Buick Century Brakes

cfg2ndcfg2nd Member Posts: 1
edited October 2014 in Buick
I have done many different brake jobs on the various cars and trucks that I have owned over the last 30 yrs. I have a 95 Buick Century that I am trying to do a rear brake job on and am totally stumped. I cannot find a schematic or exploded view of the rear drum brake system. Chiltons takes my money and then their books show nothing. I have one side apart and can not figure out how to get the large U shaped spring, that holds the entire assembly together and against the baking plate, back on! Any suggestions or special tools necessary... Help!


  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westMember Posts: 255
    I'm disappointed in Haynes Manuals. Just about when you get to the good part it says something like "This is beyond the scope of your intelligence, take it to a real mechanic". I can agree with the part that my IQ can be counted on one hand but,... there was a reason I bought the book, I don't feel like paying $98./hr plus parts. Sometimes I go the the library and look it up in the dealer manual and then copy the pages I need. :shades:
  • frogger14frogger14 Member Posts: 1
    2002 buick century just bought it used 83000 mls step on the brakes and i feel the pedal fluter also can hear what sounds like some type of motor noise consitant with the jittery pedal...someone please help.
  • 11000000000001100000000000 Member Posts: 2
    1994 buick century left front wheel not relasing all the way and runs hot if out on highway. I have replaced both the caliper and brake hose twice just in case I got a bad one the first time. I can not figure out why the caliper will not release the brake fully like the other side. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
  • horns1976horns1976 Member Posts: 56
    We have a 1998 Buick Century with only 37K miles. The front disc pads were replaced one year ago and rotors were turned at that time. Last week, my mechanic inspected the front and rear brakes and cleaned them with brakecleen. As far as I know, that is all that was done.

    The day after the car was in the shop, I noticed that under hard braking the front of the car pulls to the left. Also, I have heard a high-pitched squeal coming from the front brakes a couple of times under normal braking. :(

    Any ideas and/or suggestions would be appreciated. We plan to buy a new vehicle as soon as we can find something we like and don't want to spend any more money on this vehicle. Thanks.
  • jesse2006jesse2006 Member Posts: 1
    the emergency brakes release automatically. They will not hold. I've tried to adjustthem by driving in reverse and slamming on the brakes. It did no good. Any ideas? :(
  • joelsrjoelsr Member Posts: 1
    Hey Frogger, what did you finally do to fix your problem with the brakes on your 2002 buick century ? What was the problem? I am having the same brake problems with my 2002 buick century. Help..... Thanks, Joel
  • ripsrips Member Posts: 3
    My sister has gotten my parents 1998 (I believe) Century and the heater/air conditioning fan squeals like crazy when it is on.She doesn't have much money to fix it so I was wondering if anyone would have any ideas on quick fix. The dealership said it would require tearing out the dash and hundreds of dollars.
    Thank You,

