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Buick Century Maintenance and Repair



  • vanguard1vanguard1 Posts: 2
    Well, I don't own a Buick, but all my Fords, and my Jeep had this problem. The problem was lowered resistance in the circuit allowing more current to reach that lamp, making it flash faster. The left and right circuits are parallel, and independent of each other, which is why the other side works fine and some other bulbs work in the same circuit. It's not the fuse, no lights would work if it were. If the car was ever hit, look for an open in the circuit where it was hit, using a test light, or an ohmeter. I think you are on the right track, you may have a blown bulb in the right side but from what you said, it sounds like its in the dash. Buy yourself a Chiltons or Haynes manual and check the circuit. Manuals are cheaper than mechanics. Good Luck. :shades:
  • vanguard1vanguard1 Posts: 2
    Iignition switch in the column? Ask your dad if the switch feels a bit loose. This happens with a lot of GM cars. I doubt it would trigger a code either. Those things go when the keychain is extra heavy. My dad had a lot of keys. :)
  • It sounds like you have problems with the Pressure control solenoid valve (PCS Valve). My Century 2000 had the same problem, GM has a TSB on this, it affects the 4T65E Transmission. I had mine fixed, $615.00, but this car still has a lot of problems. Anyhow, I've got a serious problem of my own --

    Last September, just after the car had the tranny work, it broke down. When it happened, I was turning, maybe going 10 mph. The car began grinding and shuddering -- this was coming from the engine area. It was loud. If you've ever heard a cell phone or electric shaver/trimmer in vibrate mode that was placed on a counter or table top -- that was the sound my car made -- only it was about twenty times as loud. Anyhow, the car began jerking badly. I hit the brake pedal but it kept pulling. The steering wheel felt like it was stuck in wet cement and I had to use both hands to turn it. The car kept puuling, then finally stopped and stalled. The car would restart, but when put into gear, stalled. The radio and headlights worked fine. Had it towed to the dealer. They could not find anything wrong; apparently the car started for them the next day. Whatever.

    Fastforward to about two weeks ago. The grinding noise returned. The steering wheel was fine this time, but the car, once more, did not want to stop. I was going around 20-25 mph. The car stopped this time but did not stall. The noise grew louder. The light turned green. I took my foot off the brake and the car accelerated to 20 mph -- without my foot on the accelerator. I was on a flat road. Several seconds later the grinding stopped, and the car drove again. It did not return until This past Thursday, same thing.

    Does anyone have any idea what this could be? The shop doesn't know, and neither does anyone else. Also, has anyone else had as many problems with their Century? This car only has 79,000 miles on it. Since September it has accumulated $2,500 in repairs, and it still has this problem.
  • caseyleahcaseyleah Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Buick Century with 98k miles on it and about 6 months ago the low coolant light came on so we inspected it and it looked like there was mud or clay inside the radiator cap. A couple people suggested that the dexcool coolant probably just mixed with some regular green coolant and that I should just get it flushed. I did get it flushed but never did check it afterwards and I noticed that it was running just a tiny bit hotter than it was before. Two days ago the light came on again and we checked the radiator cap again and same problem. Now it runs way too hot while it is idling but cools down to normal while driving. Think I got screwed the first time I had it flushed? Or is there a problem with the engine, perhaps, where the oil is getting mixed with the coolant to cause the brown muck? The engine and tranny are leaking some. Anyone else had any similar problems?
  • It sounds like Stop Leak to me. This substance has been used for years to stop leaks, and it works -- for a while. However, after this stuff has solidified and stopped the leak, the chemical make-up of it begins to change. It eventually turns to putty, breaks up, and floats around your entire cooling system. This putty-like material then clogs other areas -- areas never intended to be clogged. This can cause big problems! I bought my car used and it had this "stop leak" stuff in it. The problem is, when this stuff is first put in, it's literally undetectable. After a while, though, I noticed my reservoir tank and radiator cap had muddy stuff on it. This was the stop leak fluid after it had turned to putty. It clogged my intake plenum gasket. Cost to fix was over $1,000 as the engine had to be completely taken apart. Thank goodness I have that extended warranty!

