1986 Buick Century Limited 2.5 gas from Jamaica

Summary:

I doubt that ANY modern American vehicle equals it for simplicity and reliability

Faults:

Shocks, top engine mount (three times), alternator A/C compressor, steering column, window switches, and other minor items.

General Comments:

The best investment I have ever made in an automobile.

160,000+ miles on the roads of Jamaica, and the fuel available here (not to mention the hopelessness of the local dealer for the island), mean that this car could have been used as a lunar expedition vehicle.

Out here, you are pretty much on your own with an American cars, as only Japanese cars really have anything that approaches professional distributors.

But this car and engine is so basically simple, that anytime with the most basic skills can maintain it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2010

1986 Buick Century Custom 2.5L from North America

Summary:

Faithful and Sturdy

Faults:

Heater Core failed

AC failed

Muffler system replaced

Power steering seals weep fluid

Fuel pump replaced

Motor Mounts & Dogbone replaced.

General Comments:

I got this car in 2000 for $500 from a little old lady in a nursing home and it has been to 36 states since then. Any problem I've had with it comes from it sitting for years without being used much.

Because the engine is small, you have to drive it in a relaxed (slow) way. But once up to highway speeds it does fine and gets very good mileage--in southern California--I get nearly 30 mpg.

It's a pretty good snow car, does well in the rain, and is fairly quiet inside. Once a week I top off the power steering fluid and check the belts, oil, tires, etc.

I've had the car serviced in SoCal twice and both times the mechanics tried to buy it from me. Good endorsement!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2008

1986 Buick Century custom 2.5 from Argentina

Summary:

Robust and elegant

Faults:

I have just a trouble with the fuel injection.

The air conditioning was repaired.

The motor of a back window was replaced.

The engine is not fast, but in the city traffic goes well.

General Comments:

In general this car is very great full.

Smoother and quiet in every way.

Very durable components, the car is strong and comfortable.

He drives easily in all situations, almost never have problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2007

1986 Buick Century Limited 2.5 from North America

Summary:

Not bad for a $1 car that is 20 years old and sat for 10 years

Faults:

Just got car for $1 from one of the MD's in the ER where I work. Car was a 2nd vehicle in case primary car broke down.

So far:

Replaced all brake pads, shoes, and rotors. about $80.

Assorted burnt out bulbs.$10.

Power steering leaks (put in Lucas Stop-leak yesterday) $5.

Replaced 2 of the three v-belts $24.

Neutral Safety Switch didn't work, so we had to hot-wire car until we traced it down, new switch was $15. My brother snapped the rod that passes through the NSS (it snaps easily) so we had to take the side pan off the trans to replace it. Rod was $10, and MAJOR pain to get at (really tight workspace inside of trans), plus had to replace the gaskets (another $20 or so) Total about 12 hours labor.

Coolant still leaks from somewhere.

Car needs new shocks all around and new rear struts. Probably $130 to replace all ourselves.

Weatherstripping around driver door had to be re-glued. $2.

Interior is cherry.

Paint is in bad condition, finish is gone.

Stock "wire-wheel" hubcaps needed a key to take them off, but were so rusted key broke-so had to break them off with a large pry-bar. Will cost $20-30 probably to get new caps to protect already-rusted lug nuts.

Car idles high, so burns a lot of gas, haven't had time to fix yet- a bottle of carb cleaner was used to spray down carb, and we ran fuel line dryer and carb/choke cleaner through gas system. $15.

Car has assorted minor rust around wheel wells and bottom of doors (to be expected from a Chicago car that is 20 years old)

Electronic door locks only work on back doors.

Glove box has to be closed firmly as metal bracket it locks to is loose and tightening the screw doesn't help.

Trans will get a new filter/service as soon as I have time. $30 for new fluid plus trans service kit.

Trans hits really hard into second when you accelerate moderate to hard. 4th (overdrive) also clunks into gear. Not sure if replacing the engine mounts will help at all.

Needs all four engine mounts replaced. Bottom front drivers side mount was disconnected when I got the car. Range from $8 for top front to $25 for biggest. Have already bought all four and installed $8 one. Think I spent $50 total.

A/C didn't work according to previous owner. Ended up removing entire system to make it easier to get at trans side pan and a few other things.

Previous owner bought me a new battery so I could get it out of his garage. $75.

General Comments:

Car had been sitting outside for 8 years and in garage for 2 years. Only 10,000 miles put on it in last 10 years. I knew going in that it would need a lot of maintenance work done.

Car has nice interior that seats six comfortably.

Glove box is a little small.

Car has expected get-up-and-go for an 80s Buick... not that great (although I might be prejudiced since my last car was a 88 Honda Prelude with a 5-speed manual... I LOVED that car)

Trunk is very nice size.

Interior had pretty good sound insulation.. can only hear engine and exhaust (system has holes) when windows are open.

Stock GM radio is a pleasure to use.. simple with large buttons.. stock speakers are pretty loud and still have good sound.

Car speedometer is not as clear/easy to read as it could be.

There are no oil temp/coolant/voltage gauges.. very disappointing, but not a surprise in a car that was likely originally marketed to an audience that wouldn't know what to do with them anyway.

Handles like a boat (given...shocks are pretty well gone)

Doesn't corner for anything (again...prejudiced cuz my Prelude cornered on a rail...40mph on left hand turns thru intersections)

Overall relatively satisfied with the car. Only had it for a month and am used to old used cars. So far only spent about $300 on it and that's still pretty cheap considering buying a different car would have cost me at least $500 at the outset plus whatever TLC it needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st April, 2006

22nd Apr 2006, 06:20

Cheap parts! Be glad you and your brother know how to work on cars. Your 500 dollars could have easily been tripled by labor had you gone to mechanics.