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Buick Century



  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Since the the price is firm, there might be some things the dealer will do for you to close the deal:

    1. Fix the windshield. It's really a safety thing since the windshield is an integral component of the passive restraint airbag system.
    2. Provide name and phone number of the previous owner. This would be invaluable in that you can verify the vehicle is indeed a one-owner, if there were any problems that in your mind might make you uncomfortable enough to walk away, and if there are any maintenance records. (FWIW, when a dealer tells me it's a one-owner and then tells me he called the owner and they declined to have him give their phone number to me, I do indeed walk away).
    3. Provide a Car-Fax report at no charge. The dealer should already have a Car-Fax account good for unlimited reports.
    4. Power flush the cooling system and fill with new Dex-Cool, again at no charge. (Note: there are numerous postings on GM related boards like this one of problems with Dex-Cool. Before dealer does anything, remove radiator cap and check for any sludge. Also check inside the coolant overflow tank.)
    5. Provide at least a 30-day/1,000 mile powertrain warranty at no charge. During that time check every week for any coolant leaks on garage floor, and check level of coolant in overflow tank. If dealer does flush the system, you might need to top it off during the first week, but if you have to add any after that it might be due to the notorious head gasket problem. Common advice for 3.1L V6 owners is to keep the Dex-Cool level at the HOT mark even when it is cold.

    There are lots of Buick Centurys and Regals out there to pick from, so if anything about this one sounds "spicious" just be patient and keep looking until you find the right one. In helping my son find a Century it took two weeks and saying "No" to a dozen other cars.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
  • jim169jim169 Posts: 1
    Hello, I bought a 2003 Buick Century with 24k miles last December. I like the comfortable ride and it runs pretty well so far. However this morning when I started the engine, the AC was left on and I could smell a strong odor coming out of the AC, it's like coolant got into the AC system as far as I can tell. I read a few recent posts here talking about the leaky intake manifold gasket, I'm wondering if that's the problem. If not, what else could be wrong? Thanks a lot!
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Sometimes the drain line from the condensor gets partially or totally plugged, so water stagnates and starts to get, shall we say, ripe. This can be a do-it-yourself fix, but unfortunately I don't know where the drain hose is on this car.

    In any event, I'm guessing (hoping!) your Buick is still under the 36 month/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, so it would be well worth having the dealer look at it for you.

    Please let us know what they find. This board is a great place to learn about cars, and relating your experience might save time and money for many others.

  • I got a 1994 Century as a commuter car last month. It mostly runs fine (as it should with only 48k miles), but I've noticed that the engine makes a loud ticking sound upon startup (I'm in New Hampshire, so the car is cold), that quiets down after the car warms up, although the noise is still there. I'm thinking it's a belt issue, but maybe someone has more insight.

  • bdeyes333bdeyes333 Posts: 12
    The sound you are hearing is called "Piston Slap"
    This is a known problem on some Gm motors.The 3.1
    is probably the most well known. Most mechanics
    don't seem to think of it as a major problem
    related to engine life. As long as it quiets down
    after the car warms up it is considered "Normal".
    If your'e still concerned about it have your
    mechanic listen to it after the car has sat
    overnight. Hope this helps.
  • "The sound you are hearing is called "Piston Slap" This is a known problem on some Gm motors.The 3.1 is probably the most well known. Most mechanics don't seem to think of it as a major problem related to engine life. As long as it quiets down after the car warms up it is considered "Normal"."

    Thanks! We recently moved, so I still haven't found a satisfactory mechanic. This reassures me for a while until I locate a dependable shop.

  • I had my 2001 century crashed on Friday night. My century crashed into a left-turning Camero while I was passing through a green night, the Altima on my right lane also hit the Camero, too. The driver in the Camero was trying to tell the police officer he had a green arrow when he was maing the left turn. Fortunately, we had a witness to testify that he only see a green light instead of green arrow because he was the one right behind the Camero when the Camero started to turn. Then the driver from the Camero tried to start blaming us for speeding, which we didn't. What a jerk! Anyway, his effort seemed to be effetive because the officer didn't give him a ticker finally.

    Both of us filed a claim with the Camero's insurance company, we don't what he is telling his insurance company yet, however, I do believe he won't admit fault easily. It was a tough crash,I believed my century must get totalled, although I may only feel a little shock when the accident happened, the next day I started to feel pain on the neck and my right arm,I feel some numbness on my legs, too, and it get worse these days, I feel I need to see a doctor tomorrow about that.

    While this is the first I get hurt in an accident, so I am not sure what's the right step should I take to deal with this accident. When I visit the doctor, should I show him my own health insurnace or should I let him bill the other driver's insurance company directly? Some friends said I should hire a lawer to ask for compensation, what do you guys think?
  • turboshadowturboshadow Posts: 349
    Within the next week, I plan to buy a 2001 Century or a 2003 Alero with ABS and V6. Mileage is simialr, as is color.

