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Buick Regal



  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    Just a follow up to your fog light info...Thanks...

    ...and a nice upgrade to fogs is replacing the stock ones with Sylvania Silverstars, 893ST's...This along with Headlight bulb replacements with Silverstars gives much improved lighting...
  • gary2gary2 Posts: 4
    Dear Jack44
    In regards to your comments about changing fog lights...Do you mean just upgrade the bulbs? How much difference does it make?
    I have always thought the fogs did little more than look good and the regular headlights were weak and shadowy. I will look into your ideas. Thanks! Any ideas on how to clean the inside of headlight lenses? Mine are getting a film on the inside. I tried to get GM to replace under my extended warranty, but they wouldn't do it.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    Hi Gary2. If you mean the inside of the lens has condensation, this is a fairly common problem. Often happens due to high pressure wands at do-it-yourself car washes. The entire headlamp assembly can be easily removed without any tools. Just slide out a couple of black plastic clips from the back. On the back of the assembly are 3 or 4 round rubber covers. You can remove them and direct warm air from a hair dryer inside the lens to remove the condensation. If the film is something else, you can buy a new assembly, but the dealer wants over $200 for it, then probably another $75 to install and aim it. An alternative is eBay. Search on 'Buick headlight'. The same unit fits 1997 - 2004 Buick Regal and Century models. You can generally pick one up for under $50 plus another $10 or so for S&H. For that price you should get the assembly and all bulbs. Don't pay more. If all that is available are over $50, check back in a day or two. Of course, you will need to adjust the new headlight for proper aim after installation.
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    Re: Fog Light Upgrade......

    1. They do look better...
    2. They are far brighter than the "So Called Stock Fog Lights"...I live in a hilly forrested area with no light and I can turn off headlights and run just Fog Lights...Not that I do, but the illumination is really something...
  • gary2gary2 Posts: 4
    Thanks again, Wished I had known about the Silverstars the first time I replaced the fog bulbs. I will look into getting a set now or the next time they burn out. Can you buy them at any auto parts store? I expect they are pricey.

    As far as the film on my headlight lenses... it is not condensation, just a film that would wipe off nicely if you could get at it. It is not bad enough to want to go through the trouble to replace the entire assembly...yet. My dealer wanted $350 ea to do the entire job.

    Let me comment on something you said in your previous post....Normally you can't turn on the fogs without the headlights being on. And, if it is dark enough for the headlights to come on automatically, you can't turn them off....Unless you disable the auto system with a series of goofy steps I think is addressed in the owners manual.
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    I think...if you turn on only your parking lamps (in other words, pull open the headlamp knob only to the first step), the fogs can stay on. This can be done with or without your headlights set to come on automatically as it gets dark.
  • jjb1jjb1 Posts: 1
    What is the significance, if any, of the "Joseph Abboud" nameplate on Buick Regals? Relative just bought a 2001 used - has this tag on drivers door lower front (outside). Have noticed it on a couple other Regals in parking lots
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    I drive an '02 LS Abboud. Besides the little badges, the package included the GT suspension, 16" wheels, sunroof, leather, Monsoon radio and a few other options. Same car, LS or GS, otherwise. I got it because it had what I wanted for less than the options ordered separately.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I started to think about installing transmission radiator in my 2000 Regal GS - if my wife let me. And/or installing bigger brakes, probably Impala ones (11.9").

    Does anybody have experience with the mods? If yes, how much it costs? How long it takes? Where to do it: at dealer, performance shop, etc.?
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    There is a lot of information available on mods...You can check the vendors sites like or and for the best info where you can find out from people who have actually done what you are contemplating...Hope this helps...
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Thank you!
  • jpstax1jpstax1 Posts: 197
    I don't know if this subject has been brought up in the past, but I need a little help. The top portion of my '98 Regal's leather-wrapped steering wheel was peeling, so I had it replaced last month. The auto upholstery shop owner said that this is a common problem with many GM cars and some Fords too. He said that body oils in the fingers work their way into the leather and cause peeling. I asked him what to do to prevent it from happening again. He suggested using a good leather conditioner. I posted my problem in a different forum and some people suggested using "Coach Leather Moisturizer". My wife just happens to have a bottle of the stuff that she uses to clean her leather purses. However, the back label says "it is not to be used on suede, nubic, water buffalo, or on fabric and leather collections". Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Seems like if the leather wrap is really leather, the Coach moisturizer would be fine, wouldn't it? Not sure what they mean by "fabric and leather collections" - seems odd that a leather moisturizer shouldn't be used on whatever that is, though.

    If you haven't already, you might want to look through the various Town Hall discussions on leather. Most of them are archived, but they still have good information. There is one active one where you could also post. Just put "leather" into the keyword search on the left side of the page to find them.
  • dan1dan1 Posts: 76
    We traded in the Regal this weekend. Without a doubt the worst car I ever owned. Obviously the dealer agreed as we only got $2700.00 for it.

    Heres the final problem tally:

    water pump & seat heater
    carpet pulling out from sides
    oil and valve cover leaking

    Water in headlights had to replace 1 driving
    light after the OEM bulb burned a whole in it and it filled up with water.

    Dash display would go haywire.

    Fan/AC would only work on high or not at all.

    Various broken trim pieces.

    Various rattles and sqeaks.

    Windows creak if only halfway down.

    Check emissions light would come on after any extended highway time. Nothing found wrong?

    Worst paint on any car I have owned if they put any thinner of a coat on they would have to take some off.

    Automatic lights would click off an on then go out sometimes had to manually turn them on.

    You have to be standing next to the car to use the keyless remote.

