Hi there, my car has the series III 3.8 which has an aluminum intake manifold, thus eliminating the leaking problem. I believe GM switched to the Series III around 2003 or 2004. My previous Park Avenue was a 1999 with the Series II however, I never had a single problem with the engine and I sold it with over 140,000. I believe GM recalled the manifold in the Park Avenue but never did in the LeSabre, I'm not positive about that though. Secondly, Buick stopped offering cloth seats in the Park Avenue after 2000 or 2001. I suppose if you wanted one of the last ones you could purchase a set of cloth seat covers from the factory and have them re-covered. It is very hard to find a 97-01 with cloth seats as well because most people wanted leather. Personally I love the look and feel of leather, I just don't like the way it wears more than cloth. My driver seat already has some wear as mentioned in my review. I hope this helps.
06:22, sorry I gave you some misinformation, My car actually has the Series II 3.8. I do think it has the cast aluminum intake manifold however. My car is a 2005 model, but it was manufactured in April of 2004. GM must have started using the Series III some time in model year 2005.
UPDATE: Since August I have had a couple of minor problems with the Buick.
My fuse block under the rear seats went bad rendering the sunroof, power door locks, radio, power seats and a few other things inoperable. It was over $300 to repair but I only paid $100 thanks to the warranty.
My twilight sentinel also had to be replaced since it wasn't turning the lights on until it was almost completely dark, $100 repair.
I've also had some stalling when it is very cold, if the car sits for about 1 minute after first attempt, it will always start. The dealer couldn't find anything wrong and said it was probably due to the cold. I find this unusual but did have the same problem once with my previous Park Avenue. The car now has about 20,900 miles.
Had the first oil change and have not had any more stalling, even with the car sitting outside for several hours in sub zero weather. I'm not sure if that was the cause since the previous owner insisted the car was serviced just before I purchased it.
UPDATE: I recently added a factory 12 disc CD changer, so the car now has every available option except the Ultra Package and the Gran Touring Suspension.
I had a problem with the rear park assist for a few months. It has now been working flawlessly for a few weeks so hopefully it fixed itself. The brakes have been squeaking so I will have to look into that. The car now has about 25,000 miles on it.
Well, the Buick is still running great with no new problems in the last 8 months. It now has just over 33,000 miles on it. I recently moved about 3 miles from work so the mileage should stay very low! My neighbors across the street have 2 Park Avenues.
UPDATE: I recently changed the oil and had the tires rotated at 37,000 miles. I also had the parallel park assist feature fixed and my blower motor blown out (it had leaves in it).
I recently had to start going to a new dealer as my old one stopped selling new cars. I am very pleased with the service at the new dealer. They didn't even charge me to blow out the HVAC blower motor or clean and re-set my passenger mirror feature! The only thing I miss about my old dealer is that they provided you with a loaner car, which is a rarity these days.
UPDATE: I mentioned a problem with the rear park assist malfunctioning back in May. Well, it started to do it again. It is going to cost $474 to have the sensors in the back bumper replaced and have them painted to match. Also the driver's side power window makes a loud rubbing noise when going down sometimes, and it got somewhat slow when it was very cold this winter. It works fine most of the time however. Like I said, these cars can really start to nickel and dime you as they get older. As with my last Park Avenue, I still have not had any engine or transmission issues. I hope it doesn't start costing a small fortune to keep on the road, but you just can't match the ride and style in a new car.
UPDATE: Well, I'm a bit sad to report that on impulse I traded the Park Avenue in on a brand new 2011 Buick Lucerne tonight. The worst part is they only gave me $7,800 on trade for a car with 41,600 miles that I paid $19,700 for not even 3 years ago.
I decided to do this about a week ago and test drove a few Lucernes. Driving home tonight about an hours drive I really miss that soft ride reminiscent of Seally Posturpedic. The exterior styling is not a match in my opinion either, but the Lucerne isn't much worse than any other new car out there, and it is my first brand new car.
I am the type of person who has a hard time getting used to change so I am going to keep trying to convince myself I did the right thing. However, I already have a feeling that my Park Avenue was the best car I will ever own.
Do you like your new car? I have a 2003 Park Avenue, which I love, but it is starting to cost a lot to upkeep also. Just wanted to know if you still feel the same?
To answer your question, yes I still miss my Park Avenue, but I do like the Lucerne. It is nice having a fresh, brand new car with a warranty, but I still feel that the Park Avenue was a notch above this car. I think the Lucerne is an easier switch for LeSabre owners, not as easy for people coming out of a Park Avenue. If I could have bought a brand new Park Avenue, I would have hands down. But in today's market, this is just about as close as you can come unless you consider the Cadillac DTS or Lincoln Town car, both priced very near $50K. I also wanted to stick with the Buick brand for sentimental reasons, it is after all my favorite car manufacturer.