1997 Buick Skylark from North America


The car is one of the best cars I have ever owed


My water pump went when I had 105000 miles on it.

I have replaced the front rotors 3 times since I have owned the car.

I have had no other repairs to the car since I have own it.

General Comments:

The car has great acceleration at a dead stop or when passing at any speed. No need to be worried you will not have the power to pass.

The seats are very comfortable. A real tall person will have some trouble with head room.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th July, 2005

1997 Buick Skylark Custom 2.4L 4-cylinder from North America


An outstanding, dependable commuter car!


A/C compressor was inoperative when I bought the car. Replacement compressor cost around $800.

Front brake pads and rotors had to be replaced at 136k miles.

Driver-side switches for rear windows jams. Switch assembly will need to be removed and thoroughly cleaned out.

Water leaks in from unknown location during periods of heavy rain, saturating the driver's side front and rear foot-well carpeting.

Original factory battery had to be replaced at 135k miles.

General Comments:

This is a commuter car for me, the primary family car being a 2003 Dodge Stratus.

The overall performance and handling of this car is phenomenal! Acceleration is robust.

The automatic transmission is very precise, it's not prone to "hunting" at certain speeds like other automatics I've driven. Shifting is a bit abrupt, especially on hard acceleration.

The interior is very nicely laid out, the seats are comfortable even on long drives, and there's plenty of leg room even for the back seats. Instrumentation and controls are good, although the wiper controls are a bit confusing.

Although I bought the car used at seven years old, it is still in great shape - both physically and mechanically. The previous owner has never had to do anything other than routine maintenance on the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2005

1997 Buick Skylark 2.4 from North America


Cheap to operate..That's about it


Had to replace both window regulators.

ETS lite comes on for no reason.

Goes through many front brake pads and rotors.

Trunk leaks. Resealed and still gets water in. Can't figure out where it comes from.

Has a coolant leak. Have to add about every 2-3 months. Can't spot the leak.

Fairly good gas mileage. (30 + - 2)

Used to go thru serpentine belts, but the last one I put on was over a year ago. I've put on three since I've had the car. (80,000 miles).

When I last changed the rear brakes the brake drums were both frozen on. Had to literally beat them off even after releasing all the brake pressure from bleeders. Had to replace both drums.

General Comments:

All in all a fairly cheap car to run as I haven't spent major money on it. Would I buy another?...No. To small and crampy. I just feel this car was built as cheap as possible when it left the Buick Factory.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th February, 2005

1997 Buick Skylark 4.0 from North America


Dependable, but repairs can be expensive


I've had three power windows stop working on this car.

I had to replace the water pump after running over a huge bump, which was a very expensive repair because the engine had to be lifted to fix it.

I've had to have the alternator replaced on this car.

The brake pads wear out about once every year. Generally I have to replace the rotors as well. This car practically eats brake pads.

I've had to have the control arm bushing fixed.

Three of my hubcaps fell off! I don't think this was because of my driving! I took the last one off myself because I felt stupid to drive around with only one hubcap.

Moisture collects on anything left in the trunk. Any cloth or paper items left in the trunk are ruined after only a short time.

I'd recommend trying to avoid driving on rough pavement in this car. Every time I run over something roughly, I have to have some repairs done not long after.

Currently the motor mounts are going bad. The engine will sometimes lift up when I start it, and sometimes shake around, and then it stops. It helps to give it just a little push on the gas pedal when starting. My check engine light is on. However I have disregarded this light in the past, because it usually comes on along with the "ETS OFF" light (referring to the Enhanced Traction System), which comes on for no apparent reason frequently. This is the next thing that will have to be fixed.

General Comments:

In spite of the cost of repairs, this car has served me well for over 100,000 miles. I have taken numerous long road trips in this car, driving pretty much non-stop. Thankfully the only times it has gone kaput have been when I was close to home. I have also used it for regular commuting (70 miles daily) for about five years with only occasional problems.

Electrical problems certainly get the worst kind of behavior out of this car. Once when I was sitting at a light, the car died without warning and I was unable to turn it back on. Furthermore, the brake pedal seized up and would not respond. Thankfully I was not on an incline.

This car gets excellent highway gas mileage, especially on long trips. It does not do so well with regards to city driving.

This car drives very well on snow. The ABS system works quite well.

I have never had any problem with the heating or cooling system. In cold weather, it warms up fast; in hot weather, the A/C is reliable.

Accelerates from zero quickly, or at least it used to. It has slowed down after I've put so many miles on it. It accelerates more slowly once you get above 55 mph.

The cabin is cramped. There is an arm rest that comes down between the front seats, containing a drink holder. The arm rest and drink holder make it impossible for me to move my arms to drive or reach the instrument panel, so I have never used it. The cabin is also difficult to clean. It is very hard to retrieve items that fall between (or under) the seats.

The car is not well insulated from noise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st January, 2005

8th Oct 2005, 10:53

I just want to chime in on this review. I have had almost exactly the same experience with my 1997 Buick Skylark. Yes, the repairs can be costly, but they are relatively few and far between. I have driven this car between New York and Texas several times, and I also received excellent gas mileage. One area where my experience differs - I have not had to replace the brake pads in over a year and a half, and the rotors have not been replaced since I have had the car (7 years).

I found this review in researching the "ETS OFF" warning light. This problem just popped up for me. It is good to see that other have had the problem as well. So far, the performance of the vehicle does not seem to be affected.

Thank you for your assistance.