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Buick Regal



  • jackjtjackjt Posts: 178
    Just purchased the GS and I have put about 450 fun miles on it! Since we have snow on the ground it is now sitting in the garage till the streets dry up!

    A QUESTION:----How has the Supercharged engine held up? Should I consider getting an extended warranty? What have been some of your experiences?

  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I recently shopped for tires for my other car, a 98 Chevy Malibu. Found a ton of information about tires on the site. Tests, consumer surveys, etc. Not for every brand and model, but much more than I could find in other places.

    Additionally, I used the manufacturer sites, like and

    After comparing, I replaced the OEM touring tires (Affinity) by the performance ones - the Firehawk SH-30. Cost about the same. Have "only" 50k miles thread warranty vs. 80k for Affinity, but had much user better comments on Tirerack.

    After using the SH-30 for a month I agree: they hold road and are cornering much better on a dry pavement, and head an shoulder better on the wet one. Do not know about snow yet, today will drive in snow the first time.

    It does not mean I bought my tires from the Tirerack. Turned to be, the price at local Firestone, where I am servicing my cars, was not so different.

    With the smaller Malibu tires, 215/60-R15(?), the total price was $463.18 (I checked my Quicken). This includes the tires, valves, balance, installation, alignment, road hazard insurance, environment fees, and taxes.

    Firestone (and other shops around) gives 15% discount for the tires to anybody who asks - about $50 for my tires. And another discount for alignment if done with buying tires. Could save extra $10 or $20 at another shop, but I like this Firestone service station more, and why to bother?

    I guess, the 225/60-R16 tires for your car would cost about $550-600, everything included.
  • I personally havent heard of anyone that has had any problems with the SC3800 engine.With proper maintenance these engines are bullet proof and should last a long time.Be sure and follow the owners manual service recomendations on the supercharger itself as it has its own oil and oil supply. Our 98 Regal GS has 33,000 trouble free miles and we didnt get an extended warranty with it.I change the oil every 3000-3500 miles.Our 91 Regal Limited with the 3800 has 121,000 miles and doesnt burn a drop of oil between changes.I have a 86 Regal T-Type with the 3.8 Grand National Turboed-Intercooled motor and have heard of them going over 200,000 miles with out being touched and alot of owners drag race them and cant desroy them.The Buick 3.8 and 3800 series motors will go down in history as some of the finest ever built.I've driven them for (16) years with no problems.
  • jackjtjackjt Posts: 178
    Regalluvr1 --- Thanks for your input!
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    I know this is a bit off the topic, but seeing the last post made me think of it. What do/did you guys think of the Reatta? I wish the supercharged 3800 would have made it into that car and I wish it would have stayed in production longer.
  • I would have consider a Reatta back in its day if it had a super charger. But opted for a 91 GS as opposed to the higher ticket Reatta.
  • When the time comes I may seriously consider Yokohama tires for my 00 GS, I had them on my 94 GTP and they lasted twice as long as Goodyear GT+4 OEM and the Yokohamas have a tread warranty plus I was very pleased with the ride. I cannot imagine the OEM LS tires on the GS getting more than 25,000 miles. My Yokahamas A540s ran $91 a tire as opposed to $128 for Goodyear. Believe it or not Sears gave me a great deal. I did also consider Toyo and BF Goodrich. Did not like Toyo tread design.
  • 96gs96gs Posts: 86
    Thanks for looking. I'm surprised the coupes didn't sell more. I think the coupe aged better than the sedans. Another car besides the Reatta that shouldn't have gotten chopped off was the Olds Toronado's. I love those cars. I guess big coupes like the three mentioned above along with the Riviera just lost their appeal when the SUV craze came about.
  • The Reatta was a beautiful car, never sold as a sports car or exceptional performance, but had the same 3800 engine as the other Buicks and weighed slightly over 3300lbs. Talk about rare! In four years they only made a total of 21,751 cars.
    The convertible was offered in '90 and '91 with only 2,132 and 305 built in respective years.

    If you have any interest, check out and follow the link to Reattas.
    Also a private page is excellant.

    Barney Eaton BCA technical advisor for Reattas and keeper of the Reatta database.
  • I have a 1994 Buick Regal, 4 dr sedan , V-6. I have over 30,000 miles and it is time to change the spark plugs. The front spark plugs on the V-6 are relatively easy to get out and replace. However the rear spark plugs require that the air cleaner be disconnected and the engine rotated forward and locked in place which makes it easy to remove and install the rear spark plugs. My problem is I do not know how to rotate the engine. Does anyone out there know how this is done? Do you need a special tool to do this? On my Olds Cutlass you needed a crowbar to be inserted in a cylindrical opening and then after the rotating the engine forward you placed a bolt into two holes that held the engine in position but I can not find anything similar on the Buick. There has to be some secret to it. Help please. Thank you.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    What does your owners manual say? Any access to a shop manual? First I've heard of "rotating" a motor. Have to disconnect the trans?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    My service station, a local Firestone, sending coupons every month to everybody around. One of the coupons is for maintenance tune-up. Spark plugs (Bosch) and, I believe, injector cleaning.