    Jeff Ripple
  • ladamskiladamski Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1994 Buick Century. I have experienced intermittent complete brake loss, usually when driving a slow pace, which is quite fortunate! I have taken it to a few Buick Dealers, other mechanics and no one can tell me what the problem is. They drive it around and it does not happen. They have looked at everything under the hood and can not tell me why it continues to happen. I have stopped driving it for fear it will happen again, which it will, and I don't want to hurt anyone, or myself! Can someone tell me why this could be happening??? The only thing that has happened is the antilock brake light goes on. This was checked out by a dealer and told me it was nothing but a minor electrical short but had nothing to do with me loosing the brakes. The brakes go all the way to the bottom and then when I pump they come back. I have been extremely lucky but, I need help!!! Can anyone give me advice????? Buick has no answers and no mechanic can tell me either???? I am at a complete loss!.....PLEASE HELP!
  • jheinzejheinze Member Posts: 1
    what did you do to fix your issue, I have a 1992 century doing the same thing. The brake lines have been replaced, (thought it might be a collapsed line) but the issue persists. the antilock valve body is next thing in line. I'm hoping for something else to have gone bad (a new one is $650-800)thanks!
  • 11000000000001100000000000 Member Posts: 2
  • jennd09jennd09 Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2002 Buick Century with a "No traction" light warning. Ater 3 tries of taking it to a Service center, who advised me that it was in the wheel bearing sensor.(which they supposedly replaced). The problem keeps reappearing.When I make a slow left turn, I hear a buzzing noise and it seems like the brakes want to lock up. I am afraid to drive it in the city. However it does not happen when on a highway with no slow turns. I'm frustrated. I'm hearing that this model has frequent brake probloems. Can anyone help?
  • achybrakyachybraky Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Buick Century is perfect in every way otherwise, but damp weather makes the (rear, I think) brakes squeal terribly for the first few stops.
    The mechanic does not seem worried but the sound makes me cringe, I dread the sound and the looks I get from others who hear the gosh-awful noise. :blush:
    The other day I met someone with the same model and he has the same problem.
    Suggestions? Solutions? Thanks for any advice.
  • thembthemb Member Posts: 1
    I recently took my '95 Century in for an oil change, and when I started it after my brake light came on and stayed on. I checked the fluid level and topped it off, but then the next day the light came back on. My ABS light has been on sine I got the car 6 months ago, I don't know if they are related. Could something have happened while I was getting my oil changed? There was not a problem (to my knowledge) before this.
  • dcox5939dcox5939 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same issue with a '97 Century with the brake warning light on intermittently at first, now most of the time. But I do not have an ABS light on. This has been happening for approximately a month now. Would appreciate anything ideas on this.
  • kellyjs82kellyjs82 Member Posts: 1
    Mine has the same exact problem as achybraky. It's terrible. I have to drive about 3 blocks using the brakes off and on before I can depend on them being there when I need them. Mine used to only have the problem during rain or if it was really humid, now it happens almost every time I get in the car.
  • jbak1961jbak1961 Member Posts: 1
    Mom's car has only 45,000 miles.The brake line rusted out.Anyone else have this problem?
  • lja06lja06 Member Posts: 1
    1. I loose my brakes intermittently. I am usually going slow (Thank God!) but I just pump them and they come back. I never know when it is going to happen. I have had it checked with numerous dealers and know one can find a problem. CAN ANYONE HELP!!

    Also, I was just told I needed new front struts and an o-ring (not sure of the name) the ring that holds the muffler in place in rear of car, to keep it from going back and forth. Also had a tire replaced, some mechanic put the wrong size on the car! He put a 195 instead of 185. Anyway, Now my car has a low grinding sound coming from the back. And, it does not drive as smooth as it did. The car has 65M miles... my brother thinks I got taken. Any advise on these issues?? Appreciate any help! Thanks!
  • ksandsksands Member Posts: 1
    My mom's 2001 Buick Century had the problem with intermittant brake loss. The brakes would work fine one time, then go clear to the floor the next. You never knew when you had brakes. Our mechanic was very frustrated, but finally found that the inner pad on one of the calipers had collapsed inside the caliper. Apparently, they usually fall clear out if they fail. This one worked part of the time because it was crammed into the bottom of the space. Hope this helps!
  • ndirwondirwo Member Posts: 1
    I have a Buick Century Custom 1998 and need to replace the whole parking brake cable because it rusted away. Anyone have instructions on doing this? Also how can I rustproof the underside of the car?

    James Ndirwo
  • tempfixittempfixit Member Posts: 5
    2002 Century with 107K.

    The left rear wheel makes a awful noise and locks up when braking at low speed. The Service Engine Soon light, Anti-Lock light, and Trac Off light come on when put in reverse.I have looked at the lining's and drum and everything seems to be fine. Wheel clyinder is not leaking. Is this a ABS issue, wheel bearing issue. I have seen different posts on this issue on this forum but cannot get the full post or answers.

    Thanks for any help
  • tempfixittempfixit Member Posts: 5
    Today I scuffed the brake shoes and drum with some sandpaper, blew the dust off and put back together. It fixed the problem. No more noises or brake locking up.

