Buick Century Maintenance and Repair



  • redbird48redbird48 Member Posts: 17
  • whipperwill2whipperwill2 Member Posts: 3
  • whipperwill2whipperwill2 Member Posts: 3
    I had the same problem on a lasabre /the dealer could not find the problem .I finally found that the rubber strut mount was broken.Sounded like a machine gun on a road that had pot holes and the shocks were fully extended.This was on rear struts but sounds like same problem
  • whipperwill2whipperwill2 Member Posts: 3
    The locks activate but do not have enough power to lock or unlock on both rear doors. took door panel off but cannot tell how to remove electro magnets have any ideas?
  • chollaychollay Member Posts: 1
    My dad has a 2000 Buick Century and he has an sporadic problem for the past year or so. Sometimes when he is driving, the car starts whining and shifting into other gears. If he pulls over and rests the car it is fine. This can happen twice a day and then not again for months. It happens in all different driving conditions. The transmission shop wants to charge him 800 to overhaul it but that is alot for a senior. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Thanks
  • beaglerbeagler Member Posts: 1
    Did you have any luck with the glovebox on your 99 Buick Century? We have to replace ours too. Thought I could benefit from your experience. Thanks for any feedback.
  • brexbrex Member Posts: 1
    what size star socket does it take to take the front calipers off to replace the brake pads on a 96 buick century?
  • jfreeburgjfreeburg Member Posts: 1
    After plugging in the fan motor that I just replaced, I tried starting my car to see if the fan would come on (it had been overheating significantly recently and a mechanic told me the fan motor wasn't working). However, the car wouldn't start. It didn't turn over, didn't make a sound. I can turn the key but nothing happens. I've been having electrical problems with the car recently (fuses blowing, etc) and now this. Any thoughts? I'm guessing I need to check the battery, but with tomorrow being the fourth of july, it's going to be hard to do this. Thanks for any suggestions.
  • crash313crash313 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Buick Century that has a A/C problem. This is what happens when I turn the A/C on:

    1. The compressor kicks on, however, only hot air comes out. Almost like it's pulling air from the outside (like it was on Vent).
    2. I put the A/C on MAX but still only hot air.

    I have done some troubleshooting and this is what I've done:

    1. Made sure the compress is working and it is.
    2. Tried to see if it was low on freon - it wasn't.
    3. Check the fuses, they were fine.

    What else should I look for? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Marietta, GA
  • redbird48redbird48 Member Posts: 17
    Did you check to see if you have both of the temp selector knobs pulled down to the blue area for cold and not in the red area for hot? Just the opposite happened to me last winter when i had the selector in the blue one cold morning and liked to froze to death. Made me feel kinda silly later.
  • crash313crash313 Member Posts: 2
    Yes, I did make sure it was in the down position (blue area). Thanks for the suggestion!
  • djofnrdjofnr Member Posts: 1
    i was trying to drive my car and out of no where it started to not shift into 2nd gear or go into reverse is there something i should do that may help it?
  • tmartellctmartellc Member Posts: 1
    I installed a new engine and computer in my 1999 Century and when I finsihed and went to start it, It did nothing no crank, the starter didnt even make a sound. I did notice that the security light stays on now. Is it a way to reset it because I thinks it just wont start because of security?
  • hassalthoffhassalthoff Member Posts: 1
    I also have a similar problem. Although it didn't happen "just one day", my 96 century windows do not go up easily. They usually come down fine, but will not go up easily. I have lubricated the belt and that has not helped. I don't have the tools to be able to remove the motor to check it out. The car is in good shape, and there is no rust on the door interiors. All windows exhibit similar 'behavior', but 2 windows are definitely worse off. Any thoughts on troubleshooting or correcting? Thanks.
  • abestreetabestreet Member Posts: 2
    Like Alfonzo I recently had a leaky intake manifold gasket and had to pay $700 to fix the problem. My mechanic also told me that this is a chronic problem for the last redesign (97-04) of the Century and it's 3.1 engine.