    The price is $50 for "most" 6-cyl., but $75 if the V-6 engine is transverse mounted. Extra for platinum plugs, A/C interference. Plus fee and tax.

    In other words, the transverse engine requres somewhat like 30 minutes of extra labor for skilled mechanics, who are doing the job every day.

    That is all I know.
  • jpstaxjpstax Posts: 250
    We bought a new GS back in August. At the time our salesman said he highly recommended getting the extended warranty (GMPP). We followed his advice, only for the "peace of mind" it afforded us. I too have heard that the SC 3800 Series II engine is pretty much "bulletproof" (if you take care of it), but we still didn't want to risk it.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    We bought a GS this fall. No extended warranty currently, but we think about bying one before the standard manufacturer 36k miles/36 month warranty will expire. Bought an extended warranty for our other car, the 98 Chevy Malibu.

    To the best of my understanding, the GM V-6 engines and transaxles are very reliable. Possibly, the best in the world. Or in the top ten... I would not expect a lot of problems in this department.

    But there is a lot of other parts in the modern cars, which can fail. All this modern electronics everywhere, speakers, air condition, power everything, etc., etc.

    The automotive parts are rather expensive now. And, even when cheap, they are densely packed and often interconnected. For example, it takes $500 in labor to replace a #25 heater core. The particular example is with 88 Ford Taurus, but the general tendency is common with all modern cars.

    For this reason, I consider buying the extended warranty, but only of the "bumper to bumper" kinds.

    As to peace of mind, well, I agree.

    The warranty / insurance companies cover the same repairs, and, in addition, bear the sale expenses and the service expenses. They also have to make a reasonable profit after all the expenses.

    It ought to be less expensive, to pay for all repairs myself. In other words, to self-insure. In average it would pay. In average, and in long-term, with all cars my wife and I have now and will have in future during all of our life.

    But we are not in insurance business. We prefer the peace of mind. It let us concentrate on our work, instead of, techno-speaking, "managing liquid cash reserves set aside for car repairs".
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    $25 heater core, not #25
  • This is my opinion and my opinion only but an extended warranty is a waste of money unless you plan on keeping the vehicle for 100,000 miles or you have no confidence in your vehicle.I wish I had all the money back for extended warranties that I purchased and never used.They never gave me anything extra when I traded off a vehicle where the extended warranty was still not used up.I finally got wise and quit buying them and have never needed one.The reason a new car salesman pushes you so hard to buy the extended warranty is that he gets a piece of the pie.Extended warranties offered by new car dealers are negoitable as I have had friends get them to knock off $300 on them.I bought a new 91 Ford Ranger XLT and the salesman told me all kinds of horror stories and begged me to buy the extended warranty.I refused and today at 106,000 miles it has never had any problems at all.If by chance we do buy a lemon its gone before its out of factory warranty such as was the case with a lemon 94 Dodge Intrepid we purchased new.I can handle all the small jobs such as waterpumps,alternators,brakes,belts,hoses,etc. myself.After I got married in 1980 I quit most of my hotrodding and have never lost a motor or tranny in (20) years and thats probably 600,000+ miles of driving mostly Buick Regals.We have a 91 Regal Limited thats never had any problems in 121,000 miles other than brakes and the drivers power window at 110,000 miles.If I do lose a motor or tranny with a car thats out of warranty we will fix it and probably trade it off if my trust in it is gone.We have (5) liscensed vehicles so have something to drive if one goes down.When you only have (1) vehicle an extended warranty might be more important.
  • 96gs96gs Posts: 86
    Well today we went Christmas shopping (a little early for me, but what the heck) and after getting into the car after shopping, the key wouldn't go into the ignition. I giggled the steering wheel and checked the shifter, nothing worked. The key would go halfway in and wouldn't go any further. Tried the spare key but the same thing. Finally the key went into the ignition and the engine wouldn't start, didn't even turn over or make a noise. I checked the owners manual and it said if the theft detection system detects something it may take up to three minutes before letting the engine start. So we waited and still the same. Checked all the fuses, disconnected the battery cable to reset the computer, still dead. The battery was fully charged so that wasn't the problem. The starter wouldn't even make a noise while the key was turned all the way, just the various lights came on in the dashboard. I guess something in the ignition switch where the key goes broke. I was not a happy guy. While standing there in the freezing cold I watched as different people hopped into their cars and drove away. It was kind of depressing watching someone get in a '80 Pinto and see it start right up and zoom away while I stood next to a four year old dead Buick. I had it towed to the dealership but they are closed till Monday. I hope it isn't too expensive. I'll keep you guys posted.
  • jackjtjackjt Posts: 178
    Hopefully it's just the starter or something even less $$$$taxing! Let us know.

