Buick Century Common Issues? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


General GM Chat When starting new posts, please specify YEAR, MAKE, MODEL, ENGINE type, and whatever modifications you have made. Chat about all things GM (and related cars). Off-topic stuff should be in the Lounge, and all Model specific mechanical problems should be posted in the proper forum.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-08-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
rjolly87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 6,857
Thanked 298 Times in 246 Posts
rjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant future
Default Buick Century Common Issues?

I have been cruising the market for cars lately, and noticed a 2003 Century on the lot of a dealer I know. It only has 68k miles, but also appears to be another no-options-ordered base model rental fleet vehicle (my PA is also one). I havent looked at the car up close just yet, but I would like to know what the common issues are for W-Bodies, and the 3100. Also I wonder if it is going to be something I hate coming from what I have now.

I took a quick look on Wikipedia, and saw mention of cooling system issues on the 3100, giving it a reputation of headgasket failures and cracked heads. This has me a bit leery, especially coming from a 3800 owner, with an example that has put in almost 21 years (almost 6 with me) and 182k miles (30k from me, including merciless beating almost every day). I take comfort in the fact the 3800 isn't looking for an excuse to blow a head gasket the second it dumps coolant.

The only other experience I have with a W Body is running a 2001 Impala back from another city, for the same dealer oddly enough. It seemed to drive and ride nice enough, moved around good enough, but had no presence about it, it was completely bland.

So, what are common issues/fixes for the W-Body? The 3100? What should I be on the look out for? What'* it gonna be like when my 6' 450lb self needs to jump under the hood for something?
rjolly87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 02:54 AM   #2
certified crazy person
Certified GM nut
 
eltatertoto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: hobart indiana (1 hr from chicago)
Posts: 1,871
Thanked 64 Times in 52 Posts
eltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rougheltatertoto is a jewel in the rough
Default

having worked on about 6 W'* now, id say the most common is the lim gaskets like the 3.8. the water pumps also like to go. both are easy jobs on the century though. having been built on the same body that held the 3.8, there is plenty of working room.

my mother has a 02 century with about 100k on it, and its not had an issue yet apart from the notorious gauge cluster resistors coming loose. so you cant see the ODO. (that was a surprisingly easy fix)


the cons:
as for ride quality, picture your la-z-boy. now picture it with wheels and an engine. thats exactly how it feels. you can hit a pothole the size of georgia and not feel it. the steering wheel is like one from a 70'* movie. at least 10 degrees of no feedback. (thats to keep the old people from changing lanes too quickly) lol. the brakes are too soft in my opinion. i like a firm pedal. this feels like you are pushing on a loaf of bread.

the pros: it goes like a stabbed rat for something with a buick emblem. it is just as fast if not faster than my 3.8 heavier park ave, and the throttle response is enough to snap a passengers neck if you dont warn them. the seats are comfortable in a straight line (avoid going over the posted limit on a cloverleaf unless you like passengers riding in your lap, though.)

the thing is just reliable as all hell. travis (xlt2k) accidentally hydrolocked his riding around with a busted headgasket and the thing ran about a week on watered down oil before locking. he then drained the coolant and the thing ran with spun bearings.

another plus is the fact that being as tall as you are, you have plenty of headroom. the seats sit pretty low. i am 5'11" and I feel like a little old lady in that car. there is literally about a foot of space above my head.

bottom line:

would i buy one? yes. would i miss my park avenue? yes.
eltatertoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 09:32 AM   #3
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
jwfirebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: western,ny state
Posts: 9,616
Thanked 563 Times in 481 Posts
jwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond repute
Default

the 3100 and 3400 are not exciting but the point really is over 30mpg is easy in everything but strait city driving. and its like the 3800 if you are proactive with the felpro aluminum gaskets and get rid of the dex, you wont have to worry about the heads
jwfirebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 03:14 PM   #4
Junior Member
Posts like a Ricer Type-R
 
Scottielstamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Scottielstamper is on a distinguished road
Default

3.1 and 3.4 are decent motors I've seen well over 200k miles out of them I've changed intake and head gaskets on both at high miles as in well over 100k and decent granny'* also, it recommend change out the DexCool and possible adding an extra trans cooler
Scottielstamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 05:24 PM   #5
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
jwfirebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: western,ny state
Posts: 9,616
Thanked 563 Times in 481 Posts
jwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond reputejwfirebird has a reputation beyond repute
Default

i had over 300 on the 3.1 i had
jwfirebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 08:43 PM   #6
Senior Member
Certified GM nut
 
2k2cse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 2,112
Thanked 18 Times in 17 Posts
2k2cse has a spectacular aura about2k2cse has a spectacular aura about
Default

Tater, its 2k2cse here. You're playing Xbox too much lol

The 3100 is definitely a strong motor. 03+ had the revised gaskets, so less chance of leaking. Some simple mods and better tires can help handling greatly too. You can get a front sway bar from a Montana van, and a STB from an impala or regal. Also, the throttle body from a 3.4 wakes it up a little too.

I spent a bit of money in parts on mine in the last year, but it was all routine maintenance. Wheel bearings, a strut, control arm bushings...

One thing to look out for is rocker panel rust, and a rotting rad support. They're the two biggest rust issues in these cars.
2k2cse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 10:21 PM   #7
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
rjolly87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 6,857
Thanked 298 Times in 246 Posts
rjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant futurerjolly87 has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2cse View Post
One thing to look out for is rocker panel rust, and a rotting rad support. They're the two biggest rust issues in these cars.
Guess it'* a good thing we don't have rust issues

I have already ran an Experian autocheck on it and it looks good on paper too, and has been in New Mexico all of it'* life.

I swear, it is so nice not having to worry about rust issues. I have seen too many good forum mobiles lost to rust.
rjolly87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 11:08 PM   #8
Senior Member
Certified GM nut
 
2k2cse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 2,112
Thanked 18 Times in 17 Posts
2k2cse has a spectacular aura about2k2cse has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjolly87 View Post

Guess it'* a good thing we don't have rust issues

I have already ran an Experian autocheck on it and it looks good on paper too, and has been in New Mexico all of it'* life.

I swear, it is so nice not having to worry about rust issues. I have seen too many good forum mobiles lost to rust.
That'* good to hear. Rust is one of the main reasons my century wasn't fixed. It was too rough to spend any more money trying to fix.

I'd still keep an eye on that rad support though. Just for the peace of mind. Water likes to build up there and don't really have anywhere to drain.
2k2cse is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buick Century stalling, rough idle issues mjrgoodvibes Lounge 24 01-04-2011 01:17 AM
common issues, common fixes enslow Forum updates and suggestions 1 01-09-2010 03:02 PM
ATTN: Gearheads! 99 Buick Century issues vital49 Lounge 4 01-01-2006 05:02 PM
'99 SSEi common issues smellbird 1992-1999 4 11-24-2005 06:39 PM
4T65E (both HD/Non-HD) Common Transmission Issues SuperchargedFury General GM Chat 7 02-25-2005 09:33 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:19 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.