Buick Century Maintenance and Repair



  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Member Posts: 19
    yes the contacts go out often and the only fix ive found is to get new switches at an auto parts store that match size and use. I got lucky and found some now they work good. the originals were all made by the lowest bidder.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Member Posts: 19
    check the coil pack with a volt meter to see if its resistance is within limits.
  • jmayfieldjmayfield Member Posts: 1
    Last week I decided to service my 1998 Buick Century, it has over 185k and never had a problem since buying it new. After researching a good mechanic, I got new tires, breaks and rotors, serpentine belt, oil change and had the transmission serviced.

    Today I heard the transmission making noise. I checked the fluid and there was none! Also saw transmission fluid spots on the pavement under the car, but not very much.

    I am wondering if the problem was caused by the mechanic not doing something right, or if new transmission fluid can destroy the seals. The transmission has been serviced before without problems.

  • 2002_buick2002_buick Member Posts: 1
    Remove the O2 sensor before the catalytic converter. This will remove extra pressure off the catalytic converter and your engine should run smother if you have a "going bad catalytic converter" If your performance improves change catalytic converter and have all faults reset.
  • matrixjjjmatrixjjj Member Posts: 1
    All the instruments on my car(speedometer,fuel guage,shifting light, etc.) dont work all of a sudden.How do I remove my dashboard to get to it. Also can I buy a new one or who is good about rebuilding them? Any help is greatly appreciated. I am referring to the instrument cluster panel.I hear they short out across the wiring

    :) Thanks in advance
  • abbe23abbe23 Member Posts: 2
    Hi all...
    I have a 92 Century that will run/drive fine, good idle, no power loss, no sputtering etc. for about a mile or so then it will just completely and suddenly die. Engine dies, all instrument lights go out, no radio, no power steering, no electrical at all...dead. When I turn the key there is no activity at all...no fans whirring, solenoids clicking, etc. After anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour it will start right up and run fine. Actually, I can sit and idle for at least an hour (haven't sat longer than that idling) but as soon as I drive away from home...about 1/2 a mile to a mile away and we are dead again.

    I am going to take it into the shop but would love to hear what others think could be the culprit before I foolishly okay tons of tests and repairs that don't fix the problem.

    I am adept enough with a multimeter to do some testing if pointed in the right direction...just not sure where to start with this.

    Thanks so much....abbe
  • abbe23abbe23 Member Posts: 2
    Just wanted to add that this is a 3.3 L V6 with a 4 speed auto trans and about 120,000 miles on it.
  • gregman45gregman45 Member Posts: 1
    Hello! I own a 1994 Buick Century Special with the 3.1L V-6 engine! The car has been a great one for me & has 85,000 original miles! Here, just recently the motor has to warm up before it will go into any gear! Fluid has been changed once in its lifetime & is not low! After the warm up, the car still runs like a brand new one! Any ideas, hints or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as to what is causing this!
  • bigjohnobigjohno Member Posts: 2
    where is the water temp sending unit on the 1994 Century 3.1 v 6 engine, gauge not working need to check if wire came off?

  • bigjohnobigjohno Member Posts: 2
    I have the same problem, its not the fuse and the hayes book is useless.

    the windows go up very slowly and then stop and you have to wait 5 minutes until the motor cools before they work again, NO buick dealer could fix it.

    I was told to try and replace the power motors and see if it fixes it?

    John O
  • 2000buickrehab2000buickrehab Member Posts: 11
    Rebuilding a 2000 Century.
    I've got 200k+ miles on the car, 8 years as a Pizza delivery at night and Real Estate Property Management during the day car. The exact mileage is in question as the PRNDL cluster went down a few years back.
    There are wiring, relay, sensor and module issues throughout. I installed high intensity blue white head lights in '02 which caused wiring damage throughout and 9 years of rain into the passenger floor board from a bad seal at either the heater or in car cabin filter, possibly could be a blocked drain in or around the firewall. The water leak has led to a nice rusty fuse panel in the passenger side access panel.
    She has the standard Century issues: Kicks into gear because of a bad solenoid in the tranny, oil in the radiator, already replaced one window register, body control module causes door locks and side mirrors to work only intermittently, A/C doesn't work, blown fan motor and blower control module, right side radiator fan only works off a direct jump from battery to white electric wire, left side radiator fan does not work at all even with direct power from battery, rear speakers work about 10 days out each year, need new headliner, carpet liner and arm rest console. Where to begin?
    Recent repairs: new brakes, rotors, tires, tie rods, front wheel hubs, rear sway bar, drivers window register, plugs and plug wires, 1 & 4 cylinder coil, engine temp coolant sensor, serpentine belt

