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Buick Century Maintenance and Repair



  • bxdbxd 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 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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-westPosts: 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 :)
  • Hello!

    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?


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Ever find out what your problem was? Please email me at
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 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. :(
  • 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 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?
  • 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-westPosts: 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. :)
  • 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?
  • doggaldoggal Posts: 17
    I had an overheating problem too on my buick century 1994 (41000 original miles). Had the radiator flushed. The light would still come on from time to time. Took it back to the shop they changed the thermostat. They also reflushed the radiator, because after they flushed it the first time they put some kind of cleaner in it and that really cleaned it but at the same time caused a motherload of deposit at the bottom of the radiator, causing it to have only 1/3 actual radiator capacity. After the second flush that all came out and it seems to be doing fine, knock on wood.
  • doggaldoggal Posts: 17
    I am new to this board. I have a Buick Century 94 with 41000 original miles. This morning suddenly the front windows do not want to open. Thought may be because it is cold, had the heater on for a while still nothing.
    The back ones do open, but one is very slow.
    Can someone explain what is going on.
    Hope I do not need a trip to the shop. Just spend my Christas money there over the weekend getting the brakes fixed.
    Any help greatly appreciated.
  • tlon7tlon7 Posts: 7
    I just got a pristine 1995 Buick Century with a 3.1, V6 engine. I had recently purchased an Interstate MT 34 (Megatron II) for another car, but I'm now getting rid of the former car and wonder if this battery is good for the Century. I looked up the recommended battery list for the Buick Century on the Interstate Battery site and it did not mention this battery. It's a shame if I can't use it because I spent $75, it has a 75 month warranty, :surprise: and I've run it about five miles. The Cranking info and voltage specs seem correct. Can someone help fast! I'm donating the other car to MADD on Tuesday, nov. 28.
  • My grandmother gave me her 92 Buick Century. For the most part its been a very reliable car, and she kept it very well maintained. I recently had to get new brake pads and replace the starter and the computer. Other than that, its been pretty good to me. I went out a few minutes ago to go somewhere, and as soon as I started the car, a very loud rattling coming from the belts or that area. I went in checked the belts, nothing seems loose. This isn't something that's been coming on, it just started out of nowhere. I had gone somewhere earlier this morning and it was fine. Any thoughts or suggestions? I really don't have the money to take it to a shop!!
  • Checked the cooling fan relay and it's fine. The wiring diagram shows a 10 amp in line fuse which I suspect is the culprit. Does any one know where this in line fuse is located? Is it near or above the PCM/ECM behind the dashboard?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • based on what you wrote and just a guess. the belt tensioner may be worn. But that is a guess.
    Also, I had an air conditioner compressor pulley go bad and it sounded like a very loud scraping with the A/C off and would go away when I turned on the A/C.
    Just Guessing but I hope it helps.
  • Recently, I find my car (2002 buick century) don't start properly after I just turned off the engine. when the engine is cold, every thing is OK. anyone has this problem? How to solve it?
  • The interior lights continually blow the 10 amp fuse leaving us in the dark. Does any one know how to fix the problem??? I have replaced the fuse several times - that just does not work. Oh yes I have had to replace all 4 window motors - I hope the replacements last longer than the original at a cost of $400. per window. The windows were almost never opened - parked inside every night and never allowed rain inside - yet they failed with less than 30,000 miles (6yrs old). Any help out there with the interior lights (tired of high dollar repairs)??
  • I have a 1999 Buick Century 3.1L V6. It has just over 120k miles on it.

    I purchased it, and didnt even know it had a tick which would occur after the car was running for a minute... and it never goes away. It is harder to hear at higher RPM's (over 2,000) but it's still there.

    I notice a lot of people have problems with engine tick at cold startup, but I have not seen any people post about engine tick AFTER a cold startup

    What is wrong? Is it bad? Easy to fix? Expensive? Will my motor last? What should I do?


    I purchased this car for winter use because I wanted to store my 1999 Grand Prix GTP 3.8L Supercharged V6

  • You will have to find the short. Never a fun thing to do. You will have take the time and trace all the sockets, wires and switch to check for shorts.
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