Last post on Sep 21, 2013 at 10:39 AM
You are in the Buick Regal
What is this discussion about?
Buick Regal, Sedan
Jul 12, 2001 (10:20 pm)
I have a 1997 1/2 Buick Regal GS. I have really enjoyed driving this car. I am having a problem with the car overhearing only when I turn on the
air-conditioning. It takes some time but the car will eventually overheat. Any ideas? I also have asked the local dealership to change the supercharger oil on my car which has 73,000 miles and I am told this is not necessary.
Jul 13, 2001 (2:36 am)
Next time you turn on the air, check to see if your electric fan comes on. If it doesn't, you have found your problem. Try to test it on low and high setting on the a/c and see if either will trigger the fan to come on.
Jul 13, 2001 (7:13 am)
Thanks for the invite. I'm on the East coast, so I don't know when I'd take you up on the offer, but thanks just the same.
I agree I'm not so sure about these new engines just yet. Why do I want an engine that revs higher? That just means it's going to wear faster! I also don't put much stock in hp numbers. Torque is the real indicator. It needs to be consistent across the rpm band. A torque curve that needs to build is wasted time getting to peak hp.
When comparing the 3.5 to the N/A 3.8, these are very similar engines. So similar in fact, I don't see the reason why GM felt the need to develop the 3.5. There is no advantage that I can see. I can only guess it had to do with emissions or marketing. If I were to choose the better engine for daily driving in the red-light to red-light race, the N/A 3.8 would be the winner. If I were driving on open highway, the 3.5 would probably get the nod. This is assuming of course that the tranny/gearing was optimized for the particular engine.
When comparing the 3.5 to the SC 3.8, I'm sorry, but there is simply no contest. The head-snapping reaction of the 3.8 is just too much fun. I've owned muscle cars in the past, including a '67 GTO 400ci 4bbl, that were not as quick or as fun as the GS. Comparing the SC 3.8 to the 3.5 is like comparing the LS-6 to the SC 3.8. It's just another level of performance.
#1208 of 3508 3.5 vs. 3800
Jul 13, 2001 (9:58 am)
Just had my 98 Intrigue w/3800 totalled. Got another one (2001) w/3.5. Speaking from both sides having owned both engines (non-SC) I can say that you have to give it some road time to see the difference.
If you take a look back in the Intrigue forum, I sounded a lot like you. Before I made my final purchase I test drove a Regal GS then an Intrigue back-2-back. Although the Regal has more power, not just on paper but on the street too, I was amazed at how similar their performance is. Now that I drive the 3.5 everyday I can truthfully say that if they do the new engine the Regal is expected to get, you won't be disappointed. With more displacement and improvements over the 3.5, I'd go out on a limb and say you wouldn't even miss it.
I thought the red-light race would suffer in the 3.5. I was wrong. Rent an Intrigue (make sure it has PCS--the transaxle ratio is 3.29 for PCS, 3.05 w/o PCS) for a weekend. You'll see the future for Buick powertrains is still bright.
#1209 of 3508 Glad to see we're back on track....
Jul 13, 2001 (10:09 am)
Your overheating IS likely caused by one of the cooling fans on the radiator not coming on at all, or not coming on soon enough. If the Regal's ECM is programmed like most other GM FWD cars, one or both of the cooling fans should come on at low speed ANYTIME the A/C compressor is running. This is to protect the compressor as well as to keep the car from overheating. When the coolant's temperature reaches a predetermined point (usually around 210-220 degrees) one or both of the fans should go to high speed.
If your fans are not running, here's a simple checklist:
1. Check all connections at the fan to make sure they didn't vibrate loose or have a bad connector. Be careful while doing this on a hot engine--those fans are close to the exhaust manifold. If loose, take them completely apart and look for dirt and/or moisture. If they are present, spray both sides of the connector with WD-40 or similar product and reassemble WITH THE ENGINE OFF.
2. Good connections? Then check the fan fuse on the fuse block. Don't remember where it is on the Regal and I don't have the service manual here with me. It is likely on the fuse block inside the car, but could be located in the engine compartment. If bad, replace it.
3. Good fuses? Then try tapping one or both fan motors with a steel tool like a ratchet. If the fan suddenly comes on, you have a "dead spot" in that fan's motor. Replace the motor.
If all of these steps still do not get the fan motors working, you either have a bad sensor or a problem with the ECM. Unless you are mechanically inclined and can follow a wiring diagram, I'd recommend having it diagnosed by a shop that does A/C work.
If your car is overheating, I'd recommend getting this fixed soon. Hot engines on 100 degree summer days tend to blow their head gaskets, warp their heads or worse. An A/C system running without the fans can build pressure inside the compressor approaching 500 PSI, which can blow your compressor internally, a hose, the condensor or the evaporator.
Jul 13, 2001 (11:04 am)
Good info from an owner of both. Maybe the 3.5 grows on you. However, looking at 0-60 times of the Intrigue, they are in the mid-to-high 7 second range. My G-Tech reports just about 6 seconds for my GS, and I have broken into the 5's once or twice. 1/4 mile times are likewise a full second or more in favor of the GS stock, and with a couple inexpensive bolt-ons, the GS walks away, even while giving up over 100 lbs.
I do think the Intrigue as a total package has some advantages over the GS including handling. My test drives likened the handling of the Intrigue to the Maxima, while the GS felt like a bigger car with less response. I know there are suspension upgrades available, and I'd like to try these some day. Until then, I'll enjoy the straight-line raw power!
Jul 13, 2001 (12:05 pm)
Drive on, my friend! Drive on!
No way an Intrigue will beat a Regal GS in a flat out drag to 60.
Are you going to check out the new Max when it comes out? I've been wondering about how it will perform now that they've upped the power. Output looks close to the Regal. Would be nice to know how it compares. Maybe you'll let us know.
I'd do it myself. But at 6'8" Maximas are the equivalent of sardine cans.
#1212 of 3508 Rcarboni
Jul 13, 2001 (12:23 pm)
Didn't you use to own an Oldsmobile Intrigue before? I recall your story of the car being a lemon and finally bought back by GM.
Your Regal replaces it.
Jul 13, 2001 (12:41 pm)
The styling of the Maxima has always disgusted me. For as much as the performance is there, they really need to work on the design. I'd also rather see them bring back the Z, and stop trying to pretend that the Max is some contender in the sports car arena. However, I do appreciate that they keep other makers questing for more power in the sedan lines.
Sorry, that wasn't me with the lemon Intrigue. I had considered the Olds, but at the time the Regal incentives were too good to pass up, and that was what eventually made the decision easy.
I just hope GM doesn't bow out of the sedan power struggle. With so many new, powerful models coming from the import crowd (Lexus, Acura, etc.), it would be nice to know that you could still get the power and reliability for up to $20K less for a simple sacrifice of trendiness and gadgetry.
#1214 of 3508 No Teo....
Jul 13, 2001 (1:58 pm)
The Lemon Intrigue was me.
Nice to see you're still lurking.