Buick Century Maintenance and Repair



  • tlon7tlon7 Member Posts: 7
    I have two questions about my Buick Century. I'll ask one here and the other separately; they're two different issues. My odometer (and trip odometer) stopped working. Brought it to my mechanic--who's also a friend. He tried to tighten the contacts and clean in & around speed sensor. The fix lasted ten minutes. Odometer stopped working after the first bump in the road. Did this twice. Now we're shopping for a speed sensor plug. Is there a difference between the actually speed sensor and the plug, or do they come attached as one unit? He said he'd first replace the speed sensor plug to see what happens (so as to keep the price down). Then, if that doesn't work, go from there. Could the problem be coming from the dashboard end of the connection? Any advice is appreciated. :confuse:
  • dot312dot312 Member Posts: 1
  • rojeurdescarrojeurdescar Member Posts: 5
    My gas gauge started to act flukey and undependable. Had pump & gage assy replaced at
    local garage. $500. Worked OK for about 2 months - now has stuck at 3/4 to full and I know it is about to run out of gas at 320 miles (thanks to ethanol). Took back to garage, they said
    again that they replaced it but I have some serious questions because the story don't check
    with what I can figure out just by commons sense and math. Anybody know is there any where that I can disconnect wires between tank and gauge and do a do an electrical or continuity test ?
  • rojeurdescarrojeurdescar Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2002 century. Similar problem dropped from 26 to 22 MPG in
    winter. I relate it to the additive, whether ethanol or some other
    mandated concoction legislated by our know nothing but everything govmnt
  • rickm4rickm4 Member Posts: 2
    My problem is that the car runs fine most of the time. Perfectly. Then suddenly, won't start. Will crank, but not catch. I can let it sit for awhile, try again, and it will fire right up. Any ideas?
  • rojeurdescarrojeurdescar Member Posts: 5
    Rick, Sorry never had that problem with my century but did have it with an 80 Ford Van at
    one time. It drove me and three mechanics crazy till I finally found a fellow who solved it.
    It was, at that time, an ignition module located inside the distributor assy - but that may not have been e f i Good luck Rojeur
  • chaykochayko Member Posts: 1
    hey so my power windows wont work i have replaced everything and when i hit the switch it makes this kind of grinding noise i was just woundering if u had any idea of what u could do to fix it
  • fgantfgant Member Posts: 1
    I have removed the brake caliper... what do I do next to remove the front wheel hub and bearing assembly?
  • johnminnjohnminn Member Posts: 52
    Do you need to replace the bearings?
  • doggaldoggal Member Posts: 17
    I have a Buick Century 1994 with 70K miles on it. Drove it yesterday and this morning it does not want to start. New battery a month ago.
    What could be wrong ?
  • doggaldoggal Member Posts: 17
    Wanted to add something else. I opened the hood yesterday again and looked around. this thing is frustrating me. I notice that standing in front of the car facing the windshield, on the left side of the engine block (the silvery top) there is a hose about 3/8 to 1/2 inch diameter coming from the block and is cracked were it enters the block and on the other end I have no idea where it's suppose to go, because it's not connected. The end of it is a very tiny diameter (no more than 1/8 of an inch. I looked for my Haynes repair manual to see what it's called or where it suppose to be connected, but I can't find the book right now. Can anyone shed some light as to where it's suppose to go and what it is. I will try to take a picture of it tomorrow.
    Also my neighbor suggested that I get someone with an analyzer to connect to the car to see why it's not doing anything.
    Would that be recommended and how much might that cost me?
    Before I have it towed to the shop I would like to have an idea of what's wrong to see if it's worth fixing. Also I have experience with the shops that if you just go in there they will try to "hook" you up with every part available.
    So if you have any idea, please respond.
  • doggaldoggal Member Posts: 17
    Here is what I am talking aboutimage

