NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Cooling System Problems


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,000 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.

1998 Buick Century cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 122006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


Overheating engine & ticking sound. Took to dealer twice before the warranty expired. Always a little bit of repair. After warranty expired same problem but then needed over $600 in repairs. Later same problem $300 in repairs. Always thermostat or water pump. The temp gauge goes up and low coolant light came on, same as before, a mechanic was at the cafe I work at & looked at the car. He stated that there was oil in the radiator & that he had seen this problem from these GM products many many times and that I would have to have a new engine. Added coolant & it lasted a little while. Took to another mechanic for second opinion & was told the same. The temp light does not come on but the low coolant light comes on. The ticking got louder and took to dealer for their opinion, ask them to check the coolant to see if oil was in it. Was told that the noise was from a stuck lifter & they put in a heavier weight oil & additive to oil change & that the fluids looked good. 2 weeks later let 4th mechanic look, he put is finger in radiator & showed me the gunk, said I have a blown head gasket & more. He has seen hundreds of the same problem. Told that GM should be held accountable, that they know their is a problem and do nothing about it and try to cover it up. GM should have done a recall on the problem. I have found hundreds of complaints online in the past weeks. I don't want money or new car I just want mine fixed by the company responsible. The dealer has lied to me about this & I am very upset, this is why my son and I are freezing to death in the car, the gunk has gunked up everything it has come in contact with, including the heating core. According to one complaint a very good mechanic has decided that their are two problems one affecting the other. A cooling system grounding problem, electrolysis resulting in corrosion & disintegration of parts and gaskets & then dexcool which is unstable in an electrically charged environment & turns it in to goop.

- Lyles, TN, USA

problem #1

Dec 172001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Coolant used by dealer is turning into sludge in radiator, which can get to the engine. Dealer/manufacturer were notified.

- Monrowville, PA, USA

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