    Seems like a money pit, should I trade her in on a good used Regal or keep dumping man hours and cash into her?
  • johnminnjohnminn Member Posts: 52
    I have a 2001 Buick Century with 46,000 miles who's rocker panels have rusted out.

    Since the rocker panel is considered to be a structural member the whole side panel right up to the roof panel must be replaced.

    ??How in the world can GM sell a car that rusts out a structural member that quickly get past a recall??

    My 96 Buick LeSabre has 178,000 + miles on it and it still is not rusted, much less rusted out. Fantastic car. Low maintenance costs, Great ride, Economical.
    Granted I put on the best tires available, but that car handles slippery roads as if they were dry. ABS system still works perfectly in spite on Minnesota salted roads. Love that car.

    ??Anyone out there have another fix for those rusted out rocker panels??
  • melisssssa2187melisssssa2187 Member Posts: 1
    My buick is giving me alot of problems. It has probably about 220000. The previous owners only drove it highway back n forth to work and they were older so you know they didnt dog the car. I have had it since June of this year and most recently since it has gotten colder it has gave me tons of problems. This is what happens the most. I will start it up and take off. The heat will sometimes get hot but after about a minute and extreme heat it will turn cold and the temp will go all the way up to the red but not go into the red. When i pull over and and put it in park i can rev up my engine and if i keep doing that then it will get hot again but that doesnt last it will go right back to cold. i have no idea what is going on. i had someone change the thermostat but that didnt work. i dont know what to do.
  • kframekframe Member Posts: 5
    Had a similar problem on a another car. Sounds like you have air in the cooling system. Some cars have a bleed screw usually on top of the themostat housing but could be elsewhere. I would thouroughly flush the system with prestone super flush. Backwashing would be better. Refill and find out any special way of bleeding out air.
    Check also that there is no coolant in oil(milky looking) or oil in coolant. Suggests a blown head gasket. A compression leak down test would also show a problem. A check of water pump would also be a good idea. Have you recently used any sort of stop leak in the radiator? This stuff is notorious for blocking off internal cooling passages. Got to flush it out of there. Best of Luck...
  • amc31amc31 Member Posts: 1
    Have a 96 Century that is leaking coolant. 99,000 miles. replaced a squeaky water pump but that didn't stop the leak. All hoses and radiator appear fine as well as no heater core leaks and all coolant seems to be leaking on the belt side of the engine. I'm hoping its not an Intake manifold gasket leak but can tell where its leaking from. It also seems to be worse one day then not as bad the next. going through about 1 to 2 bottles of antifreeze a week. Any ideas? Was told to try a sealant made by K&W.?

