3rd Oct 2004, 08:22
It's amazing to me (and it takes a lot to amaze these days after the amount of stupidity I've witnessed in the last 55yrs.) that an individual would whine about a car with over 100,000 miles needing a timing sprocket, or ANYTHING else engine related. Particularly one that he knows no previous history on. They never mentioned how many miles it had when purchased. Converters are supposed to be serviced after 60,000, and I'd bet the farm his had way more than this at the time of purchase. Had he ANY mechanical ability, he'd have known that removing the front mount's bolt and tilting the motor forward enables one to service the rear bank of the motor. What are his driving habits and maintenance practices? The last years of this car may have been it's most demanding(read traumatic). The fact that it needed nothing block, head or transmission related is a testament to build quality of the Buick 3.8 motor.
31st Aug 2005, 00:43
I agree. I had a Century T-Type that served me well for over 200,000 miles - of course I bought it from my dad and it always had Mobil 1 synthetic. I had to replace the fuel filter, two injectors and a fuel pump (and of course numerous tires and brakes). I sold it and bought my dad's 1989 LeSabre T-type which also served more than 200,000 before I sold it. Parts break and stock timing chains are cheesy if oil is not kept changed. As far as spark plugs go, not many front wheel drive V6 or V8 cars have accessible rear spark plugs (look at a Lumina Z34 if you really want to shake your head).
22nd May 2006, 00:21
I'm sorry the owner had a bad experience buying a used car from what appears to be a less-than-reputable used car dealer. I agree with previous comments that evaluating the quality of an automobile one purchases second-hand at 100,000 miles is questionable, however this particular Buick Century seems to have been a VERY costly purchase considering the expenses the owner discovered after the purchase was completed. As an owner-enthusiast of the GM FWD A-Body cars (built from 1982 to 1996) I can say that my experiences with these vehicles have been the opposite of this owner, and that my A-body cars have been economical, easy-to-service, reliable, and a pleasure to own. Since about 1995 I've owned one Pontiac 6000, three Chevrolet Celebritys, two Olds Cieras, and two Buick Centurys. From my 10+ years experience I highly recommend these cars. I'm presently driving my recently restored 1990 Buick Century station wagon, and I hope to complete the restoration of my 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport during the summer of 2006.
21st Oct 2009, 11:48
I purchased an 86 Century T-Type back in '95.
First thing to go was the automatic tranny which, I was told by several mechanics, is a real bear to repair. Eventually I had the overhauled unit replaced with an AAMCO rebuild.
Next was the fuel pump and, later, the starter. When the timing gear? belt? let go, the valve train had to be replaced.
After that, the heads had to be reworked after a cooling system malfunction occurred. Eventually, I had the engine replaced, but then a gremlin showed up in the engine electrical harness. I refused to pay what parts houses wanted for a (used) replacement harness and fixed it myself. These problems surfaced over a period of four years.
After the harness fiasco, my wife gave the car up and it now sits in her niece's back yard rusting away. It ran really great when it was on the road. I've been wondering though: Did this model Century come with a turbo? Mine didn't, but intake gasket issues with parts people and the turbo emblem on the hood's engine blanket makes me wonder.
6th Nov 2009, 00:06
I'm pretty sure no 85-87 Century's came with a turbo. That emblem your speaking of is simply a reddish-orange "6" that sits on top of the intake cover. I believe there was a front wheel drive, blacked out Le Sabre Grand National in 1987 with the 3.8 Liter Turbo. Only about 200 made to my knowledge, very very rare.
All in all the 3.8 is usually a very reliable motor, especially the fuel injected ones from 1984-85 on up. Problem with the few that went into a Century is a cramped engine bay for a relatively small car for that motor. Even the on the Front drive LeSabre/Electra/Park Avenue, those rear spark plugs I know are hell to get to.
Of the few Centurys I've seen that have the fuel injected 3.8 V6, most of them ran great and hauled ass. Lot's of torque for a car that barely weighs 3000 lbs.
6th May 2004, 23:30
It also bothers me when people complain about dealer prices. The dealer will use OEM parts (which cost more) and the labor rate at a dealer is generally much higher than at an independent repair shop. But the dealer will generally give a better warranty on the repair.