20th Feb 2009, 15:08
It is very important to remember that the only people who come looking for this site are the people who have problems. I've read hundreds of positive reviews on this car outside of a few well-documented problems. Most of them have been discussed here.
- Window regulators. You already know about the cheap plastic piece that breaks if the door is slammed hard enough. There is no replacement for just the piece, so you have to buy a whole new regulator. I've bought several $50 ones off Ebay and installed them myself. The install is actually pretty easy. Any guy good with tools can do it himself. Anyway, even the $50 Ebay replacements are made from plastic. I'm searching for a good aftermarket part (since GM won't fix them), and I hear good things about Dorman. Rumor has it they've redesigned the part, but I haven't tested this myself yet. As it stands, I've been bolting a flat metal bar between the window mount and the failed regulator to keep the window up. I suggest you do the same to your rear windows and just accept that you'll probably never use them again.
- Leaky manifold. On my Century, this causes the Low Coolant light to be on often. Far as I have read, this happens to a third of all Centuries. I've read that it's caused by the original Dex-Cool coolant that GM put in the cars. The coolant is supposedly slightly corrosive and will eat away at seals. If you still have this coolant, I wholeheartedly recommend a pressurized flush. If you already have a leaky manifold... is it hurting anything?
- A/C knob. Yep, it's cheap plastic, along with much of the rest of the interior. Not much you can do but keep buying the $20 replacement, unless you're lucky enough to find another kind of knob with a similar hole in the back. It's just a D-shaped hole, same as every other knob known to man.
- Ashtray. The face of my ashtray pulled right off. Another problem caused by cheap plastic. They could be made from metal if they didn't have to save weight any way they could. You know, cars wouldn't have these problems if they weren't required to meet such stringent environmental standards. Anyway, the broken ashtray isn't particularly visible, but it still sucks to have.
- Transmission. I'll try to remember what I read, but it has been a while. There's a part of the transmission that's made of a hard metal and it is encased in a softer metal. Vibration causes the hard metal to destroy the soft metal, causing a transmission leak. The tranny is computer-controlled and programmed to compensate for this sort of thing, but it can only compensate for so long. Soon you will start feeling bad shifts right after you start the car and in parking lots, and it'll throw a code. The only fix is to pull the tranny down and install a newer, harder metal socket that GM designed specifically because of this problem. Still, you're paying for a remove/replace on the tranny.
It is important to note that other than the manifold leak and the tranny issue above, these cars' drivelines are known to be bulletproof. These are the only widespread, serious issues with the tranny and motor. Once you fix those, the car will run forever. Unfortunately, the interior will have crumbled in your hands long before then. Despite what you'll read here, these ARE very good cars for the money.
14th Jul 2009, 17:23
I have a 2001 Buick Regal LS, and when I accelerate fast, a loud humming noise comes. I can control it with the foot pedal; wanted to know if it's the tranny going?
2nd Aug 2009, 13:24
Girlfriend has a 99 Century--pretty good car--except the window system as described so many times above. The driver and both rear windows are now not working. I tore them all apart and found the same problem with the regulators plastic pulleys, and the cable mangled around it. The window is moved by metal cables that are wrapped around a plastic pulley. The metal cables are also attached to weak plastic on the window's carrier. I have seen also where the cable has pulled out of the carrier. I believe that a failure in either one of these locations will cause the other to fail.
Now I'm no engineer, but I will graduate as one in December, and that design is really bad. I can see why they used plastic because it is a complicated part. The only way to make a metal part like that is powdered metal. They were cutting cost and didn't care about customers enough throughout the process. Does it sound like I'm taking an engineering ethics class right now?
The rest of the car has been good so far. They deserve credit for making the other million parts work--except the intake mani gasket.
5th Sep 2009, 21:52
I have an 01 Century we bought new. For some reason I love this car. I guess it's the fuel mileage. I can get 30 plus on the highway loaded to the max. 32 mpg if it's just me. That said I did have to overhaul the motor at about 40,000 for bad pistons. Luckily I like to do that sort of thing, so for about a grand and all my spare time for a couple weeks I had a new motor. I can't believe I have not read about the dreaded piston slap problem here! Whenever I see a Century, now my ears perk up to hear if they have it too.
As far as the wheel bearing go, I've replaced many of them on other peoples cars, but never any on my own.. I wonder why. Maybe it's because I refuse to use a sledge hammer to remove rusty, froze on brake rotors and rims. That's gotta be hard on the bearings! Seen it done a few times though.
I'm starting to get the ABS/ check vehicle soon/ and TRAC lights intermittently.. I imagine I'm going to fine some mighty old wheel sensors and or wires are to blame, but I can honestly say I've never had a single Check Engine code ever. That's more than I can say for my 05 Silverado, and just about everyone else I know that has one of those trucks.
No window problems yet, and the body is holding up pretty good for life in the salt belt.
12th Sep 2009, 16:15
I was trying to find info about a problem with my 2001 Buick Century. The problem is that the odometer indicator does not illuminate. I called a dealer and was told they don't know whatthe problem is but they will check it for $98. Phooey on that.
Actually, I have had many problems with the car, including a new engine. I gave the car to a relative and I help him with it. I was looking for some info about the electronic odometer.
For myself, I bought a Nissan Maxima, despite being a steady GM customer in the past. The Buick Century was a total disappointment. In my view, GM quality was the downfall of GM.
21st Sep 2009, 18:25
Where do I start on my piece of crap 2001 Buick Bentury?
I bought this car used from a Ford dealer. I bought it in 2006. I got a 4 year loan, and now it's on its last 8 months of the loan. I bought it with around 55,000 miles on it. Now it has 91,000 miles on it.
The weekend after I bought it, I took a road trip two hours away. Once on the highway, the 'low coolant' light was on. since then, it has come on and off at will. It has plenty of coolant in it! (probably due to a faulty intake manifold). The antifreeze does leak and the antifreeze overflow jug gets really dark and dirty. Perhaps from oil?
A few years later, the 'check engine light' and 'trac off' lights came on. Then again, I've had many many many flat tires and bad rims.
I've only had one window break. My dad fixed it by putting something in the window to keep the window up. After reading how much the part is and what a stupid design it is. I'm not going to bother fixing it.
Recently I've noticed that the oil is either leaking or burning off at variable degrees. So checking the oil regularly is needed.
Lately, the temperature gauge is saying the car is running hotter than it should. I just got an oil change and there is plenty of antifreeze in the jug. So I'm wondering if it could be the water pump, the radiator fan, the thermostat, the sensor on top of the thermostat, the timing belt. So I wait and see.
Thank you all for all your comments on this car. Now I know what I'm dealing with and I don't feel like I'm the only one with these problems. Good luck!