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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,154 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Buick Century electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #18

Jan 222016

Century

  • 138,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When driving at night all lights go out, interior and driving lights, resuming when clicking bright light switch. Driving at 65 mph.

- Peculiar, MO, USA

problem #17

Jan 192016

Century

  • 120,000 miles
I had driven my 2003 Buick Century at least halfway into a parking space in a parking lot when it suddenly lurched forward like a bat out of hell, leaping up over a curb on an upward slope, swiping a cement lightpost on the left, crashing into another car across its left front, bumping down over a curb, then crashing up and over two more curbs. With divine help I was able to avoid other cars and steer it to a stop, then drive gingerly into the original parking space. Since I was originally in the process of slowing to a stop, my right foot was on the brake at all times. I had never heard of many automakers' infamous "sudden unintended acceleration" manufacturing defect and had no idea what was happening as the car went from 1 or 2 mph to full throttle instantly. With both hands grasping the steering wheel while the car jerked violently, I was unable to shift into neutral, as I was attempting to avoid other parked vehicles. I emerged with no broken bones, but the car was totaled. Because I am a "little old lady, " the insurance company deems me "L00% responsible, " in spite of my clean driving record. But "sudden unintended acceleration" fits my scenario to a tee.

- Sonora, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 312014

Century

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. The contact stated that the key was difficult to turn in the ignition switch and the alarm security warning light illuminated. The failures occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unavailable.

- Inkster, MI, USA

problem #15

Aug 132012

Century 8-cyl

  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When using turn signals car dies, all the dash lights flash and click. If I pull over and put the car in park it restarts and drives fine until I try the turn signal again then the same thing happens. I also had to disconnect the emergency brake sensor or else the same thing happens. Flashing, clicking and car dies. Now, whenever car is in gear, constant dinging and it will drive fine but I cannot use the turn signals.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #14

Jul 262014

Century 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Pulled out of gas station to enter street and noticed headlights were not on. Pulled out the head light switch and nothing happened. I pulled back on the bright light switch and the lights came on. Mechanic had told me to try this since this same thing has happened before. Last year, I took the car to the Buick dealer for something else, but I brought up having a diagnostics run to see if it would show anything about the light problem. They told me that it wouldn't show up. Now I am afraid to drive this car at night. I have read many letters on the internet regarding this problem. GM should fix this problem. It would cost about $700 to get the switch replaced at the dealer. Does someone have to die if the lights go out while driving?

- Lemoore, CA, USA

problem #13

May 012008

Century 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I was driving on the highway at about 4:00 am, when the lights suddenly went out, and I did not even have park lights. After about a half hour I was able to get the park lights to work and go on to our son's house using only my park lights. Then I finally got the lights to burn enough to finish my trip using low beams. The high beam would just go off and only the low beams would work. This has happened many times since then. I have had to replace the combination switch for the lights twice, and at this time, it needs to be replaced again because I cannot get the right rear signal light to operate. I have been told I need to replace the entire combination switch again. This is a very expensive repair to have done. Have there been many more reports of this dangerous problem of suddenly having no lights and having to have the whole combination switch replaced. Is there a recall for this problem with the electrical system?

- Wills Point, TX, USA

problem #12

Apr 082014

Century 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The car locks itself whenever it feels like. Will happen if the engine is on or off.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 032014

Century

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. The contact stated that the vehicle was turned on and the contact indicated that after shaking the key ring the vehicle suddenly turned off. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #10

Jan 122011

Century

  • 88,000 miles
In January of this year my 2003 Buick Century began with panel lights flashing on and off at various times making the gauges and speedometer impossible to read. Very expensive estimate to fix. Then in February was driving home at night and the ABS light came on. Took to shop and they couldn't get it to do it. After third time had it repaired. Took whole driver side wheel assembly to get sensor $500. In March driver side window began going up and down by itself. Took it to shop and they are unable to find a problem. The car only does it when the panel lights flash on and off. Bad vibration in the car around June. Had all four tires replaced and new brakes and rotors. On August 4, 2011 vibration started again, then started a popping noise in the front end when starting and stopping. Car vibrates so bad you can not hold steering wheel at 45-50mph. This pop and vibration is now coming from front right side. Not sure what it is yet.

