9th Jul 2009, 17:47
Unfortunately, in some respects the two products are becoming very similar. However, the Buick is still far more luxurious, a bit nicer looking (both are far too bland these days), a better value for the money, and has a better warranty. Those are just a few I can think of. Toyota can't begin to match the qualities of a traditional large Amercan car. I will admit that the Toyotas must have their good qualities considering they have been the number one selling car for a number of years.
4th Sep 2009, 04:45
Hi, I have a 1995 Park Ave with 247k miles on it. I bought it two years and 20k miles ago. The car was poorly maintained and just fixed up for a sale, but I got it cheap ($1700) and fixed it up.
Brake lines, master brake cylinder, 3 of 4 wheel hubs, blower motor, something with vacuum, coolant sensor in the radiator, temperature sensor, etc. Most of that minor issues. The engine was eating a lot of oil and finally sized. A new one with labor was $1500, about the resale price of the car, on the other hand for that money one buys a piece of crap, which needs more money to put in to work. And I like my Park Ave. Happy motoring.
4th Oct 2009, 22:34
Update: I just recently past the 50k mile mark and 3rd year of ownership of my Park Avenue. It has been a great car and has not died at the hands of a 21 year old. Now I have a total of 159,100 miles. The car has never left me stranded. It hasn't been perfect, but I can't complain. I do maintain it well, being a former auto mechanics student, and the fact that I like working on cars.
Here's a list/summary of things I did since owning the car:
Needed: coil pack - $20, alternator - $134, starter - $79, wheel cylinder - $30, coolant level sensor - $55, climate control unit - $12, ABS unit - $55 (has saved me from many accidents), windshield - $155 (city inspection).
Total cost = $540.
Beneficial: paint job - $320 (has GM's white flake paint), oil pan gasket - $50 (very minor seapage), valve stem seals - $14 (helped slow down oil burning in half), A/C - $400 (southern heat), window tint - $200, CD player - $150 x2 (car was broken into, did more damage than the CD players combined are worth, have yet to fix door cylinder)
Total = $1284.
Have did the norm as far as regular maintenance: Spark plugs and wires, O2 sensor, tires ($450), brakes, rotors, fluid changes etc.
Check engine has only came on twice, once due to the EGR valve, changed coil packed resolved it, and the other time for a lazy 02 sensor.
Recently I did a trans pan drop and switched over to Dexron VI. Nice improvement, nothing fantastic but nice. Did it mostly for the fact that dex VI is 2x better than dex III.
Can't afford a new trans. I also noticed that my master cylinder is leaking, so I might have to change it out soon, but it's a very slow leak.
It may seem like a lot, but I just probably keep up with things more than most. Seems that I have spent 2x more into none need items than actual need repairs.
$2500 + $540 + $1284 = $4324, which comes out to to $846 every 10k, and if you just included the need repairs and cost of the car, it comes out to $608 every 10k, not including regular maintenance. Far less than a monthly car note.
I'm a satisfied Buick owner.
I need this car to last at least 2 more years or at least until I can find a better job. But with the economy tanked like it is, having a reliable car helps you sleep at night.
23rd Nov 2009, 17:57
My 95 Park Ave 3800 is not heating. I have replaced the thermostat and still no change. Any suggestions?
2nd Dec 2009, 15:46
Are you talking about the heat inside. Could be your blend door actuator broke and not moving the door for the heater core when put on a heating setting. In my case the rod wasn't connected to the actuator.
1st Mar 2010, 04:50
Update- I'm up to 163,900 miles now. I have had to do a few repairs to the Avenue since last update. I had a coolant leak that was progressively getting worse. So I changed out my Lower intake manifold gaskets with GM aluminum gaskets, which were bad. Also I caught my upper intake manifold just in time; the EGR stove pipe had eroded the port around it and it developed a hole when I cleaned it, so I replaced it.
Also got a check engine light. I had to change out my cam position sensor. I also replaced the crank position sensor, as this is a common failure also, which I originally thought was the problem.
I also changed my high pressure power steering hose. Now I need to replace my power steering pump, because it is leaking and was the main source of my leakage problem, although I think it's just the reservoir O ring. I will attempt to do a rebuild on a junkyard power steering pump and install it.
I spent a little over $400 dollars doing all this. Did all the repairs myself, so I saved a lot of money and it's still cheaper than a monthly car note.
I also need to replace my master cylinder due to leakage, but it's a slow leak and has been leaking for at least six months to a year.
And I discovered that my A/C refrigerant is leaking out of the A/C hose inlet valve. Will recharge soon and see if it's just a slow leak.
Hopefully after this I won't have to do any repairs for a long time. Most things I have replaced I chalk up to age, except the well know intake manifold and gasket issue. Still runs very well. Still don't regret getting this car.
5th Apr 2010, 18:22
Update- 164,820 miles now. I rebuilt my power steering pump. Seal kit only cost $8, power steering pump from the junkyard $19, which in retrospect I didn't really need to buy.
The power steering pump for my car cost $169, since it has variable assist, which when I unplugged, I really noticed no difference, so I think I could have got away with the one without the option, which was $70 if I had gotten a new power steering pump.
The rebuild was pretty easy. The power steering pump insides were very simple, and the seal kit is dirt cheap ($8), and it solved the leaking problem completely.
I also had to buy a new A/C cycle switch. The threads were stripped inside (plastic) and it severely damaged the o-ring, so refrigerant was going right past it (loud hissing sound). Why it took so long, almost 2 years, to leak out rapidly all of a sudden I don't know. So I bought a new switch $32, refrigerant $20 and now it's ice cold again.
Hopefully the only thing I have to do for the rest of the year is oil changes.
Still happy with the car, just age related maintenance lately, even though it has cost me more than I would have liked lately.