1988 Buick Century Estate Wagon 3.8 SFI


Damn good car


Mass air flow sensor failed at about 150 000 km, and then again at about 250 000 km.

Cat clogged at about 115 000 km, did not replace it - gutted it.

Alternator replaced twice.

Power antenna and relay.

Coil pack.

Cam position sensor.

Timing gear broke at about 150 000 km.

EGR-solenoid replaced twice.

AC-compressor clutch failed at about 250 000, up til then, when the car was 19 years old, the AC blew ice cold (good old R12 refrigerant), never recharged or maintained in any way.

Cruise control failed at about 150 000 km (is probably just the switch - never bothered to replace it).

General Comments:

In its time, this car was faster than most others on the roads, and it still can outrun many modern cars at the traffic lights. The 3.8 V6 is smooth and powerful, and the exhaust note is quite aggressive with the gutted catalytic converter. An engine to love.

The wagon is very spacious, cargo capacity is about as good as a Volvo 940 wagon, and the rear legroom is better than in my 92 Chevrolet Caprice wagon.

There have been some issues, but I have managed to fix most of them myself, so the overall cost of this car, which has been in my possession now for nearly 18 years, has been very low. I plan to keep it as long as it still passes our mandatory biannual inspections (technical and emissions). What is most likely to eventually kill this car is rust, caused by the huge amounts of salt used on Norwegian roads in the winter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2011