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Looks like part of your Evaporative Emissions System and that won't affect starting.
  • linda81linda81 Member Posts: 2
    there a few thing to think about. How are your tires for one thing may sure there 32 lbs in all of the tires. also fuel inj. cleaner.. fuel filter can be good bad and you will drop in the winter.
  • linda81linda81 Member Posts: 2
    there bulb under there that blow out. you can take the hold thing off in 10 minutes and put it back together in 15 min. there's only 8 or 10 bolts hold to hold think up. after you undo the bolts you should be about to get to the bulb. and see what ones you need
  • trailgypsytrailgypsy Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Century. When the heater/AC knob is turned from Max AC all the way to defrost there is no change. The AC comes on but the air flows out all the vents regardless where the knob is. When on defrost, heat, vent, ac or anything else it will come out the floor, dash, vent outlets etc... Anyone have an idea?
  • rojeurdescarrojeurdescar Member Posts: 5
    Just a thought. I had the control knob strip on my o2 Century so that it would not turn the control shaft when you turned the knob. Dealer had a new knob in stock for a couple bucks. That took care of my problem Good Luck Rojeur
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Member Posts: 274
    By the way, you can also get control knobs at auto parts stores. My 2000 Century had a knob break, took it to a local store and visually matched to one of theirs, works fine, looks 90% like the original.
  • gators2980gators2980 Member Posts: 1
    I need to replace my left headlight, I have taken it to the shop and everyone has told me that my headlight is fine. But it looks like its not working but the lights are on, but I got pulled over and the cop said that it wasn't working. I really like to get it fixed, I would really like to fix this problem. Can someone help me please!!!!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    I would encourage you to take your vehicle to your local GM dealership to be looked at. Please keep us posted when this has been taken care of.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • lacevedo3023lacevedo3023 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 99 Buick century I recently failed my emissions test and got code p401 I replaced the egr valve. Went to detest and failed and got the same code :( again. Any ideas what it could be. :(
  • mitzammitzam Member Posts: 1
    I replace sensor on raditor and light went off
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    it could be an exhaust leak, also the inlet and outlet tubes to the EGR could be clogged, also improper set of the EGR gasket.

    in addition, you can check:

    Check for the following conditions:

    Important: Remove any debris from the connector surfaces before servicing a component. Inspect the connector gaskets when diagnosing or replacing a component. Ensure that the gaskets are installed correctly. The gaskets prevent contaminate intrusion.

    Poor terminal connection. Inspect the harness connectors for backed out terminals, improper mating, broken locks, improperly formed or damaged terminals, and faulty terminal to wire connection. Use a corresponding mating terminal to test for proper tension. Refer to Diagrams.
    Damaged harness. Inspect the wiring harness for damage. if the harness appears to be OK, observe the sensor display on the scan tool while moving connectors and wiring harnesses related to the sensor. A change in the sensor display may indicate the location of the fault.
    Inspect the PCM and the engine grounds for clean and secure connections.
  • tlon7tlon7 Member Posts: 7
  • tlon7tlon7 Member Posts: 7
    Hi, I broke off the plastic two-piece unit (two-cup holder & change dispenser) that folds inside the compartment between the front driver's & passenger's seat a while ago. I'd like to reattach it. There doesn't seem to be any missing or cracked parts. How would I do this? I visually various ways to line up the parts, but can't figure it out.
  • treborterbtreborterb Member Posts: 2
    Its a rheostat for the fan switch that is located below the glove box near where the floor and the firewall meet...I found the exact location by using the autozone website parts location search tool...the rheostat was like $6.00 but it was a little difficcult to get at...small 7mm screws in a tight spot ...but do-able. The loss of the lower speeds on the fan switch is a typical indication of the rheostat failure.
  • lacevedo3023lacevedo3023 Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2011
    Only hot air comes out when I have my A/C on. We tried to recharge my A/C and it only fixed the passenger side A/C. Can anyone help me please. I've :sick: been dying all summer. I have a 99 Buick century
  • luckysofarluckysofar Member Posts: 1
    Mine also had that problem. When I told the mechanic that I had a coolant leak and couldn't find it, he knew right away what it was. Mine was both the external and the internal gaskets. Car had 154,000 miles on it when they were replaced and cost almost $800.00. Unfortunately the lawsuit had ended when mine happened. But on a good note, the mechanic said it will last a long time now with the new ones.
  • ridingrickridingrick Member Posts: 1
    Your not fully charged. The label is incorrect, add .5 lb. Right now you are only using 1/2 the evaparator. This was a common issue and unless you were an A/C tech for GM you wouldn't know. I was so I do, LOL.
  • leejuroleejuro Member Posts: 1
    My 03 Buick Century has a strange problem. All of a sudden the Multifunction turn signal switch stops working. I found if I turn on the hazard signal, then the Signal switch starts working for a while.
    Is GM trying to make fun of us? I read a similar story from someone else. I went to a repair shop and found out that replacing the switch will cost me over $500. That's ridiculous! What's wrong with GM?
    This is one of the reason, I generally stay away from American cars. That's sad!
    Does anyone know where I could find an after market multifunction switch?
  • thea67thea67 Member Posts: 4
    My daughters 98 Century had the same exact over heating problem and it was not the temp sensor, the engine simply needed to be flushed. We also found out that the 98 Buick Centrury DOES NOT like stuff like Bars Leak & Stop Leak it will plug the cooling system as quick as a flash. If your girlfriend has used any of these leak stoppers, this may be the problem. Try flushing the system and if that doesn't work then look at the temp sensor. Also, the 98 Century usually has two fans, if this is also the case for your Century, one is for the cooling system and the other is for the AC system (just for further info). Another great tip if you have a coolant leak, use black pepper - about a table spoon or two will do - it will swell up and catch in the leak area and plug it up. The pepper is only a temporary fix though, just until you can get something done about it. Hope this helps. Have a great day!
  • jtb_michjtb_mich Member Posts: 1
    I have the exact same problem with the odometer and trans indicator going dark. You mention sensor wires. Where should I go looking for broken wires?" Also you mentioned " i took of the wheel and there is was....broken wire". Are you referring to the steering wheel? What about the airbag? Thanks
  • helzhelz Member Posts: 1

