Last post on Jun 05, 2012 at 7:22 AM
You are in the Buick Century
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Buick Century, Sedan
#302 of 482 Some minor damage
Apr 13, 2003 (12:25 am)
I wanted to see if anyone can help me with some minor damage with a 2002 Buick Century. Essentially, the car was being driven in reverse and the right front door and mirror clipped a pine tree. The heated mirror shattered and the door sustained some minor cosmetic damage.
Heres my questions:
1) The dealer wants to replace the whole heated power mirror assembly at $131, but only the mirror itself was damaged. The way these mirrors are assembled, the glass (and heating element) is just glued to a plastic frame in the color-keyed housing. Does anybody know of anywhere to get just the mirror (and probably heater element) to re-attach (website, part #, anything)? It's got to be a cheaper than replacing the whole unit.
2) The damage on the door is fairly minor, just a small, smooth depression. It's unfortunately on the lower accent line (bend/crease) on the door. The paint has minor scratches. Again, the dealer seems to want to go crazy with the body work and bang it out from the inside and repaint most of the door... at a cost of about $350. It seems that if it can be pulled out smoothly no repainting would be necessary. Anyone have any experience with this type of work know if this would be possible?
For pictures of the damage, please go to: http://home.earthlink.net/~druep/century.html
Thanks in advance.
Apr 14, 2003 (8:37 am)
I would check with a place that can knock out minor dents without repainting. There are franchise outfits called Dent Doctor and Dent Wizard. Then maybe some buffing or minor touchups would get the remainder out.
For the mirror, I would check around with the used part dealers. You may be able to buy a complete assembly less expensively, or even if you find a damaged one that the mirror is not broken on, you could perhaps salvage the parts you need, even if the used housing is not in the best shape.
#304 of 482 99 Buick Century limited.
May 15, 2003 (11:13 am)
Back in 1999, I factory ordered, through a dealership a Buick Century Limited. I found the car to be well put together, comfortable and since it was a family car and not a hot rod, pretty well what I needed. Bang for the buck was excellent for features and assembly quality. My problems began after the dealer serviced the car. It seems something unrelated goes wrong shortly after. ie. After the first oil change, I had to bring it back a week later because the oil life monitor was not reset by the service person and there was grease inside the car. The car experienced an attempted break in and after replacing the locks, the door did not fit properly and I needed to bring it back 5 times to have the alignment of the door adjusted. There was a recall to do with the ABS and about 3 months after, the front wheel of the car fell off (YES it Fell off!). The 5 bolts were sheared at the same place indicating the bolts were not properly tightened but since they sheared at the same place, they were torqued exactly the same. Dealer claimed they never removed the tires so I must have tampered with them. Go figure, blame the customer when you don't know how to deal with an issue. 200 miles after the warranty expired, dealer informed me I had a leak in a steering seal and it would cost me $1500.00 the have the steering rack replaced. The claim was the seal was a wear and tear item and would not be covered under warranty anyways. After a few angry letters to GM and the dealership, they covered it under goodwill. 4 months later, the water pump went and was replaced at my cost
. 4 months later again, the engine intake manifold gasket developed a leak and cost me $600 to have replaced. The car has not gone back to a GM dealership since and except for an oil change and tire rotation, nothing else has gone wrong (cross my fingers).
I find the car reasonably well designed and if the problems I've experienced are factory issues, then I have a lemon since there does not seem to be another car I've heard of or every owned that has had all these things happen. My suspicion is more to do with the dealership servicing.
#305 of 482 Used Century vs. -- ?
May 15, 2003 (3:15 pm)
Hi everyone. I found Edmunds some months ago, got lots of good info here, have been on a lot of test drives and rentals, and am finally close to getting a car. Can you help me narrow it down? I am looking for a smooth, quiet ride; reliability; value. I just drive myself most of the time.
I have some injuries that cause me physical problems, so I donít like being bounced around. Also, itís hard for me to get a good driving position (short arms). Power seat helps; telescopic wheel is ideal. Car must not be expensive to maintain. Neither an econobox nor large (city parking). Iíd like to pay cash, $15K on down. Iím thinking about Century. I'm younger than the typical Buick image, but... It seems like it has a smooth, quiet ride, itís available used at a good price (though not as cheaply as a Taurus?), and I can get a pretty good position with a power seat. After various experiences (including rentals), I have ruled out Hyundais, Mitsuís, Volvos, Toyotas, the Altima (loved the seat but minded its suspension which seemed bumpy and noisy), and Honda.