    If stop leak is the culprit, don't put anymore in, as it could get into other parts of the car outside the cooling system, i.e. engine. From your description that sounds like the culprit. However even when my car was losing coolant rapidly and had this leak, it did not run extra hot, so that part of the story has me scratching my head. Good luck with your car.
  • rhenstirrhenstir Posts: 1
    you are not alone my 2000 century does the same with a high pieced whining that sound like it is comming from the trans cannot pinpoint what is yet will let you know
  • bluesky5bluesky5 Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem. just bought a Century 2000 a couple days ago
    and have the same problem. Sometimes I stop the car in traffic and
    the engine is still racing like the trottle stuck open or it still runs on
    high gear. Returning the gear to the parking position won't solve the
    problem. What made it even worse is that the car will abruptly accelerate
    when the gear switches from parking to other gears when this happens.
    I have this problem two times already among four days I own this vehicle.
    Anyone has any ideal what causes this and how much it may be to fix this?

    The guy selling me the car is a fairly reasonable guy and we have some
    nice talk with him and his wife ... but just in case, I am in MA. Is there
    a lemon law covering severe mechinical problems. I have this car less
    than 6 days.

  • jbankstonjbankston Posts: 3
    I have a 1998 Buick Century. It has had a vibration problem between the speeds of 45 to 55 ever since I bought it. The Buick Dealership said it was the tires. I bought four new tires and have had them rotated and balanced twice and still have the vibration. The people at Goodyear (where I got the tires) assured me it was not the tires when I brought the car back again to have the tires looked at because I was still having vibration. They said that there had to be something wrong with the car. I took it back to the Dealership and told them I had put on new tires and had had them balanced and rotated but my car was still having a vibration problem. When I called to check on my car they told me the tires needed to be rotated and balanced (for $180) :mad: . I told them I had just had that done (like two days prior) and that this was the second time I had brought in for the same problem. The Dealeship got amnesia and said it was the first time he had looked at my car and wanted me to bring it back for further investigation. That is what he was suppose to do the first time, not just make an assumption as to what was wrong. Oh well.

    Has anybody out there experienced some of the same poblems and is there a cure?? :sick:
  • On three occasions now, my 2002 Buick Century would not start after I filled the gas tank. The engine would crank but would not start (almost like a vacuum lock). After waiting 10-15 minutes, the car starts and runs normally. The only thing the dealer could suggest was that there was a theft-deterrent device that would not allow the car to be started for 10-15 minutes. They made a new ignition key and reset the computer to solve the problem, but (of course) the same thing happened again yesterday when I filled the tank. Any suggestions?
  • stevelordstevelord Posts: 1
    This can be really serious. My wife had the throttle jam at 70 mph ofn the freeway, slammed on the brakes, exited the freeway at high speed, ran a stop sign and finally stopped it by throwing it is park and stalling the engine. This saved her and my kids but trashed the brakes and required over $800 in brake work. The brakes were so over heated that the hub caps melted. I talked to Buick customer assistance and they told me it was a used car so tough luck.
    I took it to the dealer and he says that the problem is the floor mat. It can get pulled down into the hole where the accelerator cable goes through the floor and jam it. The simple solution is remove the floor mat. I f you really want to keep the mat then you need to secure it by wiring it to the seat or something. You may want to train possible drivers about this and tell them yopu can put the car in neutral if this happens. My wife was afraid to do this because the though the power steering would fail and she would not be able to steer. I feel we need to notify NHTSA about this so would like to get your name and email so I can show this problem is more widespread than ust out occurrence.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    next time just shut the key off.


