1991 Buick Regal Limited 3.8 liter from North America
This was a very good car, not perfect, but pretty good
Here is an 11 year history of operating this car.
Bad alternator left me stranded at about 70,000 miles.
Replaced bad oil pressure sensor about 70,000 miles.
About 110,000mi front right wheel hub bearing unit replaced due to bearing noise.
Replaced bad alternator again at about 120,000 miles using a rebuilt unit.
Rear brake calipers replaced 141,000 miles and again at 162,000 miles. Calipers hang up, cause brakes to not function, pad wear. This is a recognized weak point of these cars. Replaced all four pads and rotors at this time also due to severe brake pedal pulsation. Left rear rotor did not want to come off, only by heating and a hammer.
162,500 miles. Engine started quitting when it warmed up leaving me stranded several times or sitting in traffic. Would restart after cooling down. Cam sensor magnet found deteriorated. Replaced cam and crank sensors. A $10 dollar magnet turns into a big job, have to remove timing cover and intake manifold.
162,500 Severe front oil seal leak. Had to replace seal and then harmonic dampener to get it finally stopped. Did this work when replacing crank sensor. Also replaced valve cover gaskets and oil pan gasket due to leaks.
162,500 Replaced radiator due to leak in upper plastic tank.
Torque converter clutch damaged going up mountains. Should have down-shifted to lower gear. Caused severe shuttering of transmission. Disabled TCC from electrical circuit. Causes a couple mpg penalty.
The power radio antenna motor runs, but does not go up or down. Generally doesn't affect radio.
Recently the FM radio quit working, but now is working if volume is turned way up.
About three or four years ago the remote door locks quit functioning due to control box circuit board fatigue cracks. Past couple years the door locks sometimes don't work from the door button either. Front passenger window does not go up from driver's master control switch.
Trunk lid torque spring broke couple years ago. Re-welded about a year ago, still holding.
Suspect head gasket leak causing sluggish performance. Have been using radiator stop leak. Seems to help. Have not added antifreeze. No. 2 plug fouls (wet), possibly from antifreeze.
181,000 miles Rear fiberglass transverse leaf spring broke in half going down interstate. Bent rear suspension lateral link and exhaust pipe in the process. Replacing suspension with junkyard parts. Replacing original struts.
Found catalytic converter honeycomb ceramic pieces in the muffler during leaf spring repair. Replacing original exhaust system. Ceramic appears to have melted in some areas, probably rich air/fuel mixture or antifreeze. This car may be on its last legs unless suspected head gasket leak is repaired. (Just barely passed emissions test two years ago after replacing oxygen sensor.)
Clear coat is coming off top of car. (It's been outside since 1995, but waxed regularly, kept in shade when possible. Considering, paint is pretty good.)
I still like this car, even being 16 years old. It has a classy conservative style, is a comfortable size, not too big or small. Not boxy styling like 1980's cars.
It gets decent gas mileage, 19 mpg city, 28 highway.
Has sufficient power with the 3.8 liter engine. This is a good engine if maintained. But with most of these cars now with high miles, do expect problems.
GM should have gone to lower lumbar support seats sooner. This car does not have.
I like the steering wheel radio controls option and the dash design is somewhat unique which I also like.
This car like most was definitely designed only for a finite life. Reliablity was a little above average, but going down with advancing age. Only the most die hard will get past 200,000 miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd September, 2006