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Buick Century Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,860
    next time just shut the key off.

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  • 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.
  • I've had 4 fuel pumps put on my 99 century in the last 3 months. The first one lasted about a month... the 2nd one a few weeks... the 3rd about 5 miles and the
    4th one a week .. Now can anyone tell this woman .. what the problem is ?? It turns over but it won't crank !!!!!! Its Driving me crazy :confuse: Any by the way thats the only thing I'm driving !!! :blush: So any of you Know what the problem might be ?????
  • Reference message #42. My 1995 Buick Century Electrical Problem is identical to your car problem. First it was the inoperative door locks and anti lock warning light. Two days later I lost the leadlights, brake lights and clock setting. All other systems appear to be operating efficiently. I bought the car new, now has 123,000 miles. No traumatic accidents, no flood damage, no lightning stikes, the vehicle has been reasonably maintained. Your insight into this phenomenon will be appreciated.
  • I have a 98 Buick Century. This year the air conditioning compressor konk'd out. It will cost at least $800 to replace. I figured not now, maybe later or maybe not at all as long as the windows work. Then, almost on cue my drivers door window goes on the fritz. Everytime I turn the car on it rolls all the way down. Then after a few seconds the up button will work and I can adjust the level, I just can't lower it as the down button doesn't work. I was afraid the motor was gone but the motor seems to move the window fine. I'm wondering if this is a minor chip or relay problem of some kind or am I looking at several hundreds of dollars to fix it. I'd like to know more about it before I take the car to a repair shop and have them tell me what's wrong, or tell me what will get them the biggest profit.


  • I recently had a similar problem.
    Turned out to be a bad alternator.
    I am guessing that the electrical problems were due to the low battery.
  • The abs warning light comes on when I start my 2000 buick century limited and it stays on. I had the brakes checked and the drums in the rear new installed. I had the electrical abs checked out. The warning light went out for a week. Now it is on again and stays on. Can anyone help me on what the problem is. Thank you for your comments. Rich
  • #50 does anyone have an answer for me on my abs system problem. Thanks Rich
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If the fluid level is ok in the master cylinder reservoir, youy'll need an ABS capable scanner to retrieve any stored diagnostic trouble codes.
  • My sister just bought a 2000 Buick Century and I suspect she is having the same problem. Did you ever find the solution to this problem justagirl???
  • About a month ago, I had my fuel sensor replaced (fuel gauge was broken) at the Buick dealer to the tune of about $600. After that I have been gradually having problems filling my gas tank. I had the car back to the dealer (to replaced drivers-side auto window motor) and they checked the gas seal and said they couldn't find anything. Anyway, as soon as I start to fill up the nozzle clicks off. It has gone from bad to worse. Can get half a tank full then have to stop, and if I'm lucky can get it filled on the second try. Two days ago, however, I was just about on Empty and I went to fill up -- only got about 3 gallons in and the gas backed up and overflowed onto the pavement and my feet. The Buick service mgr is going to look at it this Tuesday and try to put gas in it himself. Just wondering if anyone else has had a problem like this and had a solution. Lately, it seems I'm putting more money into the car than its worth. Any feedback? Thanks.
  • I bought my Buick Century one year and four months ago. The first year was fine with 65,000 miles and two owners. After the second year, I have replaced the starter. Replace the compressor so the mechanic says twice, (meaning two separate mechanic completed the AC problem. Two weeks latter, the AC stopped working. It's the rings the said. Two weeks latter after making home with no problems. The next day the car will not excelerate over 10 mph. I had to turn the car off to get it to go 30 to 40 mph. Finally I park at at repair shop that stated the could not run a computerize scan, but felt that the transmission was gone along with the gears. Shocked I transferred the car back to the dealer that refuses to give a written estimate but says that it is the transmission and gears. When I asked for a written estimate they have refused. I totally feel that they are not being honest. They seem to be afraid to give a written estimate. :sick:
  • I have a 1994 Buick Century and wanted to put new tires on it that are wider than the standard 185 - 14s which are standard. Would any one know if this is possible and/or how wide I could go before the tires rub on the fender wells?
  • I began having a starting problem with my 99 Century about 18 months ago. The car would crank but the engine wouldn't fire. This would happen almost randomly and without warning. However, after a little time lapsing (an hour to a day) it would start and run normally, but then suddenly not start. I had a fuel pump replaced a year ago, and it ran fine until last week, when the problems returned. I had the fuel pump replaced again, and less than four days later the problem returned. It is currently at the dealer and they don't seem to be able to find the problem.

