Last post on Jun 05, 2012 at 7:22 AM
You are in the Buick Century
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Buick Century, Sedan
#243 of 482 Scared away from Century
Feb 01, 2002 (8:54 am)
Hey, you guys are scaring me away with your talk of coolant leaks. I've been scoping out 2001 Centurys, most coming off one year leases with mileage in the teens. Prices about $14900. Went on Autotrader and searched in a 200 mile radius and found 253 2001 Buick Centurys for sale. I'm told that dealers buy these at auctions, most from Florida, and most in service for a year. Warranty still there for 2 years more, but now I'm concerned about this coolant leak. There are many options for me to take in a car search, so I'd rather eliminate possible problems beforehand. Comments/thoughts/advice Please.
#244 of 482 Reliable Car
Feb 01, 2002 (11:19 am)
I would not be scared about the Century. I have a few friends, as well as many fellow church goers that have Century's that have been trouble free. I am a fan of the car, and almost bought one last month (before you stereotype me, I am 34).
I asked all of the owners I could find and not one had a problem (one lady had a service light on, but didn't know why) I prefer to buy new...to me used cars are another world. I like knowing how the car was cared for, plus the factory warranty for insurance, since I keep my cars for awhile.
That century ride really pampers you...good luck picking one!
#245 of 482 Not that much more for a new one..
Feb 01, 2002 (1:52 pm)
$14,900 doesn't sound too bad for a used 2001 standard Century custom but we just bought a new 2002 with the special edition package and the UPO radio update for $18640 plus TTL (that's $1705 off msrp + $2002 rebate). The year old car is probably a rental and if you can do it I'd go with a new one. If you buy a year old one why not buy an extended warranty to ease your mind about the cost of future repairs? There are GM dealers on the web which sell extended warranties at discount.
Feb 01, 2002 (2:28 pm)
Why scare? Just inform.
The GM V-6 engines are some of the best: very good low-end torque (pushrod design), reliable, and proven: in one form or another they are in production for tens years. Most of bugs were eliminated years ago. The engine uses the chain, not a belt, and chains do not need the expensive service every 60k miles or so.
On a flip side, a fair share of the engines may develop the leak. But at least it is a well known problem. Every mechanic worth his salt will diagnose it easy and fix reasonable fast. You also will know what to look for. Furthermore, this leak is not a kind of catastrophic failure: if it developing, it is developing slow, and you have months, even years to fix it when it is more convenient.
Yes, a buyer of Century and other cars sharing the 3.1l engine and its 3.4l sister (Malibu, some trims of Alero, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Impala, Monte Carlo, the new Actek / Randevoux, and several minivans) have a chance to spend $550 on the leak repair after warranty will expire. I'd say, 10-15% chance. So what?
Car repairs is the way of life. All cars have one problem or another. Plus the specific problem is only mildly important. Not something like head gasket blowing up. You definitely will pay several times more for gas, oil, insurance, property taxes. Add to this brake service, new tires, transmission service, coolant service...
Feb 01, 2002 (2:48 pm)
jpelder and yurakm are correct about the Century and the V6 engines. I wouldn't let them dissuade you from buying the vehicle esp. if you enjoy driving the car. I also own a Malibu and love the engine. I knew about the leaks before i bought it but I also looked at how they improved th eMalibu from the 1997 model year until now and it improve reliability wise each year. The Century has always been a reliable car. If oyu like the ride and handling, buy it. You can get some sweet deals on them right now.
#248 of 482 Thanks for your input
Feb 01, 2002 (4:00 pm)
Thanks for your advice on Century/coolant leaks. I did price a new Custom with just cruise control the only option for a price of $17,986. That included the rebate. But I'm an old retired guy (just right for a Century) and 3 grand eases my budget buying the one year old leaser. I'm going from a pick-up truck to the Buick to soothe my old bones. One I'm looking at now has 10K miles and went into service April 2001. That gives me over 2 years of warranty and 26K miles for $14,900. Got a Carfax report; is a lease from Florida, sold at auction to Buick Dealer, as most of them seem to be. Everything else clean.
#249 of 482 Intake gasket leaks..
Feb 01, 2002 (4:01 pm)
We had a 1995 Lumina LS with the 3.1 and no leak. Also 1999 Venture with 3.4 engine which had the leak at 12k but never put a drop on the floor. They caught it when changing the oil etc. Fixed under factory warranty. Just had the intake manifold gasket start leaking on my 1997 Silverado with 5.7 liter engine at 55k. It would leak 3 drops overnight when it was really cold out. Paid for by extended warranty. Did it turn me off on GM? No way! As I posted above we just purchased a new Century. As you look through the forums here notice that Buick Centuries have very few posts about problems compared to other vehicles. The reliability of the 3.1 engine is hard to beat. Just take care of them with regular maintenance. As yurakm said if you do get the leak it's not catastrophic. It probably won't happen and IF it does its not really that large an expense to fix when you can figure not much else will probably ever go wrong with that 3.1 engine
Feb 01, 2002 (4:05 pm)
Only 10k miles and 10 months old, BUY IT! Sounds like a good deal to me!
#251 of 482 Also liked Century for micron air filtration system
Feb 01, 2002 (4:09 pm)
If it helps. Since I have allergies, I figured this car would fit the bill, since I like it, the price is right and the air filtration system might help allergies. I see the replacement filter for the cabin filter is about 50 bucks so it should be a quality set up. According to Buick it should filter out pollen and road dust. Any thoughts on this?
#252 of 482 micron filter..
Feb 01, 2002 (5:39 pm)
We had one on the 95 Lumina but don't think we ever changed it. Should help some for those who have allergies. The darn things are awful expensive though. I have a huge micron filter on our furnace and it only costs $25. We're not taking delivery on our Century til next week but I'll look then to see how hard it is to change. Maybe someplace like www.gmpartsdirect.com may have them cheaper.