So, Century, Impala, Taurusóam I missing any other ďfloatyĒ types? Pros, cons? Any advice appreciated as Iím purchasing over the next few days. And, for the Century, is to worth it to get a relatively new one (say 2000-02) vs. a cheaper older one? Would also consider leasing a car if it is more $ but otherwise meets my needs. Thanks, folks!
May 15, 2003 (6:29 pm)
While I do not own a Century, I actually considered one last year. I too am younger than the stereotypical age...35. My wife really liked it, and the ride is super smooth and quiet. I know quite a few people at my church with them, as well as a few personal friends. They all love them and have no problems. It also gets very good gas mileage for such a peppy engine.
If you buy one and plan on keeping it awhile, I'd go for a new one because they have a $3500 rebate and you get the 3 year warranty. We have a dealer in Pittsburgh that sells at $100 over invoice, then factors in the rebate. I'm not a fan of used cars, especially century's since the off-lease ones for sale are often company cars, and may not be well cared for.
Also check out the Impala. I prefer the seating position of the Impala...more upright. The base Impala has a smooth ride. The taurus is ok and well built, but the ride takes a back seat to the Buick and Impala.
#307 of 482 Century purchase?
May 16, 2003 (11:13 am)
Thanks, JP, for your support (sniff sniff on being younger than senior-citizen age and considering a Buick. What I see as its pros: smooth ride, solid feel, high on the reliability list for American makes, decent ergonomics for me. Cons: sedan not as functional as an SUV or wagon; brand commonly seen as stodgy; offered only in "Limited" trim now. (Anyone knwo if they are planning to phase the century out?) That is useful to know about all the fleet sales.
I've been hesitant to buy new, because most Amer cars depreciate rapidly and I'm not sure I will love it enough to drive it for 10 years.
I like the Imp and will test-drive it again. But it has a lot more noise than the Century--engine, suspension, and road noise.
I am probably going to toss out the Taurus.
Any other thots on the Century vs. similar vehicles are most welcome...
May 16, 2003 (11:18 am)
I think someone posted in Regal an article about LeSabre and REgal being changed and really getting a more "European" flair in 2005. I think that said Century will be gone in lieu of REgal, which is same car.
Aren't the Impala and Gran Prix the same?
And Century/REgal and Olds Intrigue the same?
#310 of 482 Century purchase?
May 16, 2003 (2:28 pm)
If it's a cushier (smooth and quiet) ride you want, the Century is a good bet. I did found it quieter and smoother than the Taurus, Impala and any of the Japanese standards (Accord, Camry, Altima). I also like the idea of a bench seat up front for those wanting to avoid getting a mini-van. You can seat 3 up front in a pinch. However, sporty, the Century is not. If you treat it as a sedan and not a rally racer, then you probably don't need sportcar seating either. The seating is more like a livingroom sofa. I went for the Limited version (1999) because it included the magnasteer variable rate steering. This is good because the base steering was way overboosted. Also, though ABS was standard on the Custom, traction control was also standard in the Limited model. The seat covering material(if you go for cloth) is more substantial in the limited version also.
If you go for the used Limited model, it's more likely it is a lease return rather than a rental. Most, if not all, the rental Century's are standard Custom models.
I also drive a 1999 Honda Accord (4cyl). The Honda feels "sportier" and lighter but in reality, the Century is a faster car. The quiet interior sort of hides that from you. The Honda cost about $1000 more and does not have ABS, Traction control, dual zone AC, power trunk lid, theft deterrant, and a bunch of other useful creature comforts.
May 16, 2003 (6:53 pm)
Not to speak against the Century, but the Impala is just about as quiet as the Century. The Impala standard tires are very quiet, and the Impala 3.4 is, when pushed hard, quieter than the Century 3.1.
Sometimes, I think the Century ride feels softer due to the ultra plush seats.