1988 Buick Century XL 38 from North America


Best $300.00 I ever spent!


Might need a fuel pump, located in the gas tank, and that is a might. Still running after being told that over a year ago.

General Comments:

I love this car. I just wish it didn't grow old in Michigan. MI rust thing busting a move.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2011

1988 Buick Century Estate Wagon 3.8 SFI from Norway


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

1988 Buick Century Limited 2.8L from North America


So far, so great!!


Steering column needed to be replaced, as the 3 bolts in column that tighten it were impossible to get at, for me. Just as easy to remove the whole thing with a good one from junkyard, which cost me $50.

Head liner sags and is torn on the edge right above passenger side front door.

Rear tail light is broken right on the corner of lens. Not the whole lens, just the corner. Covered with red tape.

General Comments:

Just bought the car a few days ago and haven't driven it much, because as stated above, the steering column needs to be replaced, which is getting done this morning, 9-26-10.

Came here from a search on Bing for reviews. Only hope this Buick lasts and is as dependable as what the other posters have posted so far. It will be mainly my winter beater, although car is not in bad shape for being a Michigan car. It is replacing a 1991 Mercury Topaz, which was my previous beater, but kid got ran off road and hit the curb, breaking the front wheel assembly all to heck.

This Buick has 132,200 (avg 6,000/year) on it, and was owned by a little old lady from Pasadena.

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

Review Date: 26th September, 2010

16th Apr 2012, 04:18


The car has developed gas leaks in all lines, and one above the gas tank, where it's impossible to tell if it's the line or sending unit. Lines are all so rusty, I would need to replace all lines front to back. Estimated cost is at least $300 for that, plus $140 just to drop the tank, which of course is TOTALLY full. Sending unit is upwards of $100.

As much as I don't want to, as this car still runs like a champ and averages about 27 MPG, it is time to retire it. From just those numbers above, which equals $540, and not positive that's going to be the final amount, the car is either going to be junked or sold to someone who might want to make an initial investment in the gas lines, or needs a parts car.

The car has been an awesome ride for the past few years, and I'll be sad to see it go.

16th Apr 2012, 12:02

I would imagine you might find a 'shade-tree mechanic' who might attempt this job for less than $540, and in any case, I see from your review that the car has 132,000 or so miles on it? If that is the case, investing $540 in it would probably be well worth it, as anything made after 1995 or so is a far more expensive nightmare to get involved with.