  • Ok, First of all, YES I am a woman with limited knowledge on car maintenance and repair. I bought a 1995 Buick Century in March of this year. I love the car and it has plenty of space for my 3 year old son. Two weeks ago while i checked my oil and found it to be at the correct level, I noticed my coolant reservoir was a little dark. When I opened the top of it I was shocked to find oil in my coolant! :mad: I have taken my car to two places and called a few to diagnosis this problem. All 5 places I have contacted say it sounds like my intake manifold gasket is the culprit. Yesterday I took it in to have the intake manifold gasket replaced at 7:30 am. At 3 pm when my boyfriend called to see how the car was coming along, they told him that it would be done in the next 10 minutes, BUT there was a crack in my oil pan near the drainage bolt. They also stated that there was some tan epoxy type stuff that prevented them from taking the bolt off. They said they had to chisel it away to remove the bolt. Now when I bought the car, my dad inspected it over and under and did not see any epoxy or anything on the oil pan. Last week Monday I had an oil change done at Wal-Mart. The garage I took it to to get my gasket replaced is saying Wal-Mart did this. After I picked my car up I headed straight to Wal-Mart to have a discussion with them about this. They informed me that if the crack had been there, they would not have provided me with an oil change. They also stated that if there had been any type of epoxy on my oil pan they would have noted that. The tech that performed the oil change said he would have noticed the epoxy and then in turn notified his manager to that and stated it on the paper. They said the only stuff they use is torque seal. Upon Wal-Marts re inspection of my car, we found the oil drainage plug not to be tightened all the way and my car was leaking oil from the plug at a steady pace. He was kind enough to tighten it a little bit more only to have the oil start leaking even more. He said this was due to the crack near the bolt. I have a signed statement from Wal-Mart saying there was no crack in the oil pan and if there was they would have refused service on my car. I left Wal-Mart and headed home. By the way when I left the garage I noticed a knocking sound from the engine which got louder on my way home from Wal-Mart. By the time I got home( a 10 minute drive) I was leaking even more oil. To my dismay I noticed oil literally pouring out from where the oil plug was. So I called my boyfriend down to look at my car. The dipstick was not in all the way and there is grease all around my gaskets. Upon inspection of the coolant reservoir I got even more ticked off than I already was! It was still murky and looked as if they never replaced the coolant! :mad: Now the guy who worked on my car says he flushed the system. How is it possible he did this if I still have a ton of oil in there? I was told by a friend of my dad's that the garage most likely cracked the oil pan by not supporting it properly and is blaming it on someone else.... or they are trying to get more money out of me....I was also told by this same person, who by the way is a mechanic that it could be my oil cooler that is causing the oil in reservoir???So now I am sitting here afraid to drive my car with even more problems than when I took it in....And a hefty $537 bill that I feel I should not pay. This coming Monday I am taking my car to a Buick dealer to have it inspected.... Upon their inspection and me getting my car back, I will be filing charges against the garage for fraud with the DA's office.... Any comments you have with this matter are greatly appreciated.... I'm just trying to get some in site to what the root of my problem was to begin with.. oil in the coolant reservoir??? Thank you
  • There are several reasons you might have oil in the coolant. One of the reasons you mentioned. Another would be a lot worse. The engine block itself could be cracked. Depending on where the crack is (if that is the problem) it might not be that easy to spot. Mechanics are sort of like car doctor's, they look for the easiest and most common reason first and fix it. Then, if that doesn't work they look for something else. Taking it to a Buick dealership is your best bet for finding out what is wrong and how much it would take to fix it. Trying to sue the first garage may be just a waste of time and money. Even though you have a signed statement from Wal Mart that they did not see the epoxy or crack does not mean that it was not there. Don't forget that it is in Wal Mart's best interest to disavow all knowledge. That fact would not be missed by any juror or judge. I also have had bad service at Wal Mart upon occasion. Even a good mechanic will mess up now and then. But only the ones with a good character will admit their mistakes.

    Get your car checked out by Buick and if the engine is cracked or the gasket not replaced, then you might could say that the first garage did not repair it or did a repair that you did not need (if the manifold gasket was not bad in the first place).
    Lots of Luck.

    No one has answered my problem about vibration yet. I guess I am the only one with that problem.

  • well i had buick look at the car and they said that the garage that worked on my car did a crummy job replacing the gasket. there was dirt on it and they cross threaded one of the valve cover bolts! buick had to replace both upper and lower manifold gaskets, the lifters in my engine and the oil pan. they also stated that the crack in the oil pan was due to over tightening! and if wal mart would have cracked it i would have seen oil right away.but now instead of having a $500 bill i have an $1800 bill! so yes i am going to court cuz the first garage is still expecting me to pay the bill i have with them even tho the dealer had to redo the gasket.
  • Hi, Lately every time I try to start my buick the security light will stay lit for about 5 minutes. Its getting very frustrating because while its still lit, It wont start. We have to wait till the light starts blinking , then it will start. Can anyone explain why or have a solution to this? Thanks alot Dawn
  • Sounds like the Buick Dealership has helped make the case against the other mechanic. Good Luck!!

  • Thank you JB! I have my car back and it is running beautiful! i file this coming Monday and I got a bill in the mail from the first garage. I opened it and laughed! I will keep you poted on what happens!
  • I am having a problem that it seems no one knows the answer to. Last week while driving my anti lock warning light came on and stayed on. When this happened, I lost the function of my power door locks, my headlights, brake lights and each time the car is started the clock reverts back to 12:00. I have checked all fuses and they are good. Has anyone else had a problem like this. I just cannot find a common link between the different problems.
  • jaymacjaymac Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Century with a similar problem.
    Instrument panel lights would flicker and car would stall.

    My check engine light did not come on.

    Turned out to be a bad alternator.
  • jaymacjaymac Posts: 3
    I had a similar problem with a 97 Century.
    The car would stall and would not restart for a few minutes.

    Turned out to be a bad alternator.
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