1995 Buick Century Special 2.2L 4-cylinder gas from North America


Comfortable, inexpensive, and reliable when cared for properly


This car was owned by my parents before I had it, and I have been living with them so I know what's been fixed and what hasn't.

The air conditioner failed around 190,000 miles and the evaporator had been leaking for some time before that, repair cost was under $500.

The heater core failed at the same time as the evaporator probably due to the excess moisture on it since it is right next to the evaporator. $200 repair.

The belt tensioner for the serpentine-style drive belt failed a number of times before the 100,000 mile mark. It has not failed since the last replacement (winter 1999 about 100,000 miles). The first repair was about $400 and subsequent repairs were covered under warranty.

The original Michelin tires lasted forever so my parents bought another set of Michelin tires and then another, and now the car has cheap tires on it which are much noisier.

The transmission has finally developed some issues and if the car is driven hard it will slip between gears, in normal driving this never occurs. I expect many more miles out of this transmission with the way I drive.

The muffler was replaced at about 160,000 miles not because it failed, but because the outer casing was eaten by rust.

The brakes were a problem in the 100-160,000 mile range because of a stuck caliper. Once the failed caliper was replaced, the front brake pads have only been changed once since then, and have plenty of life left. The rear brakes have only been replaced one time since the car was new.

Many of these 1990's GM products have a cup holder mounted in the armrest that breaks off easily because it is made of thin plastic. It *just* broke. I'm looking for a replacement.

General Comments:

If you're into speed, don't buy a 4-cylinder Century. The car drives fine to me, in fact of the 46 cars I've owned in the last ten years, it's probably the nicest, even though it has an abnormally high mileage.

The car drives very smoothly and does not exhibit typical GM car problems like slow power steering or rough running.

The 2.2L engine is the same engine used in the Chevy Cavalier, Chevy S-10 pickup, and Olds Cutlass Ciera.

With over 200,000 miles, car still gets mid-20s in town and I averaged 32.4 mpg on a recent trip from Ohio to Texas.

The body is in terrific shape, but that is from being kept in the garage and from being washed weekly or more often. The car has rarely been waxed and still shines as new. A small amount of rust has formed on the lower edge of the trunk lid below the spot where a dealer emblem was screwed on.

The front seats have power recliners and manual fore/aft adjustments. As mentioned before, the cup holder in the armrest just broke, and I wish I could get a heavier-duty one.

The trunk has exposed metal surfaces everywhere and they scratch easily. My Dad used more of his touch-up paint on the inside of the trunk than anywhere else on the car.

My Dad bought a new 2003 Century to replace this one. This car was purchased by them new to replace a 1986 Chevy Celebrity. Their other car during these years is a 1992 Buick Century, identical to this one except for the hubcaps, lack of power windows, and the engine in the 1992 is the 2.5L version. My sister has been driving the 1992, and just sold it to buy a new Taurus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2003

19th Sep 2005, 17:14

OP posting, I traded the car at 270,000 miles for an Aerostar which has cost me $3000 in repairs in the past 9 months. I should've kept the Buick. Looking now for another 1994-1996 Buick Century with the 4-cylinder engine.

1995 Buick Century 3.1 liter from North America


Poorly built car, and will drain your bank account


Inner tie rod ends went bad prematurely.

Battery never lasts more than one year.

Replaced wheel cylinders twice.

Replaced the radiator.

Replaced the alternator five times.

Warps front rotors regardless of driving conditions.

Feels very shaky above 65 miles per hour.

Wobbles extremely bad, the front end has developed serious problems prematurely.

Numerous electrical problems.

Burns out bulbs very quickly.

General Comments:

This car has been nothing, but a money pit, If you are thinking of getting one...DON'T!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th September, 2003

7th Jun 2004, 12:26

The shaking at/above 65mph is the tires... I had the same problem in mine... after putting a brand new set of wheels all around. the problem is completely gone.

28th Dec 2004, 13:45

I have the same problem! My tires, in theory, based on what my dealer told me, are new! I do not understand the shaking problem. Mine was also a 1995 Buick Century. It is currently in the shop looking at over $3,000 in repairs for a transmission that blew without warning. It has been well maintained and has been a money pit in the four and a half months that I have owned it.

24th Feb 2006, 18:21

I don't know how you drive this car, but I also have a 1995 century and the only thing that has needed was a muffler and mid pipe. That car has over 100k and runs good, but has just started to develop an oil leak which is burning, but can be fixed cheaply. So the only thing I can think of is you beat the snot out of that car.

25th Feb 2006, 08:42

No, it's just more proof that American manufacturers, with a few exceptions, can't build cars with any consistent quality.

Virtually ALL the American car reviews on this site follow the same pattern. Some people swear they are the most reliable cars ever, but most complain about the endless problems they have.

Sorry, but my family got tired of befriending every mechanic in town so they stopped buying American and haven't looked back once.

14th Oct 2010, 18:44

The shaking of your Buick at around 60 - 70 MPH could possibly be caused by a bad torque converter. GM had a bad run of these. Try stepping on the brake when this happens to see if the shaking stops that moment. Could be it. Good luck.

15th Oct 2010, 14:48

We has had a 95 in our family for 10 years. One alternator, 2 batteries, tires, and new brakes and rotors. The passenger window is slow. Nice car and runs well.

1995 Buick Century 3.1 from North America


3 alternators in three years, transmission replaced at 80,000 even with regular maint.

General Comments:

Good looking car, smooth ride, not as reliable as expected with Buicks recent high quality rating. Disappointed with this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th September, 1999

28th Sep 2001, 11:41

I would be disappointed too if my car needed 3 alternators in 3yrs. and a new transmission at 80k miles! These GMs quite often go through alternators frequently. The only thing that would cause the transmission to go that soon is a defect or misuse.

13th May 2003, 08:15

I've had absolutely no problem with my Buick's engines or transmission. Great power, pick up and smooth shifting. I have the 3 speed overdrive with my 3.8. Maybe that's the difference? My car has 127,000 miles. My only complaint is lack of legroom in the back. My 91' LeSabre was roomier.

28th Dec 2004, 13:29

I recently, just this past summer, purchased a 1995 Buick Century from a local used car dealership and have since made over $1,000 dollars in repairs. Yesterday, at about 108,000 miles, my transmission blew without warning. It had been diagnosed for just about everything when it went in for its initial repairs. Now, I'm trying to figure out whether I should attempt to finance another car or spend over $3,000 on replacing the transmission. The car has been an attractive car inside and out with smooth ride. The special features are nice, i.e. automatic locking and unlocking as you park and put it into drive, automatic lights, plenty of extra lights in the car, etc. However, I have been unsatisfied with the lack of reliability.