1987 Buick Skyhawk from North America


A wonderful amazing car


Couple of alternators over the years. Have replaced a few batteries, but most of this was my fault for leaving things on or for letting a friend attempt to jump start his car with mine and he hooked up the battery cables backwards.

The air conditioning has been an ongoing issue though. When I first got the car, if I was stuck in traffic and running the air conditioning, the car would overheat.

By about 2000, the car would overheat if the AC was run at all for more than say 5 minutes. It still blew cold then though!

2001, I got the radiator replaced - turned out that was the overheating issue with the air conditioning after all. Had good working AC for a while.

Then AC began blowing warm. Got it recharged. Helped briefly - system has leaks apparently. It was late in the season by then so didn't bother doing anything about it.

2002 went to get it fixed - was told I needed a new compressor and condensor. Got second opinions - same story - then was told in a car this age and mileage that if I got it fixed it might hurt the engine. So left it alone and sweated a lot.

2004 was told that info on it harming engine was just wrong and have seriously considered getting AC parts replaced, but by now the engine is getting kinda tired and starting to knock so not sure what I'm going to do with it at this point.

Other than that just regular maintenance things like brakes and tires have been needed for this car.

Oh yes, and the tape player died around 2002 but I replaced that with a whole new radio/CD system and new speakers - I thought the old original speakers were pretty darn good though for original speakers!

General Comments:

Bottom line though is I love this car.

This car can fit through teeny little places. This car still, at its age and mileage, has better pick up than many MUCH newer cars I've driven. It needs a paint job at this point, but really never rusted - it just has some paint wear and its sat outside in a VERY hot climate the past two summers which really did the paint in, but before that it looked pretty good still!

I would so buy this car again if I could! I've looked and looked at other cars, newer cars, cars with AC that works - and still haven't found one that's made me want to turn this one in. I wish Buick still made this car because if they did, I would buy another one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2004

11th Sep 2005, 18:13

Just read your review of the '87 skyhawk. As it happens I have a '87 skyhawk that I want to sell. I'm buying a motorbike. It's been a wonderful car with very few mechanical problems. I just replaced the alternator. I bought the car three years ago from a mechanic whom was selling it for his girlfriend, so it was well taken care of mechanically wise. If you 're interested, please feel free to contact me at, seaworthy3000@hotmail.com. Thank you.

1987 Buick Skyhawk Custom 2.0 Liter 4 cylinder from North America


Comfortable econobox with endless rust issues


The left front side of the sub-frame rusted away so badly that it actually broke and left the car immobile (this was repaired... for about $1,200, but I did not have to pay for it).

The water pump had to be replaced due to a leaking old seal.

All of the brake lines and brake components had to be replaced due to rust (the car sat for about 3 years without being driven).

The headliner came down, but it was repaired.

The endless rust resulted in a need of new sheet metal.

The rosewood coloured paint has faded to bronze, and the clear coat finish is cracked.

The horn doesn't work; there are just clicking noises in the car when a horn button is pushed.

Recently discovered some gasoline in the engine oil.

Most of all, a short in the wiring somewhere drains the battery in 3 1/2 days if the car isn't driven or started at least every other day.

General Comments:

My grandmother gave me this car (how generous of her) because I always liked it when I was younger, and has so far, thankfully, paid for all of the neccesary repairs so I can drive it.

This Custom trim Skyhawk coupe is an absolute "bare bones" model. There is no air conditioning, power steering, and a four speed manual gearbox. The only option this car has is the Am/Fm stereo radio that was two upgrades beyond the standard sound system. However, it still doesn't have a clock. I am thankful though that my grandmother had cruise control installed at the dealership when the car was new.

For as long as the car sat, the engine runs very excellently.

The 2.0L four cylinder is quieter than my friend's 1991 Honda Civic, and starts up even on the coldest of mornings.

With this engine and the manual transmission, the car has excellent fuel economy. In the past four days, I've driven 264 miles (mixed urban/rural). It was at 224 miles that I had a 1/2 of a tank of gas, and with that being around 6.5 gallons, my average fuel economy was 32 miles per gallon.

Although I've owned this car since 2001, I've only been able to drive it since August 11, 2003, and I am still mastering the all-unpredictable-clutch. With my current 'skill', the car shifts better when the engine has warmed sufficiently.

The stick shift is fun, and all of my friends (I'm 16) have found something they like (as well as do not like) about this car. My ex-girlfriend (with whom I am still friends with) likes it better than a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron sedan in black with no rust :).

The interior is quite comfortable with thick padded seats. In the back, although room is a bit tight, the center position is softer and more comfortable than any other new car I've ridden in. (No center bulge to the back of the seat, or hard wood beam under your bottom). The seating surface fabric has peculiar squares of a fuzzy, soft material.

Overall, this car has been good for me, and my grandmother. Aside from the rust issues, the car is comfortable with half-way decent styling, and the manual transmission makes it a lot more fun to drive. I don't mind the lack of power steering, because once you're going, it feels about the same. No air conditioning? Oh well. I like the breezes coming from my open windows. I think the coolest thing about the car are the flip-down headlamp covers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th August, 2003