Had the popular GM windshield-wiper-on-the-wing-mirror gremlin yesterday after foolishly engaging the wipers when snow was on the windscreen.
Result: arm worked its way loose from the spindle.
Fix: 1/2 turn on the spindle retainer nut with a 1/2" socket. Took all of five minutes.
Car still loyally taking its medicine every day up the freeway. No other issues.
March 9 2009.
The Regal continues to serve me well.
Hasn't missed a beat all winter except for one day when the old ABS/Service/Traction lights came on. It only did that once and I think it had something to do with a pothole.
Other than oil changes the car is doing well. Must have put 20,000km on it since I bought it. No dramas. Very pleased with the car.
Car still performing well except for a recent tendency to stall a couple of minutes after startup from cold. Appears to happen most at low speeds, perhaps under braking or steering.
The stall (or sometimes near-stall) are characterised by all the dashlights coming on for a second then all going off again. Am researching and will report back.
Otherwise the car continues to work well. Changed the indicator lamps on the front last weekend. Literally took one minute per side. Clip, clip, flip, twiddle, pull to get the old bulb out and the reverse procedure to put it back again. Wonderful design.
I got to the bottom of the mystery stall, recorded here so future owners can find it.
After a few stalls, the pattern that emerged was that of turn signals triggering the fault, intermittently, and more often when cold. A neighbour's OBD2 scanner found no faults. Research suggested crank sensors, coils, fuel sensors, MAF sensors, body control modules etc. Research also suggested some owners spending much money chasing problems around the system. However after much googling, the consensus appeared to build around ignition switch issues. (note - NOT the ignition LOCK where the key goes in, but an electrical component that turns in concert with the lock).
It turns out that ignition switch internals are apt to carbon up over time under normal usage, aided and abetted by temperature changes, humidity and all the other fun things cars have to tolerate.
Over time, this buildup causes unclean connections and arcing. The arcing causes a spike that trips out the cars computer causing a stall.
The stall on my car was due to indicators, although any switching such as lights, brakes, horn etc could theoretically cause it. If the stall is transient, it may leave a couple of car components in an odd state, such as
the ABS/Traction lights I reported earlier.
Anyway, I took off the old switch, took it apart and cleaned the contacts with abrasive and all appears to be good. Guidance is available here:
My Regal equipment was not exactly as in the articles, but close enough.
There were three main problems with the fix.
The first is getting at and having drivers for the male TORX screws, which GM has chosen to fit to this model.
The second is how the switch comes apart. There are internal springs that waste no time coming loose when you crack open the housing. Watch out for bits that might fall some way from the work area.
The third was putting the switch back together. I couldn't get the main spring in properly, meaning the ignition doesn't now return to "run" from "start" without me doing it by hand. Inconvenient for now. At least the car doesn't stall.
I hear stories about this be $300-400 if done by a dealer.
A new switch is about $80 plus an hour to change out IF you have access to the screwdrivers.
A used switch is about $30, but who knows its condition?
My fix cost nothing, but took three hours.
Owners are advised to take the course of action that suits them best. It is a pity GM choose such odd fasteners (and such expensive switches - the earlier models are $15), otherwise this would have been cheap and easy to do.
Owners that are not mechanically minded should take the car to the shop.
I've now had the car for about 18 months and its been fairly plain sailing. I've noticed it needs new rotors at the back and that pesky windscreen wiper needs tightening again.
My mechanic friend says these cars are known to be generally dependable but have their quirks - such as a tendency to ruin rear rotors. Something to do with the braking distribution favouring the front, so the back doesn't get exercised enough.
Other than that it's business as usual. 200km round trip every day, and she takes it like a champ.
July 2010. I've now had the car for nearly 2 years.
I had the rear rotors and pads replaced so that's the brake wobble all sorted. $150 a side fitted.
The latest quirk is the LED odometer display has packed up (although I can still get it to display if I frantically hit the odometer reset button several dozen times).
This is yet another well known Regal/Century issue and as always the recommendation is to pull the instrument pod and have an expert take it apart and put it back together.
This wouldn't be a biggy, except because the fuel tank sensor is knackered, I now have no precise way of knowing how much gas I have left without endlessly wiggling the rotten odometer reset every few days.
Despite this, she's now on 312,000 KM and still runs like a champ and even though there are imperfections its "better the devil you know". I know this car will start every time and do the business, so long as I keep up a fair maintenance schedule.
Me again. The 2000 Regal continues to impress, so I bought another one for the missus. This one's a 2001, so I will start another thread in the 2001 section.
I have owned a 2000 Regal LS for 4 years as of January 31st. Now has 180,000 miles on it. It still runs smooth, and does not leak oil or any fluids. Have replaced 3 power window motors, had an electrical problem that turned out to be a bad chassis ground (hard one to track down!) Replaced the ignition control module, and the engine computer.
All in all, I would estimate I have spent about $2K in repairs to keep it in good condition, and have no complaints. Very smooth, quiet ride with a great interior.
Its been 14 months since my last comment about my 2000 Regal LS.
I still have the car and it continues to be very reliable.
In fact I bought another one for the missus: a 2001.
I have had various wear and tear type work done over the last year or so, particularly for its inspection. This has included bits and pieces like rotors, a caliper, wishbone, bushes etc.
It seem to average about 1000 a year in repairs. Still very happy. 375000Km on the clock, and she still runs like the day I got her.
Me again. Still got the Buick.
It still goes and goes well. 400,000 km.
Got the car at 235,000, so that's almost 170,000 km since I got it.
Work since last time: replaced the resistors in the instrument pod so I could see the odometer, link kits, a caliper, bits and pieces.