1986 Buick Century Limited 2.5 from North America
Toughest car I have ever seen
When I bought the car, it had sat under a pine tree for 3 or 4 years. At that time it had 4 flat tires and a gummed up carb.
Since then, the speedometer cable came loose for a couple of years; that's why I don't know its true mileage.
The power steering pump messed up 3 years ago (I didn't need power steering anyway).
The hubcaps trap dirt in them, so I took 'em off.
I had to convert to the new freon in A/C, and it has worked for 7 years straight.
The interior driver's door handle broke off, so for the past 5 years I have had to roll down the power window to pull up on the exterior handle, so I can get out.
The variable wiper switch on the left side of column went out, so I took an old Christmas tree extension cord and straight wired it from the battery to the switch (the bad part about that is that I only have 1 wiper speed).
The battery terminal would arc on the air intake hose (it's like a big slinkie in plastic), but I fixed that with a little duct tape.
I paid $400 dollars for this car.
I have driven this car every day for 7 years. It is a relentless battle wagon.
In the 80's Buick built the most reliable cars.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st December, 2012
1st Jan 2013, 13:18
My family had a few of these cars in the 90's; they were tough as heck.
Only because we live in the northeast with salted roads, did the cars rust out underneath and aren't around anymore.
We had a 87 Celebrity, which is the same car, with the 2.5 engine. It was still running fine, getting good MPG, after 300000 miles on the original engine and transmission. We didn't even maintain it very well. A real battle tank.
Also these cars are really safe, one actually saved my life when I got T-boned at an intersection. The other car was write off. Drove the Chevy home with a small dent in a rocker panel.
1st Jan 2013, 19:06
"In the 80's Buick built the most reliable cars"
Some things never change. Currently we have 1997, 2003 and 2005 model year Buicks in our family, and they have proven to be nothing but reliable.
2nd Jan 2013, 21:49
After his Toyota Camry disintegrated at 90,000 miles, my friend bought one of these old tanks with well over 100,000 miles on it for $250. He drove it for another 100,000 miles without a problem. 80's GM cars were definitely some of the most reliable vehicles ever built.
4th Mar 2014, 19:17
If they're that bad, why do you OWN 3 OF THEM! They can't be that bad if you keep buying them!?! Yes it's true... some things/people never change!!!! I drove all the years you have, as cabs mind you. All had well over 200,000 miles & were great cars. But yes they did (as did many) build some junk in the 80s...
5th Mar 2014, 16:40
If you reread my comment, you will notice that I did not state in any way shape or form that any Buick from any era was bad. That would be the reason why there are currently 3 in our family.
9th Mar 2014, 06:38
We had this exact car - with the amazing 'Iron Duke' engine - in service as a taxi-cab in a small Midwestern cab company where I worked during the 1990s. It was used daily into well over 350,000 miles without any rebuilds of engine or transmission. Unbelievably tough, durable car; required even less minor repair than the Dodge Diplomats and Chevy Caprices we normally drove (which were tough as nails too). Impressive for a smaller, lighter built front-wheel drive car.
Several of the cab drivers were so impressed by it they bought old Centuries for their personal cars (albeit with the 3.3 or 3.8 V-6, as the 2.5 four was awfully rough and vibrating).