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Buick Century



  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I have a 2000 Buick Regal. Practically the same body as Century.

    Made several longer trips from my home in South-Central Connecticut, including:

    - To Rochester and Niagara Falls, NY, about 400-450 miles each way. Three days trip: Friday evening to Rochester, Saturday in Niagara Falls, Sunday back to home.

    - To White Mountains in NH. Pleasure trips, optimized for sightseeing, not the shortest distance. First day I-91 through CT, MA, VT, than rural NH roads through Dartmouth College, route 118 across the Western White Mountains, and I-93 to North. One day driving around White Mountains, including Mount Washington, and return by route 112 and I-93 to North. The last day by I-93 across White Mountains to South, than across the Lake Region of NH to the border of Maine, by NH state highways along the border to the South, by I-95 across the NH shoreline to MA, I-495 to I-90, I-90, I-84, I-91 to home.

    - A one-day trip to Cape Cod, MA - to a sand beach somewhere after Truro. This is about 250 miles each way through Newport, RI. Returned the same evening, get home deep in night.

    I do not know, if my car does not manifest the "bump steering", or if its comfortable seats and smouth ride are compensating the problem, but I was not tired substantially by driving the distances.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    I have a dilemma...I love the ride of the century and feel it is definitely the quietest car in it's price range. However, I'm not all that taken with it's interior appearance. In addition, it has that senior citizen reputation. I have driven a 2002 and was impressed with the engine, despite what people say about it's old design. Any younger century owners out there?(I'm 34)
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I am 30 and own a 2001 Impala LS with the 3800 Series II Engine.

    If you like the Buicks, take a look at the Buick Regal GS with the 240HP Supercharged 3800 V6 engine. It is the ultimate ARRP mobile that can take a few MB's and BMW's by surprise at the stoplights..
  • That was quite a long rendition of pure garbage. The poor buick was probably maintained like a lot of rentals are. The problem sounds like improper tire inflation and, or, alignment problem. I too have had some bad experiences with improperly maintained rental cars. But I tried not to blame the manufacturer for the maintenance problems.

    I do not drive a Century but have driven them as rentals and was a very smooth and pleasant ride in all cases.
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    I have to agree with houndog3. Sounds like Brucec3 has other motives for his post. Although I am a happy owner of a Regal GS, on various business trips I've rented Bonnevilles, Centurys and Impalas; driving them round trip from Denver to Casper, WY. For rentals, all three cars have been great. The Century being the easiest to drive crusing up and down I-25 while the Bonneville demanding a bit more attention due to its size. But the ride and handling was as expected: A highway cruiser happy going 70+ MPH.

    Needless to say I have experienced no such bump steer issues in my Regal GS after a pleasurable 16,500 miles. If I have one issue with my car, its that I can punch the throttle half way as I sneak into traffic and still get mild tire spin with traction control turned on. Talk about gobbles of torque!!
  • I love my 2001 Buick Century, and it is running great. There is just this one little noise that is starting to irritate me. This noise would probably not be noticable on most cars. The Buick Century's interior is normally so quiet, that you hear things that you wouldn't on noisier cars.
    If any body knows what the noise is I would appreciat some advice. Here is the description:

    Noise: A high pitched whine.

    Where: Emanates from the entire body of the car. From outside the vehicle, you have to put your ear on the body to hear it. From inside it can be heard throughout the interior, coming from no particular direction. It does not appear to be coming from the engine compartment.

    When: This part is tricky. It has nothing to do with the engine speed, you can accelerate and not notice any difference. It only occurs when the vehicle has stopped moving, like when stopped for a red light. However, when you first start the engine and listen before the vehicle has gone anywhere, the sound is not there. You must travel a few yards, and then stop, before the noise starts. Also, after the noise has started (after stopping the vehicle), you can turn off the engine, and then restart it and the noise will be gone - until you move forward and come to a stop again.