    I like both cars, but would like input form those who have lived with these little beasties over the long run.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sway me one way or the other based on features you like or dislike about either car.

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,722
    If I were you I would see a doctor first. Then I would see a lawyer who specializes in car injury cases...theres about a million of them. It's not unusual to feel the effects of such a car crash the day after. Look in the yellow pages. A lot of lawyers will only charge you if they win your case. Your doctor can't bill the other drivers insurance company. Your lawyer may have to sue to recover the money you spent on medical bills as well as the damages to your car.Though a lot of times they will settle out of court.Be companies try to get out of these things if they can. A good lawyer(if there is such a thing)will assist you in recovering insurance money and compensation for your injuries.Good luck.
  • Hello All!

    I am seriously considering the purchase of a Rebuilt 2001 Buick Century Limited that was crashed. It was sold at a Salvage Auction and professionaly rebuilt by a 40 year body man that does this as a part time business.

    It was hit in the left front side and all front end sheet metal was replaced including, the core support, radiator & A/C condensor, small under hood parts, and also had a new GM Sub-Frame assembly installed which included new suspension and left shock tower assembly. The Air Bags WAS NOT Deployed because of where it was hit. There was not even any damage to the drivers door, only the front end was damaged.

    The car has less than 25k miles and is a loaded Limited model. It drives like a dream, looks new and smells new. But it does have a salvage title which I was made clear of. The price is $5500 Less than the KBB Retail Value. Should I really be concerned considering the quality of this rebuild and the reputation of the bodyman? I've restored Ford trucks by hobby for 24 years, but I don't know GM models. This car looks new on top and underneith. Give me your thoughts!


  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Okay, here are some thoughts. Sounds like a gem, but sorry, I'm skeptical of rebuilds. While the parts may be new, you don't know their quality. Is the fender and all sheet metal genuine GM? If not, don't count on very good corrosion protection. How 'bout the other parts? The reason a body man takes on a salvage rebuild is to buy it cheap and sell it at a profit. That means if he can skimp in certain areas to make a buck he will, especially in places that are difficult to see. Even if he offers to back it with a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty, how can you be certain he will honor it, especially if something expensive goes bad? And with a salvage title will you be able to sell it if the car doesn't work out? If you're not financially desperate for a vehicle, it might be best to let this puppy be someone else's problem.
  • ldav31ldav31 Posts: 7
    I have a 2000 Century with 115,000 on it. I started getting a whiff of coolant when I would lift the hood. In addition I started to see an oil spot under where I parked on the carport. I had read the posts here. I also started showing my oil getting low on the dipstick.

    I took it to my mechanic who does my non warranty work and he told me right away what it was and explained why it happens on most cars who have that engine.

    He did more than replace the gasket. I figured he may as well replace the plugs, wires, fan belt because none had ever been changed. Had an oil change with filter and new coolant. The cost was almost what I guessed, slightly less than $600.00. New PVC too.

    He showed me the gaskets that he took out and it is apparent why they fail. They have a tiny rubber thread that goes around the outside just a bit off the edge of the gasket and I was advised that most of the time they fail first in one particular corner.

    Does anyone know what that rubber was supposed to do? The replacement gaskets did not have any rubber in them.
  • nickpernickper Posts: 28
    I think the 16" chrome rims for the 2005 Buick Century special edition are the same chrome rims from the 2000-2002 Olds Intrigue. I was driving in Lansing, Mich. this evening (on s.b. Waverly Rd @ St. Joseph for those in the area) and pulled up next to a silver Century and though it was an Intrigue until I looked closer. The center lug cap has the Buick shield instead of the Olds symbol. I have an '01 Intrigue with these rims (minus chrome) and like them, but am surprised how GM used leftovers from Olds on Buicks.

    Can anyone confirm this? Is this new for MY '05 or are these from the '04 year too?
  • nickper-

    Yes, those are indeed Intrigue wheels. Maybe they had some extra ones in a warehouse or something.

    -Andrew L
  • walker1walker1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Century and it is a great car! Recently the air bag light will come on for a few seconds while driving my dealer has up dated the software and the computer shows every thing ok, yet the light will come ontwo or three time a day. Has anyone had this problem?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A reporter is hoping to interview Buick Century owners between 16 and 60 who love their Century and would like to be interviewed for a magazine article. Please respond to [email protected] by Friday, August 13, 2004.

    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
    [email protected]
  • We've owned our 94 Buick Century Special Wagon for 3 years. At 1 1/2 years, the head gasket went, causing a catastrophic overheat which lead to the replacement of the entire engine. Today I noticed off-looking oil on the driveway, popped the oil cap off, and sure enough, coolant crusting on the inside of the cap. This time there have been no overheats, and a week ago the inside of the cap was clean. Can I hope to get away with a simple (only 500-700 bucks or so) head gasket replacement, or am I being overly optimistic? We've parked it, and will have it towed to the shop--not going to risk an overheat.