    Thats all I remember, it will be a long time before I will consider another GM and I know everyone will say there are always lemons but I have been in two other Regal/Century's one with only 1k on the clock and it exibited some of the same problems as my 97.
  • jpstax1jpstax1 Posts: 197
    What year Regal are we talking about, and how many miles did you have on it when your problems arose? I too had leaking valve covers and oil seals, a bad water pump, and a flickering temperature display in my '98 GS that currently has 53K miles. However, I had the good sense to buy a 3 year extended warranty that covered all of those problems. Plus, my 3800 Series II engine has NEVER failed to start, even when it was 20 below zero outside. Any car owner should expect some minor problems from any car made on an assembly line. I'm sure Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, etc. owners have also had similar problems. Even BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes owners know that no car is perfect. Parts wear out from everyday usage.
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    Bye Dan...Enjoy your Honda...
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Shouldn't happen to any car, much less a "Premium" sedan built by Buick. Unless we're talking about more than, say, 100K miles. I've owned two Regals, '99 and '02, and haven't seen any of those troubles. Nor have I seen more than 40K miles, either. So, are you unlucky and I'm just lucky? Hey, we're talking about a $20,000 - $30,000 purchase here! My Honda/Toyota/Nissan/BMW driving friends, spending similar money, don't have those kinds of problems, either. Anyway, as far as new cars go, well, forget Regals, and, soon, Centurys. Replaced by LaCrosse, coming out of the same factory. LaCrosse is built on the same old platform, so it's NOT an all-new car, like the new real good looking Chrysler 300 which is being marketed as a "premium" sedan, too. Everyone says the new Buick model will be assembled much better, which still begs the question of how reliable those little parts like displays, lights, gaskets, etc. will be. But we Buick loyalists shouldn't accept anything less than the competition offers - or buy something else.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    97 is the first year the current model of Regal was built. With average American car running 12k miles per year, I would expect the car to have about 80k to 90k+ miles on odometer.

    According to Edmunds, the typical trade-in price for the make and model, with typical options, are about $3375 for LS trim, $3800 for GS. Given the discussed car had (broken) heated seats and auto climate, it probably was loaded. The $2500 trade-in means that either the dealer haggles better, the car was in really bad shape, or/and it have much more than 90k miles on speedometer.

    Regal was updated in 1999(?) or possibly 2000: water bottle was moved to different side, some changes with not supercharged engine, less chrome, etc. According to recent Consumer Reports, Regals are the most reliable used cars. It means that less problems were reported by CR subscribers who own Regals than by Camry or Accord owners. However, it is for 99 or 2000 and later years, not 97-98.
  • dan1dan1 Posts: 76
    It was a 97 Regal GS and had 19k on it when we purchased it and was traded with 87K. These problems occured throughout the 5 or so years we had it. The oil was changed every 3k to 5k miles and while it was not in excellent condition (it wasn't when we bought it, carpet was stained and it had a minor dent on one door), it still looked nice. The water pump, seat heater, dash lights, driving light, broken center console doors, power window switch all happened in the first 2 to 3 years of ownership. Oh and I forgot the key would not come out of the ignition unless you pushed the release under the stearing column.

    Yurakm if you really want to go by CR they also list about 10 GM products as worst picks. I personally don't hold to much faith in CR or JD Powers for that matter as the data gathering methods can be somewhat suspect. You can make statistics say whatever you want.
    This car was not abused my wife drove it primarily as a family hauler.

    Jpstax1 yes no car is going to be problem free but this car was rediculous! And as I said I drove 2 others one was a 2001 with similar problems.

    Jack44 we didn't buy a Honda we bought an 03 Explorer. Do I think Fords are perfect no, but for me and a lot of my relatives and friends they have been the best of the domestics.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I feel with you!

    Our car, a 98 Malibu, requires serious repairs about two times a year. Between the repairs it is fan to drive: very nimble, precise steering, holds our twisty hilly CT roads very well, and is tight as a drum. Great in city traffic and good on country roads. The only complain - it is bit underpowered on highways, especially when merging or when passing uphill.

    However, the repairs are annoying. We had to replace transaxle at 47k, two different parts of A/C at about 55k+ and 65k+, alternator at about 65k, coolant tank fell apart at about 55k. A coolant leak developed from intake manifold soon after the original warranty expired. $500+ in labor to replace the gasket. Another gasket cost $200+. Water in rear right lamp. Several items were covered by the original warranty: speakers, sensor of closed door, resistor in fan switch, etc., etc.

    However our second car, a 2000 Regal GS, is fine. Not impeccable, of course. There were two initial problems: a defective multifunction stalk switch in steering column and warped dash which rattled like mad. Dealer replaced the switch and, after some pressure and unsuccessful attempt to fix it, he replaced the whole dash. No single problem since.

    Yes, we put only 35k miles on the car, but these are mostly city miles. The car was built 4.5 years ago, in November 99, and bought in October 2000. Enough time for problems to develop. It sat on a dealer lot for almost whole year, but we do not see bad consequences. It also withstood an accident without problems. The regal was rear-ended on highway; only muffler and bumper cover were replaced.

    We bought the Regal new, while the Malibu was bought used, with 15k miles. With the experience, I would wary of slightly used cars: Often it is something wrong either with the vehicle, or with the previous owner, or with the both. Probably an abused car repossessed early, or the first owner dumped it, because was unhappy, or it was a lemon bay-back... I also would avoid new models for the first year or two.

    Concerning CR. Their user surveys definitely are somewhat skewed. However, it is better to have imperfect information, than no information at all. By the way, the "soft" data always are not precise.
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