    I would appreciate any help. I don't think the service people can help me unless I can tell them where it is coming from.
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    Just an idea look around the power brake booster for a vacuum leak.

    I am probably 20 feet in the ditch !!! but since there is no noise when you start the car(booster empty)brake not activated, and that you have noise when the booster is operational and in use...

    The booster is bolted to the firewall, so this is maybe why you can hear the noise through the body and inside the car...

    Good luck...
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    A couple more possibilities...

    Are your belts torqued correctly? Does the noise occur when the a/c is
  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    Am looking at both of these. Price is about one thousand difference. Both have the micron air filtration system, and that is important. Has anyone any comments about either the cars or the air filtration system..thanks
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Man, that is a tough choice. Some people have a hangup about the century being for old people, but I'm not one of them (I'm 34). I was also torn between the two. Both are great cars. I prefer the ride of the century, but the Impala has a younger look and more room.

    I don't know much about the Air Filtration. Both cars have great reliability and performance. I love the way the century doors have that solid feel when you shut them. Century will be gone soon, if that matters to you.
  • artwisartwis Posts: 66
    I just went through the same process. I would have liked the Impala LS but knew my wife wouldn't like the firmer ride and she really didn't like the looks of it.. I really didn't consider the base Impala. Well anyway we bought a century last week but aren't taking delivery till 2/22 when we turn the wifes leased venture in. The Century we bought was the custom with the special edition package and the upo radio option so we could have the cd player. MSRP is $22,347. Price after discount off msrp and $2002 rebate was $18640.
    We bought a 95 Lumina LS in 1995 with pretty much the same chassis, motor etc. and it was a good car and have heard the Century is even better and has 15 more hp. The Lumina had the filtration system and to tell the truth we didn't notice that it did much filtering but then we have the windows down quite a bit.
    One other thing I just remembered. The Impala has some reliability issues with brakes, engine cradle and steering shaft that also played a part in us choosing the Century over the Impala.
    Good luck whichever you choose.
  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    I hadn't heard anything about the Century model being discontinued. I know it sold 142K last year while the Regal was alot lower, and the Regal has never really took off, so I only heard that the Regal was going to be the one to go, given that they are both mid-size cars. Any info on this??
  • artwisartwis Posts: 66
    I have read this in a couple of posts but I've also read that the century will be revamped in 2004. With annual sales over 140k I don't think it would be a wise move on GM's part to drop it.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    When the Regal is redesigned for 2004, the Century will be discontinued. The Regal will continue to use the W body platform, but the car will be restyled.
  • artwisartwis Posts: 66
    Where did you read this? Seems like they would drop the Regal instead as the Century has more sales. Maybe they will have a lower priced Regal to take the century spot! Interesting!Have to wait to see what actually happens.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    Many web sites have stated the Regal will continue and the Century will be dropped. Check the future products section of

    My opinion is that the Century should stay and the Regal should go. Let Pontiac have GM's sporty mid sized car with the Grand Prix, and let Buick have the conservative mid sized car with the Century. However, all of the information I have read says that Century will be dropped.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    I agree, keep the century. SUpposedly, GM will offer a less expensive model regal to take century's place, but I think that is stupid.

    Some people like the century, not just because is costs a bit less than the regal, but for it's different styling. (softer suspension, more chrome, etc.)

    However, maybe the restyled Regal will be more appealing.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I consider the current Century to be practically just another trim of Regal. Or, rather, Regal to be just another trim of Century: after all, Century outsells Regal 2:1.

    Hardly anybody can distinguish these cars from 100 yards under less than perfect lighting, e.g. when it snow / rain, not to mention in night time. 90% of people cannot tell one from another from 10 feet. "Another retiromobil", think them, and are trying to pass GS uphill...