    :mad: Alex
  • molerjmolerj Member Posts: 9
    Believe me, it is the head gasket. Pretty common problem. Been there, done that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    nothing in a bottle is going to save you on this one I'm afraid. You should have the cooling system pressure tested to identify the problem for certain, but odds are it's the intake manifold, yes. Maybe you'll get lucky, hope so.
  • loopsyloopsy Member Posts: 5
    I have a 95 Buick Century Wagon Special 3.1L I have maintained this car very well had no problems until this fall replaced tranny,windshield,brakes you name it. Very well maintained. Day before christmas eve drove to store got home power locks quit working. Took it out again went shopping and got in started car up and no headlights,no brake lights,no hazzard lights and every time I start the engine my clock and radio reset themselves. I checked the fuses two 5 amps that blew still no luck. Checked turn signal switch unplugged and plugged in no luck. Checked all wires for cracks,shorts,burned wires no go. Unhooked battery no go. Tested to see if alternator was bad or draining battery no go. I am now replacing the headlight switch on the dash to see if that makes a difference lets hope. Now I am trying to see what goes together here and the power locks are not fitting in at all. Not sure if it could be a relay switch or the ecm modulator. Also they say there are two fuse boxes can't find the second one underhood if you know where that is let me know owner manual only tells you so much. I am trying to fix this on my own because I know It will cost me dearly at a garage and can't afford it right now. Same problem with my back windows not wanting to go up but an inch at a time if I am lucky. Any advice or anyone that had same problem and knows how to fix this please let me know. I have checked every wire on this car possible everywhere nothing. I am going down the line and seeing what I can do any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Got me boggled because they are seperate and wondering if I have an overload or not enough juice to make it do that. This car is costing me a lot of money more than I'm ever going to get back. Thanks in advance for any input or help :cry:
  • donovan5donovan5 Member Posts: 2
    I have the exact same problem as one other person ralz on discussion page 1 except my turn signal isnt working on the oppisite side. my right side blinkers are working normal but the drivers side is all out of wack I have changed bulbs headlights even switched headlight plug. So my front drivers side blinker is not blinking at all and the back blinks rapidly. No left light indicator shows up in dash when I signal but I can hear the turn signal blinking rapidly (the left back blinker) any suggestions are wanted
  • donovan5donovan5 Member Posts: 2
    I have the exact same issue with my 98 buick century but mine blinker is doing that on the drivers side if you have any advise for me give me a holla thanks
  • gbilottagbilotta Member Posts: 1
    Why do the headlights on my '03 Buick Century fail after driving 25 min's. Flipping the direction signal lever from high to low, or from low to high restores the lights for a period of time.
  • molerjmolerj Member Posts: 9
    Your dimmer switch is bad. Had the same problem. It got worse until the headlights would no longer work.
  • jennjenn2024jennjenn2024 Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2010
    I have a 84 Buick Century for about a month now while driving down the road it will act like it wants to shut off and I have to push the gas pedal to the floor and it will either pick up or turn off. On top of this every time I start my car the clock says a different time. Well went to start it the other day and now it wont start. We have replaced spark plugs and wires, cap and rotor and the sensor that has to do with the timing. When you turn the key it will hesitates when it turns almost like the timing is off but not sure..
  • cet1stcet1st Member Posts: 17
    edited February 2010
    My fuel cap will no longer lock and needs replacement. What are the advantages of using the OEM cap than an after mart one. What special tool is needed?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The advantage I can see for an OEM cap is the fit. The check engine light will come on if the gas cap is not perfectly fitted. (detects air leak). Fit is *critically* important.

    The only installation issue I can think of is that the gas cap is tethered, so you need to disconnect the anchoring line from the cap. I don't expect this would be very difficult.
  • bcudadriverbcudadriver Member Posts: 1
    Well today, Feb 28, 2010, I replaced the Headlight switch. This DID NOT fix the problem. But the black connector plug that plugs into the headlight switch is burnt and melted. Looks like the Black with white stripe wire and the brown wire got hot and melted the plastic. I have a Haynes Manual that covers 1997 to 2002 Century’s and the wiring diagrams are not specific enough for just a 1998. I will do more testing with a Volt meter and a better wiring diagram if I can find one. In a nutshell, DO NOT rush out and buy a $50-$90 Headlight Switch. Dave
  • jayden8jayden8 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 buick century with 164k that recently started misfiring. I am not looking to put a lot of money into it b/c I am wanting to sell it as soon as it is running. I changed all plugs and still having same issue. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and had any solutions. I have been told to replace coils and ignition module. But I do not know how to test if the coils or the module are the issue. PLEASE HELP!!

