really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,467 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.

2002 Buick Century electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 172018


  • 115,000 miles


I was at the gas station tried to start my vehicle and it caught on fire at the gas station many could of been killed and or injured

- Sterling, IL, USA

problem #16

Mar 052017


  • 150,000 miles
Intake leaking antifreeze - cost too much to repair for me. My only car to get to work. Replacing bearings today for sticking back brakes. All interior accessories are broken; cosmetic mirror, ashtray, center console, passenger windshield wiper stripped motor, 1 window working. Still owe on car but cannot fix everything. Any help "??"

- Butte, MT, USA

problem #15

Jul 302009


  • miles
I purchased the car from family auto easley SC, ive had several repairs on this car that didnt help, radiators, thermastat, water pump, hoses replace, alternator, coolant recovery tank has brown sludge inside, the windows didnt work, its moist inside from the floor being wet had a heating core put in didnt help, the carpet on the inside is damaged, the paint is coming off, had a alternator put in, run hot all the time, dosnt matter, buy coolant, oil put water in it, manifold gasket is bad in it ive lost power several times, the last time I did it was on Nov 6 this year on the way to work lost power while driving ran into a gurad gate right beside a dumpster, I had to get it towed, its in the shop getting the bumper fixed, I had to get a rental car, I had to get my car refinance with dilco of greenville SC he couldnt believe how much I was charge for this car over $13,000 dollars, so I was over charged and sold a lemon and its not fair to me and this car is not safe for me or anyone to drive, I want to be able to drive a car without being afriad if im going to make it or not or get stranded

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #14

Apr 082014


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Buick Century. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the electrical wiring needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #13

Jul 152014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Century. While driving 20 mph, the engine stalled. The dealer stated that the electrical system was faulty. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000...updated 05/20/15 updated 7/6/2015

- Delavan, WI, USA

problem #12

Aug 072013

Century 6-cyl

  • 108,152 miles
The odometer cluster lights go out and sometimes come back on for a few minutes and back off while driving. Therefore you can not see mileage and the shifting of gears. The dealer recommends sending it back to the factory for 2 weeks while they repair it at a cost of $ $2000 or drive the car without repairing.

- Towson, MD, USA

problem #11

Apr 172014

Century 6-cyl

  • miles


When I put key in ignition to start car, the position of gears goes dark. If I jiggle the key, or turn it back (very slightly) the panel lights up momentarily. It is scary driving with no indication of which gear I am in. I was told it was the cluster?

- Broadview Hts., OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 212013

Century 6-cyl

  • 154,705 miles
This is an addendum to complaint/ODI #10499646...this was the scariest experience of my life, driving alone in darkness, at 55mph, and without warning, headlights & dash just shut-off !! no other vehicles on road to help light my way, couldn't see anything, almost ran off the road & got killed, only had this car 10days!! thought I got a good deal too, but now I'm stuck with a car I can't drive at night. Spoke directly with GM customer relations specialist on 3 separate occasions, who sent me to their GM dealership for inspection. After GM rep spoke with their dealership, they decided due to the age of the vehicle, and mileage, they're not responsible to assist!! I cannot understand, nor will I accept, how this situation could be anything other than a "safety issue"!! numerous complaints filed on this same vehicle, and many having the same problem, just floating around out there, waiting for the next poor, unsuspecting buyer. I will never purchase another GM product, and I will also do everything in my power to discourage "anyone" I know from doing so. They won't stand behind their defective product, which is now my problem. As I told the GM rep, I can only imagine how many people have not lived to tell "their" story...(no response from them on that comment).

- Mount Orab, OH, USA

problem #9

Feb 212013

Century 6-cyl

  • 154,705 miles
While driving at night, headlights and dash lights completely shut off!

- Mount Orab, OH, USA

problem #8

Jul 122011


  • 105,000 miles
Electronic odometer light failed. Therefore one can not read the odometer. From talking with the service tech at the Buick dealership in anderson, Indiana he said it is a common occurrence. Sounds like a problem that should be covered because of a defective part. He told me the cost to get a new odometer to is around $250 to $300. The odometer still operates it just can not be read because the led light went out. The led light can not be replaced according to the technician the whole unit has to be replaced.

- Anderson, IN, USA

problem #7

Dec 102011

Century 6-cyl

  • miles


Instrument panel cluster faulty! the digital odometer does not work. The gear shift display (prnd321) does not work either! I have to feel when I switch from park to drive. During vehicle inspections I have to guess my correct mileage, because it's blank! I replaced the instrument panel cluster on February 28, 2010. In October 2011 the explained problems recurred!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #6

Jun 182011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Century. The contact stated the gear selector failed to illuminate on the instrument panel which caused the uncertainty of knowing which gear was selected. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who informed her that the odometer needed to be replaced because the gear indicator light was located in the housing. The odometer must be sent out of state for over a week. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact will notify the manufacturer of the consistent failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Parma Heights, OH, USA

problem #5

Sep 152010


  • 51,000 miles
Intermittent headlight failure. On several occasions, the headlights have turned off for no reason or warning. This includes the dash lights. This has happened approximately 6 times in the past two years resulting in an extremely dangerous situation. Four of the instances were on roads with no streetlights - an interstate highway, and winding country roads. The only remedy seems to be to move the turn signal lever, both up and down, (turning the cornering lights on - providing a much needed source of light), and back and forth, as if turning the high beam lights on and off. Eventually, the lights seem to come back on. Pulling and pushing the dash mounted light switch on and off does not affect the situation. When mentioned to the local Buick dealer's service writer, he had no idea what I was talking about or how to approach the problem.

- Johnson City, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 212009


  • 140,000 miles
On three GM vehicles that I know of (02 Century, 05 Century, 06 Grand Prix) the headlights will go out on high beam unexpectedly. Replacing the headlight high beam switch fixes the problem. The 06 Grand Prix was still under warranty but the dealer refused to correct the problem. They said that until the switch fails completely they will not replace it. Going 70 down the interstate at night and suddenly no lights is not very safe. I know my vehicle (02 Century) was high mileage but the other two are not. The dealer not fixing the Grand Prix that belongs to a friend of mine kind of ticked me off.

- Maben, MS, USA

problem #3

Jan 122004


  • 36,000 miles
Most of the complaints on the Buick Century 2002, my car has them: 1. windows not working, only passengers' up to now 2. hard upshifts on transmission 3. mileage on the digital odometer won't show 4. volume on steering wheel never corrected so, what's being done about it?

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 072003

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,040 miles
I have three lights coming on {check engine soon}{anti lock &trac off} this has been going on for over two years and several trips to the garage is not getting it repaired. I am told when these lights are on I lose antilock breaks and traction control. ] ]

- Industry, ME, USA

problem #1

Apr 032003

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,344 miles
Each time I exit my 2002 Buick Century I get shocked. It has increased in intensity, and I sometimes get shocked twice. I took my vehicle in to have the local dealership look it over, as well as check to see if any of the recalls on the vehicle had been taken care of, as it was a program car. I was assured that none of the numerous recalls on the 2002 Buick Century applied to my care. I was also told that there is nothing they can do about my being shocked when I exit the vehicle after driving it. This concerns me a great deal, as I have read about people fueling their vehicles who cause cumbustion when the static electricity is discharged.

- Manzanola, CO, USA

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