    In the Pontiac Grand Prix line, the low trim SE is practically the same car as Century, while the GT and GTP are more like Regal. Different trims of Chevy Impala have as different suspensions as Century and Regal, and also have different seats (bench for base, and bucket for LS).
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I think its a good idea to axe the Century. Think about it. What does the word Century mean and bring up images of? It means 100 and the Century has always been viewed as a car driven by people nearing the end of their lives. Buick is trying to get away from their geriatric persona and trying to get some younger folks into the fold. They are also trying to fill some of the void left by Oldsmobile. The Lesabre pretty much does exactly what the Century does but with more power and room, so why have 2 old people's cars? The Regal has always been a better looking car and used to be a larger, more upscale car. My guess is Buick wants to continue with the more upscale image of the Regal and just make 2 different trim levels. One will ride like the current Century and maybe continue to offer a bench seat, while the other will have sportier handling, bucket seats, and more power. It saves GM money by not having to market 2 completely different names. I see the logic in this decision. Anyone else see it the same way?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    You wrote: The Lesabre pretty much does exactly what the Century does but with more power and room, so why have 2 old people's cars?

    well, not all people have the same income, even after retirement. Depending on trim and options, Le Sabre probably costs $2000 to $5000 more than Century.

    I am 50, and my wife, who is mostly using our Regal, is 40. Our son is 11. Not exactly "old people". However, we like the soft seats of the car and the comfortable ride as much as its fast acceleration.

    It is hard to forecast what GM will do; however I'd expect them to offer 3 trims of the future Regal, not two. They can easily fold the current 2 trims of Century plus 2 trims of Regal into the three trims with options. As they are doing currently with Pontiac Gran Prix.

    The Regal has always been a better looking car

    Well, it depends on personal taste only. Better not discussing it. No hard data to prove one point or another, and very easy to offend somebody.
  • tr3tr3 Posts: 8
    I own a 1999 Buick Century and am interested in putting some custom wheels on the car. Anyone have any suggestions or pictures they would like to share. Thanks
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    You can find a picture of the 2004 Regal here -

    I don't like it, and supposedly Lutz has sent it back for styling changes. I have seen this picture in other magazines and web sites, so I am sure it is accurate.

    I will say that a lot of information on this web site is inaccurate. That is not a picture of the 2004 Grand Prix, and there is no indication that Lincoln will develop a V-12 despite the Continental concept car.

  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Regarding "Buick is trying to get away from their geriatric persona and trying to get some younger folks into the fold"

    That statement makes sense as a purpose, but for what goal? To sell cars? That's where it doesn't make sense. The Century vastly outsells the Regal, so why eliminate it. In addition, the market the Century succeeds with is the fastest growing segment. The Century sells for about $4,000 less than a comparably equipped Lesabre.

    There is nothing wrong with targeting a younger market, which the Regal does, albeit with lackluster sales. What they need to do is reinvent the Regal to make it sell more and leave the Century alone.
  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    The logic would appear to be to keep the Century. If it is an older person's car, then it is the car of choice as it sells twice as many as Regal. Since the older population controls a good percentage of the nation's wealth, why eliminate the golden goose. As to that poster who said it was bought by people who are nearing the end of their lives, I've never quite heard such an inane statement, unless it was God who was posting.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    According to the article, GM may save the Century name, or rename it to a less expensive trim of Regal, but the body will be the same for REgal and Century. Make sense.

    Current Century and Regal are very close in design, but the Regal body is couple inch longer. Would they share the same body, the manufacturing costs would be lower (the single set of sheet metal presses, etc.). And the extra sheet metal itself costs next to nothing, probably $20 or so...

    To the best of my understanding, only the name will be dropped, if dropped at all. Practically the same car as the current Century will be available, and for practically the same price, subject the once in 6-7 years model update and inflation.