- Cascade, VA, USA

problem #9

Mar 232007

Century

  • 60,000 miles
Instrument cluster on 2003 Buick Century doesn't work, I understand this is common on this car and very expensive to fix. I feel GM should be accountable. Also, the head gasket is blown I was told by a garage that it was the type of coolant they used and also very common on these cars. These are clearly defects in their product and they should be recalled. I have bought american cars all my life but I, M done with them, they don't stand behind their product.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #8

Apr 012007

Century

  • 29,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When I switch to high beams my headlights go out completely. They only go back on when I switch back to dims. This is a common problem and I don't understand why you haven't owned up to it and had a recall.

- Wonder Lake, IL, USA

problem #7

Nov 102010

Century

  • 86,000 miles
The internal panel lights go off when I turned on the head lights. I could no longer read my gauges or speedometer. The head lights still work but I feel this is the same complaint that many on the internet have complained about with there head lights going off. When will mine stop working? this problem has existed with Buick since 1998 and I consider very dangerous problem. The dealer wants almost $700 to replace the dimmer switch the car is a 2003 Buick Century.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #6

Nov 102010

Century 6-cyl

  • 86,375 miles
Instrument panel lights go out when emergency brake released and car is put in gear. If car in park with engine running and brake engaged lights on panel are on. However, when lights are manually turned on the panel lights go out. When lights manually turned off the lights go on. Once in gear the lights go out again.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 112009

Century

  • 125,000 miles
Faulty instrument cluster on 2003 Buick Century. Other General Motors vehicles with similar problems were recalled and fixed, but Buick has not. Cost to replace exceeds $600.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #4

Nov 262009

Century

  • 120,400 miles
1) while driving on a narrow, curvy, hilly two lane road in the dark I attempted to turn on my high beam headlights as I was having trouble seeing which way the road ways turning. When I click the high beam switch my headlights went out totally and I could not see the road at all. The high beam switch on this car is the General Motors multifunction switch mounted on the steering column. I went off the road narrowly missing a large boulder and tree. 2) I had trouble getting the headlights to come back on. My car now only has low beam. The multifunction switch must be fiddled with and operated many time to try to gets the headlight to come back on. If I try to get the high beam headlights to come on the headlights go out and I must play with the switch to have the lights come back on. This is a dangerous situation when you need to travel narrow hilly roads in rural areas without any road lights. When the headlights go out you become surprised and need a second to understand what has happened. In that second you become a little dis-oriented as you are trying to get the lights to come back on and trying to stop. The failure is still there as I am trying to get it in for repair. 3) I will have the car in for repair in the next few day and will ask for the faulty switch back. I have a friend with Chevrolet Impala who told me he had the sand problem with this General Motors multi-function switch. It is the same switch in his car as mine.

- Easthampton,, MA, USA

problem #3

May 102009

Century

  • miles
I have a 2003 Buick Century V6 while driving at night my lights go out it is very scary and dangerous I would like to no the problem as I have read that there has been others with the same problem also if I hit the dimmer switch they will come back on but then go back off.

- Caldwell, OH, USA

problem #2

Jul 012004

Century 6-cyl

  • miles
When the vehicle was shut off, the daytime running lights failed to shut off. This caused the vehicle to remain unlocked for a long period of time. Both the manufacturer and the dealer were contacted.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 012004

Century 6-cyl

  • miles
The door locks failed to lock from using the remote key entry device. Also, consumer noticed that the lock button failed to unlock the doors intermittently. Inspector verified that the power door locks operated as designed. The odometer operated normally. Trunk popped open once while driving. The brakes applied and released as designed; and the the emergency brake held the vehicle properly and appeared to be properly adjusted.

- Detroit, MI, USA

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