    And thanks everyone for weighing in on those extended warranties!

    We are bracing for allot of snow here in the mid-west(6 to 12")so the 01GS just sits in the garage;-(
  • I do not have a shop manual and there is nothing in the manual that comes with the car. From my previous Olds Cutlass Supreme, the whole engine rotated after you disconnected the air cleaner. There was enough slack in all the wires and hoses to allow this. I don't see how you can conveniently get to the rear plugs without rotating the engine. The transaxle rotates with the engine since it is an integral part of the engine.
  • There is nothing in the service manual that indicates you need to "rotate" the engine to change plugs. While I have not changed them in my Regal, I have changed several sets in Reattas (same engine,slightly different engine compartment)

    They probably can be changed from the top side, but I find it much easier to change from below.
    Jack up the front of the car, put your jack stands on the engine sub-frame and crawl under, they are almost staring you in the face. While this is a little more work than changing from the top... it's a lot easier than trying to rotate the engine. Mr Coalcracker must have other serious problems if his engine rotates after disconnecting the air cleaner. Better check the motor mounts.

    Besides you only need to do it every 100k miles.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I hope this is just the ignition switch.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    If you are doing most of repairs youself, there is indeed absolutely no sense buying the extended warranty.
  • 96gs96gs Posts: 86
    What part of the midwest? Here in northern Illinois they are saying 8-12"+ tomorrow with 40mph winds and -40 windchills! I'm almost kind of glad my car's in the shop!
  • Our 90 Regal GS had the 3.1 engine and I got lazy and had the dealer change the sparkplugs and it cost $75.00 in 1994.They had to roll the motor forward to do it.It had a miss on the way home so called them and took it back the next day.They hadnt gapped one of the plugs correctly and had to roll the motor and pull every sparkplug out again.Correct spark plug gap on these engines is critical.When we got our 91 Regal Limited several years ago I got a Haynes Manual and it said you didnt have to roll the motor on it.So I bought a set of sparkplugs and did it myself.It was a tight fit against the firewall but got the job done in a little over one hour.The hardest thing was pulling the sparkplug wires loose.Had a few scrapes on my hand but was well worth the money saved.The car ran great when I started it back up.I do all the work I can myself.A good repair manual is well worth the money.In one long afternoon on our 91 Limited I changed sparkplugs,the motor oil and filter,fuel filter,air filter,changed tranny oil and filter,and put on a new serpentine drive belt,plus checked the brakes.I was going to change the radiator hoses but they looked great so the new ones are still laying in the trunk just in case.Any time we buy a used car with over 50,000 miles I always do all this.A dealer would charge you a fortune to do this stuff.They want $74.95 just to service the tranny here.Our 91 Limited may be for sale at 122,000 miles even though I wouldnt hesitate to fill it with gas and go anywhere in the U.S.We live in Missouri.Yesterday we found a 2000 Regal LS that caught my wifes eye.Its loaded,has 18,000 miles, has leather,fancy wheels,and is over $3,000 under book.More later.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    Sorry to hear about your Regal not starting. I'd say something in the ignition switch is bad. Don't feel too bad. I've seen brand new cars costing twice what a Regal cost not start because of something minor. I'm sure they will have you back in business in a day or so.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Of the upcoming 5.7L V-8 powered Impala SS....Smokin'!!
  • 96gs96gs Posts: 86
    You da man!!
    Where did you find that link? Man I hope they make it so all the auto mags will stop whining about the lack of V8 in the Impala (even though the 3800 is very powerful).

    etharmon- Thanks. Unfortunately the dealership was closed today due to a huge blizzard which paralyzed the city. Even snow plows quit for awhile it was so bad. We have about 12 inches with drifts over five feet out in rural areas.
  • 96gs96gs Posts: 86
    Got the GS back today. The ignition cylinder went bad. The part cost $50 and towing cost $40, the labor etc was almost $200. Ridiculous.
  • I recently contacted Borla about the exhaust they built for the Buick Regal at the SEMA show.
    They actually built two, one had dummy exhaust coming out the front fenders.

    Bottom line... they were one-off systems, but if there is enough interest they will consider building a cat-back system for the Regal. I am guessing the price would be $500-$600 but it is stainless and could be transferred to a newer Regal if you traded.

    Give me some feedback on your interest.
    How about sending me a note at if you or anyone you know with a Regal would be interested. I will try to twist their arm to produce one for our cars.
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