    Who would object, if the car will bear more prestigeous name "Regal"? Probably some buyers of the more expensive trims could snob, but the buyers of the base model?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    What is the big deal if the Century is gone in name only? A lower trim version of the Regal would work just fine and makes perfect sense to GM as far as saving marketing costs. My point with the comment about who drives the Century is that these people are mostly from a different generation, who value different things. That generation is quickly fading away and the baby boomers are getting older. Baby boomers, in general, like a little more style and performance with their rides then the last generation, who put floaty ride, 6 passenger seating (no matter how cramped that center front spot is), and chrome trim above anything else. The Regal fits in with the baby boomers better then the Century and that's what Buick needs to start preparing for, while the Lesabre can continue to grab the sales of the more tradional buyers. Let's be realistic. I am from Palm Beach County, Fl, the spot to be for old people. And what do you see most of them driving? Those who can't afford the Caddies and Lincolns flock to the Century. Anywho, as for my opinion about Regal's styling being better, I was more referring to the before 97 era. I prefer the looks of the current Regal over the Century (in fact, I feel it is one of the nicest looking cars from GM), but they are rather similar. Before 97, the Regal was a bigger and classier car then the Century, and I would venture to say no one would prefer the styling of that older Century over the older Regal. Buick would only be smart to continue on with that higher class image. Just my .02 from a young whippersnapper :) My mom sure won't miss the Century. That name is what drove her away from American cars permanently.
  • johnlwjohnlw Posts: 28
    I just took ownership of a brand new Buick Century, sadly under the worst circumstances--I inherited it from a dear relative who died before he made the first payment. He did get to drive it and show it off for a few weeks, though, he loved that car!

    Anyway, while I was not in the market for a car, (we have three already) I find I like the Century. It sure has pick-up! While it is a small six, the 3.1 feels strong. I have to watch myself driving it, I go too fast.

    My only complaint is that it doesn't look like there is a lot of back seat leg room, but heck, I won't be sitting back there anyway!

    Anything important for me to know about this car from you all? I have been putting regular gas in it, 87 octane. Is that okay? I will be catching up on this string as time goes by, and listening to everyone's advice.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    May I present my condolences.

    87 octane is fine. The same engine as in my Malibu.

    Some of these engines develop a coolant leak from the intake manifold gasket. Something like 10% or so. A small leak, but not good, especially if the coolant gets inside the engine. Watch for the coolant level: if you need to top it up with every oil change, probably there is a leak.

    Also, ask for a pressure test of the coolant system toward to the end of manufacturer waranty. The test costs about $20, while changing the gasket cost about $550. So it is better not to miss the end of the 36/36 warranty. By the way, GM recommends, in the car manual, to perform the test as often as yearly.
  • johnlwjohnlw Posts: 28
    I will watch that. I smelled an odor when I used the air conditioner yesterday. It was the first use for it. The odor was like antifreeze, so I will definitely keep an eye on it.

    Is this something the dealers know about and can handle easily under warranty, or is it a pain in the oilpah?

    What kind of mileage do you get? I got about 22 mpg's on the first three tanks.

    I will tell you what, I like the engine, I had it up to 100 briefly today, in a safe spot, just to see what it would do. The rpm's weren't all that high.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Well, I do not think that the practically new car already have the leak. It is developing with time, something like after couple years in service or longer.

    If I remember it right, the engine itself and the intake manifold are made from different metals, steel and an aluminum alloy. Different thermal expansion stresses the gasket and gradually makes it to leak.

    It happens not with all engines, nor with every second, but not so seldom. I believe, 10-15% are developing the leak sooner or later. The 2.8l V-6 engine widely used by GM in 80-ths had the same basic design, and the new 3.4l engine, and all of them were / are prone to the leak. All auto mechanics must know it rather well.

    As to mileage, well, my Malibu is smaller and lighter than your Century.

    In my experience, something like up to 31 mph on highway in near ideal driving conditions.

    However, much less in city. I never measured, because do not like the results I am expecting. Probably between 10 and 15 mph. I am spending about twice more gas than my wife on commuting (we work together). I have a lead foot, plus I am accelerating hard from light to light - just for pleasure...
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