1990 Buick Regal Custom 3800 TPI V6 from North America
Solid Buick from the early 90s
Right after purchase the cassette player made a thumping noise in the speakers when a tape was playing. The dealership fixed it right away and it never happened again.
A couple of check engine codes. Can’t remember the reasons.
The computer was replaced.
Water pump right before trade in at 165000 miles.
Yes, tune ups, belts/hoses, brakes and so on.
I consider those things as maintenance that sooner or later any car will need.
As much as I liked the prior G body Regals, these W bodies were pretty good. This car on review was super reliable. This one had the 3800 L27 V6 which was probably the best version of this engine; the series II that followed wasn’t as good, but still rock solid.
Very easy to work on for a FWD car. Performed all maintenance and repairs myself.
This car was a coupe and like all the other W body cars were sort of bland mobiles. Had the dealership dress the car up with the “Presidential“ package with a quarter canvas top and opera lights, giving the car a nice formal look.
The interior was nice with cloth seats and room for six (squeezing).
The dashboard was kind of boring with only a digital speedo and warning lights, no optional gauges. The factory radio was an oddball size, making it impossible to be replaced with a custom aftermarket if you wanted to.
The ride was your average soft Buick traditional.
To sum it up; for a platform that didn’t make GM a lot of money in the many years it was manufactured, this was an excellent car and probably one of our best in the reliability category.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th June, 2021
6th Jun 2021, 02:49
Sounds like you got a good one.
I worked for a Buick dealer from 1990-1994.
The W-Bodies were a radical departure from the GM norm, brought on by the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable. They were rushed to market out of panic.
They had an inherent problems with such things as underhood airflow that manifested itself with subpar A/C performance. 50 Degrees at the center A/C vents was considered acceptable performance which customers did not agree with. It also resulted in limiting top speed for police package W-Bodies.
Aside from performance limitations such as the above, the reliability was very ugly with the initial 1988 models. Transmissions, head gaskets, stalling, rear brake issues (the bulk of the parts were made in... France - EEP !!!) power antennas, remote keyless entry, power windows... etc.
1990 saw the beginning of improvement in reliability, particularly with the addition of the 3800. It didn’t anger its head gaskets or stall. It also had the gear rotor oil pump which fixed the bottom end failures of Buick V6s. It also worked well with the rather wide ratio 4 speed automatic transmission, being much bigger than the Chevy 2.8/3.1 and more mildly tuned. The resulting broad torque curve covered the yawing gaps between the gear ratio designed to game EPA fuel economy and emissions tests.
I will never forget driving my 1st 1991 3800 Regal. What HUGE difference in performance!!!
The W-Bodies have evolved into much more reliable cars with time.
Enjoy your car - it sounds like it has a good home. :)
10th Jun 2021, 16:40
Read the review. Has not "enjoyed" the car since 25 years ago...
12th Jun 2021, 17:35
Reviews are timeless. Unless they are no longer tagged or driven. People actually review cars on here that they have never even owned. I feel qualified to review cars I have owned and driven even if it’s been many decades since. I can vividly remember all issues, mileage, and life history.
13th Jun 2021, 12:25
Reviews are a reflection of people's experience with a vehicle. Regardless of when they owned it.
13th Jun 2021, 15:18
Thanks for the input. Now, please explain how you would "enjoy" a car that you sold 25 years ago.
14th Jun 2021, 21:03
Because it treated you well during your ownership. And being a nice reader and commenter, you enjoy sharing your time behind the wheel. I have bought certain cars back again. If you think of it, any commenter on here is not paid, share good with the bad. My best vehicles I have ever owned were Acura Legends. Not made anymore. My worst was Acura TL; stay away, transmissions fail more than once. That’s sharing input from 30 years ago and 20 years ago. Hope that helps.