Last post on Sep 03, 2012 at 6:01 PM
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Buick Park Avenue, Sedan
#373 of 519 Update on a 2000 Buick Park Avenue
Dec 23, 2006 (10:41 pm)
These are remarks about the status of a Year 2000 Buick Park Avenue, which now has 160,000 miles.
Oil consumption is 1/2 qt./5,000 miles running Mobil 1 10w/30 EP (15,000 rated oil between changes) and Mobil 1 2x filter.
Fuel consumption is around 25.8 long term, mostly highway miles running 75-80;
Recent work required:
>> Speedo Cluster PRNDL died, readout of gauges (oil pressure, etc. died); Fixed for $185 by Specmo of Madison Heights, MI, including new cover clear plastic, new power supply. I did the R&R myself. They have thousands of units in stock;
>> New Michelin MVX4 high economy tires, great ride, handling, smooth, roll like crazy, good fuel economy. These replaced identical tires removed, that had 110,000 miles on them, with a little tread left (3/32's");
>> Replaced original struts/rear shocks with Monroe sensatrac gas struts in front, Maxair shocks in rear; Tremendous improvement in ride and control- very close to Mercedes I have owned.
>> Installed all new rotors on brakes- performed by dealer with GM OEM parts- now extremely smooth, transforming the brakes and driving impression;
>> replaced Alternator at 157,000 with GM reman unit, although orig was performing well and had no problems. I was impressed that its bearings were still smooth!
This continues to be a great car and is solid even with high miles, like my prior Mercedes were. No rattles, smooth, still quiet, interior holding up well. Just tried Lucerne and Chrysler 300 and seats in both were not as good IMHO as my 2000 PA. I have the heads up display (HUD), which I really like, regardless of what the car mags weenies say. Also, I have the business console, which isn't the highest build quality, but which performs well- I like it! This car has 3 12v outlets up front- 1- the cig lighter, 1 at base of business console, and 1 inside the storage console between front seats.
Most common complaint I and others have is that the rear speaker for bass, is too loud and boomy for rear seat passengers.
I think this is one of the best cars GM ever made and it is the 6th Buick I have owned. GM never put the junk parts on the supercharged engine, like they did with the standard 3.8. They fixed the standard 3.8 in year 2000 (intake manifold). Also, the year 2000 has the "rolling code" garage opener. I have drived the latest Mercedes E class and they really feel like my PA.
I have hit two deer with Buicks, the latest one with this car and the deer came at the windshield, but did not break through. Thank God For Buicks! They are solid.
I will try to drive this car as long as I possible can- there are no new cars on the market that run as well or are more durable- yes, including Toyota, which is starting to have some quality issues. My 34 yoa daughter-in-law that thought she would hate this car, had to drive it on the freeway recently and was very surprised how well she liked it.."it doesn't feel like a great, big car".
So that is my Buick PS attaboy for the record.
#374 of 519 Thanks for the replies...
Dec 24, 2006 (6:01 pm)
Glad to hear there are other 30-somethings that appreciate what Buick had to offer in these cars. I'm really surprised at your hwy mileage, Ultra97...wow. I think I saw once a listing for the Regal GS that said its 0-60 times were in the 7.3 - 7.4 range, so the extra Ultra weight doesn't hurt it too much in the response time. And, an ultra is the perfect "toy" to have if you enjoy a bit of performance yet want to appear all practical and family-oriented at the same time...and sure does beat a mini-van
Buicks5...you posted this: Replaced original struts/rear shocks with Monroe sensatrac gas struts in front, Maxair shocks in rear; Tremendous improvement in ride and control- very close to Mercedes I have owned.
Not meaning to over-parse words, but did your ride end up smoother or stiffer? I'm guessing you mean stiffer/more controlled/not too stiff though.
I will now seriously put the PA on my Regal-replacement list when the time comes. Later model Regals are very hard to find, that is for sure.
Buicks may have a stodgy image with some, but people who care more about cars usually own and take care of them, making them wiser investments as used vehicles.
#375 of 519 Highway mileage
Dec 26, 2006 (6:06 am)
>I'm really surprised at your hwy mileage, Ultra97...wow.
