out the plastic pipe from the duct also.not more than 20 mn
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Many thanks baveus. Air filter job done. Needed some encouragement, and your words did the trick.

    Getting rubber duct off was troublesome. Before your post I tried removing it from end where air filter element box is. Nope.

    After disconnecting sensor wires (putting them in safe out of the way place) and PCV, and loosening the strap screws at both ends, wrapped both hands around end of duct at engine end, then gave it a short twist to bust it loose. Grabbed the accordian part of the duct and gave it a good healthy pull to remove it from the engine. From there it was pretty easy.

    This is my son's car. Just got it. '03 rental return (Hertz). Considerate Dad is changing out oil, oil filter, air filter and cabin filter.

    Here's the scary part. When engine was stone cold, removed radiator cap and found orangish-yellowish crud at the top of the filler neck. Vehicle only has 23,400 miles on it. Recovery tank was at the FULL mark as expected, but the coolant was about 3/4 inch below the top of the filler neck.

    Took it to Jiffy Lube and for $92 US (with AAA discount) they power flushed the system with new Dex-cool. But wonder: is it too late? Is the crud everywhere in the radiator, water pump, engine sleeves? There's still 11k+ miles left on warranty, but wonder what GM would do about it.
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    I doubt that the stuff describe is crud.It's probably the stop leak that GM put at the factory.
    I had some of that stuff in my Pontiac Montana recovery thanks. That stuff looked like saw dust paste.

    I doubt that the cooling system is contaminated at such low milleage, but hey, its hard to tell from here !!
  • We are currently test driving a 2003 Buick Century Custom. It has 17,000 miles on it and they want around $11,500 for it --- does that sound reasonable? They also have a 2003 Buick with 29,000 miles on it and they want $9,995 for it, that seems like a lot of miles for only being one year old. They also call it a program car. What is that? Please help.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Hi avgens. My son just purchased an '03 Century with 23k miles for $9995. It came with anti-lock brakes and the Concert III 200-watt sound system. The $11,500 sounds like full retail. If it doesn't come with anti-locks I would walk away. Where we are (Minneapolis area) there are scads of '03s w/24k miles, but w/o anti-locks, for $9995. A program car is typically a rental car coming out of service. My son's was from Hertz. They aren't bad deals, really, considering that the car itself is pretty good and there's still the balance of the bumper-to-bumper factory warranty. Many banks let you finance these year-olds as if they were new '04s. You can also purchase an extended warranty for around $1200 (shop around; I hear Warranty Direct is pretty good). If you buy one, strongly suggest you change out fluids (oil, Dexcool) and filters (oil, air, passenger cabin) as soon as you get it home. Good luck.
  • lelandllelandl Posts: 11
    2000 century coustom
    46000 mi
    keyless entry
    cruise
    cassettee
    ABS
    power W/L and driver seat
    1 owner
    some crack on windshield
    from a used car dealer
    he is firm at $6100
    KBB trade is $4900 Private party $6900
    Edmunds Trade in $5600 private party $6800

    What's you guys opinion about this?
    Is that a reasonale price?
    Which particular part should pay special attention when mechanical check?
    thanks much!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
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