  • airmech1airmech1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having almost the exact same problem with my '95 Buick Century. Please let me know what you find out.
  • mhirn3mhirn3 Member Posts: 1
    My 99 buick century is having a problem where it keeps blowing a 10amp bcm cluster fuse and thus causing my car not to start. I've had 2 different sets of people work on it and neither solved the problem....one changed the neutral safety switch I believe and the other well they did nothing but charge me a ton of money.......anyone else had this problem or something similar? Any help appreciated.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Member Posts: 19
    use a volt meter and two long wires with aligator clips on each end and use it to find where the wires go. then follow them til you find where its shorting at most of the time its the trailer hitch connection thats shorting the whole thing.
  • doggaldoggal Member Posts: 17
    Need to replace the Torque Strut on my 1994 Buick century. Was taken in for inspection and was told that in order to Pass I need to get that done. (the guy even showed me what I need to get done)
    Called around and got quotes anywhere from $80 to almost $300.
    Needless to say I am not going anywhere close to them.
    I checked online and the part is $9.99 at Auto zone.
    Seems like it's on top, right under the hood and held together with 2 bolts.
    Could it be that easy to remove. Just losen up the bolts, take the old one out and put the new one in. Or is it more complicated?????????????
    Have to mention I have NO CAR REPAIR EXPERIENCE, other than checking my fluid levels.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and I will check back this afternoon after work to see what the responses are.

    Have A GREAT DAY.
  • doggaldoggal Member Posts: 17
    Anyone??? :confuse:
    I am planning on working on it this weekend since the weather will be gorgeous.
    Just want to know if I have to somehow support the motor from the bottom (like raising it a bit) or if I can just undo the bolts, take the old one out and put the new one in.
    Please answer the question if you can. Really appreciated
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited April 2010
    1. Disconnect battery ground cable, then remove mount retaining nuts from below frame mounting bracket.
    2. Remove transaxle mount nuts, then install suitable engine support fixture.
    3. Raise engine only enough to provide clearance for mount removal.
    4. Remove mount to engine bracket nuts, then mount
    5. Reverse procedure to install. Tighten to specifications.

    Book labor is only .5 hour but I'm worried about the cheap part you're buying. List price is almost $100. How can you get it for $10 bucks?
  • anctechanctech Member Posts: 4
    I can provide you with detailed instructions to disassemble the dash and get to the cluster. I repair instrument clusters, so there is no need for a replacement and no need for reprogramming the mileage which is extremely costly. You can contact me ANCTechnologies AT hotmail.com.
  • anctechanctech Member Posts: 4
    The actual mileage is stored on the cluster itself. Your problem layed within the circuit board itself, and getting it programmed is going to cost you dearly. I repair instrument clusters for the 97-2004 century where your original mileage would be displayed. contact me at ANCTechnologies at hotmail
  • lilfilthypawslilfilthypaws Member Posts: 2
    could you email me wiring info you mentioned? { workin on a 93 Buick Century*}
  • ajk10ajk10 Member Posts: 1
    My 1994 Buick Century runs like a dream and has 130,000 miles. My problem is electrical. Since Feb/March 2010, car won't start in driveway. I've had the battery (Interstate) replaced, ignition ok, generator ok, etc. Voltmeter used as well as diagnosis machine with no luck in isolating apparent short in electrical system. One mechanic disconnected the seat belt wiring connected to dash seatbelt light. Disconnected the dome light (noticed it was real hot to the touch). Century was worked on about 4 times since March 2010, and ran great for about two months, after the seatbelt wiring was disconnected. Then this past week, no start. No lights, no power windw or locks, no radio, air, no electricity period. Same problem as before. I had the battery charged in driveway and it immediately started up as in the previous situations). Took it to a different mechanic this past Tuesday and after finding nothing wrong (started up with no problem for three days), he replaced the bolt connection to the ground post on battery. I picked it up this past Friday and yesterday (Saturday), same problem. HAS ANYONE HAD SAME TYPE OF PROBLEM OR ANY SUGGESTIONS TO ISOLATE CAUSE? This has been very frustrating, to say the least. Many thanks for your kelp! ajk10
  • majinsintamajinsinta Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2010
    had head gasket fixed after that ac wouldn't come on unless check engine light was on would just blow air then last week battery light came on while was driving all lights inside car wouldn't work changed battery car died then changed alternator. drove for an hour then battery light came back on. Changed negative battery cable and still doing same thing. when start up car squeals for few minutes battery light stays off but after squealing stops battery light comes on.step on gas at times battery light goes off for short amount of time then comes back on does anyone know what this could be
  • melm2melm2 Member Posts: 1
    only way is to try a repair which is expensive or look to replace, And to replace is just as much due to this being a uniside vehicle.
  • laspianlaspian Member Posts: 2
    My 2004 Buick Century used to get 33 mpg but dropped at the beginning of winter to 28 mpg. I thought it may have been related to the change in fuel during the winter months but it hasn't gone back up. Any idea why?
  • mas1487usmas1487us Member Posts: 10
    89 CENTURY quits at times driving hot or cold fast or slow. Will usually restart while still rolling and go on. Sometimes quits 2 or 3 times. Sometimes wont start after sitting or overnight. Sometimes starts fine.
    I have 40 psi fuel pressure, When it wont start at home, ether will get it started. Very intermittentent problem.
    I replaced fuel pressure regulator as when I tapped on it , she starts n runs.
    Thank you
  • dbenko13dbenko13 Member Posts: 1
    Sorry for getting in on this so late, but I just found this website.
    I am not a mechanic by any means, but I have had problems with my windows for years. I finally took it to a dealer to have it diagnosed. The verdict: a short in the right passenger door lock actuator. I can only raise/lower my windows with the right passenger door open because of this. I have not fixed it yet because I have heard horror stories about taking apart a door due to all of the electrical parts involved in power locks and power windows.
  • joeallenjoeallen Member Posts: 1
    I really need this electrical diagram too

