1996 Buick Regal 3.1L V6 from North America


R.I.P. My Buick


First problem that lasted during the entire time I owned the car, was water somehow filled up my right tail light every time it rained, and eventually would kill the bulb.

Since it is the standard GM 3100 series engine, around every 40k miles, something with the head gaskets or piston rings... I can't remember which... would fail. I had to get this fixed by two different mechanics, costing 500 dollars each time.

Had to replace the water pump after 85000 miles, costing a good 700.

The cable to pop the hood open snapped.

The cigarette lighter sparked while I was driving and killed my battery, and permanently killing the cigarette lighter.

And after 80k something miles, there was a huge problem with acceleration, because I would give it gas, and the car would slow down as I would push.

Windshield wiper fluid pump broke the week I bought the car.

The fabric in the interior ceiling starts to peel down and I don't know why.

A hole in the cooling system leaked onto hot engine parts and would make smoke/steam come from under my hood (very embarrassing and not to mention low coolant is very dangerous).

Plus some more that I can't think of.

General Comments:

This car gets a 1/10 in my opinion.

I could probably guarantee you that the 3800 series is a great car, and as you can see, most people rate it good. But the 3100 series was a nightmare from hell. Honestly, on average I brought my car into the shop once every 2-3 months, costing me around 400 dollars each time.

Finally in summer of 08, there were no problems with the car the ENTIRE summer, and then September of 08 I paid my respects to my dead Buick Regal. The engine was BLOWN out of nowhere!!! Totally blown!!

I had a friend look at it, and cost to repair would be around 2000, and the car was probably worth less than my huffy bike from when I was a kid.

This is the absolute worst car ever made by GM! Never ever ever get a mid 90's GM car with a 3100 series engine, because it will give you nightmares.

My friend owns a 97 Oldsmobile Cutlass 3100 series engine. And he has the same problems, but at least his car broke at 100k miles *yay*.

By all means get the 3800 model. BUT DO NOT GET THE 3100 SERIES EVER!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th September, 2008

11th Aug 2009, 01:00

I got 231,000 miles out of my 94 Buick with the 3.1 until the transmission went. However, the engine is in another car still running.

17th Aug 2009, 23:14

There is a problem with the 3.8L and 3.1L engines, which is the intake manifold is plastic and if the car overheats or if it just goes for whatever reason, your engine is shot. It's actually fairly common from other manufacturers to do the same thing these days, but most other cars don't last long enough for it to be a problem.

You were one of those unlucky enough where it killed the car.

Other than that problem, 99% of the time you can't get a more reliable engine.

1996 Buick Regal Custom 3.8 Series II V6 from North America


Awesome car!!


Nothing. It all works fine.

General Comments:

The car has power everything (windows, door locks, trunk!!), runs smooth as silk, has good power for acceleration and passing on the highway, gets great gas mileage, and has a comfortable ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2008

1996 Buick Regal from North America




There have been quite a few things go wrong with my car.

Now the enging service soon light is on for 3 months.

The dealer checked it and said it's OK no problem.

Next day it went on again, and I took it to a repair shop and they think it's a fuel filter and it's running on 5 cylinders. I'm getting mad very mad at my car I think I should sell it soon to much money is involved for my taste and bank account.

General Comments:

This car was great when I bought it, but now it's costing me to much money to own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th September, 2005

25th Sep 2005, 15:30

I am in a similar situation in some respect. I have a relatively low mileage (50,000 miles) recently purchased (July 2005) 96 Regal which ran great at first. Then I noticed a coolant loss and had it traced to a leaking water pump. Already? Maybe there is some truth to concerns that low mileage, but older used cars might present some problems particularly with the sealing components of various parts.

Anyway, the problem which is currently racking my brain is due to its at random inability to start or crank over. It is not an electrical problem, but perceived to be a fuel problem. I also think that exposure to the daytime sunlight induced heating plays some part in it. I'll drive it into work in the AM and let it sit in the lot. Around quitting time the car won't start. If I wait awhile, apparently when things cool down, then it will start.

The afternoon inability to start is not like clockwork, but is random in itself. I left the car with a mechanic for a week and even told him to leave it out in the sun, but random checks provided start up each time. It needs to not start in order for them to attempt to diagnose the problem without an expensive "piecemeal" random parts replacement.

Needless to say, I am sorely frustrated by this experience and it seems that nobody can really address the source of the problem.