I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but I run full synthetic oil (Mobil 1), and I have read that for a given viscosity rating, synthetic oil flows a little more freely, and I run the tires at 35 psi on road trips. But the supercharged 3800 is surprisingly efficient when not on boost, and it also helps that the PA Ultra is geared pretty high; at 55 mph, you're turning less than 1500 rpm in 4th gear, and about 2100 rpm at 80 mph, which is probably the big reason for the highway mileage numbers. By comparison, the 4-cylinder Camry I used to own ('87) was turning around 3200 rpm at 80 mph.
#376 of 519 Re: Highway mileage [97ultra]
Dec 28, 2006 (10:34 pm)
Does your dealer carry the synthetic or do you buy it yourself?
For 97Ultra or anyone else reading: Is it best to change to synthetic at "an early age" or can a car with any # of miles safely make the switch?
Also, is it as simple as having a regular oil change your last visit and then switching to synthetic - no other steps needed?
#377 of 519 Re: Highway mileage [bigunit67]
Dec 29, 2006 (4:10 am)
I buy the oil at Advance Auto, but you can also get it at Wal-Mart. It's pricey (~$5/quart) but lubricates better than regular oil, especially at high temperatures (which is why race cars use synthetic oil instead of the dinosaur-derived kind). I use "Mobil 1" brand, and stick with 10W30 weight like the manual recommends. I also like the Mobil 1 filters.
A car with any number of miles can be switched over--it's just a matter of filling it up with synthetic instead of petroleum distillate oil the next time you change it. The only caveat is, if you have oil leaks around gaskets and such, they will leak get a bit worse with synthetic because synthetic flows more freely than regular oil and sludges less, so it's more likely to seep past a bad valve cover gasket or pan gasket.
My PA has 145K miles at the moment, and I'm getting ready to replace the valve cover gaskets for that reason; it doesn't leak much (maybe half a quart in 2000 miles), but it's enough to bug me. I bought a pair of GM gaskets from the dealer and just need to get around to swapping them out.
#378 of 519 Wheel Noise in 2003 PA
Jan 13, 2007 (5:52 pm)
I have a whining or rubbing sound between 20 and 30 mph. The dealer replaced the front wheel bearings under warranty, but it didn't help. Then the dealer said it was tire noise so I replaced the front tires which were staring to show wear. Then I had the wheels aligned and asked the dealer to try to find the noise again. They couldn't hear the noise. The next time I went back, they sid the hub caps were loose. I knew they were loose from the wheel alignment job and it wasn't the type of noise I thought they were looking for.
Any suggestions before I try again?
#379 of 519 Re: bouncing rpm's [bss868s]
Jan 19, 2007 (5:59 am)
what did you finally discover to figure this problem out?
#380 of 519 Re: Wheel Noise in 2003 PA [schwenk1]
Mar 12, 2007 (7:28 pm)
might I suggest, that if you've had both front wheel bearings replaced, and you've checked that they replaced the grease pack and felt washer to prevent the grease from being thrown out....
one looks not at the front wheels, but at the rear transaxle
housing. Check to see if the rear suspension bushings are not badly worn, that no part of the transaxle is bearing on the chassis, thus transmitting noise that sounds like it comes from the front end.
After checking all else, check to see if the rear suspension is greased and rear wheel bearings are in good condition, similar to front end.
Often it is easy to confuse front end noise with noise transmission from the rear of the vehicle. Any good transmittor can be any part of the suspension or exhaust that sets up a resonance in time with wheel motion or suspension movement.
#381 of 519 Re: Wheel Noise in 2003 PA [pacifictrout]
Apr 04, 2007 (8:23 am)
I went to dealer again and he convinced me it was tire noise. I bought new tires for the rear and the noise was gone. Those rear tires were 10 out of 10 per the tire dealer, but had some uneven wear. Lesson: no matter how much it sounds like a noise is coming from the front, be open-minded that it could be coming from the rear.
Apr 16, 2007 (1:46 pm)
i own a 98 park ave ultra. love the car,however my paint is chipping. my car is pearl white. every time i see another car like mine i ask,and the response is same as mine. paint chipping!not in one small spot,large chips. on my car its chipping on back left fender above tire,front right mirror,front strip between windshield and driver door. others i have seen on trunk,hood,well just all over the car. its only on the white 98s.these chips go straight to the metal! however there has been no recall on this cars paint job.