3rd Dec 2004, 19:32

I own a 1998 Buick Regal and recently had to replace the head gasket and intake valves. My odometer recently rolled over to 80,000! Now, after nearly $800 later, I still have a leak and today, my dealer told me that it's the oil pan and possibly a transmission leak -- and it will cost another $700 to fix!

The car has been serviced exclusively by the dealer except the ONE time I took it to have the oil changed elsewhere in Sept. -- the same month my extended warranty expired.

Needless to say, I am devastated over this. It has been a good car, but seems to be falling apart now. I hate pouring $1,500 into a 6 yr old car that has been well maintained and one I'd planned on replacing this time next year.

I would like to know if others have had similar problems? Suggestions?


1st Mar 2005, 21:16

My Buick is a 1997 1/2. These cars came out early, but are the same as the 1998 Buick's. I have 170,000 miles on this car. My window regulator just broke on the driver door. This is the first one to break. I have never replaced any seals or gaskets yet. I have had a short in the wire going to the fuel pump and I have replaced the rack and pinion. I am just now rebuilding my supercharger due to a rattle sound that it has. The motor does not smoke nor does it knock. The transmission does not shift in drive when it should, but is still OK. I use this car as my every day driver and I feel I can still depend on it. In my opinion this is one of the best made cars on the road.

16th Aug 2007, 13:30

Now, since the Regal and the Grand Prix are the same car please tell me the Grand Prix isn't plagued with the same problems. I own a 99 GT Coupe, and so far I've only replaced the drivers side window switch. Are the Pontiacs better with the window motors?

19th Jan 2011, 11:28

1998 Buick GS is a good car that could have been great except for two major problems. Engine oil getting on the catalytic converter and the defective ignition which hundreds of drivers have diagnosed as a result of the engine cutting out on corners.

The display on the HVAC went sour, but the unit works. I did not want to shell out $600.00 for a display. The ignition switch is a dangerous situation. I complained to NHTSA with many other Buick and GM owners... to no avail.

The car is a hoot to drive, delivers 22 MPG on average, and is a good winter car. I have spent very little on this 12 year old vehicle.

19th Jan 2011, 15:06

You should be able to find a used climate control unit for your car on eBay for around $100. The unit used in the Regal/Century is a little harder to find than the unit used in the bigger Buicks, because it was a fairly rare option. But if you can find one, you could probably replace it yourself. I did it several years ago on my Park Avenue, and it worked well. For a while there was a guy on eBay that was also repairing these if you shipped him your unit, I also had to do that as my replacement went bad after about 6 months. I'm not sure if he is still offering that service on eBay though.

19th Jan 2011, 15:13

I realize this is an old review, and the original reviewer will probably never see this, but I believe GM puts a 1 year limited warranty on their parts, you should not have had to pay for many of these if they truly failed in the fashion you describe. Besides that, why would you keep going to the dealer if the part was failing at that frequency, these are available on eBay for under $100, and I have heard that one can install them themselves. Be an informed consumer.

10th May 2013, 10:51

My 98 GS is a decent car. When you refer to a car as the "best", the cost to have things fixed professionally is exorbitant. Anti lock/traction control: $600.00. Automatic climate control: $575 just for the part. Then there are intake manifold gaskets that GM designed to fail. I was told not to park my car in a garage or near a residence because they have indeed caught fire due to substandard valve cover gaskets, replaced under recall, only to fail immediately.

My 3 liter V-6 Ford Taurus cost me a thimble full of money compared to this upscale Buick.

30th Aug 2019, 06:20

The 96 and 98 are 2 entirely different animals and body styles, a complete makeover, so not even the same parts or motor. The 96 had the basic 3.8 VS 3.8 series II.

As far as windows go, if you try opening in cold/icy weather they stick/freeze to the trim and bang goes the motor. Solution... when parking, back the window down a tad by just barely touching the down button. They did have issues during this period in Grand Prix and Grand Am's also; witness them held up by duct tape.

30th Aug 2019, 20:07

The series 2 3800 is used in the 96 Regal with the 3100 being the base engine.