    Did you ever get an answer to this problem? My 2003 Buick Century is also experiencing the same problem: when I set the temperature to cold on both driver and passenger side, cold air comes out on driver's side and hot air comes out on passenger side in the summer. Then, in winter, when temperature is set to hot on both sides, hot air comes out on driver's side and cold air comes out on passenger side. People at my local body shop cannot seem to find the problem. Any help would be much appreciated!
  • thea67thea67 Member Posts: 4
    It sounds as if you may have vaccuum lines running to your heating and A/C system. My husband and I both think that, if it has vaccuum lines, the drivers side and the passenger side maybe controlled sepperately. On the passenger side, the vaccuum lines may have gotten switched, or something. At any cost, I'd have those checked out. Or there maybe a sonsor for the passenger side that maybe not working propperly. Hope this helps - ;)

  • wkdshimwkdshim Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    If the problem is in fact due to a fault in the multifunction switch, than its fixable DIY style

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exybDRDNiCo">link title

    you can buy the parts at approx$80 from 1aauto.com

    Watch the video and follow it. The hardest part is removing the trims.

    Trick is to remove the trip THAN disconnect the battery. This will allow you to lower the shifting lever so the trim can be removed.
  • daebyohdaebyoh Member Posts: 6
    edited November 2011
    Problems with the odometer and gearshift light level? The problem is likely limited to four resistors on the circuit board inside the panel. There is at least one really great Youtube video showing how to get the dash apart and requires only a Phillips screwdriver. Radio Shack sells a 5-pack #271-1109 of the 150 ohm 1/2 watt resistors you need for $1.19. If you or someone you know is skilled at soldering, that will be your whole cost to repair. Following the video, time to extract the panel is less than 30 minutes. Time to repair the board depends upon your skills, but could be less than 15 minutes. Time to put everything back is less than 30 minutes.
  • daebyohdaebyoh Member Posts: 6
    Slide out some clips and the whole lens assembly will be loose. Pull it free pull off a rubber cover to access the lamps. They may be difficult to twist and pull free, but that is all it takes.
  • daebyohdaebyoh Member Posts: 6
    Jerking when proceeding from a stop and occasional low whine from the transmission started in my Buick Century 2000 at about 60,000 miles. I was advised to spend lots of money for various repairs, none of which I did. Various reports of people spending $800 for fixes that didn't last put me off.

    Update: 125,000 miles after the problem began. Still happens only occasionally. Never spent a dime on that symptom, just put up with the minor annoyance. Never had a serious issue with it.