    From what I've read, the 3.1 is notorious for head gasket problems--am I stuck with a vehicle that's going to require a 500-700 dollar repair every 18 months?


  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    May be it is not head gasket, but intake manifold gasket? They are leaking often with GM 2.8, 3.1, and 3.4 liter engines. GM changed the gasket's material recently, presumably for better.
  • Good call--thank you! Still a pricy fix, but over 300 bucks less. Our mechanic says we can start with a stop-leak product, which may or may not fix the problem. If it doesn't, we'll move on to replacing the gasket.


    Does this sound about right?


  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Would it leak outside, maybe stop leak could help. Not urgent: the car can run for several years with such a leak.


    However, in your car antifreeze leaks inside engine. It is better to replace the gasket now, than replacing the whole engine soon. Hopefully it is not too late.


    The job includes coolant system flush and oil change after repair. In Connecticut it costs about $650 at dealership, about $100 less at independent shop: roughly $50 gasket and bolts, $40 two gallons of DexCool, and $500-$600 labor. The numbers are for Chevy Malibu, with the same 3.1l engine.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I don't like putting stop-leak in a car. It's a temporary patch at best. This stuff can clog up your heater core as well.
  • I have a '91 buick century. I need to replace the tranny. Is there any other model interchangeable with this one, or must i use only the '91 model tranny?
  • dumasdumas Posts: 1
    For the past week, the gas gauge has been working only at times. Mostly it stays on "Full"...........has anyone else had this problem? Is there a solution other than spending over $300 at my car dealership?
  • mjh1978mjh1978 Posts: 1

    I was wanting to know if the buick century for a 1994 would work in a 1995 buick century. Same eng size V6.

    Thanks for your help...
  • starsky209starsky209 Posts: 2
    I have to say these boards are great and I have learned alot today reading them. I have a 99 Buick Century Custom. I had noticed a engine overheat issue a while back had the water pump replaced and it ocassionally when idling or in stop and go traffic would heat up. No biggie it always cooled down when the fan kicked in. Well the last week I noticed it heating up while driving. Last night on the way home fromt he airport it started going up, the temp did. It went up and up. Turned on the heat to try to cool it down to make it home, heater blew cold air. Finally it went to the red line turned off the car and pulled over immediately. Called AAA and got towed the last 16 miles home.

    THis morning went out the radiator was dry as a bone. Put in coolant and it started to leak in two places underneath. Rear side on drives side and about the same side on the left.

    Two questions: My friend says I probably blew the intake manifold and after reading the boards I can see that as an issue. From what I am describing above is that the issue? Is there a way to check the intake manifold to see if it is the culprit?

    If it is not intake how would I tell if it is the head gasket?

    Thanks again and I know have this place bookmarked.

    Thank you all.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Testing intake manifold gasket costs about $20-$30. Simple pressure test, at any dealership, or Firestone, or most other places. The test finds small leaks.

    However, it looks as your car is way beyond pressure test. Car mechanic will see where it leaks from with with naked eye.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Just to add on to what yurakm says, it might be a good idea to call around and get estimates. I've read where a typical gasket replacement might cost in the neighborhood of $800-$850, but you might be able to do much better. Best of luck.
  • gitmangitman Posts: 2
    I am in need of a second car for my wife. I looked at a very decent looking and
    which sure appeared to mechanically sound 1994 Buick Century w/high mileage
    162,000 miles. I keep thinking that a car with that high of mileage has got to
    be facing something in repairs and yet reviews I've read on the car have been
    favorable. The owner knows the high mileage is a drawback to selling the car
    but insist that the recent inspection and emissions test clearly show the car
    to be in good shape. The transmission doesn't skip the engine sounds good.
    Should I risk considering the purchase of this car? The owner is asking 1,200.

    I would appreciate some feed back from anyone who may know something about
    high mileage cars and the risks involved.

    Thanks, Gitman
  • gitmangitman Posts: 2
    On my last post I made a typo on the year of the car. It is a 1994 Buick Century
    with high mileage. I know that $1,200 doesn't seem like much to spend but if I
    was facing something high in the cost of any repairs that goes up quickly. Please
    someone out there give me some feed back on what risk is involved with buying
    something that's approaching the 200,000 mark in a couple of years.


  • starsky209starsky209 Posts: 2
    Just got the call from the mechanic.....pressure tested and the intake manifold is out. Repair est. 650 to 675.

    As to your post gitman. I have a 99 buick century with 160k miles. I use it for work and drive 50k a year in it. I love the car the mileage and I would buy another one again.

    I would say check kelly blue book and if blue book is around that mark offer 1000 as I think he wants to sell it and you have the upper hand on this one.
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