    Shortly after I "fixed" the problem the engine light came on and I had difficulty starting the engine. I had to race the engine and throw it into gear. I thought this problem was similar to clogged fuel injectors. My mechanic concurred. The engine now starts fine and my mechanic thinks I may have blew the debris, which may have fallen in while he had the engine torn apart, out. He used his diagnostic brick (machine) to reset the engine light and every thing ran fine for a short while. Now the light is back on but the engine seems to be running fine. I will be taking it back in.

    Does anyone know what kind of problems might trigger the engine light, especially those problems that might be a result of repairing a leaky intake manifold gasket?
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    I just removed the glove box on my 2000 century today while installing satellite radio. Removing the glove box was the easiest part. I removed 3 hinge screws on bottom, tilted box sideways, jiggled a little, and it popped out. I used reverse to put it back in. Installing the satellite radio was a real hoot. It helps if your arms are double jointed while working under the dash.
  • drjecklesdrjeckles Member Posts: 5
    I just purchased a 94 Buick Century 3.1 liter station wagon which ran well until I replaced the plugs and wires.

    Now, I have the Service Engine Soon Light on and the scan has multiple error codes including the crank position sensor. Oh yes, the engine now runs poorly, sigh.

    As the rear plugs and wires are hard to access and require removing the coil pack assembly and disconnecting wiring, I am suspecting that I damaged, bent, or broke a connection or wire that does not show. It looks like the previous owner added a wire to turn the AC compressor on.

    I have plugged/unplugged all the connections again, checked vacuum lines, and closely examined everything over and over again. I am putting off serious troubleshooting until this weekend.

    I am open to suggestions/advice on troubleshooting, bypassing the bad wires, or even replacing the somewhat shakey looking harness from a salvage yard. I am fairly experienced and skilled both but am always eager for advice or suggestions that may help.
  • drjecklesdrjeckles Member Posts: 5
    You may want to carefully examine all the numerous vacuum connections and hoses as I have found and repaired/replaced many bad ones.

    One tip is to go to your auto parts store and buy a roll of the appropriate size vacuum hose plus elbows and connectors.

    If the vacuum is not it, then you may have pulled or loosened up a connection in one of the harnesses. Alas, that seems to be my problem in post 172. I figured either a lot of things went wrong simultaneously or I have a wiring harness problem.
  • drjecklesdrjeckles Member Posts: 5
    The door lock solenoids are held in by some "interesting" rivets. They look like normal rivets with screw threads sticking out of them. They are 1/4" instead of smaller.

    The instructions/manual says drill them out, but you can't drill out the steel screw thread easily. I cut mine off with a Dremel cut off tool and replaced it with nuts and bolts with thread locker. You must do something to keep vibration from loosening them. The wire rods come off fairly easily, but it is tight working inside the door.

    I would check lubrication and interferences before I replaced anything. On one of my doors, one of the wires was bent by the previous owner or a clumsy mechanic. Some of the wires are really tough to properly strighten. Be careful not to break anything.
  • drjecklesdrjeckles Member Posts: 5
    1. Are you sure the clutch is engaging? The outside wheel turns all the time. AC clutches are a lot cheaper than the entire compressor, but you would need to make sure that it is really bad and not the compressor.