    I replaced the engine at 142,000 miles after damage from the intake manifold gasket. A friend and I got that done over three weekends for $900, including a great junkyard engine, a new OEM "improved design" gasket set, fluids and some other parts.
  • daebyohdaebyoh Member Posts: 6
    Problems with the odometer and gearshift light level? The problem is likely limited to four resistors on the circuit board inside the panel. There is at least one really great Youtube video showing how to get the dash apart and requires only a Phillips screwdriver. Radio Shack sells a 5-pack #271-1109 of the 150 ohm 1/2 watt resistors you need for $1.19. If you or someone you know is skilled at soldering, that will be your whole cost to repair. Following the video, time to extract the panel is less than 30 minutes. Time to repair the board depends upon your skills, but could be less than 15 minutes. Time to put everything back is less than 30 minutes.
  • daebyohdaebyoh Member Posts: 6
    Problems with trunk lights and/or remote trunk release from glove box or key fob? It looks like GM used the wrong grade of wire for the harness between the car body and the trunk lid - too few strands and too stiff for all that flexing during weather extremes. Once you start having trouble and find at least one broken wire, expect the others to follow. I had five break in my Buick Century 2000 before I gave in and replaced all the conductors with more appropriate wire. The best fix without replacing the whole harness is cutting out a length of the wire and splicing in new wire (use the same gauge but more strands if possible), with the joints on both ends safely outside the flex area. You'll need to be able to make solid connections and make them watertight. Use cable ties to keep the joints from moving when the lid moves.
  • dancin_partnerdancin_partner Member Posts: 1
    Junkyard motor? At about 210,000 miles, my '98 had already had intake and head gaskets (heads resurfaced) redone. At about 230,000 miles the camshaft broke. After finding a machine shop that does "line boring" and $1200 later, I found out that GM was so nice that they put hollow camshafts in all of their 3.1 and 3.4 litre motors. All six of the shops told me that the camshaft usually breaks at about 150,000 miles. Finding a "line boring" shop was the biggest chore. Not too many of them exist in NW Ohio. Did you or your friend talk to any machine shops? It's alot easier to change the cam and lifters before it breaks. Knowing what I do about these silly cars, I'll recommend you first, research what I've said and second, take another couple of weekends, pull the motor and replace the camshaft before it breaks. If not, you'll probably find out that the car will just shut off for no appearant reason and not restart. Mine happened on the interstate on my way to work. I'll, also, recommend that you replace the shift solonoids in the transmission at the same. At the GM dealer, I bought all four for mine for under a hundred dollars. It takes longer to remove the side case than it does to change all four solonoids. You'll change the fluid, seven quarts, and filter about forty bucks for the whole deal. Then you can have all of the major Century issues out of the way. I'm at about 350,000 miles now. Hope you find this useful. I wish I Knew some of this stuff before finding out the hard way.
  • midastouch1953midastouch1953 Member Posts: 1
    I've had this similar prob with Olds, and Buick's inparticular.......depending on the engine, and how many you have, it's been the coil, or coil pack, that was the culprit
  • dylanfaldutodylanfalduto Member Posts: 1
    I broke the entrance key for my 1999 Buick Century Classic. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the fragment went flying into the snow rather than jamming in the trunk. I broke into my car and can drive it with the ignition, but obviously I can't drive around much longer without being able to lock it. Was curious if you guys have ever removed a trunk lock cylinder? I do not wan't to damage the electronic release or strip it. I also don't want to pay a mechanic to do this if it is a practical task to do myself. Thank You!!
  • mikem11221mikem11221 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 2002 buick century and it has been acting up by surging from a dead stop and i have shifting problems. its almost as if the motor has no power. it doesnt want to accelerate and takes forever to get up to speed. but it didnt thro any codes. it did throw a high voltage code but i was thinking wouldnt it trip the check engine light? also i was told there is two shift solenoids in the trans a 1-2 and a 2-3 but i cant find the 1-2 solenoid anywhere. does any1 have any idea what this would be a solenoid or the tps (throtle position sensor)?
  • nonfixablenonfixable Member Posts: 1
    sorry new to this site didnt know where to actually ask these questions

    1. i have a 94 century and am looking into new tires. the current ones came off my old non running 95 century size is 185/75/14. i was told they dont make my tire anymore from several tire places. what would be the size i would need then?