    I would appreciate any input anyone would have! Thank you!

    Jason P.
  • paul41paul41 Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 century. Replaced starter (shouldn't have. not the problem) Engine will turn over 3/4 of a turn then won't move. I took the serpentine belt off and can turn the crank until I reach that particular spot and wham it takes all I can do to continue the rotation. Can my problem be the crankshaft sensor and if so can somebody explain to me how to get that harmonical balancer off? I got this vehicle from a man who was driving it and doesn't have a clue what was wrong with it. Honest guy that I work with. Trying to get it running for my son's first car. Body and interior are excellent. Help!
  • teel1teel1 Posts: 1
    My mother is having the same problem, tho her car will start every time. Sometimes the light comes on, sometimes not. She's had it to the dealership 4 times, they changed the starter out, messed with some wires, said they repaired it each time, but they have absolutely no idea what is wrong, and would have continued selling her new parts with no idea what they were doing. Same with another dealership she is now going to; car in shop 3 times, they don't know but continue "repairing" it and charging her.
    My advice- call Buick, or know what needs to be repaired before taking it in and letting them experiment while billing you.
    Also, look in your car manual, theres a short paragraph about the security system temporarily disabling the starter so someone can't try a bunch of keys until one may start it. Wondering if possibly the remote keyring simply needs a new battery...only thing we haven't tried.
    If I find out whats wrong with hers,will let you know...she has it in the shop again today! Would really appreciate any clues you may find. My email is, Thanks, Jane
  • HI
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,860
    Clogged catalytic coverter is a good possibility. You can install a by-pass pipe and see what happens. Not an EGR problem I don't think if you have such a serious power loss. Also could be engine management and timing control issue. Bad timing can make a car run really lousy.

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  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    I have a '96 riviera 3800 series II w/supercharger. In October, around when the temperature outside fell into the 60's, my electrical cooling fan started to come on all the time, including cold morning startups. In the previous year and a half of owning the car I've never heard the cooling fan running. I live out in country and drive 70 mph everywhere. There is no obstruction or water pump problem or low coolant issue. Mileage may have also dropped by 1-2 mpg since this fan started being on all the time. Temp guage still always at 195 degrees F. Shouldn't the fan only come on when the coolant or some part of the engine gets above a certain temperature? Any clues as to what might be wrong or how to fix or test?
  • Did your dad ever get this resolved? I have same problem.

    Thank you,

  • 1999 Buick Century, 45,000 tender miles, we bought the car new. Yesterday while my wife was entering the freeway, the car decided it wanted to go 75. She got the car stopped by turning off the key and pulling off the side of the road. She restarted the car and as soon as she put it into drive and touched the accelerator peddle it wanted to go 75 again. We had it towed to the dealer and they found nothing.

    I'm thinking the computer told the cruse control to kick in. That's what she said it felt like. And the break light was on after she finally got it stopped. We just had a 1 week old $600.00 break job done. I see the rear breaks are another problem with this car.

    I've been searching the forms all day and yours is the first one that sounds like what happened to us.

    P S look under the dash, the mat cannot cause this problem.

    I may not have the car after tomorrow. Somebody else can kill their family in this thing.

  • My problem is similar to alot of others in here but a bit different. My problem is all of a sudden, like twenty mins apart, my tail lights, running lights and dash light all decided not to work anymore. The headlights, brake lights and turn signals all work fine. I have changed the fuses in the fuse box inside the car. Any suggestions on this problem or ways to repair cheaply will be greatly appreciated. :cry:
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