    2. If the compressor is working, the condenser in front of the radiator should get very hot.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    I have the same thing on my Y2K Century. In surfing the net I found GM's poor design is at fault. The long and short, a piston in the valve body has worn the cylinder it travels in. It's called Pressure Control Solenoid Valve (PCS valve). There are retro kits to fix the problem but like you stated its 8 bills to get it installed. Mine started acting up around 36k miles. I have about 130k highway miles on it now. I'm just going to ride it out till it drops then I'll deal with it. Its sad that GM won't back up their own mistake and make things right.
    Good Luck.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    When you turn your defroster on does cold air come out? When you turn on the A/C does the engine fan kick in? The way they're set up, the compressor won't engage if the charge is low. With the results from your trouble shooting, sounds like it should be producing cold air. Perhaps its something to do with the vacumme controls in the dash. More than once I've forgotten to push the A/C button at the bottom of the controls.
    Good Luck.
  • paulster2700paulster2700 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 Century a few months ago. Just recently it has begun making a ticking sound whenever I drive. The does not start upon starting the car, but once I've been driving it starts. I can hear it out the window while I'm driving and the ticking is very rapid. When I stop the car and turn off the ignition, the ticking continues, at a slower rate and then will stop about one minute after the ignition was turned off. The ticking is coming from somewhere underneath the car, but my knowledge of cars is limited... does anyone know what this could be?
    thank you
  • cyndsucyndsu Member Posts: 1
    I also have a probem with the driver side window. It is posessed. It works fine for a few days, and then while i am driving it goes down on its own. I try to get the window up and it goes inch by inch. If it let it sit for a while it will finally go up. I have lived with this for a while, but it is a nusence with all the rain we have had. I have to hold the button while I am driving so it will not go down. Please, please help me. I read a few of the replies and where is the fuse block under the hood. I have a 2003 buick century. :confuse:
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    Last winter the driver's window on my 2000 Century wouldn't go up or down. I replaced the master window switch ($75). Remove and replacement of switch was fairly easy but didn't fix the problem. Went back and got rebuilt window motor and removed and replace ($100 approx). Fixed the problem, so far so good. Replacing window motor a little more involved compared to R&R of master switch but not too bad.
    P.S. We'll take the rain. Haven't seen any for 3 weeks.
    Good Luck
  • stcornishstcornish Member Posts: 1
    Where can I go to find directions on changing a front signal light on a 2000 Buick Century?
  • booboo8115booboo8115 Member Posts: 3
    My SES light came on & Auto Zone scanned to find the Oxygen Sensor Defective.......how expensive is this repair?
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Sensor and labor, $100-150 at the high end.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Your local library probably has car service manuals, they are a great bet. There are clubs online to help, sorry can't link any. Finally - you may be able to figure it out yourself. :) Pop the hood and see if you can access the light assembly right behind the burnt bulb. If not (and typically you can't) you will find the light assembly is held in place with some screws. You undo those screws, slide the whole assembly forward a little, and then twist the base of that bulb and pull out. Although this bulb won't be a Halogen, it is still a good idea to never touch automotive light bulbs with your bare fingers, skin oils can shorten their lives. When assembling make sure you install it "level" as it was before.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Sounds like something is expanding and then contracting, due to heat. Quite possibly a clogged Catalytic Converter. Next time you shut the car off, lay down next to the car and see if the thing that looks kind of like a muffler but is roughly in the middle of your car, on the underside, is where the ticking is coming from. CAUTION: VERY VERY HOT! Don't touch it, just look and listen. Could also be heat shields under the car, these are thin pieces of sheet metal designed to keep the heat from the exhaust out of the passenger cabin. You'll see those on the underside too.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    What kind of wires and plugs did you put in?? Hopefully NOT SplitFire, or any type of Bosch. These engines generally don't like Bosch plugs. I would swap your old wires back into place first, see what changes. If that doesn't fix it you may want to go after the plugs. Best bet is the standard resistor plugs by Autolite. Cheap ones, $1.59 each. You gapped them correctly? Either 0.045 or 0.060, can't remember for that year.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Changing the LIM gasket means moving/disconnecting a TON of vacuum lines, sensors, wires, etc. I just did it myself on my car. Could be anything, but the good news is that reading the code should help him pinpoint it. By the way, after changing the gasket, you should do an oil change immediately, and then another after only a couple hundred miles. Reason? During this operation, coolant tends to DUMP into the engine. Very bad for it. It takes a couple changes to get it all out of there.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Transmission issues, first thing is to check fluid level. You always check it with the engine warm, but not ridiculously hot. 20-30 minutes of driving should get you there. Leave engine running, in park of course. Pull dipstick, wipe, reinsert, check fluid. If level is correct, note the color and smell of the fluid. It should be fairly light in color, reddish, and not smell burnt. Report back and we'll see what you find.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    You can bring back some of the original look of the headlight lenses. Buy some Rubbing Compound for a couple bucks. Not Polishing compound, not wax. If you have access to a buffer, use it to apply the compound, but go lightly. If not, a rag and elbow grease works. Rub rub rub, and wipe off. Much of the sparkle will come back and yellowing will be taken away. Unless the assembly is cracked somewhere and the discoloration is happening from the inside.
  • j9needshelpj9needshelp Member Posts: 2
    I've had my 94 for almost a year now and just recently the gages have been going into the red zone for my temperature. I pulled the car over to see if it was infact overheating and everything was fine. It seems that if I drive for over a half hour or so at a constant speed, the gages go up. I brought the car to my mechanic and he changed the sensors for me and told me that it should be fine, but now whenever this happens the temperature warning light comes on and it continues to the do same thing. Anyone experience this problem? Could it possibly be the thermostat that I need to change? I just want a little information before I bring it back to the shop and have work done on it.
  • drjecklesdrjeckles Member Posts: 5
    I found the problems, grin/sigh