    Hope this helps someone else if they have the same problem.
  • willonewillone Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1998 buick century custom. When I step on the brake my right side brake shakes, pulsates and pulls the car to the right. I have replace the brake pads rotor brake lines and calipers on both side. at 70 to 80 the car vibrate like I have a bad tire. had an alignment done and re balanced the tires did not work so, I bought 4 new tires. I have worn out the right front tire in less then 4,000 miles. everyone believe it the brakes on the ride side of the car. does anyone have an idea?
  • willonewillone Member Posts: 5
    it the blower motor. I went a year spraying wd-40 into bottom of the blower motor. but then replaced with a used blower motor from salvage yard for 25 bucks. I am start to think Buicks don't like cold weather. good luck.
  • tempfixittempfixit Member Posts: 5
    Have you checked the wheel bearing?? Describe the wear on the tire. Have you checked the proportioning valve for the abs?? Have you rotated rims or checked rims for damage?? (Bent) Do you hear a growling noise???
  • willonewillone Member Posts: 5
    I thought it was a bad rim I did fine one rims that was bent so I replace it. but I did not have a brake issues with that rim as it was in the rear. the tire it worn on the outer edge both sides inner and outter side looked new in the middle. no noise. but I will check the proportioning valve on Abs.
  • tempfixittempfixit Member Posts: 5
    I would seriously check out the wheel bearing. Also consider have codes on the ABS read to see if there are any present, may be helpful.
  • willonewillone Member Posts: 5
    after checking and replacing brake rotor, brake pad, wheel bearing, tie rod ends ( right side only) and tires on my 1998 buick centreny because of a vibration and a brake that some times pulsated when braking hard. I also replace and up graded to brake rotors to a better quility rotor. I was checking the ride side of the car more because of the tire wear on the right side. I never looked at the tie rod end on the left side until I was was at the end of my rope. my brother and I start removing the front end to do a full rebuild.. the first part I remove on the left side of the car I notice the tie rod end was bad. so let this be a lesson to us all look at the left side of the car also even if everythin point to the right side.
  • tempfixittempfixit Member Posts: 5
    In post # 23 you mentioned that pads, rotors, and brake lines and a wheel alignment were done to the vehicle. A bad tie rod end on the left side should have been noticed with the inspection of front prior to alignment by shop. I would have a discussion with the alignment shop as to why this was missed at that time and try and recoupe some expenses for the right tire wear and replacement.
  • willonewillone Member Posts: 5
    post number 29, this is one of many question I have been asking the manager at fair town tire. I was told aligment and the tire wear is not covered because I did not have an aligment done. I showed them the paper work that an aliment was to be done. they don't have an answer for me. how did they not notice a bad tie rod during the front end agiliment? they said things can be over looked it was fine before the front end aligment was done on the car. I am still fight with them. if there is a town fair by you I would not go to them. all they will give me is 10% off my next purchase. I told them there will not be a next purchase.
  • drivewaymech3drivewaymech3 Member Posts: 1
    A friend of mine was driving towards a stoplight and the brake pedal went to the floor on his 1996 Buick Century. Pumping gave only partial rear braking. He hobbled to my house (during which the brakes worked normally the whole way). We pulled the driver side tire and discovered that the fibrous finely woven tube cover (fiberglass?) to the extremely thin and fragile wire to ABS sensor looked burnt. Cutting it off we discovered the wires inside had shorted out. When we cleared the short and individually wrap insulated the wires, the ABS warning light then came on. A gravel skid test revealed no ABS at all. We found that dead shorting the wire to the sensor with a jumper wire will cause the ABS warning light to go out, but obviously disables the ABS. We replaced the sensor (which requires that the whole bearing/stud assembly to be replaced), and then the ABS light went out. A gravel skid test revealed the ABS working fine and he says the normal braking is now better too. Some research reveals that the ABS detects no tire turn during a skid and releases hydraulic pressure to the brakes until the tire is detected as turning. We think that when a short to the sensor occurs the sensor never detects the tire turning again and thus never stops bleeding fluid pass the brake (and the initial short may even set off the ABS without an actual skid occurring). Anyone having random near-total or total loss of brakes on this type of vehicle might do well to examine the wires and terminals leading to the ABS sensors - and replace suspicious units (we paid about $90 for a unit from a common auto parts chain). A gravel skid test might also reveal an ABS system not working even though there is no ABS warning light lit. Replacing the bearing/stud/ABS Sensor assembly is moderately hard. You have to remove the axle nut, the caliper and rotor, and the assembly’s three star drive cap screws (moderately rusted and hard to brake loose) - harder than a brake job, but easier than a CV Joint replacement.
  • max104max104 Member Posts: 4
    has anybody done a rear brake job on buick century? how in gods name do you hol all the drum break componets together, then try to put that big w spring on to clip into the shoes? is their a special tool for this? can some one show me it, and how to use it. thank you
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