    2. i have a two part question here, my car is hardly ever in the shop it is always fixed by my dad. my anti lock brake light is on. hes checked the rear wheels for locking up. hes checked the brake lines and front roaters for rubbing ( dont know what that actually means) hes checked to see if the fuse is bad incase it was a false/positive in the dash lights. the car stops fine and the brakes never lock up. what else should he check to make this light go off? and will the part that needs fixing interchange from the non running 95 century?
  • rjt427rjt427 Member Posts: 26
    I have a 1991 century with 33,000 miles on it. If the car sits all night in the morning its hard to start,it takes 15, to 20 seconds to start, after it starts its fine for the rest of the day. Only after a long time sitting is it hard to start.This problem just started , I have replaced the fuel pump,and fuel filter. Can someone help me with this problem ? Thanks
  • fivershyfywfyfivershyfywfy Member Posts: 1
    In July 2011 I inherited a 1997 Buick Century Custom complete with Dynaride and Concert sound... and the car rides smoother and bumps harder than any other car i have ever had. My mom had been storing the car for me to come and retrieve since my grandmother had her license revoked so in order to make sure everything was working well she took it to the Top Gun or Top Flight service center in Orange County, CA. It passed with flying colors something like a 72 point inspection that cost almost 300 bucks. 3 days later my daughter and i began the 7 hour drive home to Santa Rosa By the time we reached the Los Angeles County line the right blinker had gone out, and the indicator in the interior was rapidly blinking. and yet still we continued on our way... We stopped to fill up in Castaic, near the "grapevine" and then again in San Jose when i picked up a buddy of mine to help me drive the rest of the way. About a block away from his house my fuel gauge said i had a quarter tank of gas left. when he got into the drivers seat to begin driving the gas light came on and dinged at me... we flipped a u turn and headed for the nearest gas station, where upon arrival prior to buying any gas the needle of the gas gauge was now reading pas the full mark. AND THIS WAS JUST THE START!!!

    I have run out of gas at least 5 or 6 times and i know this is bad for the car but its almost impossible for me to calculate the gas mileage im gonna be getting with this car, and it gives no warning im lucky if i can even get it to the side of the road. I have even started having anxiety attacks at red lights. Ive also noticed that sometimes in the morning my interior dash lights will "appear" to be on only a block later ill hear a pop sound and then they come on all the way. RIght now my ABS and Emergency Brake lights in the dash are on and they have stayed on even though i never use the ebrake because it hurts my back. A month after i got the car my front right blinker and daylamp mysteriously fixed themselves on their own accord,,, no new bulbs fuses or anything, however as of today they are out again and this time ive tried new bulbs and fuses. And STILL THERES MORE

    twice since i have had the car it has refused to start...at first i thought it was the starter but i wasnt too worried since it had only happened twice.. My dad is an amazing mechanic, specializing in custom fabrication and repair, so i stopped at his house about a month ago because it was having a hard time starting, he again checked all my fluids, and fuses. The battery was really low, and didnt seem to hold a charge according to the voltage reader so he put it on a charger and we let it fully charge before we left, He took out the glove box and hood lamp bulbs to conserve energy and suggested i buy a new battery as soon as possible. 2 weeks ago i went to pick my daughter up from her grandmas house, car started just fine in my driveway but when i tried to start it at their house all it did was click. Thinking it was the battery this time i had my sister in law attempt to jump start my car with hers. And still all we got was a click click click. we disconnected the jumper cables and pushed my car back in the driveway all of 3 feet and the darn thing started right up. My clock had reset itself but my radio stations were still programmed. For the last three days i have had to jump start my car id say like 75 percent of the time in order for it to start, my cables are clean and are not corroded. None of my fuses or bulbs are blown. I make sure everything in the car is off so as not to drain the battery. my dad said he thinks that if its not the battery that its probably the starter not getting enough juice from the battery because all of the lights, radio, door locks, interior dash lights, power windows seats and doors work...

    Anyone got any ideas.. seriously any ideas on what we should try to fix this problem, other than a new battery cause right now im getting ready to walk to my house cause guess what my car wont start!!
  • ben109ben109 Member Posts: 1
    i have the same issue but the cause of this issue is the overdrive celonoid which is 30 bucks at oreilly auto parts, the catch is you have take apart the transmission to get to this celonoid so it will end up costing you tons of money. heres a tip if you dont like the jerk when it starts from a stop shift it into 1,2, or 3rd then when you get rolling shift it back into overdrive
  • cmg1111cmg1111 Member Posts: 1
    STOP....TAKE A DEEP.. BREATH,,,,,,,lol EXHALE....lol YOUR STARTER HAS A FLAT SPOT...on the sylinode.....you can get away with this issue for a period of time b4 you have to replace.. the starter, by a few tips ,,,, first of all I assume your a manual trans...? rolling the vehical almost wrks everytime... ,as well as turning key ,back and forth prior to starting your vehical , if auto trans...key on shift lever up and down

    good luck
  • moparman444moparman444 Member Posts: 3
    did you ever find out what the problem was? I have a similar problem with my 95 buick century.
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