    1. There is an inline fuse taped inside a wiring harness behind the dashboard which was causing most of the error codes.

    2. The rough running was caused by 2 bad Autolite spark plugs. Looking at one I took out, it did look like it had been dropped (and it was not by me!!!!). The second plug looked fine, but had a break in the ceramic just inside the metal base, which came off in my hand when I pulled the tight new cap off. I replaced all the plugs with new Champion copper top and for now, all is running well.
  • preacher3preacher3 Member Posts: 1
    help! my wife was given a buick century as a gift 2 years ago it had 85,000 miles on it now it has 162,000 miles on it and we are experiencing overheating problems in stop and go traffic and at idle, the fans work if a/c is on but otherwise they are useless I have replaced the relays and flushed and refilled the radiator, it seems to have a mysterious leak somewhere just put new transmission in it and a new computer so I kind of want to salvage it for at least another year or so. Any ideals would be helpful. :sick:
  • kjm3kjm3 Member Posts: 1
    I changed the starter in my 1998 Buick in March of this year. A couple of weeks ago the car started making a grinding sound when I would try to start it. Within 24 hours it wouldn't start. After replacing the starter (which was in pieces), the ABS and security lights remained on. Within 10 minutes of driving, the battery light came on and 10 minutes or so later, the air conditioning went off, speedometer broke, car began smoking from exhaust and then it stopped. I waited about 15 minutes and the car started again. Checked battery and alternator, both were good. Replaced a belt (not sure what it's called) and noticed that the pulley the belt was on was broke. We replaced that. The car ran for about 30 minutes and began to do the same thing. Now the car doesn't run at all. Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong?
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    I have a 2000 Century and for the most part were content with it. You said you changed out the relays, did you check to see if it had signal going to the relays? Most cars have an over-ride that when you turn the A/C on the fan kicks in. Other than that when the coolant reaches enough temp the sensor sends a signal to the relay to activate the fan. You might check the water pump. They have little tattle-tale hole that when the bearing and seal wears out a little stream of coolant will come trickling out. Of course something more serious is a blown head gasket(big bucks). That will make the engine run hot and allow coolant to get into the engine and combustion chamber. If thats the case your probably look for a new engine as we speak. I'm currently putting an engine in the kids car where it went kaput.
    Good luck :)
  • rdw5150rdw5150 Member Posts: 2

    My wife and I each have a Century (1998 and 2000).