  • pallen2007pallen2007 Member Posts: 1
    As my title says, my mom's '99 Buick Century struggles to sit at idle for more than a few seconds with the AC on. It will start to shake and then when you give it gas, it starts to back fire on you. If you turn the AC off, it will idle just fine and accelerate with no problems. Is this is a fuel line being clogged up? Or is it something else? Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!

    P.S. I told her to consider running up to Auto Zone and buying some Lucas fuel cleaner to see if it will help any.

  • tlon7tlon7 Member Posts: 7
    I slid on a slick road and hit the car in front of me; airbag deployed on my 1995 buick cent. 3.1 v6, amazingly fast--bag expanded and contracted in a fraction of a second. No injuries for either party. Didn't even realize what happened until bag deflated. I can't tell how fast I was going but there was minimal damage to my front end, so little that when I showed it to my mechanic, he said if I could order an aftermarket front end panel, that's all it would need. I ended up buying the panel for $150 and installed it myself. That was 5,000 miles ago. No observable differences in the ride. First time I had an accident. Any idea what minimal speed on impact for air bag to deploy like that? Also, obviously airbag is no good. I cut it out with a mat knife, and driving only with seat belt. With 80,000 miles on it, I figure best thing would be to donate it when I'm ready to get rid of it. Will I get anything for it as a tax donation?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    At what speed the airbag deploys varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some went as low as 6-12 mph but now the premium cars seem to think 18 mph is about right.

    Donation rules have changed so you might get very little for it. Could be better for you to sell it to someone who knows how to re-install an airbag. I'd sell it as a "parts car only" and write that in 3 foot letters on the Bill of Sale.
  • regalgs241regalgs241 Member Posts: 4
    i think where your coming from with this is that your car has twilight sentinel automatic headlamp control in other words it turns your lights on and off automatically and when you shut the car off, and take the key out, the lights stay on for approximately a minute and a half (90 seconds) for this particular model. the chiming with already having the key out might be that you had your lights left on by accident or something else. it also chimes when you lock the car when you push the lock button on the drivers door. also for future advice if you want to shut your lights off right away after you shut the car off just pull the lights knob out once and push it back in and wella your lights are off. hope this is helpful to you.
  • regalgs241regalgs241 Member Posts: 4
    hey there, sounds like you meant the twilight sentinel option that turns the lights on automatically. The location of it is on the drivers side of the defroster vent/grille in the left front corner of the vent and it should look like a dome-shaped photocell. hope this helps!
  • tlon7tlon7 Member Posts: 7
    I was the victim of predatory towing; worse is that the guy messed up my driver's side door, so the power window won't work (buick century 1995 3.1 liter 6 cyl). It needs a new power window motor. How can I find the number to this part to order it? My mechanic said he'd install it for me if I got a replacement motor -- either used or new one. Can this be something that can be pulled at a junkyard? Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Try this website for a used part:

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