    We are both experiencing the same problem. Once and a while, when we go to start the car it does not turn over. All bells and whistles turn on, but the car does not even engage the starter. Its like its dead. If we take it out of park put it back into park a few times or keep messing with it, it will eventually start. Also, if I push it forward a couple of feet, that will help it get its stuff together. At times the "Security" light stays on other times it does not.

    This must be a semi-common problem as we both are having it. I am not certain if there is a sensor to let the car know its in park???? Or if its a problem with the ignition/key.

    Any thoughts?


  • redbird48redbird48 Member Posts: 17
    Roger it sounds like you have a bad security chip on your ignition key. I have a generic key that does not have the GM trademark on it , but it has a symbol that looks simular. This gereric key does the same thing when I try to start the car. The security system is not recognizing the key because of the bad chip and will not let the car start. It first started by the red security light comming on. The next time i tried to you this key the lights would come o , but no start. I started using my other key and i have had no problems after several months. The Buick Dealer told me he coud cut a new key for $40.00. Try another key before you have a new one made..Good Luck Red Bird
  • redbird48redbird48 Member Posts: 17
    I have noticed lots of you are having problems with your electric windows. I think I have figured out why. The other day when it was raining and I was driving slow and had the drivers window down about 2 inches I noticed water comming off the roof and dripping straight into the drivers window controls. I raised the window until I got up to speed again and it quit dripping in the controls. It could be that these people have let water leak in to the switches and shorted them out. Just a thought you may concider the next time it rains. These newer cars do not have drip rails on them anymore....Red Bird
  • rdw5150rdw5150 Member Posts: 2
    thanks Red Bird....

    Next time it happens I will try another key... Though it seems to doit with either of our keys.....

    For some reason, it just seems like the car does not think its in Park and thus will not activate the starter. I may try a different key though. If I give my wife my key (to her car) and it still happens, then we know its not (well maybe not) the key.

    Thanks again!



    PS MY key is the original, but her key for her car is not the original. I think I'll swap keys.
  • ryang01ryang01 Member Posts: 1
    Ever find out what your problem was? Please email me at [email protected]
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    The rain water doesn't help that's for sure. In my case though, water didn't get to it. Simply put, I think the motors are poorly designed. :(
  • 86buick86buick Member Posts: 1
    The dome light in my car was on so I was rolling the dimmer wheel (which is really loose & woobles) and smoke started to come out and it got hot around the dash in that side area. Also smelled like burning, etc. It kept slowly smoking for a few minutes then stopped. Everything still appears to still work. Not sure how to get behind the switch to see what's going on. I'm not great w/ cars. Little help please!

    thank ya much,

    j :sick:

    1986 Buick Century Limited ( V6-173 2.8L )
  • vardenvarden Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I bought a used car. Everything worked great on this car for the first month, and then yesterday all of a sudden the power locks, trunk release, headlights, interior lights, rear defrost, hazard lights don't work. The clock and radio won't keep track of the settings and reset to zero every time the car is shut off, but the battery is fine. The headlights and hazard lights don't work, but the blinkers still do. Does anyone know what's wrong with the car?
  • mitechmitech Member Posts: 3
    My low pressure light came on about 7 months ago but my tire pressure is all within spec. does anyone have any ideas?
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    I use to have to keep re-setting my 2000 century all the time. After I had my tires re-balanced and rotated it stopped. :)
  • atraitysatraitys Member Posts: 1
    I'm having 2 problems with my 1998 Custom:
    The screen where you would usually see Milage, and if the Car is in Drive, Reverse, Nuetral, etc.. is dead.
    No lights. Shifting from park to Drive and Reverse is all done by feel.
    The headlights.
    I don't get it, the high beams work, in fact, all lights work EXCEPT for the regular distance headlights.
    I have to drive at night holding back the handle so I can have lights on (even if it's just highbeams.

    I have checked ALL fuses, including those under the hood, have checked/changed all bulbs.

    What the heck is the problem?
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